[Advaita-l] Advaita-l Digest, Vol 2, Issue 29

Nagarjuna Siddhartha nagarjunasiddhartha at yahoo.com
Wed Jun 11 15:56:39 CDT 2003

Before I add some of my points to this, please note that my sanskrit knowledge is limited. And I being an amateur may not have fully understood the traditional teachings.
>Sutra "janmAdysya yatah." clearly indicates Brahmn is the creator of this
>world. The world has to be real in order to make sense of what sutra is
>saying. By denying the reality of this world you are either denying the
>Sutra itself or the act of Brahmn. This sutra indicates explicit act of
>Brahmn (i.e the creation), where as your example of dream is not an
>voluntary process on the dreamer part (even if one wish to dream one can not
>dream accordingly). Hence by denying the content of dream as unreal you may
>not deny the dreamer I agree. But when we have an sutra statement saying
>Brahmns explicit act of creation, I do not see how denying the realty of
>world is **not same** as denying Brahmn.
This sutra is probably the best justification for advaita. Shankara does not say so however. But if the dialectic of the buddhist philosopher Nagarjuna is applied, it is not difficult to see why this sutra can give justification to advaita alone.
According to Nagarjuna's viewpoint, an existent effect in terms of self-nature (svabhava) does not depend on anything else for its present existence. The above sutra "janmAdyasya yatah" clearly indicates the absolute dependance of the world on brahman. If we now consider the viewpoint of Nagarjuna, it should mean that the world by itself has no self-nature. If it had any self-nature, then it would not have been dependant on brahman to exhibit it. This leads one to propose that the world is unreal interms of its separate self-nature - separate from brahman. This forces one to conclude that this sutra clearly says that brahman alone is the absolute reality. 
To consider an example - The sun is termed as luminous as it gives its own light. The moon also gives light on a full-moon day for example. But the moon is termed non-luminous because its light depends on that of the sun. Luminosity cannot be the self-nature of the moon as the moon depends on the sun to exhibit luminosity.
In conclusion, the very second of the brahmasutras gives us a clearly advaitic interpretation, if the dialectic of Nagarjuna is applied to understand it.

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