[Advaita-l] The Vibhutis of Brahman are non-different from Brahman

sreenivasa murthy narayana145 at yahoo.co.in
Tue Jun 5 00:05:23 EDT 2018

 Dear Sri Subramanian,    
ahamEvEdagM sarvam || Chandogya 7-25-1
AtmaivEdagM sarvam || Chandogya 7-25-2AtmatO idagaM sarvam || Chandogya 7-26-1AtmanO^nyadArtam || Bruhadaranyaka 3-7-23

The above quoted mantras from  Upanishads very clearly state that Atman alone is paramArtha and all else 
including the vibhutis are Artam. 
This is what a mumukShu has to realize. 
Is it not so?

With respectful namaskars,Sreenivasa Murthy

    On Tuesday, 5 June, 2018, 8:04:58 AM IST, V Subrahmanian via Advaita-l <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:  
 The Vibhutis of Brahman are non-different from Brahman

In the Bhagavadgita 10th chapter, which is called 'Vibhuti Yoga', the Lords
specifies a list of vibhuti-s, excellent manifestations of Brahman, and
concludes the discourse by declaring that 'what is the use of knowing just
a sample of My vibhutis? I am the Svarupa of the entire creation, of which
the vibhuti-s are just a part. Shankara brings out the purport of the
Lord's statement.

अथवा बहुनैतेन किं ज्ञातेन तवार्जुन ।
विष्टभ्याहमिदं कृत्स्नमेकांशेन स्थितो जगत् ॥ ४२ ॥
अथवा बहुना एतेन एवमादिना किं ज्ञातेन तव अर्जुन स्यात् सावशेषेण । अशेषतः
त्वम् उच्यमानम् अर्थं शृणु — विष्टभ्य विशेषतः स्तम्भनं दृढं कृत्वा इदं
कृत्स्नं जगत् *एकांशेन एकावयवेन एकपादेन, सर्वभूतस्वरूपेण इत्येतत्* ; तथा च
मन्त्रवर्णः — ‘पादोऽस्य विश्वा भूतानि’ (ऋ. १० । ८ । ९० । ३) इति ; स्थितः
अहम् इति ॥ ४२ ॥
Shankara says: The vibutis listed in this chapter by Bhagavan are only
representational and not exhaustive (and it is impossible to do that as
they are infinite as the Lord says in the earlier verse). Brahman is
holding the entire creation with just one 'part', as being the 'sarva bhuta
svarupa'. [This means, Brahman is the svarupa of the entire creation,
consisting of all individuals, without exception.]
Anandagiri says:

न हि विभूतिषु उक्तासु ज्ञातासु सर्वं ज्ञायते कासाञ्चिदेव विभूतीनां
उक्तत्वात् इत्यर्थः ।

तर्हि केनोपदेशेन अल्पाक्षरेण सर्वोऽर्थो ज्ञातुं शक्यते । तत्राह -

अशेषत इति ।

विशेषतः स्तम्भनं विधरणं सर्वभूतस्वरूपेण सर्वप्रपञ्चोपादानशक्त्युपाधिकेन
एकेन पादेन कृत्स्नं जगत् विधृत्य स्थितोऽस्मि इति सम्बन्धः । तत्रैव श्रुतिं
प्रमाणयति -

तथा चेति ।

तदनेन भगवतः नानाविधाः विभूतीः ध्येयत्वेन ज्ञेयत्वेन च उपदिश्यन्ते ।
ध्येयं रूपं दर्शयित्वा “त्रिपादस्यामृतं दिवि“ इति प्रपञ्चाधिकं निरुपाधिकं
तत्त्वं उपदिशता परिपूर्णसच्चिदानन्दैकतानः तत्पदलक्ष्योऽर्थो निर्धारितः*

*[*There is not going to be complete knowledge by knowing just a few of the
vibhutis. How then the complete knowledge is gained? It is by meditating
upon and knowing Brahman as 'sarva prapanchaatmakam', the Self of the
entire creation. This is the sopadhika rupam and the nirupadhika rupa of
Brahman is that which transcends creation. This is the lakshyartha (as
distinct from the vaachyartha) of Brahman, Tat.

