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

kuntimaddi sadananda kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Wed Mar 26 09:08:40 CDT 2014

On Wed, 3/26/14, V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com> wrote:
Dear Sri Sada ji,
  It is fine that one jiva's avidyA leads to just his  contribution to  Ishwara's shakti for creation of the 'total' world and thus the 'sum total' of all jiva's contributions go into the total shakti of  Ishwara.  But another significant point too should not be missed here.  The bhAgavatam verse that was taken up as the basis for the study of the topic originally has this to say:
  यदिदं मनसा वाचा चक्षुर्भ्यां श्रवणादिभिः ।
  नश्वरं गृह्यमाणं च विद्धि मायामनोमयम् ।। ११-७-७ ।।
 *Gita Press translation – Completely shaking off all attachment for your own people and kinsmen and fully concentrating your mind on Me, for your part, go you about the earth looking upon all with an equal eye (6). Whatever is being apprehended with the mind, speech, eyes, ears etc., know  it to be a creation of the mind and therefore (merely) illusory and transient (7).*
It says that ' *Whatever is being apprehended with the mind, speech, eyes, ears etc., know it to be a creation of the mind and therefore (merely) illusory.'*
 Now, it would be prudent to consider that the teaching above is talking about each individual's cognition as illusory.  And this is not a teaching limited to one jIva but every jiva who invariably uses the mind, speech, eyes, ears etc.  On the basis of the maxim 'little drops of water makes the ocean huge', the sum total of each individual's cognition makes the sum total of the jagat illusory.  That is the purport of the bhAgavata verse.
Subbuji – PraNAms

Just for some general consideration on the first part. 

Since pourusheya bhagavatam need to be interpreted in the light of Vedanta, we need to be careful in interpreting the sloka. As we know, tat tu samanvayaat, needs to be operating principle.
Let us look at the statement considering that illusion means here mityaa and not as non-existent entity, the part that says each mind, whatever it perceives is mithyaa  is absolutely correct – dRisyatvaat as Shankara puts it. 

 Whatever the mind perceives is the creation of that mind – if we take it vaachyaartha of that statement-  it becomes a problem, and therefore that it is mityaa,  also need to be examined further.  

Theory of cognition involves senses perceiving the attributes of the object to the degree that they can, if all the secondary conditions are suitable (appropriate lighting etc) and forming the Vritti in the mind.  Implication from this is that the mind that perceives is not creating the attributes of the object and then let the senses perceive those attributes and forming vRitti in the mind.  Otherwise it becomes vijnaana vaada if we take vaachaayartha. 
There is a statement in Advaita Makaranda (forgot the sloka) that says the existence of an object is established by the knowledge of its existence.  
This statement differs from the above in the sense it does not talk about creation of an object and cognition and thus having the knowledge.  It applies to the knowledge of even pre-existing object, but its existence becomes deterministic only when it is cognized. Otherwise it is indeterminate or anirvacaniiyam.  The same problem in deep-sleep state – does the world exists  or not when there is no cognition of the world? The answer can only be –yes or no - or indeterminate since existence can only be established by the knowledge of its existence, obviously by a conscious entity. Mandukya only says that there is no desire for any objects in the deep sleep state since their existence is not established, as no knowledge of their existence takes place. 
Hence the bhagavatam sloka can be interpreted as whatever the object perceived or cognized via the creation of the vRitti by the mind – know that it is mithyaa since as Shankara says – dRisyatvaat.  Here we are limiting the creation of the mind not to the attributive content of the object but the creation of the vRitti in the mind with the perceived attributes as its content. Hence the world that cognized by the mind via the creation of the VRitties is mithyaa only. Vedanta Paribhaasha says, the existence of the object out there is - as though - transferred as existence of vRitti in the mind which unites with the consciousness of the subject for one to be conscious of the existence of the vRitti and thus conscious of the existence of the object out there. 

About the  Kshetrajna statement of 13th Ch.– we know it is mahavaakya where the teaching to recognizes one real cognizer in spite of many apparent cognizers.

Leaving to Airport in couple of hours. 
Hari Om!

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list