Shankara Jayanti

Anand Hudli anandhudli at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Apr 21 11:21:11 CDT 1999

 Ashish Chandra wrote:
One of my friends posed the question that if the Advaita view takes
stand that Brahman is the only truth and rest is the Unrevealed, Maya,
an illusion, as some may put it, how is it that if one person becomes
realized, The rest of us don't. His analogy was that if we are all a
part of the same truth, and hence related, if one of us gets to the
truth, then everyone else should also get to know of it the very
one of us "realizes" It.

 This may be answered in different ways where the premises of the
 question may be pointed out to be faulty.

 First, how are we are so sure that there are many selves, each
 independent from one-another? There is a school of thought which
 will not admit of any selves but one. So there is only my self
 waiting to be liberated. Just as objects/persons in my dream
 have no independent existence apart from me, the  objects/persons
 in my waking state too have no independent existence apart from
 me. You and every other person in the world is just a part of my
 waking state (and perhaps my dream state) but I don't have to
 concede any independent reality status to you or any other person.
 As far as I am concerned, mine is the only self in the world.
 The universe with everything that it includes is dependent on
 my waking or dream state. And once I get liberation, I will be in
 what is different from the dream, waking, and dreamless sleep
 state. In that state, again I alone exist. I alone existed in
 the dream, waking, and dreamless sleep states, and now in the
 fourth (turIya) state too, I alone exist. Of course, this fourth
 state is the what liberation is all about and is spoken of highly
 in the upanishads such as the mANDUkya, etc.

 Not admitting any but one self is extremely hard for most persons
 to accept with full understanding. Even I (Anand) who have written
 the above argument find it hard to accept it and realize it! Most
 of us do find it easier to treat  other persons as independent
 selves. In this case too, your question can be answered. Here
 we have to make a distinction in the level at which the question
 is being asked. If the level is the vyAvahArika one, then there
 is no problem is conceding that one self gets liberation while
 others don't. We are after all treating each person as independent.
 But we all are subject to a "collective" illusion that is mAyA.
 We all are experiencing the world of illusion at the same time.
 Note that there is nothing logically absurd about this. When one
 of us gets liberated that particular person is no longer subject
 to illusion and he/she sees only Brahman everywhere. But the rest
 of us still have to struggle to get beyond this illusion.

 The question becomes irrelevant if asked from the viewpoint of the
 pAramArthika. There only Brahman exists, there is no individual
 self (jIva) or any kind of duality.


Get Free Email and Do More On The Web. Visit

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list