[Advaita-l] Eternal Loka

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Fri Aug 16 13:49:58 CDT 2013

On Fri, Aug 16, 2013 at 8:51 PM, Rajaram Venkataramani <
rajaramvenk at gmail.com> wrote:

> >
> > By definition a vArtika, virtually a commentary, is 'ukta-anukta-durukta
> > chintA' where what is said, unsaid and wrongly said in the original is
> > analyzed. In the present case KrishNAlankAra is not a khaNDana grantha;
> > only a certain aspect of the original is shown as disagreeable.
> >
> RV: We dont have to accept his explanation if we have a different
> understanding that is more logical and satisfying.

Dear Rajaram,

You can happily feel satisfied with your own understanding, however
mistaken it is. Let me inform you that the discussion in the si.le.sang.
has nothing to do with the bhakti-rasa that you are hoping to see there or
the kind of mukti the bhakti schools / non-advaitic schools talk of.  I
think by seeing the term Ishwara and the proposition that the mukta will
attain IshwarabhAva you have concluded that it gels with the bhakti
schools' mukti.  But the fact is that neither Appayya or Jaimini are
having such a candidate in mind when they say what they say. The case is
neither that of the saguNopAsaka of the Advaita system who gets krama mukti
passing thru brahmaloka. Nor is the kind of saguNopAsana dealt with in the
upanishads the type involving rasa-s of the bhakti schools.

> ,

> >  Being beyond space and time is itself not sufficient;
> RV: We both agree Ishwara is nitya. Depending on the criteria for kutastha
> and pravahara nitya, we have to decide which one it is but that is
> irrelevant for the discussion. Even if He is only pravahara nitya, all
> names and forms are eternal as Vishnu.

It is pravAha nitya and not pravahara nitya.  And in Advaita such a
nityatva is avidyA-based, only to be negated, falsified, by right
knowledge.  It is admitted ONLY to explain the continued samsAra of the
baddha jIvas.  In Advaita, such a nityatva or such an arrangement is only
mithyA, purely admitted on the authority of the shruti vAkyams that deal
with samsAra/gati and Agati,. karma, bhoga, lokAntara, etc.  The entire set
up is an shAstrakRta adhyAropa according to Advaitins.  If you feel
satisfied with that and take it as real, it is only pitiable.

> >
> > This statement would be misleading.  Where has he said that? In the
> > portion of the si.le.sang. being discussed, it is only said that 'yAvat
> > sarvamukti' the mukta will be one with Ishwara.  That does not mean that
> > there is no liberation.
> >
> RV: The very fact that you are talking to me who is not liberated means
> sarva mukti has not happened and as a consequence no one is as yet
> liberated. All those who are said to be liberated in sastras and
> sampradayas now only exist as Ishwara. I hope you agree with this.

I will not agree with this but will accept it as the concession that caters
to the ignorant.

> >
> > The very labeling the views as paramarthika and vyavaharika is nothing
> but
> > ranking one over the other and it goes without saying that the latter is
> > mithyA, being admitting the ignorant's view.
> RV: The jnani in your dream and his view is your kalpana from the
> position of ignorance and vyavahara. If you dont understand / accept the
> eka jiva vada position that no one is as yet liberated, then you will not
> understand / accept that the talk of paramarthika is only your kalpana from
> vyavahara. There is no ontological gradation between these views as both
> are from within vyavahara only.

Let me desist from replying the above except saying that your understanding
of the eka jiva vAda is not in consonance with what I have been taught and
what scholars approve of .  Will you cite the statement, preferably in the
original, to support what you say above? That the gradations p and v are
within vyavahara alone is not denied. But then, the entire bhAShya along
with the shruti/sutra,etc. will be discarded as mithyA.  So, sticking to
the vyvahara of sutra, bhashya, etc. and our studying it and understanding
it,  the gradations are valid and within that the view of Jaimini is of a
lower ranking than that of A.

> Since I have not studied the Advaita siddhi I cannot comment on what you
> say as being said there.  I cannot verify it too since no reference is
> given.

> RV: You may want to take up a serious study of Bhakti Rasayana, Advaita
> Siddhi and Gudartha Dipika. On one hand, you say you cannot comment but
> then go on to comment. It is a self-contradictory.

I looked into that particular invocatory verse because someone drew my
attention to it.  Beyond that I have not ventured into the AS. I have read
thru the entire GD, though and realized the bhakti-prAdhAnya there.

> > Let me tell you that an advaita sAdhaka is not required to study those.
> >
> RV: You wont understand bhakti in advaita if you dont study.

