Regarding Sada and BSB

Namaste Sadanandaji,
You just gave an excellent discussion regarding
Brahmasutras Bhashyas (II,2,28) that helped to
relieve some o the distress I !as eeling that
perhaps Shan"ara !as asserting some "ind o
reality to the o#jective !orld independent o
our consciousness o it (i$e$ realism as opposed
to idealism, in %estern terminology)$
It seems to me that you are saying that Shan"ara
!as only saying that the !orld is not a#solutely
unreal li"e a #arren !oman&s child$ It has some
degree o reality in that it is an illusion in
consciousness (!hich is more real than a #arren
!oman&s child since at least !e see it)$
'o!ever, !hen !e superpose name and orm
(nama and rupa) on the illusion and ta"e the
o#ject to #e something existing independent o
consciousness, as !e normally do, then !e
are indeed ma"ing an error$ Nothing exists
&outside& o (onsciousness or Brahman (as !e
normally thin" o material o#jects)$ So in this
sense, )dvaita is *uite idealistic (in the sense
o %estern philosophy)$
)s ar as +ahayana Buddhism is concerned,
Shan"ara must have #een arguing against the
mista"en notion that oten arises that &emptiness&
is utterly unreal li"e a #arren !oman&s child$
,his is alse$ -ther Buddhists say that it certainly
exists as an illusion in consciousness$
Both Shan"ara and many Buddhists use the dream
analogy, !hich is one o my avorite analogies$
I "no! that you don&t care much or Buddhism,
#ut you might #e interested to have these points
#riely dra!n to your attention, or overall
&cultural& "no!ledge$
I I am !rong on anything, please correct me$
-ne last point$ %e all agree that in these rigorous
and logical discussions, it is essential that !e deine
our terms as precisely as possi#le$
So could you please give a precise and rigorous
deinition o &.aagaa#uu#u&/
0ust "idding1 23)
,han"s again
'ari -m1
Benjamin
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7 )s ar as +ahayana Buddhism is concerned,
7 Shan"ara must have #een arguing against the
7 mista"en notion that oten arises that &emptiness&
7 is utterly unreal li"e a #arren !oman&s child$
7 ,his is alse$ -ther Buddhists say that it certainly
7 exists as an illusion in consciousness$
7
Beore people !rite in saying that &emptiness& does
N-, exist as an illusion in consciousness, please
#e advised that &it& !as a poor choice o !ords$
I did not mean emptiness so much as &the !orld&
or &the o#ject&$ ,his !as clear rom the context$
8mptiness is the reali9ation that the o#ject is no
more than consciousness, and in this sense it
is &empty& o material reality or su#stance$
But please don&t reply to this$ ,his list doesn&t
!ant to discuss Buddhism$ I !as only as"ing
Sada !hether Shan"ara !as giving some "ind
o reality to the material !orld, as many say
he does$ I #elieve that Sadanandaji successully
ans!ered this, and I #elieve that I understood
him correctly$
-N:Y i I did not understand him correctly on
that precise point should anyone reply to this
thread$ ,his is a#out Shan"ara$
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7 You just gave an excellent discussion regarding
7 Brahmasutras Bhashyas (II,2,28) that helped to
7 relieve some o the distress I !as eeling that
7 perhaps Shan"ara !as asserting some "ind o
7 reality to the o#jective !orld independent o
7 our consciousness o it (i$e$ realism as opposed
7 to idealism, in %estern terminology)$
I am glad you separated Sada and BSB$
0ust to emphasi9e again it is not Shan"ara&s opinion 3 Baadaraayana
suutra says directly #y using dou#le negative that it is not non3real
since it is experienced$ I you ollo! suutra literature, they try to
minimi9e every letter i it can #e possi#le$ 'ere Baadaraayana uses
dou#le negative 3 not nonreal 3 he could have eliminated the dou#le
negative and said &#aava' upala#de'&3real since it is experienced$ But
deli#erately he used dou#le negative since the intension is not to
esta#lish the reality #ut to dismiss non3reality$
7 It seems to me that you are saying that Shan"ara
7 !as only saying that the !orld is not a#solutely
7 unreal li"e a #arren !oman&s child$
,hat is a#solutely correct$ In )dvaita Siddhi, +adusuudhana Saras!ati
discusses dierent deinitions o alsity to counter the criticism
against )dvaita particularly rom ;vaitins$
7 It has some
7 degree o reality in that it is an illusion in
7 consciousness (!hich is more real than a #arren
7 !oman&s child since at least !e see it)$
Illusion is unortunately a !rong translation o the !ord &maaya& 3 It
is not li"e non3existent li"e #arren !oman& child 3 that part is true$
,he analogy is exactly li"e the ring and the gold$ ;o you call ring as
illusion/ 'ence !e have !hat is called su#jective o#jectiication
(praati#haasi"a), o#jective o#jectiication (vyaavahaari"a) and
