This paper has been written by D. Krishna Ayyar who has had the good fortune to listen for now over two decades and a half to his guru, Swami Paramarthananda, who has been teaching Advaita Vedanta at Chennai, India.

I am more than happy to answer questions. Please send an email to: ayyarkrishna4[at]gmail.com

 

Annexure I - Prakriya Bedha In Avaita Vedanta

Table of Contents

Section 1

  1. Upanishads do speak of Brahman being the cause   of the universe Tu.2.1.1. – “Satyam Jnanam Anantam Brahma…..From that, this Atma space was born, from space air……. and from food man.” Tu 2.6.1 – “He (Brahman[1] ) wished, ‘let me be many, let me be born’. He visualized the universe to be created. Having visualized, He created this whole universe.  Then He entered into it. Having entered, He became the gross and the subtle, the defined and the undefined, the sustaining and the non-sustaining, the sentient and the insentient, the true and the untrue.”  At the same time, the Upanishads say that Brahman is non-dual, eternal, immutable, divisionless, partless, changeless, is neither cause nor effect and is devoid of instruments of desire, visualization, cogitation, conception, ratiocination etc and of action.  Bu 3.8.8, Mu 2.1, Su 6.8 – “It (Brahman), is the  Immutable (aksharam) – which does not decay or perish - is devoid of the sense organs (eyes and ears, vocal organs), of mind …….and of.  praana[2] ;   Ka 21, Mu 1.1.6, Su 3.19 – “ It (Brahman) is devoid of   hands and feet.”; Muktikpanishad   1.3. - “changeless (‘sakshinam nirvikarinam)”; Su VI.11 – “It is devoid of attributes (nirguna); Bu III.viii.viii – “ It is without mind” (amanah); Su VI.19 – “It is partless, divisionless, actionless” (nishkalam, nishkriyam);  Bu 2.5.19 – That Brahman is without prior or posterior (apoorvam anaparam)” (i.e. It is neither cause nor effect);  Ku 1.2.14 – ” Different from cause and effect (anyatra krtaat akkrtaat)”; Ku 1.2.18 – “It did not originate from anything nor did anything originate from It”;. Bu 4.3.32, Cu 6.2.1, Kau 23, Mau 7 – “It (Brahman) is non-dual”, It is without a second (advaita, advitiiiya)”.  Reconciling the two sets of statements in the Upanishads, implicitly in Upanishads and, explicitly in Smritis and Prakarana granthas, a qualified Brahman, of a lower order of reality than the attributeless  (nirguna) Brahman, called Iswara,, constituted by a semblance or reflection of Brahman-consciousness (Brahma caitanyam) in Maya or Brahma caitanyam conditioned by the adjunct  of Maya (Mayaroopa upaadhi avaccinna) is taught as the creator; the consciousness aspect functions as the intelligent cause of the universe and  the Maya aspect functions as the material cause, under the guidance of the former..    Su 1.9 talks of one who knows that Jiva, Iswara and Maya are nothing but Brahman becoming a Jiivanmukta. [This is achieved when the jiva overcomes the ignorance of his true nature as Brahman, engendered by Maya,  and in that state of ignorance attributes reality to himself, the individual with limited knowledge, the omniscient  Iswara and Maya which produces the bhokta and the bhogyam (i.e. the body-mind complex and the material universe); along with the understanding of his true nature as Brahman, he realizes that the sole real substance is Brahman and jivas, jagat, Iswara and Maya are all mithya]  In this way, this mantra distinguishes the vyaavahaarika Iswara from the paaramaarthika Brahman. In Mu 1.1.9, the universe is said to be born from the omniscient (sarvajna) and the knower of all (sarvavid). Mandukya Upanishad mantra 6, describes the caitanyam in sushupti as sarveswara (which Sankaracarya interprets as the ruler of the universe of diversity) as omniscient, as the Inner Controller (antaryaami) and the source of the origination and resolution of all jivas. The significance is that according to  this Upanishad which talks of four paada’s of Brahman, sushupti is the third paada. This is  described in mantra 6 as prajnaanaaghana and aanandamaya, as distinguished form the  fourth paada. The fourth paada is non-dual Brahman, called by people as turiiya., This is said in mantra 7 to be not even prajnaanaghana. (In Sankaracarya’s commentary, he says that it is different from the qualified consciousness like the waking, dream and deep sleep states). Cu 3.14.1 and 3.14.2 talk of Brahman from whom everything is born, and in whom everything exists and dissolves, one who appears like the mind and   praana as his  body, one whose wishes are fulfilled infallibly, (satyasankalpah), as the performer of all actions, as being possessed of all  desires ….. and as free from desires. ( In his commentary, Sankaracarya draws a parallel for ‘being possessed of  desires’ from Bhagawadgita 7.11, which talks of the Lord being  the virtuous desires of jivas and interprets ‘one free from desires’ as one  all of whose desires have been fulfilled (aaptakamah) and hence is ever contented (nityatrptah).  In CU 6.2.3, Tu 2.6.1, Au 1.1.1, , Brahman is said to have visualized the creation of the universe  and desired to become many. Thus we have enough indication in the Upanishads themselves that it is not nirguna Brahman but a Brahman possessing a mind and qualified with omniscience (sarvajantvam) and omnipotence (sarva satyatvam) (a guna visishta brahman or saguna brahman)   that is intended to be taught in the Upanishads as the intelligent cause of the world.  As regards material cause, Sv 10.4 talks of Maya as the material cause (prakriti) and the great Lord (Maheswara) to be its master (controller).


