Fwd: Advaita-friendly 'Mithya' term in the Puranas

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V Subrahmanian

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Aug 15, 2022, 5:42:35 AMAug 15
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From: V Subrahmanian <v.subra...@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, Aug 15, 2022 at 3:11 PM
Subject: Advaita-friendly 'Mithya' term in the Puranas
To: A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta <adva...@lists.advaita-vedanta.org>


Advaita-friendly 'Mithya' term in the Puranas
In Advaita, the word 'Mithya' is widely used to mean that the world is only an appearance, not a reality. We find this word used in a similar sense in many Puranas:
स्कन्दपुराणम्/खण्डः १ (माहेश्वरखण्डः)/कौमारिकाखण्डः/अध्यायः १२
Skandapurana:
स्मरन्विलसितं मिथ्या सत्याभासमिदं जगत्॥
अविद्यामयमित्येवं ज्ञात्वा मूकत्वमास्थितः॥ १२.३७ ॥
[That which is imagined is mithya, a corruption of the Truth. This is merely Avidya....]
शिवपुराणम्/संहिता ४ (कोटिरुद्रसंहिता)/अध्यायः ४२
Shivapurana:
अज्ञानं विविधं ह्येतद्विज्ञानं विविधं न हि ।।
तत्प्रकारमहं वक्ष्ये शृणुतादरतो द्विजाः ।।१८।।
ब्रह्मादितृणपर्यंतं यत्किंचिद्दृश्यते त्विह ।।
तत्सर्वं शिव एवास्ति मिथ्या नानात्वकल्पना ।। १९ ।।
[Ignorance is multiple but Knowledge is only One. From Brahmaa down to the smallest creature that is seen is Shiva alone; multiplicity is mithya.]
स्कन्दपुराणम्/खण्डः १ (माहेश्वरखण्डः)/केदारखण्डः/अध्यायः ३१
Skandapurana:
अतीत्य संसारमनादिमूलं मायामयं मायया दुर्विचार्यम्॥
मायां त्यक्त्वा निर्ममा वीतरागा गच्छंति ते प्रेतराणि निर्विकल्पम्॥ ३१.५५ ॥
Samsara is maaya and beyond enquiry. Give up maya .....
संसृतिः कल्पनामूलं कल्पना ह्यमृतोपमा॥
यैः कल्पना परित्यक्ता ते यांति परमां गतिम्॥ ३१.५६ ॥
Bondage is mere imaginary. He who gives up the imagination is liberated.
शुक्त्यां रजतबुद्धिश्च रज्जुबुद्धिर्यर्थोरगे॥
मरीचौ जलबुद्धिश्च मिथ्या मिथ्यैव नान्यथा॥ ३१.५७ ॥
Just like the shell-silver, the rope-snake, the mirage-water, everything is mithya alone.
सिद्धिः स्वच्छंदवर्त्तित्वं पारतंत्र्यं हि वै मृषा॥
बद्धो हि परतंत्राख्यो मुक्तः स्वातंत्र्यभावनः॥ ३१.५८ ॥
Non-dependence is Great; dependence is unreal. The bound is dependent and the liberated is free.
एको ह्यात्मा विदित्वाथ निर्ममो निरवग्रहः॥
कुतस्तेषां बंधनं च यथा खे पुष्पमेव च॥ ३१.५९ ॥
Realize yourself as the One Atman....where can there be bondage which is of the nature of a sky-flower?
शशविषाणमेवैतज्ज्ञानं संसार एव च॥
किं कार्यं बहुनोक्तेन वचसा निष्फलेन हि॥ ३१.६० ॥
Bondage is akin to a hare's horn.
देवीभागवतपुराणम्/स्कन्धः ०७/अध्यायः ३९
Devibhagavatam
अतः संविदि मद्‌रूपे चेतः स्थाप्यं निराश्रयम् ।
संविद्रूपातिरिक्तं तु मिथ्या मायामयं जगत् ॥ ४५ ॥
Everything other than Consciousness is mithya, maaya world.
ब्रह्मवैवर्तपुराणम्/खण्डः २ (प्रकृतिखण्डः)/अध्यायः ३६
Brahmavaivarta purana
ब्रह्मादिस्तम्बपर्य्यन्तं सर्वं मिथ्यैव केवलम् ।।
भज सत्यं परं ब्रह्म राधेशं प्रकृतेः परम् ।। ८३ ।।
From Brahmaa down to the smallest creature is mithya alone. Resort to the Truth that is Radhesha, Krishna.
(The word Mithya is used in the same sense in many places in this Purana.)
Yogashikhopanishad: This Upanishad has a 13th century commentary of an Advaitin, Narayanashrama:
तस्मात्सर्वप्रपञ्चोऽयं ब्रह्मैवास्ति न चेतरत् ॥ ३॥ व्याप्यव्याप्यकता मिथ्या सर्वमात्मेति शासनात् । इति ज्ञाते परे तत्त्वे भेदस्यावसरः कुतः ॥ ४॥
The world is Brahman alone. When the unreality of the world is known, where indeed is difference, bheda?
In the following verse of the Padma Purana, it is said that the meaning of 'Mithya' in the Vedantic scriptures should be understood as anitya, impermanent. The examples we have shown above are in contradiction with this:
पद्मपुराणम्/खण्डः ६ (उत्तरखण्डः)/अध्यायः २२७
योऽसौ निर्गुण इत्युक्तः शास्त्रेषु जगदीश्वरः ४०।
प्राकृतैर्हेयसंयुक्तैर्गुणैर्हीनत्वमुच्यते ।
यत्र मिथ्या प्रपञ्चत्वं वाक्यैर्वेदांतगोचरैः ४१।
दृश्यमानमिदं सर्वमनित्यमिति चोच्यते ।
Om Tat Sat

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sunil bhattacharjya

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Aug 15, 2022, 4:18:34 PMAug 15
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Dear Subbuji,

In Shrimad Bhagavatam, the same is conveyed by the following verse, without using the word Mithya, so that the common people should be able to understand  the message better.

न यत्पुरस्तात्उत यन्न पश्चा न्मध्ये च तन्न व्यपदेशमात्रम
भूतं प्रसिद्धं च परेण यद्यत्तदेव तत्स्यादिति मे मनीषा ॥ ११.२८.२१ ॥

That what was absent before, is absent afterwards,  isn't there in between, but is only a superficial designation; whatever is created and is known by something else, is actually only that something else; that is my opinion.

Regards
skb

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V Subrahmanian

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Aug 15, 2022, 4:49:06 PMAug 15
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Dear Sunil ji,

Yes, you are right.

Regards
subbu 

sunil bhattacharjya

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Aug 16, 2022, 1:26:16 PMAug 16
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Dear Subbuji,

You may be aware that Lord Krishna gave the same message to Arjuna in another place as follows:

आदावन्ते च यन्नास्ति वर्तमानेऽपि तत्तथा ।

वितथैः सदृशाः सन्तोऽवितथा इव लक्षिताः ॥ OBG 2:19


(The object which does not exist in the beginning nor at the end, is also like the same at present. The objects are unreal and they appear to be real.)


Regards,

skb


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