[Advaita-l] Advaiti Response to this report?

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Thu Jan 12 12:58:02 CST 2012

> Your chief point of argument is Chandogya Vacarambhana Sruti but the
> opponent may not agree with your translation. It is only saying-
> 'Pot, tumbler, plate, etc., and various articles of this kind
> manufactured out of clay are clay only, in reality.' But it is not
> saying Pot, tumbler, plate etc is not real. Advaitis are saying that.
> They are adding stuff to Sruti - 'Pot, tumbler, plate etc are Mithya.'
> They are making a jump to Mithyatva. The jump is from Anityatva to
> Mithyatva. But Sruti is not saying this.
> Sruti is saying Pot, tumbler, plate etc are transformations of Clay
> only and they are all Clay only in reality. The base is the same but
> the objects are not Mithya. They are transformations. 
Sorry, the chAndogya Sruti does not care about anityatva here. It talks
of what is *really* satya - mRttikety eva satyam. And it also relegates
all transformation to a mere name - vAcArambhaNaM vikAro nAma-
dheyam. It follows that all the transformations, while appearing to be
real to the uneducated, are not *really* real. That is what is called the
mithyA in advaita vedAnta.
As far as the Sruti is concerned, you do not appreciate the force of the
word "only" here. If you accept that all these objects are "only" clay, in
"reality", then the advaita conclusion follows in a straightforward manner.
If there were something else, really real, to account for transformation,
then the word "only" would have no meaning. Remember that the same
Sruti passage emphasizes "ekam eva", so there is no second material or
non-material reality that can be invoked to rescue a dvaita interpretation
in the ultimate analysis.
Yes, various explanations can be sought in order to maintain dvaita, as
human ingenuity in clinging to things has infinite variety. However, the
advaita interpretation does not believe in taking Sruti piecemeal, but
rather in interpreting the entirety of the Sruti in a consistent manner.
We have bRhadAraNyaka which tells us "yatra tu dvaitam iva bhavati"
- where there is seemingly (iva) a duality - as opposed to nd "yatra tv
asya sarvam AtmA *eva* abhUt" - where there is *only* the Atman.
This again reinforces that the multiplicity that is normally experienced
is only an "iva" whereas brahman - Atman is "eva". 
It is the job of the vedAnta tradition to teach us how this upanishadic
vision of brahmAtmaikatva can be had, here and now. If, on the other
hand, the clinging to a universe of infinite transformations makes one
happy, along with seemingly sophisticated logical argumentation for
why such happiness can come and go, and still be somehow "real",
why then, such a person is not really ready for advaita vedAnta. 

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