[Advaita-l] Question on Mayavada

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Wed Nov 3 08:44:45 CDT 2010

> Vidyasankar, Madhusudana Saraswati is talking about devotion to Hari
> and being attracted to the superexcellent qualities Vishnu in the case
> of a jivan mukta not just for an aspirant. The reading is crystal
> clear in his introduction to gudartha dipika. If you think that my
> understanding is not correct or that his position deviates from adi
> sankara's, could you please provide reference?

Your understanding is not correct because of the practical distinction between
jIvanmukti and videhamukti. In jIvanmukti, there is a physical body with a mind,
so it is possible to talk of it getting attracted to the atiSaya guNa-s of SrIhari.
Even in the case of a jIvanmukta, in the state where the mind is absent (manaso
hy amanI bhAve, as SrI gauDapAda puts it), this notion of attraction does not
arise. In videhamukti, the physical body is dead, there is no more manas or
prANa-s to re-embody the erstwhile jnAnI, so the question of attraction does
not arise again.
One could always pile one misunderstanding on top of another and then project
all one's own confusion on that which one misunderstands. The other approach
would be find out how and what is being misunderstood and update one's own
understanding of the issues.
> As far as I know, there is no difference between jivan mukti and
> videha. Hence, I'd think bhakti is never sublated but would like to
> know what the traditional position is (with rf.)
> In atma darshana, do you know I'm Vishnu? Does nirguna brahman know
> saguna brahman and effects of maya?

That is a question that only one who knows and is nirguNa brahman can
> Service (action) is one expression of devotion, which is inaction. One
> may always love his wife but not always court her. So even logically,
> one cannot equate karma and bhakti. Madhusudana differentiates these
> two and don't know why you equate.

You misunderstand; I don't equate bhakti and karmA in general. As I mentioned
in my earlier post, I am talking of all *activity*, whether devotional or ritual. You
sought to distinguish karmA derived from bhakti from karmA derived from vaidika
injunction. You further suggested that the renunciation of the saMnyAsi cannot
apply to the first kind of karmA but only to the second. I am insisting that this
distinction of one kind of karmA from another is a false dichotomy and that the
advaita vedAntic perspective on renunciation applies to ALL karmA. I am not an
expert on the writings of SrI madhusUdana sarasvatI, but I would assume that
he was much more acutely aware of this sort of false dichotomy than I am. I
would suggest that you try and revisit your understanding of what the gUDArtha-
dIpikA says. Perhaps reading the text with the guidance of an expert scholar on
that text would help, rather than viewing it through the prism of the writings of
one of the gosvAmI-s of Gaudiya Vaishnavism. There are other members on this
very list who could help if you approach without an attitude that is antagonistic
to the fundamentals of advaita vedAnta.

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