Several times in the past we have had detailed discussions in these columns on the question whether a jnAni needed to continue the observation of some or other ‘practices’ after gaining jnAna (Self-Knowledge). We had also seen that there is a divergence of opinion on ‘ekajIva vAda’ both in the theoretics of the doctrine and also its relevance as a ‘prakriya‘ (a process system) for an earnest seeker.
At one of the popular traditionally oriented Advaita fora, I found a very significant Post that simultaneously touches on both the issues of (i) The ‘need’ of practices in the post-jnAna phase and (ii) ekajIva vAda as a prakriya. Without further ado, I reproduce below the authentic words of the Poster: Continue reading →
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.’]
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!!
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 →
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.’
The quintessential teaching of Advaita is well encapsulated in the famous half-verse long apopthegm comprising eight words:
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 →
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 →