a#solutely real(paaramaarthi"a)$ ,he irst one is &I see it, thereore
it is& and the second one is &It is, thereore I see it& 3 third is &I
S88 nothing else&$ 8xample or the irst one 3I see a sna"e, thereore
it is a sna"e< =or the second< I see a rope, thereore it is rope and
,he third one is sel3consciousness &I S88 I )+&$ )lthough I have to #e
there to see a sna"e or a rope, the vision o a sna"e on a rope is
dierent rom the vision o rope as a rope 3 is it not/ ,he irst one
is su#jective o#jectiication and the second one is o#jective
o#jectiication (and third one 3 I am just using out o desperation3
o#jective su#jectiication1)$ ,he irst one is more at a local level and
second one at a glo#al level and third one is at a#solute level$ ,he
commonly understood illusion is may all more close to the irst one$
,he point is maaya is as real as the ring and #angle or a #racelet as
long as the vision is only on the names, orms, attri#utes, utilities
("riya), etc$ =rom the vision o Brahman, it is ormless in spite o
orms , nameless in spite o names, utility3less or "riyaasuunyam in
spite o "riya 3 essentially 3 non3duality in spite o duality$ ,hat is
!hy the philosophy is non3dual rather than monism$ ,he plurality #ecomes
the glory o that reality 3 pasyamme yogamaisvaram 3 loo" at my glory
says >rishna$
7
7 'o!ever, !hen !e superpose name and orm
7 (nama and rupa) on the illusion and ta"e the
7 o#ject to #e something existing independent o
7 consciousness, as !e normally do, then !e
7 are indeed ma"ing an error$ Nothing exists
7 &outside& o (onsciousness or Brahman (as !e
7 normally thin" o material o#jects)$ So in this
7 sense, )dvaita is *uite idealistic (in the sense
7 o %estern philosophy)$
I do not call it as idealistic in the sense o a#sence o o#jects out
there 3 there is &no out there& is rom the a#solute sense$ By
deinition no3thing or nothing can exist outside Brahman$ But the
internal dierences can #e seen or those !ho !ant to see$ Seen is
dierent rom the seer and the Seen is as real as the seer o the seen$
But ta"ing the dierences that are seen as real is the delusion$ -ne
has to separate here the illusion versus delusion$ I am using the !ord
illusion due to lac" o any #etter !ord 3 illusion is not a pro#lem #y
itsel #ut delusion is$ ) jiivan mu"ta is the one !ho can see the
illusion 3 that is o#jective su#jectiication #ut has no more su#jective
o#jectiication 3 or notional mind or su#jective mind$
I am not *ualiied to comment on the idealism o %estern philosophy$
,he rest o the comments on Buddhism, I am not *ualiied too$ But only
state that !hat is understood #y all 5edantic scholars 3 it is
unanimously ta"en not #y Shan"ara alone that suunya vaada is pure
&emptiness& and not !hat you have understood$ ,hey vehemently critici9e
the &"shani"a 3 vij?naanam& or lic"ering consciousness aspect o the
Buddhism in all their puurvapa"sha3s$ I have not studied Buddhism per
se although Shree Nanda has sent me some #oo"s to read$ @nortunately
I do not have that motivation to read those #oo"s$ 'ence these comments
are only or passing and not intended or any discussion either$
7 )s ar as +ahayana Buddhism is concerned,
7 Shan"ara must have #een arguing against the
7 mista"en notion
7 So could you please give a precise and rigorous
7 deinition o &.aagaa#uu#u&/
7 0ust "idding1 23)
Yes 3 precise and rigorous deinition o &gaagaa#uu#u& is, it is that
o#ject !hich cannot #e precisely and rigorously deined$
'ari -+1
Sadananda
7
7 ,han"s again
7
7 'ari -m1
7 Benjamin
7
7
AAAAA
%hat you have is 'is git to you and !hat you do !ith !hat you have is your git
to 'im 3 S!ami (hinmayananda$
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Illusion is unortunately a !rong translation o the !ord &maaya& 3 It
is not li"e non3existent li"e #arren !oman& child 3 that part is true$
,he analogy is exactly li"e the ring and the gold$ ;o you call ring as
illusion/
7 praN)m pra#huji
7 'are >rishna
7 ,he passage cited a#ove could give us the impression that the primeval
Being or )tman (in the a#ove analogy it is gold) actually modiied B
transormed itsel (ring !ith n)ma3r@pa) into the universe$ But this sort
o sel3transormation is repugnant to the upanishadic purports I #elieve$
'o! can !e reconcile this pra#huji// "indly clariy$
7 'ari 'ari 'ari Bol111
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7
7 7 ,he passage cited a#ove could give us the impression that the
7 primeval
7 Being or )tman (in the a#ove analogy it is gold) actually modiied B
7 transormed itsel (ring !ith n)ma3r@pa) into the universe$ But this
7 sort
7 o sel3transormation is repugnant to the upanishadic purports I
7 #elieve$
7 'o! can !e reconcile this pra#huji// "indly clariy$
7 7 'ari 'ari 'ari Bol111
7 7 #has"ar
Bas"er it is rom @panishad only 3 (h$ @p gives three examples to
