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Re: PramAnas for Brahman as being different from its Body

From: S. HariKrishna (krishna_at_n2net.net)
Date: Fri Apr 28 2000 - 18:14:48 PDT

----- Original Message -----
From: Anand Karalapakkam <kgk@md2.vsnl.net.in>

 Saatvata Samhita, Poushkara Samhita and JayAkya Samhita are
 regarded as the "Ratna Traya" (Three Jewels) in pAncAratra.
--------------------------------

While I do not normally take issue with nonshruti Samhitas, I must point out
that these are not exactly mainstream. Exactly on what basis should I accept
the Samhitas? I would be interested to know. The Puraanas, for example, are
explicitly described as the fifth Veda. Are there similar references in the
shrutis to the Pancharaatras?

Also, I would like to know if Saatvata Samhita is the same as Saatvata
Tantra?

------------------------------------
 Saatvata Samhita (2.69-70) states
 " SAntaha samvit-svarUpastu bhaktAnugraha-kAmyayA
   anaupamyEna vapushAhy-amUrtO mUrtatAm gataha "

 ie. " The Ultimate Reality is devoid of a form (amUrta), but it
        assumes a limited form (mUrtatA) for the sake of devotees
        and this limited form is incomparable (anupama) ".

 This implies that the divyAtma svaroopa (ds) of Brahman is not
 made up of a form, similar to how a jIvAtma's svaroopa doesn't
 have any form. But, Brahman takes a form for the pleasure of
 His devotees. Also, the divine body assumed by SrIman nArAyaNa
 at SrI VaikUNTham is eternal and anAdi. Hence Brahman
 certainly has a divine body eternally.
------------------------------------------------

Previously you wrote, ". This  gives them [Gaudiya Vaishnavas] a very
contradictory metaphysical stand since BhagavAn  is savisEsha (who has
various guNas, form etc) and He can't   simultaneously be nirvisEsha"
(without any attributes whatsoever) as "NirguNa Brahman"."

But here now you are arguing for the existence of a Brahman separated from
its attributes, or somehow superior to its attributes. Either Brahman is the
same as its form or different from it. If different from it, then you are
arguing for the existence of two entities. In that case the criticism above
applies even more to your point of view.

Also, the idea that the formless Brahman is superior to Brahman with form is
contradicted by Bhagavad-Giitaa:

mattaH paratara.m naanyat ki~nchidasti dhana~njaya |
mayi sarvamida.m prota.m suutre maNigaNaa iva || giitaa 7.7 ||

O conqueror of wealth, there is no truth superior to Me. Everything rests
upon Me, as pearls strung on a thread (bhagavad-giitaa 7.7).

Here, "Me" can only apply to the person Krishna, and not to anything inside
Him taking that form, or whatever. This is a very straightforward statement,
and comes in a scripture that everyone accepts.

---------------------------------
 Another quote is from the JitantE Stotram, a khila sUkta of
 Rg vEda  :
------------------------------

Can you explain what you mean by this? Is this in fact from Rig Veda? If so,
could I get some verse numbers?

-------------------------------
   " na tE rUpam na ca aakArO na-aayudhAni na ca-aaspadam |
     tathApi purusha-AkArO  bhaktAnAm tvam prakASasE || "

  " You <in ds>  donot have any physical qualities such as white or
     black (rUpa) ; You <in ds> do not possess any physical organs
     such as head or legs (aakAra) ; nor are there any weapons or
     ornaments on You < in ds> (aayudha) ; nor do You have an
     abode <ie. ds being all pervading, there is no specific abode
     by which Brahman's presence is limited>; Neverthless out of
     Your infinite compassion towards devotees <who can't
     comprehend and reciprocate with You as ds>, You manifest
     Yourself with a lusturous bodily form bedecked with ornaments
     and weapons in an abode of Yours < Be it arcAvatAra, vibhava
     avatAra etc>".
-------------------------------------

I have seen many verses like this, and I do not think one can argue that
they speak of a Brahman that is different from its body. Here, "ruupam" can
be taken to be a form made of prakriti, and the last part simply emphasizes
that the Brahman takes forms that are transcendental, or in other words, not
of prakriti. Otherwise it can be taken to mean that He takes the form of
archa-vigrahas in the temple, as you seem to be taking it. You are taking
"prakaaShase" as meaning that a formless Brahman takes a form, but when you
read the translation without the bracketed remarks < > then it is by no
means convincing of the point you are making.

I also have many more pramaanas to quote regarding the Krishna/Vishnu issue,
as well in regards the Bhagavaan/Brahman issue. I will save them for later,
since I will be out of town this weekend.

regards,

Krishna



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