[Advaita-l] Re: source of mAyA?
Aditya Varun Chadha
adichad at gmail.com
Mon Mar 27 16:38:05 CST 2006
Somehow Vidyasankar Ji's exposition has appealed greatly to me. I
think you have nicely reduced the problem of "why" to accepting or
rejecting the self-existance of brahman. This is a precious mail for
me. Thank you.
On 3/27/06, Vidyasankar Sundaresan <svidyasankar at hotmail.com> wrote:
> >the mud walls are temporary, but these mud walls had a beginning, when
> >the potter created their structure from structureless mud. Although
> >the walls are temporary, the mud itself is not.
> Aditya, we don't have to refuse to think about it and run away from the
> problem. Consider the following. The potter who creates the mud walls of a
> pot today is indulging in learned behavior. Extrapolating back in time, the
> first potter who created a pot put a wheel to use. Before that, the pot
> existed only in the mind of the first potter. And for that potter to use a
> wheel, someone had to make a wheel. Before the first wheel was made, the
> wheel existed only in the mind of the first wheel maker.
> If we keep tracing back this kind of causal chain, the only consistent
> answer for mAyA is that mAyA exists only in the mind of brahman, if brahman
> can be said to have a mind at all, in the first place. In other words,
> brahman can be said to create the universe through the instrumentality of
> mAyA, and only brahman can be the locus of mAyA. At this stage in our
> logical reasoning, though, we have to ask ourselves, is brahman
> self-existent or is the existence of brahman contingent upon the creation of
> the universe through mAyA? If your answer is that brahman is self-existent,
> then you are led towards advaita and the question of why does mAyA exist
> eventually becomes moot. This question is equivalent to asking, "why does
> the universe exist?" In advaita, the short answer has always been, "lIlA" or
> "svabhAva" - e.g. devasyaisha svabhAvaH - gauDapAda's kArikas.
> Note that no system of thought in the world, ranging from ancient philosophy
> to modern science, can really satisfactorily answer the "why" question.
> Unless, of couse, the questioner and the responder both subscribe to a basic
> set of axioms and leave those basics unquestioned. Occam's razor, however,
> tells us that we would be far better off accepting existence as an axiom.
> And in advaita, that boils down to, if you keep brahman out of the picture,
> you keep searching. Once you accept that existence is brahman (I am
> deliberately avoiding a capital E here), everything falls into place and you
> automatically land in the paramArtha vs. vyavahAra standpoints of describing
> everything that exists (or seems to exist).
> Best regards,
Aditya Varun Chadha
adichad AT gmail.com
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