Let me tell you that recently someone asked in a scholarly assembly: Where
is the proof for karma yoga of the BG type where ordained duties are to be
performed in the spirit of devotional offering to Ishwara, in the
veda/upanishad? And scholars could not come up with a satisfactory reply.
In the BVP forum someone asked for bhakti specific vAkyams in the veda (not
the upanishads, since it is held by some that the upanishads are a later
addition) and nobody could reply.

And seeing the 'understanding' of bhakti in Advaita that you seem to be
displaying here, I would better be satisfied with my understanding coming
from what the traditional Acharyas have taught me.

> You may still get moksha by Ishwaranugraha and be one with Him though due
> to akhandakara
> vrttti you may be the objectless consciousness.

That is the avidyA  dRShTi and I happily let those people to have it.  I am
happy with the vidwad dRShTi that the sutra and bhashya teach as such.

> RV: I am sorry state this bluntly but dont think you get the problem of
> bhakti in advaita and how Madhusudana resolves it. Or why scholars are
> divided in their opinion on if or not he resolved it.

I think that first of all there is no *problem* in Advaita with bhakti
rasa-s.  If one enjoys MS's GD still the one in the sampradaya will have
nothing to lose by not taking everything he says. If he takes some or much
of what MS says and practices in life, it will add to his chitta shuddhi
and would help his attaining jnana quicker. Yet, that will not make any
difference in mokSha as taught by Advaita. Could you point out at least
one  typical instance in the GD to demonstrate: the 'problem' stated in
clear terms by MS and the solution MS gives for it?

> >
> > There is no such thing as 'giving up bhagavadbhakti by a jnani'.  A jnani
> > can happily revel in bhagavad bhakti (saguNa) without harm to his nirguna
> > jnana (pUjArtham kalpitam dvaitam...).  But all this is only before his
> > death.  In videha mukti there is no individuality at all to keep bhakti
> and
> > jnanam too.
> RV: No one deines that because all that we attain with sthula and sukshuma
> sariras will be lost. Having said that bhakti is eternal argues Madhusudana
> using logic not sentiment.

Recently a dvaitin informed me that for them all that a jIva does towards
pleasing the Lord (bhagavat preetikara karma) is never lost; its fruit
continues in mokSha eternally by giving him incessant bhoga-s. I am not
aware of what MS means by 'eternal' and what mokSha he has in mind and who
are the adhikArin-s for that proposition.

> You may want to find some teacher who has bhagavat sakshatkara (preferably
> krishna's as all rasas are exhibited only by Him) and also learn bhakti
> rasayana and gudartha dipika. It will help
> you to have well - informed discussion on the topic.

Well, I have been blessed to interact with those whom I believe have had
saguNa Ishwara sAkShAtkAra.  But they have not taught any mukti other than
what Shankara sampradaya holds as mukti which I have given expression to in
these discussions.  And they have studied the GD and have not found
anything there to warrant a change in their understanding of Advaita
Bhagavan Ramana prayed in a Tamil poem: This coming and going business, Oh
Arunachala, do not have with me. [He was referring to the visions of
particular deities devotees have occasionally or often.]

Nor have I claimed to have read the Bhakti rasayana and well informed about
it.  The ultimate word in Advaita about bhakti and rasas  that a person
experiences is that it is in vyavahara alone, both when the aspirant has
avidyA and after he has realized, as an effect of the continuance of the
avidyA lesha. Its benefit for chittashuddhi is not denied but at the same
time a sAkShAtkAra of a divine being is not mandated.  Vidyaranya Swamin in
the JMV talks of kRtopAsti and akRtopAsti where for the former one the
upAsya devatA sAkShAtkara is had and when he pursues vedanta and acquires
vedantic realization, jivanmukti characterized by manonasha and
vasanakshaya is coterminus with it. On the other hand for the latter one,
he might get vedantic realization that will not be annulled, but the
jivanmukti of the said type might not occur.  For him the JMV prescribes
some sadhanas, if he desires to practice them, not for moksha (which is
guaranteed), but for a peaceful life for the rest of his destined period.
Even here, a devataA sAkShAtkAra is not insisted.  That is the Advaitic
position and I am confident that I have stated it correctly.  I do not find
myself at a loss if I have not equipped myself with the contents of Bhakti
texts for a discussion purpose.  So far the realized persons and other
top-ranking scholars with whom  I have interacted on these topics have only
approved and agreed with my understanding, both about the advaitic position
and how advaita views bhakti and rasas.

With this I retire from this discussion, even though you might feel like
responding.  If you provide references/instances that I have asked for, I
shall respond to them if necessary.


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