[Advaita-l] The essence of advaita

prabha prabhagc at gmail.com
Mon Sep 24 18:15:36 CDT 2007

PraNAms Shyamji!

Again, an excellent example. Your examples are great fun to read.

But, why do I have dreams? My answer has been that its because I am limited.
I consider having a dream delusional/limiting. In the dream I saw an old man
who I did not know before. He explained things that I did not know before. I
could have this dream because I am limited in knowledge (plus space, time,
and all other dimensions), but if I had infinite knowledge (and was not
limited in anyway) would I have a dream? I think not. Hence I assume that
Brahman could not have a dream. That is causing me to have these doubts. Do
you think that my assumption is wrong?

Hari OM!


On 9/24/07, Shyam <shyam_md at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Pranams Prabha-ji
> " >If the two are essentially the same, how can we talk about one being
> deluded (by Maya)  > but not the other?"
> A few points/examples may help in this regard.
> First of all when we say the two are essentially the same, we are not
> talking about two identical entities.
> We talk about a identity of two things - jivatma and paramatma - which are
> seemingly different.
> It is like saying energy and mass are essentially the same, when they are
> seemingly different.
> So let us not lose sight of the very key words - "essentially" or "in
> essence".
> What Vedanta says is that there is the Whole, the Infinite and there is a
> something that is (taken to be) infinitesmally small, but which is in
> essence swallowed up in the Infinite, the Whole, and its small-ness is
> purely notional, and disappears when subject to proper enquiry or
> atma-vichara.
> I shall try to explain this with a second "stock-example" (- my apologies
> for my complete lack of creativity!)  - the dream example.
> I see a dream. Two friends in this dream go on a hike. It starts raining.
> They rush into a hut they see along the way. They are glad to see an old man
> with a long beard in the hut. He is kind enough to give them food and water.
> They then sit to talk with him, and they talk about how fortunate they were
> to find his abode, whereupon he tells them - listen, do you know something -
> the two of you, me, this hut, this forest, are all nothing but brahman. And
> who or what is brahman? - he/she/that which is pervading the entire dream.
> Now the two friends look very surprised - with due respect dear sir, how can
> it be - they claim! You are doing the talking, we are listening, we just had
> warm rotis, our clothes were drenched in the rain - and all this was nothing
> but brahman? who is this brahman?
> He is both the efficient and material cause of that dream.
> He is the sleeper "I"
> As far as that dream Universe is concerned I lent both satta - existence -
> and sfurti - consciousness - to the dream. The hill, the trees, the rain
> clouds, the rain, the water, the food, my friend, the old man, everything in
> and through was me and me alone.
> And yet, did I for a second become old to become the old man. Did a
> particle of me get wet in that rain? Did i develop both the two friends'
> hunger and again its lack of on eating the dream food which was again only
> me? no. Now let us reverse the question - was the old man me> ? yes. were
> the two friends me? yes. Once i resorb the dream unto me, and the old man,
> the friends, even that mountain, all are destroyed - will i still continue.
> yes. So the dream friends and the "real" sleeper me are in essence the same
> - yet he the dream "jiva" was as though created and i, the sleeper, am as
> though the creator - the vishwanatha for that dream vishwa.
> I pervade the dream, i am immanent in the dream, i transcend the dream,
> and yet i remain unsullied, unattached, pure, auspicious - shivoham
> shivoham.
> How did i do this? Using my power called maya.
> Where is maya? It is my intrinsic power.
> So there are two things - me and maya?
> No ..no..there is only one, thing, Me. maya is not a separate thing that i
> wield like a spectre.
> I cannot distill or separate out this power of mine called maya - you can
> perceive it by its effect - in having successfully given an appearance
> consisting of this universe of plurality that was perceived.
