Krishna Keshava Das

Forum Replies Created

Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • in reply to: Conceiving the Inconceivable 2.2.19 #14087
    Krishna Keshava Das
    Participant

    Dandavat pranam Rishiraja Prabhu,

    There seems to be a contradiction between your statement in the Preface

    “The mammal is the whole and the cow is its part. However, when you see a cow, you  also say that it is a mammal, although you cannot reduce the mammal to the cow. […]  This is expressed by saying that – (1) the cow is a mammal, and (2) the mammal is not a  cow.”

    And your statement in Conceiving the Inconceivable  2.2.19 (190) purport paragraph 2:

    “Since color is inside black, and white is a type of color, therefore, white is also inside  black.”

    Here is the problem as I see it in terms of sets:

    Mammal is a set M{cow, dog,  elephant, hog, ….}

    Cow is a subset of M, C{Jersey, Holstein, Surabhi, …}. The other members of the set M are no not in C.

    Color is a set Co{red, black, white, blue, …}

    Black is a subset of Co, B{dark black, light black, ….} The other member colors are not in the set B.

    So, how can the other colors be present in black?

    Universal-Particular-Individual (UPI) represents the three dynamic interrelated aspects which are  necessary to completely describe any given concept. Particular means a “particular kind” of  Universal; a Particular Universal if you prefer. There are many Particular Universals in a  Universal, i.e. animal (Universal) includes mammal, reptile, insect, bird, etc (all Particulars).  However the designation of what is either U, P, or I can be very fluid. We just called mammal as  a Particular kind of the Universal animal, but mammal may also become the Universal where  Particular kinds include cow, dog, pig, etc.

    The aspect of Particularity is essential to complete comprehension of a concept, and this  essential function is not fulfilled by your replacement of “Particular” with “Context.” One of the  problems it leads to is you emphasizing the context of the creation within Bhagavan (the  Individual aspect of the Absolute concept), as opposed to recognizing and emphasizing the role  of the Particular (localized) aspect of the Absolute, i.e. Paramatma/Narayan, Who is actually the  expansion directly involved with the material creation. This is what I originally was referring to  when I said:

    “The reason for mentioning this doubt is that positive immanence of Bhagavan  throughout reality seems to be inaccurate, while negative immanence seems to be more  precise to how Krishna describes the situation in Bhagavad-gita.”

    Svayam Bhagavan Krishna is not positively related to the material world. This is confirmed in  Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita  Adi 2.52  (Sri CC), and  Sri Brahma-samhita  verses 6 and 7,  elaborated on in Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur’s purport. Svayam Bhagavan Krishna is only  negatively related to the material world, through His variegated expansions such as  Puruṣ-avatār  Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu  as Paramatma. This is elaborately explained in  Srimad Bhagavatam  Canto  1 chapter 3 and  Sri CC  chapters 2 and 5. Svayam Bhagavan Krishna is only immanent in the material creation through His reflection known as Paramatma. This reflection is the negation of  His true form, thus only representing Him indirectly in a manner where His true form is not  directly manifest i.e. Krishna is unmanifest in the material creation similar to the fact that I am unmanifest in the mirror which reflects my image yet is only made of glass. This is explained in  Sri CC  2.19-20 and in Srila Prabhupada’s purport:

    “The sun is situated in a specific location but is reflected in countless jewels and appears  in innumerable localized aspects. Similarly, the Supreme Personality of Godhead,  although eternally present in His transcendental abode, Goloka Vṛndāvana, is reflected in  everyone’s heart as the Supersoul. […]”

    You say:

    “By your argument, humanity must be absent in all humans, because humans are  particulars, and the universals must be negated in the particular. In short, all particular humans must not have any humanity in them for them to be called humans.”

    There are two main points to be made here: (1) Humanity is not a Universal to which human  would be Particular. Human/humanity are a Particular kind of mammal (Universal), of which an Individual person is an instance. (2) Negation does not mean annihilation. This is explained by  Sripad Puri Maharaja:

    “Now this negation does not imply the annihilation of that which is negated, otherwise  the negation itself would be annihilated and cease to exist. So, negation implies a  correlation between the positive and negative aspects of existence. For example, night  may be considered the negation of day. Now, we all know that night exists, and equally  that day exists. The negation of day does not result in mere annihilation of day into  nothing – the negation produces something called night, which is the existing negation of  day. So both exist as the negation of each other, yet there is no question of annihilation of  anything.”

