Selections from the ShAkta upaniShads -1 (bahvR^icha)

Vivek Anand Ganesan v_ganesan at YAHOO.COM
Thu Apr 23 13:03:39 CDT 1998

---Anand Hudli <anandhudli at HOTMAIL.COM> wrote:
>  Nanda Chandran wrote:
> >I've a doubt here!
> >
> >Am I right in my assumption that Devi is used for Brahman here?
>  Yes.
> >
> >By definition Brahman is the Absolute Eternal Being.
> >
> >Let me explain my argument with an anology :
> >A flying piece of iron from somewhere wounds me. I apply medicine to
> the
> >wound and it heals. Here both the iron and the medicine are causes.
> >definition both are transient and are capable of action.
> >
> >But Brahman is eternal, inefficient and is not suseptible to change.
> >Since Brahman cannot change, he cannot be a cause. If he cannot be a
> >cause how can he create the egg shaped world?
> >
> >Anyway doesn't Shankara define the world of Maya as unexplainable?
>  The whole universe is explained by advaita along the lines of a
>  classic case of illusion, such as the illusion of the snake in the
>  rope. What is seen  under the influence of illusion is the
>  snake which has been superimposed on the snake. The whole illusion
>  is the result of two powers of avidyA (ajnAna) called the
>  AvaraNa-shakti and the vikShepa-shakti. Two phenomena happen in an
>  illusion. First, the reality, the rope, is obscured or concealed.
>  This is done by the AvaraNa-shakti. Second, the illusory object,
>  the snake,  is projected by the vikShepa-shakti. The AvaraNa shakti
>  is called the power of concealment and the vikShepa-shakti the power
>  of projection.
>  Nevertheless, the rope is the substratum of the illusion. In the
>  illusion process, the rope gets _apparently_ transformed into the
>  snake. Similar is the case of the brahman-universe illusion. It is
>  only admitted by advaita that the universe (world) is an _apparent_
>  transformation of the substratum Brahman, not a real transformation.
>  According to realist schools such as the one by RaamAnuja, Brahman
>  is really transformed into the universe. Such a real trasnformation
>  is technically called "vikAra." But, according to advaita, the
>  transformation of Brahman into the world is just apparent. Such an
>  apparent transformation is called "vivarta." So you may say that
>  advaita upholds vivartavAda.
>  In the ShvetAshvatara, it is stated that the power of God is
>  hidden within its own effects, (devAtmashaktiM svaguNairnigUDhAM).
>  And God is nothing but Brahman with the limiting adjunct of mAyA
>  which has a preponderance of Shuddha-sattva, pure sattva-guNa.
>  The power by which the universe is created is  the vikShepa
>  shakti. So the universe is a result of the vikShepa shakti of
>  avidyA. Considered from one viewpoint, Brahman is the efficient
>  cause of the world. From the viewpoint of its upAdhi (limiting
>  adjunct), Brahman is also the material cause of the world.
>  Anand
   I have some questions regarding this.

1) Is what you call "vikAra" also called "parinAma"?
    Because, I have read that the two theories that support a "real"
transformation of the Brahman in to Jagam are :
   a) vivArta - Irreversible change.
   b) parinAma - Reversible change.
  But, the philosophical position of Advaita with regards to this is
actually ajAti-vAda which only supports "apparent" transformation.  Is
this correct?

2) If Advaita does uphold ajAti-vAda, what is the role of mAya in this

3) Finally, how does ajAti-vAda differ from sAtkarya-vAda of shrI


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