[Advaita-l] Shankara on non-Advaitic mokSha/Brahman

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Thu Feb 28 03:37:09 CST 2013

On Thu, Feb 28, 2013 at 3:12 AM, Rajaram Venkataramani <
rajaramvenk at gmail.com> wrote:

> >
> RV: Why cant the sixth and the seventh mantra be read together to refer to
> the Ishwara?

They can't be read together for the reason that the sixth mantra message is
summarily negated in the seventh.  The words 'nAntaHprajnam...' etc. negate
the individual and cosmic beings of the three states.  The cosmic being of
the sleep state is Ishwara and that stands negated in the word 'na
prajnam'.  Thus the seventh mantra presents the Turiya as one freed of all
manifest and unmanifest creation.

> In the seventh mantra, "the essence of the knowledge of the
> one self that into which the *world* is resolved, the *peaceful*, the *
> benign*," etc. shows connection with the world, which is possible only in
> the case of the Ishwara. As per advaita, nirguna brahman cannot be have any
> connection with the world, cannot be called peaceful or distrubed (a state
> of mind) and has none to be benign or hateful to.

All that was said with a view to show that the Turiya is prapancha
vilakShaNa.  And the most important reason why the seventh mantra is not
referring to Ishwara is that it teaches 'such a Turiya' to be the Atman and
the 'one to be realized'.  Surely the Advaitic realization as 'That am I'
cannot be with Ishwara as 'That'.

RV: When maya itself is beyond definition, how can Ishwara be defined? Is
> there shruti / smrti pramana to say that Ishwara can be defined by
> shastras? The reason I ask this is if they dont claim, we cannot ascribe
> that capability to them.

For that matter even Brahman is beyond definition and in Advaita the world
too is of that nature.  Yet does not the Veda define Brahman in order to
help one know It?  Why should there be a pramANa in the shruti to permit
the definition of Ishwara while it is doing that directly, as for instance,
in the sixth mantra?  There are many such definitions across the Upanishads
and the Bh.Gita.  Of course, it is good to bear in mind that all these
'definitions'  are there only within the confines of mAyA which itself is
beyond definition.  But even here what is actually meant by 'beyond
definition' is that it is not possible to put mAyA in 'is/is not,
partless/with parts, one with Brahman / different from Brahman' kind of

I think the sooner one starts listening to the lesson-talks of Swami
Paramarthananda on this Upanishad the better.  One can free oneself of all
doubts and misconceptions about the Advaita shAstra by a keen application
to those talks.


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