If advaita stands, all other systems(including dvaita) fall

Anand Hudli ahudli at APPN.CI.IN.AMERITECH.COM
Mon Jan 13 11:58:58 CST 1997

              M Suresh wrote:
> >
> >    No, the nondual Brahman is not experienced as something other oneself.
> >    It is realized as the Self. So there is no duality. And the Self is not
> >    a nonexistent thing or void. Jiivanmuktas who have experienced Brahman
> >    do not say that it is a state where they experience emptiness. Rather
> >    say that it is full of bliss. There is obviously a difference between
> >    emptiness and bliss.
> I guess Buddha also would have  experienced the same bliss but still
> he taught  emptiness.  Both say the bliss  is due to  realization of
> ones  true nature.  One  calls it  Brahman and  the  other calls  it
> emptiness.

  Not so. According to advaita, even in cognitions in the
  vyaavahaarika world, there is a permanent something that is common among
  all cognitions. In the cognition, "this is a pot", the permanent factor
  is "this is" which indicates the underlying existence. What is an illusion
   is "a pot". What is cognized is just this permanent  factor
  but it is falsely understood to be a pot. In another cognition, "this is a
  cloth", again the common, permanent factor is "this is." What is an
  illusion has to do with "a cloth." In other words,
  between the cognitions "this is a pot", and "this is a cloth", what is
  common, constant, and permanent is the factor, "this is."
  What we see above is a cognition where the cognizer gives a name to a
  cognized object, such as a pot, cloth etc. Another type of cognition
  tries to assert an adjective or attribute of an object. In the cognition,
  "this is a blue pot", again what is common, constant, and permanent
   is the factor "this is." What is illusion is "a blue pot." So what
  is being denied ultimate reality is the "blueness" and "potness" of the

  this to all cognitions, all objects are real as far as they are treated as
  pure existence, but the moment you start associating them with names and
  forms, the illusion begins.
   This existence is the common, unchanging, and
  permanent factor among all cognitions. This is according to advaita.

  Now, according to the philosophy of Buddha, there is no constant,
  and permanent factor among all objects. Everything is impermanent
  and momentary. This is in sharp contrast to the above theory of advaita.

  Let us change the scene a little. Suppose there is a philosophy (and
   there are  Vaishnava schools that say so), which says
  that mokshha or liberation is to dwell in Vaikuntha as an eternal
  companion of Vishnu. When you get to Vaikuntha, you get four hands, and
  a form similar to Vishnu. You will enjoy uninterrupted bliss in the
  company of Vishnu and His associates. This world is to be renounced. Strive
  to go to Vaikuntha. Reaching Vaikuntha is moksha.

  Now would you equate the description of the ultimate reality described
  above with the emptiness of Buddhism? Certainly not. Because the
  description is that of duality.  The  Brahman of advaita is a higher
  reality than the world of SaguNa brahman mentioned above. It is when
  the distinction between God and devotee, the meditated and the meditator
  vanishes and there is just the blissful aspect that remains.
  Just as you could not equate the shuunyataa (void) with the experience
  of saguNa brahman, you cannot equate it with Brahman.

  In the Anandavalli section of the taittiriiya upanishhad, measurements
  of different kinds of bliss are stated. If you consider a young man, in
  good health, strong, learned and noble, and if he has the wealth of
  the entire world at his disposal, that is one measure of human bliss.
  Similary, bliss of manushhya gandharvas, deva gandharvas, devas, etc.
 are all mentioned, upto the bliss of HiraNyagrabha. The bliss of Brahman
  is far, far superior to all these kinds of bliss. And it cannot be the
  same as emptiness.

> >
> >    All duality is of course illusory, but that does not imply the
> >    non-existence of everything. It is made abundantly clear in advaita
> >    that the world *as*we*commonly*perceive*it* is an illusion and is
> >    false. But *the*world*as*Brahman* is true and true eternally. The
> >    duality in the world can be negated but not the world as its substratum,
> >    Brahman. So not everything is false.
> >From the pAramArtha view point  nothing can exist as Brahman because
> Brahman  alone IS,  so the  world does  not exist.  Now how  can one
> describe the  pAramArthika state.  One may call  it either  Sunya or
> pUrna.  Will it make any  difference? Saying everything  is complete
> is the same as saying everything is empty.

  Again, you could probably equate puurNa with shuunya, speaking from
  a common sense viewpoint. But that does not mean the two are actually
  the same. For one thing, the shuunya is an impossibility. For a state
  of void to be possible, someone has to be there to certify that it is
  void. But the moment an observer enters that state, the state is no
  longer void!

> I  was only  equating  sUnyata with  Brahman and  not  the whole  of
> Buddhism and advaita.

> [...]
> In both  moksha is  a cessation  of birth and  death cycle.  I guess
> Buddhists   also   will   acknowledge  in   bliss   resulting   from
> enlightenment.

   There is a fundamental difference in what the ultimate reality is in
   both systems. They may both speak of mokshha, and bliss, but that does
  not make the Brahman the same as shuunya.

> Suresh.


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