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Thread: Need refutation on this argument put forth by the hare krishnas:

  1. #11
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    Re: Need refutation on this argument put forth by the hare krishnas:

    Hello Newbee_b,



    My ISKCON friend says that,if Lord Krishna and Arjuna are indeed same Brahman,why is he using plural tense?
    I mentioned briefly the reason for this in my previous post;


    Krishna is gradually teaching Arjuna the real nature of the Self because Arjuna takes himself to be an embodied being.

    Arjuna doesn't know he is Brahman. Krishna speaks to Arjuna from the standpoint of his self-ignorance and gradually reveals Arjuna's real nature throughout the Gita as the Atman, which is identical with the content of the word 'Me' when Krishna speaks of himself as the Knower and the Self of all beings (Brahman). So as not to confound Arjuna, Krishna reveals his identity with Brahman methodically and speaks of the knowledge of Brahman as the goal to be attained through sadhana and prescribes all the various converging paths towards that goal in detail.

    We find in the thirteenth chapter, an extremely concise exposition on the real nature of the jiva's identity with Atman/Brahman in such verses as;

    13.1 O son of Kunti, this body is referred to as the 'field'. Those who are versed in this call him who is conscious of it as the 'knower of the field'.

    13.2 And. O scion of the Bharata dynasty, understand Me to be the 'Knower of the field' in all the fields. In My opinion, that is Knowledge which is the knowledge of the field and the knower of the field.
    Whereby Krishna, who is Brahman, is identifying himself as the conscious witness (saakshin) in all bodies. The Knower, the Witness, is none other than the Atman of each embodied being- one's actual nature which is partially covered over by ignorance (but which truly reveals it). Krishna is saying that knowledge of the Knower and the field (ie discrimination between the Self and the body, elements etc) is called Knowledge because it results in the eradication of superimposition and therefore the removal of the ignorance which creates the impression of being a transmigrating, (individual) jiva. When this ignorance is uprooted by knowledge, then the svarupa of the Self shines forth as Brahman.

    What is the real nature of that Self? He says;

    13.31 Being without beginning and without qualities, O son of Kunti, this immutable, supreme Self does not act, nor is it affected, although existing in the body.

    13.32 As the all-pervading space is not defiled, because of its subtlety, similarly the Self, present everywhere in the body, is not defiled.
    It is eternal and untouched by the fruits of actions, just like space is not defiled by its contents. Also, just as space is all pervading and one only, so too is the Self;

    13.6 And that Knowable, though undivided, appears to be existing as divided in all beings, and It is the sustainer of all beings as also the devourer and originator.

    13.22 He who is the Witness, the Permitter, the Sustainer, the Experiencer, the great Lord, and who is spoken of as the transcendental Self is the supreme Person in this body.
    It is one and non-dual Brahman, but appears to be many due to false superimposition. The Self of each being is not the transmigrating jiva, but the Atman which sustains it and is what Krishna refers to when he says 'Me'; the Knower of the body in all bodies- one alone.

    Krishna then enjoins various methods and meditations conducive to self-knowledge, such as seeing the Self as a non-agent, seeing God as the Self in all beings etc.

    The nature and fruit of Knowledge is restated again;

    13.23 He who knows thus the Person and Nature along with the qualities will not be born again, in whatever way he may live.

    13.30 When one realizes that the state of diversity of living beings is rooted in the One, and that their manifestation is also from That, then one becomes identified with Brahman.

    13.34 Those who know thus through the eye of wisdom the distinction between the field and the Knower of the field, and the annihilation of the Matrix of beings,- they reach the Supreme.
    Krishna reveals to Arjuna that Knowledge is to discriminate, to distinguish between oneself as the knower, the witness and everything that is known ie the field of the body, mind, world etc. When we discriminate properly between them, then the essence of both is understood. The ignorance which previously prevented this vision through false superimposition (or a conflation of the field and the knower of it) is burned up, along with the notion of being a jiva in a world of jivas (Matrix of beings), and only Brahman, the Supreme, remains, and the Upanishad says 'that thou art'.

    The content of the word 'Me' when Krishna speaks is identical to the content of the word 'You' (thou) when there is correct understanding. The deep import of the word 'You' is not a transmigrating jiva called Arjuna or Devadatta or Ananda, it is the conscious knower, the witness, the hearer, the smeller; the Atman. Of this Self it is said in the Upanishads 'There is no other Witness but Him, no other hearer but him...' Who is He? He is the content of the word 'That' in the Upanishadic saying, and 'That' is Brahman. Hence, the Self is Brahman, and Krishna is That, and Arjuna is That- but for his want of knowledge Krishna must teach him this fact.


