[Advaita-l] svabhAva of Atman IS 'sarvajnatvaM'

H S Chandramouli hschandramouli at gmail.com
Tue Jan 7 23:19:07 CST 2014

Dear Sri Bhaskarji,

You wrote

< What I am trying to say here is brahman even without the aid of any karaNa
(upAdhi) would have the svabhAva of sarvajnatvaM as against the contention
that ONLY ishawara would have sarvajnatva and sarvashaktiva qualities, and
without srushti or without ;sarva' brahman would be stripped off this
inherent nature.>

Svabhava invariably is associated with vikara. Since Nirguna Brahman is
nirvikara, how to associate svabhava with It. It is only through Maya as
upadhi ( which itself is Brahman ) that svabhava can have any association
with Brahman. This is what i meant in my statement.


On Mon, Jan 6, 2014 at 4:48 PM, Bhaskar YR <bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com> wrote:

> praNAms
> Hare krishna
> Kindly pardon me for the late response from my desk.  I said earlier, I
> was too busy at office and week end holidays as well ( had to attend
> couple vaidika functions like dattu sveekara and Sri rAma pattAbhishekaM
> as Ritvika).  Hence I was not able to concentrate on this issue
> appropriately.  But,  in the meanwhile,   many mails have been exchanged
> between Sri Subbu prabhuji and Sri Chandramouli prabhuji on this topic and
> surprisingly I have not seen any active  participation from other senior
> prabhuji-s like Sri Vidya prabhuji, Sri Vyas prabhuji, Sri Anand Hudli
> prabhuji and others.  Anyway, what I thought now is, instead of replying
> to earlier pending mails, let me share my thoughts in a separate mail with
> a different heading so that prabhuji-s would come to know what exactly I
> am trying to convey.
> 01.  Ishwara & his qualities are kevala vyAvahArika satya in advaita :
> Yes, I myself argued somany times here in this forum as well as at other
> places that according to advaita, Ishwara and  his qualities like
> omnipotence, omniscience etc. are mere vyAvahArika satya which is kevala
> avidyA kruta.  shankara clarifies his stand on Ishwara in sUtra bhAshya
> ArambhaNAdhikaraNa (2-1-14) which we have seen earlier so, no need for any
> elaboration on this point as we dont have any disagreement here.
> 02. Ishwara with mAya upAdhi has the qualities of omnipotence, omniscience
> etc. NOT brahman :
> Here we have some disagreement I believe.  Sri subbu prabhuji saying
> without 'sarva' (nAma rUpAtmaka jagat) we cannot attribute sarvajnatva to
> nitya shuddha buddha, mukta brahman which is ultimately nirguNa,
> niravayava and nirvikAra.  So, to prove Ishwara's sarvajnatva prior
> existence 'sarva' nAma rUpAtmaka jagat is must.  Without srushti of
> 'sarva' no question of sarvajnatva to Ishwara / brahma.  He continues to
> say that brahma with the help of mAyOpAdhi (shakti) would become Ishwara
> and this Ishwara is the jagatkAraNa and NOT the brahma which is nirguNa &
> nirvishesha.  In short the equation would be :
> (a) brahman + mAyOpAdhi (shakti) = Ishwara
> (b) Ishwara - mAyOpAdhi (shakti) = brahman.
> (c) brahman with the mAyOpAdhi would become Ishwara and engage himself in
> creation.
> According to him, (b) cannot have the qualities of Ishwara since  (b) is
> devoid of any upAdhi (nirupAdhika) and (a) is the ONLY cause of this jagat
> srushti since (a) has the mAya as his upAdhi and capable to do srushti
> kArya.  As a result,  ONLY Ishwara (mAyAshabAlita) who does the creation
> has the qualities / attributes like sarvajnatva and sarvashktitva and
> these attributes will not be suited to nirvishesha brahman.
> 03.  brahman (adviteeya) has the svabhAva of sarvajnatvaM :
> Here I would like to put across my thoughts.  Yes, shankara says in geeta
> bhAshya (for example 13-5, 13-9 etc.) mAya is Ishwara shakti, the potence
> of the lord.  But how can we attribute the lordhood in non-dual brahman??
> does it not require the distinction between the ruler (creator) and the
> ruled (creation) ?? But point to be noted here is when vedAnta accepts the
> vyAkruta jagat and its beeja rUpa (avyAkruta prakruti) it clearly says
> brahman is the only substratum of this appearance (srushti) and there is
> NO other source apart from brahman to this universe.  yatO vA imAni
> bhUtAni jAyante, yena jAtAni jeevanti, yatprayantyabhisaMvishanti,
> tadvigijnAsasva, tad brahma says tai, up., yaH sarvajnaH, sarvavidyasya
> jnAnamayaM tapaH tasmAdetadbrahma nAmarUpamannaM cha jAyate says mundaka
> shruti, sa EkshAmchakre, sa prANamasrujata says prashna.  From all these
> it is clear that brahman is the ONLY cause (both material as well as
> efficient) for this srushti. In AtmaH krute pariNAmAt sUtra bhAshya
> shankara clarifies there is not external sahakAri kAraNa for this creation
> and brahman is the ONLY creator and creation by quoting tai.up.
