[Advaita-l] 'Ishwaro'ham' and 'IshwarabhAvaH'
rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Fri Aug 30 15:31:22 CDT 2013
> Not true. Firstly, gurur brahmA etc. is arthavAda, meant to praise the
> role of the guru and to inculcate bhakti and SraddhA in the minds of
> seekers. Secondly, none of the organizations that you name gives precedence
> to the name and form of the founder OVER the Hindu gods. That they may have
> a statue of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa or pictures of Chinmayananda or
> Sivananda in their centers does not mean they offer worship only to those.
> In Chinmaya centers that are temples, there is a Sivalinga and/or a Krishna
> vigraha at the center. In Arsha Vidya, there is Dakshinamurthy with a
> Sivalinga. Most RK Math i#and Sivananda centers don't aim to be temples,
> but where they maintain temples, it is Kali or a Sivalinga at the center
> sanctum. On the flip side, ISKCON has statues of Prabhupada galore in many
> of its centers too, so your conclusions above are quite baseless.
RV: We have to differentiate between the vigrahas that we make and install
deities in from the form realised during bhagavad sAkshatkArA. If ISKCON
devotees think that Prabhupada's form is eternal like Krishna's, they are
equally at fault like advaitins who put their guru's form at the same level
as that of the Vedic deities. I asked my gaudiya vaishnava teacher if
Prabhupada's form is spiritual and eternal like Krishna's. He laughed and
said, "No. He had diabates" It is considered spiritualised like iron rod in
fire, like items used in worship. It is non-eternal.
In your opinion, what is the difference between the name and form of guru
vs. the deities in the vedas? Not long ago, Shri Subrahmanian and Shri
Sadananda argued that Krishna's form is material directly contradicting
Sankara (mayarupam aprakrtam) and Madhsudhana (apanchabautika). I dont
think it is unique position held by them but a systematic fault in the
modern understanding of advaita. I would like to quote a conversation
(recorded - just in case you don't trust my integrity) with a stalwart
advaitin of our times. I don't want to name the scholar XX out of respect
for his openness despite vast knowledge.
RV: Krishna's form is eternal. Is it not?
XX: Even my form is.
XX: Manushya jAti is eternal and hence the form.
RV: Yes. Even your particular form is eternal as knowledge of Ishwara but
it is produced due to karma and cannot come back in to manifestation after
that karma is exhausted.
XX: How do you know Krishna's form is the same? We know the name Krishna as
Devaki Putra is eternal because it is said so in shruti but it need not be
that He has the same form.
RV: His form is eternal because it is made of maya, which is eternal. It is
not made of elements which are products of karma.
XX: If shruti and/or smrti say that His form is the same, we can accept it.
RV: I think they do.
XX: If there is pramana, we have to accept.
In addition to shruti and smrti evidence, Madhusudana clearly says that
Krishna appeared in the same - not a fresh - body in front of Vivasvan as
He did before Arjuna. There is no room for advaitin to understand
The countless examples of this baba or that being called god are quite
irrelevant to advaita vedAnta, because this or that baba does not
necessarily represent advaita tradition. And if this or that baba/mAtA
abuses his or her disciples, it is NOT because of a supposedly advaitic
orientation, but because of a lack of self-control, one of the stepping
stones before anyone can even embark upon an advaita vedAnta inquiry.
Furthermore, abuse of disciples by gurus and their top chelas happens among
the vaishNava groups very often too, even though they supposedly have a
strong philosophical grounding in human beings NOT being god. I refrain
from naming names and describing actual cases here, for the sake of
decorum. Once again, your conclusions are baseless.
RV: When did I say that anarthas are due to advaita? It is due to karma
> Again and again, it seems as if advaita and jnAnamArga is not for you. You
> seem to have a very clear view of what Krishna Bhakti is or should be.
> Getting on this list and trying to chip away at this or that aspect of
> advaita teaching, without getting the core and the basics right, does no
> help to either you or anyone else.
RV: I dont claim jnana marga is for me but how can you say advaitam is not
for me? Madhusudana says that a devotee of Raghava will attain advaita
siddhi even without a guru, without need for sravana, manana, nidhidhyasana
etc. If I am devotee, then advaita siddhi will be accessible to me as much
as it is to a jnana yoga, more easily so.
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