liila and celebrating duality

Somik Raha somik at YAHOO.COM
Mon May 13 21:09:24 CDT 2002

> 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.

By other theories, would you include "Dwaitavad" ?
I am not sure I would like to agree or disagree with "Advaitavad", I would
rather spend some time learning more about it, before I start forming

> 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
> disappears.

Somehow, almost all answers end up explaining "what", but not "why". Would
the question, "why does everything have a nature ?" be a sensible question
to ask ?

> 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.

I agree with what you say - the sea is relatively calm, no doubt. Another
analogy - human beings dont look like they are undergoing vast turmoil-
which is kind of whats happening at the molecular level in the body. To a
unicelllular bacteria in our body, the entire human skeleton is like a
universe, with several seas, oceans, planets...

I've heard of this comparison, that Brahman is like a child playing with a
ball, and the toe of this child is actually representative of the size of
the solar system (or the ball might be a galaxy)...

> > 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
> > 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

If the contention of Advaita Vedanta is that creation is unreal, then what
is the explanation given for the illusion of the unreal as the real. What is
the driving force behind the illusion. If we are to say that the illusion
comes from nothing, that would be against a very basic law - "nothing comes
from nothing".

> >  Where is the cosmic supercomputer located that is creating this virtual
> > reality :) ? Is it that the Jivatman is driving it thru his own force
> > is hardly different from the Paramatman's (as per sRshTi dRshTi vAda) ?
> >
> this issue was covered in the recent thread on Kashmiri Shaivism.

Oh dear, the thread on Kashmiri Shaivism is quite huge.. I'd be grateful if
you can direct me to the relevant posts.

> > >standpoint of relative
> > > creation is there
> > I am confused - relative to what ?
> Relative to our own perceptions.

Ok -  I understand.

> 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.

Hmm... I guess by "we" you mean "Advaitavadis" (is Advaitavad considered a
seperate religion ?). On the point that you make of science matching our
perceptions(thats a most interesting point) - it seems science does match
different theories being discussed here - the "Big Bang" theory with its
modifications - that of iterative expansion and contraction - is an
astronomical description of the "Pralaya" theory, which states the same.
While the other modification - of the universe expanding continuously and
being in the state that is infinitely - seems to be in line with
non-creation beliefs - that of being here as we are.

So is it right for me to understand that Advaita philosophy in general,
answers "what", and considers "why" irrelevant ?


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