[Advaita-l] AN UNREAL CAUSE CAN BRING ABOUT A REAL EFFECT
sjayana at yahoo.com
Wed Apr 14 13:17:53 CDT 2010
--- On Wed, 4/14/10, V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Wed, Apr 14, 2010 at 1:16 AM, S
> Jayanarayanan <sjayana at yahoo.com>
> > -
> > > This would raise a question: The very Absolute
> can be
> > > known only with the help of the Veda. And if the
> > > itself negates
> > > its existence in Brahman, during all three
> periods of time,
> > > how is valid
> > > knowledge of the Absolute secured at all? How can
> > > 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
> > ---
> > 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
> > Regards,
> > Kartik
> Dear Karthik,
> Namaste. Thank you for your very pertinent
> question. Actually there is no
> conflict between what Bhagavatpada has said (regarding
> 'unreal cause'...)
> and what the revered Acharya of Sringeri has
> explained. Both these are
> perfectly valid in their own contexts.
> Veda is the pramANa. प्रमाकरणं
> प्रमाणम् That which generates a
> pramA, is pramANam. प्रमाणं
> जनयि. A pramANa generates
> knowledge pertaining to that which is to be known.
> Brahman is not known to
> us. The Upanishad says: स आत्मा स
> आत्मा वा अरे
> द्ष्टव्यः etc. All these
> statements ask us to 'know' the Atman. What the
> Veda does, as a pramANa is: to tell us what Atman, Brahman
> is; how to look
> for It, what to look for when we have all the sAdhana
> chatuShTaya, etc. In
> short, the Veda is the only pramANa that can tell us
> anything 'about'
> Brahman. This is the context of Bhagavatpada's
> discussion in the Sutra
> Bhashya quote provided by me. This Veda belongs to
> the vyAvahArika realm
> and therefore not absolutely Satyam as Brahman is.
> Hence the question
> comes: how can this ultimately mithya Veda teach us
> anything valid about
> Brahman, which teaching is a sine qua non for Brahma jnAna
> and moksha? This
> is the subject matter of the article under consideration.
> What the Acharya of Sringeri is saying is something
> different - Atman is
> our very Self and we are not aware of It 'as our very
> Self'. Due to
> mUlAvidyA, as confirmed by Narada to Sanatkumara:
> मन्त्रविदेवास्मि, न
> आत्मवित् I am a knower of the mantras
> alone; I am not a knower of Atman, we
> do not know the Atman as our Self. To remedy this
> situation, we approach
> the Veda which instructs us about the nature of Brahman and
> all the other
> sadhanas for its 'realization'; really its
> recognition. While all one has
> to do is to only give up avidya, one will have to be
> equipped with the
> knowledge about Brahman/Atman so that when we are face to
> face with it, we
> should be able to recognize It as 'This is my Atman,
> me' आत्मानं चेत्
> विजानीयात् अयं अस्मि
> इति पूरुषः....This is a must. This
> knowledge 'about'
> Brahman/Atman is extremely essential because there is every
> possibility of
> an aspirant ending up concluding something else as
> Atman. The other
> candidates that compete with the real Atman are: the mind,
> the intellect,
> the ego, blankness. (ref. to the 5th verse of the
> stotram). To take care that one does not end up
> knowing the non-Atman as
> the Atman, the Veda as a pramANa is essential to inform us
> what in truth is
> the Atman. When the Acharya speaks about
> 'the endeavour to eradicate
> Avidya', this instruction includes the possession of the
> knowledge of what
> is Atman/Brahman in unmistakable terms.
> Thus, we see the synthesis, not conflict, between what
> Bhagavatpada says and
> what the Sringeri Acharya says.
There is however a definite conflict between what you say and the Sringeri Acharya says. In your previous post you said:
"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?"
The implication what you say is obvious: The Veda "produces" knowledge of the Absolute. This is not considered correct, since the knowledge of the Absolute (Self) CANNOT be produced by anything, as it is Self-shining and EVER-REALISED.
Also, the very subject line is not acceptable as true, as Sankara asks (upadeshasaahasrii 2.14.19), "bIja-abhAve kutaH phalam.h?", which is a pleading to the disciple as to how there can possibly an effect without a cause?! The meaning is clear: there cannot be an effect without a cause.
(In fact, Sankara raises the same question in the BSB 2.1.36, where he speaks of the problem of effects arising from unreal causes).
I would appreciate it if you can kindly quote from the AchAryas, and then draw conclusions based on the quotes. This would make the AchAryas' position immensely clear to all of us.
> In this light, when the header is viewed, it can be
> appreciated that it is
> in tune with what Bhagavatpada has established in that
> Sutra Bhashya, and
> also as borne out by the various examples we have cited.
> Your identifying the BhAvarUpa Avidya in the
> UpadeshasAhasri verse is a very
> pertinent exercise indeed. Thank you for bringing
> this to our light.
> With best regards,
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