Notes on Brahmasuutra-IIIa

K. Sadananda sada at ANVIL.NRL.NAVY.MIL
Tue Aug 29 12:31:12 CDT 2000

                                Notes on Brahmasuutra -IIIa

        sadaashiva samaarambhaam shankaraachaarya madhyamam|
        asmadaachaarya paryantaam vande guruparamparaam||

I prostrate to the lineage of teachers starting from Lord Shiva who is ever
auspicious and with Bhagavaan Shankara in the middle and all the way up to
my own teacher.

        vaatsalya ruupam triguNairatiitam
        aananda saandram amalairnidhaanam|
        shree chinamayaananda guro praNiitam
        sadaa bhajeham tava paada pankajam||

Who is the very embodiment of motherly affection, who is beyond the three
guNa-s, who is full with bliss, and who is the very source of purity, who is
the best among the teachers, Shree Chinmayaananda,  to his lotus feet I
(sada) always prostrate.
                             Adhyaasa Bhaashhyam

(The topic is presented in three parts - because it is quite long and also
it helps to assimilate the subject providing enough time for discussions.  I
know some people are preserving in a file to study later.  But I can
guarantee that if you do not have the commitment to study now the
probability that you will study later is almost zero.   One needs to study
couple of times before the concepts and the definitions become clear.  The
first three notes are very important since subsequent topics will relay
heavily on the definitions and concepts discussed in these.)

Shree Shankara's bhaashhyam popularly known as shaariirika miimaamsa
bhaashhyam starts with Shankara's introduction called adhyaasa bhaashhyam.
Bhagavaan Shankara gives a great importance to adhyaasa since that is the
basis of the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta and his interpretation of
Brahmasuutra.  As with all bhaashhyam-s, every bhaashhyakaara or author of
bhaashhyam claims that his interpretation is close to the meaning of what
was intended by Shree Baadaraayana.  We should recognize at the outset that
the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta does not depend on the validation of its
concepts by Brahmasuutra-s.  It rests squarely on the mahaavaakya-s, the
four aphoristic statements, one in each of the four Veda-s; praJNaanam
brahma (consciousness is Brahman), tat tvam asi (that thou art), aham
brahmaasmi ( I am Brahman)  and ayam aatma brahma (this self is Brahman).
  What Shankara shows is that Brahmasuutra is compatible with the doctrine
of Advaita Vedanta.  With the advent of science in the twentieth century and
with the development of relativistic and quantum mechanics, scientists
vision of the Universe is coming more close to the precepts of Advaita

For a saadhak or seeker, it is important to have a very clear understanding
of the nature of the problem so that one can seek the solution that is
appropriate to solve the problem.  Hence mind should be doubt free, in terms
of the goal and the path.  For this one needs to reflect deeply (mananam) to
insure that there are no traces of doubts about the goal and the means.
Constant study of scriptures and contemplation on their meaning and
applications of that to one own situation are all the steps recommended to
have a clear vision.  In that sense Shankara Bhaashhya helps to provide a
necessary means to launch oneself into the contemplation of the reality.
While the study of Brahmasuutra is helpful but it is not necessary, since as
mentioned before Adviata Vedanta does not relay on the suutra-s for its
validation.  With this understanding we now enter into adhyaasa bhaashhyam.

