[Advaita-l] The purport of the mahAbhArata

Amuthan aparyap at gmail.com
Thu Dec 20 10:30:48 CST 2007

namo nArAyaNAya!

On 12/20/07, S.N. Sastri <sn.sastri_at_gmail.com> wrote:
> Avatara means incarnation of the Lord. Lord Vishnu is said to have taken
> many incarnations according to Srimad Bhagavatam, of which ten are
> considered to be the most important. Lord Krishna says in the Gita that
> whenever dharma is subjugated by adharma he would incarnate to protect the
> good and destroy the evil-minded and to re-establish dharma. From the
> advaitic point of view all the incarnations such as Krishna and Rama are
> Saguna Brahman, i.e., Brahman associated with Maya.
> [...]
> Thus Avatara is God descending into the world in a human or some other form
> and is Saguna Brahman.

building upon this, it would be useful to reflect on the following
verse from the gItA:

'ajo.api sannavyayAtmA bhUtAnAmISvaro.api san.
 prakRtiM svAmadhishThAya sambhavAmyAtmamAyayA..' (4.6)

besides stating the essential identity of saguNa and nirguNa brahman,
the above verse and the immediately preceding bhagavad vacanam 'tAni
(bahUni janmAni) ahaM veda sarvANi' show a crucial difference between
a bhagavad avatAra and a jIvanmukta - an avatAra has ISvarAtma j~nAna
even during the avatArakAla whereas a jIvanmukta is _not_ a sarvaj~na
or a sarvaSakta in the same sense that ISvara is. to state it in more
technical terms, a jIvanmukta has Atmabrahmaikya j~nAna whereas an
avatAra has AtmeSvaraikya j~nAna.

vAsudevaH sarvaM,

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