VEDĀNTA the solution to our fundamental problem by D. Venugopal
Part 44 begins the discussion on Ishvara and the ‘orders’ that govern the world-appearance.
There is a complete Contents List, to which links are added as each new part appears.
Q: There are two concepts, super-imposition and manifestation, in Advaita to describe the ‘relationship’ between Brahaman and the empirical world. Super-imposition means that the world is super-imposed on Brahaman. Manifestation means that the world is a manifestation of Brahaman. My doubt is as to how a manifestation can be super-imposition also? My gut feeling is that there is a subtle link between the two concepts which I am unable to ‘see’ because of the proverbial ‘ignorance’.
A (Dennis): They are each a metaphor to give the mind some insight into the nature of reality. The reality is non-dual so that all metaphors and all ‘explanations’ are ultimately untrue. The world and the jIva are mithyA. Brahman has no relationships. Use the metaphors and explanations of the scriptures and teachers to help guide the mind to realization of the truth but don’t ever take them as more than what they are. And do not worry if one ‘explanation’ disagrees with (or even contradicts) another. They all have to be dropped in the end!
The words, ’cause’ and ‘effect’ are only from a point of view. You say that this is the effect and that is the cause. In fact, the effect itself is the cause, being non-separate from the cause. Then again, which is cause and which is effect? When the pot is broken, it becomes clay. That means clay came from pot! This concept of cause and effect is purely a point of view. Our understanding that the cause came first and the effect came later is only a point of view. From the standpoint of Brahman, there is nothing that comes later, because Brahman itself is the effect. If at all the concept of ’cause’ and ‘effect’ is talked about, it is from the standpoint of the unmanifest and manifest conditions.
The unmanifest becomes manifest – that is called creation. Creation itself is not a proper word for us, because the word ‘creation’ is relevant only when something did not exist before, and later came into being. But it is not like that. That which is in an unmanifest, undifferentiated form, comes to be differentiated. One is in a subtle form, the other in a gross form. In a differentiated form it is called creation. In an undifferentiated form it is called dissolution. This creation is cyclic. The creation becomes unmanifest because it was manifest before. Unless it was manifest before, it cannot become unmanifest. We cannot talk about any sequence here.
Mundakopanishad (Two Volumes), Swami Dayananda, Arsha Vidya Center Research.