3.1 What is adhyaasa and what is its importance?

Before entering into the discussion of Brahmasuutra, Shankara provides an
introduction, describing the adhyaasa aspect of Advaita Vedanta.  adhyaasa
means an error or a mistake.  In this bhaashhyam Shankaraachaarya
establishes the central cause for samsaara or human suffering, and it is due
to adhyaasa or a mistake or an error.  Once Shankara proves that samsaara is
due to an error or adhyaasa, then removal of samsaara should be related to
the removal of the error or adhyaasa nivR^itti.  When the error is gone,
then the error-caused problems are also disappear.  If it is proved that
samsaara is due to an error, naturally the question arises why there is an
error or how did the error arise?  Errors can arise because of different
reasons.  For example, when I do not know and I still act, I commit a
mistake or an error.  Even if I do not know that I do not know, I still
commit a mistake.  For example, lack of knowledge of the required language
skills can be the cause of some of the errors in these notes.  Here the lack
of knowledge or ignorance is the cause.  Sometimes even if I know, I still
can make mistakes as in the typographical errors in this notes.  Here too,
if one analyzes carefully, the error is due to non-awareness or ignorance as
the basic problem, since I am not conscious of what I am typing in relation
to what I want to type.  Errors can also arise if the instruments of
knowledge are defective, like if I am, say, color blind or if there is
insufficient illumination.  In all these cases I am still ignorant of the
truth and more importantly I take the false as real.  Sometimes there is a
double jeopardy since I not only take false as real but also real as false.
In all these commissions,  there is always a price I have to pay for
committing an error.  Thus there is always some suffering associated with
it.  If the error is not there, the associated suffering will also be not
there.  Thus fundamentally the root cause  for all errors is lack of
appropriate knowledge.  Hence any error arises because of ignorance or
aJNaanam.  Therefore aJNaanam causes adhyaasa, error, and adhyaasa causes
samsaara, suffering.  For samsaara to go, adhyaasa should go, for adhyaasa
to go aJNaanam should go, and for aJNaanam to go knowledge should come.
Hence Shankara says in VivekachuuDaamani,

        na yogena na saankhyena karmaNaa no na vidyayaa|
bramhaatmaikatva bodhena mokshssiddhyati naanyathaa||

One can do anything or follow anything - yoga, saankhya, karma, bhakti,
direct path, straight path, curvilinear path etc.  Through these process one
cannot gain Moksha.  They may be useful in gaining the saadhana
catushhTayam, the four-fold qualifications, which help to gain the requisite
knowledge.  But to gain Moksha, the knowledge of the identity of Brahman and
aatma alone is required.  Otherwise even if all others are present, there is
no liberation.  Because the bondage is an error-based or due to adhyaasa,
and adhyaasa can only be removed when ignorance goes, and ignorance goes
only when the knowledge comes.  In support of this we have declarations: 'na
anyaH panthaaH ayanaaya vidyate', 'gataasuuana gataasuumscha na anusochanti
paNDitaaH' - those who have gained the knowledge do not grieve for those who
have gone and for those in the process of going'.  And therefore 'athaato
brahma giJNyaasa' - to gain that knowledge only, this inquiry into the
nature of Brahman.  This is the essence of the adhyaasa bhaashhyam.  Now the
details follow.

3.2 Example of adhyaasa:

For conveying this concept of adhyaasa in Vedanta a well known example is
taken as illustrated by Shree GouDapaada in his ManDukya kaarika:

     anishchitaa yathaa rajjuH andhakaare vikalpitaa|
     sarpadhaaraadibhiH bhaavaiH tadvadaatmaa vikalpitaH||

meaning, when there is a rope in front of us which is not clearly visible
then there is a mistake of a snake or a stream of water.  Similarly aatma is
mistaken for something other than aatma.  Hence a snake perception on a rope
is an error or adhyaasa.  rajjou sarpa budhhiH - on the rope the notion of a

When does the error takes place?  If the rope is completely not seen when it
is pitch dark, then no error takes place, and there is no fear of a snake.
Hence it is said that 'ignorance is a bliss', as in deep sleep.  In total
ignorance, there is no error.  Similarly in total knowledge also there is no
error, since one can see clearly the rope.  There is no fear of snake and
hence knowledge is also bliss, as with a wise man.  Only when there is a
partial light or when the eyes are partially defective, the error can occur.
  When there is a partial light, then we know there is something in front of
us.  Thus we have some partial knowledge.  But what is that something we
don't know.  That there is something is called 'saamaanya JNaanam' or
partial knowledge.  That part of the rope (that is the 'thingness' that
exists) is called 'saamaanya amsha' (general existent part).  The saamaanya
amsha is not covered by darkness since we know that something exists there.
Hence it is also called 'anaavR^ita amsha' (uncovered part).  Since the
existence of something is real, it is also called 'satya amsha' or real

