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

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Mon Jun 9 17:03:00 CDT 2003

> > 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

It is well that I used this example. The point of bhAshya and bhAmatI is 
that auDulomi's interpretation is wrong, i.e., it is wrong to think that 
Sruti establishes both bheda initially and that a "transformation" into 
abheda finally. Why? The answer is given by kASakRtsna - avasthiteH. You 
seriously refuse to understand the advaita perspective if you think that 
this example establishes difference.

Anyway, do tell me whether the "merging" which (according to you) 
establishes difference, removes the difference after the merging is 
accomplished, or whether the difference remains even after the merging. At 
least auDulomi's school accepted abheda at the end.

>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.

Please take a look at the preceding sentences too - te brahmaloke tu 
parAntakAle ... parimucyanti sarve. This refers to those who have attained 
brahmaloka. Yes, it says that there is still bheda at that stage, which is 
completely fine for us advaitins, for it refers to krama-mukti. The same 
Sruti also tells us that there is a further need for moksha even in 
brahmaloka. That is why it says "parimucyanti" and "ekI bhavanti."

>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

But they do not negate that the Being is inherently attributeless either.

>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.

Your translation of the last line is extremely faulty. I am not sure where 
you got this translation from, or if it is your own. If this is a standard 
dvaita vedAnta based translation of this line, let me know.

The sentence "nAsyAbrahmavit kule bhavati" means, na asya kule abrahmavit 
bhavati - "in his lineage, no one will be born who is (or will remain) 
ignorant of brahman". This is meant for praising brahmavidyA and is not 
meant literally, for karma determines the birth of individuals and the 
karma-s of descendents are not completely determined by the actions or 
knowledge of ancestors.

Why is your translation wrong and mine correct? Any school of vedAnta (I am 
using generalizing language similar to yours) has to accept "na sa punar 
Avartate". Even if you take divya purusha as referring to a being with 
attributes, the question of being born after knowing that purusha does not 
arise. And FYI, we advaitins do explicitly state that those who reach the 
world of saguNa brahman do not return to rebirth.

Enough said.


ps. I am behind on responding to a few key points raised over the last week, 
due to being busy at work. I will get to them slowly, if somebody else has 
not already addressed them in the meantime.

MSN 8 with e-mail virus protection service: 2 months FREE*  

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list