[Advaita-l] Supreme Brahman - the Ruler in Advaita?

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Mon Apr 15 15:28:26 CDT 2013

On Tue, Apr 16, 2013 at 12:12 AM, Srinath Vedagarbha
<svedagarbha at gmail.com>wrote:

> On Mon, Apr 15, 2013 at 11:45 AM,  <rajaramvenk at gmail.com> wrote:
> > According to Madhusudana, there are three levels of bhakti as you may
> know. In the first level, the devotee thinks I am His. In the second level,
> he thinks He is mine. Both these think I am one and the Lord is another. At
> the highest level, which gopis were in, they realise "I am He". Please note
> such a jnani is a type of devotee according to Lord Krishna (BhG 7) and the
> highest. It is fallacious to argue that bhakti needs duality.
> Look at what SriKrishna says in 16.14 "IswarO aham aham bhOgee siddhO aham
> balavAn sukhee" Geetha, classifies a thought such as "I am God" under
> "Asuree" svabhAva which is something to be given up like any other Asuree
> thoughts.

Dear Srinath,

This verse is not about 'I am God' thought.  It is rather the egoistic
thinking 'I am a / the lord' (someone who is the owner of much wealth).
There is this popular usage: koTeeswara, A person of much wealth and
authority is said to be possessed of 'aishwaryam'.  While doing sankalpa on
auspicious occasions we hear these words 'vijaya vIrya AyuH Arogya
aishwarya prAptyartham...' Here it is not Godhood that is prayed for but
worldly wealth/authority.  It is in this sense the Asura buddhi is censured
here in this verse.  Non-advaitins have mistaken that Bhagavan is censuring
the (mistaken) advaitic teaching 'aham brahma asmi' in this verse.
Shankara Himself does not give the advaitic meaning here.

> > In fact, as Madhusudana puts it, real devotion is possible only in
> non-dual state.

Actually, the supreme devotee is the advaita jnani.  But we have to
remember that a jnani/bhakta is a possibility only in the vyavaharika.  In
advaita the parmartha, absolute, does not give room for  the existence of
even a jnani.  Only 'jnanam' which is only Brahman (satyam, jnanam,
anantam) is there and no jnani.  In the same way, even that supreme bhakti
which is none other than supreme love for one's  Self is a possibility only
in the vyavaharika.  In the pAramArthika there is none who can experience
or express such bhakti, even towards one's own self.  That is why there is
no possibility of an eternal bhakti / bhakta in pAramArthika Advaita.   If
by the word 'bhakti' or 'eternal bhakti' one is trying to mean 'Ananda',
then we have no problem for Brahman is Anandam too, 'vijnanam Anandam
brahma' is the Upanishadic teaching.

> subrahmanian.v

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