illustrate the apparent transormation 3 yathaa somya e"ena loha maNinaa
sarvam lohamayam vij?naaata syaat vaachaaram#hanam vi"aaro naamadheyam,
lohamityeva satyam 3Similarly other t!o examples$ ,he transormation o
gold into ring is only apparent since gold remains as gold !hile the
appearace o ring, #angle !hich are dierent rom each other and rom
gold exist$ ,hat is naama and ruupa$ .old is immuta#le yet it is the
glory o gold to #e capa#le o existing in ring orm or #angle orm or
#racelet orm etc$ ,hey are not non3existent since their existence is
supported #y gold$ But they are not real in the sense they are only
temporal and all in the catergory o vyaavahaari"a satyam 3 satyasya
satyam is gold !hich is immuta#le$ ,he same !ay Brahman and the !orld$
'ence emphasis is given to upaadaana "aarana o jagat as Brahman to
emphasi9e precisely these points$
'ari -+1
Sadananda
AAAAA
%hat you have is 'is git to you and !hat you do !ith !hat you have is your git
to 'im 3 S!ami (hinmayananda$
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Bas"er it is rom @panishad only 3 (h$ @p gives three examples to
illustrate the apparent transormation 3 yathaa somya e"ena loha maNinaa
sarvam lohamayam vij?naaata syaat vaachaaram#hanam vi"aaro naamadheyam,
lohamityeva satyam 3Similarly other t!o examples$ ,he transormation o
gold into ring is only apparent since gold remains as gold !hile the
appearace o ring, #angle !hich are dierent rom each other and rom
gold exist$ ,hat is naama and ruupa$ .old is immuta#le yet it is the
glory o gold to #e capa#le o existing in ring orm or #angle orm or
#racelet orm etc$ ,hey are not non3existent since their existence is
supported #y gold$ But they are not real in the sense they are only
temporal and all in the catergory o vyaavahaari"a satyam 3 satyasya
satyam is gold !hich is immuta#le$ ,he same !ay Brahman and the !orld$
'ence emphasis is given to upaadaana "aarana o jagat as Brahman to
emphasi9e precisely these points$
7 praN)m pra#huji
7 'are "rishna
7 ,han"s or the clariication pra#huji$ =rom the a#ove it is clear that
rom the empirical point o vie! m)y) is the causal potentiality o the
!orld, projected #y avidy) or superimposition$ It is #ut a special aspect
o #rahman !hich evolves itsel into the !orld$ But #rahman in its true B
real nature is a#ove all modiication$ then shall !e conclude that as
regards to dierent accounts o creation ( as I mentioned in my earlier
mail under the dierent thread) in upanishads is just adhy)r-pita// is my
understanding correct pra#huji$
'ari 'ari 'ari Bol111
#has"ar
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7 =rom the a#ove it is clear
7 that
7 rom the empirical point o vie! m)y) is the causal potentiality o
7 the
7 !orld, projected #y avidy) or superimposition$
Bhas"ar 3 !e need to #e clear here 3 avidya is jadam and #y itsel
cannot project any thing$ %hen !e say ignorance is the cause or
projection o a sna"e 3 it does not mean ignorance has the capacity to
project$ -nly chaitanya s!aruupa can project$ But ignorance #ecomes a
su#sidiary cause #ut it is neither material or intelligent cause or
projection o plurality$ 'ence maaya is considered as paramesha!ara
sha"ti 3 and sha"ti lies !ith chaitanya s!aruupa$ Since it is
parames!ara sha"ti 3 you can call it as liila vi#huuti too$
7It is #ut a special
7 aspect
7 o #rahman !hich evolves itsel into the !orld$ But #rahman in its
7 true B
7 real nature is a#ove all modiication$
)gain one has to #e careul$ Brahma is one !ithout a second hence
ininite$ Ininiteness cannot have any attri#utes either$ I you say it
is a special aspect, it may #e considered as special *ualiication$
,he undamental pro#lem is since jiiva has a notion that there is a
!orld out there as Che is seeing the !orld o pluralityC, !e need to
#ring all other paraphernalia to explain that !hich is not real3 hence
Is!ara also comes into the explanation and you can no! say that it is
his special *ualiication to #e a#le to project the !hole universe #y
his po!ers$
7then shall !e conclude that as
7 regards to dierent accounts o creation ( as I mentioned in my
7 earlier
7 mail under the dierent thread) in upanishads is just adhy)r-pita//
7 is my
7 understanding correct pra#huji$
Yes$ (reation is there as long as one is seeing or experiencing one, and
hence the suutra that is #eing discussed says that since you are
experiencing it is not unreal$ It is not unreal only #ecause the reality
supports it 3 li"e gold supporting a ring$
'ari -+1
Sadananda
AAAAA
%hat you have is 'is git to you and !hat you do !ith !hat you have is your git
to 'im 3 S!ami (hinmayananda$
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I deeply appreciate the time and trou#le you have ta"en to clariy
these most essential points o )dvaita$ I !ill simply ma"e a e!