> tadAtmAnaggu svayamakuruta.  If we argue that it is not brahman, it is
> only Ishwara with a separate karaNa (instrument) called mayOpAdhi does the
> srushti kArya then it is as good as attributing paricchinnatva to Ishwara
> argues shankara in sUtra bhAshya.
> Now, coming back to brahman's sarvajnatvaM, sarvashaktitvaM etc. If we
> know that brahman is the ONLY adviteeya cause for this jagat we would know
> how inherent this shakti, jnAna of sarva to brahman.  Here the word
> 'sarva' is what created by brahma (tadAtmAnaggu svayamakuruta) by using
> his inherent svabhAva of sarvajna.  The jnA here is self, vyApaka is self
> in sarvavyApaka, shakti is self in sarvashaktitvaM.  The omniscient source
> should be brahman says shankara in the very first sUtra of vedAnta athAtho
> brahma jignAsa & second sUtra as well janmAdasya yatha.  From this it is
> very clear that as the consciousness is the nature of brahman, so also the
> shakti, jnAtvaM etc. are the very nature of brahman.  jnAna, shakti,
> anantatvaM etc. are very nature of brahman.  satyaM, jnAnam anantaM brahma
> says up.  Here jnAna denotes he has the jnAna of everything and with this
> jnAna only he 'first' thought let me become 'many' etc.  Though here jnAna
> etc. is not vAchya to describe brAhma we have to take it as 'lakshaNa' of
> brahma since it is the ONLY source to the jagat (abhinna nimittOpadAna
> kAraNa).  And this brahma is sarvajnA clearly says shankara in sUtra
> bhAshya (1-1-5) yasya hi sarvavishayAvabhAsana kshamaM jnAnaM nityamasti
> saH asarvajnaH iti vipratishiddhaM.  But question here arises is brahman
> is ekamevAdviteeyaM there is nothing second to him to  illumine and there
> is nothing second to him to 'know' so how can we attribute sarvajnatvaM
> etc. Here we have to note that when we say brahman has the sarvajnatvaM,
> sarvashaktivaM etc. we are not saying so by considering the 'act' of
> illumination, 'act' of creation etc.  Even when there is no object there
> to create or illuminate we brahman is inherently sarvajna.  Dont we say
> 'prakAshita sUrva' even if  there is nothing to get illumined by sUrya by
> taking prakAsha as his very nature??  dont we say mirror reflects even if
> nothing is there to reflect??  And in sushupti, have we ever say Atman is
> jnAna shUnya here since there is no object in that state??  He does not
> have any karaNa nor kArya there is nothing on par or superior to him etc.
> says up. na tasya kAryaM karaNaM cha vidyate, na
> tatsamashchAbhyadhikashcha drushyate (sv.up.) And it is in this context
> only shankara quotes those up. vAkya-s in IkshatAdhikaraNa (1-1-5) in
> sUtra bhAshya.  pashyanvai tanna pashyati na hi drashtuH drushtEviparilOpO
> vidyate avinAshitvAt clarifies shankara in bruhadAraNyaka (4.3.23).
> sarvavishesha rahitOpi jagatO mUlaM ityavagatatvAt astyeva (brahma) says
> in ka.up. bhAshya.  Likewise, shankara makes an interesting comment on
> svayaM jyOti svarUpa of Atman in prashana up. Here he clearly says from
> self luminous nature to final realization (mOksha) all transactions are
> through mind etc. upAdhi and hence it is in the sphere of avidyA but the
> very nature of svayaM jyOtitvaM can not be denied by any arrogant tArkika
> :  svayaMjyOtishtvAdi  'vyavahAraH amOkshAntaH sarvO avidyAvishaya eva
> mana AdyupAdhi janitaH..............svayaMjyOtishtvaM (tu) sudarpitEnApi
> tArkikeNa na vAraetuM shakyate..(prashna 4.5) Here also the vyavahAra word
> is very important to understand this context as I said earlier.
> And now finally we shall look  what exactly shankara says in Itareya
> upanishad.  The very first maNtra in this upanishad says : AtmA vA idaM
> ekaM evaM agra Aseet | na anyat kiMchana mishat | sa Ikshata lOkAnnu srujA
> iti || Here we have to study the bhAshya vAkya completely to know how
> brahman has the 'sarvajna' as his svabhAva.  Shankara without any
> ambiguity clarifies : saH sarvajna svAbhAvAt AtmA eka eva san Ikshata,
> nanu prAgutpatterakAyakaraNatvAt kathameekshitavAn??.........nAyaM dOshaH,
> sarvajnA svAbhAvyAt.  One should study whole bhAshya bhAga carefully to
> know how the Atman which is ekam eva adviteeyaM has the svabhAva of
> sarvajnatvaM.
> Since this mail has already become very lengthy I would like to stop here
> with this short note.  Though vyavahAra of Ishwara and his qualities have
> been negated in ultimate stage, brahman has always have the inherent
> qualities of sarvajnatva and sarvashaktitva etc. These inherent qualities
> of paramAtma would be projected through upAdhi when we talk about
> sOpAdhika apara / kArya brahma.
> Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!
> bhaskar
> PS : Please bear with any spelling mistakes and other errors as I typed
> this in a hurry in the middle of year end auditing busy schedule.
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