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Jagat Mithya

Discussion in 'Hinduism - Philosophy and Theology DIR' started by shivsomashekhar, Apr 22, 2015.

  1. shivsomashekhar

    shivsomashekhar Active Member

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    Shankara says this in his Viveka Chudamani -

    Brahma satya, jagat mithya, jivo brahmaiva naparah

    I would like to discuss the interpretation of Jagat Mithya. It is abstract enough that everyone appears to have his or her own conception of it. My own understanding at this time is its meaning (along with prajnanam Brahma) is very similar to Solipsism.

    Please post your understanding of what it means to you and how you arrived at the interpretation. Does mithya here mean that the universe disappears at some point or is it something else?

    Thanks,
    Shiv
     
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  2. Stormcry

    Stormcry Well-Known Member

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    The answer should be in 'Vivek Chudamani' itself. From his other works, it's quite clear that the world is non-existent. It's imagined in Brahman just as we may imagine footprints of birds flying in the sky. It's absolute no existence.

    It's said by him -अदृश्य भावरूपं च सर्वमेतच्चिदात्मकम् ।

    " This whole world is invisible (non-existent) & of the form of consciousness "

    । हरि ॐ ।
     
    #2 Stormcry, Apr 23, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2015
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  3. DanielR

    DanielR Active Member

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  4. shivsomashekhar

    shivsomashekhar Active Member

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    Who is imagining this non-existent world? It cannot be me, as I myself am part of this imaginary world and therefore, am not real. It cannot be Brahman either, as that would be a logical fallacy.

    The case of the footprints of the bird is easy. I am imagining and there is an imagination - different from me. As long as there is this duality, imagination is easy to understand. But in the Advaita case, there appears to be the problem of the missing "imaginer".

    Invisible always or after a point in time? The former cannot be true as we see the world and we are part of it. The latter cannot be true either, as we need duality to make such an observation. So, how does this work?

    I think they are not very different. In Advaita too, as long as there is existence the mind has to exist. Else, existence cannot be cognized. And obviously, there is no such thing as not existing and so, the mind always exists.

    Consciousness itself - like everything else - is known to us only as a thought.

    I think so too.

    Right now, Advaita logic has hit a plateau for me. It goes up to a certain point and then abruptly ends.

    Perhaps it is the case that we do not want to ask the hard questions ( the questions that really matter), because they come at a cost. Easier to be content with the simple and easy questions and maintain status quo?
     
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  5. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    Parsing it: अदृश्य भाव रूपं च सर्वम् एतद् चिद् आत्मकम् l
    invisible form of perception and/too all this ever is 'self' = "(The world) too is the sensory form of the invisible all this ever is 'self'."
    HLK, kindly give your opinion on this rendering. The world is not invisible but it is the form of the invisible 'self'.
    There is no need for cognizance. Brahman exists for ever. It does not dissolve with the dissolution of mind. It was there even when there was no mind (mind is not more than 700 million year old). I do not think 'advaita' is solipcism. Kindly do not be confused.
     
    #5 Aupmanyav, Apr 24, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2015
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  6. Stormcry

    Stormcry Well-Known Member

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    The world has no existence apart from self. It's self devoid of any attributes. Thus what we see must be invisible and what we don't see is real. Two opposite things do not exist at the same time. Either accept the world as we see is invisible or the self is different from the world. Later one has fallacies & so Vedanta logics discard it.

    Doesn't Bhavarupa mean abstract thing that's of course brahman, so where is the place for visibility of matter if it's said as abstract.

    चिद् आत्मकम् - made up of consciousness. Thus consciousness and matter (ie visibility) can not exist simultaneously.

    "This whole world is invisible, abstract and of the form of consciousness" - Now it seems better translation.

    Note: consciousness refers to Brahman/self alone.



    This is not advaita. Kindly read Shankar's works.

    " At no time there is mind, world, seeker, moksha, bondage etc " - The philosophy which doesn't subscribe to this is definitely not Advaita/Vedanta.
     
    #6 Stormcry, Apr 24, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2015
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  7. shivsomashekhar

    shivsomashekhar Active Member

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    So, the world is real, then?

    Who is making this observation?

    How does one make such an observation without a mind and without duality (observer vs. observed)? For one to make such a statement, we need the following in place -

    1. The concept of time
    2. Mind
    3. World
    4. Seeker
    5. concept of Moksha
    6. concept of bondage
    7. an observer
    8. at least one other person to make this statement to.

    How do Shankara and Ramana speak of Brahman, without cognizing it? To be able to speak about Brahman, either, they have to cognize Brahman or else, they are speculating, based on what they have read and heard. I am not criticizing anyone. Just laying out the options.

