[Advaita-l] Gods: Finite or infinite

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Fri Apr 8 16:21:44 CDT 2005

On Thu, 7 Apr 2005, ramesh badisa wrote:

> 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?

If they can assume any body at any place or any time, they must be
omnipresent to begin with.

> Even after achieving brahma gyan
> also, they are still localized.

No  more or less so than a human jivanmukta.

>This state continues till they shed
> their bodies, and after which time, their souls become divine and become
> all-pervasive.

Their souls (or the soul) were always divine and all-pervasive.  The
boundaries that "localize" are made of false knowledge only.

> 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 is only to the extent that they are dealing with ignorant beings.
Compare with Krishna Bhagavan telling Arjuna that the only reason he
appears in this form rather than his vishvarupa is that Arjuna is not able
to handle it.  In the same way, Yama has to appear to Nachiketa in a form
that Nachiketa can comprehend in order to teach him Brahmavidya.

> 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?

It is omnipresence but only withing the limits of the material univers.
Brahman "covers all this and 10 finger beyond" as the purushsukta says.
Furthermore, this is the reason why Brahmasutra 4.4.17 says the liberated
souls have  every power _except_ creation.  They cannot go beyond their
created nature.

>  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.

The answer is as I said above Brahman is more than the material universe.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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