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

Sriram Sharma prahladadasa at gmail.com
Wed Jul 21 01:14:34 CDT 2010

Respected Shri Subrahmanian,

> The 'care' for one's 'devi' has been brought out by Shankaracharya in the
> AdhyAsa Bhashyam:
> Shankaracharya calls this natural to an ajnani, not being taught by anyone
> to have such notions.

Those notions of attachment apply to the Jiva who is bound by Maya in
samsAra and whose aim is to break free from this bound. With regard to the
Isvara, His association with His Divine consort is totally aprAkrita and not
related to rajas/tamas. This has been brought out by Acharya in Vishnu
Sahasranama Bhashyam (for names like Madhavah, Shrinivasah, etc.) Other
names are interpreted by Shankaracharya as referring to the Lord's total
control of His mind, senses, etc.  If Isvara cares a lot about a Jiva (Gita
Bhashya 10.11; aside-- the simile to lighting a lamp there is beautiful),
does it mean that Isvara has the symptoms of an agyAni?

My point is that all of these positions about aprAkRta (not born of karma)
excellence of Ishvara fit very well into the framework of Advaita, despite
only at vyAvahArika level. It has also been propagated by none other than
Adi Shankara himself in Gita, Vishnu Sahasranama Bhashya, etc. Even in Sutra
4.1.3, the Acharya confirms this.

Of course, one has the freedom to choose interpretations and break free in
some aspects from the set precedent. My objective was just to present a
different point of view given by bonafide scholars well within the
tradition. (By bonafide scholars, I mean commentators have stuck to the
fundamental Atma-Ekatva of Advaita Vedanta, and who agree with views set by
other such Acaryas in the past, and not someone who sticks to
Vishistadvaita/Dvaita/ISKCON and tries to interpret Sankara in that manner.
I hope this point is clarified as an objection was raised).

> If Shuka Muni had seen Rama as only Para Brahman, he would not have
> described Him in the above terms.
By this logic, why would Sankaracarya call Lord Vasudeva as Para Brahmam and
Paramatma explicitly (vAsudevAkhya parabrahma)  in Gita Bhasya (intro and
couple of places), if you take Rasa Lila as mere "amorous play"? In any
case, elsewhere Shuka says Rama is Paramatma/Brahman.

> Swami Vidyaranya quotes profusely from the LYV in the JMV. The whole work
> is sadhana oriented. He sees the dialogue between VasiShTha and Rama as
> something like the Sandipani instruction. He does not view Rama as
> Ishwara. He sees Rama in the context of the LYV dialogue as a sadhaka and
> the dialogue itself to be a great text for vedanta sadhana.
Since I have not seen/read the book, I can not pass any judgement on the
above. I will just stop with saying that it might be possible for Acharyas
to differ and it is a choice for us to see which side to take. If Ramatirtha
did not view Rama as Supreme Lord, he wouldn't have praised Him in his
invocatory verses (Upadesa Sahasri commentary) that He is the cause for
origin, sustenance, and dissolution of the universe.

As to the two links that you had provided, it seems to be folklore versions
of authentic bhAgavata/mahAbhArata. The bhAgavata (11.31) and its
commentator Sridhara make it extremely clear that the Lord's disappearance
was not "death" or "killing". Madhusudana Sarasvati's views in 4.5-4.7 of
Gudhartha also confirm the same.

> And in a
> particular span of an avatara, it is the karma of those jivas that happen
> be present during that avatara, where the life of that avatara is also a
> part of that creation.
Is there pramANa for this? Which Upanishad/Smriti/Itihasa/Purana says so? Do
you have a clear citation with verse number etc.?

Pardon me

Hari Smaranam,


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