mAyA and avidyA

Ravi msr at COMCO.COM
Tue Sep 28 18:15:41 CDT 1999

This is a late response to Jaldhar; the difference between mAyA
and avidyA (from the commentary of lalitAtrishatI) is former is
integral or samaShTi form and the latter is vyaShTi or individual
form.  This is highlighted in few names. For instance "kalyaaNii"
which the second name, it reads that brahman reflected on (or
limited by ) mAyA is iishvara and reflected or limited by avidya
or manas in vyASTi form is jIva.

Besides, mAyA can be described as a power, but avidya cannot be.
And the limiting adjunct of jIvA is avidya and it lacks the power
to create, sustain and destroy the jagat which is done by
iishwara assuming one of the three guNa-s for this purpose.

This is my understanding. Please do correct the errors.


bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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>From ADVAITA-L at LISTS.ADVAITA-VEDANTA.ORG Wed Sep 29 05:00:59 1999
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 1999 05:00:59 GMT
Reply-To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
From: Devendra Vyas <dev_vyas74 at HOTMAIL.COM>
Subject: Re: The world and brahman
Comments: To: ADVAITA-L at
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0.the only reality is brahman(this is the conclusion(axiom)of sruti),reality
as it appears to us because of
maya(or mind or name-form or space-time-causation  or ignorance or illusion)
is unreal.we and all objects i.e, what we take to be the real world are all
indeed the same identical non-dual brhaman
but it all appears as the differentiated duality due to the play of 20 of drg-drsya viveka.thus,reality is always real
but the way we are taking it to be,the way it is appearing to us coming
thro' the mind is unreal ;illusion-though it has empirical validity as long
as we are bound to see it.the best answers to all your doubts can be found
in modern language in jnana-yoga of sw.vivekananda.the ocean-wave analogy
may also help you to grasp the point.wave has no independent,absolute
reality,the only reality is the ocean.truth must be non contradicted,this
world (of matter) is negated in dream and the dream world is negated in deep
sleep.the truth(pure consciousness endures in all the 3 states and
transcends it.)
1.indeed for us who are in maya it best to discriminate between sentient and
insentient(world and brahman),realization alone will give us the  confirmed
knowledge--'all this is verily brahman'
2.reality is brahman,what we are calling real presently is unreal because
that is the real coming thro' illusion.essentially what we are calling the
real is also the same thing but we don't see it that way because of
maya,thus we see the infinite as the finite because of maya(mind's) habit
:'svabhava' of objectification,limitation and differentiation. this
superimposition of nama-rupa(maya) is beginningless; but it has an end ,it
ends with knowledge.the dream analogy will help you grasp this long
as it lasts, the dream is real to the experiencer and also he can't tell
when it started ,but,on waking; it ends and truth dawns.
>From: nanda chandran <vpcnk at HOTMAIL.COM>
>Reply-To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
>Subject: The world and brahman
>Date: Tue, 28 Sep 1999 14:13:22 PDT
>The ChAndogya Upanishad says, "all this (the world) is verily
>We often hear that Advaitam doesn't say that the world is an
>illusion, but the duality that we experience in the world is
>the illusion - sarvam dvaitam manas. If this is true, it would
>mean that the empirical world exists but is not different
>from me. So both of us - the world and me - are in *essence*
>Here what's the essence? When we say essence is brahman, then
>conversely does it mean that that which is not the essence is
>not brahman? When we read the shruti and the texts on Advaitam
>we get the impression that Reality or brahman is an other -
>different from the empirical world. Sometimes it is equated
>with the spirit or consciousness - thus differentiated from
>matter - the empirical world including the mental processes.
>Also the analogy of salt mixed with water is frequently used
>in Advaitic texts - since ultimately water is different from
>salt, then brahman would be an other to the empirical world -
>matter. But then isn't this the improvement AchArya BAdarAyana
>makes on the dualistic SAmkhya, which splits the world into
>Spirit and Matter - he combines both into one single reality -
>But then in some texts, "essence" is defined as that which is
>not restricted by name and form. Like in gold ornaments, the
>gold is the truth. Following this analogy the world would
>naturally be equated with brahman.
>But again there are other texts where the ChAndogya
>statement is interpreted differently. Here it's explained that
>the world is not in actuality brahman - but an illusion. But
>because it's no existence apart from brahman, it's so
>explained in ChAndogya.
>So the questions are :
>0. Is the essence of the world brahman? If by essence it's
>meant - something at the core (like the Self in the body or
>the seed in a plant) - then what about the rest - the body?
>Is that the illusion?
>1. Or is the world a total other to brahman (salt and water)?
>If so, then as per Advaitam since Brahman is one without
>another, then the world would be only an illusion.
>2. Or is the world itself brahman (as gold is the truth, in
>gold ornaments)? Then what's the illusion?
>I'm aware that there exists different interpretations on this
>subject by different VedAntic authors - especially due to the
>differences between the vivArana and the bhAmati schools. But
>what's our bhagavatpAda's opinion on this? I would appreciate it,
>if actual textual sources are quoted in support of arguments.
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