[Advaita-l] Can a mithyA-vastu produce an effect? असत्यवस्तुनः अर्थक्रियाकारित्वम्

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Sun May 22 07:10:53 CDT 2011

> Sribhashya has said Yathartha Sarva Vijnanam Iti Vedavidam Matam
> SrutiSmrutibhyaha Sarvasya Sarvatmatva Pratititaha means all Jnana in
> this world is true Jnana only. There is no false Jnana because we know
> from Sruti and Smruti everything contains everything. Shell will have
> silver silver will have shell iron will have gold and diamonds and
> platinum. Even mud will have gold silver and platinum. Why it is like
> this? Chandogya Sruti has said Tasam Trivrutamekaikam we see by
> Pratyaksha the Trivrutkarana of elements in combining. All things in

It is a great leap from trivRtkaraNa to rajata-Sukti, rajju-sarpa and sthANu-
purusha. What the chAndogya Sruti tells us is that the material constituents
of the perceivable universe are reducible to certain basic elements. This is
somewhat similar to the contemporary scientific outlook that says that
ultimately all material entities are made up of the elements in the periodic
table, which are futher made out of basic atomic particles, and so on. The
similarity with contemporary science ends there. The chAndogya Sruti goes
on from this description of trivRtkaraNa to make a higher and wide-ranging
philosophical statement about tat tvam asi, whereas physical science cannot
(and does not) go from its material reductionism to the tat tvam asi level.
Leaving science aside, it is also completely indefensible to cite trivRtkaraNa
Sruti in the case of perceptual error and to hold that "minute amounts" of
the wrongly perceived entities are actually present in the objects being
wrongly perceived. When an inanimate pillar is seen from a distance and
mistaken for a living person, what is the "small quantity" of purusha that is
in the sthANu, to cause the error? To answer that the purushottama is really
hidden in the pillar is no answer at all, because the purushottma is hidden
everywhere, not just in the pillar. Also, in that case, it is not necessary to
have the tIvra bhakti of prahlAda to see narasimha emerge out of a pillar
at all. It would be enough to make a simple mistake in regular perception!
Mere physiological myopia or randomly firing neurons would be enough and
moksha would be guaranteed, effortlessly. If you were to say that a "minute
quantity" of another purusha, not the purushottama, is present in the pillar,
again that would be no answer at all. For that would merely restate an
idiosyncratic position, not address the question raised above. I would really
like to meet, shake hands with or pay homage to that elusive purusha in the
pillar, no matter of how small a quantity he may be. Even if he were not the
purushottma, he would have to be a great yogi or a master magician. Maybe
I could learn something about hiding away a "minute quantity" of myself 
in a pillar, be seen only when someone else makes a mistake and vanish
when the same person examines the pillar more closely! It would be an
extremely useful skill to have, in this world and the next.

> the world have the same basic elements. Even our body has the same
> elements like Carbon. So everything contains everything. But the
> question is how much? Even mud has gold and silver but they will be

"Everything is in everything," understood as an expression of sarvam khalv
idaM brahma, as a higher philosophical principle, is one thing. Taking it as a
literal statement in a realist philosophy (or for that matter modern science)
is a completely different thing altogether. I hope you can see how taking your
argument to its logical extreme can get to be very nonsensical. How much
of Adolf Hitler is in you? Or for that matter, how much of Osama bin Laden
is in you? I don't mean this in a metaphorical sense; I mean this question
in the bhUtArtha sense of "minute quantity" versus "large quantity".
> In Physics we know every action has equal and opposite reaction. If a
> boy is pressing the ground and jumps up he is putting some force on
> the earth. Earth puts back same force on him makes him jump. But what
> about the Earth? What happened to force the boy put on it? The Earth
> moves also but the movement is very small even the best measuring
> instrument will not show it. But you conclude Physics law is wrong?
> There is no equal and opposite reaction. This is wrong conclusion.
> Like this everything in the world contains everything but we cannot
> measure it. But the law everything contains everything is correct. It
> cannot be tested always. It is coming from Chandogya Sruti.

This is bad mixing up of scientific thinking and philosophical thinking. I will
desist from saying much further on either count, for I think I've already 
said too much in this post. I wish you good luck in studying viSishTAdvaita,
dvaita, dvaitAdvaita/bhedAbheda and advaita.

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