[Advaita-l] The universe is mayic appearance

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sun Nov 21 20:02:16 CST 2010

On Mon, Nov 22, 2010 at 2:53 AM, Rajaram Venkataramani <
rajaramvenk at gmail.com> wrote:

> p://vedabase.net/sb/10/14/25/ <http://vedabase.net/sb/10/14/25/>
> ātmānam <http://vedabase.net/a/atmanam> evātmatayāvijānatāḿ
> A person who mistakes a rope for a snake becomes fearful, but he then gives
> up his fear upon realizing that the so-called snake does not exist.
> Similarly, for those who fail to recognize You as the Supreme Soul of all
> souls, the expansive illusory material existence arises, but knowledge of
> You at once causes it to subside.
> *There is a more direct reference to the world being factually unreal in
> the
> first verse *http://vedabase.net/sb/1/1/1/
> *. "*Only because of Him do the material universes, temporarily manifested
> by the reactions of the three modes of nature, appear factual, although
> they
> are unreal"

I am aware of this and dozens of other verses of this kind in the
Bhagavatam.  The Uddhavagita chapters of this work have a number of verses
that are espescially 'mAyAvAdic' in nature.

//8.34. One should look upon this universe as a hallucination, being a
phantasm of the mind, now seen and the next moment destroyed – like dream,
and extremely shifting like *a circle of fire*.  It is the One Consciousness
that appears as multiple in form.  The threefold distinction due to the
transformation of guNas is mAyA.//

This verse has the word ‘alAtachakram’ which means a circular motion created
by a fire-brand.  This analogy is used in the fourth chapter of mandUkya
kArikA by Sri GauDapAda.  The chapter itself is called  'alAtashAnti

With such a great content of mAyAvAda the Bhagavatam is definitely the best
candidate for the appellation of being an 'asat-shAstram' and 'pracchannam
bauddham'.  I think some critics of Advaita have pointed out that Gaudapada
'borrowed' this analogy from the Buddhists!!  Or the best and easiest
alternative would be to declare that all these verses of the Bhagavatam and
especailly the whole of the Uddhavagita are interpolations by Advaitins.


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