[Advaita-l] Ishwara Turiya?

Rajaram Venkataramani rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Sat Mar 10 05:11:01 CST 2012

On Fri, Mar 9, 2012 at 5:06 PM, Vidyasankar Sundaresan <
svidyasankar at hotmail.com> wrote:

> All the thinking in your posts point to one thing. You talk of nirguNa
> brahman as one entity and as saguNa brahman as quite another entity.
> The reality, which is repeated by Sankara bhagavatpAda throughout his
> works, is that there is one brahman only and that guNa-s are, in the
> ultimate analysis, only imagined.
Rajaram: Does Sankara say gunas are imagined or only the viseshas? I dont
think he says that Maya is an imaginary entity but due to the effect of
Maya, we imagine differences and attributes to Brahman. My understanding is
that Brahman and Ishwara are one only though I agree that some of Ishwara's
lakshanas are svarupa and others are tatastha.

> Meanwhile, don't lose sight of that the jIva is also "sa-guNa" brahman, in
> a different way than ISvara being sa-guNa brahman. If this were not so,
> then in the advaita view, moksha would be impossible for the jIva.

Rajaram: If your position is correct that "gunas" should be rid of for
liberation, then Ishwara cannot by definition get liberated because He is
by definition saguna. But Sankara defines Him as transcendent. My
understanding is that it is not paramaya, that is non-different from
Ishwara, that should be rid of. It is one with Ishwara. Paingala Upanishad
says that it is non-different from Brahman. What needs to be rid of is
apara maya and its effects that apparently buinds the jiva.

> Now, coming to turIya. The question, "is ISvara turIya?", is ill-posed. It
> is quite different, for example, from a question that asks, what is the
> avasthA in which ISvara abides?

Rajaram: Is there a difference between Vishnu and His state?

> paSyanti yoginaH and see how they resonate with prapancopaSama, the term
> used in the mANDUkya to describe the turIya.
Rajaram: Gaudapa in his karika equates Turiya to Isa.

> The question that you should really be asking is, why is prAjna in the
> sushupta state described as sarveSvara, sarvajna, yoni and bhUtAnAM
> prabhavApyayau. Why is the jIva in the state of deep sleep said to be
> ekIbhUta with brahman and why is that deep sleep state attributed with
> omnipotence and omniscience? That is the crux of the vedAnta approach that
> needs to be understood. I would also like to point out gItAbhAshya 8.18
> here to you, where a prabodhakAla and a svApakAla are ascribed
> to brahman.

Rajaram: My understanding is that deep sleep is closest to the state of
Brahman (hence sarvesvara etc.) but there is ignorance, which impels
re-emergence. But in turiya, there is no ignorance. I see how beings upto
Hiranyagarbha (sarveshvara etc.) can be in deep sleep but not Ishwara who
is beyond Hiranyagarbha.

> So, what is the avasthA in which ISvara abides? As you can guess by now,
> there is a vyavahAra perspective to this and a paramArtha one. The former
> says that the apperance, sustenance and dissolution of the universe is
> nothing more than ISvara going through different states, while the latter
> perspective would say that ISvara is always in the turIya state. That is
> what our religous art and mythology attempt to capture, by showing Siva as
> always seated in samAdhi or vishNu as being in a
> state of yoga-nidrA etc.
Rajaram: Does Ishwara change state? I dont see how one who is avayaya

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