[Advaita-l] Iswara Swaruupam-1

kuntimaddi sadananda kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Tue Mar 27 01:38:24 CDT 2012

PraNAms to all - write up based on Gita slokas 4 and 5 - Split into two parts due to length. 
Hari Om!

Iswara Swaruupam

Iswara swaruupam is discussed in Gita Ch. 7 slokas 4 & 5. Saguna Iswara bhakti involves the divinization of the world. Bhagavan Ramana says jagadaiishadhiiH yutka sevanam, ashTamuurthy bruk deva puujanam|, serve the world appropriately considering it as God and that becomes karma yoga. Recognition of the world as Iswara is also knowledge. Nirguna Iswara bhakti is claiming that I am the Iswara that supports the saguna Iswara in the form of the world. This involves intellectual understanding of advaita, non-duality in spite of apparent duality, resulting in total fulfillment. Shankara calls this as samyak darShaNam –this vision is not by the physical eye but by jnaana kshakshu or wisdom eye – the third eye of Iswara – in the very vision all the desires or kaamas for the lower gets dissolved or burned away.  

In verses 4 & 5 of Ch. 7 (jnaan vijnaana yoga), Lord Krishna defines Iswara as the mixture of two factors, paraa prakRiti and aparaa prakRiti; lower and higher nature of Iswara.  Thus as prakRiti, two factors play in the creation. PrakRiti is the material cause or upaadana kaaraNam. Paraa prakRiti is – vivartha upaadaana kaaraNam – non-changing material cause and aparaa prakRiti is pariNaama upaadana kaaranam- changing material cause. Non-changing material cause contributes to sat chit ananda – we are using here the word - contributes – but it actually supports the other cause – dhaaryate. The existence of the aparaa prakRiti is due to the paraa prakRiti i.e. dependent-existence or aswatantra sattaa, while paraa prakRiti can exist independent of the other. It is swatantra sattaa, has independent existence.

The world that we see is continuously changing. Changing material cause is expressed as naama ruupa. If something is changing, the law of conservation demands that there must be something that is changeless in the changing things. The changeless material cause in the changing world is paraa prakRiti that which supports all the changes. That changeless material cause is sat chit ananda. Krishana declares this fact as absolute law of conservation in II-16- naasato vidyate bhaavo, naabhovo vidyate sataH| that which is non-existence can never come into existence and that which exists can never ceases to exist. That existence is unchanging material cause as declared in the Ch. Up 6th . sat eva soumya idam agra asiit. Existence alone was there before creation.  eva (alone) is used to indicate that there is nothing other than existence, and that existence which was alone before creation, now exists as various names and forms, which can keep changing. Jagat is
 jaayate gacchate iti – that which continuously changing is the world.  

Therefore creation involves a mixture of (naama & ruupa) + (sat chit ananda). Hence 
asti bhaati priyam ruupam namam chaityamshaa pancakam|
aadhyatrayam brahma ruupam jagat ruupam tato dvayam|| - says Vidyaranya
Every object has five characteristics, viz existence, congnizability, attractiveness, form and name. Of these, the first three belong to Brahman and the next two to the world – from dRikdRisya viveka. 

Coming back to the slokas the aparaa prakRiti is itself has eight fold components – bhuumi raapo2nolo vaayuH kham manobuddhirevaca|
ahankaara itiiyam me bhinnaaprakRitiraShtadhaa|| .. sloka 4. 
defining the eight fold nature of aparaa prakRiti consisting of earth, water, fire, air, space, manas, buddhi, ahankaara.
apareyamitastvanyaam prakRitim viddhi me paraam|
jiivabhuutaam mahaabaaho yayedam dhyaaryate jagat|..sloka 5.
Paraa prakRiti – The above apraa prakRiti is lower (impure) and there is my higher nature (pure) which is one, ekadaa, and is different from the lower one and that which supports the lower as well as supports the very life in all beings. 

The above slokas are explained using Sankhya model with some difference. 

