[Advaita-l] Can a jnAni become temporarily deluded?

Anand Hudli anandhudli at hotmail.com
Mon Oct 31 06:50:32 CDT 2011

Shri Raghav Kumar wrote:

>The word "deluded" seems to have a considerably different meaning and
>implication when it comes to aa avatAra as compared to an aj~nAnI. In
>the former's case, it is being called self-chosen or self-willed.  Is
>that the idea ?

Yes. If Ishvara's avatAra cannot be deluded then we would have to
assume the avatAra is just playing a game. This position is sometimes
put forward but the texts do not seem to support it.

For example, the rAmAyaNa does not say that rAma knew that the golden
deer was only a distraction and not a real deer even while he was
pursuing it.

>concealment or delusion Himself. The "willer" i.e., Ishvara, has to be
>always nitya-shuddha-buddha-mukta, surely? (Even if we grant that
>Rama, an aspect of viShNu, was put under a temporary spell by viShNu's
>will). That is my doubt.

>If even Ishvara, the source of avatAra-s, can become deluded, by whose
>will does it occur? Is there not infinite regress, unless we posit one
>Reality who is never deluded even by mAya?

Here some distinction has to be made between Ishvara and His avatAra.
While Ishvara can be beyond delusion, He can will His avatAra to come
delusion. Perhaps, this is the case to drive home the point that
anyone who is born as a human will be deluded at some point. What then
is the difference
between ordinary human beings and an avatAra, or for that matter, a
Jnani? The delusion of the avatAra or Jnani is guaranteed to come to
an end at some point,
but for an ordinary human being there is no such guarantee. Any human
may have a chance of breaking free from mAyA, but this is not to say
there is a guarantee
that such liberation will occur.


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