[Advaita-l] Holenarsipur Swamiji's remarks and why even Avidya is not necessary for Advaita

Rajaram Venkataramani rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Tue Jan 31 10:49:11 CST 2012

That "the world is unreal" is the highest position according to advaitam
does not correspond to the understanding of Madhusudana Saraswati -
interestingly.  In the verse 8 of the first chapter of Bhakti Rasayana,
Madhusudana categorizes

   - the  first level as apprehension of the world as real
   - the second level as apprehension of the world as false
   - the third level as when the world is no apprehended in either manner
   but only brahman (bhagavat) is apprehended

For the first level, Madhusudana quotes Srimad Bhagavatam 11.2.41 "Having
no other object of devotion, he bows in worship to ether, air,fire, water
and earth, the celestial bodies, the living beings, the four quarters, the
trees and the like, rivers and oceans, and whatsoever may exist seeing them
as the body of Hari"

For the second level, Madhusudana quotes Srimad Bhagavatam 10.14.22,"Thus
the entire world - which is unreal in essence, resembling a dream, devoid
of intelligence, and painful with such suffering - arises from Maya and
appears in Thee, who art the infinite, with eternal consciousness and bliss
as Thy nature, as if it were real"

For the third level, Sri Madhusudana quotes, Srimad Bhagavatam 1.6.17-18 :
"While I was meditating on His lotus feet with my mind overcome by devotion
and my eyes filled with the tears of anguish, Hari slowly revealed Himself
in my heart. With the hairs of my body standing on end because of the
abundance of love, supremely content, lost in a flood of bliss, I could not
see either O Sage".

source : Bhakti in Advaita : A translation and strudy of Madhusudana by
Prof. Lance Nelson

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