Non-reality of the world
sada at ANVIL.NRL.NAVY.MIL
Tue Oct 14 12:37:24 CDT 1997
>> I think G Murthy has addressed a very fundamental and vital point out
>> here. When we know the water is a mirage and the snake is a rope why
>> don't people too realize the non-reality of the world?
As I understand:
The mirage and the snake/rope examples signify two different aspects of
adhyaasa ( Superimposition) The following may clarify.
Relating to the world - There is an objective world and then there is a
subjective projection of the objective world. One is, it is, therefore I
see it - and second is I see it, therefore it is. Error can creep in both
of them. There is an objective error due to distorsion or limitation of the
medium of perception. Example is the sun-rise and sun-set or apparent
bending of the pencil or mirrage waters etc. Enquiry into the nature of
diffraction etc. are required to understand the truth of the experience. I
call it objective error in the sense that it does not depend on a
particular individual. Everybody in that situation sees sun-rise and
sunset or mirrage waters or apparent bending of the pencil etc. This is
the example of- it is and therefore I see it. The error is not in my
The second is more subjective like seeing a snake when there is a rope.
Snake is because I see it. you say Rope is because you see it as a rope.
It is not universal error as in mirrage waters or sun-raise and sunset.
After scientific inquiry, we understand that sun neither raises nor sets.
But this does not negate the apprearence of the sun-raise nor further
experience of sun-raise. Only the inquiry and understanding eliminates my
misunderstanding that sun raises and sets everyday or the waters I see is
only due to light reflection. Hence a JNaani also sees the world of
plurality but he does not have a mistaken notion that it absolutely real.
That is the reason Shankar or Krishna could teach us even after realizing
there are no others to teach!
The subjective errors are eliminated by the knowledge that it is rope and
not a snake. I donot see anymore snake there, once my mind is convinced
that it is only a rope. Dream states come under this category.
Delusion consists of both. In my analysis of thoughts, I touched based on
the objetive thoughts and subjective superimpositions on top of the
objective thoughts. A Jnaani sees the thoughts, but he also sees that they
are objects superimposed on consciousness and he is that consciousness. He
cannot attribute to reality to those thoughts just as the waves on the
ocean that rise and subside and the ocean need not have a misunderstanding
that the waves are different from it.
Naval Research Laboratory
Washington D.C. 20375
More information about the Advaita-l mailing list