[Advaita-l] Ishwara Turiya?

Rajaram Venkataramani rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Fri Mar 9 04:48:02 CST 2012

I don't think this BSB has any thing to do with His being Turiya. My rason
is as follows:

The general sense of omniscience is "to know every thing". To know, you
need ignorance to start with, which Ishwara cannot have by definition. As
things are ultimately unreal, the second criterion for omniscience is also
not satisfied ultimately for Ishwara. So, Ishwara cannot be said to be
omniscient. He simply exists illuminating every thing - the knowers, the
knows and the unknowns. For the general meaning of omnipresence, space is a
precondition. But Ishwara is beyond space. So, the general meaning stands
negated in  the case of Ishwara. It is the same for omnipotence. But the
negation of  tatastha lakshana of Saguna Brahman does not negate Saguna
Brahman Himself. For example, a king may give up his kingdom like
Harischandra did and cease to be a king but he does not cease to be kingly.
His power to be a king exists and he becomes a king again. That Ishwara
exists before creation and after destruction of the universe is known. No
one talks of creation or destruction of Ishwara. So, He cannot be at the
same level of reality as Prakrit.

If one takes the position that Ishwara is not Turiya though Sankara says so
in Brahmasutra Bhashya on the basis that here Ishwara refers to Brahman, he
has to explain two things.

1. Why does a great teacher such as Sankara use an inappropriate word when
he could said Brahman?
2. What is the supreme state of Vishnu (tad Vishno paramam padam) if it is
not Turiya? Wakefullness,  dream and sleep pertain to the mind which i
acceptable for us, Virata and Hiranyagarbha but not for Ishwara.

On Friday, March 9, 2012, V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Fri, Mar 9, 2012 at 6:53 AM, Kathirasan K <brahmasatyam at gmail.com>
>> Namaste
>> Michael Comans (vasudevacarya) takes the same view in his book 'The
>> of Early Advaita Vedanta'. He holds the view that Shankara uses the term
>> ishvara to mean both nirguna and saguna in his prasthana traya bhashya.
>> provides references too.
> It is clear that when someone wants to know whether Ishwara is Turiya or
> not, it is presumed that the questioner has in mind the Ishwara who is the
> Creator, etc.(saguNa).  For he cannot, obviously, think beyond this.  It
> with this in mind the reply:  'Ishwara is within the realm of relativity
> and therefore not Turiya' is given.  That Shankara has used in the
> bhashya-s  the term 'Ishwara' for example in the context of
> 'kShtrajneshwara abheda' it is only meant that 'Ishwara' here is nirguNa
> Brahman.  These are considered only exceptions and not the rule.
> Traditional Advaitins will hold this 'general rule' / 'exception' scheme
> the method to explain these things.  That is why it is insisted that
> Advaita is studied under a traditional Acharya who has the entire bhashya
> and other texts in his mind's eye while teaching a student.  He will see
> that the student gets the correct import of the word 'Ishwara' wherever it
> is used.  Otherwise, a categorical statement 'Ishwara is Turiya' is bound
> to send the wrong message about the Advaitic Ishwara.  Thus it is safest
> have this rule: 'Ishwara is within mAyA and therefore not Turiya' and
> 'Brahman, NIrguNa, is beyond Maya and therefore Turiya'.  It is always
> to have riders to avoid misunderstandings.
> This statement of Shankara in the BSB 2.1.14 isthe  key to understanding
> the status of 'Ishwar' in Advaita:
> *तदेवमविद्यात्मकोपाधिपरिच्छेदापेक्षमेवेश्वरस्येश्वरत्वं सर्वज्ञत्वं
> सर्वशक्तित्वं च न परमार्थतो विद्यायापास्तसर्वोपाधिस्वरूप
> आत्मनीशित्रीशितव्यसर्वज्ञत्वादिव्यवहार उपपद्यते   ।*
> //Thus, only in the realm of the ignorance-created upAdhis are Ishwara's
> Lordship, Omniscience and Omnipotence, and not in the pAramArthika realm
> which implies that the ignorance-created upAdhis have been
> negated/dispelled by True knowledge.  In this post-negation scenario the
> ignorance-realm of Ishwara-Ishitavya (ruler-ruled) duality and
> etc. do not have a place.//
> This is perhaps the best and most unambiguous statement that one can keep
> etched in one's intellect with regard to the status of Ishwara in Advaita.
> These following sentences, again from the above BSB, are added notes on
> topic, the translation of which can be obtained from Swami Gambhirananda's
> book:
> **
> तथाचोक्तम्ऽयत्र नान्यत्पश्यति नान्यच्छृणोति नान्यद्विजानाति स भूमाऽ (छा.
> ७.२४.१) इतिऽयत्र त्वस्य सर्वमात्मैवाभूत्तत्केन पश्येत्ऽ (बृ. ४.५.१५)
> इत्यादिना च   ।
> एवं परमार्थावस्थायां सर्वव्यवहाराभावं वदन्ति वेदान्ताः सर्वे   ।
> तथेश्वरगीतास्वपिऽन कर्तृत्वं न कर्माणि लोकस्य सृजति प्रभुः   ।
> न कर्मफलसंयोगं स्वभावस्तु प्रवर्तते  । ।
> नादत्ते कस्यचित्पापं न चैव सुकृतं विभुः   ।
> अज्ञानेनावृतं ज्ञानं तेन मुह्यन्ति जन्तवःऽ (गी. ५.१४.१५) इति
> परमार्थावस्थायामीशित्रीशितव्यादिव्यवहाराभावः प्रदर्श्यते   ।
> व्यवहारावस्थायां तूक्तः श्रुतावपीश्वरादिव्यवहारःऽएष सर्वेश्वर एष
> भूताधिपतिरेष भूतपाल एष सेतुर्विधारण एषां लोकानामसंभेदायऽ (बृ. ४.४.२२) इति
> तथाचेश्वरगीतास्वपिऽईश्वरः सर्वभूतानां हृद्देशेर्ऽजुन तिष्ठति   ।
> भ्रामयन्सर्वभूतानि यन्त्रारूढानि माययाऽ (गी. १८.६१) इति   ।
> सूत्रकारोऽपि परमार्थाभिप्रायेण तदन्यत्वमित्याह   ।
> व्यवहाराभिप्रायेण तु स्याल्लोकवदिति महासमुद्रस्थानीयतां ब्रह्मणः कथयति   ।
> अप्रत्याख्यायैव कार्यप्रपञ्चं परिणामप्रक्रियां चाश्रयति
> सगुणोपासनेषूपयोक्ष्यत इति    । । १४  । ।
> I would go to the extent of saying: If someone who is capable of
> his tradition-trained Acharya to teach only the above BSB (2.1.14),
> completely, there is bound to arise a correct understanding of Advaita.
> For this BSB deals with a number of key aspects of Advaita and is
> considered a reference point.
> Regards,
> subrahmanian.v
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