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Re: Yet again another confusion and misunderstanding - I humbly beg to state this

From: Anand Karalapakkam (
Date: Sat Apr 22 2000 - 04:24:13 PDT

SrI Lakshminrusimha ParabrahmaNE namaha
SrI Lakshminrusimha divya pAdukA sEvaka SrIvaN-
SatakOpa SrI nArAyaNa yateendra mahAdESIkAya namaha

 Dear SrI Jai Simman,
 namO nArAyaNa.

> Yet again in His Grace Anand Karalapakkam's postings there seems to be what
> I feel ideas akin to advaita/mayavada.Brahman is The Supreme Personality of
> Godhead Himself.
> That is admitted by Gaudiya Vaishnavas also.

  I don't know as to whether you have added the adjective
  "His Grace" in a sarcastic way. In anycase, I am not
  fit for being addressed in that way. You can address
  me as Anand / Anand Karalapakkam / AnantapadmanAbhan itself.

  I know that whatever you have written is a good representation
  of the works of SrI AC BhaktivEdAnta swAmi of ISKCON, since I 
  have also read them. But, there is no mAyAvAda in ViSishtAdvaita.
  My previous posting had no reference to such ideas and its only 
  your misunderstanding.
> Narayana or Krishna or Rama are not just forms of Brahman, at least not in
> the impersonal or causal sense. Krishna is Brahman Himself. Rama is Brahman
> itself. They should not just be termed as forms of Brahman as if Brahman is
> something else apart from them which asssumes Their forms as and when
> required and then finishes with that business the moment the avatar's
> purpose is done with. 

  I have already listed 3 books of SrI SMS Chari for you to 
  read and understand the basic concepts of ViSishtAdvaita
  and SrI Vaishnavism. I am also adding another book of SrI
  SMS Chari into that list now. Its "Vaishnavism - Its Philosophy,
  Theology, And Religious Discipline" pub by Motilal Banarsidas.
  This will atleast remove your basic misunderstandings.

  SrI ViSNu purAnam describes that while Lord KrishNa winded
  up His (vibhava) avatAra, He left His body in this world.
  I will quote this pramAnam and explain later. This is the SrI 
  VaishNava stand also and there is nothing mAyAvAda in this.   

  Brahman's divyAtma swaroopam is characterized by satyatvam
  (being eternal / no change ie. avikAra), jn~yAnatvam (made of
  jn~yAna), anantatvam ( vibhu ie. not restrcted by time, place
  and objects), amalatvam (sinless, pure) etc. This is the dharmi
  (ie.substratum) of the dharmabhUta jn~yAna (dbj) ie. Brahman 
  has dbj. It is through dbj that Brahman becomes a knower of
  other things ie. Brahman has "knowledge" (dbj). The different
  states of this dbj represents different kalyANa guNAs of Brahman.
  Brahman also has an eternal divine body at SrI VaikUNTham and 
  He is called a Para-vAsudEva. This divine body and as well as 
  SrI VaikUNTham is made up of "Suddha Sattvam" (SS). SS is madeup
  of jn~yAna and thus is non-material in nature. Thus, Brahman's
  body is non-material and is transcendental. But, SS does not
  posses dbj ie. it is an achEtana (non-sentient), while Brahman
  is a sentient (has dbj). Also, SS can undergo modifications as 
  plant, flowing river, buildings etc as seen in SrI VaikUNTham 
  and these are due to the wishes of Brahman. But Brahman (ie. 
  divyAtma swaroopam also called as "swaroopa jn~yAnam") is avikAra 
  ie.changeless. There are many places in Upanishads which explain 
  this divyAtma swaroopam, which is verily the Brahman. But, 
  Brahman has desires/wishes to create, enjoy with devotees, 
  control all the living entities according to their karma etc. 
  This doesn't violate the Upanishadic passages declaring Brahman 
  to be changeless since these things are due to the change of 
  states of the dbj possesed by the Brahman and there is no change 
  in its aatma swaroopa. Infact, dEvaki also glorifies Lord as 
  "avikAra" in the very first verse of her stuti (in SB) as she 
  saw Lord appearing in front of her in the jail. But, Lord changed
  His form into that of a baby and the body grew the way human body 
  grows. If you think that Brahman's body is verily Brahman, then 
  it will violate all those passages which refer to Brahman as 
  "avikAra" (changeless). 

  In trivikrama avatAra, Lord beautifully expands His divine body
  and this is not a change (vikAra) in His swaroopa. But, the 
  SS body He posseses changes accordingly.

