[Advaita-l] 'world' is not the mental creation of tiny soul !!

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Mon Mar 17 18:45:57 CDT 2014

On Tue, Mar 18, 2014 at 12:30 AM, subhanu <subhanu at hotmail.com> wrote:

> Sri
> Subramanian wrote:
> I would like to know the source of this verse.  Someone told me that
> Sureshwaracharya has quoted or said this in his work/s.  Kindly confirm.  I
> find a word द्वैतेन्द्रजालस्य in the NS 2.112, however
> Namaste,
> I am in the middle of an extended business trip so I will try and give a
> full
> answer when I have time later, but in response to the above, the verse asya
> dvaita-jālasya.. is BUBV 1.4.371. Sri Swamiji discusses it in VPP section
> 119
> (118 in Alston’s English translation). Another verse is worth noting also
>  in this context is BUBV 2.3.86 māyendra-jālasya vyāmohāspadam ātmanah,
> where this magic show is described as fashioned by ignorance which is
> nothing
> other than confusion (moha).
> Though
> not fully answering your question, but as a stop-gap until I am free, I am
> repeating my posts to the Satchidanandendra list below:
> Sri Swamiji's precise view is that the cause of the world is the Self as
> unknown. He explicitly states in VPP Vārtikāprasthāna-parīkṣā
> (Ch 7 section 118) “api tu ajñātātmaiva kāraṇam ityasmākam
> abhyupagamah “ , “such is our view that the cause is the atman
> as unknown “.
> He
> makes this comment when discussing the important Vārtikā BUBV 1.4.480:
> ajñāta
> ātmā jagatah kāraṇam na guṇatrayam,
> The
> atman as unknown is the cause of the world, not the 3 guṇas.

Dear Sri Subhanu ji,

Thanks for the reply.  Surely this Atma-ajnAtatA (unknownness of Atman) is
not the characteristic of sarvajna Ishwara who is held to be the Creator.
Also, the BG 9.10 bhSShya says 'mAyA triguNAtmikA avidyAlakShaNA prakRtiH
sUyate.... is the one that brings forth the world.  So, how can we say that
the three guNa-s are not the cause?  I agree with the Vedanta siddhAnta
that neither the niShkriya Pure Consciousness Brahman is the cause of
creation nor the inert mAyA but the partnership of the 'two' alone can be
the cause of creation.  Shankara says this in the BSB 1.4.3:
tadadhInatvAdarthavat sUtra : // That primordial state is held by us to be
subject to the supreme Lord, but not as an independent thing.  That state
has to be admitted, because it serves a purpose.  Without that latent
state, the creatorship of God cannot have any meaning, inasmuch as *God
cannot act without His power*, and without that latent state, the

In any case, all that you cite below only go to show that NirguNa Brahman,
the pAramArthika satyam, Turiya, whose direct knowledge is what is required
in Advaita for liberation, is not the cause of creation.  What is stated in
the very second sUtra - janmAdyasya yataH is the sarvajnam brahma which is
mAyA-shabalitam one which cannot create, which cannot be the creator UNLESS
mAyA attaches to it.  This is the point Shankara makes in the above BSB
1.4.3.  Also  in BSB .2.1.14 Shankara negates the sarvajnatva,
sarvashaktitva, etc. of Brahman as not pAramArthika but only vyAvahAriika.
 So, the BSB 2 sarvajna brahma is only sopAdhika and NOT nirupAdhika
brahman.  Also, as I pointed out in my last post, Shankara says in the
mAnDUkya 1.2 bhAShya: bIjAtmakatva-abhyupagamenaiva
sataH...kAraNatvavyapadeshaH. [Therefore, only by admitting the
jIvaprasavabIjAtmakatvam, Sat is spoken of as the cause of creation in ALL
shruti-s.]  So, the abIja brahman which is Turiya is not the cause of
creation.  That amounts to saying: Brahman is not the cause of creation.
 That is why Shankara gives the rope-snake type of examples in creation
shruti bhAShya-s.  If ignorance is admitted, that entity ceases to be
Brahman.  But there is no way an inert entity can engage in creation.  Such
an entity has to be Brahman, who has assumed jIvahood, owing to
Atma-ajnAtatA.  That is the tenor of Shankara's bhashya on the

Now, the question: Where, in whom, does this AtmAjnAnAtatA [//“api tu
ajñātātmaiva kāraṇam ityasmākam abhyupagamah “ ,// inhere as per Sri
Swamiji? remains to be answered.  Is it Brahman that has the AtmAjnAtatA or
the jIva?  Has sri Swamiji said anything on this?  From what I understand
from the quotes given by you here, Sri SSS is non-committal on that.  Hence
it is impossible to come to a conclusion as to what he holds, what his
opinion is, on the issue of 'what/who is the Creator?'

