Vivekananda Centre vivekananda at BTINTERNET.COM
Fri Feb 19 05:26:24 CST 1999

Original request from jay to Nandaji to comment on: -

>The illustration of 'snake in the rope' does not reflect the
>relationship between  'maya and brahman'.

Nandaji wrote: -

At the outset let me warn the readers that I'm not very knowledgeable in
Advaitam. The regular posters - Jaladhar, Rama, Giri, Vidya - are much
more knowledgeable than me. If I make any mistake I hope they would
correct me.

AFAIK, the illustration of snake in the rope DOES reflect the
relationship between mAyA and brahman.

We have a rope. It's confused to be a snake. But that does not mean that
the snake has any existence of its own, because in truth there's no
snake. The rope is the truth.

The same way we have brahman. Brahman is confused to be the world. So in
truth brahman alone is real.

The world is the superimposition on the brahman. This superimposition is
an illusion (mAyA). Only brahman, the changeless eternal, is real.

The natural question which would arise is who's it who's having this

We can view it from both the ParamArtika and the VyavahArika angles :

VyavahArika angle :
The shruti says brahman is beyond the senses and the intellect. To link
the vyavahArika and the paramArtika, is logically impossible as the
subject in question by definition is beyond all relative thought. And
any answer would contradict the shruti.

ParamArtika angle :
The above question implies an entity apart from brahman who^Òs having an
illusion of brahman being the world. In the BrihadAranyaka Upanishad,
YAgnavalkya says : "When you^Òre all there is, what else is there to see,
feel, hear ^Å ?" So there^Òs nothing other than brahman. Brahman alone is.
So the question itself  is invalid.

response from jay: -

 Nanadaji your humility is refreshing. Shashtras say humility is the sign of
 mature intellect (Alankar of Buddhi is Vivek). Let us see if the learned
 members you mentioned in your posting can add to your comments.

response from Vyasji

What is there to add?  Nanda has expressed it perfectly.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>

jay requesting:-

Revered Nandaji you have asserted in all humility

"AFAIK, the illustration of snake in the rope DOES reflect the
relationship between mAyA and brahman"

And Vyasji has also confirmed that you have 'expressed this perfectly'

Then clear my doubt:
(1)From the point of view of the Absolute (Parmartika View) the statement
has no validity as you have pointed out yourself so well. Hence to say  that
the statement 'does or does not' both would be futile. Hence if we assert
that the statement 'illustration DOES reflect' ... this also has no validity
from the point of view of the Absolute.

(2)From the point of view of the Relative (Vyavaharika as you call it) you
have asserted so well that that to link 'vyahavarik to the paramarthika
would be logically impossible'
hence if we say the 'illustration DOES reflect..' then are we not doing just
that 'linking the relative to the absolute'?

Let us hope that other learned members will contribute to this theme.

Vivekananda Centre London

"bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam"
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