[Advaita-l] Understanding Reality in the Vision of Advaita Vedanta

Srinath Vedagarbha svedagarbha at gmail.com
Fri Jul 22 14:23:20 CDT 2016

On Fri, Jul 22, 2016 at 2:43 AM, V Subrahmanian via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> To explain, the 'idam', the created world, the paratantra, depends on That
> (Him) for its very existence.  That way it (the created world) is spoken of
> as 'The PuruSha, the Creator, Himself'.  Of course the Madhvas carefully
> avoid giving it an advaitic meaning.
> So here there is a confirmation from the Madhva school itself for the fact
> that the paratantra (the dependent reality, the vyAvahArika of Advaita) has
> no existence, sattA, of its own; it exists on the borrowed existence of the
> Swatantra (the independent Reality, the paaramArthika of Advaita).

What do you mean by "it exists on the *borrowed* existence"? Even in order
to borrow, it has to exist before such borrowing. You think vastu is
different from its existence. Quite illogical idea. Hence, srI Raghavendra
Tirtha emphasis on the point of "(continued) existence" part of jIva and
jagat. This is in line with bhAgavata's assertion --

 dravyakarma ca kalaSca svabhAvo jIva eva ca yadanugrahatah santi na
santi yadupekShaya
|| (2.10.12)

(Dravya, action, time, svabhAva, jIva, all exist by the grace of God;
if He neglects
them they cease to exist.)

As I quoted earlier -- the best example is -- if I am holding a pot in my
hand from eternal times,
pot's existence in terms of its stithi of continued existence is indeed
quite *depends* on me and my wish to sustain it. If I ignore it (upEkSha)
the  pot, it cease to exist.

> As I had stated earlier, such a situation is best explained by the
> rope-snake analogy.  The illusory/superimposed snake has no existence,
> sattA, of itself.  As long as one sees a snake there, its 'existence' is no
> different from the existence of the underlying rope there.  The rope's
> existence itself is transferred, as it were, to the snake and the vyavahara
> goes on: there exists a snake.  While in truth there is the rope alone and
> no snake at all, the sattA being One Only and not two, it is concluded that
> the rope alone appears as the snake.  When the rope-knowledge is had, what
> gets sublated is the 'snake' alone and NOT the 'existence', sattA.  In
> fact, sattA, which is truly Brahman, Sat, Itself, can never go out of
> existence: न अभावो विद्यते सतः. Now he will start saying 'there IS a rope'
> or 'a rope exists'.  But this will be too much for the Dvaitins to admit
> although they mean this alone without saying it in so many words.

This snake-rope analogy is flawed. No one will say the snake "exist"
ontologically speaking per se. It seems to exist in your knowledge, which
is bhrAnti. This is unlike jIva-jagat. They do exist ontologically. Their
existence is not bhrAnti in Brahman, but quite valid pratIti.

Nyayamirta clarifies such misunderstanding as yours --  brahma kAlatrayE
api sat, viyadAdi kadAcideva iti nityatva - anityatvAbhyAm Eva vaiSamyAm,
na tu satyatva - mithyAtvabhyAm

On the point of involuntariness involved in snake-rope illusion, shruti
says this creation is not like that.  In fact, both theses  -- the universe
being a modification of Brahman's form, and of its being
of the nature of illusion such as snake-rope, are both rejected in the
Mandukya Upanishad:

vibhUtiM prasavaM tvanye manyante sR^ishhTichintakAH | svapnamAyA sarUpeti
sR^ishhTiranyairvikalpitA | ichchhAmAtraM prabhoH sR^ishhTiriti sR^ishhTau
vinishchitAH ||

Some people, in consideration of sRishhTi, think it as being a modification
(prasavaM) of Brahman's own form (vibhUti). Others imagine it as being akin
(sarUpa) to the illusion of a dream (svapnamAyA). However, it is
established (vinishchitAH) that Creation is solely by the Lord's own Will
(ichchhAmAtraM prabhoH).

Hence, your snake-rope analogy to represent Dvaitic position is quite wrong.

> A thing or person may depend on another for survival but not for the
> fundamental existence.
That's the reason we say relationship between Brhamn with jIva-jagat is not
like any mundane relationship you find in this world. There is no
substitution for Brahman in this world. Do not forget Brahman is Eka and


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