  2. There are numerous passages in the Upanishads indicating the unreality of the world.  Tu 2.6.1 indicates three orders of reality :
    1. absolute reality (paaramaarthika satyam),
    2. empirical reality (vyaavahaarika satyam and
    3. subjective reality (praatibhaasika satyam). Unconditioned, attributeless Brahman alone (nirupaadhika, nirguna Brahman) alone is paaramaarthika satyam.

      The entire universe including the saguna Brahman, Iswara, Maya and the bodies and minds of living beings is vyaavahaarika satyam. In the category of praatibhaasika satyam fall one’s own dream world perceived by one,  exclusive of what each one of the others perceives as their own and illusory objects like snake perceived on the rope, silver on the shell,  water on desert sand, castle in the cloud  blueness in the sky etc. By a harmonious reading of Cu 6.1,4-6, 6.2,1, 6,3,2,  6.8.4, 6. 8.7, 6.15.1 Bu 1.4.7, 1.4.10, 1.6.1 etc, we also learn that the real sub-stratum of the universe is Brahman as Existence and the material things  and the bodies and minds of jivas perceived as differentiated objects  are unreal forms to which names have been given and are superimposed on Existence. The world of names and form is experienced but is negated as unreal when the reality, Brahman, is known. To designate this status of the world which we cannot categorize as either existent or non-existent, the term, mithya, is introduced. The mithya status of the universe , i.e., the superimposed names and forms consisting of attributes which give the universe objective perceptibility is indicated in such texts as Bu 2.3.6 - ”Not this, not this,…….Now Its name; ‘the Truth of truth’ The  praana  is truth and it is the Truth of that” (prana stands for all nama roopa),  Cu 7.23.1 -”The finite is the state where one sees something else, hears something else, and knows something else….that which is finite is mortal”, Cu 6.1.4 etc. - ”All transformation is only a name initiated by the tongue”, Brhadaranyaka 4.3.31 - “When there is something else, as it were, one can see something …..one can know something”,  Pu 3.3, “ From the Atma (from the all-pervading, immutable Brahman), this praana is born, like the shadow of  a man (‘praana’ stands for all nama roopa)”,  Bu 4.4.19, Ku 2.1.10, 2.1.11 - “There is no manifoldness whatsoever in This (Brahman) . He who sees difference, as it were, is caught in the cycle of birth and death.”, Bu 3.5.1 – Everything except Brahman is perishable”.