    To summarise, plurality is accepted prima facie by Krishna (and so spoken of figuratively as Shankara explains) because Arjuna is ignorant of the non-dual Self. It is later that we see Krishna revealing to Arjuna what the Self really is and refuting the notion of plurality of selves. As yajvan says, plurality must be assumed and utilised for teaching when ignorance is present, otherwise there is no possibility of imparting knowledge through teaching, and therefore no way of dispelling ignorance.





    http://rajahamsah.blogspot.com/ Rāja Haṃsaḥ
    Unfolding the teachings of Advaita Vedānta- my Blog, Updated Daily.

  2. #12
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    Re: Need refutation on this argument put forth by the hare krishnas:

    Quote Originally Posted by yajvan View Post
    hari o
    ~~~~~~

    namasté






    Duality here is used for teaching purposes... in ignorance there is 2 for teaching, no ? Threre must be a sender and receiver. One must reivew not only the bhāgavad gītā but the mahābhārata to appreciate the full level of instruction that goes on. We need to be aware that the bhāgavad gītā is 700 verses out of the ~ 100,000 verses in the mahābhārata.


    Yet at the end of the day my sleep is not disturbed by this dichotomy of thinking because it is the wise that tell is that there is unity in diversity. One with clear vision sees 2 but knows there is 1.


    Also , I hope you are a regular here on HDF. If so , please consider greeting the reader with a hello or some open salutation. This is our custom here and you will build friendships in this manner. Also , some posters may be older then the author and we greet them properly out of respect.

    praām
    Thanks a lot for your inputs,Yajvan!

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    Re: Need refutation on this argument put forth by the hare krishnas:

    Quote Originally Posted by Ananda View Post
    Hello Newbee_b,

    I mentioned briefly the reason for this in my previous post;

    Thanks again for detailed reply Ananda!My posts have been "approved" out of order by the mods here,so my queries for the plurality of tense where asked before your first answer!

  4. #14
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    Re: Need refutation on this argument put forth by the hare krishnas:

    Quote Originally Posted by Newbee_b View Post
    I have been searching for it in Sankara Bhashya of Gita but could not find any:

    http://www.bhagavad-gita.us/articles...212/Page1.html

    Gita 2:12

    Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings; nor in the future shall any of us cease to be.

    Argument:
    The Mayavadi theory that after liberation the individual soul, separated by the covering of maya, or illusion, will merge into the impersonal Brahman and lose its individual existence is not supported herein by Lord Krishna, the supreme authority. Nor is the theory that we only think of individuality in the conditioned state supported herein. Krishna clearly says herein that in the future also the individuality of the Lord and others, as it is confirmed in the Upanishads, will continue eternally. This statement of Krishna’s is authoritative because Krishna cannot be subject to illusion. If individuality were not a fact, then Krishna would not have stressed it so much—even for the future.

    If individuality refers to the empirical universe, then there is no need of teaching by the Lord. The plurality of the individual soul and of the Lord is an eternal fact, and it is confirmed by the Vedas as above mentioned.
    -end-

    Not surprising mayavada is their name for advaita.IMO,One tactic used by dualists is that they don't quote any verse which supports advaita (from upanishads).Any support against this argument is appreciated.

    Om Namah Shivaya!
    Don't get too worked up on refutations.

    Spirituality is not a fight. Even if the other party think it is there's no reason for you to think the same.

    I see that ISKCON gets a little too one-sided with bhakti. What can we do?

    I got to know Hinduism through ISKCON and now after doing my own research and going through a bit of a personal spiritual quest I can better understand the big picture.

    Om

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    Re: Need refutation on this argument put forth by the hare krishnas:

    Quote Originally Posted by Pietro Impagliazzo View Post
    Don't get too worked up on refutations.

    Spirituality is not a fight. Even if the other party think it is there's no reason for you to think the same.

    I see that ISKCON gets a little too one-sided with bhakti. What can we do?

    I got to know Hinduism through ISKCON and now after doing my own research and going through a bit of a personal spiritual quest I can better understand the big picture.

    Om
    Agree with you.No point in refutations .

  6. #16

    Smile Re: Need refutation on this argument put forth by the hare krishnas:

    Quote Originally Posted by Newbee_b View Post
    Agree with you.No point in refutations .
    Agreed. there is no point in arguing and refuting someone or something. Spirituality can not be attained unless you grow above these negative trifles of life.