comments to veriy that I have understood these su#tle issues$ )t
least, I thin" you !ill agree that !e are s*uarely !ithin the realm
o )dvaita and are not digressing on &out3o3scope& topics$ 6eally
this !hole issue is (6@(I): to )dvaita and also very su#tle$$$
7 0ust to emphasi9e again it is not Shan"ara&s opinion 3 Baadaraayana
7 suutra says directly #y using dou#le negative that it is not
7 non3real since it is experienced$ I you ollo! suutra literature,
7 they try to minimi9e every letter i it can #e possi#le$ 'ere
7 Baadaraayana uses dou#le negative 3 not nonreal 3 he could have
7 eliminated the dou#le negative and said &#aava' upala#de'&3real
7 since it is experienced$ But deli#erately he used dou#le negative
7 since the intension is not to esta#lish the reality #ut to dismiss
7 non3reality$
,his is *uite interesting$ Yes, the sutras do try to minimi9e every
!ord, so a dou#le negative is meaningul$ In ordinary alge#ra
3D x 3D A ED,
and !e can just use the ED, #ut here in this discussion, each minus
sign cannot #e neglected$ Interesting$
7 Illusion is unortunately a !rong translation o the !ord &maaya& 3
7 It is not li"e non3existent li"e #arren !oman& child 3 that part is
7 true$ ,he analogy is exactly li"e the ring and the gold$ ;o you
7 call ring as illusion/ 'ence !e have !hat is called su#jective
7 o#jectiication (praati#haasi"a), o#jective o#jectiication
7 (vyaavahaari"a) and a#solutely real (paaramaarthi"a)$ ,he irst one
7 is &I see it, thereore it is& and the second one is &It is,
7 thereore I see it& 3 third is &I S88 nothing else&$ 8xample or
7the 7 irst one 3I see a sna"e, thereore it is a sna"e< =or the
7second< I 7 see a rope, thereore it is rope and ,he third one is
7 sel3consciousness &I S88 I )+&$ )lthough I have to #e there to see
7 a sna"e or a rope, the vision o a sna"e on a rope is dierent
7rom 7 the vision o rope as a rope 3 is it not/ ,he irst one is
7 su#jective o#jectiication and the second one is o#jective
7 o#jectiication (and third one 3 I am just using out o desperation3
7 o#jective su#jectiication1)$ ,he irst one is more at a local
7level 7 and second one at a glo#al level and third one is at
7a#solute level$ 7 ,he commonly understood illusion is may all more
7close to the irst 7 one$
I thin" this is !hy the !ords &Su#jective Idealism& have caused
pro#lems$ ,o many it seems just li"e the mind superposing the sna"e
on the rope, i$e$ total illusion, something that is utterly imaginary,
:et us orget a#out the !ords &Su#jective Idealism&, since they only
conuse this audience$
'o!ever, one %estern !ord !e cannot orget a#out is &matter&$ )ter
all, you are a physicist, so you must deal !ith this concept$ It !as
interesting to me that Froessor >rishnamurthy, a e! days ago, could
thin" that matter !as conscious$ ,o me, this is a total
contradiction o the very deinition o &matter&, and it sho!s ho!
ar apart !e can #e in our deinitions o simple !ords$
,his discussion may seem #oring or repetitive to you, #ut it is
crucial i you !ish to persuade the &common sense& man o the truth
o )dvaita$ )nd I cannot #elieve that this common sense man is only
%estern$ ,he Indian common sense man must also thin" this !ay (i$e$
in terms o material o#jects outside o consciousness, even i he
uses dierent terminology)$ It is the normal !ay to see the !orld$
It is also ;vaita and Sam"hya, i I am not mista"en$
+ay I respectully re*uest that you read the ollo!ing t!o paragraphs
very careully, as it is the essence o the discussion, as ar as I
am concerned$
Yes, I do !ant to veriy once and or all that )dvaita denies
&matter& or &material o#jects&$ I !ill deine &matter& once again$
%hen I loo" at an apple (in my ordinary &dualistic& state o
consciousness), it seems that there is a &lump o mass& -@,SI;8 o my
consciousness !hich is the &real& apple$ It seems that light #ounces
o o this apple and stri"es my eye#alls, producing an GimageG o
the apple that is G!ithinG my consciousness (i$e$ a perception o a
round red shape)$ ,he lump o mass &out there& and the perception in
my consciousness seem to #e Gt!o dierent thingsG$ ,his is ho! the
!orld seems to many, many people, not just %esterners$ It is &common
sense&$
'o!ever, )dvaita says something dierent, i I am not mista"en$ It
says that there is -N:Y the red perception or image in consciousness$
,his perception is li"e the 6-F8< it is the reality in consciousness$
,he SN)>8 occurs !hen !e GsuperposeG the ollo!ing idea upon the
perception, that is, !hen !e thin"2 &,his image in my consciousness
is only an image o the lump o mass out there Houtside o
consciousnessI !hich is the GrealG apple$&
,his is ho! I understand )dvaita$ ,he reality (rope) is the
perception !ithin consciousness$ ,he illusion (sna"e) is the idea o
the mind !hich GprojectsG the perception to an (imaginary) !orld o
material o#jects GoutsideG o consciousness$ ,his &projection&
consists o saying that the &reality& is the material o#ject &out
there& !hich produced the red image or perception in my
consciousness$ Note that this illusory matter is N-, considered to
#e consciousness, since it is ta"en to #e &outside& o consciousness$
No!, according to my philosophy (su#jective idealism), this is N-,
!hat I #elieve$ It is only ho! the !orld S88+S to me !hen I am in my
&common sense& rame o mind, !hich is also !hat you call
