[Advaita-l] [advaitin] Re: Does the mukta/jnani see the world?

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sat Dec 23 00:46:08 EST 2023

On Fri, Dec 22, 2023 at 10:05 PM Srinath Vedagarbha <svedagarbha at gmail.com>

> On Fri, Dec 22, 2023 at 10:13 AM V Subrahmanian via Advaita-l <
> advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
>> We know from this saying of the Bhagavatam: The world is akin to dream,
>> not
>> real like the proverbial castle in the air. This premise stated by Veda
>> Vyasa in the Bhagavatam is accepted with no compromise only in Advaita.
>> This premise is contradictory to the doctrinal beliefs of other schools.
> Well, for others it is very crystal clear whenever shAstra equates waking
> with dream state.
> Sri. MadhwaAcharya quotes paramOpanishad in His VTVN work on this subject;
> "anitva vikAritva pAratantraAdi rUpataH |
> svapnAdi sAMyam jagatO, na tu bhOdha nirvatyAtA |
> sarvajnasya yatO vishNuH  sarva dvaita pratIyatE |
> bhOdhAsahaM tato naitat kMtvAjnAvashamasya hi"  -- iti paramOpanishadi
> (Wherever this world is said to be akin to dream in shAstras, it has to be
> understood not as mithya. It is said so because both are similar in sense
> of their anityatva, vikAritva and pAratantryatva. When this dvaita jagat is
> in Vishnu's knowledge (pratIti) and since He is sarvajna, how can His
> knowledge be brAnti and how can this jagt be mithya? This jagat is not
> sublatable by knowledge. It is real and under His controllership.)

In the Srimadbhagavatam is a verse on the mAyA-nature of the universe
explained with the rope-snake analogy:


आत्मानमेव आत्मतया अविजानतां

तेनैव जातं निखिलं प्रपञ्चितम् ।


*रज्ज्वां अहेर्भोगभवाभवौ यथा ।। 10.14.25*

//A person who mistakes a rope for a snake becomes fearful, but he then
gives up his fear upon realizing that the so-called snake does not exist.
Similarly, for those who fail to recognize You as the Supreme Soul of all
souls, the expansive illusory material existence arises, but knowledge of
You at once causes it to subside. //

The third line ‘ज्ञानेन भूयोऽपि चतत्प्रलीयते’ specifically teaches that
‘through Knowledge the falsely projected duality ceases’ which is nothing
but ज्ञाननिवर्त्यत्वम्. The rope-snake analogy too is significant in the
above bhAgavatam verse.

In the following verse too of the BhAgavatam (UddhavagItaa 17.55) we have
the illusory nature of the world-objects described:

*अर्थे हि अविद्यमाने अपि संसृतिः न निवर्तते।*

ध्यायतः विषयान् अस्य स्वप्ने अनर्थ आगमः यथा॥५५॥

//Even though the sense-world (of objects/subject and perceiving) is
unreal, अविद्यमाने अपि, the relative existence of a man who dwells on
sense-objects is never at an end, as troubles come in dreams. (Since dreams
are admitted to be effects of the impressions of the waking state.)//

The BhAgavatam, again, in the uddhavagItA chapter 23 verse 32 teaches:

यदि स्म पश्यत्यसदिन्द्रियार्थं , नानानुमानेन विरुद्धमन्यत् ।

न मन्यते वस्तुतया मनीषी, *स्वाप्नं यथोत्थाय तिरोदधानम्* ॥३२॥

//Even if the illumined man sees the objects of the outgoing senses, he
does not consider them as something real and other than the Self, because
they are rejected by inference on account of their multiplicity – as a man,
on waking from sleep, dismisses the vanishing dream perceptions. //

Here one can appreciate the word ‘नाना’ which is reminiscent of the Shruti
’नेह नाना अस्ति किञ्चन’ which is interpreted in Advaita as ‘there is no
multiplicity at all in the Truth, Brahman’. The Bhagavatam validates only
the Advaitic interpretation of this shruti in the above verse.

