advaita-siddhi - 16 BrahmavAda and shUnyavAda

Anand Hudli anandhudli at HOTMAIL.COM
Mon Jun 12 10:52:22 CDT 2000

advaita-siddhi text:

 sarvatra traikAlikanishhedhapratiyogitvaM yadyapi tuchchha-
 anirvAchyayoH sAdhAraNam.h tathApi kvachidapyupAdhau sattvena
 pratItyanarhatvaM atyantAsattvam.h tachcha shuktirUpye prapaJNche
 cha bAdhAtpUrvaM nAstyeveti na tuchchhatvApattiH | na cha bAdhAt.h
 pUrvaM shuktirUpyaM prapaJNcho vA sattvena na pratIyate |
 etadeva sadarthakenopAdhipadena sUchitam.h |
 shUnyavAdibhiH sadadhiShThAnabhrama-anaN^gIkAreNa kvachidapy-
 upAdhau sattvena pratItyanarhatvarUpa-asadvailaxaNyasya
 shuktirUpye prapaJNche cha-anaN^gIkArAt.h |

  sarvatra - everywhere, traikAlikanishhedhapratiyogitvaM -
  being the counter-positive (pratiyogin) of an absence for
  all periods of time, yadyapi- even though, tuchchha-
  anirvAchyayoH - of the trivial (absolutely non-existent, or
  fictitious) and the undefinable (anirvachanIya), sAdhAraNam.h-
  common, tathApi - but still, kvachidapyupAdhau - in any
  substratum, sattvena - as existing ( as identified with
  Existence), pratItyanarhatvaM - incapable of being cognized,
  atyantAsattvam.h - absolute non-existence, tachcha shuktirUpye-
  and that in the silver-in-nacre, prapaJNche cha - and in the
  world, bAdhAtpUrvaM - before sublation, nAstyeveti -  is
  not at all, and thus, na tuchchhatvApattiH - (they) cannot be
  absolute non-existence, na cha bAdhAt.h pUrvaM -  nor before
  sublation, shuktirUpyaM prapaJNcho vA - the silver-in-nacre or
  the world, sattvena na pratIyate - is not cognized as existing,
  etadeva - it is exactly this, sadarthakenopAdhipadena - by the
  word "upAdhi" which has Reality (sat) for its denotation,
  sUchitam.h - (is) indicated,
  shUnyavAdibhiH - by the shUnyavAdins, sadadhiShThAnabhrama-
  illusion with Reality (sat) as the basis, anaN^gIkAreNa - by
  not agreeing, kvachidapyupAdhau - in some substratum,
  sattvena - as existing (as identified with Existence),
  pratItyanarhatvarUpa - of the nature of being incapable of being
  cognized, asadvailaxaNyasya - of (what is) different from
  non-existence, shuktirUpye prapaJNche cha - in the silver-in-nacre
  and the world, anaN^gIkArAt.h - due to not agreeing


  Although being the counter-positive of absolute negation (negation
  for all times) is common between the absolutely nonexistent and
  the undefinable (anirvachanIya), still, what is absolute
  nonexistence is **incapability**of**being**cognized**as**
  existing**in**any**substratum. And that (incapability) is NOT
  either in the silver-in-nacre (the illusory silver) or in the
  world **before**sublation. Thus, they (the illusory silver or
  the world) cannot be absolutely nonexistent (as, for example, a
  hare's horn). For, it is not the case that the silver-in-nacre
  or the world is not cognized as existing (as identified with
  Existence). This is precisely what is indicated by the word
  "upAdhi" that has Reality (sat) for its denotation (meaning).
  The shUnyavAdins (Buddhists) do not agree that the basis of (any)
  illusion is the Reality (sat). So they do not agree that the
  silver-in-nacre and the world are capable of being cognized as
  existing in some substratum, which is what makes them (illusory
  entities such as the silver-in-nacre and the world) different from
  the absolutely non-existent.


 BrahmAnanda clarifies the advaita position vis-a-vis the Bauddha's
 in his gauDabrahmAnandI (laghuchandrikA) commentary on the

 nanu shUnyavAdino mAdhyamikasya mate sarvaM mithyeti svIkAre .api
 ghaTaH sannityAdidhIH svIkriyate sarvAnubhavasiddhAyAstasyA

 (Objection:) Even in the mAdhyamika or shUnyavAda system (of the
 Bauddhas) it is accepted that everything is mithyA or unreal,
 but cognitions such as "the pot is", etc. are accepted because
 they are established by universal experience and, as such,
 cannot be denied. (So how is the advaita position different
 from the mAdhyamika?) Reply:

 tatra cha-abAdhyarUpasattAdAtmyaM na bhAti, kiMtv-arthakriyAkAritva-
 miti taiH svIkriyate

 However, in their (mAdhyamika) system, the (unreal thing) does not
 appear as identified with Reality (sat). Rather, what is accepted
 is that (existence of the world is the same as) the capacity
 to produce effects or causal efficiency.

