[Advaita-l] Iswara Swarupam - II

kuntimaddi sadananda kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Tue Mar 27 01:40:59 CDT 2012

PraNAms - based on Sloka 4 & 5 of Gita Ch. 7

Ahankaara generates mamakaara; I and mine. Note that ahankaara has two meanings: karma shaastra ahankaara and Vedanta shaastra ahankaara. Ahankaara referred to here is Vedanta shaastra ahankaara. Dharma or karma shaastra ahanikaara is pride, vanity, haughtiness, etc (maanitvam, dambhitvam, etc). Vedanta shaastra ahankaara involves deha abhimaana (a notion that I am this body) caused by ignorance. All Vedantins have Vedantic ahankaara. Even the humblest person –as vishiShTaadvaitins say- aDayan or daasan or daasoham, I am a daasa - there is ahankaara.  Because of ahankaara, he thinks he is small or servant. It is easier to serve the master as LakshmaNa does; however more difficult to serve the servant of the master – as Shatrugna serves Bharata who himself feels he is the servant of the Lord.  In Mukundamaala Kulashekhara alwar says; majjanmanaH phalamidam madhukaiTa bhaare… tat bRitya bRitya paricaaraka bRitya bRityasya bRitya iti maam .. I am the
 servant of the sarvant of the servant…Even the humblest one has Vedantic ahankaara. In every role playing there is ahankaara as I am a father, I am a son or I am a teacher or student, I am a daasa, etc. For transactions one has to play a role. The difference between a jnaani and ajnnaani is jnaani deliberately takes the role- play, like an actor playing a role in a drama, while being aware that he is really an actor but playing the role for fun. It becomes a vibhuuti for him. For ajnaani, the role is taken as real and the problems of the roles become his problems and therefore suffer. Roles will have problems and that is the nature of a drama. Life is a drama. Problems become real problems if the roles are taken as real. How to play the role as a role? When Shankara writes a bhaashya, he has to take the role of a bhaashyakaara which is a limiting role. Thus taking a role deliberately is not a problem; in fact not only it has to be done as long as
 body, mind and intellect are there due to praarabda, but doing it in glorified form forms a divine play. That should be goal of every seeker, using the BMI to glorify the creation. Ultimately the knowledge or realization is seeing the divine play in every action. In the case of a jnaani, the kind of role he plays becomes an ideal or inspiration for others to follow. Thus there is an ahankaara in every role play, since every role play involves localization. It becomes vibhuuti of the Lord or vibhuuti of the self that I am. Even though everything in the creation is vibhuuti, that which stands out or exemplary in nature becomes special vibhuuti, as Krishna lists some in the 10th Chapter. Exemplary manifestations or even accomplishments or creative actions are full expressions of the Lord. In these the beauty of the Lord is expressed in all its glory.

Coming back to slokas – PrakRiti is pra kriyate iti prakRiti – material cause. – pariNaami upaadaana kaaraNam or changing material cause. It is that (material) which is shaped into various forms by the nimitta kaaraNam, the efficient cause. Upaadaanam involves Upa + da – that which is taken (by the nimitta kaaraNam). Upaadaana prakRiti is Iswarii, that is Iswara sambandhinii, that is maayaa shakti. prakRiti in Sankhya is not maayaa. Maayaa is Vedanta. If prakRiti is equated to maayaa it becomes mithyaa. That is, it cannot be counted like ring cannot be counted as separate from gold. Puurva miimaasa takes upaadaana kaaraNam as satyam. All karmakaanDa involves taking upaadaana kaaraNam as satyam. 

This 8-fold aparaaprakRiti is jadam or inert. It consists of naama ruupa or names and forms for this universe. This is called lower prakRiti. It cannot exist independent of paraa prakRiti. It is lower because it causes problems. All relationships are at this level. Relation or sambandha involves two independent entities. Any sambandha gives bandha or ties down a person – samyak bandhanam. What is the relation between ring and the gold. They are not two independent entities to have sambandha. There can be relation between ring and a necklace, since they are independent of each other – like they belong to the same owner. The relation between ring and gold is relation-less relation. Ring depends on Gold for existence, while Gold does not depend on the ring. Gold supports the existence of the ring. Similarly paraa prakRiti in form of sat or existence supports the aparaa prakRiti. When aparaa prakRiti gets modified or grossifed, it becomes prapanca or
 dRisya prapanca, objectifyable world. Incidentally naama or name involves knowing as namability requires a knowability. Without knowing by a conscious entity, object cannot be named. ruupa involves attributes – stands for shabda, sparsha, ruupa, rasa, gandha – sound, touch, form (colors), taste and smell – corresponding to the five sense inputs. The prapanca or the world involves these two, naama and ruupa meaning the knowability and attribute content that can be known via the senses. Conscious entity is prerequisite for the knowability since knowing involves being conscious of that object or the world. Hence jiivabhuuta is mentioned in the sloka 5. Without the knowability by the conscious entity, the existence of the world cannot be established. It becomes indeterminate or anirvachaniiyam, since nirvacanam is defining an object which requires a knowability. naama or name or namability is therefore mentioned as part of prapanca as pariNaama
 upaadana kaaraNa. In the case of ornaments – ring, bangle, etc are names for forms which are distinct from each other and which can undergo modifications, as ring can be converted into bangle, etc. This changing entity or pariNaama upaadanam is mithyaa. In this limited example, Gold is vivarta upaadaana kaaraNam – unchanging material cause and therefore satyam. lohamityeva satyam says Ch. Up, discussing the relevance of this example to creation. 