Since light is dull, that the existent thing is 'a rope' - that aspect is
covered, which is the particular feature of the existent object.  The
'ropeness' of the object is covered, which is the specific feature of that
object.  This specific feature of the object, that is the 'ropeness', is
called 'visheshha amsha' also 'aavRita amsha' or covered part.  'There is a
rope' is a fact or real.  Of this total fact, one part is covered and
another part is not covered.  Of the total statement, 'there is a rope',
'there is' -,  that part (saamaanya amsha) of the knowledge is not covered
and ' a rope' - that part  (visheshha amsha) is covered.  When the visheshha
amsha is covered, the mind projects with another visheshha amsha - which is
'a snake'.  Hence 'snakeness' is the replaced visheshha amsha in the place
of 'ropeness'.  We are not replacing saamaanya amsha or satya amsha or real
part but we are replacing only the visheshha amsha, a particular part, with
a snake which is mithyaa or anR^itam or not real.

Thus when we say 'there is a snake' it consists of two parts - saamaanya
amsha, which is real and visheshha amsha which is unreal or anR^itam.
Therefore in every error there is satya saamaanya amsha and mithyaa
visheshha amsha.  The unreal particular feature is there only because the
real particular feature (visheshha amsha - the ropeness) is covered.  When
the light is shown, the true knowledge of the object takes place and we say
now 'there is a rope'.  The previous saamaanya amsha, 'there is' or the real
part still remains.  Only the previous visheshha amsha, the snakeness, which
is not real is replaced by the other visheshha amsha (ropeness), which
happens to be also real.  When we say it is replaced, it is not that the
snake is now replaced by the rope.  Where did the snake go?  - the snake was
never there to go anywhere.  But in the mind of the perceiver who says
'there is a snake', the snake was very much alive and it was a very
frightening experience for him.  The frightening experience that includes
rapid heart beating, blood pressure raising and sweating are all as much
real as the snake, for the one who sees the snake.  He runs away to avoid
the snakebite and that running away is real too.  Can the false snake cause
so much of havoc?  False snake cannot cause any problem if one knows that it
is false.  Since it is a real snake in the mind of the perceiver, the
perceived suffering is equally real in his mind.  Thus relative to his state
of mind, the snake is real.  Only from the point of wise man, snake is
mithyaa (for the time being we translate it is unreal) while rope is real.
The snake appears to be real from the point of the perceiver, and is unreal
from the point of the wise man.  Thus off-hand there appears to be two
realities, one from the point of the perceiver who sees the thing as a snake
and the other from the point of the wise man who sees the thing as a rope.
One is relatively real (vyaavahaarika satya) and the other is absolutely
real (paaramaarthika satya).  Thus relative realities depend on from whose
reference we are discussing the issue.  Most of the confusion in discussions
arises when we inadvertently switch the reference states without realizing
it.  The discussion  of real and unreal so far is from the point of a
perceiver.  But from the point of the object, it was rope all the time.  It
was just an innocent rope lying in semi dark alley, without realizing that
it is the subject of so much discussion from GouDapaada on!  It was rope
before any one saw, it is a rope when people are mistaking it as a snake and
it will remain as rope even when a torch light was shown on it.  Rope never
became a snake causing problems for the people.  But people saw it as a
snake and got frightened.  Who created a snake out of a rope?  Can we say
ignorance created a snake out of the rope?  Both questions will sound as
ridiculous since there was never a snake where the rope is, for it to be
called a created entity.  But yet for the person who is perceiving a snake,
there is indeed a snake where the rope is.   But when we ask him later why
he saw the snake there when it is a rope, his only answer is - I didnít know
it was a rope.  From his point, ignorance of the rope is the cause for the
snake creation in his mind.  These concepts need to be clearly understood
when we apply it to reality of the world, concept of creation and what is
the adhishhTaanam or substratum for the creation or the world etc.

