[Advaita-l] Eternal Loka

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Fri Aug 16 23:19:42 CDT 2013

On Fri, 26 Jul 2013, Rajaram Venkataramani wrote:

> There is a contradiction in the following two statements about what happens
> on mahapralaya. Do Ishwara and Vedas become one Parabrahman or Ishwara
> (Avyakta)?

No there really isn't.

> The key question for the topic of our discussion is what happens
> to the infinite knowledge of Ishwara.

Knowledge of what?  Where there are no separate things there is nothing to 
be known except "I am"

> It has to exist in some state or else it will be impossible to resume 
> the universe.

If the universe is strictly deterministic then given the same input you 
will always get the same output.

Actually there is a simpler example then that.  At bedtime you have a 
sense of self.  In the morning you have a sense of self.  Where does that 
self-knowledge go in deep sleep?

On Sat, 27 Jul 2013, rajaramvenk at gmail.com wrote:

> Neither of you have answered what happens to the omniscience of the lord
> in mahapralaya.

See above.

> If He forgets what happened in the previous kalpa, then He can't create 
> as before.

"He" is not a seperate entity.  "He" is only what we call Brahman from the 
perspective of creation.  Where there is no creation, there is no scope 
for a creator.

> If He remembers, then all names and forms are eternal as His knowledge 
> in vyavahara.

You may find the bhashya on Brahmsutra 2.1.19 edifying in this regard.

On Sat, 27 Jul 2013, rajaramvenk at gmail.com wrote:

> There is a reason why this contradiction or a difference in perspective
> exists in the tradition. In fact, it goes all the way up to liberation.
> Does a jIvA realise ekatva with Brahman or Ishwara? The common answer is
> Brahman. Appayya Dikshitar takes up this question and says it is
> Ishwara!

The work of Shri Appayya Dikshita I am most familiar with is the parimala 
tika on the Vedantakalpataru of Swami Amalananda which itself is a tika on 
Vachaspati Mishra's Bhamati tika on the Brahmasutrabhashya.  As such it 
very closely follows Shankaracharya and there is nothing in the discussion 
on the relevant sutras to suggest the theory you claim he holds.  In a 
later post you mention that it is from the siddhantaleshasamgraha. 
Incidently S.L.S. is one of his earlier in Vedanta (after he "converted" 
as it were from Shaivism) while the parimala is one of his last and as 
such reflects his mature understanding in my opinion.  Anyway lets 
concentrate on S.L.S. for now.  Having now examined that work I see where 
you are coming from.  Even then it seems you have misunderstood what is 

Shri Dikshita advocates a view which is rather unique in Advaita 
Vedanta (though he thinks it is the proper understanding and is careful to 
ground it in reference to purvacharyas.) called sarvamukti.  Advaitins of 
all stripes accept the proposition that the jivas don't exist independently 
but are the reflection of brahman as warped by maya which causes the 
mistaken notion that they were "created" by Ishvara.  (whether one 
accepts one or multiple jivas makes no difference here.)  A.D. takes this 
further and reasons that it is impossible for one jiva to be enlightened 
and another to be bound.  That would be absurd like saying "my left foot 
is mukta but my right ear is in samsara."  Liberation occurs only when all 
the jivas are free of maya.  Until then a jiva is free in the sense that 
it shares in the qualities of Ishvara just as my foot and my ear share the 
quality of Jaldharatva.  But when there is no maya and Brahman is known 
there is no Ishvara (or Jaldhar for that matter!)  Realization is still 
ekatva with Brahman alone.  Identity with Ishvara is only an intermediate 

As an analogy take a carnival hall of mirrors.  Everywhere you see only 
your own reflection.  But you cannot say one is the true reflection.  If 
one mirror is taken away the reflection stil remains in the other mirrors. 
Even when all the mirrors are gone you cannot say there is a true 
reflection.  The truth is that you are not a reflection at all.

On Tue, 13 Aug 2013, Rajaram Venkataramani wrote:

> Sankara is not negating Ishwara but duality. Why don't you show a
> comment by Sankara that Ishwara is non-eternal and I will shut up?

