[Advaita-l] Madhusudhana Saraswathi and Advaita.

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sun Feb 26 11:16:22 CST 2012

On Sun, Feb 26, 2012 at 8:51 PM, Rajaram Venkataramani <
rajaramvenk at gmail.com> wrote:

> >
> > This shows that by the term 'upAsanA' GaudapAda is not restricting the
> > meaning to just Hiranyagarbha, it could be anything, an avatAra mUrti,
> > like Krishna, Rama, Narasimha, etc. that could be meditated upon.  These
> > also fall under the category of 'idam' and therefore anAtmA in Advaita.
> >
> > Is there any reference in the sastras or the works of traditional advaita
> > acharyas to show that the forms of Rama, Krishna, Narasimha etc. is in
> the
> > category of 'idam'?

The Shankarabhashya sentence I showed from the Kenopanishat is sufficient
proof for the teaching that everything 'meditatable' as Ishwara, etc.
(aadi) is idam and anaatmA.

> If it is your understanding or interpretation based on
> > the fact that all names and forms are unreal, that is a different matter.

It is the teaching of the Advaita sampradaya that forms the basis of my

> > Sankara's commentary on BG 8.9 and 4.7 in addition to Anandagiri and
> > Madhusudana on Sankara's commentary throw light on the names and forms
> of  the Lord.

In the Anandagiri gloss for 8.9 he quotes a Brahmasutra 3.2.14 which
decides that Brahman is to be known/realized as without any form ONLY.  A
question is taken up:  what is the fate of those shruti passages that give
a form to Brahman? The reply is: these are upAdhi-based forms and do not
constitute the svarUpa of Brahman. The BhAshyotkarsha deepika of Dhanapati
suri on this BF 8.9 gives a gist of the Brahma sutra/bhashya.

> > Madhusudana sums it up with the analogy of Rahu's head for Krishna's
> Self.

Madhusudana on BF 8.9 does not differ from Shankara's commentary.

On the 16th Feb 2012  I had cited a Kaivalyopanishad mantra:

//While looking for references in the Upanishads for the concept of
'bhakti' as connected with 'jnanam' this is a useful one from the Kaivalya

अचिन्त्यमव्यक्तमनन्तरूपं शिवं प्रशान्तममृतं ब्रह्मयोनिम् ।
तथा ऽऽदिमध्यान्तविहीनमेकं विभुं चिदानन्दमरूपमद्भुतम् ।।६।।
उमासहायं परमेश्वरं प्रभुं त्रिलोचनं नीलकण्ठं प्रशान्तम् ।
ध्यात्वा मुनिर्गच्छति भूतयोनिं समस्तसाक्षिं तमसः परस्तात् ।।७।।
स ब्रह्मा स शिवः सेन्द्रः सो ऽक्षरः परमः स्वराट् ।
स एव विष्णुः स प्राणः स कालो ऽग्निः स चन्द्रमाः ॥८॥

Here the 7th one is very useful to trace the saguNa bhakti culminating in
NirguNa jnanam.

The BG 8.9 is an exact re-statement of the mantra 7 above where both the
saguNa and nirguNa lakShanas are given in one verse/mantra.


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