Vivekananda Centre vivekananda at BTINTERNET.COM
Fri Feb 19 20:24:28 CST 1999

Continuing on the theme of maya
response from Sri Nandaji is highly focused.

on the enquiry  from jay:
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
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.

Nandaji has replied:
The absolute just is. "When you^Òre all there is, what else is there to
see, feel ^Å etc."

On second point raised by jay:
(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

Reply from Nandaji

In our equation there are two entities : 1. The World and 2. Brahman.

Shruti says the world is brahman. The shruti also says brahman is the
absolute ie the changeless eternal. So the world, including all the
people in it, is in actuality the changeless eternal.

Ok, let us come down to our human level.

I exist. The world around me exists. As far as I can see, the world
(including other people too) is different from me. And all the world is
in a state of becoming - things come into existence, exist for a while
and cease to exist. The world is always changing. I too am changing - my
thought of this minute is replaced by a new thought. I too after a while
will cease to exist.

So how is it that I^Òm experiencing the world and myself as becoming,
when the shruti asserts that it^Òs just being?

So Advaitam says "the world is an illusion".

Here it^Òs to be noted that world includes me too. So even I, who am
thinking, willing, striving for liberation - all of which implies change
- am an illusion. So the question as to who^Òs having an illusion is

So when you question whether we^Òre linking the relative to the absolute,
you^Òre implying that the relative is distinct from the absolute and you
as an individual entity are apart from them and linking them. But as
I^Òve already said before the world is brahman. So the relative is not
anything apart from the absolute, and you as an individual are not apart
from them. The illusion is also not anything apart from the absolute.
Everything - the absolute, the relative, the illusion, you - is one and
the same - brahman.

The same way when GaudapAdAcharya says the whole world is an illusion,
he includes himself with the world too. An illusion, even in our
relative sense, has no existence of its own. Since GaudapAdAcharya is
part of that illusion, he too has no existence of his own. The illusion
which encompasses the world, which is the whole world as we know it -
has no existence of its own. Thus the known, knower and knowledge - the
relative (vyavahAra) and our conception of the absolute (paramArtika) -
are all submerged into one entity -  the Eternal Changeless Brahman.

Thus there^Òs no linking between VyavahAra and ParamArtika or the snake
and rope.

jay replies
Let me restate that the efforts Nandaji has put in by giving such sincere
and humble replies are truly appreciated.

The assertion made by Sri Nandaji and agreed by Sri Vyasji: -

The illustration about the "snake in the rope" DOES reflect the relationship
between 'maya and brahman'

We re-examine the Absolute (parmartika) point of view. - Again the reply
simply says
'the absolute just is'   --- there is no snake , rope, illustration hence no
validation about the above statement is possible.

We now re-examine the Relative (Vyahavarik as you call it) point of view.
The world in this state is talked about as becoming rather than being -
hence the problem and hence the solution call it 'illusion'- excellent!
But how about our statement made above - ''The snake in the rope DOES
reflect the relationship between maya and brahman?''  Can this statement be
confirmed from the above?  Is the snake being or becoming  -  is the rope
being or becoming? From my little knowledge I would say both are becoming
(changing - part of the relative world). Neither is being. So how can we say
an illustration where we have:
becoming(snake)  related to becoming(rope)  = becoming(maya) related to

Becoming+becoming = Becoming+being ??
If this statement were ever proved to be true Vedanta would become a mere
subsection within what is called physical sciences.

So I am still at a loss on the assertion made by the two learned members: -

''The illustration of 'snake in the rope' DOES reflect the relationship
between maya and brahman.

Would any other learned list members like to help us out?

Vivekananda Centre London

"bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam"
List archives :

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list