[Advaita-l] What is the meaning of illusion (according to advaita, obviously)?

Sunil Bhattacharjya sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com
Fri Dec 26 23:11:42 CST 2008

Namaste Sadanandaji,

Would not you think that "delusion" is a better equivalent word for "mithya" than the more commonly used word "illusion"?


Sunil K. Bhattacharjya

--- On Fri, 12/26/08, kuntimaddi sadananda <kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com> wrote:
From: kuntimaddi sadananda <kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] What is the meaning of illusion (according to advaita, obviously)?
To: mayavaadi at yahoo.com, "A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta" <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Date: Friday, December 26, 2008, 5:09 PM

--- On Fri, 12/26/08, Suresh <mayavaadi at yahoo.com> wrote:

Suresh - PraNAms

Shree Shyam has explained in detail.  Shankara says whatever that is seen or
perceived is mithyaa - translation as Illusion is not completely correct. 

That which remains the same in all periods of time is satyam.
That which has no locus for existence at any time is asatyam.
That which has seeming existence and hence experienced but does not remain the
same is neither asat or sat - the world of plurality comes under that category -
neither remains the same as it is continuously changing therefore is not sat and
since it is experienced or perceived it is not asat - hence it is called
mithyaa.  There is no illusion here. 

Ring, bangle, necklace etc are perceived and have attributes and their
utilities differing from each other but the truth is there have name without 
any ringly substance or bangly substance etc supporting them - they are nothing
but gold alone - All the attributes of ring, bangle etc (ID, OD, etc) belong to
name and form but not to gold. The substantive of ring, bangle, etc is gold that
does not undergo any transformation in the apparent transformation of gold
appearing as ring, bangle etc. Gold alone is real in comparison to names and
forms of the products, ring, bangle - says scriptures - loham iti eva satyam -
eva implies gold alone is real and not the attributive ring, bangle etc. They
are only names without their own substantives - padam without padaartham - hence
scripture calls this as vaachaarambhanam vikaaraH - only name sake they are
objects - but in essence they are gold only. Hence in this relative example -
ring, bangle, etc are not
 illusions but comes under mithyaa. 

The substantive of the world itself is Brahman says scripture - hence all the
changing names and forms - all objects in the world - are mithyaa only - says
Ch. Up. 

And you are that satyam - tat tvam asi - is the end of that teaching. That is
not according to Advaita but according to Vedanta. Advaita is the essence of the

Hope this helps.

Hari Om!
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