message to my friends

Saxena, Subhanu Subhanu.Saxena at INTL.PEPSI.COM
Wed Aug 12 00:19:34 CDT 1998

If you look in Shankara's famous introduction to the Brahma Sutra's, he
says at the end "evam anaadirananto naisargiko adhyaasaha,
mithyaapratyayaroopaha, kartrtwa bhoktrtwa pravartakaha, sarvoloka
pratyakshaha"-"And thus there is this inate, beginningless, endless
Adhyaasa (superimposition of the real on the not real), which is of the
form of a false conception of reality, and the impeller of the notions
of being a doer and and enjoyer".  Earlier in the Adhyaasa bhashyam,
Shankara defines Adhyaasa as Avidya.

Hope this gives you a helpful quotation


Subhanu Saxena

> ----------
> From:         Gummuluru Murthy[SMTP:gmurthy at MORGAN.UCS.MUN.CA]
> Reply To:     List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
> Sent:         Tuesday, August 11, 1998 8:39 PM
> Subject:      Re: message to my friends
> On Mon, 10 Aug 1998, Vidyasankar Sundaresan wrote:
> > > Not real *apart* from its Foundation, but [*as a strategy* I think
> it's
> > > best to regard it as] a real manifestation of brahman (viz. saguna
> > > brahman or brahman's lila),
> >
> > Aside from strategy, what is the philosophical position about
> whether the
> > world is a real manifestation or otherwise? Or is there nothing
> beyond
> > strategy?
> >
> > Vidyasankar
> >
> This may not be the answer you are looking for, but let me present it
> anyway. I am hoping to show by the end of this post that what logic
> and
> intellect gather is not necessarily true and that logic and intellect
> fail at the end of the road.
> I am basing my answer on Viveka ChUDAmaNi, verse 518 which I am
> presently
> thinking about. Shri Shankara says here
> MahA-svapne mAyA-kr^ta-jani-jarA-mr^tyu-gahane
> bhramantam klishyantam bahula-tara-tApair anudinam
> ahaMkAra-vyAghra-vyathitam imam atyanta kr^payA
> prabodhya prasavApAt param avitavAn mAm asi guro
> [The disciple, after realization, is addressing the acAryA]  I have
> been dreaming all this time a great dream and travelling in a great
> forest created by mAyA, where birth, decay and death and all kinds
> of troubles and pain afflicted me all the time and the tiger of ego
> terrified me immensely. O Master, you have, out of sheer grace,
> awakened me from that dream and saved me forever.
> In this Shri Shankara calls this jagat a mahA svapna (a great dream)
> where the daily afflictions and the tormenting by the tiger of ego
> are a daily feature. There are some subtle but major features in
> comparisons between a regular dream and this mahA svapna (as deemed
> consistent by intellect and logic).
> Intellectually understanding:
> 1. In a regular dream, we do not know when the dream will end.
> Here in this mahA svapna, we know the dream will not last after the
> tiger of ego is killed and also the dream will not end until after the
> tiger of ego is killed.
> 2. In a regular dream, we do not know what scene follows what, but in
> this mahA svapna, we know the last scene.
> 3. Much more important than the above two is: In a regular dream,
> while
> dreaming, we do not know it is not real. We know that it is not real
> only
> after we wake up and realize that what was experienced until then is
> only a dream.
> In this mahA svapna also, intellectually, we cannot recognize it is
> not
> real until we wake up from this mahA svapna. While we are in the mahA
> svapna, we consider the jagat to be real. When we wake up out of this
> mahA svapna, we are still part of the jagat, but we see it all as a
> dream.
> [Shri Shankara is quite consistent in His impeccable logic here. It
> is the disciple, saying *after realization* that this is all a mahA
> svapna. As I understand this verse, Shri Shankara is not saying that
> we intellectually dismiss this world as unreal, but is exhorting us
> for that advaitic anubhUti, waking up out of the mahA svapna, so that
> we can say the jagat is unreal.]
> 4. Intellectually, it makes sense that we cannot regard the jagat as
> unreal, because if we speak intellectually we are still in the dream
> and *while in dream*, the jagat and the dream happenings are real.
> Thus my answer to your question is: it is an unfair question. There
> is only one answer that can be given intellectually, and that answer
> is not the Truth.
> In paramArtha, this question or any question cannot be answered as the
> jagat is in me.
> --------------------------
> Not entirely related to this thread but on the VC verse 518 that is
> quoted above.
> The only commentary I have on VC is the very brief translation by
> Swami Turiyananda (Ramakrishna Math). Swami Turiyananda says as a
> footnote to this verse that looking at the avidyA-generated jagat as a
> mahA svapna is a better way. He says that quite often the question
> is asked of advaita: If avidyA is anAdi (without beginning), then must
> it not also be anantam (without end) ? He says looking at this as
> mahA svapana, this particular difficulty of anAdi and anantam is
> overcome. My supplementary question on this is the above one:
> Intellectual understandingwise, if avidyA is anAdi, must it not
> also be anantam ?
> I am sure Shri Shankara answered this question somewhere. Can
> knowledgeable members explain what is Shri Shankara's answer and where
> was it discussed.
> Regards
> Gummuluru Murthy
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> --

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