[Advaita-l] bimba - pratibimba vAda

Bhaskar YR bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com
Thu Jul 22 02:52:51 CDT 2010

Hare Krishna
I've written this in advaitin list long back..Here it is :
// quote //

We've seen here prabhuji-s constructing comfortable theories around 
jnAni's vyavahAra by attributing him localized indriya-s and reflective 
consciousness...In the traditional circle it is called *pratibimba vAda* 
and this vAda is something different from avaccheda vAda...In pratibimba 
vAda, normally they take two analogies to explain their stand... one is 
sun's reflection in the water & another one is face reflection in 
mirror...Without making the smart statements about vyAvahArika & 
pAramArthika satyatvas (empirical & transcedental realities) let us see 
how this pratibimba vAda works...Point tobe noted here that prabhuji-s who 
are after jnAni's body & consciousness, conveniently telling that jnAni, 
even after realization, can *still* has the reflective consciousness & 
through the set of his indriya-s he can operate this jagat...

First of all let us see what shankara says on this pratibimba vAda...In 
amshAdhikaraNa, 'AbhAsa eva cha' (2-3-50) sUtra commentary shankara says : 
AbhAsa eva cha eSha jeevaH parasya AtmanaH, jala sUryAdikAdivat 
pratipattavyaH..(a rough translation : one should understand that the 
jeeva (individual soul) stands to the supreme self just like little image 
of the sun reflected in water stands to the real sun)..Shankara continues 
his commentary & says this individual self as such is not identical with 
the Self, yet it is not a separate entity either...One may think after 
reading this, the concept of jIva is anirvachaneeya according to 
shankara!!? No shankara concludes his bhAshya : AbhAsasya cha 
avidyAkrutatvAt tadAshrayasya saMsArasya 
avidyAkrutatvOpapattiriti...tadvyudAsena cha pAramArthikasya 
brahmAtmabhAvasya upadeshOpapattihi..(English : Because a refelection is a 
product of ignorance it is intelligible that the saMsAra that rests on it 
should also be a product of ignorance.

>From the above it is evident that Shankara saying that reflection of Self 
as a jeeva is a product of ignorance...But what we are doing here in this 
list?? We are comfortably saying jnAni, even after paramArtha jnAna, has a 
reflective consciousness...This is what I've been saying going against 
advaita vedanta as taught by shankara...

If we see this pratibimba vAda from logical point, we can make out some 
flaws in it :

(a) If the jeeva is a pratibimba of the original, it would not be able to 
know that it is original...Because pratibimba is mere non-conscious entity 
(anAtma vastu)..A non-conscious entity can never ever become a conscious 
(b) As we know from our day to day experience, to get the reflection of 
anything in anything we need a object with certain form..Where is the form 
of the Atman to get the reflection ?? Is the reflection of 'formless' 
possible ?? Since Atman is formless, this reflection theory has the basic 
flaw in its system.
(c) Reflection is not a genuine example to illustrate the nature of the 
soul (individual jeeva)..There is nothing on this objective world that can 
illustrate the relation of pure consciousness with the individual soul 
because pure consciousness is intrinsically transcedent & relationless in 
its very nature.

So, those who are holding the reflection theory of consciousness to 
explain jnAni's vyavahAra should know that *this reflection theory* is a 
product of ignorance..
// unquote //
Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!

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