[Advaita-l] About the term in 'Ishwara' in Advaita - a brief note

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Thu Apr 5 02:25:28 CDT 2012

On Thu, Apr 5, 2012 at 11:12 AM, Rajaram Venkataramani <
rajaramvenk at gmail.com> wrote:

> In reflection theory, the reflection is is real, the only difference is
> localisation. If you want I can pull out refrences fom Appayya Dikshitar
> etc. though I dont have it handy. So, your conclusion on this basis is
> incorrect.

If anyone says something other than NirguNa Brahman is 'real' in Advaita it
only means 'relatively real' and never absolutely real.  Thus, no Acharya
in the Advaita tradition would support or endorse your view if you are
saying/meaning that the reflection is absolutely real or as real as the
original.  Here is just one sample from Shankara's Brahma sutra bhashya
3.2.18 to prove that Shankara holds the reflection unreal or un-pAramArthik:


अत एव चोपमा सूर्यकादिवत् । ब्रह्मसूत्र ३,२.१८  ।

यत एव चायमात्मा चैतन्यरूपो निर्विशेषो वाङ्मनसातीतः
परप्रतिषेधोपदेश्योऽत एव *चास्योपाधिनिमित्तपारमार्थिकीं
*विशेषवत्ताभिप्रेत्य जलसूर्यकादिवदित्युपमोपादीयते मोक्षशास्त्रेषु -

'यथा ह्यजं ज्योतिरात्मा विवस्वानपो भिन्ना बहुधैकोऽनुगच्छन्  ।

उपाधिना क्रियते भेदरूपो देवः क्षेत्रेष्वेवमजोयमात्मा' इति   ।

'एक एव हि भूतात्मा भूते भूते व्यवस्थितः   ।

एकधा बहुधा चैव दृश्यते जलचन्द्रवत्ऽ (ब्र.बिं १२) इत्येवमादिषु    । । १८  । ।

Shankara gives references from the Upanishads to strengthen the idea that
the reflected consciousness is a-pAramArthika.  As I said earlier, in
Advaita whatever is not the pArmarthika NirguNa brahman is vyAvahArika.
The other name of vyAvahArika in Advaita is mithyA which in English is

> As Ishwara is ever the Self an pure consciousness only, your conclusion
> that He is unreal is untenable on his ground also.

No. Ishwara is never the Atman but the jagatkartA aupAdhika chaitanya.  It
is in this context that this thread is proceeding. As such such an entity
is unreal in Advaita.

> I don't think it is appropriate for me to comment on Swami
> Paramarthananda's views. But as you are dragging him in to this discussion,
> I ask "If it is the view of Sankara that God is unreal, why should he at
> all feel uncomfortable about it?

You have not understood my words:  the 'kashtam' is only for someone who is
giving the reply since the questioner is assumed to be not prepared for the
Advaitic reply to this question. Hence the Swami's remarks.



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