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

Rajaram Venkataramani rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Sat Apr 7 06:02:32 CDT 2012

On Saturday, April 7, 2012, V Subrahmanian wrote:

> 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).

We know that Br. Up. states that one who worships the deity thinking I am
one and He is another is like an animal to the deity. By this, it teaches
that one should worship the deity as non-different from the Self and not as
an external object. That will reduce the deity to "idam" or mere "jadam". I
think that it is the same principle that is taught here using niyama and
parisankhya vidhis as indicated by Sankara. How is niyama vidhi applicable
here? In this world, atmatvam is wrongly ascribed to upadhis (forms of
Hiranyagarbha also known by the sabda Ishwara) and this statement  "na
idam" becomes essential to remove that misconception just as the statement
"same yajeta" becomes essential when an ejamana undertakes tharsapurnamsa
yajna in an uneven ground but becomes unnecessary when the ejamana on his
own undertakes the yajna on a level ground. In the same way, "na idam" is
unnecessary when the misconception of ascribing atmatvam to upadhis does
not arise in the first place. It does not mean that we worship with the
conception "I am jadam", "Ishwara is jadam" etc. as that will contradict
the injunction to consider the deity is non-different from the Self. How is
parisankhya vidhi applicable here? By denying brahmatvam to that which is
not pratyagatma, that which is pratyagatma is known as brahmam. By denying
brahmatvam to the deity (Hiranyagarbha) that is not the pratyagatma,
brahmatvam is automaticaly obtained for the deity distinct from it (Avyakto
paro Narayana), that is the pratyagatma. It is not possible to consider
both Narayana and Hiranyagarbha, indicated by the term Ishwara, as idam.

> After we agree on what the sruti and sankara sy, we can go to later day
texts ascribed to sankara

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