mAyA is not the power of Brahman

Gummuluru Murthy gmurthy at MORGAN.UCS.MUN.CA
Tue Mar 17 09:35:40 CST 1998

On Mon, 16 Mar 1998, Chandran, Nanda (NBC) wrote:

> >Brahman does not have any powers. Brahman is powerless.
> Is that right? I thought Brahman was all powerful! Again from Kena
> Upanishad (I think) when each of the Gods - Agni, Vayu etc try to prove
> their power against the Brahman and fail, as it's Brahman which makes
> them tick! Anyway I suppose it's another way of looking at it!

Namaste.  The following is my understanding.

Brahman is all powerful in vyavahArika explanation of Brahman. But, in
paramArtha understanding, there is no need of a powerful entity, and it is
this understanding we are striving for.

> So why exactly do you need an Ishwara at all to say that the fruit was
> created by Ishwara? Why can't be just concentrate on the thing that
> really matters - the substratum? Do we need a double identity - Jiva and
> Atman, for that thing within us? Same with Brahman and Ishvara. Do we
> need to analyze something that's not real and exists in the realm of
> Maya?

That, in my view, is a very good point. The answer I can give is: in
order to try to explain what we perceive, we need Ishwara, mAyA and
other concepts. Further, we need Ishwara for the dissolution of our ego.
It is in this context, I see a difference in emphasis in Shri RamaNa's
teachings and Shri Shankara's teachings. Both of them recognized what they
see around to be unreal. Shri RamaNa felt that there is no need to worry
or explain about unreal matters. Shri RamaNa's teaching objective is to
realize and stay in Brahman. Shri Shankara saw the unreality of the jagat,
but still tried to develop a model for the explanation of the perceived
things, even though knowing them to be unreal. These intellectual
discussions (like the present topic) are of intellectual curiosity only
and I think Shri RamaNa certainly would not approve of the discussion.

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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