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

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Tue Sep 10 06:49:34 CDT 2013

On Tue, Sep 10, 2013 at 4:37 PM, balagopal ramakrishnan <rbalpal at yahoo.co.in
> wrote:

> >>>>Madhusudana Saraswati like Sridhara explicitly says Krishna's form is
> eternal. It is not just his opinion but supported by logic and sabda
> pramana. If you say Krishna's form is temporary, it is for you to base your
> statement on the works of an advaita purvacharya and sastras. I agree that
> we - not only me but we - should go by pramanas.
> Straying from the main topic...doesn't BGVerse 4 /5 -"bahUni me
> .. para.ntapa  " - indicate Bhagavan's descendances before the present form
> of 'krishna'. Verse 4/6 - " ajo.api ..AtmamAyayA " - says he comes and goes
> at his on will. Verses 7 & 8  - "yadA yadA...yuge yuge  " - clearly says
> that he comes with a purpose. Now this is only to differentiate the
> 'janmashtami Krishna and the eternal Krishna ( as Swami Paramarthananda
> Ji says in his Gita classes).

Very well said.  Actually MS in that commentary only means: //The
personality of Ishwara is eternal, till such time 'time' exists.//

The concept called 'Ishwara' is mAyopAdhika chaitanyam.  This entity is
accorded a certain personality for otherwise the jagat janma sthiti laya
etc. kAryam cannot be said to be performed/managed by a particular entity.
The idea of 'personal God' is this.  It is this 'person' MS avers in the
commentary for 4.6 as eternal.

Such a 'person' has no form; the word 'mUrtiH' used by MS is only
notional.  Such a mUrti can never be seen by anyone.  MS substantiates this
by citing a MB verse

माया ह्येषा मया सृष्टा यन्मां पश्यसि नारद ।
सर्वभूतगुणैर्युक्तं नैवं मां ज्ञातुमर्हसि  ||

After showing His vishvarUpa darshana to Narada, the Lord says: Narada,
what you see Me here is My illusory projection.  Do not know Me as endowed
with all these attributes. [which Shankara too cites in the BSB]

and adds:

// sarvabhUtaguNaiH yuktam kAraNopaadhiM maaM carmacakShuShaa draShTum
nArhasi ityarthaH. //

This means: The mAyopAdhi Ishwara that I am, that is endowed with all the
attributes of all the creation is incapable of being beheld by the physical

This shows that MS is NOT averring any eternality of any  formed avatAra
like Krishna but only referring to the concept called Ishwara who is
eternal in Vedanta.  Krishna tells Arjuna, several births of your's and
mine have come and gone.  This means: several times Ishwara has taken
avatAra-s, krishna, rama, devi, etc.  Innumerable are they.  The Ishwara
who taught the Yoga to vivasvAn, the Sun God, in the yore is the same one
who is now, in the form of Krishna teaching Arjuna.  As Ishwara it is the
same 'person' who taught Sun in the distant past but NOT  as the
body-krishna born on an aShTamI.

NONE can have any bhakti rasa for that formless Ishwara 'mRuti' but one can
have any amount of joy, bliss, etc. for the formed Krishna, Rama,
Narasimha, bAlAmbikA, vAmana, etc. All these bodies/forms are NOT eternal
in the same way the Ishwara-concept-mUrti is.

To sum up, and reiterate, it is ONLY the Ishwara-concept that is eternal
with a notional form.  Such eternality is not accorded to the innumerous
physical forms such Ishwara has taken and will assume for all time to

And there is no eternal loka specified for that conceptual Ishwara.  All
jiva-s in their bound state will remain 'IN' that Ishwara who is avyAkRta.
What comes to people's consciousness is ONLY the effects of the mAyA
principle that manages the creation.  The Ishwara concept is inferred,
based on shruti, to be the chaitanyam that is behind all the effects that
we experience.

The exact sentence that is taken up for the above study from MS's 4.6
commentary is:

अनादिमायैव मदुपाधिभूता यावत्कालस्थायित्वेन च नित्या जगत्कारणत्वसंपादिका
मदिच्छयैव प्रवर्तमाना विशुद्धसत्वमयत्वेन मम मूर्तिः । [My 'Form' is eternal
as long as Time exists. It is anAdi mAyA that is My upAdhi. This mUrti is
the source for the creation-causehood.  That form is owing to My desire,
made of pure-sattva. ]

If the above purport is not taken then we will have the erroneous
conclusion that 'krishna-form' is the one that is existing from
beginningless time, causing the creation, etc.  Again, there is no specific
Krishna-form, for within KrishnAvatAra we have innumerous forms like baby
krishna, yashoda krishna, radha krishna, parthasarathy krishna,
draupadi-krishna, kamsa slayer krishna, aniruddha-father krishna, etc. We
will have to hold all these as anAdi, ananta.  Such absurdity can be
avoided ONLY if the above analysis is admitted. MS himself says 'the form
of Ishwara is not available for the human/physical eye.'  All the above
enumerated forms were available for seeing by those who lived then and by
those who do upAsanA, even now.  But that is not the Ishwara mUrti that MS
is terming 'eternal'.  He also says: 'ato anena nityenaiva dehena
vivasvantam...' ..therefore, with That Eternal Body did I taught Vivasvan
and now, you...  Surely, the body that we enumerated above had a date of
birth and a date of dissolution/passing.  With that body Krishna did not
teach Vivasvan.

I think the above explanation settles the issue once and for all for those
who make an effort to understand it.


> Regards
> Balagopal
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