Question regarding Gaudapada Karika

Shrisha Rao shrao at NYX.NET
Thu Jun 29 14:50:35 CDT 2000

On Thu, 29 Jun 2000, Vidyasankar Sundaresan wrote:

> Re: AptakAma in BU -
> > 1> The B.U. quote (and other instances where `AptakAma' may have
> >    occurred) does not suit the context of the sUtra; under `lokavat.h tu
> >    lIlAkaivalyam.h' the interest is in the Creator of the world whose
> >    actions are not out of any self-interest.  A look at the B.U. comm.
> >    of Shankara shows that he does not regard the `AptakAma' therein
> >    to be a referent to the world-Creator's actions.  Certainly,

> not a real event, precisely because brahman is AptakAma. That is why in BU
> bhAshya, Sankara does not refer to the world-Creator in the AptakAma
> reference, because well, there is no creation to talk of in the first place.

That's fine, however, it is one reason to *deny* the notion that the B.U.
is the vishhaya-vAkya in the present instance.  Because the argument
"Creation is not a real event because Brahman is AptakAma" is not made by
Shankara in this context in his BSB.  He does however explicitly criticize
the king-playing-ball analogy, and appears to take creation seriously as
something to be explained, *if only for the time being*.  After all, while
Creation may not be thought of as real in the ultimate sense, it is hardly
the practice of Advaitins to simply go around saying "there's nothing
there."  Even the doctrine of sublation grants that there is initially the
presumption of Creation which then is sublated upon achievement of
realization, and the sUtrakAra, according to Shankara, is talking of the
initial phase.  How else is it possible to explain him saying, `yadi nAma
loke lIlAsvapi kiJNchit.h sUxmaM prayojanamutprexyeta, naivAtra kiJNchit.h
prayojanamutprexituM shakyate'?  Quite obviously, he is addressing the
un-realized (or speaking of the state of the un-realized), for whom though
in the world there may be subtle motives being served in the actions of
all, there is none whatsoever in the Creator.

> > 2> One is setting oneself up as a better exponent of Advaita than
> >    Appayya, in your style of reasoning.  Although generally one may
> No. I'm just pointing out that an alternative is possible. It is rather
> typical of Advaita commentators for the same person to give two or three
> alternative explanations of the same thing. When you compare two different
> commentators, again you can find such alternatives.

That may be so in matters of doctrine or interpretation, however there is
no example (at least that I know of) where Advaitins or anyone else would
offer alternatives in questions of textual analysis separated from
doctrine.  I don't see how they could.

> As for the absolute merits of the BU statement as vishaya-vAkya, I would
> like to first check other texts such as Anandagiri's nyAyanirNaya and
> bhAratItIrtha's adhikaraNaratnamAlA, before debating it, but I will have to
> first get the texts, so I won't argue about that aspect right now.

I would personally prefer to defer further discussion of this topic until
later as well.  I believe it is possible for any reasonable person to
follow the references given and come to his or her own conclusions, and
since I myself am continuing to investigate this matter, albeit at my
usual very slow pace, I have not much else of significance to add.


Shrisha Rao

> Vidyasankar

bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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