[Advaita-l] Jiiva at Satya Loka - Will He or Won't He come back

Jaldhar H. Vyas via Advaita-l advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
Tue Jun 10 00:16:10 CDT 2014

On Thu, 29 May 2014, H S Chandramouli via Advaita-l wrote:

[full quotes from ratnaprabha and bhashya snipped for brevity.]

> The Bhashyam concludes << But nonreturn stands as an accomplished fact for
> those from whom the darkness ( of ignorance ) has been completely removed
> as a result of their full illumination and who therefore cling to that
> liberation as their highest goal which exists ever as an already
> established fact. The nonreturn of those who take refuge in the qualified
> Brahman becomes a fact only because they too have that unconditional
> Brahman as their ultimate resort >> .
> It is thus seen that nonreturn from Brahmaloka is guaranteed to all the
> aspirants who have reached that loka. I presume my understanding of the
> Bhashya is correct.

It is.  The key phrase to note is that aspirants are those "who have that 
unconditional Brahman as their ultimate resort."

> Is Ratnaprabha considered to be consistent with the
> Bhashya in all respects or does it represent independent views which could
> also contradict the Bhashya as it considers necessary? Are there any other
> commentaries on the Bhashya which differ fro Ratnaprabha?

I can't answer that question in total but here atleast I don't think there 
is any inconsistency between the ratnaprabha and the bhashya itself.

First we must understand the nature of upasana.  Upasana can be be of two 
types.  The first is as an anga of karma. An example of this is the 
meditations that take place during the ashvamedha. Or the 
panchagnividya.  For the mimamsakas all upasanas are of the first type. 
As such the purpose of such upasanas is the procurement of some desired 
object such as in this case residence in brahmaloka.

Vedanta on the other hand says there is a second type which can be an anga 
of jnana.  Most sampradayas consider it to have an aspect of karma as well 
but Advaita Vedantins believe karma can be renounced altogether and 
upasana can be done for jnana alone.  However we do not deny the existence 
of the first type.

(Also some later thinkers have considered upasana as an end in itself 
alongside karma and jnana but that is not the mainstream Advaitic view.)

Thus the presence of a jiva in brahmaloka can be for two different 
reasons and it is not unreasonable that therefore there can be two 
different outcomes.

Here's an analogy I like.  One can visit the campus of Harvard university 
and one can matriculate as a student there.  In both cases it can be said, 
"I went to Harvard" but it means two different things right?

On Wed, 28 May 2014, Sunil Bhattacharjya wrote:

> Ravana was a fallen soul Despite having Saarupya Mukti and living near Lord
> Vishnu he had to take birth on the Earth. Because of his ego he was
> condemned to take birth on the Earth.

As you say, "Because of his ego."  Cessation of desire is the heart of 
Advaitic upasana and only that will guarantee non-return to samsara.

On Thu, 29 May 2014, Venkata sriram P via Advaita-l wrote:

> Can we infer upAsana is better than vaidika karma kANDa like agnihotra etc ?

The only truthful answer is : it depends on the situation.  For the one 
who has developed a distate for these worlds filled with avidya and dukha, 
to withdraw from karma (which it should again be stressed is more than 
just the vaidika karma kanda) is the laudable goal.  But for "he who 
wishes to live here for a hundred years" as the Ishopanishad states, it is 
karma yoga -- karma without interest in its results -- which is superior. 
That's why Gita 2.20 says karmaNaiva hi saMsiddhim AsthitA janakAdayaH "By 
karma alone did Janaka etc. achieve success.  Janaka, the ruler of a large 
and powerful empire could not in his circumstances perform upasana with 
vairagya but due to his generous dana etc. he merited the birth of Janaki 
and instruction from illustrious sages like Yajnavalkya which eventually 
led to him receiving jnana.

And finally note that Krishna Bhagavans exhortation to Arjuna is not to 
meditate but to fight.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list