[Advaita-l] Advaita / Dvaita Clarification requested contd.

Lakshminarayana narayana_kl_71 at yahoo.com
Sun Sep 23 00:54:22 CDT 2007

namaskaar Vishnuji, 

You say:

<Would this therefore mean that the pain or suffering the individual went
through until he was cured  of it is an unreal  experience since the
suffering  itself is transient>.

We normally have our own conceptions of reality and unreality. Using the normal conceptions, the pain and suffering are real. In advaita-vedanta, this is called vyavahArik satya, as you must be knowing. But the teachings of the upanishads force us to have a different set of definitions for reality and unreality. According to this conception, everything transient becomes unreal, so disease and pain become unreal. 

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

Yes, according to the dvaitins, the snake is real.

<If the world is unreal then why does one have to work his way up towards
salvation or mokhsha by only following good karmic deeds as mentioned in our
holy scriptures and constantly be in fear of deviating from the good deeds.>

It is not merely the definition of reality but also its realization that matters. Even though the universe is unreal, as long as one mistakes it for being real, one is bound by the laws of the universe. But one is no longer bound, if one is a jNani.

For example, Ishwar, being a brahma-jNAni, knows that the world is not real. Therefore, even when Ishwar takes birth in this world, Ishwar is not bound by its laws. bhagwan shiva, for example, grants boons to rAkshasa-s even though he knows that they will use it for destructive purposes. bhagwan rAm kills vAli while the latter is fighting his brother sugrIva. If a normal person commits such actions, they are sure to face the consequences, but rAm and shiva, being jNanis are not bound by their actions.

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