[Advaita-l] Ishwara Turiya?

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Mon Mar 12 12:51:17 CDT 2012

On Mon, Mar 12, 2012 at 9:12 PM, Rajaram Venkataramani <
rajaramvenk at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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.

Here you are actually talking about nirguNa Brahman.  In Advaita the
mahAvAkya is applied by removing/negating the attributes extraneous to the
svarUpa of Ishwara (and jiva) and the residual chinmAtram, pure
consciousness, alone forms the basis for the aikyam.  So, by the term
'Iswara' you are only meaning the pure consciousness which is no doubt the
true nature of the jiva.  This has been already stated in this thread where
'kshetrajna-Ishwara abheda' usage was cited.

> > 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).

Even here you are talking of nirguNa Brahman by the term 'Ishwara.'
Shankara's usage of kUTastha for mAyA in BGB 15.16 is for another reason:
athavA kUTo mAyA vanchanA jihmatA kuTilatA iti paryaayaaH,
anekamAyAvanchanAdiprakaareNa sthitaH kUTasthaH....There is no way this can
be compared to the kUTasthabrahman that Shankara talks about in the BSB.
In fact there are several such 'pitfalls' in Vedanta for the unwary
student: the word 'akshara' can refer to the Self and mAyA.  'avyakta' is
another such tricky word. Why, even the word 'Brahma' has this dual meaning
(mama yonir mahadbrahma' of the BG where brahma is mAyA).

> 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.

Pl. understand that no one has said Ishwara is in illusion.  In fact the
Dvaita scholar-pontiff committed this very mistake after reading the
Panchadashi verse I quoted recently about jiva and Ishwara being two calves
of the celestial cow mAyA.  He charged: How can Ishwara who is still in
mAyA (that is who has not Himself come out of mAyA) teach Advaita jnana to
others?  That everyone and everything irrespective of whether it is Ishwara
is Turiya 'svarUpataH' is amply clarified.

>   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 :)

Your sympathies are misplaced.  What I have stated as 'state' of Ishwara is
to mean only His Omniscience, sarvajnatva.  This 'trait' is negated from
the Turiya in that mantra. That is what Shankara is saying.

> 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.

Even here you are talking of NirguNa Brahman alone without knowing that you
are doing so.

> 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.

In advaita when it is said that something is not the Ultimate NirguNa
Brahman, it is implied that such a thing is unreal.  I have shown the case
of the Kenopanishat itself negating the 'upAsyam' as NOT the Truth that the
Upanishad is teaching as Brahman.  Shankara has commented here for the term
'upAsate' as 'not those things that people meditate upon such as Ishwara'
.  So, there is enough evidence in the shastra/bhashya to show that
Ishwara, saguNa brahman, is unreal.  I request Sri Devanathan to note
this.  Pl. check the Kenopanishad bhashyam: nedam  yadidamupAsate.  I had
quoted this bhashyam in another thread recently.

> 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.

Let the form of Ishwara not be material but it is not Turiya in any case.
That is the point I wanted to make.  If anything is connectable to
jagat/jiva then it is not Turiya in the true sense of the seventh mantra.

> 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
> ignorance.

As has been clarified several times, Ishwara gets a place ONLY because of
the world/duality.  If you remove duality by knowledge what you have is
Ishwara, the shuddha chaitanya.

I find that your meaning of the term Ishwara keeps shifting from time to
time.  It toggles between the saguNa Brahman and shuddha chaitanyam.  In
this post itself I have shown several instances of this.

I am just making a short comment on what you have replied to Sri

//For viseshas such as Rama, Krishna, Linga etc., Paramaya, non-different
from Ishwara,is the cause. I am not referring to the panchabautika bimbo
created by us of
Rama, Krishna etc., but to His avirbhava manifestation by His sankalpa.//

If by 'parAmAyA' you mean the 'parAprakRti' that Bhagavan has stated to be
His higher nature in the BG 7th chapter, then it is none other than Pure
Consciousness which Shankara explains as 'kshetrajnalakShaNA', that which
illumines the entire creation, kshetram.  And this is admitted to be
without any vikAra-s.  But the Rama/Krishna and other bodies that the Lord
took for various purposes did undergo changes/modifications.  The baby
Krishna grew up to be a youth and later to be a father and grandfather.  So
too did Rama undergo several modifications.  Pure Consciousness is not
admitted to be such.  Narasimha roared, ran hither and tither in the chase
of Hiranyakashipu and slayed him.  I would not use the term 'perish' with
these forms but certainly they are not shuddha chaitanyam which is
nirvikAra/niShkriya.  To say the chaitanyam in Rama etc. was not affected
when all these things happened to these bodies/forms is quite another thing.


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