[Advaita-l] mAyA in Vedanta is not unlike the ‘plus’ symbol in mathematics

kuntimaddi sadananda kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Thu May 10 17:57:23 EDT 2018

Durga Prasad - PraNAms


I know Shree Dr. Vemuri Ramesam. The statements below can be misleading without some qualification. maaya can be an operation that makes one to become many.  It is, in fact, a driving force contributing to the change of state and hence it is called parameswara shakti. 


For example - see the statements below:


 On Thursday, May 10, 2018, 5:10:47 PM EDT, Durga Prasad Janaswamy via Advaita-l <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:



mAyA  is  ‘Plus’:


Let us try to understand what avidya is from a modern perspective.


Everyone knows the mathematical symbol ‘plus’ (+). We use it often in our

work. We are so much used to it that we introduced it even into linguistics

in statements like Do + not = Don’t.



The symbol ‘+’ produces the image of the numeral ‘2’ in the mind of the

person carrying out the calculation.


‘2’ appears clearly as a numeral. How can we say that ‘2’ is imagined in

the mind?


If ‘2’ is really an entity and not an imagination, it should relate to

something or the other. But in the equation we have written, ‘2’ is related

to neither the first nor the second operand. When the two bananas came

together next to each other, the idea of ‘2’ got generated in the mind of

the person. Therefore, the number two is an idea only. When we expressed

the idea as a numeric character and scripted it, it appeared as ‘2’.


The long and short of it is that the number ‘two’ is only an imagined idea.

The idea of two gets generated in the mind of an observer from the idea of

‘+’ sign. Therefore, we have to admit that the idea of ‘plus’ is also

resident in the observer’s mind only.


The teaching of a child by mother or father - starts by counting 1, 2, 3... etc and as the child grows mother starts teaching 1 + 1 = 2, etc at an early age. The child's mind has no idea what that means until the mind slowly evolves. 
I used to teach my grandchild when she was just 2-year-old, a song to repeat - where I used to teach her mathematical tables from 2 to 9 in the song form. She could learn and repeat too without knowing what that means. When she came to the second and third grade she started understanding and appreciating her childhood songs that she does not easily forget. 
When mother teaches- beta one plus one is two, counting with fingers, that instruction gets registered in the mind. The baby's mind has no idea what that plus really means other than using mother's instructions. The symbolic language is not generated in the mind but passed on one mind to the other by convention. Mother learned from her mother. 
Same with differential and integral symbolic signs we learn later. When we go higher algebra - the language reduces to symbols only, which do not make any sense to the minds who have not brought up in that discipline. 

So are these concepts of maaya, etc which comes with the traditional teaching methods employed. We have different Vedantic traditions fighting for what maaya really means. 


Just my 2c


Hari Om!



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