[Advaita-l] Questions about mergence

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Fri Apr 8 16:46:23 CDT 2005

On Wed, 6 Apr 2005 bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com wrote:

> I heard on the other list that Thibaut's translation of vEdAnta sUtra-s are
> more inclined towards rAmAnuja's vishishTAdvaita philosophy..

I think he felt that Advaita Vedanta was truer to the Upanishads while
vishishtadvaita was a better interpretation of the Brahmasutras.  This
could be because he was a Christian, but in anycase his personal opinions
did not bias his translation as far as I can tell.  While Swami
Krishnananda goes overboard in trying to make Vedanta look "modern."

> I need clarification here prabhuji...is it jIva who identifies *himself*
> with brahman & realizes he/she & brahman are one & the same OR is it
> brahman alone is the ONLY reality nothing else??
> if it is former (i.e.
> jIva & his identification that he is brahman), then I think we have to
> accept anEka jIva vAda & their different types of antaHkaraNa upAdhi-s &
> their ultimate realizations (one after another!!!) I remember, shankara in
> sUtra bhAshya accepts nAnA jIvatva vAda while talking about bhOkta &
> hiraNya garbha.  Here *bhOkta* denotes individual soul which has been taken
> from the standpoint of various antaHkaraNa upAdhi-s as said above. If that
> is the case then we are forced to accept nAnA jIvatva & their achievement
> of brahma jnAna etc. in the liberation process...If it is later i.e.
> brahman alone is ONE & ONLY reality considering jIvahood itself is a flase
> appearance due to avidyA then I dont think there is any need of accepting
> anEka jIvatva & their liberation & identification with brahman.
> Kindly clarify.

One relevant text is the bhashya on 2.3.43-53 especially on 51-53.  Here
Shankaracharya is quite clear that the plurality of selves is avidya only.
However we have to take into account that "identification with Brahman" is
saguna as well as nirguna.  The first also liberates from samsara but it
is not the ultimate knowledge (which is the latter.) so there is still
some avidya and the scope for plurality that entails.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list