Sunday, August 2, 2020

Q&A on the Philosophy of Sankaradeva

1.   What, in a nutshell, is the philosophy of Sankaradeva?
The embodied personality (jiva) is in the same ontological category as God who is the supreme spiritual personality (purusa). Primal matter (prakrti) is actuated for creation by the Lord.

2.   What is the name given to the philosophy of Sankaradeva?
The philosophy of Sankaradeva may be referred to as “Mahapurusism” due to its emphasis on the supreme purusa as the controller of both purusa and prakrti.

3.   On what book, primarily, is the philosophy of Sankaradeva based?
Sankaradeva’s philosophy is the same as the philosophy of Mahapurusism that is contained in the Bhagavata Purana.

4.   Is the creation unreal according to Sankaradeva?
If, by “unreal,” “figment of imagination” is meant, then it is not so in Sankaradeva. The creation (jagat) is very much real. It is unreal only in the sense of “unconscious.”

5.   What is the relationship between God and the world in the philosophy of Sankaradeva?
God (Krsna), in Sankaradeva’s philosophy, is completely spiritual and conscious (caitanya). The “world” or the “creation,” which is completely unconscious and insentient (jada), is evolved by God out of prakrti, the purely unconscious primordial material substance.

6.   What is the relationship between God and the individual soul in the philosophy of Sankaradeva?
The individual soul (purusa, jiva) is considered to be a minuscule portion (amsa) of God. But this does not mean literally an amsa. The meaning is that the individual souls fall into the same ontological—purely conscious, eternal, non-evolving—category as God; however, their consciousness is minuscule compared to God who is the supremely conscious spiritual personality.

7.   Is God formless in the philosophy of Sankaradeva?
God is of most beautiful and most captivating transcendental form in Sankaradeva. This form of God is immaterial (aprakrta) and not limited by adjuncts (upadhi) in any way.

8.   Is God both conscious and unconscious in the philosophy of Sankaradeva?
God is only of the essential characteristic of pure consciousness in Sankaradeva.

9.   Is the creation different from God in the philosophy of Sankaradeva?
The creation is, in reality, different from God in the philosophy of Sankaradeva. God is the conscious creator; he evolves the unconscious creation out of prakrti. And the distinction between God and prakrti, being of fundamental character, persists eternally.

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