[Advaita-l] RE: self-realization/salvation
Jaldhar H. Vyas
jaldhar at braincells.com
Thu Jul 27 03:27:25 CDT 2006
On Mon, 24 Jul 2006, ramesh badisa wrote:
> Badisa: Since the liberated soul stays at BL (space) and then merges
> later in nirgun Brahman at pralaya (time), it means that as per your
> above reply, this soul has also limited gyan.
When using words like limit you must be clear about the context. In a
system where there are only 1,2,3,4, and 5, the "highest limit" refers to
5. However in a system where there is 1,2,3,4,5 and 6, the term "highest
limit" refers to 6.
In the world of gunas, jnana, the "highest limit" of knowledge refers to
identification with Ishwara. Not so in the world of nirguna but if you
bring that up, you are moving the goalposts.
> Here, my questions for you
> are: 1. quote any reference to show that this soul has limited gyan at BL.
The question is improperly phrased. In so far as the atma considers
itself to be at Brahmaloka, there is nothing limited about its jnana.
2. How do you justify that the state of liberated soul at BL with
> limited gyan is called salvation?
I am not calling anything "salvation" but if you are talking about mukti,
then as I said above, there is nothing limited about jnana in the saguna
context and thus nothing limited about mukti as a result of that jnana.
In the saguna context.
3. If it has limited gyan, then how do
> you explain its merging in nirgun Brahman at the time of pralaya?
What is this pralaya? If I have dirt on my face, I may be considered
"ugly" and if I wash it and groom it I might be considered "beautiful."
But did my ugly face "merge" into my beautiful face? Or did the removal
of the dirt let the true nature of my face appear?
To answer my question, pralaya is when maya stops and the apparent
difference between saguna Brahman and Nirguna Brahman is erased.
> Badisa: This piece of paper makes a lot of difference in ordinary life
> as well as in spiritualism. The person who has this paper will get the
> job, but not the other person. For a minute, if we assume that getting
> job is the final result, then in that case, it is obvious that both
> these persons are not said to have the same final result.
_If_ we assume. My point is we can assume something else entirely.
> Badisa: Here, you are implying that attainment of BL will not bring the
> liberated soul to samsar. This is not correct. This sutra needs to be
> understood very carefully. No return does not imply on account of
> attainment of BL by the liberated soul. Why? Because, attainment of any
> loka up to BL is subject to return to the world, as per Gita 8/16.
AbrahmabhuvanAllokaH punarAvartino'rjuna |
mAmupetya tu kaunteya punarjanma na vidyate || 8|16 ||
All the worlds including the abode of Brahma are subject to return Arjuna.
But only by reaching me Kaunteya does one not know rebirth. (8.16.)
On the face of it, this shloka does pose a bit of a conundrum as it
appears to contradict the brahmasutras. So lets look at the context.
mAm -- me. Who does this refer to? Krshna Bhagavan, but who is Krshna
Bhagavan. The previous shloka (8.15) also mentions mAmupetya and there
Shankaracharya glosses mAm as Ishvara. Ishvara is contrasted with Brahma.
Who is Brahma then? 8.17 explains it is Prajapati whose days
and nights are 1000 yugas long i.e. whose lakshana is time. 8.18 goes on
to say this Brahma is the avyakta of Samkhya/Yoga. So the brahmaloka of
this part of the Gita is not the same as the brahmaloka of the Vedanta
sutras. Remember both Sankhya and Vedanta have their basis in the Vedas
and therefore use similiar sounding terminology at times. So you have to
look at the context to understand how a term is being used. 8.19 goes on
to explain that those who achieve the Samkhyan Brahmaloka can fall from it
because they remain bound by time. However there is a being that is
avyakta and akshara according to 8.20 who is not bound by time. And 8.21
says exectly what the Vedanta sutras say: those who reach the avyakta and
akshara, never return.
> sutra is addressed to the liberated soul at BL, and such souls, having
> experienced the self, will eventually merge in nirgun brahman at
> pralaya. That is the reason, this sutra says no more births for this
> soul. This sutra is not intended to convey the meaning that upon
> attainment of BL, the liberated soul will not come back to samsar.
But you agree the sutra says no more births. Isn't that the very
definition of samsara?
> Self-experience is the key here, and on account of it, this soul will
> never return. Why? Because such souls will eventually merge in nirgun
> Brahman at pralaya, and that is the reason they wont return to samsar.
> This is what this sutra implies. Not the way you are interpreting it. If
> mere attainment of BL will put a full stop to retun to samsar, then in
> that case, there is no requirement for self-experience at BL
Self-experience is the cause of attainment of Brahmaloka.
> is no reason for it to merge in nirgun Brahman at the time of pralaya.
The merge is automatic because in the paramarthic sense, there was never a
difference. So a reason for merging isn't needed.
> For the sake of argument, lets assume that the liberated soul at BL
> failed self-experience before pralaya. Now, Can you speculate what would
> be its fate when creation is done again next time? You are also saying
> that BL is not the same of svarga to return to samsar. This is also
> incorrect. The qualified soul after following devyan path will reach BL,
> where Lord Brahma asks some questions. Those who give the correct
> answers are allowed to stay there, while all other unqualified ones will
> stay temporarily there, enjoy and then return to the samsar. Lord Brahma
> gives the final liberation teaching to the qualified soul, which are now
> staying at BL. For more details, please check Kaoushitaki
> Brahmanoupanishad. The bottom line here is that even attainment of BL is
> subject to return to the samsar. Based on this, you check for yourself
> about the correct intention of the last sutra.
What are the "correct answers"? To me it obvious that all the upanishad
is saying is that those who have avidya have a different destination than
those who have jnana. Why would jnanis need Prajapati to give them "the
final liberation teaching."?
> Badisa: Then in that case, there should not have a sutra to say that the
> liberated souls at BL have no powers of creation etc. Badrayan, being a
> liberated soul, should not have framed this sutra if mukti is
> transcendence of creation etc. But, the fact that he had framed this
> sutra in keeping in mind about the liberated souls at BL implies
> clearly, that the state of liberated souls at BL is not salvation.
Obviously this sutra is a rejoinder to those such as Samkhya and Mimamsa
who had a different conception of mukti.
> Badisa: Since we are talking about liberated soul and the powers at BL,
> as per your above reply, it appears that even in the state of salvation
> (as per you and others perspective), the liberated souls at BL would
> remain the product of producer. Interesting! But, this is incorrect.
Why so? Gunas are not imperishable. What can be ended must have begun
and there must have been a cause to begin it. Only nirguna brahman is
avyakta _and_ akshara.
Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
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