This Post responds to the Comments of 18th April made by Suka.
(Suka’s Comment in blue and my response in black).
S: Mithya is defined as sadasadbhyām vilakṣaṇam – meaning it cannot be categorically classified as truth or false. Mithya is vyāvahārika, experientially efficient, substantially unreal.
R: vyAvahArika and prAtibhAsika fall under mithya. Both vyAvahArika and prAtibhAsika are experienced in their respective spheres, and both derive their reality based on the Reality of the immutable substratum. Dr. Mani Dravid Shastri also suggests in his lectures on adhyAsabhAshya that, “mithya can be divided into two categories, namely vyAvahArika or empirical and prAtibhAsika or illusory.”
S: The argument tat pot is an illusion does not hold water, because pot does hold water.
R: “Holding water” too is as much an illusion as pot or water!!
S: Logic has no scope when it comes to ātma jñāna; śruti is the only pramāṇa. Logic can give raise to only parokṣa jñāna and therefore out of scope as regards aparokṣa ātmā.
R: For an experiential understanding of Self-Knowledge, even sruti is pretty useless and could prove to be a burden (impediment if clung to) and one should drop it also.
S: Yet, I listened to the audio link, since I had the inclination, and therefore found the time.
S: 1. Firstly I do not agree that dream world is a creation, for we call something as created only when it is practically efficient to serve a given purpose.
R: This is quite a dangerously outlined proposition for Advaita studies!
The key words used to define “creation” in the above quoted statement are: practical; efficient; given purpose. All these words sound like a Production Manager’s terms in manufacture of a product and not ‘creation.’
Given purpose means there is a motivated goal set to be reached. This in turn will imply (i) a ‘doer’; (ii) time-space dimensions and (iii) a process.
Advaita is fundamental negation of all the three. I discussed some of this in my first Post here:
It will also help to remember that “creation” in Advaita is not different from “imagination / fancy .”
S: On this basis, I do not agree to the view that dream world is a creation, since it is haphazard, and serves no purpose.
R: It serves the ‘dreamer’ and follows the laws of the dream world.
S: The “creator” of the dream has not control over the dream world, and he cannot create the same world twice, at his will. In fact, there is no freewill involved in dream and hence it cannot be categorized as creation.
R: This statement is equally true for the vyAvahArik state too. “You can never step into the same stream twice.”
Our PuraNAs give any number of instances where the creations in different kalpas vastly differ from one another.
Presence of Free Will implies ‘choice.’ Choice necessarily means multiplicity. Thus Free Will, by definition, is an antithesis to Non-duality.
S: 2. In the extempore, it was said that “the only difference between waking and the dream world is that in addition, we have five additional subordinates in the form of sense organs, which gives input to the mind”. The question therefore is who created these additional five sense organs?
R: The same hiraNyagarbha who created the rest of the stuff of the wakeful world.
S: It was definitely not the dreamer, nor the waker, not consciousness. This is where, in my understanding, īśvara comes in.
R: Isvara is just another name. One may from the current state of knowledge (and speaking from the wakeful state) as well honestly admit and say “I don’t know” instead of bringing fictitious characters in order to satisfy an inquisitive mind.
S: 3. There is an order in the waking world which does not exist in the dream world. The physical order, the physiological order, the psychological order, even an emotional order, the order of cause and effect, all these exist in the waking world whereas the dream world is chaotic.
S: 4. I also found the extrapolation of illusion to time and space, and eventually to 7 billion dreams of “my” consciousness logically wanting.
R: Consciousness is NOT personal. What is personal is the ‘mind.’ Yes, it is true, mind resists to accept this Truth, for if it accepts, that is the end of the mind.
S: There is pralaya of the dream world when one wakes up, whereas the waking world continues even after self-knowledge.
R: The world as a “separate entity” existing at a distance from a “me” here appears to the one who continues to live under delusion. A jIvanmukta is one who lives in a disposition (or ‘state’) of padArtha abhAvana.
For the ordinary folk too, there is a (pra) laya in deep sleep 3-4 times every night. Please see my Posts on Deep sleep.
And also please see the last part of my answer to the Question here: https://www.advaita-vision.org/self-knowing-the-self-q-317/
How does a jIvanmukta impart teaching is discussed at the above link.
S: If one where to equate dream world and waking world, one will be forced, logically, to take extreme positions such as maṇḍana miśra did in brahma siddhi (he does not agree to jīvan mukti at all, and says the one we call as a jīvan mukta is at best the highest sādhaka and he attaines mukti only on death), or as vimuktātman in iṣṭa siddhi (vimuktātman does not agree with maṇḍana in his theory of avidyā leśa, and proposes avidyā samskāra which is similar to a car continuing to run on its momemtum even after the engine has been switched off). These positions have no śruti support.
R: Nothing substantial will be achieved through polemical discussions on what one or the other author said. One can only increase one’s repertoire of knowledge and sharpen one’s own mental storage/retrieval systems by this approach.
What I find more helpful is to grok the basic principles of Advaita by following just one comprehensive text (doesn’t matter even if it is at an intellectual level to start with) through one’s own eyes rather than the eyes of an ‘authority’. One should not go in the beginning itself for a meta-analysis by trying to integrating too many diverse authors and their divergent views. Perhaps Sureswara also said something similar at one place!