[Advaita-l] The essence of advaita

Siva Senani Nori sivasenani at yahoo.com
Sat Sep 22 02:42:41 CDT 2007

----- Original Message ----
From: prabha prabhagc at gmail.com

If the above is true, to whom does the illusion occur? I am not asking WHY
there is the illusion or WHO is causing it – I accept that it is due to Maya
– but to WHOM is the illusion happening?

   1. Since we (Jivaatmas) are inside the Universe, we are part of the
   illusion, hence cannot be the observers as the illusion cannot observe
   itself.  Is this statement incorrect?

Pranams Prabhaji
Though this question is addressed to the learned scholar Br. Sri S. N. Sastry, I am making bold to share my understanding, in a spirit of testing my understanding.
The illusion is to the Atman, which is the same as Brahman. The Atman forgets its permanent (true, sat, nitya) nature of Brahman and gets associated with the fleeting (untrue, asat, anitya) phenomenon that the world is, due to mAyA. The very statement that "we jivatmas are inside the universe" contains an assumption that the full extent of the Atman is only that which is inside, or more accurately seeming to be inside, the universe. 
It might be useful to take the example of a dream: if I dream about something involving me as well - I become a part of the illusion, but my dream-self is only a part of my full self. There is a sAkshi outside, the underlying turIya-avasthA which is the substratum of, and pervades, the waking, dreaming, and dreamless-sleep states. It is the same with the world: the self in the world is indeed an amSa - as perceived by the antahkaraNa that the mind is - of the complete Self, but the complete Self is always the subject, never the object, to the extent we permit the subject-object differentiation.
Whenever we consider the tripuTi - the three components of subject - object - action or j~nAtri-j~neya-j~nAna, at some level it boils down to wondering at the inadequacy of language and the other tools of thought in expressing how these three resolve into the Sat, the Eternal. How true are the Sruti-vAkyas: yato vAco nivartante ... aprApya manasA saha...! 


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