 In the Buddhist system, existence is defined as arthakriyAkAritva
 or arthakriyAshakti, the capacity to produce effects. A pot exists
 simply because it produces some effects, such as cognition, in us
 and its surroundings. However, in this system, this arthakriyAshakti
 is universally concomitant with momentariness which means that
 everything that exists is only momentary. For example, the table
 I see now exists because it produces some effects in me and its
 surroundings. The next moment, the effects produced by the table
 are not the same as they are now. Since the table's existence is
 defined by the effects it is capable of producing, the table I see
 now is not the same table in the next moment. Similarly the table I
 see now is not the same as the table in the previous moment. Hence,
 we may understand the Bauddha position on Existence (sattva) as
 xaNikatvavyAptam.h, ie. whatever exists is only momentary.

 In contrast, the advaita position on sattva is trikAla-abAdhyatva-
 svarUpa, ie. sattva consists in not being sublatable at any time.
 In any cognition such as  "san.h ghaTaH", "the pot is", ( or
 "san.h paTaH", "the cloth is") the advaitin holds that what is being
  cognized is Existence (sat) with a super-imposed relation of identity
 (tAdAtmya) between Existence and the pot (ghaTa). In other words, the
 pot is being cognized as identified with an eternally unsublatable
 basis (adhishhThAna) which is sat. This is what BrahmAnanda is
 pointing out in his laghuchandrikA. That is why he interprets
 "sattvena" in MadhusUdana's reply as "abAdhyarUpasattAdAtmyena",
 "as being identified with Reality (sat) that is unsublatable."
 He says further:

  "san.h ghaTa" ityAdipratyayopapatterukta-abAdhyatvaM mAdhyamikena
   na svIkriyate

  The said unsublatability that is established in cognitions such as
  "the pot is" is not accepted by mAdhyamika.

  nacha bAdhAtpUrvamabAdhyatvaM prapaJNche .astyeva tanmate .api-
  iti vAchyam.h

  Nor can (you) say that even in that system (mAdhyamika) the
  unsublatability of the world IS there before its sublation.


  trikAla-abAdhyatvasya-eva-asmAbhirniveshAt.h |

  Because we have included the term trikAla-abAdhyatva ,
  non-sublatability for all times.

  What BrahmAnanda means here is that the world is itself
  unsublatable until of course there is the bAdhakaGYAna,
  GYAna that sublates the world. And until that happens the
  world appears identified with the eternally unsublatable
  Brahman. No such view is expressed anywhere in the
  mAdhyamika system (tanmate tu na kutra .api iti).

  BrahmAnanda concludes:

  abAdhyavisheshhyaka-prapaJNchabhramasya svIkAre prapaJNche
  apy-abAdhyatAdAtmyabhramo .avashyaM svIkAryaH, paraspara -
  adhyAsAnurodhAt.h, anyathA tu tatra mAnAbhAva iti bhAvaH |
  Upon accepting that the world is an illusion on the
  unsublatable qualificand (Brahman), one must necessarily
  accept also that there is the illusion of identifying the
  world with the unsublatable, because of the requirement due
  to the mutual superimposition (between the world and Brahman).
  Else, there would be no evidence (to accept that the world
  is an illusion on the unsublatable Brahman). This is the purport
  (of what MadhusUdana says).

  Although the advaitin says the world is an illusion on Brahman,
  he is careful to point out that the illusion involves the
  (erroneous) identification of the world with the unsublatable
  Brahman. Until and unless there is a bAdhaka-jnAna, jnAna that
  sublates the world, the illusion of the world will persist,
  **independent** of time. The sublation of the world depends
  **solely** on the bAdhaka-jnAna. In contrast, there is no
  such requirement in the Bauddha system. Whatever exists does
  so only momentarily. The sublation of whatever appears to exist
  is not in any way dependent on a bAdhaka-jnAna. This is

  As the Atmatattvaviveka says:

   na grAhyabhedamavadhUya dhiyo .asti vR^ittistadbAdhane
    balini vedanaye jayashrIH |
   nochedanityamidamIdR^ishameva vishvaM tathyaM tathAgatamatasya
    tu ko .avakAshaH ||

   The cognition of an object does not exist if its difference
   from the object is disregarded - the powerful VedAnta has
   scored a victory by defeating this view. This world of illusion
   as we know it is (in essence) real. So where is the scope for
   the theory of the Bauddha in this (VedAnta) ?

 In fact, the characteristic of (the world's) being sublated by jnAna
 (jnAna-nivartyatva) is taken to be one of the definitions of
 mithyAtva itself, as we shall see later. This underscores the
 paramount importance of jnAna as the destroyer of all duality. We
 cannot simply wish the duality to go away without resorting to
 jnAna. And what is this jnAna? It involves shravaNa, manana, and
 nididhyAsana by the aspirant who has the four-fold qualifications,
 sAdhana-chatuShTaya. Just saying that world of duality does not exist
 or putting forth a nice theory will not be of much use.

 In this connection, there is a lesson in the PanchadashI. Someone
 who has mere verbal familiarity with advaita asks: Why am I still
 without realization? VidyAraNya gives the example of a man who
 heard that an award was being given to anyone who knew the four
 Vedas. This man claimed that he knew there were four Vedas (and
 probably their names) and so he was entitled to the award!
 With respect to Brahman/Self, VidyAraNya asks "Do you just say
 the word Brahman or do you realize its meaning?" (shabdAneva
 paThasyAho teShAmarthaM cha pashyasi).


bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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