Using Sankya theory of creation – There are 24 tatvas in Sankhya. 
avyaktam is the muula prakRiti is seed of creation. For Vedanta the avyaktam is mithyaa while for sankhya it is satya. 
In Sankhya – from avyaktam –> buddhi is born. Here buddhi stands not for intellect but it stands for mahat tatvam. From buddhi (mahat tatvam) ahankaara is born.  Cosmic material aspect of creation comes from mahat tatvam.

From ahankaara, 16 tatvams are evolved.  manaH, dasha indriyaani (5 jnaanedriyas and 5 karmendriayas), pancha suukshma buutaani, 5 subtle elements = 1+10+5 = 16 tatvams or categories.

From the 5 subtle elements, 5 gross elements are created. The total now is 16+5=21. Adding avyaktam or muula prakRiti, buddhi or mahat tavam and ahankaara – we have the total of 24 tatvams or categories. Vedanta and Sankhya differ only in the sense that these tatvams are mithyaa (neither real or unreal) for Vedanta, but satyam or real for Sankhya. For Vedanta only Brahman is real which, being infinite, is unchanging. 

Of these, 8 are causal tatvam (prakRiti) and sixteen are non-causal tatvams (vikRiti). Causal means they are kaaraNam or cause for other tatvams. manaH, dasha indriyaani and panca sthuula bhuutani (total 16) are non-causal as they do not give rise to or cause any other tatvams. The other eight are causal ones starting from avyaktam or muula prakRiti since they cause or generate another tatvam from them. They include avyaktam, mahat or buddhi, ahankaara and panca suukshma bhuutani. Total 8, as they create other tatvams. 

All of them are pariNAma upaadaana kaaraNam or changing material cause and are jadam or inert only. Anything jadam or inert is mithyaa as per Vedanta. 

Paraa prakRiti is chaitanyam sat swaruupam. Vivarta upaadaana kaaraNam- unchanging material cause.  It is of the nature of consciousness-existence and does not undergo any modification during creation. 

In these slokas, Krishna does not mention avyaktam, for some reason. manaH should not have come under prakRiti but should come under vikRiti. Since from manaH, no other tatvam is created. Hence tatvaas that give rise to other tatvaas are called prakRiti and those that do not give rise to other tatvaas are called vikRiti. 

Hence Madhusudana provides a simple solution for the apparent discrepancy. He says manaH in the sloka has to be identified as avyaktam or muula prakRiti of the Sankhya – the ultimate cause for everything.

Shankara gives essentially the same meaning but with little bit round about explanation.
Buddhi in the sloka is mahat tatvam. BhumiH etc are subtle elements which are part of prakRiti (causal). Since Krishna list the 8 all are prakRiti, Bhuumi apaH etc are being prakRiti are suukshma bhuutani or tanmaatraani since they cause other tatvams. The avyaktam or muula prakRiti (that is missing in the sloka) is referred here by the word ahankaara, says Shankara. Ahankaara has avidya in potential form, which forms the seed for further creation. Ahankaara itself is in seed form in the muula prakRiti – from that seed which has avidya forms the basis for creation. From the seed only the tree, leaves and the fruits originate. 

Q. How can ahankaara convey the avyaktam in which ahankaara is the beejam or seed?
Ans: Ahankaara, which is very important and that has the vaasanas in subtle form or it has avidya or muula avidya in potential form, exists in seed form in muula prakRiti, which is avyaktam. Even though it is in potential form, the avyaktam can be expressed as ahankaara. He gives an example – If poison is there in potential form in some rice, we call that rice also as poison, since it causes the same effect. The second reason is the word is used as gouna prayogam. That is it is an indicatory meaning. This is possible if both (indicatory and indicated words) should have same common factor – as in the sentence - He is a lion. Or He is a fire. There must be some common factor or guna for the equation to be valid. Muula prakRiti causes entire creation – ahankaara does the same thing since it has avidya in potential form. Hence ahankaara can denote avyaktam of Sankya.

continued in part II

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