[Advaita-l] World is mind alone: Shankara
kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Fri Jul 28 19:26:09 EDT 2017
Subbuji - PraNAms
The sloka appears to refer to the macro cosmic person. Then there is a jump to the microcosic individual jeeva and his mind in the explanation.
Yes, the individual mind is required in both driShti sRiShTi or sRiShTi driShTi - there is draShTaa in both that involves the local mind of jeeva, involving his sense as well for patyaksha pramaana.
Without the mind, jeeva cannot perceive the world . Hence - The existence of the world is established by the knowledge of its existence by a conscious being.
Without the knowledge its existence, the existence of the world is indeterminate - just as existence (or its non-existence) of any object in the pitch dark room is indeterminate or anirvacaneeyam.
Yes, when the local mind goes to the deep sleep state, the mind that perceives the subject-object duality is folded and hence there is knowledge of any duality whatsoever - Hence Mandukaya says - na kanchana kaama kaayata - there is no desire for an object, thus describing the deep sleep state.
Yet, the world is not a projection of the local mind but the global mind as above sloka states. From the point of the individual jeeva, the world is not the creation of his local mind - if so we reduce the philosophy to vijnaana vaada. Perceptibility is different from projectability. Jeeva's projection of rope where the snake is jeeva's mind creation using the samskaara based on Iswara creation only.
In explaining the verse there seems to be a jump from the global mind to the local mind which is not necessary.
Jnaanam involves that I am not this local mind either but I am pure sat chit ananda that enlivens not only this mind but the whole universe. That knowledge has to occur in the local mind since the local mind has misconceptions that I am this BMI and the world and the creator (the global mind or Hiranyagarba) are different from me. It is like a Ring realizing that I am gold that pervades all the golden ornaments, while still remaining as ring that is different from bangle.
I feel that there is no need to jump from macrocosm to microcosm.
One can feel that everything is nothing but Iswara while still understanding the essence that there is no triad- jeeva-jagat-Iswara and I am that all pervading Brahman. At transactional level - the triad is there but understood as mithyaa and not absolutely real but only transactionally real.
On Friday, July 28, 2017, 6:40:33 PM EDT, V Subrahmanian via Advaita-l <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
World is mind alone: Shankara
In the Mundakopanishad 2.1 is this mantra:
अग्निर्मूर्धा चक्षुषी चन्द्रसूर्यौ दिशः श्रोत्रे वाग्विवृताश्च वेदाः ।
वायुः प्राणो हृदयं विश्वमस्य पद्भ्यां पृथिवी ह्येष सर्वभूतान्तरात्मा ॥ ४ ॥
4 The heavens are His head; the sun and moon, His eyes; the quarters, His
ears; the revealed Vedas, His speech; the wind is His breath; the universe,
His heart. From his feet is produced the earth. He is, indeed, the inner
self of all beings (pancha bhūta-s).
While explaining the part hṛdayam viśvam asya (the world is his 'heart'),
हृदयम् अन्तःकरणं विश्वं समस्तं जगत् अस्य यस्येत्येतत् । सर्वं
ह्यन्तःकरणविकारमेव जगत् , मनस्येव सुषुप्ते प्रलयदर्शनात् ; जागरितेऽपि तत
//His hṛdayam = antaḥkaraṇam (inner organ, mind) , viśvam = the entire
universe. For, the entire world is a modification of the mind, inasmuch as
it is seen to merge in the mind during deep sleep, and even during the
waking state it is seen to emerge out of it, like sparks out of fire, to
The important points to be noted in the above bhāṣyam are:
1. The mantra is about the cosmic person
2. It is an imagery where the cosmos is spoken of as various body-parts
of this person
3. The mind of this person is said to be the universe in the mantra
4. Shankara alludes the human experience to make this point no.3
5. He says that the world is a vikāra, modification, of the mind
6. The reason he gives is: since it is seen, experienced, to merge in
the mind during deep sleep.
