[Advaita-l] Re: Advaita-l Digest, Vol 2, Issue 23

Nomadeva Sharma nomadeva at yahoo.com
Mon Jun 9 04:03:10 CDT 2003

--- Vidyasankar Sundaresan <svidyasankar at hotmail.com>
> >Which shruti told you Brahman is partless and
> > attributeless?  May I ask?
> It is surprising you would ask this. Anyway, since
> you ask, just a couple of examples. How about 
> muNDaka 3.2.7-8 etc? Viz.
> pare.avyaye sarve ekiibhavanti - what is the para
> avyaya? 

VidyajI, it is surprising that you give this quote.
The reason is the analogy given of rivers merging to
the sea is agreed to be 'bheda-darshaka'. This point
has been raised by Sri Vyasatirtha. He points out that
Vachaspati Mishra, under 'avasthiteriti kAshakR^itsnaH
(1.4.22)', accepts that this analogy shows differences
only. I had a look at bhAmati, and he too echoes
Shankara's words that 'nadI-dR^iShTAnta' shows the
aikya has been taken by some (i.e. Audulomi) to mean,
'merging' (which is possible only in case of

In any case, the saptamI vibhakti or the locative case
is a serious obstacle. If it were to mean identity,
the words would have been 'para avyaya bhavanti.

> By definition, anything that has parts is 
> subject to vyaya.
> vidvaan.h naamaruupaadvimuktaH - how does 
> one leave behind nAma and rUpa and still have 
> attributes?

Using similar logic, we observe that without having a
form, it is insensible to say 'puruShaM' or 'divyaM'
(parAtparaM puruShamupaiti divyam.h). These adjectives
cannot belong to an attributeless Being. And it is
just as insensible to interpret these as absence of
negatives. One also notices that the Upanishad says
that 'he will never be born in a lineage of
non-knowers of Brahman'. In case of identity, all this
talk of where the person is born is useless.

So, noting from shruti elsewhere, that this world of
nAmarUpa has been created by the Lord,
'nAmarUpAdvimuktaH' is taken to mean that 'the
knowledgeable person leaves this world of nAma-rUpa'.
This also accomodates the Chandogya's statement that
one, after leaving this body, attains 'paraM jyoti
rUpaM' and enjoys and plays around (paraM jyoti
rUpasampAdya sa jaxaN.h kRIDaN.h ramamANaH).
Incidentally, according to Shankara himself, this
vAkya shows bheda between jIva and paramAtma; as per
what he says in his BSB 1.4.21. However, I am not sure
if he takes up this as a pUrvapaxa view, but does not
treat this shruti later, i.e., after giving the
siddhAnta. May be I have missed something. 

> Sure, you will interpret all this differently -
> being free of nAma and rUpa is itself an attribute,
> and so on, right?

> Anyway, see also mANDUkya - adRshTam avyavahAryam
> agrAhyam alakshaNaM acintyam avyapadeSyam ... 
> advaitam and remember that
> this upanishat has already said ayam AtmA brahma, so
> it is talking of brahman, not the jIva.

Which is fine. If you are emphasizing on the
'advaitaM' part, we also note that this same 'advaita'
has been described earlier in the Upanishad as:
IshAnaH, prabhuH, devaH, turyaH (the fourth). You
know, we simply consider it illogical to extol
somebody as the Lord and then to say, there is nobody
to lord over. 


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