What is Krishna ? Bhagavad-gita 7.03 and 7.26
sada at ANVIL.NRL.NAVY.MIL
Mon Jun 29 09:43:55 CDT 1998
>Dvaitins and vishishhTAdvaitins describe Krishna as an avatAra
>(incarnation) of Lord VishNu. That is, Krishna is God, apart from us.
>As jeevas, our ultimate objective is to merge with Him.
> Thus, bhagavad-gita is not a discussion between two separate
>entities, a God and a selected jeeva, but an internal enlightenment
>where the Atman (the inner conscience) has revealed its true nature
>to the soul (as Katha u. says in 1.2.23).
>I would be grateful if the list members correct any of the mis-conceptions
>I may have in the above thoughts.
Both concepts, either Bagavaan teaching a jeeva or higher self teaching
lower self are essentially dualistic concepts, and they remain as concepts,
as they should be, within the realm of vyavahaara. In fact, both of them
rest on personal beliefs. Since the truth is beyond the concepts, there
cannot be any one mis-conception better than the other. You are the judge
and if it helps you as a working hypothesis and takes you beyond the
concepts, then that gives the validity for your point and nothing else
counts. Since plurality is unreal and any beliefs about unreality are
equally unreal - but who cares, if it helps one to realize the real, that
is all that counts.
In fact, any teaching itself involves duality - so is the sadhana too.
This is one of the strong criticism of the VishiSTaadvaitins on advaita.
If KrishaNa is a realized soul as all mataas agree, then according to
Advaita, he must be one without a second. If so, how can he teach Arjuna-
since there is no Arjuna separate from him. If Krishna is not realized then
there is no use of his teaching. Hence they conclude advaita is unreal.
Krishna can teach Arjuna since he is different from him and fit to receive
the knowledge while duryodhana who is also different from is not fit -
hence duality stays even after realization - is the conclusion of dvaitins
and sounds logical too, in the relative frame.
But for Sadhana both concepts are equally helpful depending on the
mentality of the students, One, in terms of all pervading Atman, and other,
in terms of all pervading Bhagavaan. Krishna says in 6th chapter about the
sarvabhuutastam aatmaanam, sarvabhuutaani ca aatmani|
iikshate yoga yuktaatmaa sarvatra sama darshanaH||
One who sees the one self in all beings and all beings in one self,
and as a result has vision of equality everywhere, he is the yogi.
and in the very next sloka he brings the same idea via the Bhagavaan
concept bringing that too into the same frame work -
yo maam pasyati sarvatra, sarvancha mayi pasyati|
tasyaaham na praNashyaami sa cha me na praNasyati||
He, who can see me everywhere and everything in me,
He is never away from me and I am never away from him||
That these two slokas bring the unity of two approaches is clear -
considering higher self teaching lower self until the lower self dissolves
- leaving one self or Bhagavan teaching a jeeva till jeeva merges with
Bhagavan - In the final analysis what remains is the truth - one. Apparent
approaches are apparent and have relative validity in the minds of the
seeker. Relative evaluation that one approach is better than the other is
The truth of course is one, not relative and independent of the concepts,
approaches and teachings etc. As long as we realize that, then we can also
realize that any relative approach is equally valid as long as it helps
towards the unity among the diversity.
Naval Research Laboratory
Washington D.C. 20375
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