Paramatma Sandarba Review Lessons 10-21

Theme 3, Lessons 10 & 21, Texts 48-104: The Ontology of Maya. PPT and recordings of this class are available at 

Ontology of Maya: Major topic of Paramatma Sandarba 4 topics we are discussing here are

  1. The two divisions of Maya, Nimitta and Upadana causes, Lesson 10, Texts 48-55
  2. Cosmic manifestation of Maya and its relationship with Paramatma, Lessons 11-17, Texts 56-81
  3. Maya’s relation to the Jiva and Paramatma, Lesson 18, Texts 82-92
  4. Bhagavan’s impartiality, Lessons 19-21, Texts 93-104

Lesson 10, Texts 48-55, The two divisions of Maya, Nimitta and Upadana causes:

Kala – Time Potency: Activates Gunas (Primodial material nature – Pradana)

Divisions and subdivisions of Maya and How Maya operates: Jiva Maya, Avaranatmika sakti – Covers our true nature/knowledge Guna Maya, Vikshepa atmaika sakti – Replaces with illusory knowledge

Nimitta Karana – Jiva maya Upadana Amsa – Guna maya

Lessons 11 and 12, Texts 56-60, Parinama Vada versus Vivarta Vada:

Jiva Goswami strongly refutes the theory of Mayavadis that the cosmos is a mere illusory manifestation – Vivarta Vada (very name Vivarta means illusion)

Parinama Vada: Cosmos is not unreal, it is real but it goes through cycles of manifestation and un-manifestation. Even in the state of dissolution, the cosmos still exists in its un-manifest form within Paramatma.

The world is a parinama (as a result) of Paramatma Sakti. Parinama not Vivarta, is the real import of Sastra.

Paramatma: 1) Is a conscious being – intrinsically endowed with diverse potencies 2) The fountain head of the material universe + the jivas within it 3) Both the Nimitta-cause [by Himself] & Upadana cause [through His Maya potency] of the process of   manifestation and unmanifestation.

Lessons 13 and 14, Texts 61-69, Everything is non-different from Paramatma: 1) Paramatma is both the efficient cause (nimitta) and material cause (upadana) as the Lord endowed with His potencies. 2) Paramatma always remain pure. 3) What is Sat-Karya-Vada? Though the effect is accepted as non-different from the cause, it is not exactly the same (ex: thread and cloth) 4) Paramatma has inconceivable potency by which a part of Him undergoes modification in the form universe without causing any change in His essential nature (svarupa lakshana).

Paramatma is distinct from the creation generated out of the Maya potency, from Maya, and from the Jiva: 1) The universe , the body, the sense objects, and the material elements are not independent and thus not different from Paramatma, but Paramatma is distinct from all these. 2) Although an effect is not different from its cause, the cause is not absolutely one with its effect.

Those who are devoted to Paramatma see Him in everything. They are compared to the jeweler in quest of gold.

Lesson 15, Text 70, Shakti Parinama Vada versus Vivarta Vada: Shakti Parinama Vada: The universe is the result of transformation of Paramatma’s external energy, Maya. Such modifications do not involve any change in the essential identity of the absolute.

When the word asat or unreal is used for the world, Vivarta vada take it to mean false or mithya, while the Shakti Parinama Vada take it to mean real but temporary.

Sat Karya Vada => The effect exists in its cause in a subtle or potential form. Shakti Parinama Vada accommodates Sat Karya Vada.

Paramatma remains free from the defect of modification while still being both the nimitta and constituent cause of the universe.

The Universe cannot be fundamentally real (sat) because it does not exist in all three phases of time (past, present and future) Jiva Goswami refutes this by saying when universe undergoes dissolution it lies in Maha Vishnu’s belly who is Real (Sat) so even though universe is referred to as sat and asat based its manifestation and un-manifestation since it is resting in Paramatma (Maha Vishnu) during dissolution it is Sat.

Lesson 17, Texts 74-81, The cause exists independent of its effect: Text 74: The jiva is distinct from the three states of buddhi (wakefulness, dreaming, and deep sleep), these three states of intellect are products of Maya, pure self (atma) is independent of them.

Lesson 18, Texts 82-92, Maya’s relation to the Jiva and Paramatma: This section discusses about Jiva’s bondage and release from Maya and furthermore the universe is not a creation of the jiva’s ignorance as per the mayavada doctorine rather it is a manifestation of the extrinsic potency of Paramatma.

There is no necessity for the jiva’s enlightenment by its release from Maya. What is required of the jiva is the he must give up his identification with the universe as an object of separate enjoyment. This is possible by understanding the misidentification between the atma and the phenomenal “I” – consciousness or ahankara which is a product of Maya.

Texts 82-84: The Jiva is covered by maya, but realization of Paramatma alone can liberate the jiva, and that is the ultimate dissolution for Jiva.

Vidura asks Mitreyamuni about how bondage of the jiva can be possible at all, when Jiva is superior to maya?  Just as the Sun can perform contrary functions – both revealing and covering. Clouds are produced by the heat of the Sun. As soon as the cloud generated by the Sun is scattered, the eye sees both its own nature as well as the Sun, similarly, when the self’s adjunct [upadi] of phenomenal “I” consciousness is destroyed by inquiry [jignasa, active not passive] into Paramatma, the self becomes fixed in remembrance of its essential nature and of Paramatma. [SB 12.4.32-33]

In our conditioned state, we have no power to free ourselves, even upon being enlightened because knowledge is also part of Maya, namely the sattva-guna. The problem is with the level of ahankara, which is above the mind and intelligence.

The bondage of the self, brought about by the phenomenal ego that is a product of Maya, has been cut with this sword of discrimination, and one becomes situated in immediate realization of the infallible Paramatma, that state, O dear King, is called ultimate dissolution.

Pertinent questions: Maitreya muni answers all three of these questions in Texts 90-92 1) How can Bhagavan, who is transcendental to material nature and fully content within Himself, become involved in activities related to material nature? If He were to play, how could He do so with the material energy? This is simply out of love for his devotees who could not attain perfection of their devotional service unto Him in the previous cycle and who are still lying dormant within Paramatma. So His true intent behind creation is simply to provide yet another opportunity for them to complete the course of their devotion. 2) How can the conscious jiva come under the illusory influence of Maya’s 3 modes? Maya is the reflection of the Lord and thus cannot touch Him, but reflection can touch/influence others. 3) Both the atma and Paramatma reside in the same body, so why is it that only the individual atma sufferes and enjoys the outcome of karma. What makes Paramatma immune to such experience? It is the very nature of Maya’s avidya potency to keep the jiva in perpetual darkness about reality.

Lessons 19-21, Texts 93-104: Bhagavan’s impartiality and His intention in regard to the creative act: How come Lord favors devotees and punishes wicked? Out of his compassion, feels empathy in relation to others misery.

The pain and pleasure of a devotee are not material. Rather, they are both manifestation of Bhakti, the intrinsic potency of the Lord.

While it is a fact that Gajendra was in material pain, Bhagavan did not rescue him out of empathy for his pain, but by his surrender in the form, “You are my only shelter.” Thus, it is bhakti alone that impelled the Lord to rescue him.

Conclusion: The compassion of the Lord (or His pure devotees) manifests as a result of their bhakti and not because of the material suffering of the person so blessed.

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