Questions 1

(I start another series today, the way I started Thoughts, just for the record of how my spiritual quest progressed in terms of questions faced by fellow advaitins or purvapakshins (opponents), that I tried to answer in various forums/ modes. Some of this has already been blogged earlier but I hope to be able to actively get into the mainstream now)

shrI vakratunDa mahAkAya koTisurya samaprabha
nirvighnaM kuru me deva shubha kAryeshu sarvadA

ajnAnatimirAndhasya jnAnAnjanashalAkayA
chakshurunmilitaM yena tasmai shrI gurave namaH

Q: What is that maya? If brahman is every thing and he is all pervading and truth and blissful then what is maya? How can maya, an illusion, originate in absolute truth brahman?

prb: You're answering your own Q, aren't you? There are many ways to understand this, some might seem suiting, or none! If the former, use those. If latter, no one can convince ya. In any case, no one but a brahma jnAni knows it. And you'd appreciate that even brahmajnAni-s have *not* described the (moot) question.

How avidyA originates, if at all, purely in a vyavhArik viewpoint, is itself within avidyA. So when you say brahmaN is everything, its not a vyavharik standpoint at all, else you wouldn't be asking this Q and I wouldn't be replying. That duality (or multiplicity) is very much a part of vyavharik.

You translate mAyA as illusion; lets go with that. With the above para, the illusion doesn't arise in the absolute brahmaN at all. Now don't mix up the statement that "where else does it arise if everything is brahmaN?" If you accept that such an illusion does exist, that something is within brahmaN, is brahmaN, but it *appears different to itself*. *Why* is not a good Q, since it meets no ends, its a purposeless curiosity, which is a good teaser at best. Compare it with an example of a concave or a convex lens used as a mirror changing our own look (of course, the lens and us are made of different material, scientifically, but I'm going with the panch-maha-bhutas... you could replace the lens with someone's eyes if that helps understand a "similar material" asserting sarvaM khalvidaM brahma). So, that mirror image is an illusion, not the true you. Can you see your own self without the mirror? No! How do you know then that you exist? You *feel* it. Suffice it then that brahmaN doesn't even *see* itself without the so-called mithyA mAyik jagat (as a reflective mirror, made of itself, but not in real), and it just *feels* itself by the *all-pervading consciousness*.

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