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

rajaramvenk at gmail.com rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Wed Sep 4 02:38:46 CDT 2013

According to SBh the gopis did not dress up like Krishna and think that I'm Krishna.  They became Krishna assuming His name, form and qualities as required to perform His lila.  

When Sringeri periyava identified with Narasimha etc. did he realise "I am Bhagavan Narasimha"  or that "I am Nirguna Brahman"? Sankara says in 7.18 that a paroksha jnAni is imbued with the though I am Bhagavan Vasudeva. You interpret on the lines I expected that a paroksha jnani thinks "I am nirupadhika brahman referred to by the term Bhagavan". 
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-----Original Message-----
From: V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com>
Sender: "Advaita-l" <advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>Date: Wed, 4 Sep 2013 07:23:17 
To: A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta<advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Reply-To: A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta
 <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] 'Ishwaro'ham' and 'IshwarabhAvaH'

On Wed, Sep 4, 2013 at 3:42 AM, Rajaram Venkataramani <rajaramvenk at gmail.com
> wrote:

> 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.

This is true.  Otherwise the various other references to the Advaitic
moksha given by Shankara will be contradicted.  For example in the bhashya
for the last verse of the 13th ch. Shankara says that the bhUtaprkRti,
which is avidyAlakShaNA, called avyakta, is realized by the Jnani to be
non-existent, abhAvagamanam.  Now, all the six types of wealth stated in
the Vishnupurana verse are jiva-jagat centered and thru the jiva-jagat
accrue to Brahman and  not inherent in Brahman by themselves.

ऐश्वर्यस्य समग्रस्य वीर्यस्य यशसः श्रियः |
ज्ञानवैराग्ययोश्चैव षण्णां भग इतीरणा ||

:- विष्णु पूराण ६.५.७४

:- संपूर्ण ऐश्वर्य, वीर्य , यश, श्री, ज्ञान और वैराग्य के स्वामी को भगवान
कहते हे.


Even in that shloka षण्णां भग इतीरणा the समग्रज्ञानम् would come under the
vibhUti of Ishwara, Brahman, and therefore not the svarUpa of the Supreme
Brahman.  The ‘samagra’ refers to the jiva-jagat and all knowledge about
it/them will be only useful for creation, etc. activities of Ishwara.  So,
such a (samagra)jnAnam is outside the true nature of Brahman whose Jnanam
is pure Consciousness, vijnAnaghana, viShayarahitakevalajnAnam. That way
Brahman is dependent on the jiva-jagat in order to possess all those six
qualities.  It is based on the logic: yat sattve yat sattvam, yadabhAve
yadabhAvaH [If A is present, A1 is present, if A is absent, A1 is not
there.  If jiva-jagat are there, then ONLY the six qualities are present in
Bhagavan; if jiva-jagat are not there, the six are not present in bhagavan]

> 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.

As I had emphasized in another thread, this concept is definitely not about
bhakti-rasa/bhakti.  It is not even about the Upanishadic upAsana/saguNa
brahma upAsaka who attains krama mukti by going to brahma loka.  It is
about the generalia of muktas who are admitted to have attained
IshwarabhAva from avidyAdRShTi.  As Appayya Dikshita himself later
clarified (in nyAyarakShAmaNi) what he meant in the si.le.sang is: Since
the nirguNa brahman is the substratum of the entire
creation-superimposition, it can be said, in a way, that this brahman is
the one that in in everything in creation and all experiences are its.
Since the Jnani identifies with that nirguna brahman, it could be said, by
courtesy, that the jnani is the everything.  Appayya cites the vAmadeva
realization articulation:  I was manu, I was sUrya...Now, note the past
tense here.  How could vamadeva, who is getting the realization now,
articulate the sarvAtmabhAva to cover some events/persons of the past?
With that idea in mind Appayya means that all creation, past, present and
future, is having nirguna brahman as its basis/substratum and that way the
jnani too.  That is the crux of the matter and to reiterate, it has nothing
to do with bhakti-rasa or bhagavadbhakta identifying with bhagavan.

In the seventh ch. of the BG itself, there are two prakRti-s, natures,
specified: lower and higher.  The higher is pure consciousness and the
lower consists of the world-creating material.  The Jnani identifies ONLY
with the higher nature of Brahman and not the unreal lower nature.  That is
the message of the 13th chapter, which according to Shankara, is an
elaboration, elucidation, of the seventh chapter.

> 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.

One non-defective test of what really obtains without fail is the
suShupti/samAdhi state.  In suShupti and nirvikalpa samadhi as per
advaitins, all forms and aishwarya of Brahman remain suspended, that is,
they do not enter the state of sushupti/samadhi.  What obtains there is
only pure consciousness.  Shankara, based on the Upanishads, highlights
that for the nitya, nirvikara, alupta chaitanya existence.  For ex. the
dashashloki.  For the Sringeri Acharya referred to above, the state of
nirvikalpa samadhi where the Narasimha form was naturally not there, is the
deciding factor for aparoksha jnanam, jivanmukti, moksha.  The samadhi with
Narasimha, or Devi or any other form of even Krishna, which were all
experienced by Him, are termed savikalpa samadhi.

> 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!

This can be more of saguNa upasana where the bhakta dresses like the upAsya
and considers himself as endowed with those qualities.  The practice of
bhasma/rudrAkSha dhAraNam in smartas is a mild form of such practice where
there is a kind of imitation of the Lord Shiva.  Sri Ramakrishna Pramahamsa
went into samadhi when he enacted Shiva's role, with all that make up, when
he came up on the stage, during his young days.

It borders on saarUpya and sAlokya and sAmIpya and to an extent sAyujya,
all of which are not considered in Advaita as THE mukti.


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