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The three main ontological terms
JIVA ATMAN BRAHMAN
• Jiva is atman limited or individuated by the upadhies
• • • • • • • • • • • The psychophysical organism Empirical self or ego Many in number Anthakarana or Internal organ is the adjunct of atman A construction of maya or avidya Jiva is atman limited by avidya Knower, enjoyer and active agent Acquires merits and demerits Subject to transmigration Lives an embodied life Subject to causality • Capable of bondage and liberation • Mortality is attributed to it owing to its actions motivated by desires due to avidya • Not an ontological reality • An imaginary construction of the adjunct buddhi • No existence apart from the buddhi which is the individuating principle.
• The universal self • Atman limited by the • Identical with body and the Brahman upadhies is the jiva • Atman is • Jiva is empirical and transcendental phenomenal • The supreme reality • Basically false • Can never deny its existence • Even its denial asserts its existence
• Is self-proved – svayamsiddha • Cannot be proved by the means of valid knowledge which cannot function without it • Foundation of all pramanas • The witness of all cognitions and mental modes which are not selfluminous • Pure • Neither subject nor object • Nature of pure consciousness • Neither enjoyer, nor agent • passive
• • • • • • • • Iswara is determinate Brahman Brahman conditioned by maya Phenomenal appearance Creator, preserver and destroyer of the world Inner self of all Moral governor: karmadhyaksha Is gracious towards the devotee Formless, but assumes different forms
God and His creation
• God (Isvara) created the world as a mere sport • In the sense in which the world exists, and we all exist as separate individuals, we can affirm the existence of Isvara, as engaged in creating and maintaining the world. from the true point of view there is no Isvara who creates the world • But in reality all creation is Maya and so the creator also is because of Maya • Brahman, the self, is at once the material cause (upddana-karana) as well as the efficient cause (nimittakarana) of the world. • All creation is illusory maya.
• Ground of the entire univewrse
• pure self as pure being, pure intelligence and pure bliss was the ultimate truth • the world as it appears could not be real.
Experience and error
• All experience starts and moves in an error which identifies the self with the body, the senses, or objects of the senses • Without this illusiory identification pure self can never behave as a phenomenal knower or perceiver • Without such a perceiver there would not be cognitive act • Our experience is always based upon an identification of the self with the body, the senses, etc. and the imposition of all phenomenal qualities of pleasure, pain, etc. upon the self • This is a beginningless illusion.
Existence of Brahman
1.The world must have been produced as the modification of something, but in the Upanisads all other things have been spoken of as having been originated from something other than Brahman so Brahman is the cause from which the world has sprung into being, but we could not think that Brahman itself originated from something else, for then we should have a regressus ad infinitum (anavastha).
Existence of Brahman
1.The world is so orderly that it could not have come forth from a non-intelligent source. The intelligent source then from which this world has come into being is Brahman. 2.This Brahman is the immediate consciousness (saksi) which shines as the self, as well as through the objects of cognition which the self knows. It is thus the essence of us all, the self, and hence it remains undenied even when one tries to deny it, for even in the denial it shows itself forth. It is the self of us all and is hence ever present to us in all our cognitions.
• An illusion cannot last when the truth is known • What is truth is known to us, but what is illusion is undemonstrable, unspeakable, and indefinite. • The illusion runs on from beginningless time • We do not know how it is related to truth, the Brahman • We know that when the truth is once known the false knowledge of this world-appearance disappears once for all • No intermediate link is necessary to effect it, no mechanical dissociation of buddhi or manas, but just as by finding out the glittering piece to be a conch-shell the illusory perception of silver is destroyed, so this illusory perception of world-appearance is also destroyed by a true knowledge of the reality, the Brahman.
• The real is known to us as that which is proved by the pramanas, and which will never again be falsified by later experience or other means of proof. • A thing is said to be true only so long as it is not contradicted • At the dawn of right knowledge this worldappearance will be found to be false and nonexisting • Hence it cannot be regarded as real.
World after enlightenment
In other systems
• The world would continue as it is even after emancipation that there was nothing illusory in it • But no knowledge of it is possible because of the absence of the instruments by the processes of which knowledge was generated. • The Samkhya purusa cannot know the world when the buddhi-stuff is dissociated from it and merged in the prakrti, • The Mimamsa and the Nyaya soul is also incapable of knowing the world after emancipation, as it is then dissociated from manas.
• We cannot know the world, for when the right knowledge dawns, the perception of this worldappearance proves itself to be false to the person who has witnessed the truth, the Brahman. • An illusion cannot last when the truth is known
How maya becomes associated with Brahman?
• This question is illegitimate • This association did not begin in time either with reference to the cosmos or with reference to individual persons. • There is no real association, for the creation of illusion does not affect the unchangeable truth. • Maya or illusion is no real entity, it is only false knowledge (avidya) that makes the appearance, which vanishes when the reality is grasped and found.