  3. Su 4.10 read with Bu 1.4.7  teach us that Maya which was in undifferentiated form has evolved into differentiated names and forms which we see as the objects of the universe. That Maya itself is of a lower order of reality is indicated in Mu 2.1.2 which talks of Brahman as superior to the superior aksharam. ( - In his commentary, Sankaracarya explains that the word, ‘aksharam’ in this context, refers to the unevolved (avyaakrta i.e., Maya, which is the seed of and hence said  to be superior to its products in the form of body mind complexes (kaaryakaranasanghaata) and the nirupaadhika Brahman is superior to Maya. We can also justify the word ‘aksharam’ because the manifestation of nama roopa is a cycle without beginning or end). We can derive the conclusion that Maya functions under the guidance of an intelligent entity when we read Mu 3.1.3 and Kau 6 which talk of Brahman being the source of brahmaa (Hiranyagarbha) along  with Bu first chapter section 2, where Hiranyagarbha is said to create the five elements and  the living beings including gods and demons and animals.

  4. That the  essential nature of living beings (jivas) is the indivisible infinite Brahman-Consciousness (Brahma caitanyam)  is declared in the four mahaavaakyas, (Jiva’s consciousness is Brahman” (prajnaanam Brahma - Au – Rg Veda)”, “I am Brahman (aham brahma asmi – Bu - Sukla Yajur Veda”, “Thou art That” (tattvamasi – Cu - Sama Veda), “ This Atma is Brahman” (ayamaatama Brahma” (  Mu -  Atharva Veda ) and numerous other statements which are tantamount to mahavakyas.  The one non-dual, attributeless Brahman (nirguna Brahma) which is pure consciousness appearing as manifold knower consciousnesses in jivas, with attributes is indicated in such Upanishadic texts such as the following :- Cited in BSB 3.2.18 -  “As this luminous sun, though one in itself, becomes multifarious owing to its entry into water divided by different pots, similarly this Deity, the birthless,  self-effulgent atma, though one, seems to be diversified owing to Its entry into the different bodies, constituting Its limiting adjuncts”, Amritabindu Upanishad 12 -  “Being but one, the Universal Soul is present in all beings. Though one, It is seen as many, like the moon in water” Bu 2.5.19, Ku 2.2.9, 2.2.10 - “(Having entered the nama roopa consisting of the body mind complexes of the jivas,) the atma became the replicas of these different nama roopas... [ The comparison, in Sankarycarya’s commentary in Bu is the children being  born in the forms similar to their parents. In Ku, the Upanishad gives the example of fire assuming the shape of the different forms of substances which are interested in it  (like iron rod) and of vayu assuming different forms as praana in different bodies] the likeness assumed is for the purpose of revealing Itself ( In his commentary in Bu, Sankaracarya explains that, if there was no manifestation of nama roopa brought about by Maya,  the nirupaadhika Brahman cannot be known. The atrtibuteless caitanyam can be recognised only through the caitanyam in the mind-complexes.). Cu 6.3.3 - “Brahman entered into the three gods – fire, water and earth – (not in Its original form) but in the form of jivatmas”.

  5. As indicated in Kau 12 and Krishna Upanishad 12, human beings are deluded by Maya; forgetting their true nature. They identify themselves with their body mind complexes,  take themselves to be limited individuals and the world of names and forms to be real.  With a sense of being a doer (kartrtvam) and enjoyer (bhokrutvam), they transact with other human beings and objects of the  world, undergo the cycle of action , results of action, birth and death, enjoyment and suffering, together called samsaara

Section 2

The cardinal doctrines of Advaita Vedanta accepted by all Acaryas on the basis of Upanishad passages such as those cited above are –

