[Advaita-l] brahma satyam jagan mithya

S.N. Sastri sn.sastri at gmail.com
Mon Aug 28 18:55:47 CDT 2006

Shri S. Venkataraman wrote on Aug 28:
I refer to the following statement from your reply to Shri Siddhartha
Reddy's query on the captioned subject:

"Your statement that maya has two powers and is a bhavarupa is correct"

I have the following questions on it:

1. Is this not the very statement that provided a handle for Shri Ramanuja's
attack on advaita? I understand bhavarupa as meaning a positive entity. So
if Maya is a bhavarupa, Brahman's swarupa as advitIyam is vitiated and
questions such as locus of maya arise. Are not the different post-shankaran
theories in defence against arguments such as these?

2. I am told that Shankara himself in his expositions on advaita avoided the
above pitfalls. If he did so by remaining silent on them as some seem to
suggest, that does not appear to be a strategy that Shankara would have
employed. What was Shankara's own theory on Maya and Avidya?

You have hinted that replies to such questions may be available in Appayya
DIkshadars "SiddhAnta lesa sangraha". I don't think the book is that easily
available. So may I request you to provide me with your own clarifications
on the above questions?

 Please see my website www.geocities.com/snsastri. I have given a number of
quotations from Sankara's bhAshya on avidyA and mAyA which will answer all
your questions.

mAyA is mithyA. Brahman alone is real. So there is no question of duality.
This is a well established matter in advaita.

Ramnuja has differed from Sankara on many points, but that does not affect
the validity of Sankara's works.

There are no pitfalls and Sankara has not avoided any. Subsequent advaitins
have clarified his views.


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