[Advaita-l] Brahman and Avidya - mutually exclusive?

Aurobind Padiyath aurobind.padiyath at gmail.com
Wed Jun 24 07:16:16 CDT 2015

Sri Murthyji,

Hari Om! !!

What one experience in waking and dream is a result of Avidya. The
identification that I'm the body etc is a result of that. You do not have
that in deep sleep and hence the Avidya and it's effects are not

As per Advaita there is only One and everything is that. Having said so
even the earlier mentioned Avidya cannot be other than that? But why is
that we have multiplicity everywhere? Is it then real or is it that we feel
it as many? Or the first assumption,  is it wrong? Where will one get
answers for these? How do one go about it?

There are two methods for going about for it. One is self inquiry into
one's own experiences and going about finding out from outer world and
verifying it with one's own experiences. This is the method mostly used by
western philosophy and it's practices. Fortunately we have well trodden and
well laid out paths in our ancient scriptures. So we look for the answers
without wasting time for reinventing the wheel, in our scriptures. These
are laid out just as in any other educational system based on the
qualification of the student. One who jumps the system is bound to get
confused as these are well laid out and catering to various minds. So what
is good and appealing to one need not necessarily be acceptable to someone
Who will decide what is good for me is a question most seekers face. This
is the time when he gets the instruction from a Guru. Here he will be
tested and trained according to his calibre. Sometimes one has to move on
from one Guru to another with the permission of the first one as he will
know the method suitable to you is not his method and who is good in it.
This is not a crime or demeaning the teaching of the first one. Like that
you will get the right guidance and advice on this path. As rightly you
asked, one need to verify the teachings in one's own inner experience. If
it do not match, you should go back and get clarification from the Guru. It
is said " परिप्रश्नेन सेवया".

Coming to your questions:

Who is the knower of avidya?
There no knower of Avidya, but everyone who has not understood the Truth
taught in vedas especially in vedanta part are experiencing the effects of
Avidya. Avidya being the projection of MAyA can only be experienced. The
Guru says mAyA is Anirvachaneeyam, meaning inexplicable.

Who illumines the removal of avidya and acquisition of vidya?
In reality no one. The self-illuminating individual Self, Atma illumines
itself. The examples given is, like your own spectacle resting on your
forehead when your child or wife tells, you gain it. You had not acquired
it new nor had you ever lost it to get it back.

Question: What is the significance of the word manasA Eva ?
Here the manasA is thriteeya vibhakthi eka vachanam  denoting "by the mind"

In vedanta especially in the Brhadaranyaka Upanishad  a process is
prescribed for the Atma vichara. It is well known "Neti Neti" meaning 'not
this not this'. In this process one is asked to negate anything that is
other than himself. Now this process can be done only thru the mind? Here
mind is used as an instrument till the instrument itself is also negated
leaving behind no-mind state or Amanibhava. At that time one realises
that      "nEha nAnAsti kiMcana ". This one is surely for you to try and
bring into your own anubhava.
God speed. Hari om! !

Aurobind Padiyath
On 24 Jun 2015 07:59, "sreenivasa murthy" <narayana145 at yahoo.co.in> wrote:

> Dear Participants ,
>         To get rid of avidya the existence of avidya has to be known by
> the one who wants to get rid of avidya by acquiring vidya. Who is the
> knower of avidya? Who illumines the removal of avidya and acquisition of
> vidya?
> Mantra 2-1-11 of Kathopanishad reads thus:
>      *manasaivEdamAptavyaM*
> *         nEha nAnAsti kiMcana* ||
>   What is the significance of the word *manasA Eva* ?
> Clarifications are requested from the participants with a request the
> clarifications so given can  be verified in one's own *anuBava*.
> Thanking you,
> With respectful regards,
> Sreenivasa Murthy
>  ------------------------------

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