    Regarding the five issues you raised in your correspondence:

    1.   “First, Hegel had a progressive idea of history, and we have a cyclical idea of history”

    In Vedic philosophy, cyclical history is the material conception of  samsara . When you break the  cycle of  samsara  , escape from  samsara  , you enter eternal time which is Krishna enjoying  Himself through Himself. This is what Hegel is referring to when explaining history as being the  progression of Spirit coming to know itself as Spirit. His conception is on the Absolute platform,  not the mundane. Spirit is at first indeterminate or asleep in/as Nature, it becomes determinate in life, and it gradually progresses to  self-determination [freedom] of itself as Spirit. History is this progressive development of Spirit which is  observable through the progressive development of the history – first as bound in Nature to the repetition or cycle of determinate or finite life: birth-death-birth-death, etc. from which we must progress to liberation or freedom in the eternal, self determined Spirit.

    2.   “Second, for Hegel, the thesis produces its antithesis, which then combines to create a  synthesis, but we have the opposite idea, namely, that there is a synthesis, which divides  into thesis and antithesis to produce a material world of duality.”

    Hegel never, ever, used Thesis-Antithesis-Synthesis in his own writings. This is something that comes from the pre-Hegelian philosophies of Kant, Fichte and others, and is sometimes used to give a mostly  superficial hint to what Hegel was actually talking about.  The understanding of Hegel  demonstrated in your challenges seems to come from a misled generic interpretation of Hegel  which is held by many who have not studied/understood what Hegel  himself wrote.

    For Hegel an original unity is a dialectical union of opposing determinations which are misunderstood as an independent duality [as material world] but are in fact dialectically united.

    3.   “Third, in this struggle between thesis and antithesis, there is never a synthesis; rather  time passes by, and sometimes thesis dominates and then its antithesis dominates, which  is why we get cyclical time.”

    This is contradictory to what you say in point 2, “there is a synthesis, which divides into thesis and antithesis.” First you say “there is a synthesis” and then you say “there is never a synthesis.” Please check your logic here.

    4.   “Fourth, we are fundamentally opposed to binary opposites like thesis and antithesis; the  modes of rajas and tamas are thesis and antithesis, but sattva is neither of these two; this  means, even when one rises upward, it is not because of the synthesis of the opposites,  but by rejecting both opposites.”

    Not everyone interprets the modes/gunas as you do. In cell biology we have: building up, tearing down, and maintenance – anabolism, catabolism, metabolism – rajas, tamas, sattva, respectively. This is the function of the Guna Avatars. Brahma creation, Shiva destruction, and Vishnu maitenance. They are all essential parts of a system.  Only by going beyond life and death and its continuous cycles can one  become free of all three. There is no sattva guna in spiritual world – it is nirguna – the world of sat, cit, ananda, as generally understood.

    5.   “Fifth, the transcendent state is neither of the three modes; Brahman is not the synthesis of three modes; it rejects all the three.”

    Agreed. It seems the problem is your basic misunderstanding of Hegel, and a few logical mistakes.

    I am very grateful to you for the opportunity which this dialogue has presented me with to look  closer at some important details regarding these topics. Hopefully you will respond to the challenges I raised to your distinction between person and personality in my original message.

    in reply to: Conceiving the Inconceivable 2.2.19 #14086
    Krishna Keshava Das
    Participant

    Dandavat pranam Rishiraja Prabhu,

    There seems to be a contradiction between your statement in the Preface

    The mammal is the whole and the cow is its part. However, when you see a cow, you  also say that it is a mammal, although you cannot reduce the mammal to the cow. […]  This is expressed by saying that – (1) the cow is a mammal, and (2) the mammal is not a  cow.

    And your statement in Conceiving the Inconceivable  2.2.19 (190) purport paragraph 2:

    Since color is inside black, and white is a type of color, therefore, white is also inside  black.

    Here is the problem as I see it in terms of sets:
    Mammal is a set M{cow, dog,  elephant, hog, ….}
    Cow is a subset of M, C{Jersey, Holstein, Surabhi, …}.
    Color is a set Co{red, black, white, blue, …}
    Black is a subset of Co, B{dark black, light black, ….} The other member colors are not in the set B.
    So, how can the other colors be present in black?
    Universal-Particular-Individual (UPI) represents the three dynamic interrelated aspects which are  necessary to completely describe any given concept. Particular means a “particular kind” of  Universal; a Particular Universal if you prefer. There are many Particular Universals in a  Universal, i.e. animal (Universal) includes mammal, reptile, insect, bird, etc (all Particulars).  However the designation of what is either U, P, or I can be very fluid. We just called mammal as  a Particular kind of the Universal animal, but mammal may also become the Universal where  Particular kinds include cow, dog, pig, etc.

    The aspect of Particularity is essential to complete comprehension of a concept, and this  essential function is not fulfilled by your replacement of “Particular” with “Context.” One of the  problems it leads to is you emphasizing the context of the creation within Bhagavan (the  Individual aspect of the Absolute concept), as opposed to recognizing and emphasizing the role  of the Particular (localized) aspect of the Absolute, i.e. Paramatma/Narayan, Who is actually the  expansion directly involved with the material creation. This is what I originally was referring to  when I said:

    The reason for mentioning this doubt is that positive immanence of Bhagavan  throughout reality seems to be inaccurate, while negative immanence seems to be more  precise to how Krishna describes the situation in Bhagavad-gita.