The second line of the verse 5 has a mahaavaakyam embedded in it. After aparaa prakRiti producing all – the body and mind etc – paraa prakRiti as though enters (upavishati) into aparaa prakRiti as jiiva – Gruha pravesham. Jiiva bhuutam is mahavaakyam. tvam pada lakshyaartham is involved where jiivabuuta provides the indicatory meaning for paraaprakRit since jiiva is chaitanya swaruupa or conscious entity.  paraa prakRiti is tat pada lakshyaartha. Jiiva bhuutam chit swaruupena dhaaryate expressing in the aparaa prakRiti as sat swaruupam. Thus both sat and chit aspects are indicated in the sloka. 
One can extract the entire Vedanta shaastra in this sloka. This is a jneyam vastu – worth knowing, because it is ananda swaruupam. Hence viddhi word is used here implying the ananda swaruupam. It is indicated since everyone wants to know what gives happiness. In the explanation of jiiva bhuuta, Shankara deliberately uses the word kshetrajna lakshaNa to take us to 13th Chapter where kshetra-kshetrajna vibhaaga yoga is discussed. Where the reference is made by the Lord as - kshetrajnam ca api maam viddhi sarva kshetreshu bhaarata-  Know Me as the knower in all knowns. It is a reminder for a student that discussion of this mahaavaakya is exhaustively provided in the 13th Chapter.

By using jiiva bhuutam – Krishna gives an important information that paraaprakRiti is chaitanya swaruupam. He is available in the body of everyone as chidaabhaasa. Thus chidaabhaasa is vaachyaartha of jiiva or direct meaning while pure consciousness is the lakshyaartha or indicatory meaning. Jiiva means chit itself, says Shankara by referring it to kshetrajna which is the same in every living being as saakshi chaitanyam. Jiva word comes from jiiv that which holds the life or praaNa or praaNa dhaarati. That which holds praaNa in the jiiva also holds the whole universe – dhaaryate idam jagat. Since jagat is mithyaa cannot exist independently and needs a support as every mithyaa object must have a satya that supports its existence. Or conversely since the world which is changing is supported by that which is changeless, paraa prakRiti, the jagat is mithyaa. Any thing that is not self-existing is mithyaa. Thus advaitic truth as adhishTaanam is emphasized
 in the slokas.  Prapancopashamam says ManDukya mantra 7 where the whole jagat is resolved into it and this aspect is mentioned in the following sloka as pralaya sthaanam.  

Thus Iswara swaruupam is described in the slokas 4 and 5. It consists of both para and aparaa prakRiti. Paraa prakRiti by itself cannot become a kaaraNam or cause for creation. aparaa prakRiti by itself cannot become a cause for creation. Both are mutually dependent to manifest as creation. However any dependence is mithyaa. This mutual dependence is only in terms of the manifestation as the world of living and non-living beings. However in terms of existence, paraa prakRiti can exist independently and supports aparaa prakRiti, while aparaa prakRiti cannot exist independently. It is similar to Gold can exist independently without being a ring, while ring cannot exist independently without the support of Gold. Hence paraa prakRiti is vivarta upaadana kaaraNam while aparaa prakRiti is pariNaama upaadana kaaraNam. Hence Krishna elucidates this further in the next sloka by referring to paraa and apaara prakRiti as – yetadyoniini bhuutaani
 sarvaaNiityupadhaaraya – the cause for the creation of all beings in the universe.  It is also prabhava palaya sthanam reminding us the taTasta lakshaNa of Brahman from Tai. Up. yatova imaaani bhuutaani jaayante…. tat brahmeti. 

Mostly based on the discourses by Swami Paramarthanandaji on Shankara Bhaashyam.

Hari Om!

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