[Advaita-l] "Returns or Not returns"
badisa66 at yahoo.com
Tue Feb 15 11:19:01 CST 2005
Does one really have to come back from the Brahmaloka?
In the BhagavadGita Lord Shri Krishna says (8-16), "All
worlds, including BrahmaLoka, have the feature of recurrence,
O Arjuna! but on reaching Me, there is no more rebirth."
To me this particular statement of Lord Shri Krishna seems to be against the Shruti. Can anyone clarify this doubt? How to reconcile both statements? Let me tell you the stand of the Shruti on this! Chandogya Upanishad finishes with the following statement (8-15-1), "He reaches BrahmaLoka, He never comes back, He never comes back". The double statement emphasizes that HE NEVER COMES BACK. In one other place Chandogya Upanishad mentions (4-15-5), "A super-human takes them to BrahmaLoka, this is the Divine path (devapatha), this is the greatest path (brahmapatha), whoever tread this path, never come back to this human body, they never come back." As you can see, here also the Shruti emphasizes the phrase "they never come back" by saying it twice. The last Sutra in the BrahmaSutra "anaavrittih shabdaadanaavrittih shabdaat" also very clearly proves that there is no coming back from the BrahmaLoka.
Badisa: Namaste. Gita 8/24, Ch. Up 4.5.5 and Ch. Up. 5.10.1, 2 talk about one and the same path, the Dev yan path. As we all know, this is also called krama mukti path (that is gradual salvation path). The liberated soul on this path passes through many lokas and then finally reaches the Brahma Lok (BL), with the help of amanav purush (super human being or non-human being), as described in Ch. Up. 4.15.5 and Br. Up. 6.2.15. The Brahma, residing at the BL is not the absolute divine. Because, absolute divine is not localized at any particular area, but present everywhere at all times and thus does not require any specific abode. The statement that non-human being takes the liberated soul to BL itself indicates that the Brahma at BL is not an absolute divine. For the sake of convenience, we may say that this god is a saguna Brahman (SB), who can appear in different forms as per the situations. Now, attainment of this BL by the liberated soul is not equal to say that this soul has
achieved the salvation. The SB also merges in the nirgun Brahman at the time of pralaya, as indicated in Brahmasutra 4.3.10. Thus, when the SB himself is attaining the highest place at the time of pralaya, it is unreasonable to assume that attainment of SB at BL is equal to salvation.
The last Brahmasutra, Anaavri
(4.4.22) indicates no return to the world to the liberated souls at BL. It does not mean that the liberated souls at BL will say forever there and never return to the world. That is not the intension of the sutra. Since the liberated souls at BL will eventually attain absolute divine at pralaya, the attainment of absolute divine will not make such souls to return the world. This is the intension of the sutra. Does it mean that some souls at BL can come back to the world? Yes. Such souls are called unqualified souls, who when on earth, performed some merits for the sake of attaining heavens or pleasures after death. Depending upon the extent of their merits and desires for the lokas to go, some souls can go to pitri lokas, some to BL etc. Such souls will eventually return to the world. But BL is special in that the qualified souls (who aspire for salvation) also go to the same BL where some unqualified souls also go. The souls are separated as per
their intensions or desires, as described in Kaushitaki Brahman upanishad. The unqualified souls at BL will eventually return to the earth, while the qualified souls will stay at BL, get enlightened, and finally merge in absolute divine at pralaya.
Gita 8/16 is applicable to unqualified souls at BL or any other loka reached through a different route. On the other hand, the qualified souls reach BL through the path of Dev yan, as described in Gita 8/24 or Ch. Up or Br. Up or Prasna Up. etc. The last Brahma Sutra, 4.4.22, is applicable to liberated souls at BL, who are waiting for pralaya, at which time they merge in divine, as mentioned in Prasna Up. 6.5, and thus will never return to the world.
Thus, there is no clash of Gita teachings with Upanishadic teachings. After all, Gita is the essence of Upanishads.
The same questions was asked last year in this group.
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