[Advaita-l] The essence of advaita

S.N. Sastri sn.sastri at gmail.com
Sun Sep 23 00:06:42 CDT 2007


I find that your questions have already been answered completely by
Senani-ji and Shyam-ji, the latter with the help of the illustration of the
ocean and the waves.
It is true that the jiva is in essence none but Brahman. But as long as he
does not realize that, he considers himself to be an entity different from
Brahman and limited to his own body-mind complex. The world is seen to exist
as a reality as long as the jiva looks upon himself as such a limited being.
When he realizes his identity as none other than Brahman he no longer looks
upon the world as real. Though he will continue to see the the world of
multiplicity as we do, he is not affected by anything that happens because
he knows that it has no reality. This can be explained by an analogy. When a
child sees a stone lion it screams in fear and runs away, thinking it to be
a real lion. But an adult seeing it knows that it is only stone and he is
not affected, though he also sees it in the shape of a lion.

You have said that since we are inside the universe, we are part of the
illusion, hence cannot be the observers. The answer is that as long as you
consider yourself to be part of the universe, i.e., until you realize that
you are Brahman, the world is real for you and not an illusion. So the
question of your observing an illusion when you are part of it does not
arise. When you realize that you are Brahman there is no illusion for you
amd so then also there is no question of your observing an illusion. Then
the world ceases to be real and there is no more any delusion. There is
delusion only as long as you look upon what is not real as real.


  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?
  2. Brahman cannot be the observer since the substratum cannot be the
  observer (just as the rope is not the observer - the human is). Is this
  3. If  Jivaatma is the observer are we not saying that Jivatma is
  distinct and different from Paramaatma (the Brahman) which contradicts the
  first axiom that there is only Brahman, nothing else?
  4. If we say that Jivatma is having this illusion and also accept the
  fact that Jivaatma and Paramaatma (Brahman) are one and the same, are we
  saying that Paramaatma having the illusion, hence is not all knowing since
  illusion/ignorance cannot happen to the omniscient?

Kindly forgive my ignorance. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you all.


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