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

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Wed Mar 26 12:48:03 CDT 2014

On Wed, Mar 26, 2014 at 7:38 PM, kuntimaddi sadananda <
kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com> wrote:

> --------------------------------------------
> 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.

Dear Sada ji,

In the BSB 3.5.17 itself Shankara cites the mahAbhArata/viShNupurANam verse:

In the Mahabharata itself the Lord Himself denies reality to those forms
and that they should not be taken to be His nature/guNa and kriyA:

माया ह्येषा मया सृष्टा यन्मां पश्यसि नारद ।
सर्वभूतगुणैर्युक्तं नैवं मां ज्ञातुमर्हसि  ||

After showing His vishvarUpa darshana to Narada, the Lord says: Narada, what
you see Me here is My illusory projection.  Do not know Me as endowed with
all these attributes.

Also, the Br.upanishad 'indro mAyAbhiH pururUpa Iyate..' bhAShya says that
Brahman takes various forms owing to avidyA cognitions.

So, there is no way one can show that the shruti-based creation method
contradicts the pauruSheya quotes.

> 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.

The most significant verse of the Advaita Makaranda that depicts the
'cognition is creation' prakriyA is:

1. Advaita Makaranda:
> mayyevodeti chidvyomni jagadgandharva pattanam
> ato'ham na katham brahma sarvajnam sarvakAraNam
> In Me, the Space of Consciousness, alone does the whole world - like the
castle-in-the-air - arise.How am I, therefore, not Brahman, the All-knower
and the Cause of all?
> 2. Kaivalyopanishad:
> mayyeva sakalam jaatam - This entire creation is born of ME, The Pure
Infinite Consciousness alone
> mayi sarvam pratishthitam - This entire creation and everything in it,
have their being in ME, The Pure Infinite Consciousness, I am
> mayi sarvam layam yaati - This entire creation and everything in it
ultimately resolve into ME, The Pure Infinite Consciousness that I am
> tad advayam brahma aham asmi - I am That Brahman which is The ONE without
a second, ONE which is all-inclusive, all-pervasive. I am Brahma, Vishnu,
and Siva all in ONE.

And the manIShA panchakam verse:

brahmaivAham idam jagacca sakalam chinmAtravistAritam
sarvam chaitadavidyayA triguNayA asheSham mayA kalpitam

[I am indeed Brahman, this entire jagat is a projection of and in the Pure
Consciousness.  All this universe is concocted by Me through avidyA
constituted by the three guNa-s.]

Even in the Shruti-taught creation  specified by you, Shankara takes it as
an illusion using the rope-snake analogy:

In the Chandogya 6.2.3 bhAShya, the Acharya brings out the purport of
Brahman creating the universe, otherwise called 'becoming many':

//How did That (Sat/Brahman, the Cause) visualize? This is being answered:
'syAm = I shall become; bahu = many. PrajAyeya = 'I shall be born
excellently' like earth taking shapes of pots etc.or ropes etc. taking the
shapes of snake, etc. imagined by the intellect (buddhiparikalpitena).//

If you think the Shruti-taught creation is distinct from the bhAgavata and
other verses (pauruSheya), pl. note that Shankara differs:  He uses the
rope-snake analogy for a sRShTi that is supposed to emerge from Sarvajna
Ishwara for the sake of all jiva-s as per their karma.   Really Shankara
should not be using the rope-snake analogy at all here.  Moreover, to make
things worse, He says: buddhiparikalpitena.  Why should Shankara say 'the
creation of Sarvajna Ishwara/Brahman is akin to an imagination / delusion
akin to perceiving a rope-snake if it was a 'real' sRShTi as opposed to a
'cognition is creation' of an individual according to Him?

warm regards

> 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!
> Sadananda
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