[Advaita-l] AchArya on the Objects of the Waking State (B.S. II.2.29)

br_vinayaka vinayaka_ns at yahoo.com
Fri Aug 31 02:42:03 CDT 2007

Dear Jaldhar-ji,

Thanks much for your clarifying post. I have doubt
specifically pertaining to the following point.

You have written that:

"By contrast Advaitins are not.  What we see, think,
and feel is actually 
there.  The problem is we misunderstand its nature. 
This is why I like to 
translate maya as "delusion" rather than "illusion."
It illustrates that 
the problem is primarily epistemological not

What is meant by negation?  For the Baudha nirvana is
like the awakening 
from a dream.  Just as when you wake up, the objects
of your dreams cease 
to exist, when you Capital-A Awaken, the objects of
the world cease to 
exist and then you are free.

The Advaitin considers himself liberated when the
notion of difference is 
gone.  Whether or not the underlying objects actually
exist is in that 
sense irrelevant, it is equanamity with which one
approaches them which is 
freedom from samsara."

While I was going through an old translation of
taittirIya upanishad freely translated by Swami
Sharvanandaji of RKM. In that book while commenting
upon the passage beginning with asannEva sa bhavati
(II.vi.1) the translator swami makes the following

"He became and defined etc.- Brahman being the ground
and substratum of all, He is immanent even in the
conradictories. Whatever there is, perceived,
intuited, or imagined, all that is He. The whole
universe is Real as Brahman. Attention should be
specifically drawn to this passage as it clearly shows
that the universe is never a non-existence like a
'square-circle' or the 'human horn'. Brahman is the
all-in-all of the universe; intuition of brahman is
not transmutation of the universe into brahman or 'a
rejection of it'; it is only the correction of an
error in perception. Just as it is not possible to
correct the erroneous perception of a snake in a rope
without the knowledge of the identity between the
super-imposed snake and the actual rope, so also it is
not possible to realize that there is only one reality
which is brahman, without the knowledge of the
identity between the world and brahman trhough proper
testimony. By stating that all this is brahman the
passage in question serves this purpose most
appropriately. Brahmajnana is not an act of
contemplation in which one object is replaced by
another; it is a total comprehension in which
consciousness is deepened and widened and made to work
at all levels. That is why Sri Shankara says while
commenting on brahmasUtras, II.2.29 that-the objects
experienced in the waking perception are not cancelled
at 'any' state."

Is this interpretation accpeted in the traditional
circles? If it is, does it not amounts to saying that
'name and form' is eternal and ever present in

I agree to the rest of your observations fully. The
following passage was very apt.

"Some critics have noted the Buddhist tinge to
Gaudapadacharyas writings 
however I think if you check you will see that he only
says that the dream 
state and the waking state are unreal relative to
Brahman which is far 
short of the idealist position."

Even a beginner in advaita philosophy can see this
evidently in tht kArika and bhAshya, and I don't know
why scholars get confused like this and confuse others

Yours in Sri Ramakrishna,

Br. Vinayaka.

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