A few questions

egodust egodust at DIGITAL.NET
Fri Jan 10 18:54:41 CST 1997

Vidyashankar wrote:
> ajAti vAda :-
> The notion that mAyA has no reality in itself, and that brahman is the
> only real, allows the sr.shTi-dr.shTi vAdin to "graduate", so to speak, to
> ajAtivAda, the view that no creation really occured ever. Although one
> initially starts looking for brahman from an ontological perspective, this
> search for origins is ultimately futile, as far as moksha is concerned.
> When the house is on fire, one first searches for water to put the fire
> out. Only after the fire is put out does one search for the causes of the
> fire. Similarly, if the questioner's goal is moksha, advaita points out
> that there is no moksha till the Atman is properly known as brahman
> itself. Therefore, understand the Atman first, questions about creation
> can wait. Until now, the questioner has been concerned mainly with
> explaining the external world, which (s)he knows only through the
> operation of the senses. The identity propounded by the upanishads
> (between the Atman and brahman) opens up an even more fascinating inner
> world that is not seen by the eye, not heard by the ear and not felt by
> touch. It is this inner search that allows the sAdhaka to acquire the
> jnAna to deny mAyA any reality whatsover. At this stage, brahman, which
> was previously understood to be with attributes, is really understood in
> its essence. This essential nature of brahman is described as
> "svarUpa-lakshaNa" - a description that captures the real nature of
> brahman. When brahman is apprehended as the nirguNa, without any
> attributes, mAyA completely disappears. The universe too, consequently has
> to disappear. This is the most difficult thing for anybody to understand
> and accept, because the senses constantly seem to remind one of the
> presence of the universe. But then, the unitary understanding of brahman
> as identical to the Atman occurs only at the turIya state, not in the
> jAgrat, svapna and sushupti states. As the mANDUkya upanishad reminds us,
> the turIya is adr.shTam, avyavahAryam, agrAhyam, alakshaNam, acintyam,
> avyapadeSyam, ekAtma-pratyaya-sAram, prapancopaSamam, SAntam, Sivam,
> advaitam.

Excellent dissertation on the vaadas.

Regarding the vyavaharikic advent of Isvara's maya, I tend to be in the
advaitic minority and side more with the drishti-srishti vaada.  Yet it seems
to me that, in a more comprehensive sense, it's a simultaneous occurrence: the
observer and the observed are *at once* a production of Mind-stuff, and to
theorize which function thereof manifests first is like falling prey to a
double deception, as if the first (leela) wasn't enough!  Yet, as you know,
these are merely devices to temporarily appease the jiva if/when apparently
trapped in [his/her] world dilemma.



Frank Maiello
"Who am I apart from Thee?"

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