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

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Wed Jan 25 11:21:19 CST 2012

> > Rajaram: Shri R. Balasubramanian has also stated that the concept of Maya
> > is not required as stated at the start of the thread. He has said that in a
> > book published by Shakatapuram Mutt claiming lineage to Totakacharya. He is
> > the former Chairman of Indian Council of Philosophical Research. He is very
> > closely associated with Kanchi Mutt also as we can see from his public
> > profile. *So, this "gross misunderstanding" on the part of Shri Venkatesh
> > is not unique to him as even some traditional cum academic scholars seem to
> > have that. **I think that Shri R. Balasubramanian got this wrong, with
> > due respects to his age and accomplishments, because Shri Subrahmanian has
> > provided specific evidence from the text to that he is wrong. But the point
> > is someone of the stature of Shri R. Balasubramanian says such a thing as
> > what Shri Venkatesh says. 
I think you are reading into Prof. Balasubramanian's comment more than what
he intended. In his introduction to the Sruti sAra samuddharaNa, he is simply
making the point that it is possible to talk of the key point of advaita vedAnta,
"jIvo brahmaiva", in a manner that quite avoids usage of the words mAyA and
avidyA. This is what is done, really beautifully, by toTakAcArya. It does not
mean that the concept of mAyA as an explanatory device is wrong in any way.
As Sri Subrahmanian pointed out, even though toTakAcArya did not explicitly
use these words in his text, they are implicitly there. 
So, what Sri Venkatesh Murthy is contending here, very tendentiously, is just
not what Prof. Balasubramanian is saying about the Sruti sAra samuddharaNa.
All he says is that toTakAcArya prefers to devevlop his thesis without explicitly
using avaccheda vAda or bimba-pratibimba vAda with respect to the nature
of the jIva and without explicitly using the terms mAyA and avidyA when it
comes to the relationship between jIva and jagat.

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