5yavahari"a$ In reality, there is only consciousness (e$g$ only the
perception), and there is N- +),86I): %-6:; -@,SI;8 -= (-NS(I-@SN8SS$
,he latter is a pure antasy or superposition o the mind (adhyasa)
upon the perceptions$
,he denial o the material !orld is essential to )dvaita, #ecause it
is seen as unconscious (i$e$ outside o consciousness)$ ,his !ould
mean that something exists !hich is not Brahman, !ho is (onsicousness
#y deinition$ ;o you see no! !hy it is essential to &"ill& the
concept o matter$ It is directly contradictory to the essence o
the 5edas$ )nd as a physicist, you should address this notion o
matter, as it is essential to the &scientiic& vie! o the !orld
(although perhaps a very e! &advanced& physicists have moved #eyond
this)$
I&ll stop here$ 'o! does this sound to you/
,han" you and 'ari -m1
Benjamin
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(ouldn&t resist #utting in here since I ind all this sort o stu as
interesting as you do and I !anted to chec" that my understanding is correct
#eore seeing Sada&s response (it&s called putting my nec" on the line, I
thin")1
I thin" that your pro#lem arises through trying to understand !hat )dvaita
is saying in terms o your understanding o %estern ideas such as those o
Ber"eley$ I thin" that your concern o !hether )dvaita denies the existence
o matter is a non3issue$ )dvaita does not really dierentiate #et!een the
so3called o#ject and our perception o it$ In reality (paramarthi"a) #oth
are eectively sna"es #eing imposed on ropes, as it !ere$
JJYes, I do !ant to veriy once and or all that )dvaita denies &matter& or
&material o#jects&$ I !ill deine &matter& once again$ %hen I loo" at an
apple (in my ordinary &dualistic& state o consciousness), it seems that
there is a &lump o mass& -@,SI;8 o my consciousness !hich is the &real&
apple$77
,here is nothing outside o (onsciousness or )dvaita, #ecause everything IS
(onsciousness$
JJIt seems that light #ounces o o this apple and stri"es my eye#alls,
producing an GimageG o the apple that is G!ithinG my consciousness (i$e$ a
perception o a round red shape)$ ,he lump o mass &out there& and the
perception in my consciousness seem to #e Gt!o dierent thingsG$ ,his is
ho! the !orld seems to many, many people, not just %esterners$ It is
&common sense&$77
It may #e common sense #ut then the truth is oten counter3intuitive1
)dvaita tells us there are not &t!o things& under any circumstance$
JJ'o!ever, )dvaita says something dierent, i I am not mista"en$ It says
that there is -N:Y the red perception or image in consciousness$ ,his
perception is li"e the 6-F8< it is the reality in consciousness$ ,he SN)>8
occurs !hen !e GsuperposeG the ollo!ing idea upon the perception, that is,
!hen !e thin"2 &,his image in my consciousness is only an image o the lump
o mass out there Houtside o consciousnessI !hich is the GrealG apple$&77
,he red perception is a red sna"e superimposed upon the rope o
(onsciousness$ ,he apple o#ject is an apple3sna"e superimposed upon the rope
o (onsciousness$ In truth there is neither red perception nor apple o#ject<
there is only (onsciousness$
JJ,his is ho! I understand )dvaita$ ,he reality (rope) is the perception
!ithin consciousness$ ,he illusion (sna"e) is the idea o the mind !hich
GprojectsG the perception to an (imaginary) !orld o material o#jects
GoutsideG o consciousness$ ,his &projection& consists o saying that the
&reality& is the material o#ject &out there& !hich produced the red image or
perception in my consciousness$ Note that this illusory matter is N-,
considered to #e consciousness, since it is ta"en to #e &outside& o
consciousness$77
,here can #e nothing &outside& o (onsciousness$
JJNo!, according to my philosophy (su#jective idealism), this is N-, !hat I
#elieve$ It is only ho! the !orld S88+S to me !hen I am in my &common
sense& rame o mind, !hich is also !hat you call 5yavahari"a$ In reality,
there is only consciousness (e$g$ only the perception), and there is N-
+),86I): %-6:; -@,SI;8 -= (-NS(I-@SN8SS$ ,he latter is a pure antasy or
superposition o the mind (adhyasa) upon the perceptions$77
Yes, #ut this does not mean that there is no !orld, just that this !orld,
too, is nothing #ut (onsciousness and any other concept, perception or
!hatever that thin"s other!ise is simply another superimposed sna"e$
Best !ishes (a!aiting correction !ith trepidation),
;ennis
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7 (ouldn&t resist #utting in here
$$$$$$$$
7 #ut this does not mean that there is no !orld, just that this !orld,
7 too, is nothing #ut (onsciousness and any other concept, perception
or
7 !hatever that thin"s other!ise is simply another superimposed sna"e$
7
7 Best !ishes (a!aiting correction !ith trepidation),
7
ji, Your &#utting in& came at the right time$ I thin" the last
three lines o your mail orm the exact punchline that Benjaminji
seems to miss in his presentation o advaita$
praN)ms to all advaitins
prov"
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7 'o!ever, one %estern !ord !e cannot orget a#out is &matter&$ )ter
7 all, you are a physicist, so you must deal !ith this concept$ It !as
7 interesting to me that Froessor >rishnamurthy, a e! days ago, could
7 thin" that matter !as conscious$ ,o me, this is a total
7 contradiction o the very deinition o &matter&, and it sho!s ho!
