[Advaita-l] A vichAra on Swatantra & Paratantra (Independent & dependent Realities)

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sun Apr 11 01:28:11 CDT 2010

On Sun, Apr 11, 2010 at 6:37 AM, Shrisha Rao <shrao at nyx.net> wrote:

> El abr 10, 2010, a las 10:44 p.m., V Subrahmanian escribió:
> > [ Shankaracharya comments on the portion: तद्विष्णोः परमं पदम्
> > (KaThopaniShat 1.3.9) thus:
> >
> > तद्विष्णोः *व्यापनशीलस्य* ब्रह्मणः परमात्मनो वासुदेवाख्यस्य परमं
> प्रकृष्टं
> > पदं स्थानं सतत्त्वमित्येतद्यदसौ आप्नोति विद्वान् -  (That man of
> knowledge
> > reaches the end of the road, i.e. the very supreme goal to be reached
> beyond
> > samsAra.  He becomes free from all the worldly bondages.  That is the
> > highest place, i.e. the very nature, of *ViShNu,* of *the all-pervading
> > Brahman*, of the Supreme Self, who is called Vasudeva.)
> >
> > For the name 'ViShNu' of the Vishnusahasranaama too, in the Bhashya,
> > Shankaracharya gives a similar meaning, as one of the many.  Surely, in
> > Advaita the ultimate goal, as different from saguNa brahma loka, is
> Moksha
> > and that is what is meant by the above BhAshya on the term 'ViShNu'.
> The
> > term 'VAsudeva' too has a meaning that is different from saguNa Ishwara.]
> Yes, and again, that is the point.  In this line of analysis, the qualities
> of Brahman such as जगत्कारणत्व are considered व्वावहारिक, not पारमार्थिक as
> would appear from your analysis.  I am not aware of any instance where the
> पारमार्थिक is considered by Śankara or other classical authors as the
> controller of the व्वावहारिक, or where the two are represented as
> independent and dependent, unlike what you have said.  Even in instances
> like इन्द्रो मायाभिः पुरुरूप ईयते and मायां तु प्रकृतिं विद्यात् मायिनं तु
> महेश्वरम् where a controller and controlled relationship is posited, this is
> happening at the व्यावहारिक plane only, something that e.g., Rāmānuja notes
> and criticizes.  The पारमार्थिक does not control anything; it is just सत्ता.

[ Nowhere can anyone admit of real 'controller' status to Brahman.  Brahman,
in association with Maya, PrakRti, icchA (all synonyms) gets to be called
jagatkartaa, etc.  And this association is also not due to any icchA on the
part of Brahman, it is because of just 'sannidhi'.  It is inexplicable,

And prakRiti and jiva-s get their 'sattaa' only because of the original,
innate sattaa of Brahman.  If Brahman does not 'desire' to do anything with
Prakriti and jiva, these two have no existence at all.  That is the point
that I am making by taking the vAchArambhaNa interpretation of Advaita and
the quote from the lengthy Dvaita article.  The paratantra has to depend on
the swatantra even for its 'reality'.  When this is not there, the
paratantra will be mere 'names' and void possibilities.  There is no innate
svAbhAvika satyatva  for the paratantra; it is only borrowed from Brahman.
That is why they are dependent realities, dependent even for their reality.

When clay products are seen as only clay substantially, the products become
mere names and void of any internal, mutual, differences.  When the
jagatkAraNam Brahman is realized as the only substantial entity in the
world, the world is a mere name and a void possibility.

In the Gita the Lord says He is the 'anumantaa'.  Whatever good or evil the
jiva does or proposes to do, the Lord does not interfere - He neither stops
him or advices him.  He just 'allows'.  What is the controller-ship of the
Lord here? The antaryaami is just a witness; no 'yamanam' in the real sense
like a policeman controlling a criminal or traffic.

There is a nice verse:
न देवा दण्डमादाय रक्षन्ति पशुपालवत् ।
यं हि रक्षितुमिच्छन्ति बुद्ध्या संयोजयन्ति तम् ॥ (What is the source of this

How do Deva-s protect people?  They do not do it the way a cowherd or
shepherd wields a staff to control or regulate the cattle.  Whomever they
wish to protect, they endow that person with the appropriate intellect.

And the kArmic rule is what is functional here:  Only if the jiva has done
something to get that buddhi he gets it.  The 'Deva'  in all these places is
the one Conscious Entity that is a kevala sAkshi, sattaa maatram.  Its
sAkshitvam is also vyAvahaarika alone, for it has no desire to witness
anything or anyone.

 Then, what about the 'duShTa nigraha' and 'shiShTa samrakshaNa' ?  All
these, again happen as a process, an inbuilt function of Maya on karma
getting the suitable phala.  Here too, Brahman is just a passive Witness,
sattaamaatram.  'svabhAvastu pravartate'.  I know non-advaitins will not
take this meaning for these terms in the Gita but the Advaitins do not
address their explanation for the others to accept.

Even the term 'paratantra' for Prakriti and jiva is used by Shankara in the
commentary for the Gita 14.1.]

> On your other piece, it is correct that Madhva/Jayatīrtha see Vishnu as
> स्वगतभेदविवर्जित.  However, it is addressing only whether the word मात्रम्
> is reasonable, not the comments न च `वाचारम्भण'शब्दोऽपि मिथ्यात्वे प्रसिद्धः
> and तस्मिन्पक्षे, `नामधेय'शब्दः, `इति'शब्दश्च व्यर्थस्स्यात्.  We can each
> speculate on what responses to this could be, but it would be nice to know
> what a classical Advaitic response (by one of the acknowledged masters) has
> been.

[ What I have stated is just one aspect.  Not every comment/criticism finds
the need to be answered/rebutted.  As and when occasion arises, someone
might think it  fit to address those.  It might well be thought that a
criticism is not worth addressing.  Take for instance the comment on the
redundancy of the word 'iti'.  It is easily known from the ShAnkaran
commentary that the clay-products are only real '*as* clay and not as their
individual names and forms'.  The '*as*' is easily understood and need not
be explained explicitly.  That does not mean that the word is rendered
useless or ignored.  Hundreds of verses of the Gita have not been commented
upon by Madhva. (See Gitasupersite containing the commentaries of
Madhva/Jayatirtha.)  Can one conclude that they have been rendered useless
by him?  At that point of time he might not have felt the need to comment on
them, considering, perhaps,  that their meaning is quite clear, not
requiring a specific comment.

Any writing gets a classical status only after a few centuries have passed
after its original writing.  When someone writes a commentary or a rebuttal
at this point of time, it can very well be rejected by many as not being
'classical'.  The same thing might get great recogntion much later.

I think we can close the exchanges on this thread and perhaps continue it
privately, if needed and if there is anything to say.]

> Regards,
>  subrahmanian.v

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