[Advaita-l] mithyA from archives

bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com
Tue Nov 6 07:15:37 CST 2007

Hare Krishna

I dont know whether I've posted my below mail to this list earlier (I think
it  had  been posted either to vAdAvaLi or advaitin list).  Since the topic
*mithyatva  of  jagat* has onceagain comeup for the discussion,I am posting
this from my old files.  Kindly pardon me if there is any duplication.

Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!

// quote //

How one can accept when advaitins say "this world" is *mithyA*
(not real... &  *mAyA mAtra* (concocted by avidyA)??  After all, we all
know the word 'perception' itself proves that there is something out there
for cognition.  Does this very 'perception'  not enough to prove the
"reality of the world"??  How can the
*jagan mithyatva* (the falsity of the world) be proved when we are verily
living in this world??  Is there any logic in saying that *this jagat is
mithyA* and brahman is satyasta satya (really real!!) when former is there
for our regular perception & later is not at all perceivable through our

But, a little indepth analysis of  the *perceived world* brings us the fact
that jagat has only temporal reality & has only restricted existence at
particular state.

First, let us ask ourselves one simple question " how are we seeing this
world??  The spontaneous answer we get is "through eyes" or in general
senses".  The next question is where are these eyes/senses?? Naturally, it
is in our body.  Where is this body??  obviously, it is in the world!!  So,
in summary we can say, in this world we have this body & in body we are
having senses through them we are *seeing/sensing* this world.  Now, the
here needs to be answered is " how can this single part (yEka dEsha) of
this world i.e. body & senses can have the perception of the *whole
world*??  Not only that, what is that actually we are calling as jagat /
here??  is it not a big bag of bodies, senses, minds, intellects, life
(prANa vAyu), Ego-s (ahaM), paNcha mahAbhUta-s ( five primordial eliments),
five types of attributes (shabda(sound), sparSha(rouch), rUpa(form),
rasa(taste) & gandha(smell) ), the time & space factor, the concept of
cause & effect etc. etc.??  Being an infinitesimal  part of this vast
universe, how can this body & senses can see & have the *complete*
knowledge of conglomeration of all these eliments??  To get the objective
of this world, dont we have to take out our body & senses from this world
& make
it to sit in *subject* seat ??  If we think, we are dragging out our body &
senses from the world to have an objective outlook of this world...then the
is from which platform this body & senses doing this *seeing*/sensing
business??  If we
cannot bifurcate body/senses & the world, then we have to say *a* part of
the world (body & senses) is looking at *another* part of the same world.
So, *same thing* which is doing dual role that is *seer* (
pramAtru/viShayi) as well as
*seen* ( pramEya / viShaya)!!!  Is this logical to think like this?? Is it
directly comply with our direct knowledge??  the answer is big NO, as we
all know it is an axiomatic statement that the subject should be always
different from the object, to get the objective knowledge of the external
objects.  I am looking at the monitor & key board to type this mail.  The
subject *me* should be different from the object called monitor, keyboard
etc. is it not??  This subject-object bifurcation (pramAtru-pramEya
vyavahAra) is indispensable in all
our empirical knowledge.  But here in the above analysis (world AND
body/senses) do we have this bifurcation?? which is subject & which is
object here??  OK, one may argue our Atman or the true self which is beyond
this names & forms of world is *seeing* this world!!  But again, the
question is how can he *see* the world??  does he has body & senses??  if
yes, which are those body & senses??  is it aprAkrutik (unnatural) set of
body & senses??  ( like our dualists assert!!)  How can this set of
indriya-s be proved from pramANa-s like pratyakSha, anumAna etc. If you
take shruti to
substantiate this claim, shruti clearly saying Atman is devoid of *all
types* of indriya-s (sarvEndriya vivarjita vide shwetAshwatara upanishat).
As said above, if something is not there in direct experience how can we
accept it as truth??  Again, if we think Atman is using this gross (stUla)
set of body & senses, we will ask in which compartment you are going to put
this?? whether this set of gross body & senses pertains to Atman or the
world??  If you say it belongs to Atman, it should be always there
alongwith ever existing Atman is it not??  But my deep sleep experience
says that  I was not identifying with this gross body/senses.  If we say it
belongs to world itself, we have seen above what would be the problem in
accepting it.

Further, we can think Atman without taking the help of all these things can
see the
world...but is this statement withstand our direct experience??  where is
world in my deep sleep state?? if Atman is invariably seeing this world how
can it disappear in my sushupti??  how can it change colour from waking to
dream??  if the world is there in sushupti, it cannot be called as sushupti
(jagat bIja (seed form of universe) is only from the view point of waker
who believes his waking world is real)...This is quite evident in our
experience when we are not biased from waker's influence.

Finally, what this analysis brings us is, even in waking state (where we
are seeing the world with subject & object duality) with the intuitive true
knowledge of our real nature, if we donot identify ourselves with this
limited adjuncts (upAdhi-s) like body, senses etc. then the resultant
perception of the world also will not be there.  All these duality & its
reality will get sublated from that non-dual brahma jnAna. This is what
paramArtha jnAna (ultimate knowledge) shruti advocating.
chAndOgya shruti says yatra nAnyat pashyati........vijAnAti sa bhUma (where
there is no duality that is bhUma the abode of absolute non duality).
speaking in the same lines bruhadAraNyaka says yatra tasya sarvamAtmaiva
bhut tatkEna kam pashyEth??...vijAnIyAt etc.  means when we realise the
true nature the duality of subject - object will get sublated & in that
state how can one *see* with what??  how can one know with what?? etc.  It
may be noted here shankara makes it clear here that *this state is NOT a
vyavahAra abhAva* state...it is purely an *avagati jnAna*.
Shruti further confirms,  this brahman *at the biginning* was secondless.
Again, chAdOgya (6-2-1) says sadEva soumya idamagra AsIt yEkamEvAdvitIyaM.
Here one should note that brahman the truth has been described as *alone*
in the past tense..why??  so that the seeker may not mix it with the
empirical truth of multiplicity which we are wrongly cognising due to
avidya.  how this multiplicity is only for the name sake & substance is the
only reality, same chAndOgya shruti another place (6-1-4) says that  yaTha
mrutpindEva sarvaM.........vAchAraMbhaNam vikArO nAmadhEyaM *mruttikEtyEva
satyaM*...The socalled effect (the perceived world in the above case) here
described as mere play of words, a mere
name...the clay (brahman) is the ONLY reality.  Why clay is the only
reality?? why names & forms made up of clay is not the reality??  when it
is clay itself ultimately??  shruti asserts further in 6-8-1 (kindly see
the original sanskrit text) In sushupti when this jIva bhAva merged in
brahman there is no egoity & he is then verily dissolved into his own self.
IN YOUR TRUE NATURE...and this true nature of ours is trikAla
abhAditaM,hence really real.

So, in conclusion, if we are seeing the objective world by sitting in the
subject seat it is the result of avidya only.  It is through our ignorance
we are dividing the undivided brahman & thinking brahman has kAraNa (cause)
& kArya (effect) difference.  Unless you identify yourself with
body & senses *you cannot* see the world ...no matter whether it is
(world..the kArya brahman) brahman itself or otherwise.  After all, we
know, nobody can see the world without body & senses.  It is in this spirit
advaitins say mAyA mAtraM idaM sarvaM
(muNdaka), brahmaiva satyaM, jagan mithyA ( vEdAnta diNdima) etc. This is
noway an exagerated expression of advaitins about the reality of the world.
This point has been derived after evaluating the *world reality* from all
the possible

Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!

// unquote//

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