You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : September 1998

Re: Prakruti Body ?

From: Anand K Karalapakkam (anand_at_engr.uconn.edu)
Date: Tue Sep 01 1998 - 15:57:28 PDT

                                  Sri :
             Srimate  Sri Lakshmi Nrusimha Para Brahmane Namaha
             Srimate Sri Lakshmi - Nrusimha Divya PAdukA Sevaka - 
         Srivan  Shatagopa  Sri NArAyana Yateendra MahAdesikAya Namaha      
             
     Dear  devotees,
     Namo NArAyanA . kindly accept adiyen's pranAmams. 

> Sri Sadagopan wrote:
> > Question: BhagavAn's Body as Suddha sathvam and 
> > therefore how can it be part of Universe , which is 
> > not Suddha Sathvam ?

On Tue, 1 Sep 1998, Mani Varadarajan wrote:
> 
> If I may offer a few thoughts here, there is a difference
> in the "bodies" BhagavAn has.  When the Upanishads say
> that the entire universe including all matter and each
> and every living being is the body of Brahman, they mean
> that the universe is pervaded, controlled, and supported
> by Brahman.  Brahman exists as the innermost self of 
> everything.  Just as our body would be lifeless if our
> self left it, the universe would cease to exist in any
> meaningful way if Brahman were not its innermost 
> controlling self.
> 
> This is how the universe is Brahman's SarIra or body.
> ----  cut  ---

> The difference between these two types of "bodies" should
> now be clear.  The first represents the philosophical 
> reality that Brahman is the universal producer, sustainer,
> and retractor. The second represents manifestations
> taken for the delight of the bhaktas.  The two types of
> bodies of Brahman are very different.

  adiyen would like to add more to this discussion.

  Qtn : What is sarIrA (ie.body) ? Who is sarIrI ? What is the 
        SarIra sarIrI relationship ?
        If one says , "sarIrA"(body)  implies something which has two
        eyes, two ears , two legs etc , then there are many animal &
        insect bodies which doesn't fit into the definition . 
        Upanishad says "yasya pruthvi sarIram" ie. "World is sarIrA 
        of Brahman ". The question is what does this "sarIrA"  mean ?
        There must be one definition of "sarIrA" which applies
        universally . What is that definition ?  

  Ans : There are three conditions that needs to be satisfied for 
        an entity to be a sarIrA (body) of another entity which
        becomes the corresponding sarIrI.
  
        < following is  from the view point of sarIrA> 
      
        a. AdheyatvA (ie.being supported by a sarIrI) : Existance of 
           the sarIrA(body) is due to the sarIrI ie. sarIrI supports
           the sarIrA. In other words , if sarIrI ceases to exist , 
           sarIrA also ceases to exist.  

        b. niyamyatvA (ie. being controlled by a sarIrI ) : Not only
           that sarIrA derives its existance from a sarIrI, it is also
           being controlled by the sarIrI. So , sarIrA  acts as per the 
           will/desires of sarIrI.

        c. seshatvA (ie. existing for the pleasure of sarIrI ) : Not only
           that sarIrA is supported & controlled by sarIrI , it exists
           only for the pleasure of sarIrI ie. sarIrI is sarIrA's Master.

           From the point of view of sarIrI , it supports , controls & 
           acts as the master of sarIrA.

           Thus , "sarIra - sarIrI bhAvA" is a _relationship_ (bhAvA)  
           that fulfills the above 3 conditions. Moreover , sarIrI is
           always a chEtanA , while sarIrA can be either a chit or
           achit. 

           Bhagavad rAmAnujA's exposition is elaborated by Sri Sudarsana
           sUrI in this way . 

           It is to be noted that the "sarIrI" needn't be physically
           present inside a "sarIrA". This is not a condition to be met
           out for the sarIra-sarIrI bhAvA. 

     example 1 :  jIvAtmA is sarIrI & the material body housing it is its
                  sarIrA . All the 3 conditions are fulfilled .
                  Additionally , jIvAtmA(sarIrI)  also resides inside
                  the material body (sarIrA) .

     example 2 :  Sriman nArAyaNA is sarIrI & prakruti is His sarIrA
                  ("yasya pruthvi sarIram ") . All the three conditions
                  are met out. Additionally , Sriman nArAyaNA also resides
                  inside prakruti ie. divyAtma swaroopam of nArAyaNA
                  pervades  everything that is material.Hundreds of
                  pramAnams are there for this . 

