[Advaita-l] AN UNREAL CAUSE CAN BRING ABOUT A REAL EFFECT
sjayana at yahoo.com
Tue Apr 13 14:46:55 CDT 2010
--- On Tue, 4/13/10, V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com> wrote:
> ** <http://blogs.sulekha.com/tags/>
> ShrIgurubhyo NamaH
> In Vedanta the Ultimate Absolute Truth Brahman is Advaitam.
> There is no
> other entity apart from Brahman. The Mandukya Upanishad 7th
> mantra says
> that this Absolute is ‘free of the created universe’,
> This is the very nature of the Truth. The word
> ‘prapanchopashamam’ is used
> unconditionally by the Upanishad.
> It does not say: Brahman is ‘prapanchopashamam’ only on
> certain conditions
> being fulfilled. It is Always so.
> The Veda, being a part of the world, prapancha, too is
> included when the
> word ‘prapanchopashamam’ is used.
> This very Upanishad says in the beginning: ‘This letter
> Om is all this.
> Of this a clear exposition is started. All that is past,
> present or
> future is verily Om. And whatever is beyond the three
> periods of time
> is also verily Om. (1). Shankara clarifies: And whatever
> else there is
> that is beyond the three periods of time, that is inferable
> from its
> effects but is not circumscribed by time, e.g. the
> Unmanifested and the
> rest, that too is verily Om.
> The next mantra 2 says: All this is surely Brahman. This
> Self is
> Shankara clarifies: All this, that is, all that was spoken
> of as but Om
> in the earlier mantra, is Brahman.
> Thus, as per this Upanishadic teaching, implicitly, the
> Veda too is not
> there in Brahman the Absolute in all three periods of
> This would raise a question: The very Absolute can be
> known only with the help of the Veda. And if the Veda
> itself negates
> its existence in Brahman, during all three periods of time,
> how is valid
> knowledge of the Absolute secured at all? How can the
> unreal produce the
> knowledge of the Real?
It cannot. H.H. Chandrasekhara Bharati Mahaswamigal of Sringeri says quite emphatically that the Absolute cannot "become realized" - because IT is ALWAYS KNOWN. The Self is always shining with true Wisdom, so only Avidya can be removed.
(Extract of a Talk from "The Saint of Sringeri", page 236)
Disciple: If the Self is this ever existing and ever shining, where is the need for any effort to realise it?
H.H.: Certainly there is no need at all.
Disciple: But we do not perceive the Self now. How can it be said that no effort is required?
H.H.: If it is not perceived, effort is required to get rid of that non-perception. No effort is necessary for perceiving the Self but effort is necessary to get over the non-perception of it.
Disciple: Does this not mean virtually that effort is necessary for perceiving the Self?
H.H.: No. The destruction of Avidya is alone the result of effort. ALL KINDS OF SPIRITUAL EFFORT DETAILED IN THE VEDAS ARE AIMED ONLY AT DESTROYING AVIDYA AND NOT AS MEANS OF REALISING THE SELF.
Note that H.H. firmly takes the stand that the Self is ***EVER-SHINING AND ALWAYS KNOWN***.
Besides, the subject line is not correct. The correction is that an unreal cause CANNOT bring about a real effect. Here's a line from Sankara's Upadeshasaashrii:
AtmA hyAtmiiya ityeSha bhAvo.avidyAprakalpitaH .
Atmaikatve hyasau nAsti bIjAbhAve kutaH phalam.h ..
Swami Jagadananda's translation:
"For the ideas 'me' and 'mine' are superimposed on the Self due to Ignorance. They do not exist when the Self is known to be one only. HOW CAN THERE BE AN EFFECT WITHOUT A CAUSE?"
Sankara's phrase "bIja-abhAve kutaH phalam.h" is translated (rightly) by Swami Jagadananda as "How can there be an effect without a cause?".
If anything, Sankara's statement above actually proves that the "cause" of bhAva-rUpa-avidyA alone explains the "effect" of saMsAra! In other words, the effect of saMsAra *requires* a cause, which is bhAva-rUpa-avidyA!
> Since this question is important for
> Shankaracharya, anticipating this question deliberates on
> this crucial
> issue in more than one place in His commentarial
> literature. Here is one
> such instance from the Brahma Sutra commentary (22.214.171.124)
> `tadananyatvam ArambhaNa-shabdAdibhyaH’.
> (G.Thibaut’s translation found in
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