mAyA is not the power of Brahman

Gummuluru Murthy gmurthy at MORGAN.UCS.MUN.CA
Sun Mar 15 21:52:41 CST 1998


Quite often we read (on this list and in some books as well) that Brahman
with power of mAyA is Ishwara, the saguna Brahman. It seems to me that one
way to understand Brahman is the following:

Brahman does not have any powers. Brahman is powerless. We, in our
ignorance, ascribe power to Brahman and make Brahman Ishwara. Just
like we mistakenly superpose gross-subtle body combination on Brahman and
call ourselves jeevAs, we superpose the power of mAyA on Brahman and call
it Ishwara, the creator. When knowledge dawns on us, the superposition
gets shattered and we see ourselves as Brahman. The concept of mAyA gets
shattered and Ishwara merges with Brahman. All the while, Brahman stays
as a witness, untouched by the jeevA's ignorance. MAyA simply dissolves
(at the dawn of knowledge) just like the darkness dissolving when the
light is switched on.

I would very much appreciate if list-members point out any obvious
and not-so-obvious drawbacks in this line of reasoning.

Gummuluru Murthy
Yadaa sarve pramucyante kaamaa ye'sya hr^di shritaah
atha martyo'mr^to bhavatyatra brahma samashnute   Katha Upanishhad II.3.14

When all the desires that dwell in the heart fall away, then the mortal
becomes immortal, and attains Brahman even here.

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