[Advaita-l] Who is Ishwara? He is NARAYANA only. Beautiful and soothing Narayana Bhajan

Venkatraghavan S agnimile at gmail.com
Wed May 24 14:45:16 EDT 2017

Namaste Srinath ji,
If you don't mind me intruding, perhaps I can offer some explanations.

 If nirguNa-nirviShESha
brahman is always is, how could AV brings mAya/avidya to explain this
dvandva prapancha?

This question assumes that mAyA / avidyA is a pAramArthika guNa of Brahman,
it is not. It is kalpitam, or imagined in Brahman.

Since ignorance cannot float freely without any aShraya,
and given that only NB is only the tatva according to AV, then his question
is how NB possibly could have ignorance?

It does not have ignorance from a pAramArtha viewpoint. It does from a
vyAvahArika viewpoint.
The question arises because of the confusion between the two viewpoints.
>From a pAramArthika viewpoint, the questioner asks a vyAvahArika question -
How can you say Brahman is the only reality, when I see the world? And then
from a vyAvahArika viewpoint, he asks a pAramArthika question - how can you
say Brahman has ignorance?

Ultimately, the siddhAnta is that there is only one pAramArthika vastu,
nirguNa Brahman. There is no avidyA or mAyA here and no duality to be
explained here.

If it cannot then why invoke
ignorance argument to explain away duality?

It is only invoked when someone seeks an explanation for the apparent
disconnect between perceived duality and shruti vAkyas which deny reality
to such a duality, such as neha nAnAsti kinchana. So how to reconcile these
two? It is by introducing avidyA. This is classic adhyAropa apavAda
teaching. Introduce avidyA if someone seeks a reason for perceived duality.
Use avidyA to deny duality pAramArthika satyatvam, and having denied it,
withdraw avidyA too.

AvidyA is merely a notional construct introduced by shAstra to explain the
perception of duality. It does not have pAramArthika sattA.

If you permit me, let me explain mithya w.r.t to Sat and Asat.  NyAmrita
deals with not single, but by five definitions of 'mithya' as propounded
across various texts in Advaita.  Ignoring all those technical definitions
aside, let me say -- mithya is not at all an  ontological category such as
sat & asat, but rather an epistemological error confusing one for the

Again whether it is ontological or an epistemological error depends on
whether one has realised the truth or not. Before its bAdha, mithyA is very
much an ontological category. After its bAdha, one realises it was only
epistemological and no object existed in any period of time.


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