    Svayam Bhagavan Krishna is not positively related to the material world. This is confirmed in  Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita  Adi 2.52  (Sri CC), and  Sri Brahma-samhita  verses 6 and 7,  elaborated on in Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur’s purport. Svayam Bhagavan Krishna is only  negatively related to the material world, through His variegated expansions such as  Puruṣ-avatār  Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu  as Paramatma. This is elaborately explained in  Srimad Bhagavatam  Canto  1 chapter 3 and  Sri CC  chapters 2 and 5. Svayam Bhagavan Krishna is only immanent in the material creation through His reflection known as Paramatma. This reflection is the negation of  His true form, thus only representing Him indirectly in a manner where His true form is not  directly manifest i.e. Krishna is unmanifest in the material creation similar to the fact that I am unmanifest in the mirror which reflects my image yet is only made of glass. This is explained in  Sri CC  2.19-20 and in Srila Prabhupada’s purport:

    The sun is situated in a specific location but is reflected in countless jewels and appears  in innumerable localized aspects. Similarly, the Supreme Personality of Godhead,  although eternally present in His transcendental abode, Goloka Vṛndāvana, is reflected in  everyone’s heart as the Supersoul. […]

    You say:

    By your argument, humanity must be absent in all humans, because humans are  particulars, and the universals must be negated in the particular. In short, all particular humans must not have any humanity in them for them to be called humans.

    There are two main points to be made here: (1) Humanity is not a Universal to which human  would be Particular. Human/humanity are a Particular kind of mammal (Universal), of which an Individual person is an instance. (2) Negation does not mean annihilation. This is explained by  Sripad Puri Maharaja:

    Now this negation does not imply the annihilation of that which is negated, otherwise  the negation itself would be annihilated and cease to exist. So, negation implies a  correlation between the positive and negative aspects of existence. For example, night  may be considered the negation of day. Now, we all know that night exists, and equally  that day exists. The negation of day does not result in mere annihilation of day into  nothing – the negation produces something called night, which is the existing negation of  day. So both exist as the negation of each other, yet there is no question of annihilation of  anything.

    Regarding the five issues you raised in your correspondence:

    First, Hegel had a progressive idea of history, and we have a cyclical idea of history

    In Vedic philosophy, cyclical history is the material conception of  samsara . When you break the  cycle of  samsara  , escape from  samsara  , you enter eternal time which is Krishna enjoying  Himself through Himself. This is what Hegel is referring to when explaining history as being the  progression of Spirit coming to know itself as Spirit. His conception is on the Absolute platform,  not the mundane. Spirit is at first indeterminate or asleep in/as Nature, it becomes determinate in life, and it gradually progresses to  self-determination [freedom] of itself as Spirit. History is this progressive development of Spirit which is  observable through the progressive development of the history – first as bound in Nature to the repetition or cycle of determinate or finite life: birth-death-birth-death, etc. from which we must progress to liberation or freedom in the eternal, self determined Spirit.

    Second, for Hegel, the thesis produces its antithesis, which then combines to create a  synthesis, but we have the opposite idea, namely, that there is a synthesis, which divides  into thesis and antithesis to produce a material world of duality.

    Hegel never, ever, used Thesis-Antithesis-Synthesis in his own writings. This is something that comes from the pre-Hegelian philosophies of Kant, Fichte and others, and is sometimes used to give a mostly  superficial hint to what Hegel was actually talking about.  The understanding of Hegel  demonstrated in your challenges seems to come from a misled generic interpretation of Hegel  which is held by many who have not studied/understood what Hegel  himself wrote. For Hegel an original unity is a dialectical union of opposing determinations which are misunderstood as an independent duality [as material world] but are in fact dialectically united.

    Third, in this struggle between thesis and antithesis, there is never a synthesis; rather  time passes by, and sometimes thesis dominates and then its antithesis dominates, which  is why we get cyclical time.

    This is contradictory to what you say in point 2, “there is a synthesis, which divides into thesis and antithesis.” First you say “there is a synthesis” and then you say “there is never a synthesis.” Please check your logic here.

    Fourth, we are fundamentally opposed to binary opposites like thesis and antithesis; the  modes of rajas and tamas are thesis and antithesis, but sattva is neither of these two; this  means, even when one rises upward, it is not because of the synthesis of the opposites,  but by rejecting both opposites.

    Not everyone interprets the modes/gunas as you do. In cell biology we have: building up, tearing down, and maintenance – anabolism, catabolism, metabolism – rajas, tamas, sattva, respectively. This is the function of the Guna Avatars. Brahma creation, Shiva destruction, and Vishnu maitenance. They are all essential parts of a system.  Only by going beyond life and death and its continuous cycles can one  become free of all three. There is no sattva guna in spiritual world – it is nirguna – the world of sat, cit, ananda, as generally understood.

