Regarding sarvaM khalvidaM brahma

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian rbalasub at ECN.PURDUE.EDU
Tue Aug 12 12:24:27 CDT 1997

Kartik wrote:

>This interpretation, which has taken the words "avyavahAraM agrAhyaM >achintyaM"
>literally would leave Brahman mired in the duality of "vyavahAraM-avyavahAraM"
>"chintyaM-achintyaM" etc.

>And the mANDukya KArikA emphasizes the non-duality of Brahman by not even
>allowing it the duality of "asti" and "na asti."

Not so, the role of shruti is to point out what brahman is _NOT_. It
cannot point out brahman as it is beyond words. You are confusing the
two stand points pAramArthika and vyavahArika as in the case of
sR^ishhTi-dR^ishhTi or pAramArthika and prAtibhAsika in the case of
dR^ishhTi-sR^ishhTi. That brahman is beyond asti-na asti is from the
final stand point where no differences or even birth is admitted. In
this case there are neither the mountains nor the rivers which you speak
of. From the lesser stand point brahman _IS_ asti. You cannot hop
between the two as you please! If brahman is known to be beyond asti and
na asti there wouldn't be any talk of even birth, much less the
differences in the world. Thus shrI gauDapAda asserts that there is
neither difference nor any creation.

>Bluness, lotusness, etc are properties. All properties belong to the domain of
>duality. When Brahman is meditated upon as not having properties at all, the
>Sadhaka arrives at the truth "Everything is Brahman."

Then how can there be any perceived reality as you speak of if there are
no properties? If brahman has no properties then how does "everything"
become brahman? Obviously through mAyA only. The real can't undergo a
transformation into the unreal except as an illusion. You are
contradicting yourself here. Mind you, the role of shruti is to point
out what brahman is _NOT_, and it _is_ in the domain of duality. The
statement sarvaM khalvidaM brahma can be interpreted as brahman is the
source of all (unreal) things or equivalently "everything" is seen as
brahman when the duality is sublated.

This is rather simple, I don't see what the source for confusion is.

>As I had quoted before, Parasara says:

The everything is from the point of view of the disciple, meant for
instruction and not parAsara. If he were perceving duality he wouldn't
be a GYAni obviously! There is no duality here, say the upanishhad-s.
Please read Atma bodha where this is made rather clear. The quotes you
give from the purANa contradict nothing I said.


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