[Advaita-l] Re: Advaita-l Digest, Vol 2, Issue 29

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Tue Jun 10 23:58:43 CDT 2003

On Tue, 10 Jun 2003, Jay Nelamangala wrote:

> Other AchAryas think that this two level truths as
> vyAvahAric and pAramArthic  is like a hide and seek game
> played on vEdaanta.
> First sit in this vyAvahAric world and postulate  a theory that this world
> and its contents are all an illusion,   when asked to drink the illusory
> poison,

It is the word illusion which is tripping you up.  There are nuances to
the english word which are not there when we use the Sanskrit mithya.

In  fact we play the two (or more) level game of truth all the time.  Take
the sun.  "Everybody knows" that the sun rises in the East in the
morning and sets in the West in the evening.  This "fact"  is as obvious
as your own two eyes.  Yet through education we somehow accept the
seemingly preposterous notion that the earth in fact goes around the sun!

What has changed?  The sun is the same.  The earth is the same.  The
observer is the same.  The observers' _perspective_ has changed.  Sunrise
and Sunset are false in this sense.  They are not illusionary but
misunderstood.  An educated person can still say something like "I shall
perform the sandhyavandana at sunrise" using the word sunrise only as a
matter of convention (vyavahara.) Similiarly the message of the upanishad
is that birth and death are misunderstood as the beginning and end of the
atma when in fact they are just the beginning and end of the body.  When
all these examples of avidya have been conquered, what remains is Brahman
the highest truth (paramartha)

> go to the  seeking place  in the hide-and-seek game and say,
> it is  vyAvahAric truth that by drinking it,  the poison is going to take
> the
> jeeva out of this illusory body  in this vyAvahAric  world so won't
> drink the illusory poison.   Then come to the hiding place in the game,
> and declare  that the same jeeva in this body that you were
> trying to protect a moment ago,   declare it  to be Brahman, and you
> know it because you have already  "experienced"  that you are indeed
> that  Brahman,  but as the poison cup is dangled again,   come out of
> the hiding place and run to the seeking place where you can refuse to
> drink it.
> How long are you guys going to play this hide-and-seek game on us?

There are no two truths just two perspectives on one truth.   Both you
_and_ us will play this game till the pralaya. :-)  I don't know whether a
jnani would choose to drink the poison or not but whatever choice he made,
he would make it with perfect equanimity knowing that he is Brahman.  That
is the essence of Jivanamukti.

> Look at Prahallada,

Look at Gajendra.  He was dying trapped by the crocodile until he realized
that in fact he was and always had been eternally free.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
It's a girl! See the pictures - http://www.braincells.com/shailaja/

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list