SrI: SrImathE SatakOpAya nama: SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama: SrImadh varavaramunayE nama:
The comprehension of the import of Vedas
Criticism of Advaita
The objector speaks:
But you too should admit of a soul which is of the nature of conscious and that is self-luminous. It is necessary for this light to be covered in order for the soul to identify itself with bodies such as gods, etc. If the light shine forth, there is no scope for misidentification. So, the defect pointed out applies to you as well. In our case, there is only one soul, the Supreme Self, to which this defect has to be explained. In your case, this has to be explained for the infinite number of souls admitted by your philosophy.
Our opinion is as follows:
The Para Brahman, by its very nature, is opposed to all blemish and is of the essence of limitless knowledge and bliss. It is by its very nature, an ocean of unsurpassed, limitless and excellent traits. By employing the endless divisions of time such as minute, second, etc. it governs changes such as creation, sustenance and destruction while remaining untainted by time. Such is its greatness. There are countless individual souls which are accessories to the Brahman in its sport and are verily its aspects. They are threefold: eternally free (nitya), liberated (mukta) and bound (baddha). What is other than the souls, (universe or material nature) is also its accessory which is enjoyed by the soul and full of endless curiosities, energies and changes. The Brahman controls the souls and the universe by being their inner controller (Antaryāmī) and having everything as its body (śarīra) and mode (prakāra). This Brahman is to be known.
The Ṛk, Yajus, Sāma and Atharva Vedas are timeless and are of thousand branches. They come in an unbroken knowledge tradition to reveal the highest truth. The Vedas in their three sections of injunction, praise and incantation are explained by Itihāsa, Purāṇa and Dharmaśāstra composed by those who know the true import of the Vedas: Bhagavad-Dvaipāyana, Parāśara, Vālmīki, Manu, Yājñavalkya, Gautama, Āpastamba and others.
When our position is such, what can be our difficulty?
Bhagavān Dvaipāyana said in Mahābhārata,
He, who knows Me as birthless and without origin, and as the Supreme Lord of the worlds! – Gītā
There are two entities in this world – perishable and imperishable. All creatures comprise the perishable entity which the eternal soul is imperishable. The Supreme entity is that which is other than the perishable and imperishable. It is called the Supreme Self (Paramātmā). The undecaying Lord fills the three worlds and sustains them. – Gītā
In the place of the Supreme Self, time is controlled and does not act as the master. But, all this (in this world) is hell. – Mokṣa Parva
Ranging from unmanifest material nature to the specific objects, everything is subject to change and growth. All this is to be known as perishable which constitute the play of Hari. – Mokṣa Parva
Kṛṣṇa alone is the origin and end of all the worlds. All these movable and immovable entities exist only for the sake of Kṛṣṇa. – Sabhā Parva
To exist for the sake of Kṛṣṇa is to be an accessory to Kṛṣṇa.
Bhagavān Parāśara also speaks in a similar way.
Maitreya! The word ‘Bhagavat’ is applied truly to the Para Brahman who is pure and great, and is the cause of all causes.
The perfections of knowledge, strength, sovereignty, energy, power and brilliance, and the absence of defects are connoted by the word ‘Bhagavat’.
Maitreya! Thus this great word Bhagavān refers only to Para Brahman, Vāsudeva and not to others.
The word is employed in our convention to anyone who is worthy of respect. This is only a secondary sense of the word (respect). To Vāsudeva, the use of this word is in the primary sense and just out of respect.
Such is the Supreme state of Viṣṇu which is devoid of blemish, untainted, eternal, pervading and undecaying.
Time with its various divisions is incapable of causing change to His glory. Look at His actions which are like that of a playing child!
[All quotes from Śrī Viṣṇu Purāṇa]
So does Manu, The controller of all is smaller than the smallest.
And Yājñavalkya, The soul attains the highest purity through the knowledge of God.
And Āpastamba, All creatures are the caves in which the secret-indweller resides.
Cave means place, that is the body. All creatures which have the individual soul for their self are the bodies in which the indweller resides.
Objector: What is the purpose of all this bombast? The objection has not been answered.
Reply: We understand as above. Therefore, it is only the attributive consciousness (dharma-bhūta-jñāna) of the individual soul (jīva) which is subject to expansion and contraction on the basis of karma. Therefore, your objection holds no force at all.
For you, the light that is affected is not the attributive consciousness but the essential consciousness itself (since consciousness has no attributes in your case). Also, you do not admit of expansion or contraction.
For us, karma hides the soul by obstructing the expansion of the light of attributive consciousness. But, if you say ignorance (avidyā) is the hiding agent, it has been shown already that to conceal, it will have to destroy the essential light itself.
Therefore, in our view, it is by karma, which takes the form of ignorance, the attributive consciousness of the eternal essential consciousness is constrained and leads to misidentification with gods, humans etc. This is the difference.
It has been said,
There is another third power which is ignorance and is called karma. By this, the power of the knowing soul is overwhelmed. Concealed by this ignorance, the individual souls exist in different forms suffering the afflictions of saṃsāra.
This clearly shows that ignorance that is of the form of karma causes expansion and contraction of attributive consciousness of the individual soul.
adiyen ranganatha ramanuja dasan
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