  1. The absolute reality (paaramaarthika satyam) is Brahman, which is Existence-Consciousness-Infinity (satyam jnanam anantam). It is non-dual (advidiiyam), immutable (nirvikara), attributeless (nirvisesha), partless, divisionless (nishkalam), actionless (nishkriya), devoid of a mind (amanah). It is neither cause nor effect.    
  2. We perceive and infer a universe of innumerable objects and the bodies and minds of living beings and are aware of our own bodes and minds. But these all only unreal forms, constituted of various attributes, with corresponding names (nama roopa) that are superimposed (adhyasta) on a real sub-stratum, Brahman, the Existence principle. The superimposition of nama roopa is done by an entity called Maya, associated with Brahman, which can neither be categorized as existent or non-existent. What we experience is a combination of the real Existence and the unreal nama roopa. What we perceive is the unreal nama roopa. The lower order of reality of Maya as well as the nama roopa which Maya unfolds as creation of the universe is called vyaavahaarika satyam (empirical reality).
  3. Jivas, in their true nature, are identical with Brahman, being the same homogenous indivisible consciousness.  (Viewed from the angle of the jivas, the same consciousness is called atma).
  4. The ignorance of jivas of their true nature as the infinite Brahman and their false notion that there is a real world of plurality and they themselves are limited individuals is a delusion (adhyaasa) caused by Maya.
  5. On account of the adhyaasa, jivas interact with the objects and other jivas with a sense of doership and likes and dislikes and undergo a cycle (called samsaara) consisting of good and bad action and thought, involving merit and demerit (punya and papa, together called karma), transmigration from one janma to another to undergo the consequence of the fructified punya papa part of their accumulated karma (karmaphalam) through suffering and enjoyment.
  6. Liberation from samsaara (called moksha) takes place when jiva in his janma on earth or in any of the higher lokas discovers his true nature through study of scripture under the guidance of a preceptor (guru). This discovery (jnanam) can take place happen while one still alive. One who has thus gained jnanam and perfected it is called jivanmukta. And when his physical body dissolves, the subtle body and causal body dissolve and ‘he merges in Brahman’. This is called videhamukti.

Section 3

  1. In the teaching of Advaita Vedanta , in respect of the status of the creator and the jivas, there are different methodologies (prakriyas). Three main prakriyas are based on Sankaracarya‘s commentaries (bhashyams) on ten principal Upanishads, the Brahma Sutra of Vyasacarya and the Bhagavadgita and his prakarana granthas (expository treatises) like Upadesa Sahasri, Vakyavritti, Atmabodha, Tattvabodha and Vivekacudamani . One is aabhaasa vaada which appears to have been the preference of Sureswaracarya, author of verse sub-commentaries called Vartika on Sankaracarya‘s bhashyams of Taittiriya Upanishad and Brhadaranyaka Upanishad Bhashya Vaartika, Manasollasa, a commentary on Sankarycarya‘s Dakshinamurtistotram and a prakarana grantha called Pranavavartika. (If one goes Upadesa Sahasri and Vakyavritti, that seems to be the preference of Sankaracarya also). Abhasavada has been refined by Vidyaranya, author of the prakarana grantha called Pancadasi .The second is pratibimba vaada preferred by Padmapada, author of Pancapadika, a sub-commentary on Sankarycarya‘s Bhashya of the first four chapters of Brahma Sutra and refined by Prakasatman, author of a sub-commentary on Pancapadika, called Vivarana. The third is avacceda vaada preferred by Vacaspati Misra, author of a sub-commentary of Sankaracarya’s  Brahma Sutra Bhashyam, called Bhamati . All these three are srshti drshti vadas accommodating three orders of reality – paaramaartika, vyaavahaarika and praatibhaasika. There are two others – Drshti srshti vada and eka jiva vada – which deny even vyaavaahaarika reality to the perceived world.
    For the sake of convenience, the concepts of  ‘upaadhi’ ,‘visishhta’ and ‘upahita’ which are relevant, are repeated here. Upadhi is an entity which is superimposed on another or attributes of which are transferred to another entity. When superimposition or transfer of attributes is looked upon as real and included in the concept of the receiving entity, the receiving entity is called ‘visishtam’. When the superimposition or transference is looked upon as mithya and excluded cognitively from the concept of the  receiving entity, ( the upadhi serving merely as aid to recognize or invoke the  other entity) the receiving entity is called ‘upahitam’. One example is given in Explanatory Notes, Section 14.  Another example is that  if Devadatta’s house is pointed out to a visitor to the village as ‘that house there in which a crow is perched’ the house is upahitam, whereas, if the house is pointed out as ‘that house there which has a window’, the house is visishtam.  There can be mutual transference also.

