[Advaita-l] What is 'aprAkRta' ?

Rajaram Venkataramani rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Thu Jul 28 15:19:42 CDT 2011

On Tue, Jul 26, 2011 at 6:05 PM, V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com>wrote:

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

> RV: Is this the traditional position or your interpretation? I have not
> checked Abhinava Gupta but Madhusudana takes supports two postions. One,
> where the body is made of maya, which is different from the bodies of jivas,
> virata purusha and hiranyagarbha. Two, there is no body made of maya even.
> He strongly condemns any position that says there is a body and indweller
> with respect to the lord. He is it illogical and it is not worth discussing
> with such people.

> > 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?

RV: As maya is transcendent to space and time and indeterminate, the lord's
form which is mayarupam is also indeterminate as well as transcendent to
space and time. In BG 8.9, Sankara says that Saguna Brahman always has a
form though inconceivable. Based on this, I am inclined to say that
according to Sankara the form is not manifest for the sake of devotee alone
but is intrinsic to the Lord though a specific form is manifest in an
avatar.  Visvarupa is not created for Arjuna because his question in BG
11.3, I want to see your divine form (aisvaram rupam te).

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.

RV: We differentiate because of ignorance. Though bhagavatam explicitly says
nara narayano hari:, we think of nara as a jiva and narayana as isvara. When
we see both together, we think Krishna is God and Arjuna is a devotee.
There are statements that Lakshmi and Narayana are one but we see them as
different persons as if there are two bodies with two different souls as in
the case of Jivas. When we see Krishna, Gopis, Arjuna, Yasoda etc. as all
different manifestations of Vasudeva, then we see differently. Also, if we
see that the form is not prakrta but aprakrta (transcendental to space
even), then we see it as sarva vyapi. It is like I look at the sky and
think it is like an umbrella but in reality it is infinite.

I would like to know your thoughts which is perhaps based on a thorough
analysis of the position of the tradition on the form of the lord.

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