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

Rajaram Venkataramani rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Fri Apr 6 12:24:08 CDT 2012

On Friday, April 6, 2012, V Subrahmanian wrote:

> On Fri, Apr 6, 2012 at 1:29 AM, Rajaram Venkataramani <
> rajaramvenk at gmail.com
> > wrote:
> The reflected consciousness the jiva is one with Brahman the original
> consciousness only on the condition that the reflecting medium the mind is
> negated/set aside.  And it is wrong to say that the jiva is one with
> Ishwara.  The reflecting medium mAyA which makes Ishwara what He is, is
> also negated, set aside.  ONLY on this condition where there is no longer
> any room to talk about a 'reflection' on both counts, at the jiva level and
> the Ishwara level, does the Advaitic Advaita gets established.
> Firstly, the reflected consciousness is pure consciousness. The defects of
the reflecting medium including unreality cannot be attributed to the
reflected consciousness. The preponderance of sattva, rajas and tamas in
the reflected medium create illusions of revealing, distorting and hiding
the consciousness. But they cannot in reality affect the reflection. It is
like the difference between reflection in a clean and an unclean mirror. In
pratibimba vada, the reflection is considered totally non-different from
the original. Padmapada and Vacaspati take this view. Suryanaryana Sastry
gives avsurvey of these views. Madhusudana says prayibimbha paramartikavat
in siddhanta bindhu. Vidyarayanya explains that the reflection is different
from the original only due to localisation but otherwise the same. The idea
that the reflection is different is meaningless because the characteristis
of the original do not get affected. I understand that in abhasa vasa the
reflection is not considered absolutely the same as the origina because of
the apparent association with the reflected medium. But the reflected
consciousness is not considered as non-consciousness here also. The whole
point of reflection is for Brahman to manifest in the world and not get
transformed in the process. There is no roomto say that the reflection is
unreal and different fom the original.

Secondly, the reflecting medium for the jiva is the unreal mind. This can
be removed through manonasa. Even the vasanas can be removed through
 processes such as samyama. You can destroy objectification of everything
including Ishwara in the mind. People have done that. But the reflecting
medium for Ishwara is the paramaya, which is satcitananda. This cannot be
destroyed because it is essentially Himself.

> > > यत एव चायमात्मा चैतन्यरूपो निर्विशेषो वाङ्मनसातीतः
> > > परप्रतिषेधोपदेश्योऽत एव *चास्योपाधिनिमित्तपारमार्थिकीं
> > > *विशेषवत्तामभिप्रेत्य जलसूर्यकादिवदित्युपमोपादीयते मोक्षशास्त्रेषु -
> > >
> > >
> > > It s the viseshas that is said to be not paramartika not the reflected
> > consciousness. By appearing in vyavahara, the pure consciousness does not
> > become achit. It is reflection not distortion especially when it is on
> > visuddha sattva, which is he case with Ishwara.
> Note the word 'viSheshavattAm'.  It is not the same as vishesha. Of course
> vishesha-s are themselves unreal.  And 'being endowed with visheshas' which
> is what is meant by that word 'viSheshavattA' is also unreal, not
> pAramArthik.

In the case of the person in the sun etc., it is obvious that the name and
form are viseshas. The possession of unreal viseshas is viseshatvam. The
eye, sun etc. are upalakshanas like saying the house on which the crow is
seated. The Person is non-different from Brahman. The sun is important
because of preponderance of sattva compared to others as Sankara explains
in BG 15. In the case of Lord Krishna, there is no material object that
serves as the locus because He appears using His atma maya in chinmaya
rupam (of course manifesting pancha bautika qualities such as blueness
etc.). He was seen differently by different people at the same time in many
pastimes, seen as one, as many, unseen, all inclusive, independent of all

This is because in Advaita, Brahman is nirvishesha.  Both
> jiva and Ishwara are sa-vishesha, in other words, endowed with visheshas.

We don't see that Jiva is called Saguna Brahman. They are also Brahman +
Viseshas only. This term is reserved for Ishwara though they are equated. This
is not without a reason. In the case of Jiva, it is reflection of Brahman /
Ishwara / Prototype Jiva (eka jiva vada) on the mind, which is a product of
apara maya. In the case of Ishwara, it the reflection of Brahman on
Paramaya, which is non-different from Himself.

So, this very condition of being endowed with vishesha-s is inadmissible in
> Vedanta.  That is why they both are regarded as unreal.  The chaitanyam,
> sans the visheshas, is neither jiva nor Ishwara.
> The relative conception of Ishwara with reference to Jiva and Jagat is
sublated, not Ishwara who is non-different from Brahman. In 14.27, Sankara
clearly says tat Inner Self is the Supreme Self. There are countless verses
that say that Ishwara is the Inner Self. The whole theory that Ishwara is
non-self is bogus. If He is on-self, what is He - jadam? Then you become a
sankhyas and accept Prashant as the cause.

> > > As far as I know, in all schools of Advaita Ishwara is said to be the
> > Antaryami or pratyagatma.
> >
> > In BG 8.3, Sankara identifies the supreme Brahman, the Self, with
> Ishwara.
> > Sankara says, "Akshara means that which does not perish,the Supreme Self.
> > This agrees with the Upanishadic text, 'Under the mighty rule of this
> > Immutable! O Gargi (Br. 3.8.9).'" In 13.3, the Lord is identified with
> the
> > Self by Sankara - too long to reproduce here.
> >
> The above meaning does not come from the bhashyam.

 There are many places where Ishwara is called Para Brahman and Para
Brahman is called Ishwara. I took this because it is in response to a
request by Arjuna to define these terms. Sankara very clearly says that the
supreme Brahman, the Self is the mighty ruler. If Ishwara is not he Self,
He cannot be the ruler because that is the definition of the ruler.

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