[Advaita-l] Discussions on Avidya, Antah-Karana, and Cause

prem d p prem_d_p at yahoo.co.in
Sun May 13 13:55:28 CDT 2007

  dear sri sivasenaniji,
  i have been following your mails closely and have enjoyed, and benefitted from, them.
  i would like to know your views on the following:
  1. on the topic of avidya, antah-karana, and cause, there has been a lot of
  interesting discussion on the list, and i have noticed sri bhaskarji's insistence
  on how avidya can only belong to antah-karana. there is no disagreement on
  the fact that antah-karana is avidya-karya, karya because it is manifested.
  everything ranging from the primal avyakta to the insentient entity is 
  avidya-karya and any one of them is not the creator of the rest. (if we consider
  that antah-karana is the creator of the world, then that is what i would call
  idealism.) if we have to look for the origin or cause for avidya then that would be
  the karana-rupa, iswara and his maya.
  2. in an effort to find the cause for avidya-karya-manas, we cannot step in-ward
  into brahman, as that amounts to our deliverance which is transcendence of all
  cause-effect. thus there is no causal relationship between absolute and avidya.
  when we say cause of avidya what we mean is the genesis of the
  beginningless avidya, and that is the kArana-maya-iswara. thus the discussion
  whether avidya causes manas or manas causes avidya cannot be concluded if 
  we confine ourselves to the realm of karya. also maya as kArana is not really
  an explanation of the cause but rather a statement of definition.
  3. but, again, the antah-karana that we are aware of in ourselves presents itself
  as a pointer to the possibility of deliverance, a way forward, a sense of 
  direction. the koshas deploy a definite path, in-wards. that there is an in-ward
  path is known through the perceivable arrangement of the koshas.(the Cause is
  in the heart of samashti and the transcendence is in the heart of vyashti.)
  4. in my mail to sri krishnamurti i had suggested that identification with iswara
  is not a valid movement for the 'individual within multiplicity' and the perfection
  of our being within multiplicity is in the acme of bhakti or adoration of the Lord
  (as sri ramakrishna paramahamsa once said, 'who wants identification with 
  sugar when you could be the enjoyer of it'). but all this is within multiplicity. you
  transcend it all by 'tat tvam asi'.
  by the way, do you know how all the above points would fare in the view of eka-jiva-vAda? how close or how far is eka-jiva-vada from shankara advaita?

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