[Advaita-l] Real vs. Unreal

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sat Dec 14 03:31:51 CST 2013

On Sat, Dec 14, 2013 at 12:51 PM, Rajaram Venkataramani <
rajaramvenk at gmail.com> wrote:

> >
> >
> > It is the same ajnAna that produced the present body which has been
> > annulled by jnAna.  The jnAna dispels ajnAna and its effects no doubt.
>  But
> > the present body that is a product of ajnAna does not get killed by jnAna
> > immediately.  For anything to end, there is a certain process, also
> > initiated by the system that started the thing, which is a part of the
> > process.  So, the seer-seeing-seen triad, a product of ajnAna, will end
> > with the end of the body, in due course.
> RV: A process for creation or destruction is possible only with respect to
> real objects but ajnAnA and its effects are unreal as brahman  is the only
> reality. On dawn of jnAnA, there's no ajnAnA and the question of perceiving
> its effects shouldn't arise. We should not see a shadow (jagat) when there
> is no man (ajnAnA). It leads to the fallacy of effect without a cause.

The fallacy lies in expecting that the effect should cease the moment the
cause is ended.  When a raging fire is quelled by firefighters the heat,
smoke, etc. caused by the fire do not cease at that very moment.  The
effects are seen for a while.  Even after a person has ceased to shout in
an open space, the echo persists for a second.  Crackers burst leave a
lingering sound even after the burst.

If it is argued tha ajnAnA continues to exist in some form even after dawn
> of
> jnAnA, it leads to the fallacy of jnAnAjnAna co-existence. It is like a
> room that is both dark (ajnAnA) and light (jnAnA).

Taking the above analogy further, the heat, etc. continuing for sometime
does not cause another raging fire.  Similarly the effect of avidyA that
lasts for sometime is like the snake that is de-fanged, like a seed that is
burnt that cannot germinate, will not cause samsAra.  That is why the
jnAni's karma post-realization does not lead to rebirth/reaping the fruits
thereof in another loka, etc.

> >
> > Also, it is to be understood that knowledge only ends the satyatva buddhi
> > with regard to the vastu.  When a person continues to perceive the world
> > with the mithyAtva buddhi there is no problem absolutely.
> >
> > RV: The question of how you should see an object arises only with
> respect to real objects. When the object is unreal, you should ask why do
> you even see it? If you see a pot in an empty room where logically it has
> been concluded that there is no pot, you will wonder whether you are
> hallucinating. You will not conclude that it is okay to see unreal objects
> as it does not affect. It will lead to a fallacy of seeing the unreal.

No one needs to teach one as to how to see a mirage phenomenon. Even after
knowing it is a mirage a person continues to see the phenomenon with the
awareness of the absence of water there.

> Also, the dualities - pains and pleasures - of the body and mind affect
> them though it may not affect you, the brahman. I don't think the mithyAtva
> buddhi solves the problem for your body or the mind. Your soul never had
> the problem because it was untouched by the changes.

By 'soul' if the Atman is meant, yes, the Atman is never touched by the
changes.  But the 'person' who thought that he is the body/mind, is the one
who now knows that he is not the body-mind but the Atman.  For him, the
knower, the mithyAtvanishchaya with regard to the body-mind and its
affectations is surely of help.


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