[Advaita-l] Real vs Unreal

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Thu May 25 07:13:44 CDT 2006

On Mon, 15 May 2006, sthanunathan Ramakrishnan wrote:

> I have always wanted to clarfiy my doubts on this.
> Why is "real" defined as the unchangeable, eternal and
> absolute. In what sense is a changeable thing not
> real. Is there not a dichotomy between what we
> generally think of as real and this definition of
> real.

I think the use of the word real can cause this type of confusion.  So 
better terms would be true and false.   The problem is not so much that 
the rope is not really a snake; after all it can still have real effects 
such as giving you a heart attack if you step on it in the middle of the 
night.  The real issue is understanding.  We misunderstand the true nature 
of the rope when we mistake it for a snake.  This misunderstanding causes 
the dukha of samsara which has to be remedied by mukti.

> And if this definition is accepted, I guess all
> schools of philosophy would agree that Brahman alone
> is real. Then is the cause of philosophical disputes
> over the definition of what is meant by "real"

Classical Yoga darshan believed in multiple first-order real atmas 
(purushas)  Ishwara is a seperate kind of first-order real.

Classical Samkhya dispensed with Ishwara altogether.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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