[Advaita-l] Re:Moksha (Badisa)

ramesh badisa badisa66 at yahoo.com
Wed Aug 31 21:10:33 CDT 2005


“Your understanding only violates the GItA, which says that the

Self is avikAryaH or unchangeable!”


Badisa: No. I never said that soul is changeable. I will explain with an analogy. The ether in the pot is same as the one in the sky. Nevertheless, the ether in the pot is present only the pot, but not every where. So, to this, I am saying finite. The ether in the space is present every where, and so it is infinite. Now apply this explanation to the soul, layered with and without ignorance. The one with ignorance is finite, while that without ignorance is infinite. Now, can you say if I had indicated any changes to the soul? No. Then, where is the violation of Gita by me? See Gita 3/38, where Lord Krishna says, “as fire is surrounded by smoke, as a mirror by rust, as the foetus is enclosed in the womb, so is this covered by it”. What is’ this’ means here? Wisdom (Gita 3/39). Since the soul is the nature of knowledge (vijnanaghana), as per Br. Up. the above slokas convey the meaning that the soul is covered by different layers of ignorance. Now, upon release from this ignorance, can
 you say that soul has got some changes in it? No. But as per your understanding, the answer is yes.   


“Before dissolving of the subtle body in pancha bhutani, can you say that the state of gyani is in sampurna mukti? Please let me know.


> *Shyam: I'm not sure what you are meaning by Sampurna Mukti.


Badisa: I mean salvation. In other words, can the state of gyani be said salvation before dissolving of the subtle body in pancha bhutani? Please let me know. 


"Shyam: The atma or Brahman is understood only by the subtle body;"

In this context, I'm referring to the upadhi (medium). The 

subtle body is a medium through which all the activities take place. But without the atma, the subtle body cannot perform any activity. Therefore, the atma "as though" becomes doer. The atma is not a doer but without the atma there is no doer. Krishna says in the BG: "Iam the doer (with reference to the upadhi), but (without any reference to upadhi) Iam non-doer.(4.13)” 


Badisa: In other words, you are saying that self-knowledge is attained in the subtle body. Right? As per Gita, the subtle body is also prakruti. How come self-knowledge is attained in the prakruti? It is not possible? If self-knowledge takes place in the subtle body, then what will happen to this self-knowledge when the subtle body gets dissolved in pancha bhutani? As per your understanding, this knowledge should also get dissolved in pancha bhutani? This is again wrong. Self-knowledge is attained with the help of upadhi, when sadhana is done. But, this is not equal of saying that upadhi gets self-knowledge. The former is correct while the latter is wrong. In my opinion, self-knowledge and self-experience is one and the same. 


“I'm not really clear about the latter part of your argument”


Badisa: Based on the scriptures, we both agreed up to the point that agyani gets self-knowledge at BL. But, at this point you have mentioned that agyani’s subtle body is dissolved at BL and he becomes free there. But, in my reply, I said that the subtle body will only get dissolved at the time of pralaya. Not before that. (You have agreed to my point now. Good. My later part of argument is based in case you disagree with my point. But it does not matter now). We agreed that agyani gets self-knowledge at BL and later his subtle body is dissolved at pralaya. Now, can you tell me what is this state called on his part at BL, before pralaya? Is he free there? If yes, in what sense this freedom is defined? Can you say this state is salvation? Please let me know your opinion.


“If they are identically the same in all respects then they are

indistinguishable and if they are together there is no way to separate 

one from  the  other”


Badisa: All jivatmas are identical. But they are layered with different levels of ignorance. The qualified jiva gets the salvation and is divine in very absolute sense, without any type of limitations. The nirgun Brahman gets manifested into sagun Brahman for the sake creation etc activities. So long as the souls are bonded in karma, for that long, they are finite and have limitations. 


