[Advaita-l] Pramana for adhyaropa apavada

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sat May 11 02:01:26 CDT 2013

On Sat, May 11, 2013 at 2:06 AM, Rajaram Venkataramani <
rajaramvenk at gmail.com> wrote:

> AchAryAr: We can have. But then (in that case), that which pervades the
> world would only be shakti, not BhagavAn. Would it be nyAyam when the Vedas
> have mentioned BhagavAn himself as sarva-vyApaka (all-pervading), and that
> only Brahman is the greatest, to make that BhagavAn just a small
> parichChinna mUrti (divided, detached, confined image) residing in the
> VaikuNThaM and KailAsaM, giving the nature of his pervasion to only his
> shakti?
> RV: But how will this defect apply if we accept that shakti and shaktimaan
> are absolutely non-different?

The non-difference here is not the one like the svarUpa non-difference
between Brahman and jiva.  Since the shakti can't be shown as existing
apart from the shaktimAn it is spoken of by courtesy as non-different.  The
question of Brahman's shakti comes up ONLY with reference to the effects of
brahman like the world, the managing affairs of the jiva, the antaryAmitvam
etc.  Since all these are only dependent on Brahman and Brahman is
dependent on them to have those  epithets, they do not really inhere in
Brahman and therefore their progenitor, the shakti, too, is not really
inhering in Brahman.  In a scenario of absolute Brahman, nirupAdhika, there
is no room for the question of its shakti and the shakti's non-difference
from brahman.  The Brahmasutra says that the 'sarvagatatvam' (all-pervading
nature/omnipresence) is attributed to Brahman ONLY on the AdhyAsika/Aropita
'sarva'.  In other words, the concept of 'sarvam', 'all' itself is not
ultimately real.  In 'sarvam khalvidam brahma', the statement only says:
the multiplicity seen  is Brahman in truth.  And there can't be sva-gata
bheda in Brahman since the Upanishads teach brahman as
prajnAna/vijnAnaghana, saindhava ghanavat, just like an impartite rock of

> AchAryAr: If the upAsakA remains in happiness having darshan of the
> VaikuNThAdi MUrtis, it would amount to the upAsakA becoming the bhoktA (one
> who experiences) and that MUrti becoming the bhogyaM (that which is
> experienced). The bhoktA is always AtmA, cetana (animate, intelligent,
> conscious); bhogyaM is always anAtmA, achetana (not the AtmA,
> inanimate/without consciousness). Therefore, if this man is having darshan
> of that Divya MUrti and experiencing happiness, it can only be that he
> makes that MUrti bhogyam and thereby anAtmA and jaDaM (inanimate). This is
> a great apachAraM (spiritual offence).
> Advaitins would not give room to such apachAraM. They would only accept the
> kaivalya padavi (path to Unity) as MokShaM, where the bhedaM (difference,
> distinction) of bhoktA-bhogyaM ceases into a state of unity of both
> RV: If the Lord is the enjoyer and the jIvA is the enjoyed, then how can
> the Lord be considered boghyam? Is it not that in advaita, the mUrti is
> mithya or jadaprakrti?

If the jiva is bhogyam, it is jaDa and this is contradictory to the
upanishad.  And if the Lord is dependent on the jaDa jiva for his bhoga, He
is no longer nityatRpta; He will be another samsAri who looks for something
outside of him to remain sated. This is the consequence of having a jiva
that is different from the Lord.

> AchAryAr: But there would be space between his bhujaM (arm) and the hand
> that holds the disc, right? Would there be BhagavAn in that space? If he is
> not there, the sarva-vyapakatvaM for the Bhagavan would be gone. If he is
> there, the concept that the very MUrti with those limbs is BhagavAn would
> be gone? Does BhagavAn pervade only that space?
> RV: If the lord's form is mayika and hence beyond space and time, how
> will the above logic that applies in space and time apply?

Even though mAyAshakti is beyond space and time, the mAyAkAryam, products
of mAyA, are surely within the gamut of space and time.  Maya cannot, by
rule, create anything that defies this law.

> We see in the lila of krishna showing the universe, there is a krishna
> inside his own mouth showing the universe to yasoda, in which there is
> another krishna
> showing the universe to yasoda - ad infinitum.  There is Krishna outside
> Krishna and inside Him, is it not?

This is akin to the vishwarUpa darshana described in the Bh.Gita ch. 11.
In the body of Krishna Arjuna saw the entire universe, with all actions,
destruction, etc. It is a kind of magical vision, owing to a divya
shakti/darshana/chakShuH, that such a thing is possible to be seen.  Arjuna
felt frightened after seeing this and Yashodha is said to have fainted upon
seeing the sight.  At best, such a vision will give one an idea that the
entire creation is located in the Lord.  That would not amount to the
Upanishadic abheda with the Lord which can be gained by the Jnani bhakta
whom the Lord says 'is My Self'.  Arjuna did not get the realization that
he is non-different from the Lord.  Nor did Yashoda.

I said all this only to show that one can understand that everything is
'in' Brahman; but to realize everything 'is' Brahman is different.  A mUrti
with a divine/human form is one thing but to see or know it as the entire
universe is different.  The vishnusahasranama dhyana shloka 'bhUH
pAdau....' is a different conception from  Yashoda's darshana.

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