[Advaita-l] sarvamukti, Ishvara in advaita vEdAnta

Annapureddy Siddhartha Reddy annapureddy at gmail.com
Wed Mar 7 13:59:14 CST 2007

praNAm.h All,
        I was having a discussion over email with shrI Sivasenani on
the notion of Ishvara (given his recent mail on sarvamukti), and
wanted to verify with the learned members of the list if the reasoning
below is in accordance with shAstra/sampradAya. Thanks.

What happens to the Lord after the end of an avatAra, for example,
after the "death" of shrI kR^iShNa? I see two possibilities -- staying
in vyavahAra like in vaikuMTha or
sheer disappearance from vyavahAra (like a brahmaGYAni upon "death").

------- With the staying in vyavahAra/vaikuMTha possibility, the
implication is that Ishvara is
anAdinitya (within vyavahAra), in which case Ishvaratva becomes a good
goal for people.
In other words, they could be content with Ishvaratva, and not try for
attaining nirguNa brahma. It could be that the shAstra says that one
cannot attain Ishvara, but could attain nirguNa brahma (though that is
really counter-intuitive).

-------- With the disappearance possibility, there arises the question of how
to interpret the verse where shrI kR^iShNa tells arjuna that He was
present in bygone eras too and that He taught vaivasvana. One could
say that the Lord has this sense of identity with all His previous
appearances (I just wanted to confirm that this is indeed the

In other words, this boils down to:
"It's a property of vyavahAra that a realized person is born (from the
point of view of aGYAnis) every now and then in vyavahAra. This
realized person has no kAraNa sharIra like other jIvas, but the person
appears purely as a miracle within vyavahAra."
The Lord being "born" when adharma increases is itself a property of
vyavahAra. If this is the case, the Lord being born by subjugating
mAyA (vide BGB 4.6) becomes a figurative usage, simply because nirguNa
brahma cannot really subjugate anything (because nirguNa brahma does
not see anything over and against Itself), but the usage is warranted
because nirguNa brahma forms the substrate for everything.

Please let me know which of the possibilities above is correct (And
could you tell me of a source which has this position clearly laid
out, more for me as a pramANa.)


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