[Advaita-l] 'Ishwaro'ham' and 'IshwarabhAvaH'

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sat Aug 31 04:54:04 CDT 2013

On Sat, Aug 31, 2013 at 2:15 PM, Rajaram Venkataramani <
rajaramvenk at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Saturday, August 31, 2013, V Subrahmanian wrote:
> > On Sat, Aug 31, 2013 at 11:13 AM, Rajaram Venkataramani <
> > rajaramvenk at gmail.com <javascript:;>> wrote:
> >
> > > Couple of professors and at least one traditional scholar acknowledge
> my
> > > understanding of advaita or more predisely the philosophy of bhakti in
> > > advaita is correct.
> >
> >
> > I am sure you are under an illusion.  No scholar worth his name will
> > approve of your understanding of bhakti continuing in a dvaita-like mukti
> > in advaita.  Such a situation is not advaita.
> RV:  When did I say it is dwaita like bhakti? I asked you to please read
> bhAvarthadIpikA abd Bhaktirasayana to form correct view of bhakti in
> advaita.

As I have stated before too, in the 'syllabus' of Advaita, the above work/s
have no place.  There is enough material within the prasthAnatraya bhAShya
for knowing the correct view of bhakti in advaita. And none of the
bhashya-s arrive at a conclusion that involves a nitya bhakti in videha
mukti. As I have mentioned before, for bhakti to operate there have to be
minimum two entities, which is not admissible in advaita.  Bhakti
culminates in realizing that one's svarupa is jnana or jnapti where there
is no subject-object division.

> Please let me know what you find incorrect in the below summary of
> philosophy of bhakti in advaita.
> >
> > If you stand in front of a mirror, you will say I am that. It is a
> correct
> > statement. You can also say that we (the reflected and reflection) are in
> > reality one but as reflected and reflection we are different because we
> > exhibit different characteristics. The reflection is a dependent reality
> > and reflected is independent. You can say that it is not even appropriate
> > to call the reflected as reflected because it is by definition
> independent.
> > The position of Brahman, Sakshi, Ishwara and Jiva - according to
> different
> > schools of advaita - is like that. It is dhrsti bheda or difference in
> > perspective. Now, as a reflection you can look at the reflected and say I
> > am your reflection, you are my reflected or that you are me. All these
> are
> > right and correspond to the three levels of devotion. The reflection
> > (devotee) can say that the relfected (Lord) is - the cause of - bliss
> > (ananda) as in raso vai saha. Even the Lord can say to a devotee or a
> jnani
> > that you are - the cause of - bliss. Now, imagine you place a mirror in
> the
> > place where heart of the reflection is as an analogy for melted mind. It
> > will reflect the Lord. The original reflection (devoted jiva) and the
> > reflection in the heart (the lord) can interact as in I am yours, you are
> > mine and I am you. Herein we have created through the instrument of maya
> > (mirror) an interaction (bhakti characterised as love) between two
> entities
> > which are in essence one. This interaction can also take the form of
> > inaction and total absorption (bhakti characterised as knowledge). As
> the
> > mirror (maya) is eternal, *[this is not admitted in Advaita in the
> paramArthika view* the concept of mAyA is a shAstra-caused
> superimposition ONLY to accommodate duality/world/creation/multiple jivas,
> etc. in the state of bondage.  It is negated when the ultimate absolute
> reality brahman is considered.  Since all the conclusions that follow
> depend on the 'maya is eternal' condition, they are not valid.  That is the
> reason we do not find such an idea in the prasthana traya bhashya, the
> vartika, the karika, panchadashi, advaita siddhi, etc. In any scholarly
> assembly if such view as the above is proposed it will be rejected as not
> of the mainstream advaita.]

> we can say that this bhakti (characterised as
> > love or knowledge) is eternal. The svarupa of this bhakti is known to be
> > ananda through direct experience (pratyaksha) and that it is the absolute
> > (paramarthika) is known through inference (anumana) eternal ananda is
> pure
> > consciousness (suddha consciousness).

[I had already hinted at this: ananda could be equated to jnana, if it is
intended to be eternal.]

> It is also paramarthika as it leads
> > to that and nitya because it is indispensable as nitya is used in that
> > sense also in the case of nitya karma. As to what happens on videha
> mukti,
> > the conclusions arrived at stand. If there are many mirrors (sthula and
> > sukshuma sariras) and one of them is destroyed, *the others continue to
> > exist from a vyavahara perspective.* Therefore, we can say that the
> sarvajna
> > ishwara knows the path of the jiva whose ignorance (mirror) was destroyed
> > and hence the lila is eternal as Ishwara's knowledge. It can also be said
> > that the lord can re-enact the lila by incarnating as the Lord and
> devotee.
> > In this sense also, we can say that the lila is eternal. We can also say
> > that reflection has become reflected. All of this is from a vyavahara
> > perspective and that is the only perspective from which we speak all
> > philosophical constructs.

All this will give room to the fallacy of the liberated coming back to
samsara.  It is alright to say that the gopis are all liberates souls, only
enacting the lila to enjoy the company of the Lord, in order to enthuse a
sadhaka to cultivate devotion.  To proffer it as the siddhanta would be
wrong and therefore unacceptable. Also, what is the use of talking of those
constructs which are only in the vyvahara? We want a construct that will
free us from the vyavahara while the construct itself gets dissolved.  The
construct of adhyaropa-apavada taught in the shankara bhashya is the best,
unmatched one.   It has enough room for bhakti that is necessary for
advaita sadhana/realization.  All other constructs are of no consequence in
the light of the shankara bhashya.  It  pays a lot to correctly understand
the paramarthika stand when/where all that is stated above as
mirror/reflections/ishwara/maya/lila etc. will be nullified in one go.  If
this is not understood, there is no point in going over the same things


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