[Advaita-l] Shankara on non-Advaitic mokSha/Brahman

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Fri Mar 8 12:33:11 CST 2013

On Fri, Mar 8, 2013 at 1:33 AM, Rajaram Venkataramani <rajaramvenk at gmail.com
> wrote:

> On Mon, Mar 4, 2013 at 9:52 PM, Sunil Bhattacharjya <
> sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Also, Gaudpada defines Turiya as the changeless ruler capable of
> destroying all miseries.
> 1.10 Turiya,* the changeless Ruler*, is capable of destroying all
> miseries. All other entities being unreal, the non-dual Turiya alone is
> known as effulgent and all-pervading.

Shankara clarifies that the 'destruction of all miseries' (pertaining to
the three states of life - waking, etc.) means: By the realization of, by
gaining the knowledge of, the Turiya all miseries are destroyed.  This
means: One will realize that one is the Turiya in truth and not the one
that lives the three states of life.  So, there is no instrumentality at
all on the part of the Turiya (called IshAna here).  It is just that the
Turiya-realization brings an end to the thinking that one is undergoing the
miserable life the three states bring. Even 'effulgent and all pervading'
are not to be taken literally.  Effulgence means jnapti not physical
light.  All-pervading means only that the dRshya prapancha is adhyasta in
the dRk.

> Regarding adhyaropa - apavada, Ishwara is the cause only through the
> instrumentality of maya. it is possible to negate cause (maya) and its
> effect (jagat) but how will you negate Him who is beyond cause and effect?

I would rephrase your above paragraph, in tune with the Advaita Vedanta
shAstra thus:

// Brahman (not Ishwara) is the cause only through the instrumentality of
mAyA. [ In fact Brahman when 'associated' with mAyA is called Ishwara.] It
is possible to negate the cause (mAyA) and the effect jagat  but how will
you negate Brahman (Him) that (who) is beyond cause and effect? //

Here, the 'cause' is Ishwara for the world.  He is called 'abhinna
nimittopAdAna kAraNam'. So, really Ishwara is not beyond cause/effect
duality.  The sixth mantra of this very upanishad specifies the Ishwara as
the cause.

When the cause mAyA and effect jagat have been negated, along with that
Ishwara the mAyopAdhika also stands negated.  In other words, when the
cause-effect negation is effected there is no Post/portfolio called
Ishwara.  When there is no kingdom/subjects there is no way one can be
called the King.

The only unnegatable entity is the negator-consciousness that is called
Brahman/Atman. And this entity is what is beyond cause and effect and
called Turiya in this Upanishad.

> When the pot (maya) is destroyed, there is no pot space (jiva) or great
> space distinct from the pot (ishwara) but how can you say that there is no
> great space (ishwara or brahman)?

Actually here too there is a rephrasing required:  In the pot called mAyA
are both jiva and Ishwara representing the pot-space.  When the mAyA pot is
destroyed the jiva-Ishwara defined pot space is seen as no different from
the Great space that is Brahman (and not Ishwara).  The Panchadashi verse:
mAyAkhyAyAH kAmadhenoH... is the most fitting one here.

> The subtle difference is that Ishwara is indestructible.

The rephrasing here would be: jiva and Ishwara AS Brahman-Consciousness are
indestructible.  But as superimposed entities they both get negated, not
destroyed.  The removal of the two upaadhis (mAyopAdhi of Ishwara and
avidopAdhi of jiva) leaves just the One Pure Consciousness, unidentifiable
as jiva/Ishwara/jagat.

> All I am asking for is evidence from bhasyam to show that Ishwara is to be
> given up.

A significant bhAShya sentence in this regard is:  At the very  end of the
bhashya for the kArikA 1.2 we have: ...’नेति, नेति’ इत्यादिना
वीजवत्त्वापनयनेन व्यपदेशः । तामबीजावस्थां तस्यैव प्राज्ञशब्दवाच्यस्य
तुरीयत्वेन देहादिसम्बन्धरहितां पारमार्थिकीं पृथग्वक्ष्यति । [...and It is
referred to, by refuting Its causal state, in such Vedic texts as, ....Not
this, not this etc.  That supremely real state,* free from causality*,
relation with body, etc. and modes of waking etc, of that very entity that
is called prAjna, will be spoken separately in its aspect as the Turiya.]

The other very explicit statement from Shankara is from the BSB 2.1.14
which has been cited several times on this forum:

तदेवमविद्यात्मकोपाधिपरिच्छेदापेक्षमेव ईश्वरस्य ईश्वरत्वम्, सर्वज्ञत्वं
सर्वशक्तित्वं च,
न परमार्थतो विद्यया अपास्तसर्वोपाधिस्वरूप आत्मनि
ईशित्रीशितव्यसर्वज्ञत्वादिव्यवहार उपपद्यते ।

The gist of the above is: ONLY owing to the avidyaa-born
upAdhi-constriction Ishwara's Ishvaratvam, omniscience and omnipotence can
be spoken of.  However, from the Absolute standpoint that is characterized
by Self-knowledge destroying all upAdhi-s, there is no duality consisting
of Ruler-ruled, omniscience, omnipotence, etc. (in Brahman).  After saying
this Shankara quotes an entirely different set of passages that clearly
distinguish Brahman (not-Ishwara) from the earlier set of quotes (shown by
you above) that are applicable ONLY to Ishwara (Brahman in association with

The seventh mantra (Turiya) of the Mandukya stands exactly in relation to
the sixth mantra (Ishwara) in the above manner.


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