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

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Thu Jun 12 00:02:09 CDT 2003

On Wed, 11 Jun 2003, Kotekal, Srinivas [Non-Employee/0200] wrote:
> >It is the word illusion which is tripping you up.  There are nuances to
> >the english word which are not there when we use the Sanskrit mithya.
> So, what is this "mithya" ? Is it ..
> 1. As real as computer monitor in front of me right now ?
> or
> 2. Illusion like mirage in the desert ?
> or
> 3. Virtually non-existent thing as "Hare's horn" ?
> or
> 4. Something entirely different ?
> Any explanation is helpful in better understanding. Thanks.

It is less true than Brahman. How much less true depends on the
perspective of the observer.

> I would see it differently. Say, a person on earth is saying "Sun is rising
> from East". At, the same time, a person in space (on some space station)
> saying "Earth is rotating and that's why person on earth is saying it is
> rising from East". Two different observers and two different perspective.
> Right ? But the thing is space observer's perspective does not sublates
> earth observer's perspective any time. That means to say, space observer's
> view **does not** invalidates earth view. It is just change in observing
> position. That is to say, space observation is as real as its counterpart
> and it is in addition to earthly observation. Right ?

The difference is that in my example, the observers prior observation is
sublated by his _own_ later observation.  It is the illumination provided
by Brahman that makes it possible for him to do so.

> I am trying to understand Advaitic position in the similar regards. We have
> vyavahArika view (earth observer's view) and pAramarthika (space observer's)
> view. Why is that pAramarthika level sublates vyavaharika sattya once you
> are there ?
> >There are no two truths just two perspectives on one truth.
> Ok.. but these two perspectives (on the truth) go to be *TRUE* themselves in
> order to call them
> as perspectives on TRUTH ! If one is true and other is not (or not as true
> as other one); they are hardly be labeled as so. My opinion.

Perhaps, but again it must be noted that this is how we do actually
behave.  We believe a piece of green paper signed by the U.S. Secretary of
the Treasury is worth one dollar while a similiar piece of paper signed by
me is worthless.

Paramarthic truth is the only kind that really deserves to be called
truth.  But sometimes for strategic reasons or maybe even just laziness we
call other things true.  Advaita Vedanta is not just a theory but a
practical method for liberation so it has to take such things into

> > Look at Prahallada,
> >Look at Gajendra.  He was dying trapped by the crocodile until he realized
> >that in fact he was and always had been eternally free.
> I am sorry I did not get this part. You mean to say, Lord Hari did not come
> and rescue Gajendra at all ? by just realizing was he free from his sorrow ?

By our interpretation yes.  It does not invalidate the idea of Shri Hari
as saviour because He resides in our own selves.  When Gajendra thought "I
am not defeated, there is hope for my freedom" he became able to receive
the divine grace.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
It's a girl! See the pictures - http://www.braincells.com/shailaja/

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list