  2. In all the first three prakriyas, nirguna Brahman is only vivarta karanam. Creation itself is adhyasa and the actual creator of the universe is an adhyasta entity. In aabhaasa vaada nirguna Brahman, defined as  Existence-Consciousness-Infinity, is only the sub-stratum (adishtanam) on which the created prapanca, the nama roopa, is superimposed. The actual creator is Iswara, constituted by a semblance of Brahma caitanyam (cidabhasa) in the upadhi called avidya (Maya). And jiva is constituted by a semblance of Brahma caitanyam in the upadhi in the form of the antahkarana, which is a product of avidya (Maya). Cidaabhasa is defined by Sureswaracarya as ‘cidvilakshanatve sati cidvat-bhaasanamanatvam cidbhaasatvam’ (BUBV 4.3.1320). As a vyavaharika phenomenon, the cidabhasa is like an actual reflection like the reflection of sun in different reservoirs of water. Cidabhasa is a secondary consciousness, different from Brahma caitanyam. Jivas’ antahkaranams being plural, there is a multiplicity of jivas. The comparison for the plurality of jivas is the multiple reflections of the sun in various reservoirs of water and for the knower-consciousness of the jivas being different from Brahma caitanyam is the phenomenon of reflections following the changing behaviour of the water in the reservoirs; when the water is disturbed, the reflection is disturbed; when the water with the container moves, the reflection moves; when the water is clear the reflections is clear; when the water is muddy, the reflection is dull. The sun remains unaffected. Like that, whereas ahamkara (antahkarana and  cidabhasa functioning together is called ahamkara)  functions as a cognitive agent cognizing one object at a time and one object after another. Brahmam caitanyam remains as the pure, undifferentiated, homogenous, eternal consciousness. When any one of the sun-images in water is disturbed or moves or is sulllied, the others do not.  Similarly , the action, thought and experience of karmaphalam of each jiva is special to him.   Iswara is omniscient, omnipotent and all-pervading and is unaffected by the avarana sakti of avidya and hence is ever identified with Brahman. Iswara is the Inner Controller (antaryami) and witness of the prapanca created by himself through Maya and is the karmaphaladata. Jivas are limited in knowledge, power and location.  The ahamkara of jiva functions as the knower-consciousness (pramata), and with prana and sthoola sarira, operates as the doer of actions (karta), and experiencer of karmaphalam (bhokta). Overpowered by the avarana sakti and vikshepa sakti of avidya,  with the adhyasa consisting of attribution of reality to the mithya nama roopa , the objects of the world including the body mind-complex,  identifying themselves with the body-mind complex, and operating with a sense of being the doer of actions (kartrtvam) and experiencer of karmaphalam (enjoyment and suffering) (bhoktrtvam),  jivas undergo samsara (the cycle of karma, punya papa, karmaphala and succession of births and deaths). When disidentification from the body-mind complex takes place, karma which is tied to ahamkara is destroyed, jivas realize their true nature as Brahman and are liberated from samsara. Though avidya is one, what happens is only the removal of the avarana sakti of avidya operating on that particular jiva; the other jivas who have not yet discovered their true nature continue to be in bondage , dominated by the avarana saksti of avidya. (Though, in abhasa vada as a distinct prakriya, the element of consciousness in Iswara and jivas should, strictly speaking, be termed as a semblance of Brahma caitanyam (cidabhasa) to distinguish it from the concept of  apparent reflection of consciousness in the pratibimba vada, the  expression “ reflected consciousness” (pratibimba caitanyam) is also used in the abhasa vada texts. However, the distinctive feature is that it is a secondary consciousness. The adishtanamm, Brahma caitanyam has to be there, because the mithya ahamkara cannot subsist without the satya adishtanam, but the adishtana caitanyam does not participate in the knowing, doing or enjoying processes. Semblance of consciousness, in the presence of Brahma caitanyam, occurs in antahkarana because it is a subtle material created out of the satva guna of the sukshma panaca bhootas, whereas it does not occur in inanimate objects like pot etc. because they are gross materials created out of the  mixed (panciikrta) sthoola panca bhootas. Iswara is omniscient and omnipotent and he is not affected by the avarna sakti of Maya. Sruti support is Swetaswatara Upanishaf 4.10. And in Vidyaranya’s refinement, another reason is that Iswara’s upadhi is satva guna predominant Maya , whereas jiva has only  limited knowledge and power and is deluded by the avarna sakti of Maya, because jiva’s upadhi is satva guna deficient avidya .