Madhusudana Saraswati says:  न मद्व्यतिरिक्तं किंचिदस्तिपादोऽस्य विश्वा
भूतानि त्रिपादस्यामृतं दिवि इति श्रुतेः।  ['There is nothing that is
different from Me' is the purport of the Lord's words and the Purushasukta

>From all the above sample of commentaries, we come to know that the
vibhuti-s are non-different from Brahman. If they are different from
Brahman, Brahman cannot be held to be Purnam, Sarvam, as it will be subject
to the defect of 'vastu paricchinnatvam' limited by objects that are
different from it.

In the Vishnu Sahasra Nama bhashya too, at the beginning itself, Shankara
specifies: अत्र नामसहस्रे आदित्यादिशब्दानामर्थान्तरे
प्रसिद्धानामादियाद्यर्थानां *तद्विभूतित्वेन तदभेदात् *तस्यैव स्तुतिरिति
प्रसिद्धार्थग्रहणेऽपि तत्स्तुतित्वम् |  The names such as 'Aditya' which
have a popular meaning of 'Sun' are also praises of Brahman alone since
they (sun, etc. entities) are non-different from Brahman being Its
vibhutis. Further Shankara, to substantiate his statement that the vibhutis
are non-different from Brahman, cites verses from the Vishnu Puranam and
also the very Bhagavadgita verse 10.42 that has been cited above.  And also
the Mundakopanishad 2.2. 10 and 11 which says: everything in creation is
Brahman alone, and 'the vishvam, creation is verily the Purusha' (which is
the same as the Purusha sukta passage Shankara cites in the Gita commentary

Shankara consistently upholds the above siddhanta throughout the VSN
Bhashya. He cites from the Shiva Purana which says 'Shiva is the Supreme
Cause' for the name 'Rudra'. Sri Sridhara Swamin too, in the Vishnu Purana
commentary cites two verses from the Shiva Purana to bring out the Shiva
Paratvam, shivamayam jagat, while commenting on Rudra (and not Vishnu).
Shankara cites the Kaivalyopanishat in the VSN bhashya for the word 'Shiva'
and says that since this Upanishad teaches 'abheda', the name Shiva is a
stuti of Hari (Brahman). For the name 'soma' too Shankara says 'umapati',
alternatively.  Thus for Shankara every being, whether deity or any other
in creation is a vibhuti of Brahman and thus non-different from Brahman.
If anything in creation is different from Brahman, not-brahman, then
Brahman will not be Purnam, but vastu-paricchinnam, and therefore unfit to
be known / realized for moksha. It will not be the Tat padartha. That is
what the BGB and Anandagiri/Madhusudani have also stated as cited above.
The Vishnu Puranam verse Shankara cites says that 'the stars, the various
worlds (fourteen), forests, mountains, directions, rivers, oceans and
everything that exists anywhere is Vishnu.  Thus, if anything is different
from Vishnu, that 'Vishnu' will not be Purna, ananta. [The Shiva purana
verses Sridhara swamin cites in the VP commentary too holds that the entire
creation is Shiva mayam since it has Shiva as its Atma.] Hence alone this
'Vishnu' is not a deity but Brahman, Vyapanashiila. If anything, anyone, is
different from Vishnu, there will be no vyaapanashiilatvam but only
paricchinnatvam in Vishnu.  In other words, if Vishnu is a deity, different
from Shiva, Brahma, etc. he will be vyaapya, pervaded, and not vyaapaka,
the pervader. In the Kenopanishad Bhashya too Shankara holds 'Vishnu,
Ishvara, Indra, Prana, etc. to be Brahman, being upasyas.'  If they are not
Brahman, they cannot be upasyas. And the crux of the BG 10.42 is to teach
that one can meditate upon the creation, wholly or severally, as Brahman
and eventually gain Brahman-realization. If anything in creation were not
Brahman, this upaaya will be invalid.

The gist of the above study is: The vibhuti-s of Brahman, which is the
entire creation, is non-different from Brahman.

Om Tat Sat
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