[Advaita-l] Ishwara Turiya?

Rajaram Venkataramani rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Mon Mar 12 10:42:27 CDT 2012

It is very good and incisive post from Sri Subrahmanian as usual though I
disagree with the conclusions - reasons inset.

On Monday, March 12, 2012, V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com> wrote:
> 2012/3/12 Antharyami <sathvatha at gmail.com>

> And in reply to the above objection says:  *This is no harm since it is
> amply possible that the jiva-s, jagat and Ishwara are all imagined in
> Brahman itself. *With this reply in mind Shankara uses the word
> 'prajnAna...' in that verse.  The word prajnAnam is explained by
> as: The very special jnAnam that is free of all modifications and which is
> of unchanging consciousness and pure knowledge alone is prajnAnam.

When we consider Ishwara to be distinct from the Innermost Self, we
consider Him to be an external agent who gives results to us in this world
or the other. This is negated as unreal, a mere imagination. But Ishwara,
the Self, cannot be negated. There is no change in the consciousness of
Ishwara, neither is His knowledge tinged with avidya. So, prajnam brahma
applies to Ishwara.

> ईश्वरस्य नित्यत्वे न कोऽपि संशयः। नित्यत्वस्य द्वैविध्यमभिहितं भाष्यकारैः
> कूटस्थपरिणामिभेदेन । तत्र आद्यं निर्गुणं ब्रह्ममात्रम् । द्वितीयं
> मायादिसर्वम् । मायाशबलितस्य ईश्वरस्य द्वितीयकोटौ अन्तर्भवनं अद्वैते ।

Eternality associated with the cycle of samsara caused by avidya or apara
maya is changeful. But no change can be predicated on the eternality of
Ishwara or Brahman. (It is important to note that Sankara refers to both
Brahman and Maya as kutastham).
>> tasmAt asharIrasya Ishvarasya nityatva siddheH, tadeva syAt turIyam iti
>> vivakSitaM.
>> mAyA-shabalitvaM udAsInopAdhiH.
> तुरीयत्वस्य नित्यत्वमात्रं न लक्षणम् । तत् सर्वप्रपञ्चसम्बन्धरहितं च
> । उदासीनोपाधित्वमपि नालं तुरीयत्वे । सर्वोपाधिविरहत्वमपेक्षितम् ।

Maya does not limit Ishwara or cast Him in to the three states. We cannot
have two stands - either He is Turiya or He is in illusion. That He is
beyond illusion is well known through sastras and bhashya.

> Anandagiri says while commenting on the bhashya for the seventh mantra of
> the mandukya: तथापि समारोपितविश्वादिरूपेण प्रतिपन्नं तन्निषेधेन बोध्यते ।
> What a powerful statement!!  He says:  The six mantras have presented the
> three states in their samaShTi (cosmic) and vyaShTi (individual) forms.
> This is explicitly stated by Shankara too in the earlier mantras'
> commentaries.  That is the scheme of this upanishad.  So the three states
> have in total six entities: vishva-virAT, taijasa-hiraNyagarbha,
> prAjna-Ishwara.  All these entities, along with the respective bhogas and
> bhogya-s are collectively, totally, negated in the seventh mantra.  This
> the method of this upanishad:  first adhyaaropa of the six entities so
> we understand what these states are in deed. And subsequently we have to
> informed what is the ultimate Reality: the Absolute Truth.  That is done
> the seventh mantra by negating, अपवादः, all that was superimposed by the
> shruti in the earlier six mantras.  And to specifically address the
> question: is Ishwara too negated as superimposed?  we have Shankara's
> reply:  for the word 'na prajnam' of the seventh mantra Shankara says: न
> प्रज्ञमिति युगपत्सर्वविषयप्रज्ञातृत्वप्रतिषेधः ।  By 'not consciousness'
> (the seventh mantra) is negated the simultaneous knowledge of everything.

> This is the state of Ishwara.

I am sorry for Him. I see why the adage dharitra narayanan used by
Vivekananda fits Him :) Sankara starts the Gita with a clear definition of
Narayana, Avyakta, created beings such as Hiranyagarbha. The world,
sentient and insentient, come from avyakta, a mass of consciousness. But
Narayana, known as the supreme deity in the sastras, is transcendent to
avyakta. What is negated is everything Vyasa and avyakta, not Ishwara.
> Then it would be beneficial to remember a thumb rule in deciding what
> constitutes mithyA in Advaita.  With regard to the entity whose nature is
> in question we have to ask this question: Is it connected to the
> in some way, even remotely?  If the answer to this question is 'yes' then
> that entity is undoubtedly mithyA.  Since the jagat/jiva are both mithyA
> ultimately in Advaita whatever has any connection with these two is also
> mithyA.  Thus Ishwara who is jagatkAraNam, jIvakarmaphaladAtA,  etc. is
> also mithyA in the final analysis for the sole reason that such Ishwaratva
> is connected with jagat/jiva. So is the form of Ishwara.  Ishwara takes a
> form to protect the pious and annihilate the wicked.  Since this form is
> connected with the jagat/jiva, it is also mithyA.  The NirguNa Brahman,
> Turiya, which is 'sthAnatrayavilakShaNa' according to Shankara, is in no
> way connected with the prapancha/jiva, is alone sathyam.
As you know, Saguna Brahman does not create the world like a potter creates
a pot with clay. He is not connected with the world (na matsthani sarva
bhutani pasyame yogaisvaram) though from vyavahara perspective, we say
every thing is pervaded by Him and rests on Him etc. The criteria for
mithyatva is ultimate unreality. There is no sruti basis to to say Ishwara,
known as the Self, is unreal. Regarding His form, it is very clear that He
does not have a material form. In fact, He never changes His nature as One
transcendent to all  forms. His para maya, non-different from Him,
manifests the forms in the mind of the devotees and demons.
> And my suggestion to Sri Rajaram is: instead of relying on others you can
> directly talk to Sri Sastrigal about the aprAkRta sharIram status. You do
> have access to him.
I promised to complete my article on apaureshyatvam, which I am not able to
yet due to certain challenges. Once I complete, I will talk to him. He also
said he will research in to Bhakti rasa in early Advaita. I have no doubt
in your intelligence or honesty. So, there is no difference between you or
me asking.
> And in conclusion, since Sri Devanathan quotes the Panchadashi, I shall
> cite a verse from that text:
> मायाख्यायाः कामधेनोर्वत्सौ जीवेश्वरावुभौ ।
> यथेच्छं पिबतां द्वैतं तत्त्वं त्वद्वैतमेव हि ।|
> Iiva and Ishwara are the two calves of the cow named 'mAyA'.  Let one
> to his full intent the dvaita brought about by this pair of calves.  The
> Absolute Truth, however, is Advaitam.
It does make other of them mithya but only duality attributed due to

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