  3. (a). In Pratibimba vaada, Jivas are what appear to be reflections of Brahma caitanyam in avidya and its products, the antahkaranas of jivas. There is no reflected consciousness separate from Brahma caitanyam. But there is the adhyasa that there is reflection (adshyasa of pratibimbatvam).  The comparison is that when a mirror is juxtaposed in front of a face, there is a false notion of a reflection in the mirror but what one really sees is the original face. The antahkarana vritti emanating from the eyes of the face on the neck which fall on the surface of the mirror are turned back and objectifies the face on the neck. With the adhyasa of pratibimbatva-visishta-caitanyam in their antahkaranams, each jiva takes the knower-consciousness with which he functions to be an individual consciousness, different from Brahma caitanyam and with such a notion functions as pramata, karta and bhokta. When the false notion of being a separate consciousness is overcome through study of Sastra, jivas identify themselves with Brahma caitanyam and are liberated.
    (b). Corresponding to the apparent pratibimbam of Brahma caitanyam, there is Brahman in the form of the original bimba and that is Iswara. Since the nature of a reflecting medium is to transfer its characteristics to the reflected image only and not to the original, Jivas are deluded by avidya and are limited in knowledge and power and undergo samsara, whereas Iswara is aware that He is Brahman and the world that he witnesess is mithya and He is omniscient, omnipotent and omni-present. This bimbatva-visishta Brahman, together with Maya (avidya) located in nrahman, creates the universe.  Liberation of a jiva on attaining knowledge of non-difference from Brahma-caitanyam involves the removal of one of the anrirvacaniiya parts of the anirvacaniiya avidya which had exerted the avarana sakti on that jiva; other jivas deluded by the other parts of avidya continue in bondage. ( This is how Appayya Dikshita explains, in his Siddhanta-lesa-sangraha, how if avidya is one, when one jiva attains knowledge all jivas are not liberated.)

  4. (a). In Avacceda vaada, jiva is Brahma caitanyam conditioned by the antahkaranam and qualified by the attributes of antahkaranam. The conditioning is compared to the all pervading space (mahaakasa) being conditioned  by pots as pot-space (ghataakasa). In reality Brahma caitanyam cannot be conditioned, but deluded by the avarana sakti of avidya located in jivas, jivas have the adhyasa of caitanyam being conditioned by their antahkaranams and qualified by the attributes of their antahkaranams. Consequently jivas, as antahkarana-visishta caitanyams, regard their consciousness as individual changing consciousnesses, different from the all pervading, changeless Brahma caitanyam. With antahkarana-visishta caitanyam, jivas function as pramata, karta and bhokta and undergo samsara. When the adhyasa of being an individual consciousness, conditioned by antahkaranam,  is overcome by a jiva, and non-difference from Brahma caitanyam is discovered by study of sastra, jivas are liberated.
    (b). Brahman which is not conditioned by avidya but which is associated with avidya in its vikshepa sakti without being affected by its avarana sakti is Iswara  - cf. “Avidya-avaccinna-na-avaccinnaou-eva jiivesa iti pakshah avaccinnavaadah” –Narayani, p.232. In  certain texts in the Bhamati tradition, it is explained that with the satva-guna-predominant Maya (suddha-satva-guna-upaadhi-roopa Maya), in the form of Iswara is the creator ( whereas jiva’s upaadhi is satva-guna-deficient Maya – Jiva is malina-satvagunopeta-antahkarana-upaadaana-kaaraniibhoota-avidya—amsa-visishta caitanyam).

