[Advaita-l] Eternal Loka

Rajaram Venkataramani rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Wed Jul 24 13:42:07 CDT 2013

Hare Krishna. On 21-July, I posted  smrti reference and Sridhara's
commentary for eternal vaikuntha and reposting it beloww. I did not
continue with other references because there was no interest to discuss
further based on references to sastras and the works of acharyas. Even you
have not referred to any work of an advaita purvacharya to justify your

*1. smrti and bhashya evidence that vaikuntha is eternal:*
grīvāyāḿ janaloko 'sya tapolokaḥ stana-dvayāt mūrdhabhiḥ satyalokas tu
brahmalokaḥ *sanātanah* (SBh 2.5.39) Sridhara comments for this verse that
Vaikuntha is eternal. Kadalangudi Natesa Sastrigal, who belongs to advaita
sampradaya, also translates it into Tamil as nityamana vaikuntamum (eternal
vaikunta). Brahmaloka means Vaikunta. It is eternal. It is not grouped with
the material world which has a creation.
*2. smrti evidence that there is no fear in vaikuntha:*
ātapatraḿ tu vaikuṇṭhaḿ dvijā *dhāmākuto-bhayam *tri-vṛd vedaḥ
suparṇākhyo (SBh 12.11.19). In "mutthi neri", Sringeri Periyva talks about
fear due to duality in the world of gods. Such fear is denied in Vaikuntha,
the world of Vishnu.
If you say that this Vaikuntha is non-different from Vishnu or Ishwara, who
is all pervading, I have no difference of opinion with you. In fact, there
are clear references to that effect in the sastras. If you say that are no
eternal entities (parinama nitya) in vyavahara realm as per advaita, I will
question that. Lord Krishna's body, unlike ours which is dependent on karma
to become manifest, is eternal. He explains dharma to Vivasvan and Arjuna
in the same body (rf. Madhusudana). Ishwara is eternal. Maya is
eternal. Sanatana Dharma is eternal. It will be an oxymoron to consider
sanatana dharma to be non-eternal. As Sabara Swamin clarifies adrsta is
known only through sabda, which is eternal. Sabda has eternal connection
with artha. Artha has real object as its support (arthalambana Sa.Bh.
1.1.5). Hence all that is described in the Vedas are eternal. Logically
also, all names and forms  - leave alone Vaikuntha - are eternal as
Ishwara's jnana.
On Wed, Jul 24, 2013 at 5:25 PM, Vidyasankar Sundaresan <
svidyasankar at hotmail.com> wrote:

> > From: rajaramvenk at gmail.com
> > Date: Sat, 20 Jul 2013 11:59:05 +0000
> >
> > I definitely will cite the shruti and smrti verses that talk about
> eternal loka. However, I'd like to first ascertain based on textual
> evidence that (early) advaita acharyas deny existence of an eternal loka in
> vyavahara. You and ShrI SadAnanda categorically deny that there is an
> eternal vaikuntha and would like to know if there is evidence that your
> position is supported by the acharyas in the tradition.
> > Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device
> >
> Rajaram, it is not my intention to rekindle a discussion that seems to
> have run its course a
> couple of days ago, but I would like you to clarify what you intend by the
> phrase "existence
> of an eternal loka in vyavahAra."
> The gItA tells you that all loka-s from brahmaloka onwards are subject to
> the cycle of birth
> and death (punarAvartinaH), therefore not eternal. This is the very
> definition of vyavahAra,
> whereas paramArtha, by definition, is that which is not subject to
> punarAvartana. The basic
> logic of advaita places the concept of true eternality distinct from
> vyavahAra, so an "eternal
> loka in vyavahAra" is ultimately an oxymoron.
> If you are thinking of vaikuNTha or kailAsa as places in time and space,
> and seeking to find
> a more permanent existence for them over brahmaloka, and you are further
> asking advaitins
> why they deny their eternal existence, you are mistakenly presuming a lot
> of things and are
> asking for the impossible.
> vaikuNTha, understood as "tad vaishNavaM padam", as described in the
> gItAbhAshya, is a
> synonym for moksha, which is eternal. If this is called a loka by an
> advaita teacher, it is only
> meant in a figurative sense. vaikuNTha, as understood by most non-advaitic
> ways of thinking,
> is a very different thing altogether. It is typically taken as a loka in a
> literal sense, with an
> entrance and gatekeepers, so that there is a place that is vaikuNTha, set
> apart from places
> that are not vaikuNTha.
> So long as that is the case, such a vaikuNTha is, from the advaita vedAnta
> perspective, subject
> to limitation and change, therefore, non-eternal. Eternality or otherwise
> of a loka is not to be
> discussed as if a loka is a material or non-material entity that stands
> apart from the person(s)
> inhabiting it. If you take vaikuNTha as a place where the sanatkumara-s
> come to visit for some
> time and then go away, or from which jaya and vijaya fall, to return only
> after three births as
> asura-s, then why, such a vaikuNTha is not an eternal loka, either for the
> sanatkumara-s or for
> jaya and vijaya!
> If you say that vaikuNTha has to be eternal nevertheless, because it is
> the home of vishNu, you
> have to first recognize that such a conception of the eternality of
> vaikuNTha is heavily dependent
> on the tattva that vishNu is eternal. Now you also have to grant that
> vishNu is all-pervading. So,
> logically speaking, the entire universe is, in one sense, vaikuNTha.
> Talking about the eternality
> or otherwise of vaikuNTha then becomes equivalent to deliberating on
> whether the universe is
> a permanent and eternal entity or not. If you truly come to such a way of
> thinking, only then
> should you ask for clarifications for such questions from advaita
> AcArya-s, not before.
> Vidyasankar
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