7. It is a norm in Vedanta that the layasthānam is the upādāna kāraṇam,
for example, the pot, a product of clay, returns to clay when destroyed and
hence is the material cause
8. vikāra in the context of creation in Vedanta is vivarta
9. It is on this basis the utpatti, sthiti and laya of the universe are
taught to be Brahman
10. The world emerges from the mind, upon waking
11. The emerging of the multifarious world is akin to sparks flying out
of a burning fire
12. Incidentally this analogy of 'sparks flying out of fire' used in
creation shruti in the Br.up. and the Mundaka itself, is regarded as an
instance of the shruti admitting yugapat sṛṣṭi (simultaneous creation) as
different from 'krama sṛṣṭi', sequential creation, as for example in
'akāśāt vāyuḥ...' of the Taittiriya upanishad.
It is evident that the above is an instance of jiva, who is
antaḥkaraṇāvacchinnam chaitanyam (consciousness delimited by the mind),
being the cause of the experienced world. In the Mandukya kārikā 2.32
bhāṣya Shankara says:
न हि मनोविकल्पनाया रज्जुसर्पादिलक्षणाया रज्ज्वां प्रलय उत्पत्तिर्वा ; न च
मनसि रज्जुसर्पस्योत्पत्तिः प्रलयो वा, न चोभयतो वा । तथा
मानसत्वाविशेषाद्द्वैतस्य । न हि नियते मनसि सुषुप्ते वा द्वैतं गृह्यते ; अतो
मनोविकल्पनामात्रं द्वैतमिति सिद्धम् ।
// There is no origination and destruction of the rope-snake (which is just
a mental concoction) in the rope. Nor is there its origination and
destruction in the mind. Even so, dvaita (dvaita prapancha) is
non-different from the mind. For, in the mind controlled (by meditation) or
during deep sleep one does not experience dvaita (dvaita prapancha).
Therefore it stands established that dvaita (dvaita prapancha) is only a
This mandukya bhāṣya is subsumed by the mundaka bhashya where Shankara
gives the deep sleep, when the mind is dissolved, as the layasthānam of the
world, prapancha, jagat. Gaudapāda and Shankara offer reiteration of the
above idea in 3.31 with the help of a syllogism:
मनोदृश्यमिदं द्वैतं यत्किञ्चित्सचराचरम् ।
मनसो ह्यमनीभावे द्वैतं नैवोपलभ्यते ॥ ३१ ॥
रज्जुसर्पवद्विकल्पनारूपं द्वैतरूपेण मन एवेत्युक्तम् । तत्र किं प्रमाणमिति,
अन्वयव्यतिरेकलक्षणमनुमानमाह । कथम् ? तेन हि मनसा विकल्प्यमानेन दृश्यं
मनोदृश्यम् इदं द्वैतं सर्वं मन इति प्रतिज्ञा, तद्भावे भावात् तदभावे
चाभावात् । मनसो हि अमनीभावे निरुद्धे विवेकदर्शनाभ्यासवैराग्याभ्यां
रज्ज्वामिव सर्पे लयं गते वा सुषुप्ते द्वैतं नैवोपलभ्यत इति अभावात्सिद्धं
It has been stated that the mind alone takes the form of the concocted
dvaita just as the rope-snake is concocted. What is the basis, pramāṇa, for
this? It is the anumāna, inference, of the form of anvaya-vyatireka. How?
The pratijñā, claim is: the entire dvaitam is experienced as a concoction
of the mind and therefore dvaitam is mind. Since in the presence of the
mind, dvaitam is present and in the absence of the mind, dvaitam is absent.
When the mind has been controlled by effort (in meditation) owing to
discrimination and practice, just as the imagined snake merges in the rope,
or during deep sleep, dvaitam is never experienced. Thus, by its absence
(during meditation and deep sleep), the non-existence, asattvam, of dvaitam
In the Brahmasutra bhashya commentary, the Ratnaprabhā summarizes the
Vedānta siddhānta thus: सृष्टिर्दर्शनमदर्शनं लयः = perception is creation,
and non-perception is destruction.
The Mundaka and the Mandukya bhāṣyam cited above demonstrate this siddhānta
Om Tat Sat
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