Advaita : Some Basic Explanations - 4

hbdave hbd at DDIT.ERNET.IN
Wed Mar 27 03:48:05 CST 2002

Srikrishna Ghadiyaram wrote:

> Hari Om !!
> --- hbdave <hbd at DDIT.ERNET.IN> wrote:
> >
> > Dear List Members,
> > Here is the posting no. 4.
> > Best wishes,
> > -- Himanshu
> > {\skt jiiva} -- or what we roughly call Soul. What
> > we have called
> >         {\skt aanandamaya}, "Happy" previously
> > is also called
> >         {\skt cidaabhaasa}
> >          = {\skt cit} the brain activity + {\skt
> > aabhaasa} reflection,
> >         just as the sun produces a reflection on a
> > water surface,
> >         {\skt brahman} creates an illusion of
> > Consciousness in the brain.
> >
> >         That {\skt cidaabhaasa} plus the {\skt
> > saak.sii} which is the cause
> >         of it, together are called {\skt jiiva},
> > Soul.
> >         It is analogous to {\skt jalaakaa"sa},
> > "image-space".
> >         {Water in the pot is analogous to brain
> > activity, pot is shariira}
> >
> In Tattva Bodha we see Item # 9 as follows:
> sthula sarirAbhimAni jeevanamakam pratibimbam bhavati
> sa eva jeevaha prakrityA swaswamat esvaram bhinnatvena
> jAnAti.
> The reflection (as it were) of Brahman (in sukshma
> sarira) which identifies itself with the gross body is
> called Jiva. This Jiva, by nature (ignorance) takes
> Isvara to be different from himself.

This is OK.

> avidyopadhihi san aatma jeeva ityuchyate.
> The awareness (aatma) conditioned by the upadhi viz.
> avidya is called Jiva.

[My copy is slightly different, but it does not matter.]
Let us call awareness as Atman, because we are using
awareness in dualistic meaning (one entity is aware
of another.)

> (this translation is taken from the Chinmaya Mission
> publication of Tatva Bodha)
> Now, is the reflection referred above same as the
> Chidabhasa explained by you ?

Yes. There should not be any confusion here.
What you call "sukshma sharira" contains the
chidabhasa as the controlling part.
Chidabhasa is like a king. When we say a "king"
it also includes his retinue, bodyguards etc. A king
should have his "kingness".
Similarly, here if you say sukshma sharira (which
includes sense organs, antahkarana, etc) is same
as chidabhasa.

> In posting # 3 you wrote:
> ------------
> The "Happy" - {\skt aanandamaya} is also called {\skt
> cidaabhaasa} -
> a reflection of something on the "surface" of activity
> of human brain,
> which gives rise to an illusion (aabhaasa) of chetan
> (chit), an active
> principle. It is compared to reflection of Sun on a
> water surface.
> We shall use the words chidaabhaasa and aanandamaya
> interchangeably.
> ------------------------

<-------- jiiva ------------>
|  chidabhasa |  sakshi or Kutastha   |

> How is it that your explanation of Reflection referrs
> to Anandamaya (Kosa) and Tattva Bodha referrs it as
> Jiva ? I thought these two were different.

Though some Acharyas take jiiva to be consisting of
only the reflection, it creates  logical problems while
explaining oneness of Jiva with Ishvara.
That is why

Jiva = abhasa + sakshi (kutastha)

In Tattvabodha also, the second sentence " the Atman
conditioned by Avidya is called Jiva" shows that sakshi
(Atman) is at the basis of Jiva.
This should not confuse you as Anandamaya (Abhasa)
by itself can not exist and the basis - sakshi - must be

> In one of my earlier clarifications I saught from you,
> (when I quoted the sentences from Swami Sivananda's
> "May I answer that?") I was clarified that this
> reflection was Jivatma. Then I took it to be different
> from aatma (Kutastha). Now that you are not explaining
> in the same way, what is the locus of Jivaatma ?

"standard" definition :
<-------- jiiva ------------>
|  chidabhasa |  sakshi or Kutastha   |

> Also, I see the other discussion about Kshara/Akshara
> Purusha. In that connection when I was reading a
> commentary on Vivekachudamani by Vyasasramam, in
> Andhara Pradesh, I read that the aatma (Jivaatma)
> itself is Kutastha, because it is in Maya. It is
> mentioned that the Paramatma (Nirupadhika) is in

> Sahasrara. Is it what is being debated as Uttama

> Purusha ?

While we are discussing various aspects of the One and only
Atman, we say that Atman/Brahman, which is conditioned by
Avidya is Jiva and the underlaying basis is Atman (what you
are calling  Jivatma)
Paramatma = Brahman = Uttama Purusha

> Is there another Knower of the aatma which is in our
> heart ?  who is located in Sahasrara ?  or else where
> ?

No. The final knower is Atman = Kutastha = Sakshi

Sahasrara - is not a place, it it a state of nervous energy;
it is equivalent to Abhasa.
Saying "Paramatma is in Sahasrara" is equivalent to
saying chadabhasa is reflection of Atman.

> Over all how many entities are we talking about ?
> EGO, I-sense, Vijnamamaya Kosa, Reflection, aatma, and
> Paramatma ?????

Yes, all these !!! But realize that all of them have a common
basis - Atman.
Though we are talking about a very simple thing, myself,
Atman, things get complicated and confusing because in
our search for the real "I", many imposters - so to say -
interpose themselves, claiming to be "I". We have to
identify and sort them out.

> Sorry, if my questions are not clear or stupid but I
> am not clear of the reflection explained in two
> different views.

I hope with what has been given above, makes it all

> Are these two reflections referring
> to the same ? Who goes through Avastha traya and who
> knows it ?

Abhasa goes through the Avasthatraya and Abhasa knows
Atman "knows" everything simply as "I am".

> Kindly explain.
> Om Namo Narayanaya !!
> Srikrishna

Your questions on posting no. 6 are interesting
and I would like to explain them in detail.
I shall post them tomorrow.

So till then, my friend,
-- Himanshu

>From  Wed Mar 27 15:38:20 2002
Message-Id: <WED.27.MAR.2002.153820.0700.>
Date: Wed, 27 Mar 2002 15:38:20 -0700
Reply-To: besprasad at
To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
From: Prasad Balasubramanian <besprasad at LYCOS.COM>
Organization: Lycos Mail  (
Subject: parents and marriage
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Om namO nArAyaNa.

  I've the following questions. I had asked a few based on "prajayA
hi manushyaH pUrNaH". These are more are less related to that.   Any
references to the parent child relationship in shruti ?   Why does shruti say "mAtru devO BavaH"  and "pitru devO BavaH" ?   Arent they
maya too ?

  When its brahman everywhere, hows marriage meaningful ?  If people
belonging to the same gOthras themselves cannot get married , then
what about the fact that all the rishis are    (from) one single
brahman ? In which case how can getting married be justified ? Is
this a reason why elders advise that we shouldnt try to figure out
the rishi mUlam ?


See Dave Matthews Band live or win a signed guitar

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