[Advaita-l] Multiple levels of reality

Kalyan K kalyankc.81 at gmail.com
Sun Feb 12 03:01:10 CST 2012

>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.)

Dear Jaldhar, The Self cannot be known through shravaNa on the karma kanda.
Note Sankara's commentary on bruhadAraNyaka upnishad 2.4.2 where
yajnavalkya tells to maitreyi that possession of wealth does not lead to
immortality. Sankara interprets this as meaning the performance of rites
like agnihotra, which can be done through wealth. We can conclusively say
that karma kanda does not give knowledge of Self.

It is in the same section in the upanishad that yagnavalkya talks of
shravaNa etc. Please refer to 2.4.5 of the BU where he says that the Self
(not the karma kanda) should be heard of etc. Here is the relevant portion
in Sanskrit – AtmA vA are draSTavyaH Srotavyo mantavyo nididhyAsitavyo
maitreyI Atmano vA are darSanena Sravaṇena matyA vijNAnenedaM sarvaM

>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.

I never said that ignorance need not be destroyed for Self-knowledge. I
said that a sAdhaka does not need the knowledge of mAyA or multiple
realities for liberation.

>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?

By multiple levels of reality, we (or at least I) generally mean
vyavahArika satya and paramArthika satya. Can you clarify on what you mean
by alternate level of reality?

Now to elaborate on what is natural – We normally think (even without
reading the Sruti or any scripture for that matter) that we are the body
with the senses controlled by the mind, and subject to conditions like
disease, poverty misery or happiness etc. So this adhyAsa is completely
“natural”. Compare with the situation of Arjuna at the start of the
bhagavad gIta.

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

 Please refer above on what I meant by “reality”.

 >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.

 Yes, there is a difference and I will say this -


   mAyA was "also" used by the buddhists

   multiple realities was “originally” used by the buddhists (though it is
   "implicit" in Sruti)

   Now, I know that you will not concede on point 2. But an individual's
   concession is his or her personal opinion. From my side, I say that one is
   free to verify point 2 by reading buddhist works like mUla mAdhyamaka
   kArIkA of nAgArjuna.



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