Eka jIva VAda – I Am Alone: Part VI

Part – V

Understanding Perception:

We don’t ever see or experience a ‘world.’

Our capacity to detect anything  is confined to a limited bandwidth of certain characteristics (in a so-called world) using our sensory organs:

                       Eyes      →   light, colors, shapes, distances, sizes

                       Ears         sounds, distance

                       Skin       →  heat, pressure, itch, softness, roughness

                       Nose      →  smells

                       Tongue   →  taste

                       Mind (?)   time, imagining (thinking)

[Note: 1. The normally held view about our senses as given above is valid only in a broad way.  Modern scientific research shows that quite a bit of collaborative overlap exists in their actual functioning.  For example, eyes and skin also have a role in hearing;  nose and ears (and even lungs) assist the tongue in tasting etc. Embodiment takes place from multi-sensory input.

2.  Notice that we are not endowed with any sensory organ to detect ‘time.’]

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Eka jIva VAda – I Am Alone: Part V

Part – IV

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!!

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Eka jIva VAda – I Am Alone: Part IV

Part – III

This Post is once again in continuation to the discussions on my earlier Posts.

I shall try to answer the questions and clarify on some of the conceptual issues raised by our esteemed Colleague Suka in his Comments of the 15th of April.

That we have to necessarily use words to express ourselves is pretty obvious. But the words come with their own baggage especially when we use them in contexts that are non-quotidian and are hence liable to be understood or misunderstood in unintended terms. Therefore, it looks to me that I should begin with clarifying the meaning of some of the words, and many a time, this by itself, will have the potential to resolve some of the pending confusion.

Suka observed, inter alia, in his comments of the 15th April:

I)   “Traditionalists (do not) consider neither māṇḍūkya bhāṣya nor vivekacūḍāmaṇi as authentic works of śaṅkara for this very reason.” [I guess “do not” is a typo.] Continue reading

Eka jIva VAda – I Am Alone: Part III

Pat – II

Our esteemed colleagues Suka and Martin  made certain important observations on the earlier Posts of mine on this subject. So I felt it may be better to respond to the points raised by them without any further delay before resuming my presentation  with regard to Eka jIva vAda.

A:  About the similarity between Wakeful and Dream Worlds:

Suka pointed out to the three distinct orders of reality distinguishable from the way we experience them and opined that dream and awake world cannot be treated at par.  He said that a dream world was a ‘bhrama‘  whereas the awake world was ‘mithya.’

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Eka jIva VAda – I Am Alone: Part II

Part – I

The quintessential teaching of Advaita is well encapsulated in the famous half-verse long apopthegm comprising eight words:

Brahma satyam

Jagat mithya

jIvah brahmaiva na aparah

(Brahman alone is Real; the world is unreal; and the individual (jIva) is in actual fact non-different from Brahman).

Thus the jIva-brahmaikya vAda (the Doctrine of the Identity of the individual and Brahman) effectively sums up the message of Advaita.

All of us are jIvas. Obviously then, without doubt, we are Brahman.

However, we outdo Brahman, if I may say so, with two additional qualities. These are (i) a delimited size, shape etc. (finitude in dimensions) and (ii) an ID (individual name, lineage etc.). Continue reading

Eka jIva vAda – I Am Alone: Part I

The Question at # 340 is, IMO, a landmine!

It sounds quite innocuous but barely conceals the explosive depths of its profundity.

It’s a cleverly worded question on the very origins of you and me, of the world, nay, of the “creation” itself, pregnant with implications on what comes first – the ‘witnessed’ or the ‘witnessor.’

The answer would inevitably be a replay of the classic debate on perception-based-creation (dRshTi-sRshTi-vAda) vs. creation-based-perception (sRshTi-dRshTi-vAda). But Advaita holds, contrary to either view, quite counterintuitively, that nothing has ever originated (ajAti vAda). Continue reading