essence of advaita

Charles Wikner WIKNER at NACDH4.NAC.AC.ZA
Sat Dec 27 01:06:26 CST 1997

Gummuluru Murthy <gmurthy at MORGAN.UCS.MUN.CA> wrote:

> Shri Shankaracarya put the essence of advaita in the following verse:
> Brahmah satyam jagan mithya
> jeevo brahmaiva nah parah
> The Brahman (of the upanishhads) is the only Reality; and everything else
> is unreal. The individual soul is identical with Brahman and is nothing else.

The first half (brahma satya.m jaganmithyaa) is used by S. to describe
viveka in VC.20.

The second half is _known_ only to a j~naani, but, taken out of context,
it is _believed_ by many (who present it as "there is only one, no speaker,
no listener" etc.) -- beloved of the gods they are.

The _essence_ of the jiiva is indeed Brahman: asti, bhaati, and priya
are characteristics of Brahman, but naama and ruupa are characteristics
of the universe (DDV.20, see also PD.13-92).  For discussion on the
vyaavahaarika, praatibhaasika, and paaramaarthika jiiva, see DDV.40-42.

Where S. equates jiiva with Brahman, he also equates the universe with
Brahman _in_the_same_breath_, as for example VC.394 and VC.478, and is
obviously speaking of the paaramaarthika level.


Key for the perplexed:

    S. = "sa.mkara
   VC. =
   PD. = pa~ncada"sii
  DDV. = d.rg-d.r"sya-viveka

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