    Fifth, the transcendent state is neither of the three modes; Brahman is not the synthesis of three modes; it rejects all the three.

    Agreed. It seems the problem is your basic misunderstanding of Hegel, and a few logical mistakes. I am very grateful to you for the opportunity which this dialogue has presented me with to look  closer at some important details regarding these topics. Hopefully you will respond to the challenges I raised to your distinction between person and personality in my original message.

    in reply to: Conceiving the Inconceivable 2.2.19 #14085
    Krishna Keshava Das
    Participant

    I am a little surprised by your change in tone and mood since we shifted from personal email to this forum, by your request. What you have just posted here was not your initial response to my message posted above. I will post your original reply here, followed by my response to that message which you received personally, before moving on to address what you have added above.

    Keshava Krishna Prabhu, Hare Krishna!

    This is a deeper subject, and the summary is: The person is transcendent, and the personality is immanent.

    If you read someone’s book, their personality is immanent in the book. But by printing many copies of the book, the person is not being replicated.

    The deeper subject is that the person is understood in six ways: Self-awareness, intention, emotion, cognition, conation, and relation. The person is self-awareness, but the other five aspects are personality, and they are also immanent in their creations. So, there is a difference between “I” (aham = person) and “Mine” (mayā = personality).

    mayā tatam idam sarvam — all this contains mine

    na ca aham tesu avastitah — and I am not in them

    The “I” is the person, and “mine” is the personality. The person is not in the creation, but the personality is.

    However, the deeper aspects of personality (intention and emotion) can never be dissociated from a person (they are only present in a specific person). The more superficial aspects of personality (cognition, conation, and relation) can be dissociated from a person (they are also present in other persons). Hence, when the personality is seen in their creations, due to the superficial aspects, it is sometimes called separate from the person, and due to the deeper aspects, it is called inseparable from the person.

    If you would be so kind, please post this question in the forums, and I will paste my response there. These are useful to other people as well.

    Hare Krishna!

    –Ys, Rsiraja das

    Dear Sripad Rishiraj Prabhu,

    Dandavat pranam. Your reply is sincerely appreciated. I feel some concern due to our Acharyas never making such a distinction between person and personality. Srila Prabhupada seems to  translate as both “Me” and “My/Mine.” Krishna is equally known as the Supreme Personality of Godhead and as the Supreme Person. Krishna, the Supreme Person/Personality, is always engaged in pastimes of sweet exchanges with His devotees, while His bahiranga shakti / external potency manifests as a very different person/personality with very different behavior as Mayadevi, Durga, etc.

    mayā tatam idam sarvam — all this contains mine
    na ca aham tesu avastitah — and I am not in them

    The ‘I’ is the person, and ‘mine’ is the personality. The person is not in the creation, but the personality is

    But if the person Krishna is not in the cosmic manifestation while His personality is, why would Mayadevi be described as a distinct person i.e. Durga who has a unique personality very different from Krishna’s? How can we justify this distinction of person/personality in such a case?

    Within the context of my doubt regarding this distinction, the six ways of describing the qualities which serve to differentiate person and personality also seem confusing to me. For instance, you describe “relation” as a superficial aspect of personality, which is in the creation where the self-aware person is not, however it seems that relation is of utmost importance. Isn’t “relation” properly conceived the capacity for bhakti-yoga?

    Based upon Sripad Puri Maharaja’s beautiful presentation of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur’s concept of “Predominating and Predominated Moieties,” the King is abstract without kingdom/subjects, the Lord is not Lord without that which/whom He lords over. So, it seems the personal identity is inseparable from relation, let alone from personality. This emphasis restores Mahaprabhu’s conception of the necessarily simultaneous identity and difference of shakti and shaktimam, the energy and energetic, the finite and the infinite.

    Finally, I am hoping for a little clarity regarding the dynamic of Universal-Particular-Individual as described in my last message, which you seem to replace with Universal-Individual-Contextual. This seems to lead to you emphasizing the context of the creation within Bhagavan (the individual aspect of the Absolute concept), as opposed to recognizing and elaborating on the role of the particular (localized) aspect of the Absolute, i.e. Paramatma/Narayan, Who is actually the expansion directly involved with the material creation.

    Again, I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to respond to my inquiries Prabhu. Haribol!</p>
    Humbly in service,
    Krishna Keshava Das
    Serving Assistant to
    Sripad Bhakti Madhava Puri Maharaja, Ph. D.
    Princeton Bhakti Vedanta Institute of Spiritual Culture and Science
    http://www.bviscs.org // linktr.ee/bviscs

     

Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)