[Advaita-l] The liberated souls and Brahmaloka

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Tue Mar 9 13:40:13 CST 2004

Ramesh Badisa wrote:

>As per your reply, the application of these sutras to liberated souls is
>done before pralaya. However, these sutras are sequenced in the scripture
>after mentioning of IV.3.10 sutra, giving a false idea that they are 
>after the pralaya. Therefore, my question was that it could have been much
>more appropiate if the above sutras are sequenced before IV.3.10 sutra. 
>way, it would be very clear that these sutras are associated with liberated
>souls before pralaya.

No. The sequential arrangement in the sUtras does not indicate temporal 
sequence. Rather, it follows its own logic. Attaining brahmaloka is a result 
of specific upAsana-s and is a step in the path of krama mukti. The text 
first mentions the phala of upAsana, namely the attainment of brahmaloka. 
Then it has to obviously mention the end of the path of krama mukti, namely 
the final liberation at pralaya. This is necessary because of the very 
nature of krama mukti. Without the assurance that there is a final 
liberation, there is no guarantee to the sAdhaka that attaining brahmaloka 
is the final step of krama mukti. If you notice, there is also a discussion 
immediately following IV.3.10, on the nature of the upAsana that leads to 
brahmaloka, i.e. meditation on saguNa brahman vis-a-vis meditation on a 
symbol of brahman. Then it proceeds to describe the experience in 
brahmaloka. This is a perfectly logical arrangement of topics. bAdarAyaNa 
obviously has to describe the beginning (attainment of brahmaloka) and the 
end (final liberation at pralaya) before describing what happens in between 
(the attainment of all desires in brahmaloka, animating different bodies at 
will etc.).

By their very nature, sUtra-s are terse and aphoristic. It is difficult to 
understand them without the help of the commentary. For a quick synopsis of 
Sankaracharya's commentary, I would recommend checking 
http://www.swami-krishnananda.org/bs_00.html - this site contains Swami 
Sivananda's free translation/summary of the bhAshya.


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