[Advaita-l] mithyA from archives

Ramesh Krishnamurthy rkmurthy at gmail.com
Mon Dec 17 01:20:37 CST 2007

Dear Sri Prem,

On 16/12/2007, prem d p <prem_d_p at yahoo.co.in> wrote:
>   In one of your own earlier posts you had given a brilliant description
>   of how the manifoldness of the World is due to the arbitrary
>   boundaries that the observer draws. There-in lies the clarification
>   that you seek, as you, no doubt, considered that the boundaries
>   are superimposed on a sea of homogeneity called Existence.

My earlier post on mithyA actually did not go this far, or at least I
did not intend it to at that time. I attempted to explain clearly the
need for a substratum and the arbitrariness of boundaries. However, my
criteria for arbitrariness suggest that the boundaries between
fundamental  particles are not arbitrary, because they are not
reducible to something else.

But perhaps I should attempt take that explanation further and see
where it leads to.

>   Ourself as the subject-witness forms the substratum for all our
>   experience. This is readily grasped by our intellect. On enquiring
>   further about the witness, we, thro' the process of neti neti soon
>   arrive at witness-consciousness which transcends the limitations of
>   the space-time framework. In fact the space-time itself transforms
>   into a transcendental substratum of pure existence. Pure Existence
>   aspect of the substratum is posited here from a pure objective
>   perspective of the Witness. (Pure Existence has a significance only
>   to the Pure Intelligence holding it. Tat Tvam Asi is realized here
>   itself, but let us carry on some more!) Post-Relativity science also
>   tells us that space-time exists only in the context of objects
>   (matter-energy) and is co-extant with the field. Thus Witness has no
>   specifics, no location or boundaries in space-time.

Space-time equivalence, which unfortunately I don't fully understand,
is perhaps one way of answering my question. Generally, when we speak
of birth/death/creation/destruction/causality, we refer to events *in
time*. An object exists at a given point in time and does not exist at
another point in time. However, one could conceive of a spatial
dimension to the same. A given object exists at one point in space but
not at another point in space. This would be true for fundamental
particles also. So while a fundamental part is non-negatable in time,
it is negatable in space.

However, I am not entirely satisfied with this argument because it
seems to make brahman into an axiom

>   Let us now concentrate on the Object (say, our fundamental particle).
>   Objects manifest by way of 'definition by delimitation'. Obviously such
>   a delimitation is possible only on a substratum.

Can you expand a little on the above point? Definition by delimitation
was indeed the crux of my earlier post on mithyA. But I would think
that definition by delimitation is applicable to all objects except to
fundamental particles. Unlike objects that are aggregates, the
observer plays no role in drawing the boundaries around a fundamental

What is it that I am overlooking in the above argument?

Anyway, my sincere thanks to Sri Prem for his patient responses :-)


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