Isn’t Brahma-Jnanam (Knowledge of Brahman) also Adhyasa (a superimposition or false appearance)?

Questioner: Isn’t Brahma-Jnanam (Knowledge of Brahman) also adhyasa* (superimposition or false appearance)?

Tom: It depends what you mean by ‘Knowledge of Brahman’. If you mean knowledge in the mind, then this too is certainly maya/illusion/adhyasa.

However True ‘Knowledge of Brahman’ just means the Self devoid of all objective phenomena. It is also called Silence or Samadhi and is also what is meant by Yoga. This ‘knowledge’ is just the Pure Self-Shining Reality (and so it is not adhyasa and not the result of any action/karma or teaching/dharma).

It is only this ‘knowledge’ (the Self) that removes ignorance.

(*Tom: Note that adhyasa is a Sanskrit word that means superimposition, false attribution or false appearance. It essentially refers to any object that appears, such as the body, mind and world and includes thoughts, feelings, imaginings, states of consciousness, teachings, teachers, tables, chairs, the sun, the sky, etc. The idea is that these objects are falsely ‘superimposed’ onto pure consciousness like the movie is superimposed onto the cinema screen. According to the Upanishads and Advaita Vedanta, all these superimposed appearances/objects may appear to be real to us out of ignorance, but they are actually totally false or unreal, like a dream may appear to be real, but is actually not real at all – rg. was that four-headed dinosaur you dreamt of real? Put simply, adhyasa is another word for maya (cosmic illusion) or ignorance or duality, all of which are also synonyms.)

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