[Advaita-l] Fwd: Avidya and Maya are synonymous for Shankara
v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Tue Dec 6 06:02:15 EST 2022
In the Bhagavadgita 7th chapter the Lord says:
त्रिभिर्गुणमयैर्भावैरेभिः सर्वमिदं जगत् ।
मोहितं नाभिजानाति मामेभ्यः परमव्ययम् ॥ १३ ॥
त्रिभिः गुणमयैः गुणविकारैः रागद्वेषमोहादिप्रकारैः भावैः पदार्थैः एभिः
यथोक्तैः सर्वम् इदं प्राणिजातं जगत् मोहितम् अविवेकितामापादितं सत् न
अभिजानाति माम् , एभ्यः यथोक्तेभ्यः गुणेभ्यः परं व्यतिरिक्तं विलक्षणं च
अव्ययं व्ययरहितं जन्मादिसर्वभावविकारवर्जितम् इत्यर्थः ॥ १३ ॥
The entire world is deluded by the (effects of Maya) three gunas. Shankara
says 'the effects of the three gunas are raaga, dvesha and moha - due to
loss of discrimination. Surely this is a defect in the Jiva and not the
Lord (The Lord can't be stated to have raaga, dvesha, etc.). Despite the
word Maya being used here in the next verse, it is clear that this effect
is of the Jiva alone.
Shankara introduces the next verse thus:
कथं पुनः दैवीम् एतां त्रिगुणात्मिकां वैष्णवीं मायामतिक्रामति इत्युच्यते —
How indeed is one going to transcend this Vaishnavi Maya three gunas:
The adjective Vaishnavi to Maiya makes it very clear that it is the power
in the hands of the lord alone and not something to do with the Jiva.
दैवी ह्येषा गुणमयी मम माया दुरत्यया ।
मामेव ये प्रपद्यन्ते मायामेतां तरन्ति ते ॥ १४ ॥
The lord says 'my Maya' is difficult to overcome. Those who take refuge in
me or realise me will be able to transcend this Maya.
Surely if this power Maya is that of the Lord (with which he creates the
world), the Jiva can never ever transcended or destroy it. However contrary
to the normal ignorant thinking, the lord and Shankara assert that Maya
is undoubtedly the power of the lord and which is the one that deludes the
Jiva. If Maya were exclusively the power of the lord it should not have
deluded the Jiva by taking the name Avidya.
Shankara comments here:
दैवी देवस्य मम ईश्वरस्य विष्णोः स्वभावभूता हि यस्मात् एषा यथोक्ता गुणमयी मम
माया दुरत्यया दुःखेन अत्ययः अतिक्रमणं यस्याः सा दुरत्यया । तत्र एवं सति
सर्वधर्मान् परित्यज्य मामेव मायाविनं स्वात्मभूतं सर्वात्मना ये प्रपद्यन्ते
ते मायाम् एतां सर्वभूतमोहिनीं तरन्ति अतिक्रामन्ति ; ते संसारबन्धनात्
मुच्यन्ते इत्यर्थः ॥ १४
What is is worth noting here is Shankara says the wielder of Maya, Mayavi,
is none other than Jiva: svaatmabhutaam. He surrenders to the Lord and
realises this Atman completely and will be able to transcend this Maya that
deludes everyone. Shankara says that this power of the lord that deludes
everyone in creation can be overcome by the Jiva. How can the power that
exclusively belongs to the Lord can ever be transcended the Jiva?
This question will haunt those who hold that Maya which is the power of
Ishwara is not avidya that deludes the Jiva. There is more trouble for
Shankara introduces the next verse thus:
यदि त्वां प्रपन्नाः मायामेतां तरन्ति, कस्मात् त्वामेव सर्वे न प्रपद्यन्ते
If those who surrender to you / realise you, transcend Maya, why is it that
not all surrender to you?
न मां दुष्कृतिनो मूढाः प्रपद्यन्ते नराधमाः ।
माययापहृतज्ञाना आसुरं भावमाश्रिताः ॥ १५ ॥
The Lord says those wretched ones, fools, whose intellects have been looted
away by Maya (who are bankrupt of the discriminating power) take to
Shankara says ते च मायया अपहृतज्ञानाः *संमुषितज्ञानाः* the same.
If Maya is exclusively the power of the Lord and has nothing to do with the
Jiva, what we have seen above in the words of the lord and Shankara is
something to the contrary: Maya of the lord deludes the Jiva, which it
should not have according to those who hold Maya is the power of the
Lord. In other words this Maya is not different from Avidya which alone
should be deluding the jiva.
Thus from the above analysis we conclude that Maya which is so explicitly
stated by the Lord has 'his' 'mama maayaa', is actually the power that
deludes the jiva and keeps him in bondage.
This is clearly a case of Maya - Avidya identity, non-difference.
This position of the Lord, Shankara and Advaita cannot be set aside or
undone by anyone. The reason is there is hardly any argument that can
reasonably accomplish that.
> <listmaster at advaita-vedanta.org>
More information about the Advaita-l mailing list