[Advaita-l] The purport of the mahAbhArata

prem d p prem_d_p at yahoo.co.in
Wed Dec 26 12:17:23 CST 2007

  dear sri amuthan, sri shrinivas, sri sastri-ji,
  thank you for your responses.
  Atma-Brahmaikya jnana vs. Atma-Iswaraikya jnana brings out the difference in very clear terms. 
  Is Atma-Iswara-Aikya jnana achievable by a jiva? BSB seems to say that the upasaka of saguna brahman reaches saguna brahman and is finally released during cosmic dissolution. But we also know that Iswara himself is in no need for any release. This seems to imply that the Lordship of the World is not achievable. Does it mean that identity with saguna brahman is not achievable?
  Is the logical explanation that since the saguna upasana is essentially rooted in duality, the objective is not identity and thus not achieved? Or while still within duality it is illogical and hence impossible that the part may be identified with the whole? Also while the jiva is on an upward evolution, the Avatara is the descend of Godhead?
  Could anybody clarify please?

Amuthan <aparyap at gmail.com> wrote:
  namo nArAyaNAya!

On 12/20/07, S.N. Sastri 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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