[Advaita-l] Creation by Brahman - only a nimitta - Vishnu Purana - Sridhara Swamin

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sun Feb 4 12:19:06 EST 2018

On Sun, Feb 4, 2018 at 9:43 PM, Kalyan <kalyan_kg at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Namaste
> This is actually a below-the-belt attack on the sAmkhyas.
> Here are the advaitin's positions-
> 1. Brahman is the instrumental cause
> 2. Brahman is devoid of action
> 3. Moving power is inherent in mAyA (about which the advaitin refuses to
> explain)
> 4. At the same time, the advaitin accuses the sAmkhya that the inactive
> purusha of the sAmkhya cannot cause pradhAna to move
> In the first place, 1 and 2 are contradictory.

There is no contradiction as the causehood can be brought about by the
mayashakti association that is unreal.

> Secondly, 1 and 3 are contradictory. The advaitin is unable to decide
> whether the instrumental cause is brahman or mAyA.

Here too there is no contradiction. The fundamental point to be noted is
that Maya is inert. For it to do anything there is the need for sentience.
Desire to create can happen only in a sentient entity. This has to come
from Brahman the only sentient entity. To say that Maya creates, with the
superintendence of Brahman, is quite in order and thereby Brahman is the
instrumental cause. Maya cannot be the instrumental cause for the reason
already stated.

3 is no explanation for action because mAyA is indescribable and
> inexplicable. If advaitin is saying that he cannot explain how action comes
> about, he must grant the sAmkhya the same leeway.

The indescribability and inexplicability are about the impossibility of
stating whether maya is sat or asat. Otherwise, the Veda is quite clear
that  maya is trigunAtmikA. With all those gunas it can perform action.
However, to be able to do that the fundamental chaitanya has to come from
elsewhere. Brahman is the source from which it gets that.

> //whereas the latter gets the sentiency from Brahman, because
>  of proximity and thereby creation is initiated//
> Proximity to brahman is an undefined concept in advaita because, brahman
> is not located at any point in space.

Proximity is not from Brahman's point of view but from maya's angle.
Advaita accepts mayashakti as a superimposition on Brahman. That way it has
proximity to Brahman.

> On a final note, whether any interaction can occur between real and unreal
> entities is a question worth pursuing. How can the real affect the unreal?
> Is the mechanism unreal or real? If the former, then there is no
> interaction. If the latter, then there is advaita hAni.

The real does not affect the unreal but the unreal gets affected by the
real. The mechanism is unreal because any activity involving an unreal is
unreal alone. Hence alone there is no interaction. That is what the
Ratnaprabha clarified  अस्मन्मते  कल्पिताकल्पितयोरविरोध  इत्यतिशयः  |

Shankara has answered all questions in the BGB 9.10:  [The essence of the
commentary being the highlighted portion at the end]

*English Translation Of Sri Shankaracharya's Sanskrit Commentary By Swami

9.10 Maya, under Me; adhyaksena, as the supervisor, remaining changeless as
a mere witness under all circumstances; prakrtih, the Prakrti, My maya
consisting of the three gunas and characterized as ignorance; suyate,
produces; the world sa-cara-acaram. of the moving and the none-moving
things. Thus there is the Vedic text, 'The one divine Being is hidden in
all beings; He is amnipresent, the indwelling Self of all bengs, the
Supervisor of actions, the refuge of all beings, the witness, the one who
imparts consceiousness, unconditioned [This is according to Sankaracarya's
commentary on this verse. A.G. interprets kevala as non-dual.-Tr.] and
without alities' (Sv. 6.11). Anena hetuna, owing to this reason-because of
this presiding over; O son of Kunti, the jagat, world, with the moving and
the non-moving things, consisting of the manifest and the unmanifest;
viparivartate, revolves, under all conditions [During creation, continuance
and dissolution.] All the activities of the world in the form, 'I eat this;
I see; I hear this; I experience this happiness, suffer this sorrow; I
shall do this for that purpose, [Ast. omits this portion.-Tr] I shall do
this for this purpose; I shall know this,' etc. indeed arise owing to their
being the objects of the conscious witness. They verily exist in
consciousness, and end in consciousness. And such mantras as, 'He who is
the witness of this is in the supreme heaven' [Supreme heaven, the heart;
i.e. He is inscrutable.] (Rg., Na. Su. 10.129.7; Tai. Br.2.8.9), reveal
this fact. Since it follows from this that there is no other conscious
being part from the one Deity-who is the witness of all as the absolute
Consciousness, and who in reality has no contact with any kind of
enjoyment-, therefore there is no other enjoyer. *Hence, in this context,
the question, 'For what purpose is this creation?', and its answer are
baseless - in accordance with the Vedic text, 'Who know (It) truly, who can
fully speak about this here? From where has this come? From where is this
variegated creation?' (Rg. 3.54.5; 10.129.6). And it has been pointed out
by the Lord also: 'Knowledge remains covered by ignorance. They the
creatures become deluded' (5.15).*

