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Aham da dum

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Mar 21, 1995, 9:16:04 PM3/21/95
From: (K. Sadananda)

>In fact it is unfortunate that since the time of Sri Ramanuja the term
>mayavada is used by critics to designate the Advaita philosophy. If at all
>one wants to characterize the essence of Advaita philosophy it should be
>rightly called as Brahamavada rather than mayavada. Maya is only a tool
>used to explain why advaita appears to be dvaita.

Brahmavada is one who is tattva-vit: as defined in the SAstra:

vadanti tat tattva vidas
tattvam yaj jNanam advayam
brahmeti paramatmeti
bhagavan iti Sabdyate

Those who are tattva-vit understand that the Absolute Truth has three
nondual features, namely Brahman, Paramatma, and Bhagavan. The mAyAvadIs
on the otherhand say that the Absolute Truth is Brahman alone, and that
Bhagavan is Brahman covered by illusion. Therefore they are known as the
mAyAvAdIs, because they believe Brahman gets covered by illusion.
BrahmavAdI means one who understands that all three features are the
nondual Absolute, and he is therefore attracted to the Brahman feature.
But such a brah mavAdI _never_ commits the offense of saying the BhagavAn
feature is coverd by illusion. Therefore the SArIraka bhAShya is _not_
brahmavAda, it is pure mAyAvAda.

>So Manishji to start with according to Advaita there is no everyone - there
>is only one and it is Brahman. The word Brahman comes from Brih dathu.
>Forgetting the interpretations and connotational meanings the word meaning
>of Brahman is that which is the bigness. (A noun made out of the adjective
>the big.)

But you claim the Brahman is not an object and therefore cannot possess
any adjectives. If Brahman is a noun, it is an object and can therefore
possess an adjectives. Please speak mAyAvAdam AS IT IS.

>Essentially it is the infiniteness. In infinity there are no parts, even mathematically.

It is having the quality of infiniteness, the quality of oneness, these
all imply duality.

>Furthermore, there can only be one infiniteness. If there are more than
>one, one limits the other and neither one is infinite.

No one is saying there are two infinites, not even dvaita-vAda.

>Hence the scriptural declaration is indeed mathematically precise:

Ekameva Adviteeyam Brahma.

"There is certainly only one Brahman, there are not two". That is accepted
in all vedAnta bhAShyas. This point is therefore irrelevant.

>Before we take up the aphorism -Aham Brahmasmi - there is another
>mahavakya, aphorism, that defines what -that Brahman is- It is Pragyanam
>Brahma - That is consciousness is Brahman. That is the chit aspect of

I am sorry, but your grammarian skills fall a little short. Your mahAvAkya
_does not_ define Brhaman. It defines prajNanaH, and that consciousness is
Brahman. Some may claim this to be a great vAkya, but it is actually very

sarvam khalvidam brahma

"Everything is Brahman."

The use of the word sarvam indicates more than one, so to say that it
means "the One is Brahman" is wrong. It clearly says _everything is
Brahman_. There is nothing that is not Brahman, therefore to make a
statement such as "consciousness is Brahman" is a s trivial as you can
get. Let us say it for everything, one at a time:

"toiletam brahma"
"sinkam brahma"
"spoonam brahma"
"breadam brahma"
"doSam brahma"
"sadAnandam brahma"
"ho hum brahma"

This is a useless waste of time. Why make a mahAvAkya out of "prajNanam
brahma"? _Everything_ is Brahman, not just consciousness.

>Now, Aham Brahmasimi does not mean everyone is Brahman. Then we end up too
>many infinetenesses which is by definition absurd. And all your arguments

No vedAnta school ever says there are more than one infinite... this is
ridiculous. Even schools that say the individual jIvas are Brahman never
say such a thing.