Now when the light is shown, the reality of the object gets revealed by
itself, since it is real, and the unreality disappears by itself since it is
unreal.  The correction is not in the saamaanya amsha but only in the
visheshha amsha.  When this correction takes place in the visheshha amsha,
the fear caused by that unreal snake is also gone.  The fears and
tribulations are all related to the visheshha amsha, which is unreal and not
to the saamaanya amsha, which is real.  Thus when the inquiry is done about
the nature of the visheshha amsha using a valid means of inquiry, in this
case, say a torch light, then the reality of the object in total is known.
The method of inquiry should be appropriate since the error is due to
ignorance of the visheshha amsha, the rope, because of the dim light.  Hence
the means should be such as to eliminate the ignorance by throwing light on
the object.  No amount of prayers, actions such as jumping up and down, or
japa or meditation on the rope ' idam rajjuH, idam rajjuH', 'this is a rope,
this is a rope' etc., will help reveal the rope in the place of a snake.
Hence Shankara say in VivekachuuDaamani:

        vadantu shastraaNi yajantu devaan
        kurvantu karmaaNi bhajantu devataaH|
        aatmaikya bodhena vinaa vimuktiH
        na sidhyati braham shataantarepi||

Let erudite scholars quote all the scriptures, let gods be invoked through
endless sacrifices, let elaborate rituals be performed, let personal gods be
propitiated.  Yet, without the experience of one's identity with the self or
self-knowledge, there shall be no liberation for the individual, even in the
lifetime of a hundred Brahma-s put together.

The problem is centered on ignorance and the solution has to be an
appropriate knowledge that removes that ignorance.  If I don't know
Chemistry no amount of the study of Psychology will help remove my ignorance
of Chemistry. Knowledge of Chemistry alone removes the ignorance of
Chemistry.  Similarly the knowledge of oneself removes the ignorance
centered on the self.  Hence discussion of any other paths is meaningless
from the point of the stated problem - hence the shruti's declaration - na
anyaH panthaa vidyate ayanaaya - no other path other than knowledge removes
the samsaara.  Hence Shankara insistence on the understanding of the nature
of the problem, i.e. adhyaasa.

Thus the problem itself will define the solution to that problem.

3.4. Role of adhyaasa in Vedanta:

Similar to the case of rope-snake case,  when a person says 'aham samsaarii'
- 'I am a samsaarii',  Shankaraachaarya says here too there is a 'saamaanya
amsha' and 'visheshha amsha'.  "I am' in the above statement is the
saamaanya amsha, which refers to 'a conscious being' - conscious
corresponding to 'chit' and 'being' corresponding to 'sat'. It is anaavR^ita
amsha or uncovered part and is also 'satya amsha', part that is real.  In
fact this part is never covered or eternally true and  is self evident or
ever evident or 'pratibodha viditam' or JNaanaswaruupam, of the nature of
the knowledge.  That is, I am not only conscious but also I am
'self-conscious' - and therefore require no means of knowledge, pramaaNa, to
know that I exist.  I know that I am there even when it is pitch dark
outside.  Hence this particular saamaanya amsha is never covered - in fact
nothing can cover it!

In the above statement there is also a visheshha amsha, a particular part -
'a samsaarii', which is unreal like our snake.  The unreal 'visheshha amsha'
has come into existence only because of the covering of real visheshha
amsha.  Therefore covering as well as uncovering belongs only to 'visheshha
amsha' and not to saamaanya amsha.  What is that real visheshha amsha that
is covered - Sat and Chit are evident in the saamaanya amsha.  Then what is
covered is aananda (bliss) amsha, or anantatva (unlimited) amsha, or
puurNatva (complete) amsha or Brahmatva (infiniteness) amsha or in effect
'asamsaaritva amsha'.  That is the visheshha amsha that is covered.  In that
place we have unreal visheshha amsha ' duHkii, (miserable) or asampuurNaH
(incomplete) or parichchhinnaH(limited) or samsaarii'.  Hence ' aham
samsaaari or jiivaH' is an error and is the cause for all the human
suffering.  Therefore to solve the problem of human suffering there is no
need to change the real part (in fact one cannot change it) that is the
saamaanya amsha, which is 'I am', but only remove the visheshha amsha called
'samsaarii'.  This has to be done by putting a 'torch light' to reveal the
real visheshha amsha that 'aham asamsaarii' or 'aham Brahma asmi'.  The
torchlight is 'the Vedanta Knowledge' that is required to reveal the true
visheshha amsha.  'aham asmi' is common both in the samsaarii state and in
the realized state.  In the samsaarii state, I have knowledge only as ' aham
samsaarii asmií , which is replaced by real knowledge, that 'aham Brahma
asmi'.  The change is taking place only in the visheshha amsha, anR^ita
amsha or mityaa amsha, the unreal part -just as the change is taking place
from mityaa 'snake' to real 'rope'.  Hence 'I am the samsaarii' notion goes
away and is replaced by 'I am asamsaarii or puurNaH' knowledge comes and
that is the aim of all the prasthaanatraya, Upanishads, Geeta and

