mAyA is not the power of Brahman

Gummuluru Murthy gmurthy at MORGAN.UCS.MUN.CA
Tue Mar 17 09:37:45 CST 1998

On Mon, 16 Mar 1998, Anand Hudli wrote:

>   Brahman with samashhTi mAyA  becomes Ishavara _apparently_,
>   and Brahman with vyashhTi mAyA becomes jiiva, again only
>   _apparently_. samashhTi mAyA may be called the cosmic or
>   collective mAyA whereas vyashhTi mAyA is  the individual mAyA
>   associated with a jiiva.
>  The Shruti texts may not always make this point of the association
>  or limiting adjunct (upaadhi) very explicit because the method
>  employed there is one adhyaaropa/apavaada. This means the texts
>  point out the superimposition of the non-Brahman on Brahman first
>  and then point out the sublation of that superimposition. So at
>  the point where the superimposition (adhyaaropa) is being pointed
>  out, the Shruti does not keep repeating "this is only apparent,
>  this is only apparent,.."
>  There may be another reason for this. The Shruti expects a seeker
>  to proceed in steps or stages to Brahman. At each step, the previous
>  stage is sublated.
>  [...]

>  Similar is the case of the advaitic equation Brahman = Atman. If
>  one simply has heard of this equation as saying that the Self is
>  the very same as Brahman, that person will gain little insight.
>  Another person, who actually studies/experiences the "derivation"
>  of this great equation by means of various stages, will, without
>  a doubt, have a much greater insight. Also, the conviction of the
>  second person regarding the truth of the equation will be much
>  greater than that of the first person. Of course, I am aware of
>  limitations of analogies; one should not carry the analogy too far.
>  The Brahman = Atman equation cannot be understood objectively in
>  the same way as the energy-mass one which is still in the realm of
>  mAyA.  That is why the Shruti adopts the unique technique of
>  "neti neti" in teaching us about Brahman. If the Shruti were to
>  declare only that "Brahman is all there is", what is there to
>  negate with "neti neti"?
>  Anand

Namaste, and thanks for putting this in perspective.

The question which I asked is in the realm of intellect (as I mentioned in
another post in the same thread) and the question still need to be answered:
whose is this mAyA ? The purpose of my original post is to express doubt
on the thinking that mAyA is associated with Brahman.

As per my understanding:

Brahman is in the plane of paramArtha, pervades all and everywhere, and
is changeless. Brahman does not require any explanation and has no use for

Ishwara is in the plane of vyavahArika, controls mAyA, does not require
any explanation and has no use for mAyA.

Jeeva sees the whole jagat, is fully entangled in mAyA, seeks explanations
for all the perceptions of the mind. Thus, it seems to me that the locus
of mAyA is with the jeeva in its entanglements. If jeeva were free from
the ego, the whole entanglement would vanish and mAyA dissolves. If
Brahman were an entity, it would laugh off at the predicaments the jeeva
puts itself in.

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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