[Advaita-l] Brahman - bhAvarUpa or abhAvarUpa (was Re: Advaita vEdAnta - Unit (28))

Shyam shyam_md at yahoo.com
Mon May 14 08:05:45 CDT 2007

To understand the issue of whether avidya is sat or asat and what if any is the locus for avidya let us take a story of  a pot, lets say his name is Mr.Pott.

Mr.Pott is in reality clay, the same clay that all other claypots are.  He takes himself to be only the pot. As long as he entertains a notion  that he is a pot he is small, he has aged 20 years since he was born,  lives in a poor home, has lost some of the colour on his head, etc..   Now avidya is Mr.Potts ignorance about himself not being just a pot,  but in reality being clay.  And as clay he is neither born nor will he die - na jaayate mryate va  kadacit..   Now if you ask who does this ignorance belong to?  The answer is - it belongs to Mr.Pott.  Well isnt Mr.Pott clay? Yes.  Then does the ignorance belong to clay. No.  The clay never has anything really to do with the "pot notion",  although without the clay, the pot cannot have any subtantive existence.  

Well then isnt Mr.Pott also a pot?

Then does the ignorance belong to the pot.
No again!

The pot by itself is nothing but clay.  

Then who is Mr.Pott?
He is the I-sense that feels itself to be "a" pot separate from clay,  and doesn't recognize itself to be clay even though all along it is  clay, and nothing but clay.  

When did it get ignorant? 
 This is a wrong question because it assumes an absence of ignorance  prior to the onset of ignorance which is impossible. 

Who needs the right knowledge to get liberated? 
The clay? No 
The pot? No 
Mr.Pott - Yes!  

When you say avidya is lighted by atman you are linking two things  which share no relation really.  It is like saying the clay lights up Mr.Potts ignorance.   Assigning a locus for avidya is possible only when there are two  distinct realities - not when both pot and clay are in essence one.   For example, there are two sides to a coin, and yes - you can assign a  locus to the head - one side vs the other.   In the case of avidya, this cannot be done - because what is real,  what IS is always the clay alone.  

The pot is nondifferent from clay.  If you mark a large "X" on the pot are you marking it on clay or the pot?  If you say the pot, then one can say, OK remove the clay and lets see  the X mark on the pot now - see the difficulty in doing this?   The X marks are none other than mind, intellect, etc etc.  Yes they all belong to the pot- but there really is no pot - only clay!  What Mr.Pott needs to realize is that he is not the pot, that these  marks he thinks are his are also in reality nothing but clay which he  himself his. 

The clay has no ignorance about it being clay. A pot, separate from clay, cannot have any existence let alone ignorance. 

The adhyasa is this only - that Mr.Pott mistakes himself for a pot  without realizing he is clay.  As clay not only is he immortal, but he is nonseparate from the whole  clay-universe, and, to go one step further, the entire clay-universe  is arising from him alone and will dissolve unto him alone.  "Mayyeva sakalam jaatam.. mayyeva sakalam jaatam mayi sarvam  pratishtitam, mayi sarvam layam yaati.." 

The recognitions  
- I am clay and hence not limited by my notion of being a pot.
- The entire world is nothing but clay and hence nonseparate from me,  and rather than I being a product of the world as i had originally  thought, i am actually the very substratum on which this whole  universe of pots is seemingly created and destroyed.  
- I the clay alone am  
are all in essence one and the same recognition. 
 Avidya is never "real". What is real is only One - the non-dual vastu. What is real has to be anantam, and if something existent can be removed in the wake of knowledge, then it cannot be said to have satta.
It is not "unreal" either because after all  poor Mr.Pott thinks he is small and old, and in so doing reveals the  workings of avidya. But this is a mere notion on his part. With the  dawn of knowledge from an appropriate means of knowledge (i.e.Ma  Shruti), this ignorance is once and forever dispelled. He realizes he  is clay, not then, in the future, but in and through all times forever  in the past and forever in the future.   And again, ignorance did not "create" the pot. The clay is the ONLY  material cause for the pot. Mr.Pott's ignorance about him being a  limited pot is beginingless and hence there is no creation of someone  creating it as we have already seen.   

Suffice to say, the simplest and really the only answer to any  question on avidya's locus will be "i" or me.   "i" who is ignorant am the locus of avidya because "i" know not that  really speaking "i" am "I"

Hari OM
Shri Gurubhyo namah

S Jayanarayanan <sjayana at yahoo.com> wrote: --- Krishnamurthy Ramakrishna 

> In Unit 25, we studied the nature of ajnyana and understood that
> ajnyAna is
> abhAvarUpa;

According to you: is Brahman bhAvarUpa or abhAvarUpa?

If Brahman is bhAvarUpa, you have TWO bhAvarUpa entities -- Brahman
and adhyAsa, and your thesis ceases to be advaita.

If Brahman is abhAvarUpa, then Brahman itself is sublated by adhyAsa!


Don't get soaked.  Take a quick peak at the forecast
with the Yahoo! Search weather shortcut.
Archives: http://lists.advaita-vedanta.org/archives/advaita-l/

To unsubscribe or change your options:

For assistance, contact:
listmaster at advaita-vedanta.org

Get the Yahoo! toolbar and be alerted to new email wherever you're surfing. 

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list