> The following example makes the concept clear. Like a room space claiming
>Aham Akashasmi- that knowledge can come to the room space if it identifies
>that space in me is the same as the all pervading akasha. Although we do
>divide our house space into different rooms for vyavaharika or
>transactional purposes, in truth, Akasha cannot be divided. But this room
>is different from that room - its shape, its utility, its arrangement, the
>furniture it holds and its beauty are different from those of the next
>room. Yet from Akasha point the divisions between the rooms ( vijaati,
>sajaati and swagata Bhedas -essentially all differences) are superficial.

Wow, what an analogy. Did you stop to think that:

The walls are real. The furniture is real. The everything in the room is
real. There would not be a wall unless there was a conscious person who
built the wall. Since Brahman is beyond duality, he can not engage in
activity, otherwise that makes him subje ct to duality. Therefore, by such
an analogy as you gave, the conclusion is that there are two bRhats (the
undivisible akASh and the person making the walls furniture etc.). Since
there are two infinites, they mutually limit each other and both decide to
go jump in a lake.

>Like Krishna (in B.G. Ch. 9), Akasha can also declare:
>Mayatata midam sarvam jagadavyakta murthina|
> mastani sarvabhutani na chaham teswavastitah||

Let us please ignore the word murtina. Krishna says "avyakta murtina", it
is His unseen form. Therefore Brahman has form, but you cannot see it
because you are in duality.

> I pervade all buildings in an unmanifested form {akash (that which
>provides avakasha is akasha) cannot have form}; all buildings and rooms
>exists in me but I do not dwell in them in the sense that their sufferings
>and stinkiness or glories do not belong to me! I am ever immaculate,
>indivisible and all pervading space.

Uhh, as it is? I think this is getting to crazy... that is why _no one_ in
their right minds will call such a philosophy brahmavAda. We forgot to
mention in that verse that "Krishna pervades it all, and then he hires the
local carpenter to build the walls and bring the furniture."

>Even when the room stinks, the space can never get polluted. It is
>immaculately pure and of course attributeless. This room and that room and
>the divider in between them are all in space. Threr is no space, where
>space is not there! By the by, this is not my example. In his Atma Bhodha
>text Sri Sankaracharya in fact gives this example to illustrate the point:

"Om. There is no car where no car is there. Om. There is no people where
no people are there. Om. There is no pasta where no pasta is there. Om.
There is no computer where no computer is there. Om. There is no me where
no me is there. Om. I am everywhere."

> In its essential nature there are no two or multiple spaces even though
>rooms and buildings are multitudes.

I hope you don't forget to mention that the space, though always pure,
possesses the quality of sound. Therefore an eternally pure element may
possesses qualities with out being contaminated.

>When one room realizes that its
>essential nature is the same as the infinite space in and through, that
>does not necessarily follow that all rooms have realized.

But that means Brahman has become compartmentalized. Are you reading what
you are writing? Or is this another Dr. Radhakrishnan/J.K. Murthy job? "We
are all looking, I am looking you are looking, no one knows."

>This is just one analogy but clarifies the misunderstanding of advaita.

This analogy clarifies that advaita is not a-dvaita. There is space, there
is the quality of space (both infiniteness and sound), there is the walls
that mysteriously appeared to seperate the space (which completely
destroys the meaning of Brahman), there is the furniture in the house
which is all mithyA. Is this a joke?

>But, let us first understand more what Advaita says before we can argue

I am still trying to understand that previous analogy.

>whether it is right or wrong. Tat twam asi is the teaching or instruction
>to the sadhak, and Aham Brahmasmi is the knowledge of the experience, i.e.
>it is not a statement that can be intellectually comprehended. This
>should be clear in our minds before we discuss further.

Let the dogma roll in. :) "It is beyond logic, therefore it is against
logic." This is nonsense. It can be seen through the SAstras. When we rely
on our buddhi, we are limited, but when we see through the eyes of
knowledge, the SAstra-cakShuShA, then we can know the Absolute.

>In the next part the attributes of Brahman are discussed.

uhhhh..don't you mean "In the next part the attributes of the
attributeless Brahman are discussed."



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