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

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Mon Apr 9 14:34:47 CDT 2012


> Date: Mon, 9 Apr 2012 18:36:29 +0100
> From: rajaramvenk at gmail.com
> To: advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
> Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] About the term in 'Ishwara' in Advaita - a brief note
> Namaskarams. But I have to say this. What you said applies to you
> also. "I mention
> this as an aside, because the mere occurrence of a word need not mean what
> people (no matter how scholarly they are) may think it means." anatma

Of course. You don't really have to say this, because I am fully cognizant of
the fact that it applies to me too and I would be the first to acknowledge it. 
> ishwara refers to cosmic subtle body (Hiranyagarbha) not to parameshwara
> who is maya sabalitha brahman. Kadalangudi is no fool to explain these

If you accept that parameSvara is mAyA-Sabalita-brahman, then you have to 
explain how such mAyA-Sabala-tvam does not make parameSvara sa-viSesha
and you have to explain what is meant by Sankara when he says AtmAnam
eva nirviSeshaM brahma viddhi ity eva SabdArthaH - kena-pada bhAshya 1.4-5. 

And note that I am not the person using the word "fool" here.
> vidhis in a two page foot note. To write that off without even reading him
> is close minded. Interpreting without reference to mimamsa as Sri
> Subrahmanian does is wrong.
If you read my post dispassionately, you will see that I have great regard for
Kadalangudi Sastrigal and that I have not written off anything. All I have said,
in the absence of direct access to his writing is that he *would not have* said
there is a vidhi for brahmajnAna. Of course, because Sankara has used the
words niyama and parisaMkhyA in the kena bhAshya and because there are
niyama vidhi-s and parisaMkhyA vidhi-s in pUrva mImAMsA, it makes sense 
for him to have explained what these two words mean, by making use of the 
mImAMsA discussion of vidhi-s. This does NOT mean that the kenopanishat
or its bhAshya is talking of an injunction for jnAna in this particular passage.

One could argue that by saying niyamArthaM ... parisaMkhyAnArthaM vA,
Sankara bhagavatpAda implicitly intends the corresponding vidhi-s here. The
implications of "nedaM yad idam upAsate" remain still quite devastating to your
position. No matter whether you take the kenopanishat as having an injunction
or not, the text is explicitly either restricting what is to be known as brahman
from ANYTHING that is upAsya (this is niyama) or excluding EVERYTHING that
is upAsya from what is to be known as brahman (this is parisaMkhyA). Think
about this, along with the quotation I made from earlier in the same passage
in the kena bhAshya. 
I am further saying that wherever Sankara bhagavatpAda wants to state that
there is a vidhi, he explicitly says so, but he does not in the kena bhAshya. I
have pointed you to postings from more than five years ago on this very list,
where I had provided details on these lines.

What I find close-minded is the fact that you have obviously not taken the time
to search the archives of this list from Sep-Dec 2006 and to acquaint yourself
better with the topic of injunctions with respect to jnAna. If you had, you would
have found out that I had already listed numerous instances where Sankara
bhagavatpAda specifically says there is a niyama vidhi. You will also find that I
had discussed what sureSvara has to say about the general weakness of vidhi
in his vArttika (vidhayas tu kathaM rAgaM nirudhyanta iti bhaNyatAM, vidher
daurbalya siddhyartham ato bhAshyakRd uktavAn) on the bRhadAraNyaka
bhAshya and about niyama and parisaMkhyA vidhi-s in his naishkarmyasiddhi.

So, before you choose to talk about the open-mindedness or otherwise of other
people, or to pronounce them wrong, do your homework right and provide at
least some evidence that you have taken the trouble to get exposed to (if not
digest) the vast amount of background that is necessary for the kinds of
discussion that you wish to undertake.
Your concern for ISvara and Sankara is admirable, but they are not in need of
saving by/from the likes of you or me. The mere sentiment doesn't make your
views right, either. As things stand, you have provided ample room to conclude
that you do not have the first clue as to what is really meant by nir-viSeshatva
of brahman. Sri Subrahmanian can respond to your post if he so wishes, but
I don't find that he has interpreted anything wrongly at all. Indeed, he has
displayed enormous patience in engaging you in a discussion so far.
ps. Before someone points to the word "viddhi" in the kena verse, please note
that vidhi (one d) is a noun meaning order/injunction, while viddhi (two d's) is
a verb form - second person singular, imperative mood,  meaning "know". I 
would not bother writing this out, except that of late, I have seen substantial
evidence of poor to mediocre knowledge of the saMskRta language on this list. 		 	   		  

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