Maya or avidya
• Maya or avidya has an apparent existence only so long as it lasts, but the moment the truth is known it is dissolved. • It is not a real entity in association with which a real world-appearance has been brought into permanent existence, for it only has existence so long as we are deluded by it (pratitika-satta)
Maya or avidya
• A category which baffles the ordinary logical division of existence and non-existence and the principle of excluded middle. • Maya can neither be said to be "is" nor "is not" (tattvanyatvabhyam anirvacaniya). • It cannot be said that such a logical category does not exist, for all our dream and illusory cognitions demonstrate it to us. • They exist as they are perceived, but they do not exist since they have no other independent existence than the fact of their perception. • If it has any creative function, that function is as illusive as its own nature, for the creation only lasts so long as the error lasts. • Brahman, the truth, is not in any way sullied or affected by association with maya, for there can be no association of the real with the empty, the maya, the illusory. • It is no real association but a mere appearance.
World is false
• It is neither sat "is" nor asat "is not." • Here the opposition of the "is" and "is not" is solved by the category of time. • The world-appearance is "is not," since it does not continue to manifest itself in all times, and has its manifestation up to the moment that the right knowledge dawns. • It is not therefore "is not" in the sense that a "castle in the air" or a hare's horn is "is not," for these are called tuccha, the absolutely non-existent. • The world-appearance is said to be "is" or existing, since it appears to be so for the time the state of ignorance persists in us. • Since it exists for a time it is sat (is), but since it does not exist for all times it is asat (is not).
• Yet when the reality is once rightly comprehended, it will be manifest that the world never existed, does not exist, and will never exist again. • When once the truth is found out that it is a conch-shell, we say that the silver, though it appeared at the time of illusory perception to be what we saw before us as "this" (this is silver), yet it never existed before, does not now exist, and will never exist again.
• In the case of the illusory perception of silver, the shell appeared as silver • In the case of the world-appearance, it is the being (sat), the Brahman, that appears as the world • As in the case when the “silver” before us is found to be a piece of conch-shell, the silver is at once dismissed as having had no existence in the "this" before us • So when the Brahman, the being, the reality, is once directly realized, the conviction comes that the world never existed.
Negation of world-appearance
• The negation of the world-appearance has no separate existence other than the comprehension of the identity of the real. • The fact that the real is realized is the same as that the world-appearance is negated.
• The negation refers both to the thing negated (the worldappearance) and the negation itself • The negation needs to be false, for if the negation is not false then it remains as an entity different from Brahman and hence the unqualified monism fails • Negation of the world-appearance is as much false as the world-appearance itself • The negation is also a manifestation of worldappearance • The only thing left is the realized identity of the truth, the being.
• The world-appearance is a whole and in referring to it the negation refers also to itself as a part of the world-appearance and hence not only is the positive world-appearance false, but the falsehood itself is also false • When the world-appearance is contradicted at the dawn of right knowledge, the falsehood itself is also contradicted.
• Brahman differs from all other things in this that it is self-luminous (svaprakdsa) and has no form • It cannot therefore be the object of any other consciousness that grasps it. • We cannot objectify it • Brahman is not an object • All other things, ideas, emotions, etc., in contrast to it are called drsya (objects of consciousness), while it is the drasta (the pure consciousness comprehending all objects). • As soon as anything is comprehended as an expression of a mental state (vrtti), it is said to have a form and it becomes drsya • This is the characteristic of all objects of consciousness that they cannot reveal themselves apart from being manifested as objects of consciousness through a mental state
• Brahman also, so long as it is understood as a meaning of the Upanisad text, is not in its true nature • It is only when it shines forth as apart from the associations of any form that it is svaprakasa and drasta. • The knowledge of the pure Brahman is devoid of any form or mode. • The notion of drsyatva (objectivity) carries with it also the notion of jadatva (materiality) or its nature as non-consciousness (ajnanatva) and non-selfness (anatmatva) which consists in the want of selfluminosity of objects of consciousness. • The relation of consciousness (jnana) to its objects cannot be regarded as real but as mere illusory impositions • It is not possible to determine the relation between knowledge and its forms. • Just as the silver-appearance of the conch-shell is not its own natural appearance, so the forms in which consciousness shows itself are not its own natural essence.
Brahman is ananda
• In the state of emancipation when supreme bliss (ananda) shines forth • Ananda is not an object or form of the illuminating consciousness, but it is the illumination itself.
Consciousness and form
• Whenever there is a form associated with consciousness, it is an extraneous illusory imposition on the pure consciousness. • These forms are different from the essence of consciousness • They depend on consciousness for their expression and are themselves objects of consciousness • They are all finite determinations (paricchinna), whereas consciousness, the abiding essence, is everywhere present without any limit whatsoever.
• The notion of reality cannot be derived from the senses • Nor can it be defined as that which is the content of right knowledge, for we cannot have any conception of right knowledge without a conception of reality, and no conception of reality without a conception of right knowledge.
• The conception of reality comprehends within it the notions of unalterability, absoluteness, and independence • This cannot be experienced, as this gives only an appearance but cannot certify its truth. • The true reality in all our experience is the one self-luminous flash of consciousness which is all through identical with itself in all its manifestations of appearance
• What really persists in all experience is the being (sat) and not its forms. • This being that is associated with all our experience is not a universal genus nor merely the individual appearance of the moment, but it is the being, the truth which forms the substratum of all objective events and appearances • Being is thus said to be the basis (adhisthana) on which the illusions appear.
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