[Advaita-l] mAyA in Vedanta is not unlike the ‘plus’ symbol in mathematics
कुँवर बिपिन चौहान
bipinchauhan7 at gmail.com
Thu May 10 23:31:42 EDT 2018
very much well said.
Absolute transform or present in every atom.
Jay jay shankara har har shankara
On Fri 11 May, 2018 02:45 Durga Prasad Janaswamy via Advaita-l, <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
> Hari Om,
> Namaste.
>
> Readers may find the following interesting:
> (from the book:
> Musings on Yogavaasishta (in Telugu) by Sri Kuppa Venkata Krishna Murthy
> Translator from the original Telugu: Dr. Vemuri Ramesam)
>
>
> mAyA is ‘Plus’:
>
> Let us try to understand what avidya is from a modern perspective.
>
> Everyone knows the mathematical symbol ‘plus’ (+). We use it often in our
> work. We are so much used to it that we introduced it even into linguistics
> in statements like Do + not = Don’t.
>
> What exactly does ‘+’ mean? What is its function in an equation? Let us
> examine its significance.
>
> The ‘+’ sign is called an arithmetic operator. It stands for addition.
>
> What exactly does the sign ‘+’ do?
>
> For example, let us say that there is one banana. I place another banana
> next to it. Then we can express it in the form:
> 1 + 1
>
> The formulation introducing ‘+’ has not brought to bear any change upon the
> first banana or on the second banana.
>
> Next we write the equation:
> 1 + 1 = 2
>
> How could we formulate the above equation balancing the left hand and right
> hand sides? Wherefrom did the numeral ‘2’ get generated?
>
> The two ‘1’s representing the first banana and the second banana on which
> ‘+’ has no effect, obviously, could not have generated ‘2’.
>
> So the numeral ‘2’ must have got generated by the sign ‘+’.
>
> But ‘+’ by itself all alone cannot generate ‘2’. It can generate ‘2’ only
> when it comes in between the two 1s.
>
> It happens so because, though the ‘+’ sign has no effect on any of the 1s
> (called the operands), it has an effect on the ‘mind’ of the person doing
> the operation (calculation).
>
> The symbol ‘+’ produces the image of the numeral ‘2’ in the mind of the
> person carrying out the calculation.
>
> ‘2’ appears clearly as a numeral. How can we say that ‘2’ is imagined in
> the mind?
>
> If ‘2’ is really an entity and not an imagination, it should relate to
> something or the other. But in the equation we have written, ‘2’ is related
> to neither the first nor the second operand. When the two bananas came
> together next to each other, the idea of ‘2’ got generated in the mind of
> the person. Therefore, the number two is an idea only. When we expressed
> the idea as a numeric character and scripted it, it appeared as ‘2’.
>
> The long and short of it is that the number ‘two’ is only an imagined idea.
> The idea of two gets generated in the mind of an observer from the idea of
> ‘+’ sign. Therefore, we have to admit that the idea of ‘plus’ is also
> resident in the observer’s mind only.
>
> The bananas are on the table. They form one set (shown in red). The idea of
> ‘+’ and the number ‘2’ are in the mind of the observer. They form another
> set (shown in blue).
>
> [1 1] — The red set on the table.
>
> [+ 2] — The blue set in the mind.
>
> We mix up these two sets and write down the equation:
>
> 1 + 1 = 2
>
> In order to find the locus of the force responsible for causing the mixing
> up of both the sets, let us examine the position prior to the origination
> of the idea of ‘2’.
>
> There were two distinct entities, namely the bananas and the mind. Bananas
> qua bananas and mind qua mind. They were not related to one another and
> were completely independent of each other.
>
> Only after the introduction of the symbol ‘+’, the mix up in the two sets
> has arisen. Hence, we have to conclude that the locus of the power causal
> for the mix up rests in the sign ‘+’ .
>
> Thus, the concept of ‘+’ has caused two things:
>
> i) Though it existed in the mind of the observer, it appeared ‘as though’
> it was related to the ‘things’ being observed;
>
> ii) It engendered the idea of the number ‘2’ in the mind of the observer,
> but it falsely projected the sense that the number existed in the things
> external to the mind.
>
> Such false projections, when encountered in the world, are described as
> illusions, magic or jugglery. The simple arithmetic calculation is a very
> common example of such an ‘illusion’ that we come across all the time in
> our daily life.
>
> Now applying the above logic, we are ready to formulate the expression for
> creation on the lines of 1 +1 = 2:
>
> Beingness + thought = Hiranyagarbha (Creator)
>
> Just as ‘+’ does not affect the first or the later ‘1’, mAyA too does not
> affect Beingness or thought.
>
> The symbol ‘+’ is not any entity. So also mAyA is also not an entity.
>
> Just like ‘+’ creates the idea of ‘2’ in the mind of the observer but
> projects it onto the things which are outside the mind, mAyA too creates
> the idea of a Creator in the mind of the seer and projects Him to be
> somewhere over there beyond one’s own mind.
>
> The imaginary Hiranyagarbha creates further imaginary worlds.
>
> Thus we can see that mAyA in Vedanta is not unlike the ‘plus’ symbol in
> mathematics. So those who feel intimidated by the word mAyA, can understand
> it better when they think it in terms of the plus sign being used daily.
>
> Maharishi Vasishta explains in the first sarga (of utpatti prakaraNa) that
> the creation of the world is also an illusion in the mind of the seer.
>
> regards
> -- durga prasad
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