[Advaita-l] Clarification requested

Amuthan aparyap at gmail.com
Tue Sep 18 06:48:39 CDT 2007

namo nArAyaNAya!

On 9/18/07, Karthik Subramanian <karthikvathula_at_yahoo.com> wrote:
>   The following is the passage :-
>   "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.
>   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'."

in advaita, truth is defined as that which is cannot be negated (by
any valid means of proof). negation in time is just one aspect of this
definition. just as the perception of a snake is negated by the
knowledge of the rope, so also is the perception of duality in the
form of 'aham' (the subject 'i') and 'mama-idam' ('mine' and 'this',
i.e. body, world etc.) negated by the knowledge that arises out of
vedAnta-SravaNa. in particular, the world perceived in the waking
state is also found to be unreal upon proper enquiry. the following
verses from upadeSasAhasrI should help in understanding the advaitin's
response to the objection (words within brackets are included based on
the context for making the meaning clear):

'svapnaH satyo yathA..AbodhAddehAtmatvaM tathaiva ca |
 pratyakshAdeH pramANatvaM jAgratsyAdA..AtmavedanAt ||' (11.5)
'as is the reality of the dream (known to be false) upon waking up, so
is the identification of the Self with the body (known to be false).
the means of knowledge like (sense) perception in the waking state
(through which the world is known) are valid only before the Self is

'sadasmIti pramANotthA dhIranyA tannibhodbhavA |
 pratyakshAdinibhA vApi bAdhyate digbhramAdivat ||' (18.7)
'the knowledge "i am brahman" (is alone true and) arises from proper
evidence (i.e. SrutivAkya-s like 'tattvamasi') whereas the other
knowledge (like "i am a knower, i am a doer, i am an experiencer"
etc.) is produced because of error. the means of knowledge like
(sense) perception (through which the world is known) are sublated (by
the knowledge of the Self) just as the error regarding directions (is
negated upon enquiry)'.

'pratilomamidaM sarvaM yathoktaM lokabuddhitaH |
 avivekadhiyAmasti nAsti sarvaM vivekinAm ||' (18.95)
'all this which have been spoken (i.e. relations like
viSeshaNa-viSeshya between the perceived world and the perceiving
subject) from the viewpoint of common people (i.e. those who assume
the perceived world to be real) is false and exists only because of
ignorance (of the Self). to those possessed of discriminative insight
(between the Self and non-Self), all these (- the perceiving subject
and the world of duality) do not exist.'

thus, advaita's viewpoint is that duality is surely negated when the
Self is known. since the Self is known only by proper enquiry, it
follows that the reality of the perceived world is negated upon proper

vAsudevaH sarvaM,

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