[Advaita-l] is this jagat mithyA ?? Sri SSS

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Thu Aug 3 14:04:35 EDT 2017

On Thu, Aug 3, 2017 at 6:44 PM, H S Chandramouli via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> On Thu, Aug 3, 2017 at 5:35 PM, Bhaskar YR via Advaita-l <
> advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
> > praNAms
> > Hare Krishna
> >
> > Just for the info. to the Kannada readers, in the quarterly magazine
> > shankara bhAskara Vol-30 (for July to Sept.2017) the latest one, there
> is a
> > reprint of Sri SSS's write-up with regard to subject matter, which was
> once
> > published long back in monthly magazine adhyAtma prakAsha.  It would be
> > interesting reading for those who want to know the stand of Sri SSS with
> > regard to this issue.
> >
> > Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!
> > bhaskar
> > _______________________________________________
> > ​This article can be viewed at this link  <<
> > http://www.adhyatmaprakasha.org/php/magazineReader/
> templates/book.php?volume=083&issue=08&page=0221&year=2014&
> month=%E0%B2%8F%E0%B2%AA%E0%B3%8D%E0%B2%B0%E0%B2%BF%E0%B2%
> B2%E0%B3%8D#page/12/mode/1up

Many thanks for the above link. I read the short article and here is my

At the end of p.14, Sri SSS very clearly paraphrases the Taittiriya bhashya
sentence:  सत्यं ब्रह्म ज्ञानं ब्रह्म अनन्तं ब्रह्मेति । सत्यमिति यद्रूपेण
यन्निश्चितं तद्रूपं न व्यभिचरति, तत्सत्यम् । यद्रूपेण यन्निश्चितं तद्रूपं
व्यभिचरति, तदनृतमित्युच्यते । अतो विकारोऽनृतम् , ‘ वाचारम्भणं विकारो
नामधेयं मृत्तिकेत्येव सत्यम्’ (छा. उ. ६ । १ । ४)
and also concludes that as per the above definition of satya, the world of
waking, etc.cannot be held to be 'nirapekṣa satyam'. And the above
nirapeksha satyam alone is the śāstrīya definition of satyam, he agrees.
And he says, in this sense Vedantins aver that the world is mithyā. He
further says, we have no objection to hold the world to be mithya in this
sense. However, he adds 'despite being so, there is no objection to our
holding the world of vyavahara to be satya.This is because, even though the
vedantins say that the world is not satya in the above sense, yet we hold
the world of vyavahara to be satya alone and go about with our vyavahara.

Having said this above, in p.15 top, at the end of the article in the same
page, he says: Hence, what is the final reply to the question 'Is the world
mithyā?' The world, in its true form of Paramātman, Brahman, it is really
satya alone. Seen thus, nothing ever is mithya. The world perceived by the
ignorant as different from Brhaman is not existent at all. Hence there is
no room for the question 'is the world real or not?'  You call it the world
or Brahman, what exists is one non-dual entity. Nothing exists other than

The article concludes with the above note. I see a sharp disagreement, a
contradiction, between the two statements Sri SSS is making in the two
paragraphs shown above. In the first paragraph he agrees that the world is
endowed with change and therefore does not qualify to be 'nirapeksha
satyam.'  But in the conclusion, he equates the world and Brahman and says
that 'as Brahman the world is satya alone'. This is where the contradiction
and disagreement with his own statement, and more importantly, with
Shankara, is glaring. Just because the world is identified with Brahman,
does it cease to change? The Taittiriya definition of anrta is clearly
applicable to the world but Sri SSS does not take it into consideration
here. What would have saved the situation is: If he had cited the BGB 4.24
where Shankara is clearly articulating the 'bādhāyām sāmānādhikaraṇyam':

ब्रह्मार्पणं ब्रह्म हविर्ब्रह्माग्नौ ब्रह्मणा हुतम् ।
ब्रह्मैव तेन गन्तव्यं ब्रह्मकर्मसमाधिना ॥ २४ ॥

ब्रह्म अर्पणं येन करणेन ब्रह्मवित् हविः अग्नौ अर्पयति तत् ब्रह्मैव इति
पश्यति, तस्य आत्मव्यतिरेकेण अभावं पश्यति, यथा शुक्तिकायां रजताभावं पश्यति ;
तदुच्यते ब्रह्मैव अर्पणमिति, यथा यद्रजतं तत् शुक्तिकैवेति  |

Here Shankara no doubt equates the 'silver' with the shell and thus the
world with Brahman. But he does that only 'after' negating the world,
'abhāvam paśyati.'  But Sri SSS has not considered this 'abhāvagamanam'
that Shankara has used in several places, in the BGB itself: 2.16, in the
current instance, and 13th chapter last verse bhāṣya.  Without this crucial
step, the equating of the world with Brahman is not in tune with Shankara's
advaita. To someone who is aware of these bhāṣya instances, Sri SSS's
conclusion -* the world, as Brahman, is satya alone* - is squarely not
agreeable. For, as pointed out already, the world is fraught with vikāra,
as he has himself admitted. To equate a vikāravat jagat with nirvikāri
brahman without negating the world explicitly, as Shankara has done, is
jarring, to say the least.

warm regards


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