[Advaita-l] Clarification requested

Ramesh Krishnamurthy rkmurthy at gmail.com
Tue Sep 18 06:22:40 CDT 2007

Karthik mahASaya,

I am not particularly knowledgeable about the dvaita system, but your
points below can be easily answered.

On 18/09/2007, Karthik Subramanian <karthikvathula at yahoo.com> wrote:
<<"The World is true. An object is defined to be 'True' if it exists
in any one of the three divisions of tim i.e. past, present or future.
For instance, we see a temple and the knowledge 'This is a temple'
arises. The temple is 'true' because the temple continues to exist.>>

In the advaita system, something is said to be true or real only if it
remains unsublated across space & time. In other words, anything
transient is not true. So this seems to be more a matter of definition
and emphasis. If one adopts the dvaitic definition of 'true' being
that which exists at any one point in time, then the world is true
even for an advaitin.

<<Suppose, we mistake a rope to be a snake. After close inspection, we
realize that it is not a snake but only a rope. Now, the knowledge
regarding the snake is a false one and hence the snake is also
'false'. Since the knowledge regarding the world is not as said in the
above illustration, the world is 'true'.">>

Well, the snake was perceived in the past, wasn't it? So according to
the dvaitins, the snake is real?

Also, no analogy is perfect. The problem with the rajju-sarpa analogy
is that the snake is not perceived at all once the rope is cognized.
However, advaitic realization is somewhat different in the sense that
the world is perceived even after realization (otherwise jivanmukti
would not be possible), though it is known to be unreal. A better
analogy is that of a mirage in the desert. Even after the traveller
understands that it is a mirage, the water is still perceived. But the
traveller is no longer enamoured of it. The mirage is mithya (that
which is perceived but not inherently real), just as the world is.


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