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

Rajaram Venkataramani rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Mon Jan 23 16:31:08 CST 2012

Please clarify with an yes or no.

>From a vyavahara perspective, the world is said to be unreal. It is
likened to a dream. But Ishwara is considered to be real not compared
to a dream. Therefore, my understanding is that Ishwara  has higher
reality than jagat  in advaita. Is that right?

Now, the jagat karanatvam is a tatastha lakshana of Ishwara but He
exists (beyond time and space) even when jagat does not. Is that

At this stage, His maya shakti exists as His aisvarya non-different
from Him  as well just as sun and its heat are inseparable. Is that

The essential nature of this Ishwara (jiva and jagat) is called
Brahman, beyond all philosophical constructs. Is that right?

On 23/01/2012, Vidyasankar Sundaresan <svidyasankar at hotmail.com> wrote:
>> Rajaram: May I point you to what Shri Bhaskar wrote in response to my
>> question on whether Ishwara is sat or mithya? Shri Bhaskar said,"Kindly
>> refer shankara's AraMbhaNAdhikaraNa sUtra bhAsya with regard to this.
>> Shankara quite explicitly mentions here that Ishwara, IshwaratvaM etc.
>> holds good only at transactional level where jevEshwara bedha is there!!
>> tadevaM avidyAtmakOpAdhiparicchedApekshameva Ishwarasya IshvaratvaM,
>> sarvajnatvaM, *sarvashaktitvaM* cha..." na paramArthataH vidyayA
>> apAstasarvOpAdhisvarUpe Atmani Ishtreeshitavya sarvajnatvAdi vyavahAraH
>> upapadyate. No ambiguity here in shankara's declaration. He clearly
>> states that the existence of Ishwara and his qualities like *omnipotence*,
>> omniscience etc. are only in the realm of avidyA."
>> If Ishwara is sat, then His shakti (maya) should also be sat. If Ishwara
>> is
>> mithya, how can His shakti be sat? Contrariwise, if maya is sad asad, how
>> can Ishwara be sat because that would imply a difference between shakti
>> and
>> shaktiman?
> Others have responded on this thread addressing different aspects of this
> issue,
> so I will go back to the original question I asked and leave it at that.
> There is a reason I asked Sri Venkatesh for a Sanskrit quote which says
> ISvara-
> Sakti is mithyA. The range and applicability of terms like avidyA, mAyA,
> mithyA
> Sakti, sad-asat and sad-asad-vilakshaNa are often misunderstood, especially
> by
> non-advaitins and also by translators who struggle to find equivalent
> expressions
> to convey what is meant by these terms in the Sanskrit sources. Yes, they
> are
> used in related contexts, but they are not mutually interchangeable terms.
> Anyway, to be brief, when someone raises a criticism and asks, why is such
> and
> such a thing mithyA, I would like them to clarify exactly what they
> understand by
> the term and see whether that is indeed what the advaita teachers mean by
> it.
> ISvara and jIva are both, in ultimate essence, pure "sat" alone, pure
> brahman
> alone. However, when ISvara-tva is seen by the jIva as consisting in ISvara
> ruling over a created world, and when the jIva further argues that he or she
> is
> separate from ISvara and that the created world has got to be real, in order
> for
> ISvara to be ruling over it, then the jIva is (a) already presuming a
> multiplicity
> of entities to be ultimately real, and worse, (b) subordinating ISvara's
> being to
> this imputed ultimate reality of perceived multiplicity.
> Now, in teaching sad eva, ekam eva, advitIya, tat tvam asi, neha nAnAsti
> kiMcana,
> etc. the Sruti explicitly teaches that this multiplicity is not really
> present in brahman.
> This is the paramArtha dRshTi but its distinction from the vyavahAra dRshTi
> is often
> easily lost in these criticisms when people start assuming things about
> advaita that
> are quite incorrect.
> Vidyasankar
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