[Advaita-l] Body is the disease

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Tue Jan 14 17:24:16 CST 2014

> From: srirudra at gmail.com
> Date: Tue, 14 Jan 2014 16:37:45 +0530
> To: advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
> Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Body is the disease
> Dear
> If it is said Jiva is Brahman affected with Avidhya then where was Avidhya subsisting?Was it separate from Brahman?How can it be independent.?As >per Advaita Brahman is without a second.If Avidhya  is within Brahman or part of Brahman what was the necessity for Brahman to imbibe Avidhya to >take the position of Jiva?May be my thinking is wrong or needs correction.
> R.Krishnamoorthy.

That is why, the question, "what is the necessity for brahman?" is ultimately unanswerable. It presumes that brahman should have a purpose. When the upanishads say, so'kAmayata, or tad aikshata, they do not imply that there was any greater purpose behind that kAma or IkshaNa. That is why the nAsadIya sUkta also says, "kAmas tad agre samavartatAdhi | manaso retaH prathamaM yad AsIt | sato bandhum asati niravindann |" 
In any sub-school of advaita thinking, whether bhAmatI or vivaraNa or any other, avidyA is never described as separate from or independent of brahman. Same when the word mAyA is used. On the other hand, it is precisely because brahman is One, without a second, that one has to imagine a second dependent principle in order to talk of jagat, jIva, ISvara etc. And that is why in all advaita writing, there is so much force in that one word iva - saMsarati iva, mucyata iva. In the final analysis, in paramArtha, it is all an iva, an "as if", not of any consequence. And that is also why there is so much force in the other word eva - in paramArtha, it is brahma eva, nothing else. 
Looked at in another way, human thought needs at least two things, to talk of how other things come into being and go out of being. Given a seed and soil, we can understand how a tree comes into being. Given a mother and a father, we can understand how progeny come into being. And so on. That is why, if we rely on regular human ways of looking at the universe and oneself, we can only reach a dualism and arrive at two principles of equal reality e.g. sAMkhya - prakRti and purusha. The advaita approach steps aside from this. As Sri Chandramouli pointed out, when talking of brahman and avidyA/mAyA, it is a vishama sattA, different levels of reality, with only brahman being really real.
Best regards,

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