[Advaita-l] Real vs. Unreal

Rajaram Venkataramani rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Sun Dec 15 07:35:12 CST 2013

> Once again, with patience. If you are concerned only with the truth and if
> you
> are convinced that omniscience of the teacher or infallibility of the
> SAstra is a
> necessary prerequisite, then you need to repose the necessary faith in that
> omniscience and/or that infallibility, to approach the teacher and the
> SAstra
> with humility, as means to the truth.

RV: The real humility that comes from acknowledgement of one's ignorance
and knowledge of others is I hope sufficient. False humility that seeks
confirmation to group thinking and opposed to truth is of no value to
either one who exhibits it or one who accepts it.

It is possible for a teacher to become omniscient in the sense of knowing
everything (rf. yoga sutra and Madhusudana). However, a teacher or sastras
should be omniscient only in the sense of knowing brahman, the essence of
everything. Of this there is no doubt as they speak of brahman. If you call
me by my name, I don't need faith that you know my name as I have knowledge
that you do. If you speak of a pot , I can verify what you say about it
because it is seen and here again there is no need for faith. If you speak
of some unseen attribute of a pot (e.g. maker), the knowledge that your
words produce is not contradicted by any thing I see. Hence, I accept it
without qualification and here again there is no need for faith. The only
occasion when faith is required is to trust the truthfulness of the
speaker. Of this, there is no doubt with regard to you what to speak of the
sampradaya (s).

> Please clarify your thought about the applicability of the SAstra to
> AtmavidyA,
> dharma, deva-s and ISvara. And pray, do try to understand that any apparent
> contradition between the testimony of two different pramANa-s cannot be
> resolved without accepting a hierarchy of authority of those pramANa-s for
> the subject matters to which they pertain.
> RV: On objects that are known directly though senses, pratyaksha is
supreme. On objects that are inferred from relationships between objects
known from sensory perception anumana etc. rules supreme. On entities that
are beyond sensory perception, sabda rules supreme. The future effect of
dharma, the presence of devas and Ishwara can only be known through sabda.
We can have sambhavana that there must be an Ishwara or devas or that
results must have cause in dharma but we cannot be ascertain without sabda.

The world is known through pratyaksha and also sabda. They produce opposing
views - real and unreal. We have to interpret sabda to be in harmony with

> Which pratyakshAdi pramANa-s verify for you the truth of the Sabda vAkya-s
> about dharma and ISvara? If these issues are amenable to pratyakshAdi
> pramANa-s that everybody has independent access to, why do you even
> need Sabda or a teacher to mediate knowledge of these things? In any
> case, why do you think that SAbda truths need to be verified through non-
> Sabda pramANa-s?
> I don't know how many times and how many people need to explain to you
> that mithyAtva is not absolute non-existence. Hopefully, if you are able to
> move away from this false equation of mithyA with non-existence, you will
> see that your question will disappear.

RV: The world is totally non-existent (nasato vidyate bhavo nabhavo vidyate
sata:) but it appears to exist. Hence, it is mithya. The cause of
appearance of the world (including cogniser's body and mind, the concepts
such as karma, bandha, moksha etc.) is due to ajnAnA. On destruction this
ajnAnA due to rise of jnAnA, where is the room for non-existent room to
appear? The only way I can resolve this is by using eka jIva vAdA where all
liberation of others in the legends and even sastras until sarva mukti is
mere eulogy but your scholarship and intellect may have a better
explanation to offer. If you see a non-existent object, you are

> In any case, given that you currently make this false conflation, on what
> basis do you argue anything about any perception after the rise of jnAna?
> Either you have already attained that jnAna and are speaking from your own
> personal experience or you infer that jagan-mithyAtva is not a matter of
> experience even though you have not had the personal attainment of removal
> of avidyA. In either case, you are saying that all those who have talked
> about this in the advaita tradition are liars. What are your pramANa-s and
> how have you applied these pramANa-s to come to such a conclusion?
RV: I am not saying jagan mithyatva is not a matter of experience. In fact,
quiet the contrary. The experience of the non-existent world even as a mere
appearance without substance reveals a contradiction between sabda and
pratyaksha pramanas. The sabda, therefore,  must be interpreted in harmony
with the pratyaksha as jagat is the seen realm not unseen.

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