[Advaita-l] Avidya Part 6

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sat Apr 24 05:29:26 CDT 2010

On Sat, Apr 24, 2010 at 4:17 AM, Shyam <shyam_md at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Pranams.
> I am continuing my series on the treatment of avidya/maya by the revered
> bhashyakara and we are currently examining the brahmasutra bhashya.
> The particular sutra we are going to examine is treated exhaustively by
> Shankara - a wide array of advaitic tenets are covered. We will scrutinize a
> portion of relevance to this series.
> BSB 2.1.14
> Thus we see here the revered Bhagavatpada explain in clear cut terms the
> two levels of Reality and their respective ontology. It is also striking to
> note that while in my previous post the Acharya had made poignant use of
> pratibimbavada, in talking about the Sun and its many reflections, in here,
> He is making use of avacchedavada in using the analogy of Universal Space
> and Pot Space in explaining the two levels of Reality - paramarthika and
> vyavaharika. As is seen by the perspective He thus provides, these two
> represent different aspects of one and the same understanding. At the
> paramarthika level there is but One NonDual Lord. It is only on account of a
> Shakti, that the vyavaharika phenomenal is rendered possible. This Maya
> Shakti is nothing other than avidyA, the germinal seed, also called Prakrti.
> This Maya can be neither characterized as real nor unreal. This Maya
> non-different from Brahman, in that it is Its intrinsic Power, but at the
> same time
>  Brahman is other than this, as the NonDual Truth - Thus alone do we
> understand the true import of both immanence and transcendence.

Pranams Shyam ji,

The above conclusion of yours is also my understanding of the ontology:
Brahman, the PAramArthika Satyam, is the Only Absolute Reality.  However, in
order to 'explain', 'account for' the created universe that is experienced,
the Vedanta is compelled to talk about 'another' entity, the Shakti, called
variously by the terms - MAyA, PrakRti, Avidya, AvyAkRta, etc.  This
'second' entity is only of a lower order of reality, ever-dependent on the
One Brahman.  With the temporary acceptance of this entity, no harm will
come to the Advaitic status of Brahman.

Best regards,

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