[Advaita-l] Unreal cause results in real effect

Ravi Kiran ravikiranm108 at gmail.com
Fri May 20 02:23:02 CDT 2016

On Fri, May 20, 2016 at 11:03 AM, V Subrahmanian via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> Unreal cause results in real effect
> Shankara's words enacted in a live incident:
> In the BSB 2.1.14 while explaining that an unreal cause can result in a
> real effect, Shankara says:
> न हि रज्जुसर्पेण दष्टो म्रियते ; नापि मृगतृष्णिकाम्भसा पानावगाहनादिप्रयोजनं
> क्रियत इति । नैष दोषः, शङ्काविषादिनिमित्तमरणादिकार्योपलब्धेः,
> स्वप्नदर्शनावस्थस्य च सर्पदंशनोदकस्नानादिकार्यदर्शनात् ।
> तत्कार्यमप्यनृतमेवेति चेद्ब्रूयात्, अत्र ब्रूमः — यद्यपि
> स्वप्नदर्शनावस्थस्य सर्पदंशनोदकस्नानादिकार्यमनृतम्, तथापि तदवगतिः सत्यमेव
> फलम्, प्रतिबुद्धस्याप्यबाध्यमानत्वात् ; न हि स्वप्नादुत्थितः स्वप्नदृष्टं
> सर्पदंशनोदकस्नानादिकार्यं मिथ्येति मन्यमानस्तदवगतिमपि मिथ्येति मन्यते
> कश्चित् ।
> We certainly do not observe that a man bitten by a rope-snake (i.e. a snake
> falsely imagined in a rope) dies, nor is the water appearing in a mirage
> used for drinking or bathing 1
> <
> http://www.bharatadesam.com/spiritual/brahma_sutra/brahma_sutra_sankara_34153.php#fn_286
> >.--This
> objection, we reply, is without force (because as a matter of fact we do
> see real effects to result from unreal causes), for we observe that death
> sometimes takes place from imaginary venom, (when a man imagines himself to
> have been bitten by a venomous snake,) and effects (of what is perceived in
> a dream) such as the bite of a snake or bathing in a river take place with
> regard to a dreaming person.--But, it will be said, these effects
> themselves are unreal!--These effects themselves, we reply, are unreal
> indeed; but not so the consciousness which the dreaming person has of them.
> This consciousness is a real result; for it is not sublated by the waking
> consciousness.

The same is not true for brahmAtmaikatva jnAna, which the bhAshyakAra
states later:

When, however, final authority having intimated the unity of the Self, the
entire course of the world which was founded on the previous distinction is
sublated, then there is no longer any opportunity for assuming a Brahman
comprising in itself various elements.

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