[Advaita-l] Body is the disease

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Tue Jan 21 16:11:50 CST 2014

> Dear
> Jiva is not able to realise that it is Brahman only is easy to understand.But Brahman with Avidhya is Jiva is somewhat difficult to accept .Perhaps this is Avidhya.R.Krishnamoorthy.

Perhaps the following will help. 
Q. Who is the jIva?
A. brahman, whether it knows itself as such or not.
Q. When does jIva know itself as brahman?
A. When the vedAnta vijnAna arises and is established.
Q. Before that, why does jIva not know it is brahman?
A. That is avidyA.
Q. Whose is that avidyA?
A. Obviously, the jIva's, right?
Q. But Sruti indicates the jIva is always brahman. So how can it have avidyA?
A. Yes, where  jIva knows itself as brahman, there is no avidyA. Where jIva does not know itself as brahman, that state has/is avidyA.
     Even in the state of avidyA, jIva remains brahman, it doesn't become another. If it did become another, advaita-brahmajnAna is impossible.
Therefore, jIva-tva is only possible where there is avidyA and avidyA is the jIva's. This is the prima facie view.  

When the ultimate teaching is understood that jIva IS brahman, then asking about avidyA is the same as asking how the jIva got its jIva-tva. For that problem, it is said avidyA has brahman as its locus, because the jIva is brahman, or put another way, brahman became jIva, as it were. How can brahman "become" jIva, if we do not admit that basis of avidyA? How can jIva realize itself as brahman, if we do not admit the possibility of vidyA, conveyed through Sruti and gurUpadeSa? That is why it is said that all vyavahAra, including that of bandha-moksha, presumes avidyA. Where does all this avidyA-kRta vyavahAra take place? In brahman only, nowhere else, because there is nothing else than brahman (sarvaM khalv idaM brahma). 
One can supposedly "save" brahman from avidyA (in the above way of reasoning) by using the word mAyA instead, and it might make some of us feel good that we are thereby not tainting brahman with ignorance. In which case, all we have achieved is (a) to start from a state of avidyA, (b) to learn about *advitIya* brahman from SAstra/guru, (c) to introduce a *dvitIya* principle, namely mAyA, and (d) pretend that mAyA is a Sakti, a power, quite different from avidyA, which is only a liability. And all this compromising of true *advaita* is only because we seemingly can't let go of that basic avidyA that causes the apparent separation between jIva and brahma in the first place!
Isn't it simpler to admit the following? Yes, there appears to be avidyA here in this state (yatra dvaitam iva bhavati), but there is only brahman in that state (yatra tv asya sarvam AtmaivAbhUt). *This* state may be the starting point in the journey towards moksha, but *that* state is the ground of being on which all this appearence is superimposed.
The issue still remains, superimposed by whom? If we say jIva, the answer is "by me alone". Who am I? I am the jIva. But really, who am I, really? I am brahman! 
So, it follows that brahman alone appears to superimpose everything on itself (avidyA); brahman alone apparently gets rid of all the superimposition on itself (vidyA); in short, brahman alone is. Making that leap is what moksha and vedAnta vicAra is all about. 
Best regards,

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