Sanskrit Glossary and Avidya

Giri gmadras at ENGR.UCDAVIS.EDU
Mon Nov 11 17:16:54 CST 1996

Namaste Ken. Thanks for bringing up the issue of Sanskrit Glossary. The
jaguar site
has a link to the online sanskrit dictionary. This should have the
listing of all the major words used in yoga, and also common words like
adhikaaraH (right to ). Please use the search facility in the dictionary
and see (you can type adhi as a prefix, and see all the words in the
dictionary which has adhi as a prefix).
        If you are on netcom/aol etc, and have a problem getting to the
above site, try the front end mirror,


Regarding avidya, as Sadananda mentioned, it is an issue which has been
debated in detail. In the Naishhkarmyasiddhi, Suresvara talks on this
issue and concludes that Atman is both the locus and the object of avidya.
This is primarly accepted by Prakaashatman of the VivaraNa school of
advaita vedanta.
        On the other hand, the others school of advaita vedanta asserts
that the locus of avidya is jiiva while the object of avidya is Brahman.
This is accepted by vaacaspatimishra, the author of bhaamati, and hence
this school of thought is sometimes referred to as bhamati school of
advaita vedanta.
        Jnanadeva (known for his famous work jnanashevari, which is a
commentary on bhagavad gita) in his work 'amritaanubhava' explains the
non-existence of avidya (rather the unreality of it). He concludes that
ignorance just does not exist with knowledge or independently of
knowledge, just a fish made of salt can not exist either in water or out
of it. I think there is the seventh chapter of the book (the longest) and
has 300 verses or so in this chapter. There are many commentaries on this
work, including the recent one by Ramesh Balsekar, the direct disciple of
Nisargadatta, called the 'Experience of immortality.'


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