[Advaita-l] Iswara Darshanam - 1

kuntimaddi sadananda kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Sat Nov 30 09:26:24 CST 2013

PraNAms to all

These are series of articles based on the Swami Paramarthanandaji's discourses on the Shankara BhAshya on 11th chapter of Geeta. As usual I present my understanding based on the talks. 
Hari Om!

The 11 chapter of Geeta is called viswarUpa darshana yoga – The yoga of the vision of the whole cosmos.  We normally see the universe every day, when we are in the waking state. However, the vision of universe becomes a yoga when we see it without the raaga and dwesha goggles, that we normally have. It involves the yoking the vision of the mind to the absolute truth, while seeing the universe of names and forms. Hence viswarUpa darshanam becomes Iswara darshanam, since Iswara pervades this entire universe. In fact, scriptures says Iswara himself became both the inert and the sentient beings in the universe. Hence, all that is seen is nothing but Iswara only, but in various names and forms. However we are getting carried away only with the vision of superficial names and forms and ignore the substratum that pervades the universe. Iswara darshanam involves looking at the world of verities of names and forms and still see or recognize the oneness that
 pervades the universe. For that one needs what Vedanta calls it as viveka or intellectual discrimination to that overlooks the apparent names and forms but see the truth that pervades these names and forms. For that only scriptures provides the means of knowledge or pamANa. Scriptures say that Iswara is one from which the whole universe of things and beings are originated, sustained and go back into. The vision of Iswara is like while seeing the varieties of ornaments with different names, forms, utilities, etc., and still recognizing the substratum gold from which they came, by which they are sustained and into which they go back. Seeing the gold in and through in and through every ornament is the vision of all pervasive gold. Similarly seeing the all-pervading Iswara, from which all the beings came by whom they are sustained and into which they go back, in and through the world of plurality is the viswarUpa Iswara darshanam, seeing the Lord in the
 form of the world of plurality. It forms a yoga to starts with for a sAdhaka until he recognizes that as a fact. 
Question: If Iswara is the substratum for the world of plurality, then why we do not see Iswara while seeing the world of plurality. In the case of gold example we can see that it is gold while still seeing the various names and forms. 
Ans: The gold example is only relative example to show that ornaments and gold are ontologically belong two different order of reality. Gold is perceptible, but exits in different forms for one to see and use it. It undergoes transformation-less transformation called vivarta to become ornaments. Ornaments are called vAchArambhanam vikAraH nAmadhEyam – only names for forms but no substantiality of their own other than the gold. This analogy is provided by the scriptures to indicated that Iswara became many and this transformation is also transformation-less transformation, with Iswara remaining as Iswara yet appearing as many things and beings. In contrast to gold, Iswara is imperceptible since He is infinite. Hence one cannot perceive Iswara using sense organs, and yet whatever perceived is nothing but Iswara only, based on the scriptural pramANa or basis. If our vision is only at the sense level, then one cannot see the substantive Iswara that
 pervades all the names and forms. From the point of Gold, the entire ornaments can said to be its vibhUti or glory. In addition, Gold became particular ornaments sold in the jewelry shop, only because there is a demand for those forms; demanded by the desires or vaasanaas of the bhoktas or enjoyers (customers) of those ornaments.  I should have gold vision, when I perceive or transact or utilize the particular forms of the gold. The real value of the ornament depends on the content gold. That vision is obvious since I safely protect it compare to rings and bangles made of say iron.  Perceptibility, transactability or utility of a particular form based on its attributes may not have anything to do with the Gold. For example the ID-OD, the ellipticity of the ring, its utility, its date of birth, etc., have nothing to do with gold that pervades the ring. Gold can declare, ‘All ornaments are in me, and yet truly no ornaments are in me; I am pure gold
 unaffected by these names and forms – na cha aham teshu avasthitaH – look at my glory’. 
In the last Chapter (10th) , Krishna elucidates many of His glories taking examples that Arjuna was familiar at the time. At last, out of despair, Krishna declares in the end that every manifestation in the universe is nothing but Him only. His vibhUti or glories are endless or limitless. All things and beings are in Him; and yet is He is not any particular thing or being. He is the very supporter for all and without His presence nothing can exist independent of Him. Hence He says – 
nAntO2sti mama divyAnAm, vibhUtInAm parantapa|
Esha tUddhEshataH prOktO vibhUtEristarO mayA||
Arjuna! There is no end for my divine glories. I have only indicated briefly here only some glories that you are familiar. 
In fact, wherever you find in this universe that which is glories, exemplary and extremely bright, both in subtle and grosser fields, know that they are all only part of my glory only. In the final analysis, the whole universe is supported by Me and they cannot exist without My support. In the puruSha sUktam, it says all this universe of multitudes are just one fourth of my glory only – pAdOsya vishvA bhUtAni….Unlike gold case, being infinite, the all-pervading Iswara is imperceptible, just as space is imperceptible, even though it pervades the whole universe. Iswara is even subtler than space since even space is supported by Him. Hence He is beyond space and time. 
Q. How do we know that he is beyond the space also, since everything is in space and there is no space where space is not there? Space itself is infinite and how can there be something beyond space, which is infinite. It is illogical. 
Ans. Our own experience proves that there can be something beyond space. We when go do deep sleep state, we know we exists and yet we swallow both space and time. We know we exit because we say we slept very well. That is we were there to sleep well. If we have any doubt about our own existence when we go to sleep, we will try all the best not to sleep since we do not want to cease to exist. Scriptures says existence itself is subtler than space. 

To be continued. 

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