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

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Mon Jan 23 00:27:05 CST 2012

On Mon, Jan 23, 2012 at 7:34 AM, Venkatesh Murthy <vmurthy36 at gmail.com>wrote:

> Namaste
> 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.


What you have said above is correct.  Advaita says everything is Brahman *
only* after negating the naama-rUpa as false.  Unless the pot-name and
pot-form are negated intellectually (not destroyed physically) it is
impossible to 'know' it as clay.  Similarly unless the world-name and
world-form are known to be mere appearances, a mere word, it is impossible
to hold that Sat, Brahman, is what is there as upAdAna.

> 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?

Here you are not representing the true Vedantic/Advaitic teaching.  First,
your seeking to distinguish the 'mAyAvAdi' from the ' true Advaitin' itself
is without any basis in the vast literature available to us this day on
Advaita.  Your statement ' How can you make Brahman false?' shows your
understanding of Advaita is not true to the tradition. No one has sought to
make Brahman false.  Shankara when He says:
त्वमपि तत्त्वदर्शिनां दृष्टिमाश्रित्य शोकं मोहं च हित्वा शीतोष्णादीनि
नियतानियतरूपाणि द्वन्द्वानि *'विकारोऽयमसन्नेव* *मरीचिजलवन्मिथ्यावभासते' *इति
मनसि निश्चित्य तितिक्षस्व इत्यभिप्रायः।। in BGB 2.16 or when He concludes:

भूतप्रकृतिमोक्षं च, भूतानां प्रकृतिः अविद्यालक्षणा अव्यक्ताख्या,
तस्याः *भूतप्रकृतेः मोक्षणम् अभावगमनं
* च ये विदुः विजानन्ति, यान्ति गच्छन्ति ते परं परमात्मतत्त्वं ब्रह्म, न
पुनः देहं आददते इत्यर्थः।। in BGB 13.35 is not attempting to make Brahman
false.  He is only reporting that the Jnani will consider the appearing
phenomena, vikAra, to be false.

Now, based on the above you can decide for yourself whether Shankara is a
'mAyAvAdi' or a 'true' Advaitin.

You further say:

> 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?

This question of yours need not be answered for no one has ever claimed
that 'the world will get destroyed if a man has Jnana'.  Your opposition
seems to be directed at some phantom.  While the non-Advaitins coined the
term 'mAyAvAdin' to caricature the Advaitin, you, claiming to be an
Advaitin, are trying  to make a non-existent  distinction between a
'mAyAvAdin' and a 'true' Advaitin, since you have not got the correct
teaching of Advaita, a sample of which I have provided above in the form of
the two quotes.  Your trying to 'save' Shankara from the 'mAyAvAdin' is a
failed attempt for the above two quotes prove Shankara to be a fine
'mAyAvAdin' and at the same time an unparalleled BrahmavAdin.


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