On the other hand, if there is only one jivatma, as you are saying, then, its exit from one physical body should also make exit from all other upadhis at the same time. This would result death of all upadhis at the same time. Also attaining of salvation for one jivatma should also make salvation for all. But, these are not happening in this world. We see every body dying differently, getting salvation differently. The souls are identical but present more than one. It is like this. Suppose, there are ten pots, then the ether present in all these pots is one and the same, but present in different pots. Once, the pot is broken, the pot ether gets manifested its true essence as divine.  I agree that the very svarupa of jivatma is Brahman. But, when it is surrounded by ignorance of different levels, each may be called a jivatma. Now, they cannot be called Brahman in absolute sense. Because of limited nature and due to lack of powers as Brahman.  


You have asked if apart from deha, indriya, manah, buddhi and antakara, is there any finite number of jives? But we need to know that these are nothing but prakruti. Brahman is above buddhi. Let me put a question in a different way. By asking if any finite number of jivas apart from deha 

etc, you are implying clearly that there is only one jivatma, with many dehas, indriyas 
 etc. How can you ascribe as having many dehas, many indriyas, many minds, many buddhis etc to the same one jivatma? How is it possible? One mind, for example is sufficient, and similarly one buddhi is sufficient for one jivatma. But by asking apart from deha etc, you are implying their multiple existence for single jivatma. What is the significance of having multiple existence of these things, which represent prakruti? We do not know if atma is hypothetical being or something else. We certainly cannot say atma as a chemira of the mind. Why? Because, the moment you say that atma is so and so, you are ascribing
 something to it. This ascription is arising from mind and buddhi, and these two cannot tell what the atma is. Because, atma is above buddhi. So, mind is still inferior than buddhi. So, mind cannot judge the existence of atma or say what atma is. That is the reason it is well said in our scriptures, that atma is present there before mind and buddhi went there. When Lord Krishna says that he is atma in sarva bhuta (10/20), it can also be understood in plural sense. See the word ‘data’ can be used both singular as well plural sense. As per the situation, we understand it as required. Since the atma in all upadhis is essentially the same, Lord Krishna used atma. It does not essentially be understood in singular form. To confirm this, please see Katha Up. 5th valli 7th mantra (sri Shankara bhasyam, trans. By swami Gambhirananda ji) where it says that some souls (jivatmas) enter the womb
 etc.  It means that the existence of jivatmas is accepted. Also see Mundaka up, where it says the
 origination of many jivas from divine (2.1.1). IMHO, it can be acceptable because, see sutra 4.4.15. This sutra indicates the multiplying of several forms at the same time. The saguna Brahman can assume n number of forms and be like jivatmas. I agree fully that all these forms are identical. But that is not the point here. The point is existence of many forms of the same thing. This is what I am saying jivatmas. The above sruti texts also support for existence of more than one jiva. It does not mean that the conditioned soul is different in absolute sense. Once the show is finished, the qualified soul will go back to the original source, the way several forms merge in the original soul. By saying the multiple existence of jivas, their finite nature is invariably implied. Indeed, the conditioned soul is finite, as it is not present everywhere at all the times. Before salvation, can any conditioned soul be infinite? No. If you say ‘yes’, then it will clash with sruti and sutra. When
 you say that soul, before salvation, is also infinite consciousness, then, it means that it is divine in absolute in all respects. As you know, every question can be answered in two different plains. One is vyavaharika and other paramarthika. With reference to paramathika, every thing can be negated, like by saying that nothing is existing apart from divine, or no world exists except divine etc. But, since we all are not yet at the highest level, we also need deal many things, in vyavaharika point of level. The references you quoted talk from absolute point of view. Now, to the question ‘under what context?’ asked in your posting, the answer is that the sruti talks about jivatmas on the path of salvation. Please check Br. Up. 6.2.15 (sri Shankara bhasyam, trans. By swami madhavananda), where it describes, “ 
 and conducts ‘them’ to the world of Hiranyagarbha. The term,‘them’ here denotes the jivatmas. It further says, “They attain 
” Again the term, ‘they’ denote the jivatmas.
 Doesn’t it show the clear cut acceptance by sri Shankara for multiple existence of jivatmas? You may, ‘well not in absolute sense’ It does not matter. After all, we all travel from vyavahariaka level to paramartika level ultimately. You are denying at once the existence of jivatmas even in vyavaharika level also.     





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