[Advaita-l] What is 'aprAkRta' ?

Rajaram Venkataramani rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Tue Aug 2 04:18:50 CDT 2011

On Tue, Aug 2, 2011 at 7:37 AM, V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com>wrote:

> All this explanation by Madhusudana boils down to:
>   1. //My body by virtue of being predominantly made up of the quality of
>   pure
>   sattva. //  This only means that it is still within the gamut of
>   Prakruti.  Sattva is a mode of prakriti and shuddha sattva is only a
> refined
>   sattva that does not bind.  I have already given explanation for this.
>  For
>   example, the gita says that sattva binds through jnana-sanga and
>   sukha-sanga.  This is for the jiva.  But Ishwara uses the very same
> sattva
>   during his avatar/cosmic management without getting bound.  His jnanam is
>   sarvajnatvam, not caused by the operation of senses.  However, during an
>   avatara, He too, might require the sense organs to do the appropriate
> acts.

RV: The best I can do is to request you to be kind enough to re-read
Madhusudana's commentary. Madhusudana clearly says that His body is NOT made
of pancha bhutas as concluded by you. He repeatedly and logically asserts
that It is NOTHING LIKE OURS. It is NOT CREATED at all even. He also
supports a second explanation that the Lord and His body are
 2. Actually what has been said for Ishwara about 'not really having a  body
but only appearing to be' applies to the jiva too.  The
  upanishadic/vedantic position is that the jiva too is in truth
consciousness  alone and no body can be there for it.  While a body is
assumed by it out of ajnana, Ishwara assumes a body out of full jnana.
RV: Again, please re-read Madhusudana's commentary. He clearly distinguishes
between the jiva's body all the way up to Virata and Hiranyagarbha.
  3. We have the Bhagavatam say that Devaki was so conspicuously
resplendent while 'carrying' Krishna that Kamsa had some disturbed
feelings.    This shows that there was the fetus growing just as any other
jiva would be   prior to be delivered.
RV: Please read  Bhagavatam. Vishnu appeared in four handed form and then as
a two handed baby before entering her womb to give Devaki the pleasure of
carrying Him as a baby. The prison cell was resplendent due to the radiance
from Krishna's body.
  4. Whatever explanation one gives for the 'body' of Ishwara/avatara, it
cannot be outside the purview of prakRiti.  As Madhusudana explains
prakriti  can make the impossible possible; this is true in the case of
Ishwara as  well as the jiva.
RV: Madhusudana also supports the position that Ishwara and His body are
non-different! Of course, it is more important to understand what is maya
rupam. We cannot knowingly misunderstand Ishwara and Maya when acharyas such
as Sankara, Anandagiri, Sridhara  and Madhusudana have explained it with so
much effort.

Having said that I think we should not be dwelling too long on this topic
for it does  not deserve it.  Things within maya/prakriti do evoke a variety
of explanations and all can be defective one way or the other.  That is the
reason why Dhanapati suri, the author of the Bhashyotkarsha deepikaa often
picks up Madhusudana for criticism.  Nilakantha too comes in for criticism.
RV: I dont know if Dhanapati Suri, who came much later, disagrees with
Madhusudana on this point. If he does, he has to give reasons. We cannot
take a position against Madhusudana in the hope that someone will disagree
with him. I dont think this is a trivial point because Bhagavat Bhakti is
critical pre-condition (18.67) to qualifiy for atma jnana. If one thinks
that Bhagavat Rupam is like ours in any way, then he cannot have bhakti.  It
is for this reason that Madhusudana dwells so much on this.


> On Tue, Aug 2, 2011 at 2:28 AM, Rajaram Venkataramani <
> rajaramvenk at gmail.com
> > wrote:
> > On Fri, Jul 29, 2011 at 11:53 AM, V Subrahmanian
> > <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com>wrote:
> >  RV: If there is a real material body, then why does Sankara say dehavan
> > iva?
> > Sri V Subrahmanian: There is the body but the ignorance-based
> > identification
> > with it is absent in the case of Bhagavan and a  Jivanmukta.  Yet those
> who
> > see and interact with that 'person' Krishna during His life did that
> taking
> > for granted that 'this is a person, with a body.... just as we are'.
> >  Shankara puts the true state of affairs by that remark 'dehavAn iva'.
> >
> > RV: Is this the traditional position or your interpretation?
> >
> > Sri V Subrahmanian: This is the traditional position.
> > RV: I need direct textual evidence from early acharyas that the
> traditional
> > advaita position is that the Lord's body is made of material elements.
> > Sridharacharya, if I remember right, does not think that the Lord's body
> is
> > made of five elements. Madhusudana categorically rejects that notion that
> > His body is made of material elements - gross or subtle, limited or
> cosmic
> > or even an acceptance of fresh body. He clearly says Krishna's body is
> > nothing like ours or others. He also says that his view is the view of
> > Sankara and Anandagiri.
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