[Advaita-l] What is 'aprAkRta' ?

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Fri Jul 29 05:53:35 CDT 2011

On Fri, Jul 29, 2011 at 1:49 AM, Rajaram Venkataramani <
rajaramvenk at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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?

This is the traditional position.

> > > 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).

This is the clarification Anandagiri gives to the words of the bhashyam on
BG 8.9:

'एतदप्रमेयं ध्रुवं' इति श्रुतिमाश्रित्याह -- अचिन्त्यरूपमिति। नहि परस्य
किंचिदपि रूपादि वस्तुतोऽस्ति अरूपवदेव हीति न्यायात् कल्पितमपि नास्मदादिभिः
शक्यते चिन्तयितुमित्याह -- नास्येति।

The *Brahmasutra bhashya reference given by Anandagiri is 3.2.14 and 15
which pl. read.  There Badarayana (and Shankara) confirms that Brahman has
no form.  I am happy that some of the shruti passages quoted by me in this
thread are there in the bhashyam.  Though this is the absolute position, the
sutra/bhashya 15 talk about the relative position where brahman's form is
also talked about in the shruti.  These, acc. to the bhashyam are only
upadhi based, for particular purposes.  So, the 'form' of the Lord, as
Iswara, is not available for contemplation/imagination.   *
*Aishwaram rUpam is vishwarUpam. Because, Ishwara is not separate from the
created universe.  That is why in the Mandukya upanishad, the Cosmic Being
is called by three names, jagrat: virAT, swapna: hiranyagarbha and sushupti:
Ishwara.  This sushupti state Iswara cannot have any formal form; it is only
an abode of all the karma-vasanas in bija form, ready for manifesting in the
next creation.  Indeed, such an Ishwara's form is no form at all in the
sense that it cannot be imagined/contemplated upon.  Indeed even for virAT
or hiranyagarbha no specific contoured-form can be given.  The word 'form'
that we might have in mind, a contoured one like a human, is not the one
meant by Shankara in that bhashyam you quoted.  virAT is still a form of
brahman and yet not like the one of a human.        *

> 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.

What you have said above is true.  We can see Krishna as sarvavyApi only
when we see Him as everything in creation.
If we see Him as Yashodhanandan, we restrict Him to a baby or a lad.  He is
confined just to Yashodha's bosom.


> _______________________________________________

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list