तत्र ‘भूतग्राममिमं विसृजामि’ (भ. गी. ९ । ८)
 ‘उदासीनवदासीनम्’ (भ. गी. ९ । ९)
 इति च विरुद्धम् उच्यते, इति तत्परिहारार्थम् आह —

मयाध्यक्षेण प्रकृतिः सूयते सचराचरम् ।
हेतुनानेन कौन्तेय जगद्विपरिवर्तते ॥ १० ॥
मया अध्यक्षेण सर्वतो दृशिमात्रस्वरूपेण अविक्रियात्मना अध्यक्षेण मया, मम
माया त्रिगुणात्मिका अविद्यालक्षणा प्रकृतिः सूयते उत्पादयति सचराचरं जगत् ।
तथा च मन्त्रवर्णः — ‘एको देवः सर्वभूतेषु गूढः सर्वव्यापी
सर्वभूतान्तरात्मा । कर्माध्यक्षः सर्वभूताधिवासः साक्षी चेता केवलो
निर्गुणश्च’ (श्वे. उ. ६ । ११)
 इति । हेतुना निमित्तेन अनेन अध्यक्षत्वेन कौन्तेय जगत् सचराचरं
व्यक्ताव्यक्तात्मकं विपरिवर्तते सर्वावस्थासु । दृशिकर्मत्वापत्तिनिमित्ता हि
जगतः सर्वा प्रवृत्तिः — अहम् इदं भोक्ष्ये, पश्यामि इदम् , शृणोमि इदम् ,
सुखमनुभवामि, दुःखमनुभवामि, तदर्थमिदं करिष्ये, इदं ज्ञास्यामि, इत्याद्या
अवगतिनिष्ठा अवगत्यवसानैव । ‘यो अस्याध्यक्षः परमे व्योमन्’ (ऋ. १० । १२९ ।
७), (तै. ब्रा. २ । ८ । ९) इत्यादयश्च मन्त्राः एतमर्थं दर्शयन्ति । ततश्च
एकस्य देवस्य सर्वाध्यक्षभूतचैतन्यमात्रस्य परमार्थतः सर्वभोगानभिसम्बन्धिनः
अन्यस्य चेतनान्तरस्य अभावे भोक्तुः अन्यस्य अभावात् । किंनिमित्ता इयं
सृष्टिः इत्यत्र प्रश्नप्रतिवचने अनुपपन्ने, ‘को अद्धा वेद क इह प्रवोचत् ।
कुत आजाता कुत इयं विसृष्टिः’ (ऋ. १० । १२९ । ६), (तै. ब्रा. २ । ८ । ९)
इत्यादिमन्त्रवर्णेभ्यः । दर्शितं च भगवता — ‘अज्ञानेनावृतं ज्ञानं तेन
मुह्यन्ति जन्तवः’ (भ. गी. ५ । १५)
 इति ॥ १० ॥


> Regards
> Kalyan
>  In Advaita the thesis is thus
>  stated:
>  BSB 2.2.7
>  After showing the defect in the Sankhya theory (which
>  provided examples), the Vedantin states his own
>  mechanism:
>  परमात्मनस्तुस्वरूपव्यपाश्रयमौदासीन्यम् , मायाव्यपाश्रयं च
> प्रवर्तकत्वम् — इत्यस्त्यतिशयः ॥
>  ७ ॥
>  [AudAsInyam, Brahman is of the
>  nature of inactivity inherently and the driving urge for
>  creation from the standpoint of maya. ]
>  A gloss, Ratnaprabha, clarifies:
>  अस्मन्मते
>  कल्पिताकल्पितयोरविरोध
>  इत्यतिशयः     In
>  Vedanta, the 'relation' or 'interaction' is
>  between a real and an unreal and hence there is no
>  contradiction.
>  Thus, the question of interaction
>  does not arise. When it is said 'sannidhimAtrena',
>  there is nothing that Brahman expects or gets from Maya,
>  whereas the latter gets the sentiency from Brahman, because
>  of proximity and thereby creation is initiated. When it is
>  said 'Brahman is the nimitta kAranam', the sankalpa
>  to create, etc. is the contribution of Maya.
>  regardssubbu
>  Regards
>  Kalyan

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