Reality of the world

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Thu Aug 16 11:40:46 CDT 2001

On Thu, 16 Aug 2001, K. Sadananda wrote:

> You mentioned about the Advaita Vedanta views - What are precisely is
> the advaitic views? - There are shR^ishhTi-dR^ishhTi vaada,
> dR^ishhTi-shR^ishhTi vaada and ajaata vaada.  what are their views
> related to attributes-objects - and their relations- the
> epistemological and ontological status of these from these three
> views.  I am also interested to know who proposed what in the
> advaitic tradition?.

Ajativada is described by Gaudapadacharya.  drshtisrshtivada by the
relatively modern author Prakashananda Yati and the srshtidrshtivada by
most of the authors in between.  There is a book called
Vedantaprakriyapratyabhijna by Swami Sacchidanandendra Saraswati which
compares the views of various authors.  The authors view is that the
Ajativada is the true Advaitic stance and the other theories were brought
in to defend Advaita Vedanta against rivals but unnecessarily add
complications.  From what I've read so far, he seems to make a compelling
case but I'm still working my way through it.

>  Is there a consensus on these among the
> advaitins?.   Consciousness alone was there before creation is Ch. Up
> statement - how one consciousness gives rise to multiplicity of the
> world consisting of objects  is the fundamental problem in Vedanta.
> I am not sure what you mean by realistic versus idealistic view that
> you mentioned in relation to the three models above and in accounting
> the inert 'objects out there'?  Please let me know if you are
> knowledgeable about the traditional adviatic analysis.

It's a subject I still need to learn more about myself.  By idealism I
mean the idea that apparently perceived objects are only essentially
mental constructs.  The problem is if the perceived universe is all in the
mind, it is a rather strange coincidence that for example a couple of
hundred widely dispersed people of different kinds and walks of life
should all be hallucinating advaita-l at the same time!  Anandagiri
mentions this in the context of Shankaracharyas criticism of the
Vijnanavada Buddhists.  Nand referred to this too.  Realism on the other
hand refers to the idea that objects exist independently of a perceiver.

> In my analysis I was  zeroing on the the statements related to
> 'things out there", based on my own understanding of the operation of
> the mind.  There are 'things out there" itself is a questionable
> proposition and I have brought that out clearly  in my analysis - I
> don't want to call it as idealistic or realistic - but purely based
> on what we know how the mind operates.  The analysis does not
> contradict the absolute advaita vedantic position.  It establishes
> also that 'neti' 'neti' - does not support dualtiy but dismisses the
> reality to the duality.   I am waiting to hear if there are any
> logical or scriptural inconsistencies in my analysis.
> >
> >Yes and I do believe what you are saying is the authentic Vedantic
> >position.  But what needs to be clarified now is how one should arrive at
> >the conclusion that a thing is real or needs further deconstruction.
> Jaldhar - I am not sure what you mean by the last statement.  What I
> tried to establish in my analysis is that there is no "thing out
> there", - since "thing out there" is nothing but thought in the mind
> and the thought in the mind is nothing but the consciousness itself
> which goes back to Vedic statement - sad eva smoumya idam agra asiit-
> Essentially I tried to establish the mithya tva of the world by
> logical analysis.  Your last statement baffles me, please explain.

If we accept what I call the idealistic view, my statement is pointless.
However if we accept the realistic view, mithyatva becomes a more complex
thing with multiple levels.

> Fundamentally "thing out there" cannot be established independent of
> the mind

I guess this is what I'm still having doubts on.  I'll look for statements
in the shastras concerning this.

> and this I call as "Indeteminate Problem" can be covered by
> extending the definition of "anirvachaniiyam".

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>

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