  7. #17
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    Re: Need refutation on this argument put forth by the hare krishnas:

    Quote Originally Posted by Newbee_b View Post
    I have been searching for it in Sankara Bhashya of Gita but could not find any:

    http://www.bhagavad-gita.us/articles...212/Page1.html

    Gita 2:12

    Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings; nor in the future shall any of us cease to be.

    Argument:
    The Mayavadi theory that after liberation the individual soul, separated by the covering of maya, or illusion, will merge into the impersonal Brahman and lose its individual existence is not supported herein by Lord Krishna, the supreme authority. Nor is the theory that we only think of individuality in the conditioned state supported herein. Krishna clearly says herein that in the future also the individuality of the Lord and others, as it is confirmed in the Upanishads, will continue eternally. This statement of Krishna’s is authoritative because Krishna cannot be subject to illusion. If individuality were not a fact, then Krishna would not have stressed it so much—even for the future.

    If individuality refers to the empirical universe, then there is no need of teaching by the Lord. The plurality of the individual soul and of the Lord is an eternal fact, and it is confirmed by the Vedas as above mentioned.
    -end-

    Not surprising mayavada is their name for advaita.IMO,One tactic used by dualists is that they don't quote any verse which supports advaita (from upanishads).Any support against this argument is appreciated.

    Om Namah Shivaya!


    Dear Newbee_b,


    In fact discriminating the eternal Reality from the transient appearances is not the ultimate goal of Advaitha Vedanta , it is rather realizing the inseparable oneness of the eternal, and the transient flow of appearances.

    It is true that this realization requires discrimination between the TWO.

    This discrimination need not necessarily be understood as attaining the perfect knowledge of the eternal Reality or Brahman.

    It signifies rather that the seeker, in the beginning, perceives instinctively the unavoidabilty that there is an eternal Reality underlying and distinct from all appearances; but becoming totally convinced of the nature of that Reality, and how it is related to the appearances, becomes transparent only at the final stage of one’s search for Truth. Love


    Note: This is a POV alone and not relating to any exegesis or polemics.

  8. #18
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    Re: Need refutation on this argument put forth by the hare krishnas:

    Quote Originally Posted by brahman View Post

    Dear Newbee_b,


    In fact discriminating the eternal Reality from the transient appearances is not the ultimate goal of Advaitha Vedanta , it is rather realizing the inseparable oneness of the eternal, and the transient flow of appearances.

    It is true that this realization requires discrimination between the TWO.

    This discrimination need not necessarily be understood as attaining the perfect knowledge of the eternal Reality or Brahman.

    It signifies rather that the seeker, in the beginning, perceives instinctively the unavoidabilty that there is an eternal Reality underlying and distinct from all appearances; but becoming totally convinced of the nature of that Reality, and how it is related to the appearances, becomes transparent only at the final stage of one’s search for Truth. Love


    Note: This is a POV alone and not relating to any exegesis or polemics.

  9. #19

    Re: Need refutation on this argument put forth by the hare krishnas:

    Dear,

    Here, lord Krishna is essentially referring to individual consciousness/souls which are ultimately same as per his own arguments.

    Therefore, I couldn't see any confusion which this particular verse of Geeta may create against the Advaita.

  10. #20
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    Re: Need refutation on this argument put forth by the hare krishnas:

    Probably one of the best ways to arm yourself in a debate against ISKCON members is to arm yourself with quotes from the Upanishads and from Bhagavad Gita (not the 'As It Is' version obviously).

    Ananda I was hoping I could get your input on an argument I read put forward by an ISKCON devotee against 'Mayavadi philosophy in a magazine from years ago that I recently read.' Before I quote it, I should add that I can easily see that the argument is a caricature of Advaita (Gaudiya Vaishnavas generally make Advaita sound like something I dreamed up on crack) but I'm not quite sure I would respond to at least one of the arguments. I'll go ahead and quote it now:

    "This doctrine has problems. Among them:
    First: If I am God, why am I suffering like a dog? The swamijis will say that it's because I've forgotten who I really am. But what kind of God is that? Second: If all that exists is one supreme impersonal truth, where does illusion come from? Truth and illusion--that's not one, that's two."

    The answer to the second argument is simple enough in my mind. Shankara's viewpoint was that there was only one reality, illusion isn't reality and so its existence cannot justify any absolute dualism. I can easily see that the first argument is a distortion as well, the Jiva is the Self reflected onto impure Maya (as the Srimad Devi Bhagavatam puts it) but I'm not sure how I can explain this without appearing to posit some distinction between Jiva and the Self. You seem very well versed in Advaita however, maybe you can help me out.

    Regards,
    William.

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