[Advaita-l] Iswara swaruupam - 3

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Tue Apr 3 13:54:55 CDT 2012

On Tue, Apr 3, 2012 at 5:25 PM, Rajaram Venkataramani <rajaramvenk at gmail.com
> wrote:

> jagatkarta is the tatastha lakshana of Isvara. The mirage is false, not
> the desert. It is your derivation but want us to accept it as Sankara's
> view.

In traditional Advaita, jagatkartRtvam is the taTastha lakshaNa of Brahman
and its svarUpa lakshanam is 'satyam jnAnam anantam'.  In fact only because
of this tatastha lakshanam Brahman becomes or comes to be referred to as
Ishwara. Thus, in the example you have given: the mirage is Ishwara and the
desert is nirguNa Brahman.  Pl. show me Shankara's view, with exact
references, that supports your understanding.

>> It is one thing to say that my limited conception of Rama is transcend
> ended on unity through Him and another to say that Rama is an illusion.

This is again a-sampradaayic.  When something is transcended (in Advaita)
it is ONLY because it is an illusion.  In the Mandukya upanishad the
Ishwara taught in the six mantra is negated when the Turiya is taught in
the seventh mantra is described.  Shankara, while commenting on the seventh
mantra invokes the rope-snake analogy *twice* explaining that the three
states and the entities involved are unreal.  The word that negates Ishwara
(sarvajna) in the mantra is: na prajnam.  This is commented by Shankara as:
the negation of 'knowership of everything simultaneously':
युगपत्सर्वविषयप्रज्ञातृत्वप्रतिषेधः. Thus, according to Shankara, the
transcending of all the three states along with the experiences and the
entities is nothing but realizing their non-existence.

You may read this portion on pages 204 - 205 of Swami Gambhirananda's
translation of 'Eight Upanishads' in Volume Two.  I can anticipate a
question/disagreement from you after reading this: 'there is no mention of
the word 'Ishwara' anywhere here.'

But that is the problem of not having a global view of the Shankara system
and not understanding the Mandukya method/layout.

>> Para Maya essentially = Kshtrajna (Isvara).

Kshetrajna is not the Ishwara that is the saguNa brahman.  When Shankara
uses the word Ishwara in association with kshetrajna it only means it is
Shuddha chaitanyam, nirupAdhika Brahman.  The jiva can never attain aikya
jnanam with the saguNa brahman and attain moksha.

> I don't know how any one can read apara prakrti, which is impure (asuddha)
> is what makes Brahman in to Isvara.

It is better you know.  First from the words of those who know and then by
studying the Shankara system systematically under a competent Acharya.  It
is the 'association' with aparA prakRti that is meant here.  It is to be
remembered that it is a shAstra kalpana otherwise called 'adhyaaropa',
deliberate superimposition of this idea by the shAstra to account for,
vyavasthA, creation, bandha-moksha vyavahAra.  The apavAda, negation of
this superimposition is also done by the shAstra.  An instance of this
negation is what I have cited above, in the Mandukya bhashya.

> I have quoted 7.6, where Sankara says that these two prakrtis are
> omniscient Lord's.

True.  The sentient part, Consciousness, required for creation is (from)
the parA prakRti and the inert matter that is required for this function is
the aparA prakRti. Yet when the negation comes to be effected, only the
aparA prakRti, kShetram, is separated from the Consciousness and the
kShetrajna, the parA prakRti, is never negated.  It is retained as the
nirguNa brahman which is what is realized by the aspirant as his svarUpa.

>> You say: Krishna says that, Sankara does and until today Advaitins say
> that. It is amazing that one can say that Krishna is not Isvara etc. Isvara
> is anatma etc.
> Nirishwara Advaita says Isvara is not the self and unreal when the sastras
> and Sankara say otherwise.

Your above understanding of Shankara is directly contradicted by none other
than Shankara Himself in the Kenopanishad 1.4 bhashyam:

//नेदं ब्रह्म यत् ’इदम्’ इति उपाधिभेदविशिष्टम् *अनात्मा ईश्वरादि* उपासते
ध्यायन्ति ।
That is not Brahman which people meditate upon as 'this' which is only
upAdhi-defined not-self such as Ishwara.

 And Shankara reiterates this in the very next sentence:

'तदेव ब्रह्म त्वं विद्धि’ इत्युक्तेऽपि ’नेदं ब्रह्म’ इति
अनात्मनोऽब्रह्मत्वं पुनरुच्यते नियमार्थम् अन्यब्रह्मबुद्धिपरिसंख्यानार्थम्
वा ।

Not just Shankara, the Upanishad itself is, even though it has said 'know
That alone to be Brahman' in this very mantra, it is not satisfied with
it.  It goes on to say, rather negate, 'not that which people meditate upon
as 'this' '.  So, both Shankara and the Upanishad strongly condemn your
understanding.  You can now happily declare that the Upanishad and Shankara
are nirIshwaravAdins :)

I think one cannot find a more direct, pertinent, teaching that the saguNa
brahman/Ishwara is anAtmA. Not just anAtmaa but also a-brahman.  Oh! What a
lovely shAstra is this: even in this one mantra the teaching 'Atman (alone)
is Brahman' is so effectively brought out!! In the words of the Panchadashi
where the Jnani exclaims :  अहो शास्त्रमहो शास्त्रम् । अहो गुरुरहो गुरुः ।
अहो वयमहो वयम् !!

> We don't need to spend hours formulating  this school. Buddhist have
> already done that.

You can now make a self-assessment of your above comment in the light of
Shankara and the UpaniShad.

>> subrahmanian.v

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