[Advaita-l] (Alleged) Internal Inconsistencies in the Advaita Tradition

Shyam shyam_md at yahoo.com
Tue Jun 28 09:51:46 CDT 2011

The need for reconciliation is rendered redundant as these constructs are not 
independently postulated but are very much incontrovertibly interwoven in the 
all encompassing matrix fashioned by AchArya BhagavatpAdA.

Lets take a look at this excerpt from the Up Sahasri

That one seed called Maya is evolved into three states which come one after 
another again and again. The Self the substratum of Maya though only one and 
immutable appears to be many like reflections of sun in water.....Just as the 
one seed called Maya is regarded according to the different states such as the 
Undifferentiated, etc so the Self appears to be different in waking and dream 
bodies like reflections of the moon in water.

And this excerpt from the AchAryA's sutrabhashya

Evam avidyakrtanamarupaupadhyanurodhiIshwarobhavati Thus the Lord conforms (as 
Lord) to the limiting adjuncts of name and form, the products of Avidya; just as 
the universal space Vyomeva ghatakaraopadhyanurodhi conforms (as limited space) 
to the limiting adjuncts in the shape of jars, pots, etc. He (the Lord) stands 
within the realm of the phenomenal vyavaharavishaye in the relation of a ruler 
to the so-called jivAs or cognitional Selfs - vijnanatmanah, which indeed are 
one with his own Self svatmabhutaneva--just as the portions of ether enclosed in 
jars and the like are one with the universal ether- but are limited by the 
assemblage of bodies and senses produced from name and form - namarupakrta 
karyakaranasanghatanurodhino - and that are conjured up by Avidya 
avidyapratyupasita. Hence the Lord's "Lord"ship, Ishwarasya Ishwaratvam, his 
Omniscience, sarvajnatvam his Omnipotence, sarvashaktitvam - are all contingent 
on the limiting adjuncts conjured up by AvidyA 
avidyatmakopadhiparichhidapekshaeva; while in reality na paramarthato none of 
these qualities belong to the Self shining in its own nature, by right 
knowledge, vidyaya, after the removal of all limiting adjuncts. 

In these (and many such multiple) excerpts, we see how the Revered Bhagavatpada 
has made poignant use of both pratibimbavada, in talking about the Sun and its 
many reflections, as well as 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 of the jiva-ishwara 
aikyatvam. Anyone who, as a allegiant student of tradition, will faithfully 
study the entire canvas of the AchAryA's gloss, will doubtless find both these 
seemingly antithetical models seamlessly integrated into the scaffolding of 
Upanisadic instruction.

I also wanted to make a more general observation which - though not directly an 
answer to your question, nor directed at you - may throw up a perspective that 
may be of related interest to this and more so other threads here, I have not 
personally had time to respond to. 

On a cloudless Krishna Trayodasi night, the cusp of a twig seemingly points 
towards the resplendent Moon. One blessed with a keen alert eye will see either 
branch of the twig as being the guide that steers the vision towards the Moon. 
One blessed with wisdom will realize that it is the Moon alone that illumines 
the very branch, verily Its shimmer that enlivens the twigs as it were to be 
beacons of Its very vision. One can either lose oneself in the contours of the 
twig, or utilize the twig to gain the vision of the Moon and having thus gained, 
ensure that one's gaze is ever transfixed upon That, without getting distracted 
by the tree. That vision, is to be had, if the eyesight is sharp, and if the 
instrument of the eye - the lens - is clean and transparent. Which twig to make 
use of matters little if the lens is opaque. Rendering the lens clear requires 
the lotion of Grace from the Guru, and the tapas of one's own untiring 
self-effort - at what?  certainly not at a painstaking study of the tree through 
a futile abd blurred vision - but at developing shatsampatti, at developing 
daivi sampat - coupled with vairAgya borne tyAga - tasks I daresay are far more 
formidable and hence readily avoided by most. Once the lens is clean, the 
evershining Moon will doubtless bless the eyes with Its pristine vision - 
tasyaisa AtmA vivrnute tanUm syAm.

Shri Gurubhyo namah
Hari OM


From:  Rajaram Venkataramani <rajaramvenk at gmail.com>; 
To:  A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta 

Subject:  Re: [Advaita-l] (Alleged) Internal Inconsistencies in the Advaita 

Sent:  Mon, Jun 27, 2011 9:18:59 PM 

My point in asking the question is to learn how the tradition views the
differences, if they indeed perceive them.

On Mon, Jun 27, 2011 at 9:59 PM, Vidyasankar Sundaresan <
svidyasankar at hotmail.com> wrote:

> Rather than arm-chair theorizing about jIva and ISvara,
> I think
> it is high time we all reminded ourselves that when we say jIva, we are
> really
> talking about our own selves, not some external entity out there.
> Regards,
> Vidyasankar

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