Advaita : Some Basic Explanations - 11

hbdave hbd at DDIT.ERNET.IN
Sat Mar 16 01:15:38 CST 2002

Dear List Members,
Here is posting no. 11.

There was a disturbance in my Internet connection

and, though I had sent out posting nos. 7, 8 and 9

some days back, I am not sure if it has reached the

List members (because I have not received it - same

problem as the Tenth Boy !!!). Will a member be kind

enough to confirm if these three postings are indeed

received? They form a sequence, and I wish that the

sequence is not broken. Thanks for the trouble.

-- Himanshu

-------------- next part --------------
Advaita : Some Basic Explanations - 11 (Ajatavada)
                                                -- Himanshu
Shri Raman Maharshi liked to explain in terms of this approach.
This is also called {\skt d.r.s.tis.r.s.tivaada}

Gaudapadacharya says in his Karika :
{\skt na nirodho na cotpattirna baddho na ca saadhaka.h |}
{\skt na mumuk.surna vai mukta itye.saa paramaarthataa ||} [II-32]

There is no dissolution, no birth, none is bound, none is a seeker,
neither is there seeker of Release or released - this is the ultimate truth.

This is the concluding princliple of Vedanta.

All objects are "seen" or perceived by Sakshi ({\skt saak.siibhaasya}).
All objects are result ({\skt kaarya}) of Avidya {\skt avidyaa}).

The knowledge {\skt j~naana} about an object and the known {\skt j~neya}
are generated together.

{\skt d.r.s.ti} means the knowledge arising from {\skt v.rtti} of
{\skt avidyaa} and as soon as this knowledge occurs, {\skt s.r.s.ti},
that is this World, {\skt prapa~nca}, manifestation, is created.

In a desert a mirrage is seen. This mirrage vanishes when we go near it.
That means it is phenomenal, {\skt praatibhaasika}, we see it due to our
position. Because it vanishes when we go near it, its baadha is possible.
This is one way an adhyaasa or mithyaa avabhasa is suspended.

Another is by having a different {\skt d.r.s.ti} - a way of looking at
things. The moment you understand the true nature of the mirrage, even
though your eyes are still getting the same image, you take the image
to be in its true form.

Thus according to Ajatavada, objects {\skt padaartha} do not have
({\skt aj~naata satta}), i.e. do not have absolute existence , independent
of the observer, but have {\skt j~naata satta}, relative existence. That
is, when the object is not known, it is not "there", but when an object
is known its existence is perceived.

In other words : an observed does not have absolute existence independent
of an observer.

[There was a question some time back on the Advaita List : Can there be
an Observer independent of an observed? What is *your* response?]

There are not three kinds of existences or realities {\skt satta} -
empirical, phenomenal and ultimate - {skt vyaavahaarikii praatibhaasikii
paaramaarthikii}, but only two - phenomenal and ultimate,
{\skt praatibhaasikii paaramaarthikii}.

Whatever is perceived in waking state {\skt jaagrat} - {\skt satya},
{\skt mithyaa} etc. are all Mithyaa like a dream.

Doubt : This universe is known to exist for millions of years. In it,
those who obtain the final Knowledge are released and those who do not, go
through cycles of births. How this long duration is possible, when the
observer, I, has very limited life?

Reply : The chetana is always released, it was never bound. No one is bound.
There is really no knowledge to be gained, there is no teacher.
All these are mithyaa, like a dream.
The permanence seen in the universe is also due to Avidya.
The question is raised due to non-understanding of the principle. For
example, in a dream we see a house which, it is felt, was built many years
back. Or, we meet an old man of 85 years (and you are just 45).

Doubt : But, there are other persons, like my friend, who vouch for existence
of the World.

Reply : Both you and him are part of the same "dream". It is like you
"becoming" a king in a dream and your ministers confirm that position! Will
you accept that as a proof of you being a king?

To establish absolute existence of the world, we require an independent
proof, which is not available.

Doubt : But then Vedas etc. are mithyaa?

Reply : Yes. It is so.

Doubt : My guru is mithyaa?

Reply : Yes, he is mithyaa.

Doubt : Then how these scriptures and a guru of dream can get me the real
Reply : I have already stated that you do not need release, because you are
not bound in first place.

To remove your dream-ignorance you require dream-Vedas and a dream-guru.
Or, the process to go from a lower level of reality to higher level, has
to be available at the lower level of reality. (This is why Shri Krishna
says : "yadaa yadaa hi dharmasya ... ... tadaa atmaanam s.rjaamyaham")

A fine illustration is given in 'Shri Vicharasagara' by Mahatma
Nishcahaladasa, in form of "dream of king Agrudhadeva".

Still, if you are feeling uncomfortable about the idea, here is a little
story. You dream that you are passing through a jungle and a lion attacks
you. You protect yourself by attacking it with a rifle. The lion roars
loudly before dying and that wakes you up. The lion vanishes, the rifle
vanishes, the jungle vanishes.
Did the rifle kill the lion? How did you you clean the blood which oozed
out from your wounds? etc. !!!

Before we close this posting, we will discuss something about preparation
of the seeker {\skt adhikaara} and levels of {\skt adhikaarii}.

On the top are highest prepared called {\skt mukta} - already released,
called {\skt uttama adhikaarii}. (U)

The highly prepared seeker is called {\skt madyama adhikaarii} and are
also called {\skt jij~naasu}. They have realized that the happiness of
the World is short lived and come mixed with unhappiness. They desire
unhindered happiness. (M)

Lower than them are called {\skt vi.sayii} - they desire the good things
in life, but through a correct and specified path, fearing the God. They
are also called {\skt kani.s.tha adhikaarii}, lowest level seeker. (K)

The following figure shows the perceptions of these three levels of
Adhikari - U, M, K :

U ===>                  | brahman   | -------> nothing is born, no one bound
                        |           | (.rtam)  no need for release
                        +-----------+         "I am brahman"
M ===>          | brahman    |  maayaa |-------> activity of Maya create
                |            |         |(satyam) Ishvara and Jiiva
                |            |         |         I am jiiva (limited)
                +----------------------+         Ishvara is all powerfull
K ===>  |brahmaa|vishnu|mahesh|jagat|jiiva|---> brahmaa creates jagat
        |       |      |      |     |     |     vishnu maintains it
        |       |      |      |     |     |     mahesh destroys it

With that we come to the end of this posting.
Best wishes for all.
-- Himanshu

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list