Reality and Perception (was Re: [Advaita-l] matter and spirit ...)

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at
Fri Dec 2 17:37:39 CST 2005

--- murali mohan <murali_mohan at> wrote:

>   Just one basic doubt. Most religions and philosophies talk about
> this matter and spirit and that one has to rise above matter and know
> the spirit etc etc . Even Gita talks about ones lower nature (matter
> or jatam) and higher nature (spirit or chaitanyam). My question is
> are they two different things? In Advaita there is only spirit - even
> science says there is nothing but energy and matter is only condensed
> energy having a form for the certain period of time after which it
> dissipates. So what is all this about rising above matter when matter
> itself is brahman as there is nothing other than brahman?

According to advaita VedAnta, Reality is always a non-dual unity.

The problem is Perception. It is due to avidyA or ignorance of the Self that
the One Reality is perceived as a multiplicity.

The "rising above matter" that you speak of should be interpreted as
"dissipating ignorance of the Self".

By contrast: sAMkhya believes that reality consists of two primary principles -
Purushha or consciousness and PrakR^iti or matter. Pesent-day Western
philosophers are moving towards a kind of Dualism akin to sAMkhya, where there
are two kinds of substances - Matter and Mind. This is because they've come to
acknowledge that there are mental experiences like pleasure, pain, etc. that
just cannot be reduced to the physical.


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