[Advaita-l] Real vs. Unreal

H S Chandramouli hschandramouli at gmail.com
Mon Dec 16 00:03:17 CST 2013

Dear Sri RVji,

Normally, as between two objects  A and B pratyaksha pramana allows for
only the following two options.

Ais same as B and B is same as A.

A is not same as b and B is not same as A.

It normally does not allow of any other option. But the essence of advaita
is based on a third option.

A is same as B. But B is not same as A. How does this hold good. Advaita

A is same as B. But B is not same as A , but appears to be A.

Most of the inferential reasoning in Advaita follows this principle. As an
illustration of this < Snake is rope. But rope is not snake but only
appears to be snake >. This is extended in the following.

Annamaya is Atma, but Atma is not Annamaya. Pranamaya is Atma, but Atma is
not Pranamaya.  So on and so on.

Why is pratyaksha pramana not acceptable for a proper understanding of the
fundamental truth?  pratyaksha pramana depends on the user of the pramanas
namely " I " for its validity to be a pramana. If the understanding of " I
" itself is wrong then the validity of the pratyaksha pramana also is lost.
It is akin to the dreamer ( person in the dream ) considering the dream as
real while it lasts. On wakingup the waker realizes that the dream world is
not real and hence not valid. Wealth acquired in the dream is certainly not
useful in the waking world. Advaita's standpoint is that there is a
fundamental misunderstanding of " I " which leads one to all our normally
understood experiences.


On Sun, Dec 15, 2013 at 7:05 PM, Rajaram Venkataramani <
rajaramvenk at gmail.com> wrote:

> > 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
> pratyaksha.
> >
> > 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
> hallucinating.
> > 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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