3.5 Examination of adhyaasa:

This adhyaasa or error can be defined differently by looking at it from
different angles - As mentioned before the study of knowledge and error
comes under the science of epistemology.  There are differences of opinions
about error (some may be erroneous too!) and these are called 'khyaati
vaada' or analysis of errors.  From the standpoint of rope, one can call it
as 'misapprehension' of rope - mistaking (missing the rope and taking the
snake!) the rope is an error.  In Sanskrit it is called 'anyathaa grahaNam
or anyathaa khyaati'.  The same error can be defined from the standpoint of
snake also.  From the point of snake error is 'superimposition of a snake',
that is a non-existent snake is superimposed on the existing object.  This
is called 'addhaaropa' or 'adhyaasa'.  A third definition is both from the
point of rope and snake.  From this point an error is a combination or
mixing of some parts of real rope and some parts of unreal snake.  When we
say 'there is a snake', in that 'there is'- belongs to rope, which is
saamaanya amsha, which is real.  Hence the statement ''there is a snake'
involves a real saamaanya amsha and unreal visheshha amsha.  Hence error
involves mixing up of satyam, real, and asatyam or unreal or anR^itam.
Hence error is defined as 'satyaanR^ita mithuniikaraNam' - mixing up of real
and unreal.  By the mixing up of the two entities, real and unreal, a third
singular entity is created that involves parts of the real and part of the
unreal.  A fellow while seeing a rope says 'there is a snake'.  While
saying, he does not know that there are two entities, real and unreal, which
he is mixing.  The problem is,  in principle, is inconsequential, but for
the fact that he is having a real suffering as a consequence of the mistaken
identity or the presence of unreal snake.  From our point who knew the whole
truth, he is mixing up of the two entities.  From the mistaker point, he is
not aware of the two things.  In his cognition, there is only one entity but
only on analysis we find that in his unitary perception there is a satya
amsha and anR^ita amsha.  When he says 'the snake is frightening' -
frightening part belongs to anR^ita amsha, the snake, whereas the 'is' part
belongs to the satya amsha, the rope.  'It is a long snake' - the length
belongs to the rope and it is therefore satya amsha.  "It is a poisonous
snake' - the poisonous part belongs to snake which is anR^ita amsha. ' It is
a curved snake' - the curved part belongs to rope, hence satya amsha.  Hence
a peculiar mixture of some aspects which are satyam and some aspects which
are anR^itam.  He mixes them both to arrive at one unitary entity.

Similarly when a person says 'I am so and so' - he takes himself as one
unitary entity but Shankara says there are two aspects mixed in that
statement - a satya amsha and anR^ita amsha, creating a jiiva who is
miserable.  When he says 'I am existent conscious being' - existent and
conscious are from satya amsha. When he say 'I am a fat person' - fat person
is anR^ita amsha.  Hence jiiva is neither pure aatma nor pure anaatma, it is
a mixture of aatma and anaatma, satya and anR^ita amsha.  It is this mixed
unitary entity, jiiva, is striving for liberation.  This missing up is
called 'error' called 'satyaanR^ita mithuniikaraNam.
The purpose of Brahmasuutra is to inquire into the nature of jiiva to
discard the unreal part and to get established in the real part.  In this
process, the samsaara which is associated with the unreal part gets
dissolved and that is Moksha or liberation.  This is the general background
on adhyaasa.

