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

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Thu Apr 21 13:10:45 CDT 2011

On Thu, Apr 21, 2011 at 10:18 AM, Venkatesh Murthy <vmurthy36 at gmail.com>wrote:

> Namaste
> I have given some Visishtadvaita Sruti references before.  Repeating them
> again.
> Now they can give the Sruti references. Yasya Tamassariram-
> Bruhadaranyaka 3-7-13- the Matter is body of God, Yasya Aksharam
> Sariram- Subalopanishad 7-1, Yadambu Vaishnava Kayaha- Vishnu
> Purana-the Water is Vishnu's body , Tat sarvam Vai Harestanuhu- Vishnu
> Purana All that is Vishnu's Body, Yasya Prthivi Sariram-
> Bruhadaranyaka 3-7-3, The Earth is God's body.
> How to explain them with Advaita?


We have the more familiar PuruSha sUktam: मुखं किमस्य कौ बाहू, कावूरू
पादावुच्येते ...ब्राह्मणोऽस्य मुखमासीत्...etc. where the whole universe can
be seen as Brahman's body.  We also have the ViShNusahasranAma dhyAna shloka
भूः पादौ यस्य...describing the entire universe as the Lord's various parts
of the body.  Advaita looks at these expressions as only Brahman's
manifestation as the whole universe.  Such descriptions are meant to
inculcate 1.Brahman's immanence (all pervading nature) 2.Brahman's
transcendence (त्रिपादस्यां दिवि) 3. Brahman's आनन्त्य .  4. These are
stated in the scripture to enable the aspirant to develop vishvarUpa Ishwara
bhakti and relate to Ishwara through all His manifestations with due

However one has to be aware that all this is only a manifestation of
Brahman's aparA prakRti, lower nature, which is anAtma.  The Consciousness
principle, the Atman, the parA prakRti, alone is the transcendental Truth.
Thus Advaita takes all such utterances as only necessary steps to be
appropriately used and transcended.

> One more objection will be there if you say Maya is Jagadupadana the
> material cause for the world.
> Is the Maya same as Brahman or is it different? If it is the same you
> will agree with Visishtadvaitis to say Brahman is Jagadupadana. If it
> is different you will be doing worse. You are accepting there will be
> two things Brahman and Maya and this is harmful to principle of
> Advaita.

This objection has been answered several times. Maya is neither the same as
Brahman nor is it different from Brahman (भिन्नाप्यभिन्नाप्युभयात्मिका नो of
the VivekachUDAmaNi).  Brahman is jagadupAdAna only as the vivarta upAdAna
kAraNa.  Surely the other schools will not hold it this way and that way we
are not siding with any other school.

By accepting mAyA as the pariNAmyupAdaana of jagat, Advaita is not rendering
itself to any objection.  Only those who do not understand Advaita make such
objections.  In Advaita, MAyA/prakRti enjoys only a lower order of reality.
This cannot be counted as a second along with Brahman which is of the higher
order of reality.  The paratantra satya is not a second to the Swatantra
Satya.  That is why the categorisation is made at the satya level itself.
By the asatya paratantra satya (mAyA and its kAryam) there will be no hAni
to  the Advaita Brahman which is satyasya satya Swatantra Satya.   Only a
real second tattva can be thought of bringing hAni to Advaita Brahman. My
brother in my waking reality can make us two brothers.  If I had a brother
in a dream, I cannot count him along with me and say in the waking that we
are two brothers.  Since prakRti is not accorded a status of absolute
reality in Advaita, there is not the slightest possibility of advaita hAni.

This alone was conveyed by me through the analogy of the dream earnings and
waking earnings.  I think this concept is simple enough. There is no use in
bringing it up again and again. If the opposing schools are not going to
take it, it is  not the problem of Advaita.  Advaita does not have any
compelling need to convince them.



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