Are they simply theories or are they actually mentioned in the upanishads? ... When it comes to the example of the two birds sitting on a tree, is it mentioned anywhere in the mundaka & svetasvatara upanishad along with this example, that the so called lower bird is just a reflection ... OR is the word reflection purely invented by the advatins to popularize their own philosophy?

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    Looks like there are more than one questions in the question. Please limit your post to a single question.Otherwiseit will be closed as too broad. Adi Shankara and advaitans believing in Saguna Brahman and two birds sitting on a tree are two different questions and can be asked separately. Btw, 2 birds concept interpretation varies with philosophy and is also present in Veda. Aug 31, 2018 at 15:17
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    Adi Shankaracharya and advaitins of course believe in Saguna Brahman. Otherwise, it would be anti-upanishadic.
    – user9969
    Aug 31, 2018 at 16:17
  • Scriptures can not mention "space inside the pot" etc because scriptures are in Sanskrit and not English. So do u know what are the terms for those expressions in Sanskrit? Is it Ghatakasha for the 2nd one?
    – Rickross
    Sep 1, 2018 at 5:09
  • Yes it's Ghatakasha for the 2nd one, but i don't think it's a sanskrit term. If i'm not wrong, it's a bengali term. Ramakrishna used it to describe the limitation theory. Here i'm trying to find out, what made the advaitins think that the 2nd bird, is only a reflection and not a separate individual soul. The dualists on the other hand says it's a separate individual soul. I know there are different philosophies, but do u guys think, there are any hints in the scriptures that points the 2nd bird as a mere reflection, & the intellectual advaitins picked up this hint but the dualists failed? Thnx Sep 1, 2018 at 5:51
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    @TheCrimsonUniverse Ghatakasha is a Sanskrit word as well as a Bengali word.
    – Rickross
    Sep 1, 2018 at 6:47

1 Answer 1


If GhatAkAsha is "space inside the pot", then it is found in probably many scriptures.

For the time being, here is a verse from the BhAgavata PurAna's 12th Skandha which is having the term in it:

Ghate bhinna ghatAkAshamAkAsham syAd yathA purA |
Evam dehe mrite jivo brahma sampadyate punah ||

Just like when the pot is destroyed, the space inside the pot becomes one with the all-space, similarly when the [linga] Sarira gets destroyed the Jiva gets again one with the Brahman.

So, this particular term is not coined by the Advaitins and is a scriptural term.

All i know is that reflection in sanskrit is called pratibimba.

Ok, the concept of Viswa Prativimba Tulya (the world is just a reflection) is also supported by the scriptures. Actually this concept is similar to another Advatic concept viz- "The world is a myth/illusion" (Jagat MithyA)

We have the following verse from Yoga Vashishta SArah:

SwajyAna darpane sphAre samastA vastujAtayah |
ImAstAh prativimbanti sarasiva tatadrumAh ||

Like the reflection of the trees situated on the banks of the lake, all the visible objects are likewise nothing but the [false] reflection in the self-knowledge-like mirror (SwajyAna Darpan).

Yogavashishta SArah 2.10 (Jagat MityAtthva Prakarana)

These words are spoken by Vashishta Rishi to Sri RAma.

So, both the concepts are found in certain scriptures to an extent and upon which these later day philosophers have developed their theories.

  • Thanks a lot for providing a verse from the scriptures that speaks of the ghatakasha :) All i know is that reflection in sanskrit is called pratibimba. Sep 1, 2018 at 9:01
  • Could you please explain how the world is a reflection? I mean, jivatman being the reflection of the Atman kinda makes sense, i.e. the subtle bodies don't have light or awareness of it's own but borrows it from Atman, the real self ....... But how can the whole world be the reflection of our real self, the Atman? It's absurd, don't you think? ....... OR maybe the scripture meant to say, that the whole world is a reflection of the UNembodied spirit (the spirit outside the body) and not of the Atman that dwells within us ... Which one do u think it is? Thanks. Sep 1, 2018 at 14:16
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    @TheCrimsonUniverse I wouldn't hv answered ur Q if it was a philosophical one.. since it is a factual Q i answered.. u simply wanted to know if the concepts like Ghatakasa and the theory that the world is just a reflection are found in scriptures or those are just imaginations of modern day philosophers.. my answer to that Q is - the concepts are already found to an extent in certain scriptures and around which those philosophers had developed their theories.. (1)
    – Rickross
    Sep 1, 2018 at 16:23
  • See i'm neither an admirer nor one who criticizes such philosophies.. so basiically i'm the wrong person to ask Qs like How is the world illusion or a reflection? I do not like these philosophical discussions at all.. (2) ..
    – Rickross
    Sep 1, 2018 at 16:23
  • No problem bro. I thought people here were familiar with the HOW's & WHY's of advaita philosophy. I went thru many online articles but none of them explains these topics, that why a particular thing is such and such. Since i have started learning about advaita, i need to have a thorough understanding of it and can't just stop halfway, can i bro? ;) And yeah, i appreciate all your help, like quoting from the scriptures and letting me know that they are based on scriptures. :) Again thanks a lot man. Sep 2, 2018 at 10:18

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