In this verse too the bhAgavtapurANa contradicts the ‘न तु बोधनिवर्त्यता’
idea of Sri Madhva. For, here in the bhAgavatam the very dream analogy is
used to show how the illumined/enlightened man perceives the world the way
the man *awakened from dream (प्रबोधितः/प्रबुद्धः) considers the
dream-vision.* In other words, the बोधनिवर्त्यता of the world is
specifically taught by the bhAgavatam through the dream analogy. The
analogy fits the dArShTaantika in both aspects: dream – awakening –
sublation of dream objects/events. samsAra/prapancha –
illumination/enlightenment – sublation of the world (mithyAtvanishchaya).

We said all the above to show how the Buddhist verse quoted by Sri Madhva
says something (सांवृतं व्यवहार्यं स्यान्निवृत्तौ पारमार्थिकम्) that is
already found in the purANa, smRti.

In one of the several verses cited from a Buddhist source by Madhwa in the
Tattvodyota, to show that Advaita too has the same/similar tenets -

सत्यं तु द्विविधं प्रोक्तं सांवृतं पारमार्थिकम् ।

सांवृतं व्यवहार्यं *स्यान्निवृत्तौ पारमार्थिकम् ॥१*

we see the nivrtti leading to parmartha drishTi or the paramartha drishti
resulting in the experience of nivritti of the world-perception as satya.

यत्र नान्त्पश्यति नान्यच्छृणोति …तद्भूमा , यत्र अन्यत्पश्यति…तदल्पम् By
this teaching the Chandogya shruti makes it very clear that the
non-perceiving of the world as the world but perceiving it as none other
than the substratum Brahman, bhUmA, is true realization. The opposite of
this vision is bondage, alpam. By this anvaya-vyatireka method the shruti
establishes the unreality of the world. This is the reply to Madhva’s
objection: न च जगतोऽज्ञानजन्यत्वे किञ्चिन्मानम् [Nor is there any proof for
the ignorance-base of the world]. ज्ञाननिवर्त्यता / बोधनिवर्त्यता of the
world-bhrama/perception is what is taught by such Shruti passages.

Also, are there free usages of the rope-snake, dream, gandharva nagara,
mirage-water, etc. type analogies for the world in the Madhwa corpus,
independent of the smriti, etc. he cites?

warm regards


> In many places Upanishad talk about nature of swapna avastha. To quote
> some;
> 1. Br. Upa -- swapnEna shArIramabhi prahatyAsuptaH suptAnabhi chAkaShIti,
> shukramAdAya punarEti stAnam hiraNmayaH puruShaH Eka-haMsaH
> 2. In another instance the same Br.U clearly says Deva creates vaasanamaya
> swapna padArthas by taking various small & large forms, sports with sthree
> forms and sees jIva-s in scariest objects of dream.
> "swapnAnta uchAvachamIyamAnO rupANi dEvaH kurutE bahUni, utEva steebhiH
> saha mOdamAnO jakshadutEvApi *bhayAni pashyan*"
> 3. The same theme is asserted when Upa. Says "na tatra ratha-yOgA na
> panthAnO bhavanti, atha rathAn rathayOgAn pathaH srujatE, ?? sa hI kartha
> "  (in swapna, initially there will not be chariots, nor paths. Swapna
> kartha Brahman creates the chariots, paths etc for the jIva)
> 4. Same Brahman Who creates the swapnAdi avsta-s controlls those very
> avasta-traya states of the jIva.
> 5. In another instance says "sa vA Esha Etasmin swapnAntE ratvAcharitvA
> driStAiva puNyam pApam cha punaH pratinyAyam pratiyOnyA dravati
> budhAntAaiva" etc...
> (Only this Isha moves jIva between swana and shuspti avastas, witnessing
> jIva's puNya and paapa, again bringing him to jaagrata avasta)
> /SV

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