[Advaita-l] Something Shankara alone can dare to say....

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sat Jun 23 23:20:07 EDT 2018

n the BG 2.12 the Lord says:

न त्वेवाहं जातु नासं न त्वं नेमे जनाधिपाः ।
न चैव न भविष्यामः सर्वे वयमतः परम् ॥ १२ ॥
2.12 But certainly (it is) not (a fact) that I did not exist at any time;
nor you, nor these rulers of men. And surely it is not that we all shall
cease to exist after this.
In the Bhashya Shankara observes, with regard to Bhagavan's remark about
न तु एव जातु कदाचित् अहं नासम् , किं तु आसमेव ।
* अतीतेषु देहोत्पत्तिविनाशेषु घटादिषु वियदिव नित्य एव अहमासमित्यभिप्रायः ।*
2.12 Why are they not to be grieved for? Because they are eternal. How? Na
tu eva, but certainly it is not (a fact); that jatu, at any time; aham, I ;
na āsam, did not exist; on the contrary, I did exist. *The idea is that
when the bodies were born or died in the past, I existed eternally,   like
Space in pot etc.*
From the above we know that Shankara holds the bodies of Bhagavān too to be
subject to utpatti - birth and vināśa - destruction. He gives the example
of the pot-space for the bodies of Bhagavān as well, that Shankara has
given in the case of all the jiva-bodies, in the Mundaka Upanishat:
मुण्डकोपनिषद्भाष्यम्द्वितीयं मुण्डकम्प्रथमः खण्डःमन्त्र १ - भाष्यम्

………एव, तथा उक्तलक्षणात् अक्षरात् विविधाः
नानादेहोपाधिभेदमनुविधीयमानत्वाद्विविधाः हे सोम्य, भावाः जीवाः
सुषिरभेदा घटाद्युपाधिप्रभेदमनु भवन्ति ; एवं नानानामरूपकृतदेहोपाधिप्रभवमनु
प्रजायन्ते, तत्र चैव तस्मिन्नेव चाक्षरे अपियन्ति देहोपाधिविलयमनु विलीयन्ते
घटादिविलयमन्विव सुषिरभेदाः । यथाऽऽकाशस्य सुषिरभेदोत्पत्तिप्रलयनिमित्तत्वं
घटाद्युपाधिकृतमेव, तद्वदक्षरस्यापि नामरूपकृतदेहोपाधिनिमित्तमेव
जीवोत्पत्तिप्रलयनिमित्तत्वम् ॥ ………(one may look up the translation in
Sw.Gambhirananda's book)
That is, the pot is akin to the bodies and the space that does not get
affected by the birth and destruction of the pot, is likened to the Ātmā,
Pure Consciousness.  Shankara has Bhagavan's own words for evidence of even
the bodies of Bhagavan too are subject to origin and

In BG 4.5 too the Lord says:

बहूनि मे व्यतीतानि जन्मानि तव चार्जुन ।
तान्यहं वेद सर्वाणि न त्वं वेत्थ परन्तप ॥ ५ ॥

4.5 The Blessed Lord said O Arjuna, many lives of Mine have passed, and so
have yours. I know them all, (but) you know not, O scorcher of enemies!

Shankara says:  बहूनि मे मम व्यतीतानि अतिक्रान्तानि जन्मानि तव च हे अर्जुन ।
[Many births of mine have gone by.]

This is something Shankara alone will dare to say which is blasphemy for
others. They can't tolerate the idea of the bodies of Bhagavan (aka
avatara-s) originating and disappearing. A neo-Vaishnava will never be able
to stomach this 'outrageous' observation of Shankara.



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