7 ar apart !e can #e in our deinitions o simple !ords$
3here is !here scripture #ecomes a pramaaNa and not the
commonsense as pramaaNa$
,he irst mahavaa"ya says2 praj?naanam #rahma 3 By deining Brahman one
!ithout a second and deining as consciousness, !e are let !ith no
alternative than to say that consciousness is the ininiteness and that
is Brahman$
Second these statements are conirmed again #y saying that &8xistence&
alone !as there #eore creation 3 that is sat and that is Brahman and
that Brahman is o the nature o consciousness #y saying it sa!3 tad
ai"shataa 3 since inert things cannot see$
,hird it deines Brahman as the material cause too 3 #y giving examples
o the ornaments out o gold or mud pots out o mud or iron tools out o
iron 3 all are in (h$ @p$
,his is urther conirmed in ,i$ @p saying that the Brahman is the
material cause or the universe 3 yatova imaani #huutaani jaayante $$$
7=rom !hich the !hole !orld came, #y !hich it is sustained and into !hich
it goes #ac" 3 that is Brahman$
,his is restated in dierent !ords in other places 3 rom aatma only
space came $$ etc$
&8verything that is seen is Brahman&3 and since that Brahman is o the
nature o consciousness is already esta#lished it #ecomes imperative to
thin" there cannot #e &anything& other than consciousness$
But given the scriptural statement and given also the common sense
experience that does not seem to agree !ith the scriptural statement,
one has to *uestion the validity o each since they seem to #e
contradictory$
Since scripture cannot #e !rong, one has to reexamine ones experience
and that is !here the correct epistemological understanding o the
"no!ledge o the experience comes in$
5edanta pari#haasha (5F)correctly states that !hat is seen is in
consciousness and the seer I (notion that I am seeing this) is also in
consciousness, since I am conscious o #oth$ Seeing is immediate and
direct 3 and hence it is called aparo"sha j?naanam$ ,he 5F concludes
that immediacy comes rom the act that #oth (seer and seen) are in
consciousness 3 It is as though consciousness splits into t!o 3 seer
consciousness and seen consciousness$ It is easier to contemplate on
seer than seen since seens "eep changing(seen is nothing #ut the !orld
out there$ 'ence rom that point commonsense experience has to #e
analy9ed and understood using scripture as #asis or analysis$
,here is nothing !rong !ith commonsense experience #ut experience is not
"no!ledge 3 "no!ledge comes rom the analysis o experience 3 just li"e
sun raise and sun set !hich is common experience and "no!ledge is sun
neither raises nor sets$
7 ,his discussion may seem #oring or repetitive to you, #ut it is
7 crucial i you !ish to persuade the &common sense& man o the truth
7 o )dvaita$ )nd I cannot #elieve that this common sense man is only
7 %estern$
,he discussion is interesting and i you promise me to correct my
8nglish version o the notes that I am preparing I !ill send it to you
#eore I post it3 this is the one I started !riting in response to our
riend ;!aitin 0Nm$
I !ill read the rest o the paragraphs perhaps tomorro! night since I
have to attend a !or"shop outside N6: and !ill not #e #ac" to N6: till
monday$
'ari -+1
Sadananda
7 +ay I respectully re*uest that you read the ollo!ing t!o paragraphs
7 very careully, as it is the essence o the discussion, as ar as I
7 am concerned$
7
AAAAA
%hat you have is 'is git to you and !hat you do !ith !hat you have is your git
to 'im 3 S!ami (hinmayananda$
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+ay #e this post came already 3 since I did not see it I am posting
again3 getting old I guess1
Sadananda
7 =rom the a#ove it is clear
7 that
7 rom the empirical point o vie! m)y) is the causal potentiality o
7 the
7 !orld, projected #y avidy) or superimposition$
Bhas"ar 3 !e need to #e clear here 3 avidya is jadam and #y itsel
cannot project any thing$ %hen !e say ignorance is the cause or
projection o a sna"e 3 it does not mean ignorance has the capacity to
project$ -nly chaitanya s!aruupa can project$ But ignorance #ecomes a
su#sidiary cause #ut it is neither material or intelligent cause or
projection o plurality$ 'ence maaya is considered as paramesha!ara
sha"ti 3 and sha"ti lies !ith chaitanya s!aruupa$ Since it is
parames!ara sha"ti 3 you can call it as liila vi#huuti too$
7It is #ut a special
7 aspect
7 o #rahman !hich evolves itsel into the !orld$ But #rahman in its
7 true B
7 real nature is a#ove all modiication$
)gain one has to #e careul$ Brahma is one !ithout a second hence
ininite$ Ininiteness cannot have any attri#utes either$ I you say it
is a special aspect, it may #e considered as special *ualiication$
,he undamental pro#lem is since jiiva has a notion that there is a
!orld out there as
AAAAA
%hat you have is 'is git to you and !hat you do !ith !hat you have is your git
to 'im 3 S!ami (hinmayananda$
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3 !e need to #e clear here 3 avidya is jadam and #y itsel
cannot project any thing$ %hen !e say ignorance is the cause or
projection o a sna"e 3 it does not mean ignorance has the capacity to
project$ -nly chaitanya s!aruupa can project$ But ignorance #ecomes a
su#sidiary cause #ut it is neither material or intelligent cause or
