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

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Thu Sep 12 09:30:34 CDT 2013

> RV: As they are in Ishwara, all names and forms are eternal not "eternal"

The reason I put quotes around the word eternal is to distinguish real eternality 
from your conception of "eternal as long as vyavahAra lasts".


> because Ishwara, who is formless, is beyond space and time. However, names

So you recognize that formlessness is more fundamental for ISvara than a form
that lasts as long as vyavahAra lasts. 


> and forms including those in smrti sastras depend on a cogniser. As the
> cogniser is time limited by space and time, these names and forms are. On
> the other hand names and forms in shruti do not depend on a cogniser for

How so? By what logical process do you establish that names, forms, words
and sentences in Sruti do not depend on a cognizer for their very existence? If
not for the existence of brahman, the veda would not exist. The upanishat says
that the veda was "breathed out" of brahman and in the smRti, we are told
"vedavid eva cAham." If not for that cognizer, the veda is not. And the veda
itself says as much. It also says, "tatra vedA avedAH." 


> RV: Why all these labour? You cannot speak of hare's horn or innocent
> criminal unless you perceive the concept. The object here is the object.

The concept is not an object of perception, merely a verbal construction that 
corresponds to no object in the universe. You have still not addressed why it
is valid for you to jump from objects/entities to words/sounds.


> RV: What is the need on your part to presume when I clearly said "The
> fundamental sounds are immutable but their combination is. (As an aside, a
> word or a sentence indicating an eternal truth will be immutable)"?

The reason is that your sentence construction is very ambiguous. A reader does
not clearly know whether you meant to say,


"The fundamental sounds are immutable, but their combination is (not immutable)."




"The fundamental sounds are immutable, but their combination is (mutable)"




"The fundamental sounds are immutable, and (instead of but) their combination is


The reason for the third choice above is that you had just argued "any new jAti is 
a combination of already existing jAtis" and you had argued for the existence of
infinite eternal (so long as vyavahAra lasts) jAtis. Then you jumped away from jAti
to sound. Eternality has to mean immutability, necessarily so. So one reasonably
has to ask whether you really meant that a combination of eternal jAtis (or sounds
in your latest argument) could somehow be non-eternal and mutable.
> RV: A sentence that depends on a cogniser is not eternal as the sentence
> that does not depend on a cogniser though both may have same words and
> fundamental sounds that are eternal. Where is the contradiction?

See above, re: veda and cognizer. 


> > I'm sorry I'm being merciless in picking apart the propositions you put
> > forth, but I
> > only mean to ensure that there is clarity and meaning in discussions on
> > this list.
> > That is the least we can ensure, to do justice to as sharp a thinker as
> > Madhusudana
> > Sarasvati.
> RV: You, LalitalAlita and Subrahmanian are attacking me logically with a
> view to educate and establish truth - no need to be sorry. I'm proud of
> you.

I wasn't really apologizing! Saying "I'm sorry ..." is just a style of speaking, to
ease out the intensity of this written conversation in a  polite manner. :-)
It is just one of those features of the English language where the words say
one thing and mean something else!


Best regards,



More information about the Advaita-l mailing list