Concept of personal God and Advaita

Ravisankar S. Mayavaram miinalochanii at YAHOO.COM
Mon May 20 07:49:47 CDT 2002

--- "Venkataramani K." <venkataramanik at AOL.COM> wrote:
> Dear members,
> At least 2 of the Upanisads that I have read, Isa and Svetasvatara,
> describe the ultimate Supreme as a personal God. Also, Srimad
> Bhagavatam

> How does Sripad Adi Sankara deal with the above 2 upanisads and SB?

- I am not an expert in this area. From my limited understanding,
Sankara uses iishavAsyopanishad to illustrate the nature of pravRtti
and nivRtti dharma, the two fold classification of vaidika dharma.
Based on the adhikAri laxaNam, even the text itself is classified into
verses that apply to a sannyAsin who is following nivRtti dharma and
verses that apply to others. This is text itself is short and it is
available online. Our sampradaaya holds that verses 1 and 3-8 are for
those who follow nivRtti dharma or sannyAsins. It directly applies to
them. Rest can probably, get some preparatory understanding from it.
Remain verses, which teach pravRtti dharma is for others. It
recommends, the imortance of karma, combined practice of karma and
bhakti, etc.

- If your questions stems from the first verse. Please see following
post by Sri H. Raghavendra for the Sankara bhaashya of the 1st verse
and a translation.

Also see the following comment for a minor correction.

iisha is taken in the verse as supreme Self (Atman).

- In my understanding, the text is very much in line with advaita


- From the little I know, Sankara does not quote from shriimad
bhagavaatam - not even in his vishhNu sahasranAma bhAshhya or in other
traditional accepted works. He typically quotes from vishhNu puraaNa.
You can draw your conclusions from it.

- shriimad bhagavaatam is revered and accepted within the fold of
advaita tradition -- beacuse of its bhakti element. shankara maTha-s
has a wide range of disciples - from all aashrama-s. Especially for
those in gRhasta or brahmacharya aashrama, this bhaagavatam is very
useful, hence they quote and recommend it.


-About the other upanishhad, since I have not studied it, I am not
qualified to comment on it.

Correcttions are welcome.

ambaaL daasan


sharaNAgata raxakI nivEyani sadA ninnu nammiti mInAxI

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