[Advaita-l] Multiple levels of reality

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Sun Feb 12 01:36:05 CST 2012

[was: Re: [Advaita-l] Holenarsipur Swamiji's remarks and why even Avidya 
is not necessary for Advaita]

On Sun, 29 Jan 2012, Kalyan K wrote:

> Yes, Shravana, manana and nidhidhyasana, but on what? Not on mAyA, but on
> brahman. Knowledge of multiple realities is not necessary for a sAdhaka.

Only becuse shravana etc. has already taken place prior to beginning the 
sadhana, through karmakanda.  (Which while explicitly dealing with ritual 
action covers all life actions.)

> Now, this mAya should not be confused with adhyAsa. While adhyAsa is
> natural, mAya is not. We will come to this later.

> Now to quote some Sruti statements to illustrate this point - In
> bruhadAranyaka 1.4.10, shruti says - brahma vA idam agra AsIt, tadAtmAnam
> eva Avet aham brahmAsmi iti, tasmAt tat sarvam abhavat
> "this was indeed brahman in the beginning, it knew ONLY itself (AtmAnam
> *eva* Avet) in this manner - I am brahman. therefore it became everything."
> Note that there is no mention of brahman knowing anything about mAya or
> multiple realities for achieving the highest state. It knew ONLY itself.

Well it doesn't mention it because you are starting from the end.  If you 
read my post from a few days ago, you know that 1.4.1 and onwards 
unmistakably describe Viraj as being ignorant of the nature of his Self 
and only on the passing of that ignorance He _became_ everything.

> Commenting on this Sri Sankara says (translation from Sri Madhavananda) -
> "How did It know Itself? As 'I am Brahman, the Self that is the seer of
> sight.' 'Brahman'.is That which is immediate and direct, the Self that is
> within all, beyond hunger and the like, described as 'Not this, not this,'
> neither gross nor subtle, and so on. 'I am, as you (teacher) said, That and
> no other, not the transmigrating self.' Therefore, from knowing thus, It,
> Brahman. became all. Since by the cessation of the superimposed notion of
> not being Brahman, its effect, the notion of not being all, was also gone,
> therefore It became all."

Note the word cessation there.

> There is no mention of brahman investigating about multiple levels of
> reality in the above in order to achieve knowledge. Yes, there is talk
> about superimposition, but superimposition is completely natural, while
> multiple realities are not, which brings us to -

As I mentioned previously, Shankaracharya says Viraj's initial ignorance 
and then enlightenment is the result of His karmaphala from a previous 
life.  Is this not an alternate level of reality?  If not then what do you 
mean by natural exactly?

> If knowledge of mithya is required for liberation, the sruti would have
> *explicitly* talked in detail about mithyatva and the multiple realities.

It does.  The whole karmakanda is dealing with a separate subject to the 
jnanakanda because that is a completely different reality.

>>> (by the way, multiple realities originally was a
>>> buddhistic concept, found in mUla-mAdhyamika kArIka of nAgArjuna).
>> The above misconception which is prevalent among non-advaitins is shown to
>> have no basis; the shruti itself proves them wrong:
> There is no misconception. It is not a misconception that penicillin was
> discovered by Alexander Fleming. Anyone who thinks that the concepts of
> multiple truths is not used by Buddhists are free to read the
> mUla-mAdhyamika kArIka of nAgArjuna and verify things for themselves.

There is a rather large difference between "originally was a Buddhistic 
concept" and "was used by Buddhists."  I agree with Shri Subrahmanian that 
the former has no basis. I don't mind conceding the latter.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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