liila and celebrating duality
Jaldhar H. Vyas
jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Mon May 13 13:30:29 CDT 2002
On Mon, 13 May 2002, Somik Raha wrote:
> This is a most interesting thread. I just went thru the link posted here
> earlier on ajAti vAda. Someone mentioned that ajAti vAda is the "final and
> ultimate opinion of learned scholars".
Yes, for Advaita Vedanta. If you do not accept the premises of Advaita
Vedanta, you might not agree but as far as Advaita Vedanta is concerned
this is the siddhanta (final conclusion.) Any other theories which may be
brought up in the shastras are for limted situations only.
> I've been familiar with this theory though not by its name. Somewhere
> down the line, this theory leads me to ask - why is Paramatman fooling
> himself (?) to be Jivatman - and refusing to realize it.
Putting the question that way assumes intention on the part of the
Paramatma. But this is rejected too. Rather it is something intrinsic.
An analogy is given in the Yogavasishtha to waves in the ocean. As the
wave crests, foam appears, stays momentarily and when the wave subsides
it disappears. The wave did not decide to create foam, it is its very
nature. Maya is like that foam it appears, remains for a while and
When I gave this explanation once before, someone objected that this kind
of analogy implies that Brahman is turbulent and constantly in motion
which negates the idea of non-duality. But turbulence is a matter of
scale isn't it? If you are on the beach, the ocean seems like a very
violent place. But if you are looking at it from space it would seem
perfectly flat and calm.
> From the
> "standpoint of reality" - if there is no creation, then I am not here
> either, and if everything is illusory - then is there any driving force in
> this illusive simulation ?
But you are not viewing the situation from the standpoint of reality but
maya. So here creation seems real and seems to have a driving force. The
goal of Advaita Vedanta is to achieve a shift in scale.
> Where is the cosmic supercomputer located that is creating this virtual
> reality :) ? Is it that the Jivatman is driving it thru his own force which
> is hardly different from the Paramatman's (as per sRshTi dRshTi vAda) ?
this issue was covered in the recent thread on Kashmiri Shaivism.
> >standpoint of relative
> > creation is there
> I am confused - relative to what ?
Relative to our own perceptions.
>And what is reality in the first place ?
> Using Maya to explain creation can be counter-productive - reminds me of
> Bertrand Russell's view of the priest who said that everything came to be
> 5000 years ago, even the dinosaurs, et al, with false proof that they are
> actually millions of years old. It is just a part of this simulation. To
> which Russell's view was that one cant counter this argument even if one
> replaced "5000 years" with "5 mins" - there is no way you can prove or
> disprove a "perfect simulation" argument. Does this sound parallel to sRshTi
> dRshTi vAda (notwithstanding the fact of the discovery in quantum mechanics
> mentioned later in the same piece, the argument logically still holds)?
You can't "prove" science either. (In fact Russell was one of the people
who discovered that.) It is perfectly possible to change certain physical
constants and come up with valid and consistent models. What makes
science useful and interesting is it matches what we actually perceive
better than any competitor. Still there are vast areas of human knowledge
science can say nothing about.
Other religions care a lot about creation theories because they want to
prove the universe is made by God but truthfully we don't care so much
_how_ we got here, just that we are here.
Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
It's a girl! See the pictures - http://www.braincells.com/shailaja/
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