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

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Tue Jan 24 00:31:25 CST 2012

On Tue, Jan 24, 2012 at 9:35 AM, Venkatesh Murthy <vmurthy36 at gmail.com>wrote:

> Namaste Sri Subrahmanian
> Kindly answer this question. If a clay pot is front what does a Jnani
> see and what does ignorant person see?
> A Pot only
> B Pot and Clay only
> C Clay only
> D Brahman only but not Pot not Clay
> E Brahman and Clay only
> F Brahman and Pot only
> G Brahman and Pot and Clay

A Jnani will call a spade a spade.  He will happily use a pot for what
purpose he needs it.  He will teach others that it is a product of clay.
If his student is an aspirant of Vedanta, the Jnani will go further to
teach that the underlying truth of this clay-pot is Brahman.

> Mayavada is saying Jnani will see D. Pot and Clay will vanish. This is the
> problem.

This is not a problem except for someone who does not understand Vedanta.

> It is not correct to say the Pot and Clay will get
> destroyed by Jnana. The Pot and Clay will still be there but he will
> see the base Brahman. I am saying he will see G.
> If you look at all arguments in Mayavada they are saying world will
> get destroyed with Jnana. They say Pot will be destroyed with Jnana.
> How?
> A dangerous mistake Mayavadis are making is they are saying World is like
> snake illusion over a rope. If that is true after Jnana we cannot see
> Snake. Snake is destroyed with Jnana. The Snake is Maya. Nobody will say I
> am seeing Snake and Rope both. He will see only Rope. Mayavada is saying
> World is destroyed with Jnana. It is not true Adi Sankara philosophy. Where
> is he saying World is like Snake?

In the famous 'प्रातःस्मरणस्तोत्रम्’ of Shankaracharya the last verse is:

प्रातर्नमामि तमसः परमर्कवर्णं
    पूर्णं सनातनपदं पुरूषोत्तमाख्यम् |
यस्मिन्निदं जगदशेषमशेषमूर्तौ
    रज्ज्वां भुजंगम इव प्रतिमासितं वै ||३||

I bow in the early morning to the eternal state
called Purshottama, who is full, beyond darkness,
brilliant like the sun, in whose secondless Being
this entire universe is apparent like the snake in the rope.

In the Mandukya karika second chapter we have these verses:

अनिश्चिता यथा रज्जुरन्धकारे विकल्पिता | सर्पधारादिभिर्भावैस्तद्वदात्मा
विकल्पितः ||१७|| निश्चितायां यथा रज्ज्वां विकल्पो विनिवर्तते | रज्जुरेवेति
चाद्वैतं तद्वदात्मविनिश्चयः ||१८||For the first verse Shankara writes:
Because one has not the accurate knowledge of the Truth one ends up
imagining oneself as jiva, prAna, and an infinite things.  This is the
siddhAnta of all the Upanishads.

Here the example taken is: just as a rope which has not been known as a
rope is wrongly imagined to be a snake (and several other things) ... So
the essence is: For Shankara and Gaudapada the world-illusion is akin to a

>From this you can decide whether Shankara is a mAyAvAdi or not since He has
made the 'dangerous mistake' of invoking the rope-snake analogy to describe
the world-illusion.  After the snake-illusion goes owing to the rope
knowledge, one can continue to see a semblance of a snake for some time.
But the firm knowledge that it is a rope alone is there to protect him from
falling into the illusion again.

> But the World is not like Snake. A correct example is reflection in
> mirror.

You need not sit in judgment over which is the correct illustration.
Shankara has used both the examples.

> Brahman is reflected as many World objects. The Ignorant
> Person is seeing only reflections. But a Jnani is seeing both Brahman and
> reflections. The reflections are not destroyed with Jnana.

This is fine.  One can apply it to the snake illustration too without
diluting Advaita.

> Kindly see below response.
> On Mon, Jan 23, 2012 at 11:57 AM, V Subrahmanian
> <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com> wrote:
> Above I have said how Mayavada is using wrong example of Snake and Rope to
> explain Advaita. But correct example to explain Advaita is Mirror
> Reflection. Using wrong example Mayavadis are confusing others like Dvaitis
> and they are confusing Advaitis also. True Brahmavada using the Mirror
> reflection example will not be confusing. The Padma Purana has said
> Mayavadam Asacchastram. But Brahmavada is the true Sacchastra.

You can easily see how you are confused and are continuing to argue despite
it has been shown to you a number of times that your confusion is at the
base of your continued arguing.  I have provided proof from Shankara's
words for His 'confusing others' by using the 'wrong' example of
rope-snake.  Your classifying examples as wrong and right have no basis as
both are used by Shankara.

The Padmapurana statement has been proved wrong long ago. See archives of
this Forum.

And the Upanishads and Bhagavadgita have been shown to be eminently
'mAyAvAdic' being at the same time equally eminently 'brahmavAdic' .  Pl.
see these posts:




> > subrahmanian.v

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