[Advaita-l] Brahman alone appears as jiva-jagat-Ishwara - some more references

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Tue Apr 19 05:43:41 CDT 2011

On Tue, Apr 19, 2011 at 9:03 AM, Venkatesh Murthy <vmurthy36 at gmail.com>wrote:

> Namaste
> But Dvaitis say if God is material cause of Jagat and Jagat is his
> body like Visishtadvaitis say it is a big problem. The Jagat has many
> defects. There are bad things and suffering in Jagat. How can God's
> body have all the defects of Jagat?


The Lord has said in the Gita:

ये चैव सात्त्विका भावा राजसास्तामसाश्च ये ।
मत्त एवेति तान्विद्धि न त्वहं तेषु ते मयि ॥ 7.12

The Commentary:

//7.12 Ye bhavah, those things; sattvikah eva, that indeed are made of (the
quality of) sattva; and ye rajasah, those that are made (of the quality) of
rajas; and tamasah, those that are made of (the quality of) tamas-whatever
things are made (of sattva, rajas and tamas) according to the creatures' own
actions: viddhi, know; tan, them, all without exception; mattah eva iti, to
have sprung from Me alone when they come into being. Although they originate
from Me, still, tu, however; aham, I; am na tesu, not in them-I am not
subject to them, not under their control, as are the transmigrating beings.
Te, they, again; mayi, are in Me, subject to Me, under My control. For
sattva, rajas, and tamas see note under 2.45 as also Chapters 14, 17 and

Also in the bhAgavatam, uddhavagItaa, the Lord has said:

किं भद्रं किमभद्रं वा, द्वैतस्यावस्तुनः कियत् ।

वाचोदितं तदनृतं, मनसा ध्यातमेव च ॥४॥

23.4:  In duality, which is unreal, what is good or what is bad, and to what
extent? Whatever is uttered by the tongue and conceived by the mind is

'Tongue' suggests the other organs also.

From the above utterances of the same Lord, in the Bhagavadgita and in the
Uddhavagita, it is clear that the Lord is the Cause of the entire sriShTi
consisting of sattva, rajas and tamas.  They all rest in Him alone and yet
do not taint Him/Brahman (मत्स्थानि सर्वभूतानि, न च मत्स्थानि भूतानि Bh.Gi
9. 4,5).  Further, the greatest viveka, as the Lord teaches, is to know that
there is no such thing called good/bad division.  It is kalpita: वाचारम्भणं
विकारो नामधेयं मृत्तिकेत्येव सत्यम् as per the Chandogya Upanishad.  All
things/events/people are only mithyA.  Everything the sense organs cognize
is unreal as per the Lord's teaching.

It is pertinent to note that this above utterance of the Lord is Veda
VyAsa's approval of Shankara's commentary of the Chandogya shruti I have
quoted above.  The word 'anRutam' in the verse is especially to be noted.
And the words 'dvaitasya avastunaH' in the same verse teach that according
to Veda vyAsa the perceived duality, proven by the pratyakSha pramaaNa, is
avastu: it does not exist at all.  The long and short of the above is this:

Brahman, the observer Consciousness, is the ground/adhishthAnam of all
dvaita-kalpana.  The dRshya dvaitam is therefore a superimposition.  Good
and bad both form part of this kalpita dvaitam alone.

This assertion of the Lord in the Bhagavad/UddhavagItA is not without
Upanishadic base:

The Kathopanishad has this famous 'definition' of Brahman:

अन्यत्र धर्मात् अन्यत्र अधर्मात्....

The dualities like dharma-adharma, cause-effect (kRuta-akRta)...belong only
to the vyAvahArika plane and Brahman transcends these.

Thus, even though everything in creation which is liable to be labeled good
or bad or neutral (udAsIna) can exist ONLY IN Brahman (they having no locus
of their own) yet they can't taint Brahman.  And apart from Brahman there is
no existence of anything else.  This we have repeatedly seen in the
UddhavagIta verses too.  All else is only 'anRtam'.  To conclude we can
recall what Shankara comments for the Chandogya mantra cited earlier:

वाचारम्भणं वागारंभणं बागालम्बनमात्रमित्येतत् । कोऽसौ विकारः नामधेयं नामैव
....केवलं, न विकारो नाम वस्त्वस्ति परमार्थतः, मृत्तिकेत्येव  तु मृत्तिकैव
सत्यं वस्त्वस्ति ।

And in the sUtra bhaShya (तदनन्यत्वं आरम्भणशब्दादिभ्यः) Shankara

...न तु वस्तुवृत्तेन विकारो नाम कश्चिदस्ति । नामधेयमात्रं हि एतत्
अनृतं  मृत्तिकेत्येव
सत्यमिति ।

One can appreciate the word 'anRtam' contained in Shankara's commentary is
present in the UddhavagItA verse also.  And the word 'vastuvRttena naasti'
of Shankara corresponds to the द्वैतस्यावस्तुनः of the above vere.

One can easily see how the Lord's words in the above Uddhavagita verse
corroborate Shankara's commentary:

द्वैतस्यावस्तुनः  .... वाचोदितं तदनृतं.

What we 'think' are objects of the world, so clearly proven by pratyakSha
pramANa, which the dvaitins swear by, and even advaitins admit in the
vyAvahaarika, is rendered just a 'thinking' मनसा ध्यातमेव च by the Lord.
This 'eva cha' is again the Lord's/Veda VyAsa/s approval of the word
'mAtram' of the Shankara commentary.  This word 'mAtram' has been seriously
objected by the Madhva school.

We shall carefully note that the Lord does not say that these are 'asat'
like a hare's horn.  They are manasA dhyAtam which is impossible with
reference to a hare's horn or a vandhyAputra.  What age, height and weight
and complexion can one 'think' of with respect to a vandhyAputra and set
that as a standard?  So the Lord is definitely talking of a kalpita vastu
that qualifies for the sad-asad vilakShaNa which also we have seen the
UddhavagIta proving,  in earlier posts.

> Visishtadvaitis will say God is
> changed into Jagat. But Dvaitis say according to Sruti God is
> Nirvikara changeless.  How can he change into Jagat? This is against
> Sruti.

Advaitins have no problem here.  As pointed out recently by Shri Anand Hudli
ji, we hold that Brahman is only the vivartopAdAna kAraNam wherein there is
no 'danger' of Brahman subjecting Itself to any vikAra.  The crux of
vivartavAda is that the adhiShThAnam remains nirvikAri and yet there is a
superimposition of something else there. So in Advaita Brahman does not
'change' into jagat; Brahman is only 'seen' as jagat.  PariNAma, vikAra, is
admitted only for mAyA, prakRti, the lower nature of Brahman, which is
however, superimposed.


> You have to accept Prakruti is material cause of Jagat but God
> is efficient cause Nimitta Karana only.  Prakruti is different from
> God because the Svetashwatara Sruti has Mayam to Prakrutim Vidyan
> Mayinam Tu Maheshwaram.  God and Prakruti are different.
> But Advaitis can escape from such defective arguments because they say
> Maya  is the material cause. In the end Jagat is Mithya only.
> It is false like Maya. The defects of Jagat are false. Brahman cannot
> have the defects.
> --
> Regards
> -Venkatesh

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