warm regards

> [Now
> it is worth noting that BUBV 1.4.482 and 487 also have the following
> statements:
> “Yadātmake
> nāmarūpe” ityajñānātmatā tayoh [BUBV 1.4.482]
> It
> is stated in the bhashya “Yadātmake nāmarūpe” that these two are products
> of
> ignorance
> And
> subsequently:
> īshwarāvyākṛta-prāṇa-virād-bhūtendriyādikam
> nāvidyopāshritya
> muktvā sambhāvyam pratyagātmani [BUBV 1.4.487]
> It
> is not possible to entertain the notion of the various (8) states of
> īshwara,
> the unmanifest, prāṇa, virāj, the elements, sense organs etc, without the
> support of ignorance.
> This
> is explicitly stating that name and form, the unmanifest etc are falsely
> imagined through avidyā.]
> Sri
> Swamiji then further clarifies in VPP ch 7 ,118:
> Yah
> kāraṇam iti tu sarvasyāpi jagato rajju-sarpādivad-vikalpa-mātratvāt,
> tadāspadatvam eva kāraṇatvam brahmaṇa iti jñāpayitum
> Where
> Shankara has stated “The Self which is the cause of all the universe”, it
> was
> only to show that, because the universe is merely imagined like the snake
> in
> the rope, the Absolute is the cause in the sense that it is the substrate
> on
> which imaginations are made.
> Earlier
> in section 116, Sri Swamiji also makes the statement:
> ajñānopāshrayeṇa
> brahmaiva kāraṇam dvaitasyetyabhiprāyah
> The
> Absolute is the cause through the medium of ignorance
> Now,
> confusion could stem from a view that,  as causality is mediated through
> ignorance,
> and ignorance is a mental notion, the “jiva” is falsely “creating” the
> universe
> in his mind. The confusion might arise through such passages in VPP
> section 143
> as:
> Avidyāyāh
> svabhāva eva hyeṣah; yadavidyamānam vastu pratyupasthāpyapekṣayā ātmānam
> paricchinam ivāpādya
> For
> it is the very nature of ignorance that it sets up the appearance of
> existence
> of things that do not really exist, and makes the Self appear
> circumscribed by
> them.
> (Note
> Swamiji here is directly echoing a vārtikā at BUBV 2.4.456 avidyāyāh
> svabhāvo’yam yadasatkaraṇam mriṣā: ignorance falsely “creates” that which
> does
> not exist)
> However,
> elsewhere Sri Swamiji clearly states that precisely because name and form
> are
> falsely imagined, no real creation, sustenance and destruction can occur.
> In
> VPP Chapter 3 section 35, Sri Swamiji writes:
> Nāmarūpa-jagatah,
> pratīyamānarūpeṇa, vikalpamātratvāt rajjusarpāderiva na
> janma-sthiti-bhangam.
> Since
> the world of name and form, being no more than an apprehension, is merely
> falsely imagined, it no more undergoes creation, sustenance and dissolution
> than a rope-snake does.
> And
> of course one should never forget that causality is only a device to
> establish
> the only reality that is Atman (BUBV 1.2.27 evam bhūtātma-siddhyartham
> kāraṇādi
> prasāddhyate; upāyah so’vatārāya tathā tatjñaishcha sūtritam: cause and
> effect
> are only employed to establish the already existent Atman, “it is a mere
> device”, so has stated that great knower of the tradition ie Gaudapada).
> For in
> VPP Ch7, section 118, Sri Swamiji summarises as follows:
> Atra
> kārya-kāraṇa-bhāva eva na yuktisah iti pratyākhyātah. Etad
> vididityottara-shlokairapi, ante upasamhritam:
> Jagatutpatti-samhārās
> tadvadātmani kalpitāh
> Vastuvrittam
> samālokya kutah sriṣṭyādi sambhavah? [BUBV 2.1.411] iti.
> Tathā
> cha māyikam eva jagat-kāraṇatvam ityabhiyukta-sampradāya evātrānusritah.
> “Here
> the whole notion of cause and effect is refuted as logically indefensible.
> A
> few verses later (Sri Swamiji has just been quoting BUBV 2.1.399),
> Suresvara
> summarises as:
> So,
> the creations and withdrawals of the universe have been merely imagined.
> When
> you have seen reality as it is, how can the notions of creation etc be even
> seen as possible? And
> so, Suresvara keeps to the true vedantic tradition of stating that
> causality
> supposed to produce the world is purely illusory.”
> Hope
> the above is helpful.
> Regards
> Subhanu
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