[Advaita-l] Ishwara Turiya?

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sun Mar 11 10:13:25 CDT 2012

On Sun, Mar 11, 2012 at 7:46 PM, Rajaram Venkataramani <
rajaramvenk at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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.

No one has objected to the fact that Ishwara is in TuriyAvasthA just as a
Jnani is and even as everyone in ignorance is. The only difference is that
the ignorant ones think that the three states are real for them whereas the
Jnani knows they are not for the Self but only for the mind.  The question
that Ishwara is the subject matter of the seven mantra of the Mandukya is
what is objectionable, if anyone holds such a view.

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).

This is not correct.  According to Vedanta and even according to the Gita
without the Consciousness aspect contributing Itself along with mAyA the
transforming entity there is no creation possible.  मयाध्यक्षेण प्रकृतिः
सूयते सचराचरम् .  With Me as the Seer, Superintendent, Consciousness,
prakRti brings forth the world of sentient and insentient beings (moving
and unmoving).  So the Consciousness aspect is NirguNa Chaitanyam here.

> (As an important aside, if para maya = Brahman, then
> aprakrta Mayarupam of Ishwara will be non-different from Brahman).

This view is not admitted by Advaita.  As I have clarified earlier several
times, on the basis of Dr.Mani Dravid Sastrigal's explanation, based again
on the Advaita siddhi and the Laghu chandrika, the aprAkRta is well within
mAyA/prakRti.  The only difference between the other bodies and Bhagavan's
is that the former is a product of panchabhautika transformation and the
latter is a product that bypasses this step but stems straightaway from
Maya.  For this reason it no way becomes the same as Brahman.

> >
> Being jagat karana is tatastha lakshana of Ishwara. When we say he is 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.

We have to carefully note that NarayaNa's jagatkAraNatvam, etc. stems from
the existence of jagat.  All these attributes of Brahman are undoubtedly
dependent on the jagat / jiva combine.  When through the Advaitic
realization the jagat and jiva are negated as mithyA the entire
attribute-oriented Ishwara too gets negated, for such a one has no role
whatsoever any longer.  The very mAyAshabalitatvam stems because of mAyA.
When mAyA is known to be naught, there is a negation of everything that
depended upon this mAyA.

> 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 has been already explained that Ishwara, as Brahmavit, is Turiya.

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

This verse has been commented upon from the nirguNabrahman angle,
completely, by Shankara and Anandagiri. Shankara comments 'IshAnaH' is
explained by Gaudapaada Himself in this verse as 'prabhuH', Lord.  For what
is He the Lord? For duHkha nivRtti.  'Tarati shokam Atmavit' says the
Shruti.  The knower of the Self goes above misery.  So this verse does not
talk about the saguNa brahman (Ishwara).


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