Reposting: Question on Incarnations

Sankaran Kartik Jayanarayanan kartik at ECE.UTEXAS.EDU
Tue Aug 7 11:00:24 CDT 2001

On Mon, 6 Aug 2001, Chandrashekaran Venkataraman wrote:

> Dear Members,
>    Can someone please respond to my earlier question? I basically would
> like to understand how advaita explains the various incarnations of Lord
> Vishnu.

By saying that the JIva-Ishvara duality is only at the conventional
(vyAvahArika) level of reality. Here, the Lord incarnates to "take good
care" of the living beings. In the ultimate (pAramArthika) level, they are

> Also from the viewpoint of the Gita verse "parithrANAya sAdhUnAm"..
> Unfortunately
> I don't possess Sri Sankara's Gita Bhashya. JnAnESwari's commentary is
> somewhat elusive here. JnAnESwari explains the verse in dualistic
> terms and finally puts a statement saying "This can be understood only
> by samyag yOgins". If this is the case how are the common men like me
> to understand it...

Shankara's commentary on this verse is one line long. He simply says that
the Lord incarnates to protect the good people.

I thought I would go back two verses to see how Shankara comments on that.
Here, Shankara says that even though the Lord does not take birth, he
seems to do so by his inscrutable power of becoming.

>   Please respond.
>   Thanks in advance.
>   chandrasekaran.

Hope that helps,


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