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

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Mon Sep 16 11:23:52 CDT 2013

> RV: Ishwara is formless according to our sastras. He is also a container of
> all names and forms. However, Ishwara's form is not made of material

There is a logical contradiction in your stance. If you accept that fundamentally
ISvara is formless, then ALL forms are incidental and yes, all names are forms
pertain equally to ISvara. A special ISvara's form, whether made of material
elements or of something else, is not consistent with formlessness.


> elements. It is also not a distinct entity from Him. The only condition in
> which Ishwara's form sublates is when a devotee realises oneness with
> Ishwara just as we do not see our own form.

So, now your version of advaita siddhi is not really advaita, but a qualified state
where ISvara's form persists; only the devotee does not see it. If you say that when
a devotee realizes oneness with ISvara, the form somehow gets sublated, then you 
have to address the following questions.


In that state of oneness, is there still a separate devotee, in some form or other?
If yes, then that state is not advaita. If no, and there is only ISvara, then has the
devotee got totally annihilated by realizing oneness with ISvara? Or does realization
of oneness with ISvara not get rid of the separateness of the devotee? Is it only
responsible for sublating ISvara's form from the awareness of the devotee? So long
as you hold on to a special eternal form of ISvara, either you have to admit that
even in a state of oneness, there is a separate devotee without the awareness of
ISvara's form. In reality, this is advaita-hAni. Or you have to say, no, the devotee is
not annihilated,  but there is no separate devotee either, because there is only
ISvara, but the devotee cannot see his own form, i.e. ISvara's form. So, the followup
question is, does ISvara see His own form? Furthermore, has ISvara realized oneness
with Himself? If ISvara can see His own "non-material, eternal till vyavahAra lasts"
form even after realizing oneness with Himself, then what prevents the devotee who
has realized oneness with ISvara from also seeing the same form as his own form?

If you want to insist on ISvara's form, but hide it from the view of a devotee who has
realized oneness with ISvara, then you are merely paying lip-service to the teaching
that ISvara is formless. Be that as it may, your understanding of eka-jIva-vAda will
not save your stance from internal contradictions. If you say that ISvara has already
realized oneness with Himself, then you will also have to accept that such a realization
on your ISvara's part is powerless to stop vyavahAra, because vyavahAra is going on
right now and is amenable to our perception, whereas ISvara realized oneness with
Himself long ago, or rather, never lost that realization of oneness with Himself. Then
that means that there is an eka-jIva out there, who is keeping this vyavahAra going
on, who is quite different from ISvara. Good luck putting an end to vyavahAra and
saMsAra in such a scenario, because such an eka-jIva has to be really different from
ISvara for vyavahAra to even happen and any realization of oneness with ISvara by
such an eka-jIva can only be a false illusion, not real.


All in all, the above conundrums only point to the fact that you cannot have your
cake of ISvara's form (till vyavahAra lasts) and eat it too (at the moment of realization
of oneness with ISvara). The very conceptions of ISvara, jIva, saMsAra and moksha 
are all faulty in this way of understanding. So my request is, please, please, approach
a study of advaita afresh and grasp the fundamentals better, before proceeding with
this line of discussion.


I think I'll stop here and not pursue other issues about Sruti, words, forms, cognition
and cognizers further. Everything of the most basic importance that needs to be said
has already been said.


Best regards,



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