[Advaita-l] Does Brahman know?

srikanta at nie.ac.in srikanta at nie.ac.in
Wed Dec 1 01:50:28 CST 2010

To the question,what is "Jnanam",the answer can be given only
relativistically.In the general parlance of the world,we can define
"Jnanam"as conciousness,knowledge etc.But, to a particular question,we
cannot answer absolutely.It is like asking,how does a Jilebi taste?We can
only say it is sweet.To the question what is sweet,we can only say
experience it.Similarly,"Jnanam" is the knowing principle.Just as the
Mundaka sruthi states,"Tasya bhasa sarvamidam vibhati".The concept of
"Maya"is introduced only to explain the appearance of the world and the
non-appearance of Brahman,or the non-cognition of Brahman.Sri.Shankara
Bhagawathpada has only given the examples of snake and the rope or shukti
Rajata,to the "Pratibhasika satya".Infact,in the noumenon,there is no
world or Maya.
In the Gaudapadakarikas,it is said:
"Prapanco yadi vidyeta nivarteta na samshayah!
Mayamatram idam dwaitam Adwaitam paramarthatah!!"

"Adwaitam Paramarthohi dwaitam tadbhedha ucyate!
Upadeshat ayam vadah jnatva dwaitam na vidyate!!"

The Gaudapada karika says:"sa ca Maya na vidyate".

The Adwaita prakriya employs,"Adhyaropa-apavada" prakriya,which is
superimposition of the qualities which are not in Brahman,and later
negating them.The other is "Anvaya-vyatireka"which attributes the
qualities or attributes which are in both Brahman and the world,and
showing that these qualities or attributes are not there when applied.
The Kenopanishad states,"Yatho vaco nivartante aprapya manasa
saha",meaning it is not possible even for the mind to touch Brahman,but it
is repelled back.

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