[Advaita-l] Advaita-1)Body is the disease
svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Mon Jan 13 16:17:38 CST 2014
> It is said that Brahman out of ignorance created body .Does it mean that Brahman is also subject to avidhya? I think this may not be a correct
Talking about avidyA like this is often like trying to light a lamp and taking it around, to search for where darkness exists. One way to get past this is to look at it the following way.
Many people find a lot of issues with saying that brahman is the locus of avidyA, but I don't think anybody has any problem with accepting that the jIva is subject to avidyA. This comfort zone in one's thinking is itself a symptom of avidyA. The upanishad teaches you and me, the individual jIva-s, "tat tvam asi". advaita AcArya-s say that the jIva always was, is, and always will be, brahman alone, nothing else. It is not as if the jIva is one thing when subject to avidyA, transforming into something else upon realizing itself as brahman. So whose is this avidyA, jIva or brahman? But then, jIva IS brahman, even when subject to avidyA. Trying to distinguish, between brahman on the one hand and the jIva as the subject of avidyA on the other hand, is itself avidyA, because there is no such distinction in reality. It is the success in making this transition that distinguishes the jnAnI from one who remains in avidyA.
On the narrower note of upanishadic interpretation, we should think about the sequence in bRhadAraNyaka 1.4.1-9 and ponder what it really says.
The AtmA alone was, originally (eva idam agra AsIt), first saw nothing other than itself (na anyad AtmanaH apaSyat), felt fear (abibhet) and felt alone (ekAkI), then reasoned "why should I fear?" (kasmAn nu bibhemi?), thus got rid of that fear (bhayaM vIyAya), but was not happy (naiva reme) because of being alone and so desired a second (dvitIyam aicchat), then went through the cycle of creation, finally returning to realizing that the AtmA alone is the dearest of all (preyo 'nyasmAt sarvasmAd antaratamaM yad ayam AtmA).
That initial experience by the AtmA, that feeling of fear, when there is nothing else, combined with loneliness, from there being nothing else, is indeed the avidyA that sets all the saMsAra into motion. The return to the AtmA alone as the most dear is the moksha that stops this saMsAra. All this happens to the AtmA, who is brahman. The upanishad is very clear about this, because after 1.4.10 and 1.4.11 begin again by saying that brahman alone was.
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