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nature of the soul and its liberation

From: Narasimhan B (narsiman_at_hotmail.com)
Date: Thu May 11 2000 - 14:50:58 PDT

SrImate Ramanujaya namaH
Namo Narayanaya,
Respected Bagawathas,
adiyen's pranamams.

I have a question from my firend. i hope some of the learned scholars in the 
forum can help him.

adiyen
Narasimha dasan

Sri Sita Ramachandra Parabrahmane namah.

My respectful namaskarams to the members of this forum.I've a question
regarding the validity of a very famous example quoted by the advaitis
regarding the nature of the soul and its liberation from material
entanglement. They say that the jiva is like space enclosed in a
pot(ghatAkAsha) and the the Nirguna Brahman is like the space outside
pot(MahAkAsha). ie. The Nirguna Brahman becomes conditiond by Maya just
as a space becomes covered by the pot.Once the pot breaks, there is no
difference between the space which was covered by the pot and the space
outside.In the same way when the covering of Maya is unveiled, the jiva
is non-different than the Nirguna Brahman. The advaitins quote a few
scriptural references in support of this view.

Srimad Bhagavatam:
                    ghate bhinne yathAkAsa AkAsah syad yathA purA
                    evam dehe mritejivo brahma sampadyate punah
(12.5.5).

Brahma Bindu Upanishad:
                  ghata samritamAkAsham liyamane ghate yatha
                  ghato liyate nAkAsham tatvatjivo nabhopamah.

As space enclosed in a jar remains in its own place even when the jar is
moved to another locality, for it is the jar that is moved and not the
space, or as a jar enclosing a space may be broken into pieces but the
space remains the same and is not destroyed, so is the soul like space.
( If I remember correctly, there is a similar description is their in
Amrita Bindu Upanishad.)

Also in the Muktika upanishad, when Lord Rama instructs Hanuman about
the different types of mukti, he explains that  "videha mukti is that
type of mukti which is obtained after the destruction of the body just
as the sky in the pot merges with the rest of the sky".

Sri vedanta desika refutes this argument in TMK by saying that the
merging of the sky in the pot into the rest of the sky as  per the
advaitic explanation is not tenable as this will imply the destructuion
of the jiva itself.But the sruti says that jivas are eternal.I'm able to
undertsand this .But I'm not clear about the Vaishnava acharya's stand
in explaining this example.I humbly request the members of this forum to
give the vaishnava understanding of this illustration.

Trying to be a humble servant,
L.Harikumar





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