3.6 Shankara's discussion of adhyaasa:

The discussion of Shankaraachaarya on adhyaasa bhaashhyam can be broadly
classified into six subtopics: 1. adhyaasa shankhaa (objections to the
theory of error) 2. adhyaasa shankhaa samaadhaanam (answering to the
objections) 3. adhyaasa lakshaNam (the definition of error) 4. adhyaasa
sambhaavanaa (showing the possibility of error) 5. adhyaasa pramaaNa (proof
for adhyaasa) 6. adhyaasa upasamhaaraH (conclusion of the adhyaasa topic).
For convenience, we take the third topic first, adhyaasa lakshaNam, the rest
of the topics will be discussed in the order.

3.7 Definition or lakshaNa for adhyaasa:

Shankara gives two definitions for adhyaasa.  An additional third definition
is indirectly available and is often quoted.  The first definition is:

      'smR^iti ruupaH, paratra puurva dR^ishhTaavabhaasaH adhyaasaH'|

meaning 'the perception of a previously experienced object on a wrong locus'
  - In the rope-snake example, one is perceiving a snake - a snake which is
already experienced before.  A person who has never seen a snake will not
mistake a rope for a snake.  I am superimposing an experienced snake upon a
wrong locus, which is a rope.  This is called an error.

Second definition which is more popular and simpler and that is:
'atasmin tat buddhiH'  meaning 'perception of an object on a wrong locus' -
The snake is seen on a wrong locus that is the rope.  Or perception of
silver on a shell.

The third indirect definition is what was discussed before 'satyaanR^ita
mithuniikaraNam' - mixing up of real and unreal.

When I say 'I am the body' - the error is seeing the body on a wrong locus
'aatma'  which is not the body.  I, the immortal, is seen as the mortal - I,
the all pervading, is seen as the limited - This is the error.

This is the adhyaasa lakshaNam.

3.8 Objections to adhyaasa -adhyaasa Shankhaa:

The objections are raised by all other systems of philosophies, saankhya,
yoga, vaiseshika etc., who claim that adhyaasa introduction is an improper
introduction because aatma-anaatma adhyaasa is impossible.  Rope-snake
adhyaasa is possible which can be accepted but not aatma-anaatma adhyaasa.
To establish that the puurvapakshi (the objector) gives the following
reasons.  Any super imposition like rope-snake super imposition requires
four conditions to be satisfied simultaneously.  Only if all the four
conditions are fulfilled then this satyaanR^ita mithuniikaraNam can occur
otherwise it is not possible.  In the case of aatma-anaatma adhyaasa not a
single one of the four conditions is satisfied.  Hence the idea of adhyaasa
is itself an adhyaasa or a mistake.

Let us illustrate the four conditions using the rope-snake example.  First,
the rope is a 'pratyaksha vishaya', a directly perceivable object in front.
Hence the first condition is 'pratyaksha vishayatvam', an object which is
directly perceivable in front. That is 'there is a rope in front', for
anyone to mistake it as a snake.  The second condition is that the rope
should not be completely known.  One should be ignorant of the fact that it
is a rope.  Hence the second condition is called 'aJNaatatvam', absence of
the complete knowledge of the rope.  The third condition is saadR^isyam -
there should be a similarity between what I superimpose and what is there in
front.  I mistake the rope only as a snake but not as an elephant or monkey,
because there is no saadR^isyam between rope and the elephant or monkey.
The fourth condition is 'samskaaram'.  That is a false snake is superimposed
because I had an experience of a real snake before which left the impression
or vaasana in my mind.  Because of that snake vaasana or 'samskaara' alone I
commit the mistake that the rope as a snake.  If I have not experienced a
real snake before then there is no question of mistaking the rope as a
snake.  Therefore the fourth condition is 'puurva anubhava janya
samskaaraH', a vaasana which is born out of the experience of a real snake
before.  Hence only when the four conditions, pratyaksha vishayatvam,
aJNaatatvam, saadR^isyam and puurva samskaara, are there, then one can have
an error due to the superimposition or adhyaasa.  If one applies this to
aatma-anaatma case, none of the four conditions is fulfilled.  Hence
aatma-anaatma adhyaasa is impossible.

