[Advaita-l] Gods: Finite or infinite

ramesh badisa badisa66 at yahoo.com
Thu Apr 7 09:38:20 CDT 2005

"Shankaracharya says that the Devas being living beings posessed of
consciousness also can desire moksha.  Because they have bodies they 
can learn the Vedas, meditate, practice yoga etc which are means of 
pursuing moksha"

Badisa: Yes. For doing such practices, devas should have bodies, and thus they are localized at a place. It means that devas cannot present everywhere at all the times. Right? Even after achieving brahma gyan also, they are still localized. This state continues till they shed their bodies, and after which time, their souls become divine and become all-pervasive. 

“ The “curse” and “boon” are just a contrivance on the part of Lord Yama …….”


Badisa: Curse or boon is not important in the context of the question raised earlier. The point that was high lighted was concerned about localized state of Lord Yama. 


"Because of his lack of understanding, it took Lord Indra several tries
before he was prepared for jnana"

Badisa: We all understand why Lord Indra had visited many times. But that was not the point. Lord Brahma and Lord Indra examples were quoted earlier with the intension to show their localized positions. The same reason is extrapolated even in case of Lord Yama too. For example, Lord Yama and Lord Brahma have brahma gyan. In spite of this, they both are localized in their respective abodes. This does not show their all-pervasive nature, as they are still corporeal beings. Thus, they both are finite. On the other hand, divine is present everywhere at all the times. The souls of both Lord Yama and Lord Brahma (and for that matter all eligible souls) will become divine once the bodies are shed. A being with any type of body cannot present everywhere at all the times. Divine is present everywhere at all the times because, he has no "body". Gods can take up multiple forms depending upon the situation. Once the requirement for such situation is fulfilled, all forms will be vanished and then
 merged in one form, like all rays merge in the sun. Now, if we assume that multiple forms of gods to be omnipresence, then one has to ask that what would happen to this nature once their multiple forms are merged into one form, which represents finite nature? Can we say now that omnipresence has suddenly become finite?  This does not make any sense. Thus, the ability to become multiple forms on the part of gods cannot be viewed as their all-pervasive nature. We can look into another example also in this regard. The liberated souls at Brahma Lok (BL) also can take multiple forms. But, it doesn’t mean that the liberated soul at BL is omnipresent. On the other hand, if we still assume that the liberated soul at BL is omnipresent, then, the question is that why these souls have to achieve higher state at the time of pralaya? If the liberated soul at BL is all-pervasive, then Brahma Sutra 4.3.10 does not need to say achieving of higher state for these souls. 

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