[Advaita-l] Bhagavadgita 2:12

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Tue Sep 13 18:41:00 CDT 2005

Re: Rudrashtadhayi of Sukla Yajur Veda

On Tue, 13 Sep 2005, Krunal Makwana wrote:

> I would also like to share that i was reading the 'Bhavagad Gita As It
> Is' by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada and had come across a very very
> disturbing remark he made about Advaita Vedanta (he named it 'Mayavadi')

Btw the reason people like him prefer the term is to cover up the
inconvenient fact that Chaitanyites themselves are the dissident offshoot
of Advaitins not any mainstream Vaishnava sampradaya.

> in his purport on verse 12 of chapter 2. If you have a copy please read
> it, if not i have left a excerpt of what he wrote below on the verse,
> please note this is the purport he had written on verse 12 chapter 2.
> Verse: Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all
> these kings; nor in the future shall any of us cease to be.

Arjuna is worried that he is going to cause the deaths of thousands,
including his own friends, family and beloved elders.  Krisna Bhagavan
assures him that this death will be of the form only.

> Purport:
> The Mayavadi theory that after liberation the individual soul, separated
> by the covering of maya or illusion, will merge into the impersonal
> Brahman and lose its individual existence is not supported herein by Lord
> Krsna, the supreme authority.

Thats not an accurate statement of the Advaita view.  Any "merging" is
also strictly from the vyavaharic view.  What the jnani knows upon
enlightenment was _there_never_was_ any individual existence.

> Nor is the theory that we only think of
> individuality in the conditioned state supported herein. Krsna clearly
> says herein that in the future also the individuality of the Lord and
> others, as it is confirmed in the Upanisads, will continue eternally.

So there will be

> This statement of Krsna is authoritative because Krsna cannot be subject
> to illusion.

Yes but what is that Krishna who is not subject to illusion?  A
particular four-armed blue man in the sky only?  Then if shastras refer to
Yagneshwar or Nrsimha or Vasudeva are these different people?  And when a
hunter shot Krishna Bhagavan ending His life was that real?  It might be
pointed out "not subject to illusion" doesn't mean Krishna Bhagavan cannot
cause illusions Himself.  Ok lets grant that.  It doesn't alter the fact
that many of the "instances" of Krishna Bhagavan that we come across are
illusionary.  16,000 Gopis all danced with Krishna Bhagavan think they
alone were dancing with him.  Illusion once again.

> If individuality is not a fact, then Krsna would not have
> stressed it so much--even for the future.

Ignorance is a fact in samsara.  Individuality has to stressed for that
reason alone.

> The Mayavadi may argue that the
> individuality spoken of by Krsna is not spiritual, but material. Even
> accepting the argument that the individuality is material, then how can
> one distinguish Krsna's individuality?

How can we distinguish between  Swami Prabhupada and this laptop?  By
means of the different characteristics same as for any other objects.
Ishwara possesses the characteristic of Aishwarya.  Thats what makes Him

> Krsna affirms His individuality in
> the past and confirms His individuality in the future also. He has
> confirmed His individuality in many ways, and impersonal Brahman has been
> declared to be subordinate to Him.

There is no seperate being called impersonal Brahman who can be
subordinate or superior to anyone else.  And Didn't Swami Prabhupada say
earlier that all souls are seperate and eternally individual.  If so there
must be some distinguishing characteristics to seperate them all.
Therefore a being who is nirguna cannot even exist in His philosophy.  So
whence the question of subordination.  The only reason he is forced
to deal with this issue at all is because the nirguna nature of Brahman is
repeatedly mentioned in the shastras.

> Krsna has maintained spiritual
> individuality all along; if He is accepted as an ordinary conditioned
> soul in individual consciousness, then His Bhagavad-gita has no value as
> authoritative scripture.

This in fact is a Nyaya argument not a Vedaantic one.  That scriptural
authority is based on it having a perfect author.  We on the other hand
say the Gita is authoritative because it is the essence of the Vedas which
have _no_ author thus are uncontaminated by personal bias.

> When one accepts Krsna as an ordinary man, the Gita loses all importance.

An unwarranted leap of logic.  That the mechanism of Krishna Bhagavans
appearence is the same as ours does not imply both should be treated the
same anymore than that we are as illusionary as a snail means humans
should be treated like snails.

> The Mayavadi argues that the plurality mentioned in this verse is
> conventional and that it refers to the body. But previous to this verse
> such a bodily conception is already condemned.

So it is not just the atma but the body which is also eternal and
individual?  That means Arjuna is actually killing his own brothers,
teachers, and friends.  And God is not only allowing but encouraging this?
A God who creates poor creatures only to torture and destroy them is a
sadist who does not deserve any respect from us.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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