[Advaita-l] What is 'aprAkRta' ?

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Tue Jul 26 12:05:00 CDT 2011

On Tue, Jul 26, 2011 at 9:48 PM, Rajaram Venkataramani <
rajaramvenk at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Tue, Jul 26, 2011 at 12:25 PM, V Subrahmanian
> <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com>wrote:
> RV: RV: If there is a real material body, then why does Sankara say dehavan
> iva?

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'.

> Maya is the cause of time and space. Hence it is transcendental to
> spacio-temporal limitation. A form that is maya rupam aprakrtam can be
> transcendent to space and time though beyond the conception of our little
> mind. Is it not?

How? When I see or picture while reading a purANic description of Lord
ViShNu reclining on the sheShatalpa, I point out to the reclining male human
figure on the serpent-bed as 'this is the Lord', and say 'this is the
seShatalpa' and go on to point to each member there as 'this is Mother
Lakshmi', this is the vast ksheera sAgara.  Why do i not say or think 'it is
just Vishnu and nothing else'?  It is because when a form is attributed to
Ishwara/Bhagavan, His becoming 'nirdeshya' is inevitable despite the
Vishnusahasranama saying He is 'anirdeshyavapuH'.  Our very differentiating
Vishnu from the various members surrounding Him is proof of the fact that
attributing a form in the absolute sense and sarva-vyApakatva do not go
together.   However, if it is agreed that the form is only in the relative
sense, then there is no problem in seeing the limited form and yet 'knowing'
that ViShNu is indeed 'vyApanashIlaH' as Shankara has explained in the Katha
bhashya for the mantra  'tad viShNoH paramam padam'

//तद्विष्णोः *व्यापनशीलस्य* ब्रह्मणः परमात्मनो वासुदेवाख्यस्य परमं प्रकृष्टं
पदं स्थानं सतत्त्वमित्येतद्यदसौ आप्नोति विद्वान् -  (That man of knowledge
reaches the end of the road, i.e. the very supreme goal to be reached beyond
samsAra.  He becomes free from all the worldly bondages.  That is the
highest place, i.e. the very nature, of *ViShNu,* of *the all-pervading
Brahman*, of the Supreme Self, who is called Vasudeva.)//

Note that the Upanishad uses the adjective 'paramam' for the word padam.  So
that itself shows that this 'state' of VishNu is the absolute state as
opposed to His human body-form.  Shankara's bhashyam is in strict accordance
to the wordings there.

> Otherwise we will be imagining a multi-headed hydra or a centipede or
> millipede-kind of creature of ViShNu.
> RV: All hands and forms may be His but the Visvarupa is special because
> Krishna gave Arjuna divine eyes to see them. It is not something deduced
> through logic that it is a sum of all forms or imagined.

Yes.  The purpose of those Divine Eyes is unique.  It enabled Arjuna to
'see' the Lord as everything in creation, the past, present and the future,
even while he was seeing Krishna in the battlefield in front of him.  Arjuna
saw himself too in that vision.  When we are asked to have 'vishvarUpa
Ishwara bhakti' we take a lesson from that vision Arjuna had and get to see
it in our lives as well.  Although the Gita description is illustrative, it
does not and need not happen the same way to everyone.  It is enough if we
gain the understanding that every event, small or big, past, present and
future, is 'placed' 'in' the Lord, the paratattva.  In other words, Brahman
is the adhishThAnam for every thing, event, person, being in the creation.
The soumya and ugra are both equally the manifestation of Brahman.

> Here we get the hint that it is only 'controlled prakRti' that is called
> 'aprAkRtam'.  In other words, when prakRiti is handled in such a way that
> it
> does not bind a person, it is aprAkRtam.  It is the shuddha
> sattva/rajas/tamas guNas that are involved as against the malina sattva,
> etc. that characterize the jiva's samsara/samsaritva.
> RV: Even our body is controlled by Ishvara and does not control Him. So,
> what is the difference between our prakrta rupam and His aprakrta rupam?
> There is visuddha sattvam. What is visuddha rajas and tamas? I have never
> heard of it but if there is veda pramana to say that I would like to know.

Our body/life is controlled by Ishwara and maya  but not by us.  Whereas,
Ishwara's body and avatara-life are controlled by Him and not by maya.
Creation, sustenance and destruction of the universe is the effect of
shuddha rajas, sattvam and tamas.  While these very three guNas in their
ashuddha/malina forms bind a jiva, these very guNa-s, being inevitable even
for Ishwara/Brahman to engage in any activity, do not bind Him, being
shuddha in their manifestations.  For example, all of us do need tamoguNa
for getting the necessary daily sleep. But the evil of delusion,
procrastination, etc. also are effects of tamas.  Ishwra, as avatAra too
slept and woke up every day.  He taught and blessed humanity using the
shuddha sattva.  He fought and slayed the wicked with the shuddha rajas.  We
become victims of malina sattva, etc. while Ishwara uses these very guNas,
inevitable as they are, in their shuddha form.  There are purAnic statements
to the effect of sattva, etc. matched with creation, sustenance, etc. of the
universe.  In fact, Brahman itself is shown as BrahmA endowed with rajas,
VishNu endowed with sattva and Shiva with tamas.



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