[Advaita-l] Accounting for Brahman appearing as the world

Praveen R. Bhat bhatpraveen at gmail.com
Fri Sep 8 13:03:30 EDT 2017

Namaste Venkateshji,

On Fri, Sep 8, 2017 at 4:37 PM, Venkatesh Murthy via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> Joke can be turned back to you. If everything like a Jada Vastu Pot is
> Brahman for you why not the Bhranta Jeeva also. That Bhranta Jeeva also is
> Brahman only because in this Universe there is nothing but Brahman only.
> Brahman is Jada, He is Chetana Vastu, Jnani and Bhranta also. Therefore let
> Bhranta Jeeva Brahman create everything and become even more Bhranta. But
> he is still Brahman only.

​Thanks for highlighting an important point​. This is unfortunately lost on
many who take the literal interpretation of sarvaM brahma; that is without
bAdhasAmAnAdhikaraNyam! The orthodox Vedanta process is to necessarily know
the jaganmithyAtvam before sarvaM brahma, else there is a great chance of
misunderstanding as we see in hippie-styled, anything-goes as Vedanta
moderners these days. The orthodox tradition with the TikAkAras,
vyAkhyAnakAras, etc, do not allow such self-styled interpretations. If the
jaganmithyAtvam was not meant, but only sarvaM brahma, Shruti need not
spend her breath on elaborate adhyAropa and then do apavAda. Both would be
purposeless. It would simply suffice to say sarvaM brahma and be done with
it. What else is there to talk of? Nothing. One great Swamiji, an excellent
Vedanta teacher, says such statements are like instructions to swallow a

However, Shruti thankfully doesn't do so. Else, that would make nAmarUpa
also brahman! Instead, there is an empirical reality given to this
kAryaprapancha, said that it is all kAraNAdabhinna and then a rug is pulled
from under the feet of the seeker by saying: don't get comfortable, it is
all mithyA nAmarUpa and therefore, kAraNAd abhinna. So, it is all
bAdhasAmAnAdhikaraNyam, meaning sarvaM nAsti, brahmaiva asti. The pot isn't
there, only clay is there; it is completely erroneous to say that the name
"pot" and form of pot exists, since it does not; only the cause clay
*appears* in the form of pot with the name-tag "pot". Else, its like saying
*appearance* is also brahman. The point cannot be stretched enough that
appearance is not brahman. Shruti exhausts Herself showing this point over
and over in all prakriyAs.

It is important to ponder on what is name and what is form. An excellent
lead is why Shruti says anena jIvena AtmanA anupravishya, nAmarUpa
vyAkaravANi, *not* AbhyAm nAmarUpAbhyAm anupravishya... and precisely why
Bhagavatpadacharya's shlokArdha reads jaganmithyA jIvo brahmaiva, not
jagadbrahmaiva jIvo brahmaiva. :)

--Praveen R. Bhat
/* येनेदं सर्वं विजानाति, तं केन विजानीयात्। Through what should one know
That owing to which all this is known! [Br.Up. 4.5.15] */

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