[Advaita-l] Eternal Loka

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Mon Oct 29 01:55:27 CDT 2012

On Sun, Oct 28, 2012 at 11:37 AM, Rajaram Venkataramani <
rajaramvenk at gmail.com> wrote:

> In an offline chat, Sri Subrahmanian explained how Sankara comments Ch. Up.
> verses on singing etc. for liberated as metaphorical and the description of
> jivan mukta Indra and Devas. I woul like to challenge it to get to bottom
> of it in terms of understanding. How is such an indirect interpretation
> justified? If upanishads teach that our svarupa in mukti is to relish with
> Ishwara and other Jivas, how can Sankara explain it away to fit advaita?
> Thanks in advance.

Surely all systems agree that the body, of whatever type, is a product of
karma. Apart from the cause of karma there is no way a jiva can have a body
or different bodies for different jivas as their very svarUpa.  And in
liberation one ceases to be a body.  It is only with a body and senses can
one experience/enjoy other things that are different from him.  The aim of
moksha sadhana is to be free from the body.  However, after a person has
had the aparoksha jnanam, in case his purvakarma is so strong, puNya-wise,
he gets those bodies/posts that bring with them all the enjoyments attached
to them.  Also, even an ajnAni Indira is said to have become enlightened.
When this happens, till such time as he continues in that life/post, he
will enjoy all that is destined for him.  Again, for example, the
Mundakopanishad 3.1.10
यं यं लोकं मनसा संविभाति विशुद्धसत्त्वः कामयते यांश्च कामान् |
 तं तं लोकं जयते तांश्च कामांस्तस्मादात्मज्ञं ह्यर्चयेत् *भूतिकामः* ||१०|| |

where it is said that an enlightened one can materialize for either himself
or for others those worlds (enjoyments) that he wishes to.

All this can happen only when he has the body-mind-apparatus. When in
moksha he is brahman alone: ब्रह्मैव भवति as per this Upanishad, there is
no way there can be a body, mind, etc. apparatus.  Brahman has none of
these.  The Upanishad teaches Brahman as ekam, eva, adviteeyam. Further,
the Upanishads do not hold out the moksha purushartha as something that is
full of merry-making in the company of women, eating, dancing, etc.  A
person who has developed great vairagya for all these alone engages in
serious sadhana for moksha.  It would be illogical on the part of the
Upanishad/s to teach/hold out these enjoyments as the goal of moksha.

Also, for any enjoyments to take place, there have to be 'others'.  When
this enjoyer-enjoyment-enjoyed triputi is present it is clear that the
'kShetra' taught in the Bh.Gita 13th chapter is not yet transcended. It is
the teaching of this Chapter that the viveka between the kshetrajna, the
Pure Consciousness and the kshetra, the inert prakRti (in its causal and
effectual forms) is clearly understood and one's knowledge that 1. one is
the Pure consciousness alone and 2. all that not-self involving the
body-mind apparatus and the outside objects of experience/enjoyement called
Kshetra is anatmA, jaDa and therefore mithyA is firmly had.  This
twin-requirement for moksha is non-negotiable according to the

Thus, purely owing to one's unspent extraordinary puNya alone one can be
said to be enjoying the company of women, merry-making, laughing, singing,
eating, etc. in any divine colonies. The Upanishadic moksha does not admit
of any dvaita whatsoever in moksha.  A travel from dvaita in bondage to
dvaita in liberation is not the message of the Upanishads. From finitude to
infinity is the way of the Upanishad. 'asato mA sad gamaya, tamaso mA
jyotirgamaya, mRtyormA amRtam gamaya.'  The Kathopanishad specifcally
teaches 'he who believes nAnAtvam to be real will go from mRtyu to mRtyu.'
and that 'there is no naanAtvam whatsoever.'  So, to carry over duality to
moksha is the last thing the Upanishad would be doing.

That is why Shankara comments in the Chandogya Up.8.12.3 that these
enjoyments are had by those enlightened ones *as I*ndra, etc. in
svarga/brahma loka etc.  The Anandagiri and Narendrapuri glosses are clear
on this.  There is no forced Advaita-friendly interpretation of the
mantra.  The commentary gives an alternative meaning too: since all joys
are already only manifestations of the Brahmaananda and therefore are 'in'
Brahman, the enlightened one who becomes Brahman, becomes all this joys
too, figuratively. The BG 2.46

 यावानर्थ उदपाने सर्वतः सम्प्लुतोदके ।
तावान्सर्वेषु वेदेषु ब्राह्मणस्य विजानतः ॥
 भावार्थ *:*  सब ओर से परिपूर्ण जलाशय के प्राप्त हो जाने पर छोटे जलाशय में
मनुष्य का जितना प्रयोजन रहता है, ब्रह्म को तत्व से जानने वाले ब्राह्मण का
समस्त वेदों में उतना ही प्रयोजन रह जाता है॥46॥

shows that he who has known the Ultimate has 'everything' within him and
does not need to seek to fulfill them 'outside' him by the means of the


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