[Advaita-l] Re: Advaita-l Digest, Vol 1, Issue 22
svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Tue May 27 13:44:15 CDT 2003
>Material attributes are those caused by prakriti,- like sattva, rajas and
>tamas. The guNas of saguNa brahman like imperishability, all-pervasiveness,
>etc. i.e. in short Its sakala kalyANa guNas are transcendental attributes.
>That brahman is free from material attributes is known from bhagavad gIta.
I am afraid you do not understand bhagavad gItA too. See chapter 7, verses
4-5. There is a lower prakRti, which consists of earth, water, fire etc. and
is therefore quite "material" (me bhinnA prakRtir ashTadhA). There is also
another (anyA), higher prakRti, which is the jIva (jIvabhUtA). It is as this
jIva, the higher prakRti, that brahman pervades all, vide chAndogya
upanishad, but it is as the lower prakRti, that brahman IS the "all". Both
the lower and the higher are described as prakRti-s of bhagavAn in the gItA.
You cannot wish away the material attributes. See also chapter 13 - sarvataH
pANipAdaM ... sarvendriyaguNAbhAsaM sarvendriyavivarjitaM asaktaM ...
>However, think about the following. The jIva, being brahman, is also a kind
>of sa-guNa brahman (the guNa-s differ), and according to your own thinking,
>the jIva is deluded.
>What is your intention here? saguNa brahman is deluded?
I said that jIva is sa-guNa brahman, in a sense, depending on the guNa-s
that you associate it with. If you choose to misinterpret me as above, and
also want to insist that saguNa brahman is only ISvara, never jIva, then it
is your problem. Please re-read my earlier post, dispassionately, and do not
twist what I said in order to raise a strawman argument.
>And as for your question *who relaizes his own self as brahman?* The answer
>cannot be brahman anyway because brahman is eternally undeluded, really or
>unreally.(Thanks for accepting that finally)
So the answer has to be jIva, right? If the jIva who realizes his own self
as brahman is essentially different from brahman, then the jIva would be
deluding itself only if it thinks its own self is brahman. No advaita in
that case. Perfectly fine for you to believe that if you are not an
advaitin. But if you are an advaitin, you have to eventually accept that in
essence, the jIvA IS brahman. In the final analysis, it is brahman who
realizes his own self as brahman. There is nothing that is not brahman, as
you should know from the upanishad-s.
> >Neither does Sankara, nor does sureSvara. Yet, the last author has no
> >qualms in saying that if you want to look for the locus of avidyA, then
> >that locus is brahman.
>Dont contradict yourself so openly. We have already seen that if the locus
>of avidya is brahman, then it means that brahman is deluded.
Who are the "we"? "You" have already seen the above, erroneously. None of
the others who has been discussing with you has seen this. And please, there
is no reason to get so hot under the collar. All I can say is, if you claim
to be an advaitin at heart, then you would do well to read Sankara and
sureSvara well before jumping to conclusions about who is contradicting
>Your reasoning points to one conclusion alone - brahman is unreally
>deluded. Since you imply that brahman is *deluded* in some sense, I have
>said that even that is unacceptable.
unreally = not really. "brahman is unreally deluded" means "brahman is not
really deluded". That the sentence construction is not acceptable to you
doesn't make it any less true.
>Which is why I said, *what a jIvanmukta undergoes is not our guess*.
How do you identify a jIvanmukta?
> >In what manner would you distinguish between the waking state of a
> >jIvanmukta and that of another? What is it then, when a jIvanmukta eats,
> >sleeps and wakes up? Finally, how would you know that a given person is a
> >jIvanmukta and that another is not?
>The question does not arise. *What a jIvanmukta undergoes is not anybody's
>guess* You have an alternative?
You don't have to guess anything. People revered as jIvanmuktas have said
that they sleep and dream and wake up and sit in samAdhi. You pick the
person you want to accept as a jIvanmukta ...
Even without the above express testimony, even if you don't accept that
so-and-so is one, a jIvanmukta is, by definition, a living being, and
therefore one who goes through the waking, dreaming and sleeping states.
According to YOUR definition, the jIva-brahman identity is true only in the
turIya state, but NOT in these other states. Your logic dictates that If
delusion were to be fully removed, the body of the mukta either has to die,
barring which the person is not really liberated at all. As you want to
completely divorce material attributes from brahman and as the body (even of
a jIvanmukta) is clearly a material thing, the jIvanmukta remains deluded
jIva, and can never be undeluded brahman, therefore he is not mukta at all.
In other words, according to YOUR definitions, or shall we say, loose
descriptions, a jIvanmukta is quite an impossibility, and the very term
jIvan-mukti is an oxymoron. So, it is you that has no alternative.
If you still accept the possibility of jIvanmukti and/or existence of
jIvanmukta-s, your only option then is to say that the jIvanmukta jumps in
to and out of delusion, according to whether he or she is in the turIya
state or not. If so, where, pray, does this delusion come from? And what
causes the transition from turIya to not-turIya? Even in this alternative,
the knowledge "I am brahman" that the jIvanmukta has in the turIya state
cannot be really true. It can only be a "feeling" devoid of truth value.
Otherwise, what would cause brahman (the jIva in the turIya state) to
suddenly become not-brahman and take up another state? So, YOUR way of
thinking is incompatible with advaita, at its core.
Now, according to MY thinking of this issue, which is basically derived from
Sankara and sureSvara, and yes, gauDapAda before them, the jIvanmukta is one
who knows his own essential identity as brahman. He doesn't jump in to and
out of delusion. Even though the body goes through various states, the
jIvanmukta remains unaffected by them. It doesn't matter whether he or she
is in the waking state or the dreaming state or the turIya state. The
jIvanmukta knows that (s)he, the jIva, is essentially brahman, therefore
mukta, and this is true all the time, whether in the waking state or the
turIya state. guNA guNeshu vartante ...
>All in all, it is better to argue on the basis of truth.
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