  Similarly, jIvAtma as such is also avikAra implying that its
  aatma swaroopa (which is jn~yAnanda and aNu) is changeless.
  All the experience of pain and pleasure, thinking of various
  issues etc by the jIvAtma is due to the change of states and
  contraction / expansion of the dbj it posseses. dbj is 
  jn~yAnamaya ie. it is a jn~yAna, and it is achEtana. Thus,
  while jIvAtma as such (ie. swaroopa jn~yAna) is changeless,
  only its dbj changes.
  I will explain these things in the cursory postings
  later with prasmAnams which say pointedly that Lord 
  and His forms are different etc. This has serious
  implication in the upAsana (ie. bhakti yOga) also.
  I will explain those things also later.

  By the way, these things have nothing to do with mAyAvAda,
  in which all else other than "attributeless jn~yAna" is 
  illusory ultimately.

>As such, the terms Rama, Krishna, Nrsimha, etc. are
> not just forms of some Brahman whose ultimate definition remains wishy washy
> and undefinable. Vaishnava siddhanta's greatness lies in the fact that it
> describes the Lord's kalyana gunas like no other in this world. The ultimate
> conclusion is that Krishna is Brahman and Brahman is Krishna.
> Rama is Brahman and Brahman is Rama. And all these forms are the forms of
> the Lord ! Aha !!!!! notice here "of the Lord" !
> Now am I a mayavadi who contradicts himself now ? No ! "Of the Lord" is
> simply the helpless nature of the tool we are using to convey the esoteric
> nature of the Lord, i.e. the feeble position of the English language ! What
> can be done !?

  Sorry dear. There is nothing wrong in the language.
  Its only in your misunderstanding.
> If we are to say that the name of the Lord is just a subsection of the Lord
> in as much as Anand Prabhu has said that Krishna and Rama are subsections of
> Brahman who manifests Himself in other forms as well, that is erroneous. The
> Lord being absolute, the Lord's name. form, qualities, pastimes, entourage,
> etc. are verily the Lord Himself. That is the absolute nature of the Lord.
> All forms therefore are indicative of Brahman in its entirety. It is only
> the deficiency of the English language that sometimes confuses us. We have
> to just be careful of that.

  Sorry once again. SAstras doesn't support this.
  Metaphysically, they are separate entities. But,
  we can keep comparing the glories of the names of Lord
  with the Lord etc. Anything concerned with Lord is 
  highly glorifiable in this sense we can say that even
  the name of Lord is superior to Lord Himself etc. This
  only enhances further glorification of the Lord Himself 
  in actuality. 

> Especially, when we relate to the supreme lord, we
> must remember that He is svarat, or fully independent to manifest or
> unmanifest His qualities as He so desires. For example, Lord Narasimhadeva
> does not manifest madhurya bhava. Are we then to say that the Lord is
> incomplete in that form ? No ! He simply choses not to manifest that bhava
> which is always present in Him. Therefore, the differences in forms are not
> those related to prowess or sentiment. They pertain  to rasa-tattva,
> something which the Lord, by His own sweet will, manifests or unmanifests,
> according to His own desire. It is only within the context of tasting
> intimate mellows or rasas that Gaudiya Vaishnavas view the form of Krishna
> as akhila rasamrta murti, or that personality who manifests all rasas and
> bhavas in toto and to the fullest degree, and who is the bastion and the
> basis of all intimate rasas in their fullest expression.

  You are repating the same old thing for which I have already
  replied. Please go through my previous posting again.
  There is no sanction in SAstras that Lord in His Nrusimha form
  will not manifest mAdhurya rasa. This is a sectarian GV belief.
  AzhwArs have experienced mAdhurya rasa with Lord Nrusimha,
  Lord RAma, Lord SrInivAsa, Lord RanganAtha ......a long list.
  By the way, don't evaluate the experiences of the mukta based
  on the lIlas displayed by Lord in some vibhava avatAra. I have 
  already written about this. In the KrishNa avatAra, Lord 
  performed many lIlas involving many rasAs. These rasAs are 
  the different change of states of dbj possesed by Lord. It 
  has got nothing to do with a particular form He chooses.
  Be it the form of RAma Or KrishNa, it is the same Brahman with
  the same dbj; only the form differs. In SrI VaikuNTham, a mukta 
  can enjoy the communion with Lord, in anyway he likes. 

