[Advaita-l] Imagined nature of root ignorance in vivaranam

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Mon Aug 20 12:51:58 CDT 2012

On Mon, Aug 20, 2012 at 8:58 PM, Siva Senani Nori <sivasenani at yahoo.com>wrote:

> > srirudra at vsnl.com wrote:
> > Dear Sri Siva Senani Nori
> >Super imposition is as a result of the viwer's mind which is confused due
> to emotion etc.But how do we reconcile that super imposition is not
> dependent on the object when we do know that similarity /identical patterns
> are a must for this phenomenon?One cannot superimpose a snake on a flat
> rectangular slab.R.Krishnamoorthy.
> Dear Sri R. Krishnamoorthy
> ...
> To relate the above to the question asked by you, stranger
> superimpositions than snake-on-slab happen, as we see all the time. Such
> super-imposition is natural. That is, such behaviour is observed and there
> can be no satisfactory answer to the question 'why it happens'. Any
> explanation is bound to be questioned further, and mostly will base itself
> on another concept, which has to be taken as an axiom. Yes, we do have a
> choice of models with no explanation and models with a bit more of
> explanation, and the only test available is that of internal consistency.
> In my view, words like natural, leelaa (sport), or even apaurusheyatva,
> indicate that the problem at hand is incapable of perfect resolution and
> that the objectives of Sastra do not get affected if the question 'why' or
> 'how' is not answered with respect to that particular problem. So it is
> much better to put them in a basket like 'natural', 'sport' or
> 'not-man-made' which does not admit further questions, and get on.
> Regards
> N. Siva Senani


The above is true.  If it is logically accountable/explainable it ceases to
be 'mAyA'.  But in the world ultimately nothing comes under the category of
'logically explainable'. Terms like 'mAyA' and 'IshwarecchA'  fall in this
category. Questions such as 'Why samsara for jiva-s?'  'what is this world
?' etc. defy a reply with perfect finality.  All schools of Vedanta have to
contend with these questions and offer a semblance of a reply to satisfy
the aspirant for the time being, until he grows in maturity to understand
that these problems/questions are to be dissolved rather than be solved.

The following inputs might be of use:



// 2. A snake must exist if a rope is to be mistaken for a serpent. So
also, the world must exist apart from Brahman if Brahman is to be mistaken
for it.

Answer: If one entity is to be mistaken for another, say a rope for a
snake, it is necessary that one have a knowledge of the superimposed
entity, such as the snake. This, in no way implies that a real snake must
exist, for the knowledge of the snake may be false knowledge. For instance,
a person may see a monster in a dream. It is possible for him, after waking
up, to mistake a tree in dim light to be that monster and to flee in
terror. This mistaken cognition requires a knowledge of the monster but
does not demand the reality of the monster. Since samsAra is beginningless,
it cannot be argued that at the very beginning there was only Brahman and
no possibility of any knowledge of an earlier world, real or false, which
could serve as the basis for the subsequent misconception of Brahman as the


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