Priti Sandarbha 5.4 :: The oneness of the jiva with Brahman is not absolute
As is said in the Viṣṇudharma Purāṇa:
भिन्ने दृतौ यथा वायुर्नैवान्यः सह वायुना। क्षीणपुण्याघबन्धस्तु तथात्मा ब्रह्मणा सह ॥१
(1) Just as when a bellow is torn, the inside air is not other than the air outside, similarly a person who has become free of the bondage of sin and piety is not other than Brahman.
ततः समस्तकल्याणसमस्तसुखसम्पदाम्। आह्लादमन्यमकलङ्कमवाप्नोति शाश्वतम् ॥२
(2) Then he attains the other, eternal spotless bliss of all the treasures of all happiness and all auspiciousness.
ब्रह्मस्वरूपस्य तथा ह्यात्मनो नित्यदैव सः। व्युत्थानकाले राजेन्द्र आस्ते हि अतिरोहितः ॥३
(3) This bliss of the self who has attained the nature of Brahman is eternal. Even in his external awareness, O King, it does not fade away.
आदर्शस्य मलाभावाद् वैमल्यं काशते यथा। ज्ञानाग्निदग्धहेयस्य स ह्लादो ह्यात्मनस्तथा ॥४
(4) Just as a mirror’s cleanliness shines forth when its dirt has been washed away, so is it with the happiness of the self whose impurities have been burnt in the fire of wisdom.
यथा हेयगुणध्वंसादवबोधादयो गुणाः। प्रकाशन्ते न जन्यन्ते नित्या एवात्मनो हि ते ॥५
(5) When the rejectable qualities are destroyed, qualities such as self-awareness manifest. They are not created because they are the eternal qualities of the self.
ज्ञानं वैराग्यमैश्वर्यं धर्मश्च मनुजेश्वर। आत्मनो ब्रह्मभूतस्य नित्यमेव चतुष्टयम् ॥६
(6) O master of men! Consciousness, detachment from matter, majesty and dharma – these four are the eternal qualities of a self who has realized Brahman.
एतदद्वैतमाख्यातमेष एव तवोदितः। अयं विष्णुरिदं ब्रह्म तथैतत् सत्यमुत्तमम् ॥७ इति।
(7) This is called advaita, this alone was spoken by you. This is Viṣṇu, this is Brahman and this is the Supreme Reality.
अत्र जीवब्रह्मणोरंशांशित्वांशेनैव वायुदृष्टान्तः। अंशत्वेऽपि बहिरङ्गत्वं त्वन्यतो ज्ञेयम्।
Here the air is given as an example of the jīva and Brahman being the part and the whole. The state of jīva being external [to Brahman ], although a part of It, is because of the other (māyā).
The separate nature of the two is being emphasized, not the unity. This is because the atomic and all-pervasive natures of the two are eternal and cannot be changed. Māyā acts as the obstruction that separates the two, even though they have the same nature of consciousness or spirituality. That is the bellows. This is why it is external and not a part of the internal energy, not intimate with Him.
अतः पृथगीश्वरे स्वरूपभूतानुभवे च सति, तद्वैमुख्येनानादिना लब्धच्छिद्रयेशमायया तदनुभवलोपादेः सम्भवात्, कथञ्चित् साम्मुख्येन तदनुग्रहान् निवृत्तिश्चास्ति। (तै.उ. २.४.१) "आनन्दं ब्रह्मणो विद्वान्" इत्यादि श्रुतेः।
Therefore, since God and the intrinsic experience [of Him] in [the jīva's] nature are two separate things, there is a possibility for its experience of Him to be lost due to God’s māyā, which finds the opportunity [to overcome it] due to its defect of beginningless aversion to Him, etc. Because of that possibility, however, by becoming a little favorable to God, the influence of māyā is revoked by His grace, for it is said in the Śruti, "The knower of the bliss of Brahman [fears from nothing]." (ānandaṁ brahmaṇo vidvān, TU 2.4.1)
(बृ.आ.उ. ४.४.६) "न तस्मात् प्राणा उत्क्रामन्ति, अत्रैव समवलीयन्ते, ब्रह्मैव सन् ब्रह्माप्येति" इत्यत्रापि अन्यो ब्रह्मभावस्तथान्यो ब्रह्मण्यप्यय इति स्पष्टम्।
In the following statement it is clear that being Brahman conscious (brahma-bhāva) is one thing and the attainment of Brahman another: "His vital forces do not leave [the body] but merge right here; being Brahman alone, he attains Brahman." (BAU 4.4.6)
ब्रह्मभावानन्तरं तदप्ययस्य पुनरभिधानात्।
This is clear because the attainment of Brahman (brahmāpyeti) is stated as coming after one has become Brahman (brahmaiva san).
