[Advaita-l] Concept of reflection in dvaita and advaita

Siva Senani Nori sivasenani at yahoo.com
Thu May 22 04:32:36 CDT 2008

----- Original Message ----
From: Suresh <mayavaadi at yahoo.com>
To: advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
Sent: Thursday, May 22, 2008 10:57:18 AM
Subject: [Advaita-l] Concept of reflection in dvaita and advaita


Dvaitins contend that pratibimba never becomes one
with the bimba, when the upAdhi is destroyed. Rather,
it's destroyed with the upAdhi, so it's tantamount to
saying the jiva itself becomes extinct. 

How is this particular point addressed in our
tradition? And also if some dvaitins are lurking, they

Dear Sri Suresh
Most of the questions and answers in matters like Dvaita and Advaita are well rehearsed, considering that we had more than 600 years to do so. Usually the well considered lines are the best. However not being well read, I have not yet come across this line of thinking, but can attempt to address it in a spirit of testing my understanding.
I heard about the bimba-pratibimba analogy is with reference to the Bhamati (or even within that, not very clear at this moment), so we can admit the analogy as valid.
When the substratum (upAdhi) for the prati-bimba (reflection) is removed, there are different ways of describing the resulting situation. One might be, as the Dvaitins say, to say that the jivas (pratibimbas, reflections) are destroyed. Another way is to look at the origin of the reflection: without the bimba (Original), from where does the reflection come into being? If one thinks that the reflection is due to the medium, one has to but visualise a medium without an original. Therefore the only Real is the Original, and the reflection is unreal. Even if you consider that the reflection is getting extinct, where is the question of that which does not exist ceasing to exist? In the limited reference frame of the medium of reflection, a better way to describe it would be to say that it merged with the Original, rather than say it is getting destroyed along with the medium. And thus, that explanation by Advaitins that the reflection becomes one with the
Further, if the medium is something that can exist and can be destroyed, it becomes another category different to Brahman, but as per Sruti (sa ekameva advitIyam), such is not the case. So both the medium and the reflection are non-entities; thus the only logical way to explain the existence of the reflection, jIva, is that it has its origin in the Original, Brahman, it is sustained by the Original, and it dissolves into the Original. Of course, this is exactly what the Sruti says in the first anuvAka of the Bhrigu Valli in the TaittirIya Upanishad. yato vaa imaani bhootani jaayante, yena jaatani jeevanti, yat prayanti-abhisamviSanti. "Whence came these jeevas; by which the born sustain; and that which they enter and rest".
And, just so that there is no confusion, there are specific and clear statements in the Sruti about the identity fo the Brahman and the jeeva: aham brahmAsmi; tattvamasi; andayam aatma brahma.


More information about the Advaita-l mailing list