[Advaita-l] Question on Mayavada

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Wed Nov 17 09:34:37 CST 2010

> Dear Sri Devanathan, this is regarding your post that Padma Purana
> verse refers to Vishishtadvaita. Someone held the opinion that it
> refers to Saiva siddhanta. Then I had to point out that that just few
> verses before Padmapurana gives a separate treatment of saiva
> siddhanta. In the same way, your historico-logical postulation is
> invalid because of verses that follow. They specify unique
> characteristics of Sankaradvaita such as total renounciation and
> jiva-brahma aikyam. These do not apply to Vishishtadvaitam. Also,
> Sankara is Lord Siva. There is no sastric or historic basis for your
> speculation that Bodhayana is.

You have to learn to follow complex arguments carefully. What Sri
Devanathan was doing was to show how the said verses *could*
refer to someone else, if you go by the use of the word mAyA. He
didn't seriously suggest it as his opinion that the padma purANa was
in fact referring to viSishTAdvaita. He mentioned the opinion of one
particular pundit who said something similar, that is all.
> Sri Subrahmanian and Sri Vidyasankar say that these verses are
> interpolations. I don't know how they discard sastras like that
> without evidence. In your case, you are finding a target for these
> verses away from your beloved school of thought.

Your concern for Sastras is admirable. Please take care to find what 
the Sastras actually say and do not go by what some people attribute
to the Sastras. In particular, please think about how a purANa (or some
verse claimed to be in a purANa) supercedes the explicit teaching of 
Sruti (e.g. neha nAnAsti kiMcana) and smRti (e.g. kshetrajnaM cApi
mAM viddhi sarvakshetreshu bhArata).
> IMO, we should sincerely search for truth. If Isvara, Jiva and Jagat
> are unreal ultimately according to Sankara, then it is mayavadam. Such

Please get out of these if-then-else conditions and find out what Sankara
actually does say about reality and unreality.
> a philosophy is an obstacle to bhakti because of the knowledge that
> only till we live that we will devote and that too only for his
> anugraha for mukti. One may get mukti but will lose Isvara, who is
> greater because he awards mukti and importantly laughs and dances
> eternally with muktas as stated in sastras.

Which SAstra? Provide at least one Sruti reference. I hope you are aware
of what is Sruti and what is not.
Even if you like the metaphor of the dance, whether on the head of
the serpent kAliya or in the sabhA, remember that at the heart of the
divine dancer is an unfathomable poise. Even a normal human being
needs stability and poise in order to be a good dancer. No movement
is possible without that stillness at the center. No music is possible
without the beauty of silence. That stillness, that silence, that stability,
that poise - that is what advaita is all about.

If you choose to remain in the audience all through your infinite lives
and think that mukti lies in only paying attention to the movement,
you will never gain any insight into the stillness and silence at the
center. And you will remain forever far from the dance and the music.
The closest you may get will be a VIP seat in the first row, but you will
never be able to get on stage with the dancer yourself.

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