[Advaita-l] The Mundakopanishat and Madhusudana Saraswati

Srinath Vedagarbha svedagarbha at gmail.com
Wed Jun 6 15:55:22 EDT 2018

Some questions...

On Wed, Jun 6, 2018 at 12:46 AM V Subrahmanian via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> Shankara says this in his Sutra bhashya:
> स्यात्परमेश्वरस्यापि इच्छावशात् मायामयं रूपं साधकानुग्रहार्थम् ।
> (1.1.vii.20) (Ishwara, out of compassion, takes on, *by His Maya*, a form
> to grace the spiritual aspirant.)
> [The context in the BSB is that Brahman is devoid of any form but takes up
> forms to help the aspirant.  ]
Given that Brahman in Advaita vedanta is said to be nirAkAra and nishkriya,
how can such Brahman --

1. See duality of aspirants needing help?. More precisely, does Brahman
perceive duality of Itself and aspirants struck and needing help. If yes,
such Brahman is not ultimate Brahman as avidya lesha is still with it. If
you say NB does not perceive duality, then there is no question of taking
forms of various Istadevata. All talks about Brahmn taking various forms
are with in vyavahara dristi and hence avidya dristi.

2.  Shankara's sUtra bhashya  1.1.vii.20 is talking about  Ishwara not
about NB. This is valid as entire Gita is from Krishna talking from
Krishna's first principle point of view ('I am that Supreme Śiva which is
what the Śaivas, Sauras, Gāṇeśas,  Vaiśṇavas, Śāktas meditate' etc. ) , so
Krishna seeing duality (of 'I' vs. aspirants ) is acceptable duality is
admissible in Ishwara (again according to tenets of Advaita vedanta).  Then
the charge of other factions being  bigotry is misguided.

> There is no bigotry in Vedanta. Only Advaitins like Veda Vyasa, Gaudapada,
> Shankara, Sureshwara, of the earliest period, Amalananda, Sridhara Swamin,
> etc. of the medieval period and Madhusudana, Appayya Dikshita, etc. up to
> the present day Advaitins can have this Shaastra Drishti sans bigotry.  For
> non-advaitins this is unvedantic and blasphemy since it cuts at the roots
> of their narrow view of deities.
Few things needs to clarified here. For other vedantins (esp. Dvaitins),
Vishnu is ultimate Brahmn not because they are vaishNavites. But rather
they are vaishnavites because for them Vishnu is found to be ultimate
Brahmn as per pramaNa schema in their school. Such Brahmn being guNa pUrNa
and also acceptance of duality does not upset Vishnu being Brahmn. With
this schema Brahmn taking various avataras (and also being anteryami in
other deities), all of Gita and other shruti/smriti vaakyas get reconciled
without any flaws. This is the idea of sarva-shabda samanvaya in their


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