  Also, in pAncarAtra certain upAsanAs (meditations) are 
  prescribed to aid one towards performing bhakti-yOga (upAsanas
  prescribed in Upanishads). In this regard, pAncarAtra describes
  as to how one how to meditate on Lord Sankarshana who has a 
  particular form and two main guNAs etc. It gives options for
  a devotee by specifying many forms of Lord and the way upAsana
  has to be performed. Similarly, upanishads prescribe 
  upAsanas like Sad Vidya, AntarAditya Vidya etc which have 
  stipulations on the form of Lord, the guNAs of the Lord to
  me meditated etc, which are the direct means for attaining 
  Brahman. Refer to SrI BhAshyam of Bhagavad RAmAnuja and 
  commentries on Upanishads for more information.

  Only in this context that there arises the manifestation
  of Lord's guNAs different in different forms. Its mainly for 
  those who choose the path of bhakti-yOga ie.upAsana and perfect 
  it to the stage of adopting a Brahma Vidya (ie.upAsana) 
  from Upanishads. 

  I will elaborate on this with pramAnas later.

> The term "Brahman" has to be understood in the context within which it
> appears in the Vedas. What the Mayavadis describe as the undifferentiated
> impersonal Brahman is not the same as proper understaning of Brahman who is
> none other than Sri Hari. The Mayavadis actually unknowingly refer to the
> undifferentiated monism of the Brahmajyoti, which is the effulgence
> emanating from the transcendental body of the Lord, as Brahman itself.
> They
> take that as the topmost and view the personality of the Lord as a mayic
> manifestation ensuing from that jyoti or nirakara. They take that as
> Brahman. But Brahman is actually Sri Hari, Narayana, Krishna, etc. - that
> same supreme person. It is only that, akin to terms like Ishvara or God or
> Bhagavan, the term does not describe His intimate and specific pastimes to
> indicate what exactly his personality and entourage are !

  Again you repeating the same thing which has already been 
  answered well in my previous postings. There is nothing
  called attributeless Brahman in the first place. Even 
  if you say that something like that exists, there is no 
  SAstric authority for you to establish that its none other
  than the jyOti emanating from Lord.

  By the way, Lord is described as "jyOtis" because He (swaroopa)
  is madeup of jn~yAna which is swayam-prakASa (self-luminous).
  It is this feature which is referred to. In some places, the
  jyOti emanating out of Lord's body is also referred to.

  I will later explain about swayam prakASatvam etc. 

> Would Sri Vaishnavas or any Vaishnava for that matter, merely chant
> "Brahman, Brahman" or meditate on paramatma as separate from Narayana and
> His form ? No ! They would rather give up their lives than do that ! The
> Bhagavan, Sriman Narayana, Krishna, Rama, etc. with all of His kalyana gunas
> in his lovely form, as archa avatara is our worshippable object and we see
> Brahman, paramatma, etc. all as Him in His topmost personal aspect. That is
> what is meant by the fact that while all 3 features indicates the same
> person, it is the Bhagavan feature which gives most access in terms of His
> detailed and intimate kalyana gunas and the Vaishnava seeks to see the Lord
> in this aspect and view all other aspects as features of this topmost
> aspect. He is immediately reminded of his beloved Rama, Krishna, Vamana,
> etc. We never hear of a Vaishnava described as a worshiper of Brahman or
> paramatma in as much as he is described as a worshipper of vVishnu. This
> does not mean that Vishnu is someone apart from Brahman. Just that we know
> more - the most - in terms of the details of that Brahman in its highest
> aspect as Narayana, Vishnu, Hari, Krishna, etc.

  You have totally misunderstood many issues and mixes up
  the things. This is because of your unawareness of the 
  upAsanas (bhakti-yOga) prescribed in the Upanishads and
  how they are explained in Brahma sUtras. I will explain 
  this later in my postings.

  I recommend you to first of all read the relevant portions
  from the book I have listed down and make the fundamental 
  concepts of ViSishtAdvaita clear. 

  By the way, I will be writing cursory postings and prepare the 
  final document to only state the ViSishtAdvaita standpoint in 
  these issues and will not indulge in refuting GV's standpoint.
  This is as per the instruction/advise of my AchArya and there 
  are many more things which is in higher priority now for me to 
  do. Already I have put n number of things in the queue, which
  my AchArya is not happy with.

  If you believe in GVs philosophy, go ahead and advance your
  spiritual carreer by following it. But, don't write in this list 
  advocating GVs philosophy to be superior etc and also 
  presenting the doctrines of ViSishtAdvaita/SrI Vaishnavism
  wrongly. Please be patient enough to read my previous postings
  and the future postings in addition to the books on 
  ViSishtAdvaita, before jumping to any conclusions.

  Thanks for your understanding.
  adiyEn rAmAnuja dAsan,

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