The following was posted to the Advaitin List by Satyan Chidambaran, who has agreed for me to record it here.
There is a distinction between bAdha (sublation) and nAsha (destruction) that the tradition makes.
To know that a Pot is not real, and only clay alone is real, one shouldn’t need to destroy (engage in nAsha of) the Pot appearance. One just needs to know clearly that the Pot is just a name and form and Clay alone really exists. Therefore, even when seeing a Pot, a “Clay j~nAnI” knows clearly that the Pot is mithyA nAma rUpa and Clay alone is satyam. This is bAdha of the Pot.
In bAdha, one knows that there never was a Pot, there is no Pot even now as one sees it, nor will there ever be a Pot in future. One doesn’t need to powder the Pot and erase its name and form (which is nAsha) to dismiss the Pot. Moreover, with nAsha, one may still incorrectly conclude that there was a Pot before that has now been powdered into Clay, and the Pot can re-emerge later. But this would only be a perpetuation of ignorance of the fact that there is no second entity called Pot in reality.
Only with bAdha, one knows rightly and clearly that there is no second entity called Pot at all whether the Pot appearance is there or not. Also, in bAdha, there cannot be any relationship (sambandha) between Clay and Pot because any sambandha is possible only between two things in the same order of reality and Clay and Pot don’t belong to the same order of reality with bAdha. (E.g. A waker can never get married to the girl in his dream, nor can mirage water ever wet the sand).
Similarly, non-duality is not the absence of duality. Non-duality is in spite of duality. An Atma j~nAnI, even in the midst of all names and forms, and all appearances of duality, knows that AtmA alone is satyam, and AtmA is asa~Nga (sarva sambandha rahita, relationless) because there is nothing else other than AtmA (in that higher order of reality) that AtmA can be related to or be affected by. “As AtmA/Brahman, I alone Really am”. This doesn’t prevent the j~nAnI from acting in the lower order of reality (vyavahAra), much like an actor who knows that he is an actor can continue to play roles in a drama. So also, a j~nAnI can put on the vyAvahArika nAma rUpa body-mind costume and seemingly act and enjoy/suffer in vyavahAra (the consequences of vyAvahArika prArabdha), even though he (being really AtmA), knows that he doesn’t really do anything being akartA, nor does he enjoy/suffer anything being abhoktA, nor is he as AtmA subject to any prArabdha.
Dennis, wonderful editorial judgement, heh, heh.
One of the best posts I have had the pleasure to read on this site.
Any chance of getting more articles from this author?