[Advaita-l] About the term in 'Ishwara' in Advaita - a brief note

Rajaram Venkataramani rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Wed Apr 4 10:55:51 CDT 2012

Let us take your energy analysis a little further to see if we can save
Ishwara so that you can say "god save us" if anyone gets confused in spite
of your Lear writing. Every thing (sun, light, desert etc.) etc. are energy
only. But in a world made up of different manifestations of energy such as
the sun, we see instances of pure energy (e.g. energy field). We don't talk
of energy localised in a field as different to energy that all objects are
ultimately made of. By the act of localisation, it does not cease to be

Likewise, all this is Brahman on final analysis but this Brahman is able to
appear within vyavahara as Ishwara without losing His nature as pure
consciousness or the Self.

On Wednesday, April 4, 2012, Vidyasankar Sundaresan wrote:

> >
> > Its "prasada" as opposed to His? You can't ascribe mercy etc. to It.
> >
> Now, this is getting ridiculous. Why not Her? And for that matter, why
> not Its? Why do you think the upanishad texts go out of their way to
> use the word tat in neuter gender so often, when they could have
> easily used saH in masculine gender.

> In a last ditch attempt, I am going to take your desert-mirage analogy
> and extend it. When you are talking of material entities, yes, the mirage
> is not real and the desert is real. More specifically, the water that you
> thought you saw in the mirage is unreal, only the mirage appeared on
> the surface of the desert. But if you investigate it to the next level, you
> realize that the mirage is an effect of the sunlight. If not for light, no
> mirage would appear. And you don't need a desert for the mirage, any
> hot surface would do, e.g tar road. The temperature of the surface is
> also an effect of nothing but the same sunlight heating it up. So you
> could say that it is all a play of light, or of the sun. The sun, by its
> mere
> presence, quite unlike a puppet master as posited by dualists, causes
> all this. You will then, no doubt, want to focus on the sun as the ISvara
> who rules over all things on earth. Even the veda can be quoted here
> in addition to physics - sUrya Atma jagataH.
> I would go one step beyond this and point out to you that the light of the
> sun is a result of nuclear reactions on the sun and that all the material
> nuclei in the sun are in themselves nothing more than manifestations of
> energy. So also, the material entities in the desert or the tar road are
> nothing more than other manifestations of energy. Ultimately, the mirage
> is thereby known as nothing more than a result of interactions between
> different forms of energy. The sunlight, one form of energy, came from
> solar material, which is in turn a manifestation of nothing but energy.
> The earth, which is material, is also only another material manifestation
> of energy, the hotness of its surface is another form of energy.
> Ultimately,
> only the energy remains, as the reality behind all the forms in which it
> appears, and which interact with one another.
> So, the same logic that allowed you say the mirage is "unreal" will also
> now lead to a conclusion that the desert is "unreal", the sun is "unreal",
> the earth is  "unreal" and that only the energy is "real". Note that I put
> quotation marks signs there, because the statement of reality or unreality
> of a thing is only made on a relative basis, never as an absolute statement
> in and of itself. If you want to object that I have thereby denigrated
> sUrya
> and that I have therefore not given due weight to the text sUrya AtmA
> jagataH, you are welcome to your misunderstanding. I would point to the
> other Sruti text that says, na tatra sUryo bhAti na candratArakam.
> And I can continue acknowledging the indebtedness of my body and its
> life, as of all things on earth, to the light of the sun.  At the same
> time,
> I will also acknowledge that the sun is one of more than billions of stars
> in the universe and that all of it is ultimately pure energy. This does not
> conflict with sUrya AtmA jagataH in any way.
> If you think this is nevertheless equivalent to my wanting to kill sUrya,
> you
> could  not be more mistaken! I fully realize that no amount of prayatna
> will literally "kill" sUrya and you don't need to point that out to me at
> all.
> However, the realization that there is pure energy as the underlying
> reality of sUrya is true. The same realization also tells me that this
> pure energy is the reality of myself too and such knowledge liberates
> me. This realization happens in my intellect, my dhI, and I, the sAkshI
> of its operation, fully acknowledge that my dhI too gains sustenance
> only from that very same sun that provides energy for everything on
> earth. Where is the problem? I am more than happy to take sUrya as
> the ruler over earth, by its mere presence, and at the same time to
> talk of a reality that goes beyond sUrya.
> What advaitins do in talking about ISvara and nirguNa brahman is very
> similar to the above. If you can see the logic of one, you should be able
> to see the logic of the other.
> Anyway, as I said, this is a last ditch attempt. If you are not prepared
> to understand the above right, then perhaps advaita is not the mArga
> for you personally and you should seriously explore something that is
> more suited to your needs.
> In a side comment to Sri Bhaskar, who seems to wonder why I spend
> time on this :-), I can only say that I have taken what I've described as
> confusion on one person's part as an opporunity to clarify a widespread
> misunderstanding of advaita. If there is chidish enthusiasm in it, I hope
> it is along the lines of pANDityan nirvidya bAlyena tishThAset. :-)
> Vidyasankar
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