[Advaita-l] Is the concept of maya essential to explain advaita?

Venkatesh Murthy vmurthy36 at gmail.com
Sun Jan 22 20:04:15 CST 2012


If you see a Pot in front of you one way is to say Pot is not real. It
is all Maya. But what is the Pot? It is Clay. If you say even that
Clay is Mithya I can say that Clay is Brahman. That Brahman is Pure
Sat.  Pot is Clay but Clay is Brahman only. Like this every object in
the world will be finally Brahman. Why? Brahman is The Material Cause
Upadana for everything. If everything in the world is Brahman there is
Advaita in this way. Advaita is not saying everything is false and
Maya. It is saying everything is Brahman. The Mayavadis will say we
have to negate everything by Neti Neti Principle till Brahman is
reached. But a true Advaiti will know we cannot negate anything
because the base is always Brahman. How can you make Brahman false?

Another strong reason is this. Adi Sankara never said all the objects
in the world will get destroyed if a man has Jnana. A Jnani will still
be seeing the world objects but he is seeing the base Brahman also. He
is seeing Brahman everywhere. The ignorant man is seeing the objects
but not Brahman.

How can Mayavada explain this BSB 3-2-21? Can someone please explain?

The Opponent is saying-
Whoever wants to know the true nature of Brahman must
first annihilate the appearance of plurality that obstructs
true knowledge, just as a man wishing to ascertain the
true nature of some jar or similar object placed in a dark
room must at first remove the darkness. For the apparent
world has Brahman for its true nature, not vice versa ;
therefore the cognition of Brahman is effected through the
previous annihilation of the apparent world of names and

Adi Sankara reply -

of what nature that so-called annihilation of the ap-
parent world is. Is it analogous to the annihilation of
hardness in butter which is effected by bringing it into
contact with fire ? or is the apparent world of names and
forms which is superimposed upon Brahman by Nescience
to be dissolved by knowledge, just as the phenomenon of a
double moon which is due to a disease of the eyes is
removed by the application of medicine^? If the former,
the Vedic injunctions bid us to do something impossible ;
for no man can actually annihilate this whole existing
world with all its animated bodies and all its elementary
substances such as earth and so on. And if it actually
could be done, the first released person would have done it
once for all, so that at present the whole world would be
empty, earth and all other substances having been finally
annihilated. — If the latter, i.e. if our opponent maintains
that the phenomenal world is superimposed upon Brahman
by Nescience and annihilated by knowledge, we point out
that the only thing needed is that the knowledge of
Brahman should be conveyed by Vedic passages sublating
the apparent plurality superimposed upon Brahman by
Nescience, such as 'Brahman is one, without a second;'
' That is the true, it is the Self and thou art it.' {Kh. Up.
VI, 2, I ; 8, 7.) As soon as Brahman is indicated in this
way, knowledge arising of itself discards Nescience, and
this whole world of names and forms, which had been
hiding Brahman from us, melts away like the imagery of a
dream. As long, on the other hand, as Brahman is not
so indicated, you may say a hundred times, ' Cognize
Brahman ! Dissolve this world ! ' and yet we shall be
unable to do either the one or the other.

On Sun, Jan 22, 2012 at 6:22 PM, Rajaram Venkataramani
<rajaramvenk at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sun, Jan 22, 2012 at 9:39 AM, V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com>wrote:
>> Thus the work 'shruti sAra samuddharaNam' is replete with the concept of
>> mAyA-avidyA though these very words are absent.  All effects of this pair
>> is elaborately discussed both in the verses as well as in the commentary.
>> All the misconceived ideas about Vedanta/Advaita/Gaudapada/Shankara that
>> were expressed in the recent posts are set at rest in this work.
> Rajaram: Yes. I have a copy of the translation with notes by Dr. Mahesh G.
> Hampiholi published by Shrividya Prakashanam for which Dr. R.
> Balasubramanian has written the foreword. Though, the foreword says that
> the concetp of maya / avidya does not occur in the text, it appears only
> the words do not occur.
> I think the concept of maya is important for two reasons and interested to
> keen to know what  the advaita acharyas said on this. First, for those of
> us who are within the world of duality we need to know how one fundamental
> reality appears as many through maya. We need to know its ways so that we
> can avoid its dangers and progress towards Ishwara. Second, for those who
> have citta suddhi and qualified for renounciation, it is important to know
> that this world is not real. It makes it easy for the sannyasi to renounce
> the world just as it is easy for us to renounce the silver in the shell.
> The biggest trap of realist philisophy (vishishtadvaitam, dwaitam,
> bhedabheda etc.) is that one can never develop the conviction to *completely
> * renounce the world. There are great souls in these traditions who offer
> every thing to Ishwara due to devotion but the attachment to this act of
> offering persists forever because of the conviction that I, the jiva, exist
> as an individual forever. So, atma-nivedhanam in its highest form is
> impossible because the destruction of jivatvam is taken to be inadmissible.
> I would like to know what Shri Venkatesh and those who support absolute
> realism think.
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