[Advaita-l] real and unreal - eternal

rajaramvenk at gmail.com rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Wed Aug 7 03:13:47 CDT 2013

SV, it is a good analysis. Can you please quote any textual references to show that Sankara or any notable advaita acharya considered vyavahara as non-eternal? In my understanding, it is eternal (pravahara nitya). That is why it is tenable to say that within vyavahara, there are eternal entities (e.g. Vedas, Ishwara) and non-eternal entities (e.g. objects produced by karma). If  vyavahara (incl. Ishwara) is negated by knowledge of brahman, we have a category of eternal unreal (Ishwara, Vedas) in advaita. Is it not?
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-----Original Message-----
From: Srinath Vedagarbha <svedagarbha at gmail.com>
Sender: "Advaita-l" <advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>Date: Tue, 6 Aug 2013 21:32:15 
To: A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta<advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Reply-To: A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta
 <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] real and unreal - eternal

On Sun, Aug 4, 2013 at 3:10 PM, Rajaram Venkataramani
<rajaramvenk at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hare Krishna. I would like to know (with references) the differences
> between eternal - real, eternal - unreal and non-eternal unreal in advaita.

Panchadashi defines satyatvam as -- satyatvaM baadharaahityaM
which means that real is that which  is not contradicted.

Also, vEdAnta paribhAshA defines satyatvam as --

tatra smR^itivyaavR^itaM pramaatvaM ||

Our point of interest here is that characterization "abAdhittvam"
(non-contradcited) is real.

From both the above references it is clear that "real" has to be
eternal (abAditaM or bAdarahitaM).

I am not sure about your other question eternal-unreal. If something
is unreal it cannot be eternal. Vice-versa, if something is eternal it
cannot be unreal. If you clarify you mean by "unreal" as atyanta-asat,
then yes vandhyAputra is asat eternally! On the other hand, if you
mean "unreal" as "mithya", then it is contradiction in terms. Because
a thing is non-eternal it is said to be "mithya". Then there is no
meaning in saying something is eternal but mithya!

Regarding your third category "non eternal-unreal", it is tautology.
Because a thing is non eternal it is already said to be unreal
(mithya). Then why qualify with two terms?

> There are entities within vyavahara which are eternal and vyavahara itself
> is eternal but considered unreal and would like to understand the logic
> thereof and if it holds ground.

Where did you get the idea "some" entities in vyavahAra are eternal?
Advaita holds the very "vyavahAra" is susespatable to negation and
therefore non-eternal and mithya. Now what does it mean to say
"vyavahara is eternal but considered unreal "?

My understanding is that vyavahAra is non-eternal (and therefore it
gets to be called vyavahAra in the first place). Otherwise -- if it
were to be eternal, then asp per vEdAnta pAribhASha this vyvahAra
would become satya along with all its duality!

So, either we have to say vyavahAra is non-eternal and therefore
mithya and stop there. Or else, if  we want to be understood as
eternal, we should not be calling it another name as "vyavahAra" as
such, for we loose the very distinction between vyavahAra and
pAramArthika, for both are equally eternal!

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