Trip to India – 4

Sw-s Subraya Sharma, Ramachandra Iyer & Sowmya

The Adhyatma Prakasha Karyalaya was founded by Swamiji [1880-1975] in 1920, its first location being Bangalore, which has persisted, but reduced in size in comparison with the next location: It then became well established in 1937 in Holenarsipur, 1 and ½ h. from Bangalore, where he spent his last years. Swamiji’s intention was to publish the works of Shankaracharya along with those of Gaudapada and Suresvara, all of those that are based on Prasthanatraya. His own extensive work has also been published there, as well as several journals – in Sanskrit, Kannada, and English.

In the second part of this travelog I talked briefly about the plan of distributing take-away copies of a diagram I had prepared and also of the abridged article I had written in defense of Swamiji against a veritable attack by a presumed scholar by the name of Ramakrishnan Balasubramania. After the three days’ sickness the occasion presented itself of carrying out the above – and it was on our visit to the ‘centre of studies’ or, rather, the headquarters of Adhyatma Prakasha Karyalaya where Swamiji had a small room as his only residence (clearly his life was not very private at any time after his wife passed away).


Here is the chart or synopsis:


(Aviakta)  PRINCIPLE    (Unity)       BEING            PURUSHA         REAL       SUBSTANCE             ESSENCE

(Viakta)   Manifestation   (Multiplicity)   Becoming      Prakriti     Unreal     Accident               Form


MUTUAL SUPERIMPOSITION   Real on unreal and unreal on Real – Self on not-self, etc.

  • Due to non-discrimination (not between those two, but of their real nature)
  • Not discriminating or realizing that those two are not two, but One:  Atman-Brahman
  • This is Avidya – pertaining only to vyavahara


In other words, there are two steps: 1) discriminate between sat and asat (Self and nama-rupa)

2) realize that there are not-two *


(No superimposition possible without the Real,                    which is prior)   (tadatmya)

‘’                             ‘’                          Truth                           ‘’

‘’                              ‘’                          Substance                   ‘’

‘’                              ‘’                          Essence                       ‘’

(No effect possible without the cause…. the effect inheres in, is not other than, the cause – Sankhya)


True opposites  (sat-asat, etc.) ……………… ontological……Principial

False opposites  (Complementaries ……..  epistemic ……. Cosmological  (Manifestation)

Life – death,  male—female,   dynamic – static ,  positive– negative


B – DELIBERATE  SUPERIMPOSITION – a device for teaching    Adhyaropa -Apavada

The unreal takes away (steals) from  the real,  darkness takes away from light, ignorance (error)  takes away from truth, unsightliness from beauty

NOTE – All the above pertains to the relative level – vyavahara – and is a concession for teaching purposes.

*The apparent world is but a play of words, but essentially is Brahman alone.

Synonyms:  Shakti – Prakriti – Maya (illusory causal seed of the world due to avidya/adhyasa)

Once the meeting started I made some comments about the contents of the chart (those present were paying more attention to it than to what I was saying) and the swami that was leading the proceedings – Sw. Prakashanandendra – probed me with some questions to check my knowledge of AV and also for the benefit of the audience. I forgot to say something about root-ignorance (mulavidya), which I suppose was something expected from me, and to that extent my mark cannot have been particularly high – 7 (or less), in my estimation. Later I was told that Sw. Prakashanandendra is an independent, meaning that he is not a direct follower of Swamiji (SSSS). He had been in another Sampradaya, but at some point was convinced that the teaching of Swamiji was closer to the truth of Advaita.