vedanta-res to mani and vidyasankar
Sri Mani and Sri Vidyasankar- by chance I bumped into the Alt.hindu and
your mutual dialogue. This was response of Sri Mani to Sri Vidyasagar.
My greetings to both of you. I will express my understanding for
whatever it is worth regarding couple of points you too have raised.
First let us get the definitions out.
Real is that which remains the same in all the three period of time -
(trikAla aBhAditam satyam)
"Unreal" is used in different connotations - Definition 1: In principle
whatever is not real is unreal. Definition 2: That which never exists
is unreal - like the son of barren women, AkAsha Pushapa or horns of
rabbit etc. The second definition is more correct.
Now the Jagat - world - real or unreal? It cannot be real since it
does not fulfill the definition of real - since it does not remain the
same in three periods of time. jet machete ii Jag - that which comes
It cannot be unreal-since it exists and is experienced. For the one
who is experiencing it, it exists at least in the present! (same
analogy holds good to projected snake on the rope).
Since it does not fit in the definition of Real, but appears to exit at
least in the present - we need a third term and that is the Mitya or
Maya (translation of this word as illusion may not give the right
perspective). Let us call it apparent reality.
It appears to be real but upon inquiry it is not. So is the snake - it
appears to be real to the one who sees it but upon proper inquiry it is
not real. Like the sunrise and sunset - Experientially it is real -upon
proper inquiry we lean that sun neither raises nor sets - and that is
knowledge. This knowledge does not negate the experience -It analyzes
the truth of the experience. Knowing fully well that sun neither
raises nor sets, we can still enjoy the sun rise and sun set. This is
The ropeness of the rope and snakeness of the snake both are attributes
of each object. They are many differences and many similarities too.
The fact that I project a snake rather than an elephant when I don't
see the rope as a rope is because of these underlying similarities.
Fear of the second, always makes the mind to project what it is more
afraid of than what is comfortable with. That is why people are always
afraid of the unknown, particularly about the future. In extending
these examples, to reality of the world and Brahman, one should be
careful, because these examples are not all inclusive. Snake-rope
example in Advaita vedanta is only to illustrate the non-apprehension
of the reality (Avarana) (not seeing the rope as a rope) which leads to
mis-apprehension (Vishepa) (seeing the rope as a snake) of the reality.
These are the two fold aspects of Maya. The example is no more suitable
Maniji, your argument that cognition of the rope is due to positive
attribute of the ropeness in the rope is true but that cannot be
extended to Brahman and conclude that he should have attributes. The
reason the logic fails here is not due to the limitation of Advaita,
but because of the limitation of the analytical tools. I offer the
following reasons: 1) Unlike the rope which is the substratum or the
reality in the snake-rope example, Brahman is not a cognizable object.
If he (or it) is cognizable then he becomes limited because, cognition
requires an object and a subject and their relation. Object is
different from the subject, object can not be the subject and by mutual
exclusion each limits the other. 2) Attributes are the measures of the
intellect. Nirguna Brahman does mean that he is guna hEna as some
interpret, he is beyond gunas since gunas are measures of the intellect
and he is beyond intellect. 3) He is real or truth which by definition
given above he is beyond time and hence space.
Looking from a different angle even the time and space are the
projection of the mind - no time and space in deep sleep as there is no
mind. Mosha is therefore is not going somewhere or reaching somewhere
since all these involve time and space and therefore limited.
Realization of Brahman or realization of self is nothing of the type
that I, the subject realize some thing- an object- if that is so then
you are right attributes are needed and intellectually you can know it!
Since it is not a cognizable object, obviously the words, which are the
expressions of the intellect, fail. In Kenopanishad the master
proclaims - those who understand it understand it not - because it is
not some object to understand. Since time and space are projection of
the mind, the duality is the projection of the mind. Hence in deep
sleep, there is no duality. What is called self realization or God
realization is not something that I realize. I realize what I already
am. In the realization there is not even the question of I have
realized since there is no more a subject-object relationship. From
the Bhakti point one can 'say' (words again fail here - since they
belong to intellect) God alone is and that is the true Saranagati or
Prapatti of the VisistAdvaita. The prapanna has to surrender
completely and fully for Moksha to the extent there is no more prapanna
left - that ego is dissolved at the alter his/her love. From Gyana's
point I alone am or is (existence). Hence these two are only different
ways of expressing the same state which cannot be intellectually
cognized. Then only the slokam - Purnamadam (That is complete or
infinite) and Purnamidam (This (idam sarvam eesavAsyam) i.e this entire
universe is complete or infinite). Since there cannot be two infinities
(as one limits the other) Purnat Purnamudaschate, and Purnasya
PurnamAdaya Purnameva Vashishyate. From infinity, infinity is removed
(or added) infinity alone remains. Thanks for the discussion and
welcome to true vedanta.
My greetings to you both.- Sadananda