[Advaita-l] Multiple levels of reality

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sun Feb 19 01:27:45 CST 2012

On Sun, Feb 19, 2012 at 12:03 PM, Kalyan K <kalyankc.81 at gmail.com> wrote:

> >
> > >>Ignorance is adhyAsa and adhyAsa is natural.
> >
> >Doesn't answer the question.
> Why not? Since ignorance is natural, a sAdhaka does not need an exposition
> on multiple realities to be taught that he is ignorant. The SravaNa etc. is
> not on mAya but on brahman.

Shankara in the adhyAsa bhAShya says: adhyAso mithyeti bhavitum yuktam.

So the very first exposition on adhyAsa by Shankara, in the very first
sentence says that adhyAsa is mithyA.  Hence the second sentence says: the
loka vyavahAra involving 'I am this, this is mine' based on the basic
adhyAsa, is also bound to be mithyA.  That shows that the adhyAsa and the
effects it brings up are all mithyA.  And the most logical conclusion that
follows this is that the mithyA is at the vyAvahArika level and the
underlying adhiShThAna is at the pAramArthic level.  Thus there is no way
Vedanta can be taught without bringing in the concept of levels of

Shankara has extensively refuted, on both logical and scriptural grounds,
the version of Advaita very similar to what you have been propounding. The
Sutra bhAshya: 2.1.14 is a fine place to study this.  There the opponent,
claiming to be an Advaitin, proposes: the vyavahaara of bandha involving
duality is also real and the paramArtha involving unity is also real.  He
consciously, like in your version, avoids bringing in the term 'mithyA'.
Shankara's refutation of this construct is a fine lesson in the Vedantic
teaching of samsaara mithyAtva and Brahmaikyatva and the inevitable concept
of the multiple levels of reality.  The specific use of the terms
vyAvahArika and pAramArthika in the bhashya is the highlight never to be
missed by a student of Vedanta. One gets to know in this section just one
indication of what a construct that is not based on the sampradaya would
look like.


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