The question is ill-framed.  Ishwara is eternal because Ishwara is 
Brahman.  But Brahman *in the context of a created universe*.  Where there 
is no creation there is no Ishwara but He hasn't gone anywhere.

A man at work could be "managing director"  When he goes home he may 
instead be "pappa" or "husband" etc.  But it would be absurd to say the 
"managing director" has been destroyed or negated or anything like that. 
"managing director" is definitely non-eternal though.

On brahmasutra 4.3.11 Shankaracharya quotes a shloka from  kurmapurana,

brahmaNA saha te sarve saMprApte pratisaMchare |
paraspAnte kR^itAtmaneH pravishanti paraM pade ||

"[At the pralaya] together with Brahman, they all attain reabsorbtion.
Having purified [their] selves, they enter the highest place."

By brahman is meant saguNa brahman or Ishwara.  (You can read 
Shankaracharyas bhashya on the entire adhikarana to understand why this is 
so.)  parama pada gives you a small loophole (which knowing you I'm sure 
you'll rush into :-) in that the full phrase, one that Shankaracharya 
himself uses a lot, is viShNoH paraM padaM.  However it should be clear 
to anyone who has more than glanced at Shankaracharyas works that by this 
phrase he means nirguNa brahman only.

On Tue, 13 Aug 2013, rajaramvenk at gmail.com wrote:

> I'm not referring to Jaimini's sutra bhashya - don't even
> know if it exists but the reference is to Jaimini vs. Audulomi in
> Sankara bhashya. Badarayana as well as Sankara agree with both

I hope by now Shri Subrahmanian has thoroughly disabused you of this 
notion.  A.D. himself says what has been attempted to be conveyed to you 
in the parimala on that sutra:

*vyavahArikapAramArthika*drR^iShtibhyAmavirodhe saMbhavati

vyavahara is definitely inferior to paramartha in Advaita Vedanta.  It 
boggles the mind as to how you could even think that it isn't.

On Wed, 14 Aug 2013, Rajaram Venkataramani wrote:

> Appayya Dikshitar categorically denies liberation for any jiva until 
> every one is liberated. If you give up you sthula and sukshuma sarira,you
> will become one with Ishwara. This is what he says. This is the eka jiva
> vada position.

Not really.  Or it is different from what others have meant by 
ekajivavada.  In fact sarvamukti goes even beyond that and could perhaps 
be called a 0 jiva vada.  There is only Ishwara in vyavahara.  If certain 
deluded "jivas" think of themselves as such it because they mistakenly do 
not know they are Ishwaras projection.  The reason being maya just as in 
any other advaitic theory of difference.  The innovation is to make 
Ishvara the locus of that maya.  So until Ishwara is liberated, his 
"parts" technically cannot be said to be liberated.  It's a novel idea and 
needless to say not a mainstream one.

> Are you saying that Ishwara has spatio-temporal limitation in advaita?

Ishwara only makes sense in a universe of time and space.  Do you call 
that a limit?

On Fri, 16 Aug 2013, Rajaram Venkataramani wrote:

> How can a view opposed to Appayya Dikshitar's be called a commentary on
> his work? A commentary should establish the conslusion of the original
> author.

Most of the time Swami Achyutakrshnananda Tirtha the commentator in 
question speaks in nothing but admiration of A.D.  S.L.S. has reached a 
position of authority and is considered one of the best introductary works 
throughout the Advaita world.  However itt is not completely without 
defects and this theory is considered by many to be one.  As I mentioned 
before there is evidence that A.D. himself retreated from that position.

> RV: Irrespective of what you or Vidyasankar may think, many scholars think
> that Madhusudana has reconciled Bhakti and Advaita.

> We have enough evidence to show that a jivan mukta is hari bhakta.

or harabhakta or devibhakta...  P.M. Modi came from a Vallabhachari 
background.  You evidently are still affected by ISKCON propoganda. 
Advaitins were bhaktas long before any of these.  Swami Madhusudana 
Saraswati deserves credit for developing a comprehensive theory of bhakti 
and jnana but the idea that the two needed to be "reconciled" is just 

> You have to say at what point bhagavad bhakti should be given up - 
> videha mukti?

Never.  It is the childish attempt to force it into a bottle out of some 
fear of loss which should be given up.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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