[advaitin] Notes on BSB

Anand Hudli anandhudli at HOTMAIL.COM
Sat Sep 9 12:00:33 CDT 2000

Thanks to Sadananda for a great series. Regarding adhyAsa of the
nonSelf (anAtman) on the Self (Atman), I wish to make one point
at this time and later write more on it. This point struck
me as I glanced through the commentary of GovindAnanda and VAchaspati
(bhAmatI) on the first few sentences of Shankara's bhAShya.

In the case of an illusion such as the snake on rope or silver
in nacre, the illusion can be explained, analyzed, and shown to be
possible due to some phenomena, physical/biological processes, etc.
Even a magician makes use of illusions in his show to impress the
audience. But then, the magician knows that each illusion that he
creates can be analyzed, dissected step by step. When analyzed this
way, the illusion ceases to amaze us. The illusion of the blue sky
can be explained by scientists using physical processes. In school,
we learnt how refraction of light causes things to appear bent.
Many more examples can be given.

Now consider the adhyAsa of the nonSelf and the Self. No such
explanation can be given! The only thing we can say about this
adhyAsa is that its cause cannot be analyzed! By analysis, we
can explain how the illusory thing is a "transformation" of
something else. But in the case of nonSelf and Self, we cannot
come up with any transformation that happens to the nonSelf that
makes it appear as the Self. Shankara says that this adhyAsa
is mithyA (mithyeti bhavituM yuktam.h).


bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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