projection o plurality$ 'ence maaya is considered as paramesha!ara
sha"ti 3 and sha"ti lies !ith chaitanya s!aruupa$ Since it is
parames!ara sha"ti 3 you can call it as liila vi#huuti too$
7 praN)m pra#huji, 'are >rishna, I am #it conused here$ I you say m)y)
is a potential positive entity then !e !ill have to accept the concept o
mul)vidy)$ %hereas m)y) as I said in the other thread (,hread name2 %eapon
o mass destruction (6e*uest)) that there is only one ultimate reality B
i$e$ #rahman 'e himsel regarded as many through avidy), just as a magician
on account o his m)y) is loo"ed upon to #e many$ Fra#huji, I thin"
shan"ara uses #oth !ords Gm)y)G B Gavidy)G in dierent context$ Gm)y)G he
descri#es as avidy)"ritaKavidy)tmi"a and it is imagined thing o avidy)$
Both these !ords (avidy) B m)y)) are not synonyms$ 'ence, root cause o the
creation rom the empirical point o vie!, cannot #e directly attri#uted to
Gavidy)G since srushti is causal potentiality o m)y) !hich in turn
avidy)"rita$
)gain one has to #e careul$ Brahma is one !ithout a second hence
ininite$ Ininiteness cannot have any attri#utes either$ I you say it
is a special aspect, it may #e considered as special *ualiication$
7 No pra#huji, or this shruti itsel gives us the urther clarity in
chand-gya upanishad #y saying all this universe has it alone (param)rtha
tattva) as its essence, that alone is real$ GFure BeingG along !hich
created the universe is strictly real, B that alone is the genuine )tman$
By implication the universe is comparatively unreal$ %e can ind the
similar verses in Sri .audapad)ch)ry)&s m)nd@"ya ")ri"a also there is
neither creation nor dissolution, there is no mind #orn, since there is no
o#ject #orn etc$ etc$
'ari 'ari 'ari Bol111
#has"ar
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2
7 'o!ever, one %estern !ord !e cannot orget a#out is &matter&$ )ter
7 all, you are a physicist, so you must deal !ith this concept$ It !as
7 interesting to me that Froessor >rishnamurthy, a e! days ago, could
7 thin" that matter !as conscious$ ,o me, this is a total
7 contradiction o the very deinition o &matter&, and it sho!s ho!
7 ar apart !e can #e in our deinitions o simple !ords$
0ust continuing the topic o discussion, the pro#lem !ith the physicist
is he excludes himsel in the analysis o &idam& or this 3 !hat you call
matter (#y the #y I am a mater38ngineer (materials scientist) rather
than physicist$ But 5edanta says you can not exclude the su#ject in
analy9ing the o#ject$ ,he reason is the o#ject does not say &I am there&
3 or the existence o the o#ject cannot #e independently esta#lished
!ithout the su#ject present 3 since it is matter and not conscious
entity$ 'ence any analysis that excludes all the three actors 3
experience, experienced and experiencing or "no!er, "no!n and "no!ing 3
!ill #e incomplete at #est$ =or transactional purposes (vyavahaari"a)
it is -$>$ #ut i the physicists try to analy9e the system !ithout
ta"ing complete data then it can lead to erroneous conclusion$ Since
analysis o su#ject tend to!ards su#jective analysis !e need to
esta#lish a proper accepted method o o#jective en*uiry o the su#ject3
and that is precisely !here scriptures provide !or"ing hypotheses to
proceed or valid en*uiry$ )s one goes in to iner analysis o the idam
3 you reach a level that o#server in the very o#servation intereres
!ith the o#served and even the so3called physicist&s analysis o the
o#jective !orld #ecomes limited$
7 ,his discussion may seem #oring or repetitive to you, #ut it is
7 crucial i you !ish to persuade the &common sense& man o the truth
7 o )dvaita$ )nd I cannot #elieve that this common sense man is only
7 %estern$ ,he Indian common sense man must also thin" this !ay (i$e$
7 in terms o material o#jects outside o consciousness, even i he
7 uses dierent terminology)$ It is the normal !ay to see the !orld$
7 It is also ;vaita and Sam"hya, i I am not mista"en$
7
7 +ay I respectully re*uest that you read the ollo!ing t!o paragraphs
7 very careully, as it is the essence o the discussion, as ar as I
7 am concerned$
7
7 Yes, I do !ant to veriy once and or all that )dvaita denies
7 &matter& or &material o#jects&$ I !ill deine &matter& once again$
7 %hen I loo" at an apple (in my ordinary &dualistic& state o
7 consciousness), it seems that there is a &lump o mass& -@,SI;8 o my
7 consciousness !hich is the &real& apple$ It seems that light #ounces
7 o o this apple and stri"es my eye#alls, producing an GimageG o
7 the apple that is G!ithinG my consciousness (i$e$ a perception o a
7 round red shape)$ ,he lump o mass &out there& and the perception in
7 my consciousness seem to #e Gt!o dierent thingsG$ ,his is ho! the
7 !orld seems to many, many people, not just %esterners$ It is &common
7 sense&$
Benjamin you need to #e very careul here in terms o !hat )dvaita
really says$ It does not really deny matter 3 it accounts or the
matter$ ,he pro#lem is in your very *uestioning, you have already
validated the apple, light, seer o the apple as dierent rom the seen
apple etc$ you are analy9ing the o#servation #y an o#server o the
o#served$ ,he very act there is analysis involved, you have ta"en or
granted that there is something to analy9e dierent rom the analyst$
,hat means you are already in the vyavahaara level$ ,here is no pro#lem
