[Advaita-l] Bhagavad Geeta 4.7, 4.8
Annapureddy Siddhartha Reddy
annapureddy at gmail.com
Fri Apr 28 06:20:41 CDT 2006
Shree Jaldharji, Viswanathanji, Senaniji, Sadanandaji,
Thanks a lot for your comments on verses 4.7, 4.8 of the Bhagavad
Geeta. I still have a few
questions on the explanations given. Maybe, I will summarize my
understanding of Advaita to provide the context, and you can rectify it
where appropriate (in accordance with traditional Advaita).
Here's a summary of my understanding:
1) Brahman is everything.
2) The nature of Brahman can only be described as "Neti-Neti".
What then of the human existence?
3) Mind is a "part" of Brahman, in the sense of a shape forming in a fabric.
4) Mind suffers because it attaches itself to the body etc.
5) Mind is the organ which can realize Brahman. And this experience is
>From these principles, Saguna Brahman is what the human mind perceives of
Brahman (as distinct from itself). Also, by "Neti-Neti" we cannot really
characterize Brahman as being compassionate, caring for the human world
etc., because that would be limiting Brahman, attributing a definite nature
to Brahman. So, the explanation is that Brahman is what It is, and that
manifests to the mind as this world of duality. Thus, Sri Krishna being
Brahman Itself becomes a thorny issue, because of the following reasons:
-- Why should Brahman be interested in the human world? After all, It does
what It does, and it's only the human mind that perceives the suffering that
is samsara. Why ought Brahman deem it necessary to provide solace to an
-- And it also attaches the dosha of partiality (paroxa) to Brahman. If
Brahman does indeed care for the human world, why does It not make everyone
With this context, I have a few questions:
-- Jaldharji, first off, thanks for pointing out the source for the
Yajnavalkya's story. You said
"But it is the nature of Brahmans power of maya to conceal and disguise the
natural shape and the rhythm of the universe. Brahmans avataras keep that
maya in check." As discussed above, from my understanding, the rhythm of the
universe is hidden from the mind, because of its Avidya rather than an
active Maya nature of Brahman. Also, I feel this opens up a whole pandora's
box of questions -- Why does Brahman indulge in Maya? What is the nature of
-- Siva Senaniji, I guess you saw what I am getting at. I have this one
question which I mentioned above -- In verse 4.6, why would Brahman have the
desire to take birth, why this interest in this human world?
-- Siva Senaniji said "Seen in context, as long as we struggle with
questions like why the Creator 'creates' bad and then manifests himself to
cure his creation of that, we operate within the influence of avidyA." I
totally agree with you. The only thing that bothers me though is that in
that case, the Sankara Bhasya would not be in line with the intentions of
the Bhagavad Geeta. And I wonder how Advaita could have defended this
position against the other schools over the ages.
-- Sadanandaji, thanks for sharing the relevant portions of your book. All
the best with the publication. Hope the book will come out soon.
A while ago, I had a few questions on your Mandukya series. Here's the link:
If you have the time, could you clarify those too. Thanks.
On the Bhagavad Geeta topic, I think the same questions
-- Why would Brahman even be interested in a unreal world?
-- Why could Brahman not have liberated everyone?
etc. arise even with your explanation. Apart from that, I am curious about a
few of your observations:
-- "with or without the total knowledge (Shree Krishna avataar in contrast
to Shree Rama avataar)"
How is Shri Rama without total knowledge? Did you mean His persistent
refusal to accept His status as none other than as the son of Dasaratha?
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