> When there was the dream I was, when there is no dream or rather when the
> next dream is in potential form, i still am. In fact i alone am.
> Now what prevents the dream people from recognizing their innate oneness
> with me? ignorance or avidya alone - about what? their true nature.
> [of course one crucial difference between this example and with Brahman is
> - Brahman is in complete control over his Maya - our maya in "creating" a
> dream is so-called "borrowed maya".]
> With due respect, I would certainly disagree with Shri Senani-ji - Brahman
> is without any parts, and is completely unattached. There is no question of
> Brahman coming under the influence of maya or a part of Brahman being
> susceptible this or any such conceptualization.
> Strictly speaking omnipotence, omniscience are all never applicable to
> Brahman - Brahman is the Whole, One, without a second. These adjectives
> apply to Brahman only from the standpoint of the jiva, - the jiva regards
> himself as an entity with limited power - so he has to  look to Brahman as
> all-powerful, he regards himself as being a mortal - so Brahman is
> Omniscient - he regards himself as being a karta-bhokta - so regards Brahman
> as a karma-phala-daata. And this Brahman, in relation to this jiva, is said
> to be "saguna" Brahman or maya-sahitam Brahman.
> This does not mean there are two Brahmans - or two parts of Brahman - or
> two levels of Brahman - or two anything - this is precisely what advaita -
> Non-duality - is all about.
> It is simply from the perspective of the ignorant jiva that these terms
> have any relevance.
> So yes, while the wave with a sense of an individual wave-ness and water
> are in essence one and the same -from the perspective of the water - it is
> ever water alone.
> [It is only to answer meaningless questions like when did brahman become
> ignorant [- for the benefit of someone at that stage of development -] do
> some people talk about the fall of man or that man is "brahman that got
> deluded" or irrational hypotheses of this sort. Ignorance on the part of the
> jiva is ever-beginingless - if he had a-priori knowledge he would not and
> could not get ignorant "to begin with".]
> The two names of Mother become more clear now "nirmoha" - without moha -
> Herself being in complete control of Her Maya-shakti and "mohanashini" - the
> one who, by means of the Shruti words, removes the cause of delusion on the
> part of the hapless jiva!
> Ya Devi Sarva Bhuteshu Bhrantirupena Samsthita
> Namastasyei Namastasyei Namastasyei Namo Namaha
> My prostrations to you Mother.
> Humble pranams
> Hari OM
> Shri Gurubhyoh namah
> Shyam
> prabha <prabhagc at gmail.com> wrote:
> PraNAms, Krisji.
> Shyamji has explained this very well before. Perhaps I shouldn't belabour
> this point too much, but your answer would seem to imply that the
> enery+action aspect (Maya) prevailed upon the water (Brahman) to make a
> wave
> and give the wave a separate identity (the "I" ness). That makes the water
> (Brahman) the subject of manipulation - which seems to make it less than
> complete, ultimate, unaffected etc. That is my discomfort with the whole
> idea. Anything that can violate it's unaffected-ness shows it to be less
> than perfect. That bothers me. I take it that examples are inadequate or
> that my conclusion is incorrect.
> I thank you very much.
> Hari OM!
> Prabha
> On 9/24/07, Kris Manian wrote:
> >
> > >Thank you very much, Shyamji. I am still having great difficulty with
> the
> > >concept. I realize that all analogies are limited when applied to
> > Brahman
> > >but in the Ocean-wave analogy, I get the sense that the water
> > (Paramaatma)
> > >is not deluded, but the wave (Jivaatma) is.>
> > Prabhaji,
> > Let me share my understanding from the Ocean-wave analogy.
> > Wave is nothing but water with (kinetic) energy and action. Energy and
> > action brings forth ego and the "I" ness.
> > This brings new characteristics to the wave even though it is
> essentially
> > water. So is the delusion of
> > Jivaatma.
> >
> > Another analogy is when Hydrogen and Oxygen combine you get water that
> is
> > completely different
> > from where it came from.
> >
> > Hari Om.
> >
> > Kris
> >
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