    I did not say it is Solipsism. I am saying they are very similar.

    Thanks,
    Shiv
     
    #7 shivsomashekhar, Apr 24, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2015
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  8. Stormcry

    Stormcry Well-Known Member

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    It is definitely Brahman. 'Imagination of world by brahman leads to duality'. This seems to be logic. But this itself is Vishnu's Maya. There's imagination, this too is Maya.

    The brahman has imagined itself as different from its own self. This abatract action, though in essence is one with brahman, is seen as Maya by ignorants. If you really think there's imaginer it must be brahman only. But the truth is something different.


    SHRUTI declares brahman as Ekmev & Advitiya. So creation of something from brahman is just impossible.

    Cause and effect are always one and the same. So if you wanna think the world is real and manifested from brahman, then also there's no difference in world and brahman keeping in mind 'Advait' nature of Brahman.
     
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  9. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    We are none other than Brahman, but maya has made this recognition/underswtanding difficult for most people, only some will pierce the veil.

    Shruti is obviously correct. If Brahman is Ekameva and Advitiya, then everything is Brahman, and there is no difference between Brahman and the world. That is why they said "Sarvam Khalu Idam Brahma" (all things (perceived) here are Brahman).
     
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  10. Stormcry

    Stormcry Well-Known Member

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    The world has no existence apart from the self. This itself proves it is non-different from Brahman. If the world were really existing, it would not be dependent on the Self. The world is imagined in/by Brahman, so it should not be different from Brahman. Just as in case of rope, serpent is imagined on the rope but this imagination is not different from the rope. Because the observer seeing serpent is actually seeing Rope only. If there is no rope(self), there is no serpent(world). So how the world would be different from Brahman? So Vedanta declares आत्मैव इदं सर्वं

    It's Brahman, Brahman even doesn't know itself as Brahman. It doesn't know there is Moksha nor there is not Moksha. It doesn't know there is world nor there is no world. Advaita propounds this 'Achintya' pilosophy.
     
    #10 Stormcry, Apr 25, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2015
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  11. Makaranda

    Makaranda Active Member

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    What is your understanding of Solipsism, and what is your understanding of Mithyatvam?

    In my understanding, to say that the world is mithya means that it is dependently existing only. In other words, it does not exist in and of itself (and to think otherwise is a mistake), but rather it has a temporary and borrowed existence within a greater reality. The greater reality is called satyam. Satyam is unchanging, always a positive entity, can never be negated or sublated by anything else, and is the basis or substratum for all temporary names and forms which appear to exist for a short time or until they are negated\sublated.

    To give a simple example. We have a table which is made of wood. Before the name and form called "table" existed, the name and form called "tree" existed. In both instances, the wood is the common substratum or substance which inheres in both the name and form called table and the name and form called tree. Therefore, relative to the wood, table and tree are dependently existent, mithya, and the wood is satyam. The wood can appear in many forms with many names, such as tree, table, chair, cup, etc, and yet it remains, essentially, wood. The names and forms are temporary, and have no existence outside of their appearance in the wood, but the wood is not limited to any particular name or form. Through our understanding we can recognise that the wood is common to all the names and forms, therefore it is their ultimate reality, and through this recognition the mithya names and forms are sublated, or merged, as it were, in their cause. That is why we can say that when we perceive a table, or a chair, we can know "there is only wood". The statement does not, in the final analysis, contradict our perception, but rather it corrects it.

    In the same way we come to understand that the jagat itself which comprises countless names and forms is essentially none other than Brahman perceived (wrongly) in a manifold fashion. When we take the multiplicity of names and forms as satyam, as the reality, then that is a mistake, and so we talk of the world as something that exists in and of itself, and therefore we do not see the common substratum of the world, even though all along it is present within all as the very existence of all, and is also the perceiving consciousness.What is in reality only Brahman; existence, consciousness and infinite, we talk of variously as the universe, as Ishwara, as Jivas, because we wrongly superimpose differences on the non-dual substratum of names and forms. Names and forms are immaterial without a substance or material cause, therefore they should be understood as non-different from that cause if we seek to know what is real.

    The universe does not disappear from perception with jivan-mukti, but rather it is understood in its correct nature to be Brahman only.
     
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  12. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    Simply stated in Chhandogya:

    "Yathā, saumya, ekena mrt-pindena sarvam mrnmayam vijnātam syāt vācarambhanam vikāro nama-dheyam, mrttiketyeva satyam."
     
