[Advaita-l] The essence of advaita
prem d p
prem_d_p at yahoo.co.in
Sun Sep 23 07:10:43 CDT 2007
dear sri mahesh,
here is what i think.
As per your essence, the appearance of the world is an illusion - it
real only when viewed from the vyvaharic satta and not paramarthic. I
unclear on one aspect of this idea. In Advaita, the mind (am using this
loosely to include buddhi, manas, etc) is said to function only becuase
sattvic content is reflected/illumined by the light of Brahman.
The question I have is this: From which satta are we attributing this
of illumination to Brahman? It cannot be from the paramarthic satta
the universe does not exist in that realm. If it is from the vyavaharic
then we are attributing an action (of illuming) to Brahman which goes
against the idea that Brahman can be talked of only in the paramarthic
the above conclusion, & premises leading upto it, regarding Brahman, are flawed. Brahman or its self-effulgence (both are interchangeable) exists always in all planes, whether paramarthik or vyavaharik. There is no distinction. The agency for reflection of this effulgence by the non-conscious nama-rupa cannot be attributed to Brahman. When we say that Brahman illumines the non-conscious, it is not in the sense of one object illumining another object, this is why 'Self' alone is Brahman (never use the word 'Self' in the sense of an object, the meaning of 'Self' shall never be lost track of). (Note that 'Self alone is Brahman' transcribed would read 'Tat Tvam Asi')
To further explain my point we can consider an oft used analogy.
like the sun and its mere presence makes nature act. It shines equally
all - plant, animal or humans. When we link it to my original question
regarding the mind, in order to explain how nature functions, we are
forced to consider the energy emanating from the sun's rays and how,
example, it allows plants to make chlorphyll in order to grow . In
words, instead of taking Brahman/sun to be a mere witness, we seem to
conscious of its power working in the vyavaharic satta.
mahesh, from your statement above, it appears that you have a reasonably good answer to your own question but is hardly convinced about it. this makes matters difficult for you.
your difficulty is primarily with respect to two phrases you use, 'mere witness' and 'power working'. you think that being a witness is somehow 'inadequate' (perhaps like siva without his sakthi ?), and power is always connected with action (like the equivalence of maya and sakthi ?).
Swami Vivekananda once said that God is the reflection of Self on Maya. A basic tenet of advaita is that Self has no action & the Non-Self has no consciousness.
So, like sri vidyasankarji recently pointed out in a different context, the fundamental idea to pursue is the primacy of Consciousness and the equivalence of Consciousness & Self.
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