[Advaita-l] mithya

S.N. Sastri sn.sastri at gmail.com
Sun Nov 4 22:59:37 CST 2007

Dear Sadanandaji,
You have said:--
1. It is true mithya cannot exist without satya but
satya can exist without mithya - that is what the
definition of satya is trikaala abhaaditam.  One is
dependent and the other is independent.

 You have rightly pointed out that satya can exist without mithya. In fact,
from the absolute point of view it is satya alone that exists and mithyA has
no exisyence at all. That is why it is called mithyA. Several definitions of
mithyA have been given. One of them is  'mithyA.is that which does not
really exist in all the three periods of time in the locus in which it
appears to exist'. The world has no real existence even now when we, because
of ignorance, look upon it as existing and as real. However, it is only by
superimposing the world on brahman and subsequently negating it that vedAnta
teaches us about brahman. In this way it may be said that we need the mithyA
to know the satya, because we have to go from the known to the unknown.

Another point mentioned by you is:--
Yet another point from the same example: the world
> of objects does not
> disappear into nothingness on enlightenment.
This is also absolutely correct, if I may say so with due respect (as the
lawyers put it; I being more familiar with the way of speaking of lawyers).
What happens is only that the jnAni does not attach any reality to the
duality that he also sees. This has been described by one writer thus: "On
realization the world is not so much negated as re-interpreted". The jnAni
does not consider himself to be a karta or bhokta. So his actions are
akarma. He is not affected by whatever happens to his BMI because he is not
a bhokta. Whatever he does is only for 'lokasangraha'. Here the difference
between the reaction of a child and that of an adult on seeing a stone lion
is given as an example. The child thinks that the lion is real and screams
in fear, but the adult knows that it is only stone and so he is not afraid.
We are in the same position as the child in respect of all worldly
experiences that affect us, but the jnAni is in the same position as the
adult in this example.

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