[Advaita-l] What is the difference between Maya and avidhya ?T

Raghav Kumar raghavkumar00 at gmail.com
Fri Sep 23 10:04:11 CDT 2016

In 'sadeva saumya idam agre AsIt' chandogya 6th chapter  the word ' sat'
denotes kAraNam brahma not nirguNa brahma devoid of all upadhi-s (
nitya-shuddha- buddha-mukta svarUpam brahma). Although the word nirvisheSha
and advitiya are used in samAnAdhikaraNyam still the bhAShya there compares
it with suShupti where avidyA is not destroyed so we are still at the level
of kAraNam brahma at this point. Same goes for 'tadaikShata'.
 यथा सुषुप्तादुत्थितः सत्त्वमात्रमवगच्छति सुषुप्ते सन्मात्रमेव केवलं
वस्त्विति, तथा प्रागुत्पत्तेरित्यभिप्रायः
Also the sat shabda in sadeva saumya is further clarified by giving the
clay lump example which functions as the cause for all clay names and forms.

We can have the three ideas of
1. Clay objects ie., nama rupa-s
2. Clay lump mRtpiNDam i.e., the first undifferentiated kArya from which
all other nama rupa are formed.
3. Clay i.e., enjoys kAraNam status w.r.t. the karya. But later to be
understood as devoid of even kAraNopAdhi.

This understanding of the same word 'sat' is to be arrived at later on and
not when jagat sRShTi is going to be explained. In the verses subsequent to
sadevasaumya idam agre AsIt  the topic deals with sRShTi prakriya, so the
word 'tad' and 'sat' both are kAraNopAdhisahitam brahma.

तदैक्षत बहु स्यां प्रजायेयेति तत्तेजोऽसृजत तत्तेज ऐक्षत बहु स्यां
प्रजायेयेति तदपोऽसृजत

This difference between kAraNam brahma and kAryam brahma can
from a different perspective be understood to be the same as what Sri
Chandrashekhara Bharati Swamiji mentions in Dialogues.

There we have Ishvara or kAraNam brahma who by merely his sAkShitvam
triggers creation. But for this that same sAkShi Ishvara reflected in
triguNAtmikA mAyA becomes kArya brahman or mAyopahitam brahma, a term used
synonymously with hiraNyagarbha the vedapuruSha who deals with the nitty
gritty of sRShTi sthiti and laya.

It may be difficult to give an exact analogy. But we can use the following.

The Original Sun which illuminates a bowl of water compared to kAraNam
brahma or Ishvara.
The reflected Sun which is visible in the water is kArya brahma or
hiraNyagarbha whose 'presence' in the water energizes it and causes
convection evaporation etc. In each kalpa this reflection can be said to
change and a new mahApuruSha is given the status of hiraNyagarbha.

The water itself is avidyA/mAyA which is the viShaya of the viShayin.

Incidentally it is said sri hanuman is going to be the firstborn
hiraNyagarbha in the next kalpa or cycle of creation. I do not know the
original reference for this.


> >
> > > > This 'object' vishaya, for Brahman, the kartA, prior to creation,
> > > > avidyA/mAyA/mUlAvidyA.
> > > >
> > >
> > > 1) If this is admitted prior to creation, how it is reconciled with -
> > >
> > > nitya-shuddha-buddha-mukta Brahma svarUpa,
> >
> > As mithyA.
> >
> so, we are accepting mUlAvidyA presence(bhAva rupa)  in Pure Existence
> ( nitya-shuddha-buddha-mukta
> Brahma svarUpa), though as mithyA ? ( just like jagat experience as mithyA
> after jnAna prApti)
> In that case, Pure Existence was never without mUlAvidyA (though mithyA) ?
> > as in
> > >
> > > Sruti vAkya - sad eva, saumya, idam agra AsId ekam evAdvitIyam - In
> > > beginning, .. there was **existence alone** ?
> > >
> > There is an anvaya needed before translation here, else it would mean
> > there *was* existence and is not there now
> >
> Existence alone IS :)
> Isn't the context , in the beginning ( before creation, before jagat,
> before world).. Pure Existence alone IS ( without any mithyA) ?  :)
> > going against the very definition of sat! he saumya, idaM jagat agre
> > sadeva AsIt, ekamevAdvitIyam. This world was existence alone earlier.

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