[Advaita-l] Re: Some basic questions on Advaita

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Thu Jul 10 15:12:38 CDT 2003

>The Questions put by have not been answered at all...............could some 
>one else throw a good light.

I tried to keep out of this discussion, because the questions are ill-posed, 
in my opinion ...

>"Sundaram, Vaidya (MED)" <Vaidya.Sundaram at med.ge.com> wrote:Namaskaram.
> >> 1. Does "tat tvam asi" mean that -
> >>
> >> a. jIva and brahman are identical  ( I - the jIva, am brahman )
> >> b. jIva is unreal while brahman is real ( I am not the jIva but I am
> >> brahman )
> >>
> >> It seems a) is endorsed by Padmapada while b) is endorsed by
>Suresvara. Is
> >> this true? What view does Sankara endorse?

tat tvam asi is explained by Sankara by means of anvaya-vyatireka reasoning 
in the brahmasUtra bhAshya, which sureSvara follows closely. Although there 
are some differences in detail, this comes v. close to the 
bhAga-tyAga-lakshaNa adopted by padmapAda and the vivaraNa tradition. So, it 
is mistaken to interpret padmapAda and sureSvara as endorsing only one of 
the above cases. This error arises out of putting too much weight on the 
analogies used by each - padmapAda uses bimba-pratibimba vAda and sureSvara 
adopts AbhAsa vAda ...

I'm sorry the above passage is heavy on the Sanskrit, but at this level of 
depth in advaita, it is counter productive to translate these terms into 

As for eka-jIva vs. bahu-jIva, again, different authors in the later 
tradition adopt different positions, each of which is internally consistent. 
There is no one answer to what correctly represents the advaita view.


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