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

Nagarjuna Siddhartha nagarjunasiddhartha at yahoo.com
Mon Jun 16 18:33:54 CDT 2003

I am surprised to find that some members are still sending me e-mails in response to my messages in the advaita list even though I have unsubscribed. This is forcing me to subscribe back to the list with the purpose of addressing their issues. I am keeping the discussion public for two reasons - 
1. The topic started in a public list.
2. My fear of mis-representing advaita (I am an amateur)
As I am working under constraints of time, my responses will be in phases only. In the current mail, I am trying to address the issue of self natures. 
>I am afraid you have repeated the position, without giving reasons why
>independence should be a criterion. 

>The illustration of sun, moon, self-luminosity is good to say that
>independence should be so, but it is not complete: The way light is
>reflected from moon is different from the way light is reflected off
>earth. The source of light is same in both cases, but the effect is
>different. So, wouldn't you say that it is Moon's self-same nature that
>it gives off a certain image, whenever sun's light fall on it? This is
>an illustration as to why dependency could be a part of self-same

The example, on the contrary shows independence. Here is why. The self-nature of the moon is "to reflect light falling on it". While whether or not the light is actually reflected, depends on a source, say the sun, the self-nature that "the light falling on the moon will be reflected" is independent of sun or any other source of light, as this nature always exists whether or not an actual source of light like the sun exists. On the contrary if you still claim dependancy of the self-nature of the moon on the sun, then the moon's self-nature has to be destroyed during a total lunar eclipse which means that during the total lunar eclipse, the moon is no longer the moon as sun-light is not being reflected from its surface. This is not a reasonable propositon. The existence of a source of light near the moon for it to reflect the light is purely accidental and does not in any way cause or uncause the self-nature of the moon i.e. its capability to reflect light falling on it.

>> Do you have a different criterion 
>> in mind?

>Yes. When we use the term, 'Self-same nature' of an object, we mean
>that which is not dependent on anything else, but Brahman. Ofcourse
>this defn does not apply to Brahman himself.

>It is (part of) self-same nature of a 60W bulb to give that much
>wattage, when Current passes through it. This dependency does not mean
>the Current is the essence of the Bulb, or that the Bulb does not have
>self-same nature.

Here again, you show independance only. The self nature of the bulb is not that " it gives 60W of wattage". It is that "it gives 60W wattage if current passes through it". While the giving of wattage of the bulb may be dependant on the current, the fact that the "bulb gives wattage if current passes through it" is independant of whether or not the current is passed through it so much so that the self-nature of the bulb is dependant on itself. If you still claim that the self-nature of the bulb is dependant on the current, then the bulb should be one entity when current passes through it and a completely different entity when the current does not pass through it.

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