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

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sat Apr 7 01:35:28 CDT 2012

On Sat, Apr 7, 2012 at 11:35 AM, Rajaram Venkataramani <
rajaramvenk at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Friday, April 6, 2012, V Subrahmanian wrote:
> >
> >
> > I would like to see your response to this Kenopanishat bhashyam for my
> > next response in this thread. Till then I shall take a holiday from
> > this thread.
> If I missed that in my response, can you please point me to that?

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' '.  According to this Upanishad and the Bhashya, Ishwara is not
only anAtmA (not-Self) but also a-brahman (not Brahman).

To save another post, I am giving a few more references from the famous
Advaitic works:

पिण्डावस्था घटत्वे मनसि विमृशतो हेतुकार्यत्वधीः स्या-
न्मृण्मात्रं यद्वदेकं स्फुटमभिमृशतो नैव हेतुर्न कार्यम् ।
*तद्वन्मायिप्रपञ्चौ *मनसि कलयतो ब्रह्म विश्वस्य हेतुः
सन्मात्रं त्वेकरूपं पटुपरिमृशतो *नैव मायी न विश्वम्* ॥ 'svArAjyasiddhi'

[For one who looks upon the two states of a lump and a pot (of clay), there
might arise the notion of cause and effect.  But in the case of one who
clearly sees the clay only there is neither the cause nor the effect.
Similarly for one who thinks of the wielder of mAyA (Ishwara) and the
world, Brahman is the cause of the world.  But for one who clearly cognizes
the One Universal Existence without any tinge whatsoever of duality, there
is neither the wielder of mAyA (Ishwara) nor the world.]

The Vivekachudamani says:


     न वास्तवः कश्चिदुपाधिरेषः

*ईशस्य माया महदादिकारणं*

*     जीवस्य कार्यं शृणु पञ्चकोशम्** * । । २४३  । ।

This contradiction between them is created by superimposition, and is not
something real. This superimposition, in the case of Ishwara (the Lord), is
Maya or Nescience, which is the cause of Mahat and the rest, and in the
case of the Jiva (the individual soul), listen – the five sheaths, which
are the effects of Maya, stand for it.

*एतावुपाधी परजीवयोस्तयोः*

*     सम्यङ्निरासे न परो न जीवः  *

राज्यं नरेन्द्रस्य भटस्य खेटक्

     तयोरपोहे न भटो न राजा   । । २४४  । ।

244. These two are the superimpositions of Ishwara and the Jiva
respectively, *and when these are perfectly eliminated, there is neither
Ishwara nor Jiva. *A kingdom is the symbol of a king, and a shield of the
soldier, and when these are taken away, there is neither king nor soldier.

245. The Vedas themselves in the words "now then is the injunction" etc.,
repudiate the duality imagined in Brahman. One must needs eliminate those
two superimpositions by means of realisation supported by the authority of
the Vedas.


More information about the Advaita-l mailing list