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

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Fri Sep 20 21:05:58 CDT 2013

On Sat, Sep 21, 2013 at 4:01 AM, Vidyasankar Sundaresan <
svidyasankar at hotmail.com> wrote:

> If you are saying that in reality ISvara is pure consciousness, i.e.
> nirguNa brahman, then
> you have to acknowledge that it is formlessness that is spoken of as if it
> were a form, for
> the purposes of speaking, i.e. upacAra. There is no point in saying that
> this corresponds
> to a specific form, exclusive of other form,s nor in saying that this form
> is eternal as long
> as vyavahAra lasts. If you agree that ISvara is really formless, then ALL
> names and forms
> pertain to ISvara and at the same time, NO name or form is truly
> definitive of ISvara. And
> this "form" that is formlessness lasts throughout, not only so long as
> vyavahAra lasts.
> > RV: The Lord's forms show the qualities of material elements such a
> green,
> > blue etc., which is why we can see them. If you say that they are made of
> > mahat, avyakta, ahamkara etc. we cannot see them. Your view is not
> My citing of mahat, avyakta and ahaMkAra was to show that a-pancabhautika
> does not
> always imply an entity that is independent of prakRti (the seed principle
> of materiality).

*Sri Mani Dravid Sastrigal has said that MS in the Advaita siddhi has
clarified that 'aprAkRtam' is also within prakRti alone.  The difference is
that while the prAkRtam is a modification through the pancha bhutas, the
aprakRtam is a direct effect of prakRti, mAyA.  Still, the effects of
prAkRtam could be witnessed in the bodies of Rama and Krishna, who were
born from a womb, grew up, became adults, got married and became fathers
and grandfathers and also finally disappeared.  There is an account of
Krishna's death and even last rites.


> Depending upon context, the words avyakta, avyAkRta and such (usually
> translated as
> Unmanifest or Undifferentiated) can point either to pure consciousness or
> to a stage of
> prakRti prior to manifestation as material made out of subtle or gross
> components.
> > supported by Madhusudana as evident from BhG 3.42, "The Unmanifested, the
> > Undifferentiated, the seed of entire creation, called Maya, ..., is
> > superior compared to the Mahat, the intellect, Hiranyagarbha." Also,
> > Madhusudana is not only of the opinion that the Lord's form is aprakrta
> > maya rupam. He also supports another view that "He, who is Lord Vasudeva,
> > eternal, omnipresent, Existenc-Knowledge-Bliss through and through, full,
> > unconditioned, and the supreme Self, is Himsself that body and it is not
> > any thing else either material or made of Maya". Please read his
> commentary
> > to BhG 4.6. The spirit of his purport is clearly that the Lord's form is
> > pure consciousness as it is visuddha sattva and does not conceal or
> distort
> > (the bliss of) brahman.
> Look, the advaitic approach is very clear. When describing in the above
> terms, "body"
> and "form" are always understood as an "as if". There is always an "iva"
> involved, which
> adds a lot of force and meaning that does not come across in translation.
> I would suggest a careful reading of the commentary by SrI madhusUdana
> sarasvatI on
> verse 4.6:
> *kathaM tarhy adehe saccidAnandaghane dehatva-pratItiH? ata Aha, "...
> deha-dehi-
> bhAva-SUnye ... dehI iva AbhAti mAyayA".
> *

Actually, in an earlier post of mine I had taken up sentences from this
commentary of MS to show that MS himself does not talk of a form for
Ishwara. A temporary form of Krishna, etc. is different from the
formless-form of Ishwara of Advaita.  It is like a jIva who has no form,
still exists as long as he attains moksha, still taking one body after
another.  The formless Ishwara exists in vyavahara assuming one or the
other forms as narasimha, krishna, etc.  While the former formless Ishwara
is a concept, the latter formed appearance is mAyic, as Shankara states. It
is only the conceptual Ishwara of Advaita which is 'yAvatkAlasthAyI', the
one that lasts till time lasts.  And, as already known to everyone, time
itself is a product of mAyA as per Advaita, admitted solely to explain and
manage the vyAvahArika.


> * *
> Vidyasankar
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