  5. (a). Besides these three main prakriyas,  there is a prakriya called Eka jiva vaada which is also known by the name Drshtisrshti vaada. Eka jiva vada is accepted  by Sarvajnatman who discusses mainly the anekajiva vada – vide Samshepakasaarika II.128-131.( For the elucidation of the nature of jiva And Iswara, Sarvajatman adopts pratibimba vada.) In Siddhantabindu of Madhusudana Saraswati
    eka jiva vada and drshtisrshti vada are equated. (Mukhyavedaantasiddhaantah ekajivadaakhyah, imam-eva drshti-srshtit-vaadam-aacakshate.) But in the prakaranagrantha called Vicara Sagara (of Niscaladasa in Hindi translated in Sanskrit by Swami Vasudevabrahmendra Sarasawati, a distinction seems to have been  made betwween a drshti-srshti-prapanca solely of pratibhasika order of reality (eka-satta) and a drshrti-srshti universe consisting of a single vyavaharika entity with all the rest being pratibhasika (dwisatta).  
    (b). In the eka-satta version, the triputi of the pratibhasika universe, the pramatas, pramanams and prameyams (subjects, instruments of knowledge and objects) are projected simultaneously and withdrawn after each perception. The subject and object exist only at the time of perception.  The next time, it is a different subject and a different object. Even when two pratibhasika individuals, A and B, are seeing a house, say No. 50, Sardar Patel Road, it is not the same house that they see.  A is seeing a house corresponding to the vritti in A’s mind. B is seeing a different house corresponding to the vritti in B’s mind. In the trisatta universe, where we have a vyavahariika prapanca, when two persons look at 80, Sardar Patel Road, they are seeing the same house. But in the dwi-satta universe, where there is only a pratibhasika prapanca, apart from the paarmaartikam, each perception is unique to the perceiver. If we take an example from the tri-satta universe, where the vyavaharika perceivers see pratibhasiksa objects,  it is like A seeing a snake on the rope corresponding to his jnaanaadhyaasa (erroneous notion in his mind) and B seeing a different snake on the rope, corresponding to his jnaanadhyaasa.

    (c) In the dwi-satta version, BrahmaAtman that transcends avidya is Iswara and Brahman-Atman reflected in  Avidya is Jiva. As avidya is only one, jiva also is one only. This is a vyavaharika jiva.  Avidya conceals the true nature (as Brahman) from this jiva. This jiva is the material , and efficient cause of the universe consisting of other jivas and objects of the world which are all pratibhasikam.  The world does not exist independent of being perceived by the single vyavaharika jiva.  An object exists only at the time of perception. It has no existence before or after that.  In technical language drshti is srshti; yadaa padaarthaaah pratiiyate tadda eva pratiiti-vishaya-padaarthaah jaayate; darsanam srshti adarsanam layah; there is no ajnaata-satta; there is only jnaata-satta. For example, say I am the eka jiva. When I leave my house, the house ceases to exist. I traverse a road to go to the class. When I leave the road, the road ceases to exist  When I return to the house, it is not the same house; it is a new house which I have created by my thought of  the house. When I go the class again, it is not the same teacher and the same classmates; it is a new teacher and new classmates. There is no cause-effect concept either. I see a Maruti 800 car with the number plate DLC 4585 in a showroom ready to be delivered. Later, I see a Maruti car 800 with the number plate DLC 4585 on the road. But it is not the same car. It is a fresh car created by my thought of the car or like Thus, the jagrat prapanca is like the swapna prapanca created by the waker. However, the knowledge of Brahman arises to this eka jiva from the teaching of the preceptor, though the preceptor though the preceptor also is  pratibhasika, avidya is removed and Brahmatvam is restored. Since the other jivas are pratibhasika, this vada does not accept jivanmukti, because there is no other jiva to be taught.

    (d). Sureswaracarya says that whatever be the prakriya, as long as people attain firm knowledge of jiva brahma aikyam by adopting that prakriya, that prakriya is valid. The only question is which is the prakriya that appeals to a person‘s intellect. On should go by that to arrive at the knowledge, ‘brahmasatyam, jaganmithya, jivobrhmaiva naaparah.

    (NB. The writer would like to sound a note of caution . The portions relating to pratibimbavada and avacceda vada as well as the portions in Section 4 -  Vacaspati Misra and Section 5 – Prakasatman in Annexure II are based on inadequate and, possibly, imperfect data. The writer does not have sufficient knowledge of Sanskrit to have access to original texts. English translations of Vivarana and Bhamati and their sub-commentaries are not available and the few books which deal with the subject are confusing. The visitors to the site will have to make corrections in their mind, depending on their access to other reliable sources.) (Swamiji has gone through this. His comment – “What you have written is o.k. It can be kept as it is. You have to check only one part. Check the last three lines of page 7. I have doubt regarding the English portion. The Sanskrit portion (of Narayani) is o.k.” I have  since chcked looking at Veezhinathan’s Introduction in Samshepasarirakam, but not being quite satisfied with it have had an amended version approved by Swamiji.)

Section 4

The details of the manner in which Sankaracarya, Vidyaranya, Prakasatman and Vacaspati Misra have dealt with the topics of creation and Jiva in the chapter titled Sankaracarya, Surswaracarya & Others