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

Rajaram Venkataramani rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Wed Jan 25 13:06:37 CST 2012

Dear Shri Subrahmanian, I agree with your conclusion and stated that
explicitly. All I said was that the wrong notion that maya is not
essential to advaita is not unique to Shri Venkatesh - even scholars
hold that view.

On 25/01/2012, V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Wed, Jan 25, 2012 at 11:04 PM, Rajaram Venkataramani <
> rajaramvenk at gmail.com> wrote:
>  But Shri R. Balasubramanian is notsaying that these words do not exist in
> the text. I quoted him verbatim atthe start of the thread. And repeat it
> here: "Though the *concept* of maya-avidya is important in Advaita, there
> is no reference to it in the text. ... The reason for this is that it is
> quite possible to explain the central thesis of Advaita without bringing in
> the *concept* of maya-avidya... "
> Namaste.
> I think that from a careful reading of the quote that I provided today from
> Shankara's BSB 3.2.5 and also the one I presented earlier from 2.1.14 it
> should be clear beyond any doubt that as per the Advaita taught by
> Shankara, following His predecessors, it is impossible to teach / explain
> the central thesis of Advaita without bringing in the concept of
> mAyA-avidyA.  The central thesis 'jivo brahmaiva na paraH' would never be
> possible unless the jagat which includes the jiva's body-mind apparatus is
> proved to be mithyA.  Holding it to be satya will never bring one to the
> Advaitic conclusion on the true nature of the jiva.  Nor is it possible to
> conclude that the 'jagat is Brahman alone' by mere rhetoric unless one goes
> through the process of mithyAtva nishchayaH of the kArya/drshya.
> The two quotes provided by me, I find, in retrospect, to be of vital
> importance to this discussion.  It was not intended by me originally but
> somehow it has turned out to be so.  We find the very topic of 'where is
> the need to admit the mithyAtva of the world in order to arrive at the
> Advaitic truth?' has been specifically, explicitly, discussed by Shankara
> in that all-important sutra 2.1.14.  The importance of this sutra/bhashya
> is emphasized by Shankara by His drawing one's attention to it when He
> writes the bhashya for 3.2.5 and that too for the very purpose of proving
> the idea of mithyAtva of the world.  The opponent Shankara is addressing
> and refuting in 2.1.14, *claiming to be an Advaitin*, exactly puts forth
> the kind of argument that we are considering now.  He wants to retain the
> satyatva of the jagat (nAnAtva) in bondage but wants to uphold the ekatva
> in liberation.  He too admits liberation is through jnana.  Shankara points
> out that if the state of bondage is to be held real it would never be
> possible to attain the goal of ekatva in liberation, let alone the
> possibility of liberation.
> If we appreciate this we will have no more room to quote/cite one or the
> other scholar who has expressed views that are in complete variance with
> what Shankara has so painstakingly taught.  What Shankara has explicitly
> proved as an impossibility, the other 'authorities' that are being quoted
> are trying hard to push as a possibility.  If Shankara should not be
> accepted as the authority on Advaita where else do we go?  After we have
> known that Shankara has specifically proved the untenability of what these
> 'scholars' are claiming, why should we go on pressing for their
> ill-conceived notions?
> That the concept of mAyA/avidyA/ajnAna/moha etc. is unavoidable even for
> non-Advaitic schools to explain their central theme is another matter.
> subrahmanian.v
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