                  One may have a doubt as to how come then nArAyaNA is
                  not affected by the changes in the prakruti , if He is 
                  physically inside it (as a jIvAtmA, its dharmabhoota
                  jn~Anam is affected by prakruti viz.animal body,plant
                  body,human body,old aged body, youthful body etc ,
                  eventhough its swaroopa jn~Anam is unchanged.similarly
                  ,won't the dharmabhoota jn~Anam of nArAyaNA be affected?)

                  Ofcourse one knows that prakruti can't affect nArAyaNA
                  because He is the Supreme God."prakruti"  acts as
                  "prakruti" only because of His sankalpam. "Fire" acts as
                  "fire" as we know , because of nArAyaNA's sankalpam .
                  When PrahalAd was pushed into "fire" nArAyaNA changed
                  His sankalpam to make the "fire" behave oppossite to its 
                  nature, which was set by His sankalpam previously. So, 
                  prakruti can't affect nArAyaNA .

                  The following analogy is usually told to drive the point
                  in. After a person eats some halwA which had excessive
                  ghee in it , he uses some powder/solution to remove the
                  ghee sticking to his hands. But , the ghee also had
                  contact with his tongue which he never botherd to clean
                  with the powder/solution since ghee didn't stick to it.
                  Similarly , though nArAyaNA is present everywhere , the
                  changes in prakruti doesn't affect Him.   
     
     example 3 :  nArAyaNA is sarIrI & His suddha sattvam body is His
                  sarIrA . All the three conditions are met out. Also ,
                  nArAyaNA is present inside the "divya mangaLa vigraha".
                  "Suddha Sattvam"  as a material is made up of "jn~Anam"
                  similar to how a jIvAtmA is. But , "Suddha sattvam"
                  doesn't possess the "dharmabhoota jn~Anam" & thus can't
                  percieve anything outside. Thus , it doesn't belong to
                  the category of "chEtanA" because a "chEtanA" is an
                  entity which can "know"/"percieve" ie. a chEtanA must
                  necessarily have "dharma bhoota jn~Anam" .

     example 4 :  Sriman nArAyaNA is sarIrI & jIvAtmA is His sarIrA 
                  (upanishad : "yasya Atma sarIram" ). All the three
                  conditions are met out. But , swAmi Desikan explains
                  that nArAyaNA is physically not inside a jIvAtmA ,
                  though the sarIra-sarIrI bhAvA exists between them.

                  In virOdha parihAram (*) swAmi Desikan asks the
                  following question & answers it by himself :

  Qtn :  A jIvAtmA is aNu (atomic) in nature to the extent that there
         is nothing which is smaller than that.There is nothing like 
         "inside a jIvAtmA" since by nature it is aNu. Similarly , kAlA
         (ie.time) is vibhu (all pervading). So, there is nothing like 
         "outside the kAlA" since by nature it is all pervading. When 
         these are the facts , How can the Lord be said to be present 
         inside & outside of everything ? How can He be told to be 
         inside a jIvAtmA & outside the kAlA ? 

  Ans :  Scriptural statements which say that Lord exists in & out of
         everything simply means that He is present everywhere alongwith
         all the entities.This is the purport of such statements. They
         doesn't mean that Lord is literally in & out of everything.
         
 adiyen's comments : Wherever either "in" or "out" of some entity exists ,
         Lord is there. Whenever either "in" or "out" of some entity can't
         be defined (ie.non existant) the question of Lord's presence
         out there doesn't arise at all. This will clarify the meanings of
         "antarvyApti" & "bahirvyApti".

         nArAyaNA is the "antaryAmI" of jIvAtmA means that He controlls
         it as if someone inside it will control it.He needn't be
         physically inside an entity for Him to function as "antaryAmI" .  

   Namo NArAyanA
   Adiyen
   Anantha PadmanAbha dAsan  

 P.S.: 
              (*) "VirOdha parihAram" by the most merciful SwAmi Desikan
                  answers 108 anticipated brilliant questions/doubts
                  that might arise in a mumukshu. Its an excellent
                  rahasyA treatise & even the answer to a single question
                  in that set of 108 is a testimony to swAmi Desikan's
                  exaltedness & unparalleled mastery over all sAstrAs.
                  Sriman Sadagopan is covering this most precious
                  rahasyA in the SaranAgati journal , for the benifit 
                  of all mumukshUs .


              (*) Sri Mani : kAlA is also vibhU similar to how nArAyaNA
                             is . Just because something is vibhU , 
                             doesn't neccassarily make it the Ultimate
                             Supreme entity. Hope that you get what adiyen
                             is up to.

                      Sarvam  Sri KrishnArpanamastu