  13. shivsomashekhar

    shivsomashekhar Active Member

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    If Brahman is the imaginer,then that leads to logical contradictions. If we take this position, we have to admit differences between Brahman with imagination and Brahman without imagination, an imagination distinct from the imaginer and the concept of time. Once we admit all these differences, then it is no longer Advaita. Don't you think?

    The world can have no existence apart from the self, be non-different from Brahman and yet be real. So how do the above associations make the world an illusion or unreal?

    Achintya means it is above logic. If it is above logic, then why ever bother to write volumes of logic around it and then finally throw up our hands and say it is Achintya? The Achintya claims could have been made right at the start and that would have been it. Because, Achintya means we cannot discuss or even think about it. All of Shankara's works and assertions would be in vain.
     
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  14. shivsomashekhar

    shivsomashekhar Active Member

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    Thank for your detailed response. My understanding -

    Solipsism - The self/existence alone is real. Everything is known only through thought including existence itself. Simply put, thought is the only way to know/cognize anything. A similar viewpoint is stated by Gaudapada in the karikas (2.14, 2,15, etc)

    Mithyatva - I do not think Mithya means unreal or illusion. I think it means transient. That is, anything perceived is only possible through thought. Things exist only when we think about them. Therefore, they come into existence when we think about them and then go out of existence. The only exception is the self/existence/consciousness, because it is the substratum of thought and is therefore an immutable constant which has to always exist (hence, prajnanam Brahma), though it too, can only be perceived through thought. There is a more detailed description required here, but for now, I will keep it short.

    This is why I find Advaita/Ajativada is so similar to solipsism. I am not saying this is correct and anyone who disagrees is wrong. This is simply my current viewpoint and nothing more.

    Understood by whom? If there is something to understand, then that brings in duality as there is the difference between the one who understands and something that is understood.
     
    #14 shivsomashekhar, Apr 26, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2015
  15. Makaranda

    Makaranda Active Member

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    It is not true, since the knowledge relates to oneself and not an object different from oneself. In self-knowledge there is no difference between the knower and the known. Further, just because there is the appearance of differences (such as seer-seen, experiencer-experience) it does not mean non-duality is affected. Appearances cannot alter their substratum, because they have no independent existence.
     
  16. shivsomashekhar

    shivsomashekhar Active Member

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    Who is making the observation that in self knowledge, knower = known? And to whom?

    This is an important point. Your definition of oneness appears to be that different appearances are the same as the substratrum - because they cannot have independent existence. That is, duality exists, but it is somehow must still Advaita because they are all connected. As far as I can see, this is not Advaita, and is a lot more closer to the simultaneous oneness-difference doctrine.

    Also, what is your idea of time? Is it real or unreal?

    Thanks,
    Shiv
     
  17. Makaranda

    Makaranda Active Member

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    I said the appearances have no independent existence, not that they have a similarity or equality of existence. If we grant appearance and substance both the same order of existence\reality then there are two vastus, and that contradicts Advaita. But if we say that the appearance is nothing but an apparent manifestation of the substance then there is only one vastu, one reality. The Upanishads use the analogy of clay\gold in pots\ornaments to illustrate the point. Pots, bowls, cups etc all appear to exist but their existence is nothing but the clay of which they are a manifestation, having no independent reality of their own. The clay alone is real. To know the clay is to know the reality behind the pots etc. To know Brahman is to know the essence of everything. Appearance is irrelevant then; we need not stop or change the fact of empirical experience.

    On the question of time. Time is experienced, but only what is eternal is real.
     
    #17 Makaranda, May 1, 2015
    Last edited: May 1, 2015
  18. shivsomashekhar

    shivsomashekhar Active Member

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    But the pot does exist - distinct from bowl, meaning they do have independent reality. We cannot have it both ways. Either the two exist (different from each other, or else, we would not perceive them as such) or else, they are all one, in which case there is no distinct bowl or pot. As long as we admit the bowl and the pot (even if you call it mere appearance and nothing more), we have admitted duality. And when we also add that they are really the same, then we have taken the position of simultaneous oneness/difference.

    Also, if you claim that the pot/bowl are different and yet the same in the sense that they are actually clay, then this is not specific to Advaita. I cannot think of any doctrine that would disagree with this logic.

    If I understand your position correctly, the Jnani is just like the Ajnani, experiencing duality, time (as in past/present/future), etc., with the one difference that he has experienced/understood some kind of unity behind this duality. Otherwise, for all practical purposes he is the same. You call this duality apparent and not real, though you continue to perceive it all the time.
     
    #18 shivsomashekhar, May 6, 2015
    Last edited: May 6, 2015
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