[Advaita-l] Ego, Mind and Body of a Jnani

Sriram Sharma prahladadasa at gmail.com
Tue Jul 20 09:29:35 CDT 2010

Respected Vidyasankar-ji,

Namaskarams and thanks for contributing your points. My point is academic,
nothing to do with getting emotional. I am merely presenting pramANas from
bonafide AcAryas in the history of our tradition, and questioning whether
certain points discussed here stand the scrutiny of these pramANas. I would
welcome if you or anyone can academically refute these points and reconcile
the statements of the AcAryas at the same time.

The genesis of the discussion was about whether Isvara could be subject to
mAya/delusion. As per AcArya shankara bhagavatpAda,  the answer is a clear
*no* in his commentaries, Gita 7.25 being one instance of his commentary.
Isvara cannot be considered as a transmigratory being either at vyAvahArika
level (where Isvara and Jiva distinction is accepted) or at the pAramArthika
level. Also, Isvara who possesses superexcellent upAdhis cannot be deluded,
isn't it? My point is that since the AcArya insists on Isvara-anugraha in
his Bhasyams as necessary for attaining jnAna that leads to liberation
(commentaries to Sutra 2.3.41, Gita 2.39 etc.), how can we have any hope if
it be accepted that Isvara could become deluded by Maya?

> And it is Valmiki's Ramayana that reports that Rama considered himself a
man, the
> son of Dasharatha. It is Brahma who tells Rama that he is indeed Narayana.

Yes, but the point is this-- there are only three options to take: either
Rama was:

(i) Ishvara Himself in an avatAra, and hence it cannot be said that He did
not possess some knowledge (Isvara is all-perfect, not wanting in anything,
and omniscient, says Shankaracarya in Gita Bhashya and other Bhashyas)
(ii) a Jiva, which contradicts the testimony of Valmiki (in Bala Kanda
itself, Vishnu takes the avatAra of Rama), Narada, our own paramAcArya in
Vishnu Sahasranama Bhashya, other AcAryas as I pointed out

(iii) a fictitious character in a story which was not true, which again
contradicts the list of pramANa-s and advaitic works that I pointed out in

Obviously, (i) is the position taken by the tradition. There is no other
option, isn't it?

Rama saying that He is "just a human being" (in only one place, as far as I
can recount) does not mean that He was not Isvara/omniscient. In Vishnu
Purana also, Lord Krishna says that after lifting Govardhana Hill, "I am
your kinsman. I am neither god, nor Yaksha, nor Gandharba, nor Dánava; I
have been born your relative, and you must not think differently of me." (VP
Book 5, Chapter 13 <http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/vp/vp130.htm#page_531>).

> As such, every being is always nitya, Suddha,
> buddha and mukta by intrinsic nature, nothing else, whether one is a jnAnI
> an ajnAnI. All attributes to the contrary are falsely imagined by oneself.

Of course, in the pAramArthika sense, yes. But at that level, we cannot
discuss samsAra, plurality of beings, etc. as only nirvishesha cit is
allowed there. In the vyAvahArika level, isn't it Isvara (alone) who
possesses super-excellent upAdhis who can be called
nitya-suddha-buddha-mukta, whereas a transmigrating Jiva is connected with
inferior upAdhis?

In any case, how can adjectives such as "nitya", "suddha", "buddha", and
"mukta" ever apply to nirvishesha brahman that is also nirguNa? In my
understanding, it is only applicable to Saguna-tattva Ishvara.

I may be dead wrong in all of the above, and I am ready to face answers. I
have searched for quite some time to see if "nitya-suddha-buddha-mukta"
adjective has ever been used for a perfect jnani. I am unable to find one in
any of the Bhasyas. May be I am too dumb :-(


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