[Advaita-l] Fwd: What is 'aprAkRta' ?

Rajaram Venkataramani rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Tue Aug 2 06:44:15 CDT 2011

On Tue, Aug 2, 2011 at 10:33 AM, Bhaskar YR <bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com> wrote:

> > RV: Madhusudana says that the Lord's form is NOT CREATED at all. He also
> supports the view that the Lord and His form are non-different.
> And shankara says lord's form (upAdhi) and his omniscience, omnipotence
> etc. holds good only in transactional reality where avidyA holds sway. So,
> as per shankara, empirically speaking para brahman conditioned by name and
> form which have been set up by avidyA becomes Ishwara or Lord, just as
> universal ether limited as it were by jar space, pot space etc.

RV: It is vishishtopadhi as Sankara clarfies in the case of Ishvara, which
reveals rather than cover or erroneously project. It is not that Brahman is
some empty shell but is full of everything. It is not like Ramanuja says a
container of all things but as Sankara says as Brahman Itself. My mother
gives the example of white light which is in a sense a container of all
frequencies of light but is actually none of the particular frequencies. Or
it is like the mind where all memories are present as mind itself until it
thinks of lotus and manifests it. The lotus is mind only but is a name and
form. Or Brahman is like a featureless sleeping snake (nirguna brahman)
which when it dances (saguna brahman or adi karta narayayna) produces ghost
images (pancha bautika loka) through the instrument of maya.

I think the statement : ' Lord and his form or body are non-different'  is
the stand of vishishtAdvaita.
RV: From the basics I know of, vishishtadvaitns say that the lord's body is
an inseparable attribute of the lord but dont explain the if the object
(viz. the lord) is intrinsically formless as it should be if there is an
attribute attached to it and dont say what is the the locus of the attribute
as it cannot be external or internal to the object. Madhwa tries to do that
by talking about an intinsic relationship between the object and
attribute. But cannot explain if the "intrinsic relationship" is located in
the object or the attribute in addition to the original problem of if the
attribute is intrinsic or not to the object. Gaudiyas say that the form and
the lord are one, which is supported in smrti (abhijnatva nama namine). But
they dont explain what is outside the contours of the form but are okay
because they say it is acintya rupam. The best is Sankara, who says that the
form is Maya Rupam Aprakrtam. Now this, in one interpretation places the
form as beyond elements giving us the inspiration for bhagavat bhakti like
in Vaishnava schools and as Maya is anirvachaniya, he also places it beyond
logical enquiry. He also allows for Madhusudana to support the view that it
is non-different from Vishnu as Shakti and Shaktiman are one. Thus
Sankara also supports the view that this para mayika form is avirbhava so
that we dont think of Krishna's form as a created entity when we worship
Him. Basically, we worship Vishnu in the form we choose and merrge in to Him
like so many devotees like Andal and Meera have done. We dont have to cut
the form with a knife as Ramakrishna did!

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