अप्येतेः कर्मतया ब्रह्मनिर्देशाच्च।
Furthermore Brahman is stated as the object (karma) of the verb "to attain" (apyeti).
ततश्च ब्रह्मैव सन्निति तत्साम्यतत्तादात्म्यापत्त्यैवाभेदनिर्देशः।
Thus in "becoming Brahma alone" (brahmaiva san), the description of non-difference (abheda) is in sameness due to acquiring similar properties (tādātmya).
Tādātmya (Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava Abhidhāna): "When one thing takes on the properties of another due to proximity while keeping its independent existence,"
From the Rāsa-līlā (10.30.15);
ity unmatta-vaco gopyaḥ kṛṣṇānveṣaṇa-kātarāḥ |
līlā bhagavatas tās tā hy anucakrus tad-ātmikāḥ ||
Caitanya-mata-mañjuśā: tādātmyaṁ nāma premṇaḥ parayā maryādayā cetaso vr̥tty-antarābhāvena tanmayī-bhāvaḥ.
"Tādātmya is the mood of total absorption resulting from the extreme limits of love, in which there is a total absence of any other mental fluctuation,"
Viśvanātha: "kṛṣṇo nānyatra gatavān, mayy eva praviṣṭaḥ, tad aham eva kṛṣṇaḥ" iti pratyekaṁ tādātmyam abhūt.
Each one of the gopis became totally absorbed in Krishna, thinking, "Krishna has not gone elsewhere, but has entered into me! So I must be Krishna!"
एवं (मु.उ. ३.२.८) "ब्रह्म वेद ब्रह्मैव भवति" इत्यत्रापि व्याख्येयम्।
The same explanation should be given to the statement, "The knower of Brahman becomes Brahman" (MU 3.2.9)
क्वचिदेकत्वशब्देनापि तथैवोच्यते। अत्र तत्साम्यं यथोक्तम् (मु.उ. ३.१.३) —"निरञ्जनं परमसाम्यमुपैति" इत्यादि श्रुतौ। (गीता १४.२) "इदं ज्ञानमुपाश्रित्य मम साधर्म्यमागताः" इति गीतोपनिषत्सु च।
Sometimes the word "oneness" (ekatva) also means similarity achieved through acquiring similar properties. The equality with Brahman is also spoken of in the Śruti such as "Becoming free of all attachments one attains equality to the Supreme (parama-sāmyam)" (MU 3.1.3)...
...and also in the Bhagavad-gītā "Having taken shelter of this knowledge they have attained the same characteristics as Me (sādharmyam)." (Gītā 14.2)
idaṁ jñānam upāśritya mama sādharmyam āgatāḥ |
sarge’pi nopajāyante pralaye na vyathanti ca ||
viśvanāthaḥ : sādharmyaṁ sārūpya-lakṣaṇāṁ muktiṁ |
baladeva: mama nityāvirbhūta-guṇāṣṭakasya sādharmyaṁ sādhanāvirbhāvitena tad-aṣṭakena sāmyam āgatāḥ. [eṣa ātmāpahata-pāpma vijaro vimr̥tyur viśoko vijighatso’pipasaḥ satya-kāmaḥ satya-saṅkalpaḥ (chā.u. 8.1.5)]… mokṣe jīva-bahutvam uktam | tad viṣṇoḥ paramaṁ padaṁ sadā paśyanti sūrayaḥ ity-ādi