Birth and death and rebirth from Advaitist viewpoint

Vaidya N. Sundaram sundaram at ECN.PURDUE.EDU
Fri Dec 18 11:35:15 CST 1998

On Fri, 18 Dec 1998, Ashish Chandra wrote:

> But anyway, how can there be duality.

 Does it mean that you see no duality? :-) :-)

> If the jiva is Brahma but unrealized,

 I take it you mean Brahman not Brahma (who is considered a person).

> said that jiva is the non-dual self. Is mine different from yours ?

 Considering "Is mine different from yours ?" is pointless for now. The
only one who matters in all this debate is the aspirant who wants to know.
(apparent?) multiplicity of objects, although seen, need not be fully
acknowledged when your goal is to get beyond that. Refer II.86 to II.102
of panchadasi:
begin quote:
86. What is real in air is Brahman, Sat; other portions are unreal (that
is other portions that make up the air are unreal). Having made a deep
impression (in your mind) about the unreality of air (by reason and
meditation) give up (the false notion about the reality of air).
(from this to 96, the discussion progressively eliminates the reality of
fire, AkAshA, water, earth and all the fourteen worlds).
99. When that reality has been comprehended as non-dual and the world of
duality has been differentiated, their proagmatic action (however) will
continue as before.
end quote:
also referVII.77
begin quote:
 When by mutual identification, it has been irrefutably demonstrated that
the consiousness within and Brahman are same, then the notion that Jiva,
who is denoted by the word "thou", is different from Brahman, at once
end quote:

 What this essentially says is that before the dawn of knowledge, and as
long as your empirical truth tells you that you are so and so, and there
is this OTHER so and so, you still have not got THAT yet. And as long as
you have not got THAT, wondering WHAT goes through birth and death is the
same as asking what is THIS that is perceived NOW.

> If the jiva is Brahma but unrealized, how can it be said that there is
> trans-migration from body to body ?

 Answering WHAT will not answer HOW. That we see people being born and
others dying cannot be denied. That is emperical truth. Do not deny that.
It may be instructive to take to heart the follwoing from the Yoga
begin quote:
 Due to variations in space and time, somewhere, some times, some powers
emanate from Brahman, just as varieties of paddy from the earth.
end quote:
 SO individuality somehow enters the unified Brahman. How it does has been
explained in several texts. Kindly refer to them for an explanation.  But
as Sri Chandrasekhara Bharati explains, a man in a buring house is better
off trying to find out how to escape from the burning house, than to try
and ascertain where from the fire started, how it moves from object to
object in the house and so on ... all that is pointless as long as you
are in the house. Make these enquries after saving your self!

> I would appreciate clarifications or pointers to the appropriate subject in
> the list archives.

 The search engine on the archive home page is very good. Please use that.

as always, if I wrong, I hope knowledgeable listmembers will point it out.

sadAshivasamArambhAm shankaraachaarya madhyamaam
asmathAchaarya paryanthaam vande guru paramparaam


                      Vaidya N. Sundaram
 The place, time, objects and their knower etc., projected in a dream
during sleep are all mithyA (an illusion/false). So too, here. in the
waking state, the world that is seen is a projection by one's own
ignorance. Likewise, this body, the senses, the breath, the ego etc.,
are all unreal. Therefore, That thou art, the peaceful, defectless,
supreme, non-dual Brahman.  -- Adi Shankara in VivekacUdAmani.

"bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam"
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