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

kuntimaddi sadananda kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Thu May 22 07:27:17 CDT 2008

Shree Siva Senani and Shree Srikanta have provided interesting answers to the questions raised. Here is my understanding. 

Bimba - pratibimba analogy is also adopted in the advaita tradition not only in Bhamati but in Vivarana school. Sureswara in Naiskarmya siddhi and Vidyaranya in pancadasi discuss the saaskhi caitanya and chidaabhaasa aspects. Shankara says in Atmabodha. 

sadaa sarvagatopyaatma na sarvaatraava bhaasate|
budhyaaveva bhaaseta swacchesu pratibimbavat|| 

Even though aatma is all pervading, its brilliance or reflection is not seen everywhere, but it shines or reflects in the intellect only like the pure or clean mirror reflecting the light.

Anupravesha shruti statements that Shree Srikanata provided us are accounted in terms of formation of cidaabhaasa or reflected consciousness in the core of the intellect. Thus subtle body or subtle elements before pancikaraNa are able to reflect the light of consciousness. In fact, all knowledge, as discussed in the VedantaparibhaaSha, occurs only by the reflection of the consciousness only. Saakshii, the illuminating consciousness and saaskyam the illuminated object of consciousness form the subject-object relations in accounting how knowledge takes place. Self-shining vastu is consciousness and anything that reflects is jadam or acetanam and mityaa since Brahman is infinite consciousness. 

Since Brahman is one without a second, the saakshyam - that involves bhuuta and bhoutika are apparent products of maaya only therefore have no absolute validity but only have relative validity or vyaavahaarika satyam - as Shree Srikanata has rightly pointed the brahman himself/itslef appears as many, as the self in all, depending on the upaadhiis, either as pure existence as in gross mater or existence-consciousness as in subtle matter. Both bhuuta (subtle) and bhoutika (gross) have no independent existence of their own hence they are only mithyaa This is stated by shruti using the famous statement - vaachaarambhanam vikaaro naamadheyam – even the upAdhis are just names and forms – the essence is Brahman only since it is one without a second.

Hence bimba-pratibimba is at vyavahaara level as the scriptures declare they are just vaachaarambhanam vikaaro naamadheyam. Dvaitins have more fundamental problem in accounting the sad vidya – where the statement starts with knowing one – the upaadaana kAraNa, - the all the kAryam or products are as good as known. In vishiShTaadvata, at least they do accept the Brahman as upaadaana kaaraNa with jiiva and jagat as part of Brahman. In their case they have to bring in a dualistic jnaanam - dharma bhuta jnaanam and dharmi jnaanam to differentiate the objective knowledge vs self-knowledge. Dvaitins do not subscribe Brahman as the upaadaana kaaraNam for jagat. 

Hari Om!

--- On Thu, 5/22/08, Suresh <mayavaadi at yahoo.com> wrote:

> If the concept of reflection (Brahman being reflected
> as multiple jiva-s) is common to both schools, how is
> it they arrive at different conclusions? What are the
> details involved in this? 

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