[Advaita-l] Ishwara Turiya?

Rajaram Venkataramani rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Sun Mar 11 09:16:09 CDT 2012

On Sunday, March 11, 2012, V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com> wrote:
>  The BhAmatI position that Shri Devanathan has stated is quite in order
> since the term 'Ishwara' is taken to mean 'shuddha chaitanyam' free of
> association.
Sri Devanathan has stated that there is no prakriya-bhedam in this.
Madhusudana, who is syncretic in his views, also holds this view. So, it is
not Bhamati position unless you think some schools consider Ishwara to be
non-turiya. Now, the question is not whether Ishwara = Brahman is Turiya as
such a question would be redundant unless we distinguish sharply between
Turiya and TuriyAtita. The question is whether Saguna Brahman, the one who
is associated with (para) Maya is Turiya. (I don't think Saguna Brahman is
different from Nirguna Brahman except that He is viewed from vyavahara
perspective, whereas the latter is not. So, my answer for the question will
be yes He is in TuriyAvastha. I don't see how Saguna Brahman, who is beyond
even cosmic mind (Hiranyagarbha) can be in unreal states such as jagratha,
svapna and susupti, which are mental states).
> Even Bhagavan in the seventh Chapter has made this two-fold
> prakRti distinction as the 'higher' and 'lower'.  The word 'prakRti'
> has different meanings, one being 'kAraNam' as used in the Brahmasutra/s.
> So, the parA-prakRti that is Ishwara is none other than nirguNa Brahman.
> Here by the word 'parA-prakRti' the higher (svarUpa) nature is meant.

A prakrti cannot be said to be higher without reference to a prakrti, which
is lower. The Lord also asserts in the same chapter (7.6), that through
these two prakrtis He, the omniscient Lord (see Sankara's commentary), is
the source of the Universe. So, what is spoken here is the omniscient Lord
(Saguna Brahman). (As an important aside, if para maya = Brahman, then
aprakrta Mayarupam of Ishwara will be non-different from Brahman).
> But in common usage the term 'Ishwara' is understood as the jagat-kAraNam
> which is taTastha lakShaNam of Brahman.  So, when a question 'Is Ishwara
> Turiya'? is asked the general and most appropriate reply would be: no.
> Brahmasutra bhashya from 2.1.14 that I had quoted settles the matter
> any question.  That is the ultimate verdict of the Advaita Acharya.
Being jagat karana is tatastha lakshana of Ishwara. When we say heis a
successful businessman and also plays golf, the former is an essential
nature and the latter is incidental. But negation of the incidental
attribute does not negate him. In the same way, Narayana, who is beyond
names an forms, the Saguna Brahman, exists independent of the world. So,
the negation of His attribute attribute as jagat karana does not negate the
maya sabalitha Brahman. I do not see how Ishwara becomes mithya in Advaita
because the world is false.

> VishNu (or Shiva) as Ishwara are indeed Brahman (Turiya) alone.  Just like
> any other jiva-brahmavit, Ishwara-brahmavit is also Brahman/Turiya alone.
> But in the case of the jiva the prArabdha karma ends at a certain time and
> the Turiya-hood is available un-burdened.  But in the case of Ishwara, the
> mAyaa-association is for ever, the very nature of Ishwara and therefore
> TuriyAhood is not just like any other jiva's turiyAhood.

I dont see how there can be difference in Turiyahood as it has nothing to
do with the body but the Self. As Ishwara does not have a body like a jnani
does whole in this, His turiyahood is never unburdened. Also, I do no see
why there were even arguments against His Turiyahood as it is never
compromised by His activities such as creation, rulership etc. just as a
jnani's Turiyahood is not compromised by his empirical activities.

> It would be interesting to know which kArikA describes Turiya as Isa and
> which BSB Shankara equates the two.

Gaudapakarika mantra VII - Turiya, the changeless ruler (isa)

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