Let us examine this in detail.  The first condition is pratyaksha
vishayatvam - rope is clearly perceived as an object for the mistake to take
place.  In the case of aatma, is it an object to be perceived in front to
commit a mistake? aatma is apratyakshaH, avishayaH -it is imperceptible and
also not an object - Thus it is not an object in front for any one to commit
a mistake.  Hence the first condition is not fulfilled.  aatmanaH
apratyakshatvaat, a claim made by advaitin himself that aatma cannot be
directly perceived, and that violates the first condition.

The second condition is aJNaatatvam, ignorance with regard to rope in the
rope-snake example.  But in the case of aatma advaitin accepts that aatma is
svayam prakaashaH(self evident or self-effulgent),  nitya chaitanya
swaruupaH (always conscious). Hence how can there be ignorance with regard
to self-evident aatma? nityopalabda swaruupaH - swayam jyotiH -It is
self-luminous or shines by itself - these are advaitin's own statements
regarding aatma. If that is the case, how can there be ignorance in that
chaitanya swaruupa swam prakaashha aatma, self-conscious, self-shining
aatma?  Hence the second condition of aJNaatatvam is not fulfilled and hence
no adhyaasa is possible.

The third condition is saadR^isyam, similarity.  Between aatma and anaatma
what similarity is there?  They are diagonally opposite to one another in
all features.  aatma is the subject and anaatma is the object.  aatma is
chetanam (conscious entity) and anaatma is jaDam( inert), aatma is sarva
gatam (all pervading) anaatma is alpa gatam (limited in time and space),
aatma is  nirguNam (attributeless) where as anaatma is saguNam(with
attributes) - In every aspect they are opposite.  Shankara says in his
bhaashhyam 'tamaH prakaashavat viruddha swabhaavayoH, vishaya vishayinoH,
yushmadashmat pratyaya gocharayoH' - they are diagonally opposite to each
other like light and darkness, one is object and the other is subject etc.
Hence saadR^isyam or similarity is not at all there.  Hence the third
condition is not fulfilled.

The fourth condition is samskaaraH - Advaitin claims anaatma is unreal and
aatma is real -  since it involves satyaanR^ita mithuniikaraNam - satya
aatma and anR^ita anaatma are mixed up.  In the case of snake the unreal
snake is possible because we have experienced a real snake before.  The
samskaara of real snake is there in the mind. In the case of aatma-anaatma
superimposition,  for the unreal anaatma to be superimposed on real aatma,
we should have prior samskaara or experience of real anaatma, that is, we
should have experienced before a real anaatma.  But advaitin himself claims
that there is no real anaatma at all because aatma alone is real, which is
one without a second.  Therefore the samskaara, the fourth condition is also
not fulfilled.  Since all the four conditions are not fulfilled the
aatma-anaatma adhyaasa is impossible.  Hence the very foundation of Advaita
Vedanta is on shaky grounds.

Thus according to puurvapakshi for adhyaasa to operate all the four
conditions need to be satisfied -  they are 1. pratyaksha vishayatvam, 2.
aJNaatatvam, 3. saadR^isyam, and 4. samskaaraH.  Puurvapakshi, the objector
shows while all the things are applicable to snake-rope case but none for
aatma-anaatma case. Therefore aatma-anaatma adhyaasa is impossible and hence
the whole theory of based on adhyaasa is wrong.

This ends the arguments of the puurvapakshi or an objector.

(A Note: We pause here for few days for us to think deeply - Is puurvapakshi
or objector right in his arguments? If we are convinced of Adviata can we
contour his arguments to show that adhyaasa is possible in the case of
aatma-anaatma case? - what do you think? How do you address these
objections? Can one argue that all the four requirements are met in the case
of aatma-anaatma case as in the case of rope-snake example and therefore
adhyaasa is applicable? Or is it the time now to switch our party and move
to a different list?  The ball is now in your court.)

Hari Om!

K. Sadananda
Code 6323
Naval Research Laboratory
Washington D.C. 20375
Voice (202)767-2117

bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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