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

Shyam shyam_md at yahoo.com
Sun Dec 28 22:51:20 CST 2008

PranAms Suresh-ji
Sada-ji has answered in detail.
Will just add a couple of minor points to reinforce.
In advaita terms are subject to the rigors of precision. One cannot say "something exists as long as it exists". What is sat is always sat. From asat sat cannot arise and what is sat cannot become nonexistent(asat). Krishna says as much in his immortal words in the BG as you well know.
So we cannot say a necklace is sat for a period in time. A existent necklace cannot come out of nonexistence nor can it disappear into nonexistence.
Hence mithyA - it is gold but has transactional existence related to the subject alone.
And because no one object can be sat and asat at the same time we say the sat aspect of it is gold alone, but the "necklacy" aspect of it is mithyA.
Why time factor s important should also be clear from the above and from Sada-ji's beautiful explanatory post as well.
One small footnote about dvaita (MadhavAchArya) - esp in regards to another thread that is getting started on this list - (my apologies to you if this offends your belief-system) -proponents of dvaita seek to mercilessly condemn advaita based on a completely erroeneous understanding of Shankara. I would like to point out that advaita when analyzed emphasizes the mithya nature of one and only one thing - the seeker himself - this requires total and complete Surrender to the Whole- a self-annihilation in toto of the ahankara with no room for compromise - DEATH - no less, no holding back, no holding onto a miniscule bit of that verisame ahankAra that considers itself in anyway separate from the Lord - it is not permissible and its lofty heights are hence inaccessible for those who find it difficult, intellectually, emotionally, to let go of the phantom of their individuality. 
Of course the latter is true for every seeker (regardless of their philosophical or even religious affiliation) whose sadhana has yet to spiritually mature into vairAgya and sannyAsa  - only that will sublimate and annihilate one's Ego and what remains is Peace, Eternal and "Real". 
Humble pranAms
Hari OM
Shri Gurubhyoh namah
--- On Sun, 12/28/08, Suresh <mayavaadi at yahoo.com> wrote:

From: Suresh <mayavaadi at yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] What is the meaning of illusion (according to advaita, obviously)?
To: advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
Date: Sunday, December 28, 2008, 1:16 PM

Dear Friends,

Thanks so much for helping. I still have a few doubts, though. It may sound a little dvaiti, so hopefully, no one will be offended.

Let's consider the examples that were given, namely shirt-thread, gold-bangles etc. From this, I understand that without gold, golden objects cannot exist, but the former can exist without the latter; and therefore, gold is real and the objects are mithya. My problem here is, why the confusion 'neither real nor unreal,' why can't we simply say gold is independently real, whereas golden objects are not. I am wondering why the word mithya, when something simpler could suffice. 

What I am trying to say is: gold=sat, golden object=sat (as long as it exists), and asat when it disappears. Two categories seem to be enough. Because no object can be sat and asat at the same time, when the golden object exists, it exists (sat), and when it doesn't, it doesn't (asat). So why mithya at all? This seems to be the source of my confusion.

Finally, I don't understand how time factor comes in here. Why do we define the real as something that lasts forever, and the unreal as something that doesn't. I know scriptures say this, but I am wondering as to why. Why is it we relate this to time?



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