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

Rajaram Venkataramani rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Sun Sep 8 05:00:19 CDT 2013

On Sun, Sep 1, 2013 at 6:52 PM, श्रीमल्ललितालालितः <
lalitaalaalitah at lalitaalaalitah.com> wrote:

> On Sat, Aug 31, 2013 at 2:01 AM, Rajaram Venkataramani <
> rajaramvenk at gmail.com> wrote:
> > RV: Krishna's form is eternal. Is it not?
> > XX: Even my form is.
> > RV: How?
> > XX: Manushya jAti is eternal and hence the form.
> >
> ​That's wrong. Let the jAti be eternal in terms of AkalpasthAyI. But, how
> could it's base, a specific body become eternal.

> RV: Yes. Even your particular form is eternal as knowledge of Ishwara but
> it is produced due to karma and cannot come back in to manifestation after
> that karma is exhausted.

​I can't understand what do you want to express by 'particular form is
> eternal as knowledge of Ishvara'. Do you mean that forms and Ishvara-GYAna
> are similar or same !!??? That's untenable.
RV: The jAti is not eternal as an idealised name and form in the platonian
sense. It is eternal as a collection forms with an associated name.
Otherwise, it cannot be jAti at all. A collection of forms that share a lot
of similarities between them is called a pot. Though no two pots are
rarely alike, we are able to identifiy them as belongin to the jAti pot. We
are also able to differentiate a pot from a pitcher by comparison. If your
opinion is that an ideal pot is eternal and the individual pots are
instances of the ideal, even then we have the conclusion that the name and
form is eternal. If a new name or form is created, it is done by modifying
an existing name and form by adding, removing or distorting parts thereof.
Thus a new jAti is a modification of an existing jAti only.

Ishwara, by definition, being omniscient must know all the names and forms
- not only the jAti but also the particular. In this sense, all names and
forms are eternal. They exist as long as Ishwara exists. If it is not so,
then Ishwara cannot create the world as before and accord results of
actions done in a previous kalpa. Shruti also confirms that Ishwara is a
container of all names and forms. Sankara quotes the following in BSB

'He who is called ether is the revealer of all forms and names; that within
which these forms and names are contained is Brahman' (*Kh*. Up. VIII, 14,
1); 'Let me evolve names and forms' (*Kh*. Up. VI, 3, 2); 'He, the wise
one, who having divided all forms and given all names, sits speaking (with
those names)' (Taitt. Âr. III, 12, 7); 'He who makes the one seed manifold'
(*S*ve. Up. VI, l2).--

> > XX: How do you know Krishna's form is the same? We know the name Krishna
> as
> > Devaki Putra is eternal because it is said so in shruti but it need not
> be
> > that He has the same form.
> >
> ​It is also not very clear.​
> ​Anyway, if no name is eternal, as it is mithyA according to advaitin-s. If
> you mean that A-pralayam, then it may be true. But, your intentions appear
> otherwise.
RV: As long as Ishwara exists, there is no way to logically get rid of
names and forms. Yes, a nirguna brahma jnAni can negate all names and forms
along with Ishwara. However, it is only theoretically known from sastras
and our perception of others experience. As per eka jiva vada, those who we
imagine have done it are only jiva bhAsas that have realised identity
with our own self, the mukhya jIva or Ishwara. As the cycle of creation is
eternal, sarva mukti and as a consequence negation of Ishwara is also
impossible. This is not well understood commonly and hence the
disillusionment about eternality of bhakti in advaita.

> > XX: If shruti and/or smrti say that His form is the same, we can accept
> it.
> >
> ​What if shruti says something opposed to yukti and other pramANa-s. He
> seems to ignore this fact.
RV: You are the one who is ignoring the purva mimamsa rule that on unseen
matters, sabda alone is pramana. We dont know devas through any means other
than through sastras. Even if we have bhagavad sAkshAtkAra, we only see
through direct perception what is known through sastras. In the absence of
pratyaksha and sabda, we cannot infer the names such as Krishna, Rama,
Narasimha etc. If you argue that the names are derived from qualities, then
the qualities themselves have to be known either through direct perception
or sabda. I included pratyaksha only by concession because it is not
capable of revealing aprakrta forms.

> > RV: I think they do.
> > XX: If there is pramana, we have to accept.
> >
> ​Here it appears that he is trying to escape and hence is nodding head to
> your insistence.
> Anyway, this whole thing was not enough to persuade us.​
> RV: He is willing to engage in hours of discussion and does not mind
saying I disagree. It is a presumption on your part without a basis.

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