in the analysis provided one uses the appropriate analysis to analy9e
the system$ %hat advaita 5edanta says is that there is no o#jects
independent o the consciousness 3 since one can separate the o#jects
#ut not the analyst, he #ecomes more undamental than the o#jects that
are analy9ed$ %hat is involved is not dismissal o the matter #ut
understanding that matter is nothing #ut thought in the mind and thought
in the mind is nothing #ut consciousness that pervades #oth seer thought
and seen thought 3 that is !here correct epistemological analysis is
re*uired$
;oes advaita 5edanta denies matter 3 yesKno$ It does not deny at the
vyavahaara level #ut only at paaramaarthi"a level it explains that it is
all apparent projection !ithin the consciousness$
7 'o!ever, )dvaita says something dierent, i I am not mista"en$ It
7 says that there is -N:Y the red perception or image in consciousness$
I thin" I have explained a#ove rom my understanding$
7 ,his perception is li"e the 6-F8< it is the reality in consciousness$
7 ,he SN)>8 occurs !hen !e GsuperposeG the ollo!ing idea upon the
7 perception, that is, !hen !e thin"2 &,his image in my consciousness
7 is only an image o the lump o mass out there Houtside o
7 consciousnessI !hich is the GrealG apple$&
Benjamin 3 here !e need to go into the analysis o errors in perception
3 in examining the sna"e vision versus rope vision and validation
process and !hat is exactly involved 3 these have #een extensively
treated #y all acharya3s as "hyaati vaada3s$ )dvaita does not deny the
experience #ut analyses the experiences at three levels 3 paaramaarthi"a
level or a#solute level and there is denial o &every thing& or matter
there, except the one !ho is denying$ )t vyaavahaari"a level, rope is
there as much as the seer o the rope$ )nd inally at praati#haasi"a
level 3 even sna"e is there or the seer o the sna"e$ 8ach vision gets
negated in steps as !e have more valid "no!ledge$ 5alidation involves
analysis o the prior perceptions and not denial o those$ Sna"e gets
invalidated !ith the vision o rope and even rope gets invalidated in
the correct vision o onesel$ ,his is true even or 5eda3s too as some
dvaitin !as *uestioning 3 (I did not !ant to respond to him since he
said he learned rom an advaitin teacher 3 I donLt "no! i I have to
#lame the teacher or the student or his !rong understanding o the
advaita doctrine)$
7
7 ,his is ho! I understand )dvaita$ ,he reality (rope) is the
7 perception !ithin consciousness$ ,he illusion (sna"e) is the idea o
7 the mind !hich GprojectsG the perception to an (imaginary) !orld o
7 material o#jects GoutsideG o consciousness$ ,his &projection&
7 consists o saying that the &reality& is the material o#ject &out
7 there& !hich produced the red image or perception in my
7 consciousness$ Note that this illusory matter is N-, considered to
7 #e consciousness, since it is ta"en to #e &outside& o consciousness$
7
7 No!, according to my philosophy (su#jective idealism), this is N-,
7 !hat I #elieve$ It is only ho! the !orld S88+S to me !hen I am in my
7 &common sense& rame o mind, !hich is also !hat you call
7 5yavahari"a$ In reality, there is only consciousness (e$g$ only the
7 perception), and there is N- +),86I): %-6:; -@,SI;8 -= (-NS(I-@SN8SS$
7 ,he latter is a pure antasy or superposition o the mind (adhyasa)
7 upon the perceptions$
Benjamin !hat you said is right rom the paaramaarthi"a level and at
that level there is nothing other than consciousness 3just as denying
the sun raise and sun set, yet enjoying the sun raise and sun set that
is not there1
7
7 ,he denial o the material !orld is essential to )dvaita, #ecause it
7 is seen as unconscious (i$e$ outside o consciousness)$ ,his !ould
7 mean that something exists !hich is not Brahman, !ho is (onsciousness
7 #y deinition$ ;o you see no! !hy it is essential to &"ill& the
7 concept o matter$ It is directly contradictory to the essence o
7 the 5edas$ )nd as a physicist, you should address this notion o
7 matter, as it is essential to the &scientiic& vie! o the !orld
7 (although perhaps a very e! &advanced& physicists have moved #eyond
7 this)$
7
Sorry 3 it is not denial o the matter #ut understanding o the matter 3
Is denial o sun raise and sun set essential or physicists 3 No he need
to understand the sun raise and sun set !hen there is no sun raise and
sun set$ ;o I have to &"ill& the concept o sun raise and sun set$ I
!ant to enjoy it 3 I you have #een to some .ree" islands (o course at
.ovt$ expense) you can see #eautiul sun raise and sun set)$ It is more
un to enjoy "no!ing very !ell there is really nothing to enjoy 3 !hy
"ill the un1 )dvaita ma"es you live your lie ully, #eautiully
"no!ing that matter is really not there (only) at a#solute level 3 ho!
does that matter/ :oo" at the lie o >rishna 3 he enjoyed every minute
o it particularly he !as surrounded #y #eautiul gopies in Bridaavan
and many !ives in the d!ara"a 3 yet he is called &anaadi #rahmachaari& 3
eternal #achelor$
7 I&ll stop here$ 'o! does this sound to you/
I too 3sounds #eautiul rom my perspective$
'ari -+1
Sadananda
7
7 ,han" you and 'ari -m1
7
AAAAA
%hat you have is 'is git to you and !hat you do !ith !hat you have is your git
to 'im 3 S!ami (hinmayanand