[Advaita-l] 'Ishwaro'ham' and 'IshwarabhAvaH'

Rajaram Venkataramani rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Tue Sep 3 17:12:14 CDT 2013

I corresponded with Shri Subrahmanian offline and will share my views on
the posts by Shri LalitalAlitA, Shri Vidyasankar, Shri Balagopal etc. in
separate threads. I request Shri Sunil, Shri Anil and Shri Sadananda to
bear with that and hopefully you will have some use from my posts.

I would like to return to the core of this thread that Shri Subrahmanian
started. His defence is no doubt valid but not the only possible defence.
Sankara says in his commentary to BhG 7.18 "yuktatma, with a steadfast
mind-having his mind absorbed in the idea, 'I am verily Vasudeva, the *Lord*,
and none else', that man of Knowledge asthitah, is set on the path leading
to, he is engaged in ascending to, going to; mam eva, Me alone, to the
supreme Brahman;" आस्थितः आरोढुं प्रवृत्तः सः ज्ञानी हि यस्मात् 'अहमेव
भगवान् वासुदेवः न अन्योऽस्मि' इत्येवं युक्तात्मा समाहितचित्तः सन् मामेव परं
ब्रह्म गन्तव्यम् अनुत्तमां गतिं गन्तुं प्रवृत्त इत्यर्थः The term Ishwara
can be played with but the term Bhagavan is defined in Vishnu Purana as one
who has six types of wealth. Of course, you can say that Bhagavan is used
as a reference to Nirguna Brahman. But in a different context, we saw how
the identification of a mukta with Parameshwara is an accepted view (leave
alone the point that it is vyavaharika one) as per Jaimini.  Shri Niranjan
quotes in his thesis submitted to SOAS how Madhusudana identifies himself
with Lord Hari. [1] *Advaitasiddhi* 2005: pp. 1-2, 659 (Also see Nair 1990:
p. 109).   As many of you should know, Sringeri Mahaperiyava becomes one
with Narasimha when he got upadesa mantra that his teacher stood with
folded hands in front of the Lord.

There are upasanas where a bhakta has to consider "I am Gopala". It is not
a consideration of Gopala as nirguna brahman. Bhagavatham gives a practical
demonstratation of this upasana. When Krishna leaves Vrindavan for Mathura,
the gopis suffer intense pangs of separation from Him. Some of them think I
am Krishna and become Krishna assuming His form and playing His role while
re-enacting His pastimes!

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