[Advaita-l] Locus of avidyaa

M. S. Ravisankar ravi at ambaa.org
Tue May 20 09:23:43 CDT 2003

- jiva or iishvara cannot be locus of aviydaa because they are caused by it.

- hence, the only choice we have is brahman. *

- This is not a problem  because avidyaa is non existent and unreal.

- Because of the unreal nature of avidyaa and real nature of brahman, we do
not bring in duality by saying avidya has its locus in brahman

- Such an answer has to be given [about the locus] because the question is
asked in the spell of avidya and answer is given in its realm.

- upanishads gives different theories of causations and some are apparently
contradictory. Why? There are three reasons

a) Goal of upanishads is not explain causation, but to teach about brahman

b) Theories about causation are [temporarliy] necessary to start the
ignorant devotee and answer his prelimnary questions. Answers vary based on
background of who questions.

c) Inner contradictions by themselves will eventually show the
non-importance of this matter for achieving realization.

- one such answer is, I am alone without second, let me become many. Atman
is pure and contented, desire in it not acceptable. But for an ignorance
person,  it still serves as an explanation how many came out of one.

- Finally, problems in explaining the ultimate truth is beyond words and
mind. Only hints can be given. There may be some inherent complexities in
teaching that. It is not any different than dumping all the unknown as leela
of God and God alone knows it etc.

- That is why  learning from a teacher, who will teach based on adhikaari
laxaNam is recommended. If one does not take the route, one should give room
to accept his own inability to understand things and get confused, before
blaming the text.

My 2c, some of the above points are based on my limited understanding of the
taitiiriya upanishad commentaries translation by Mahadeva Shastry.

If I am not mistaken, Vidya has discussed this matter extensively in the
past. Either here or in SRH.

corrections are welcome.


*As Sherlock would say, when all other choices are ruled out, whatever
remains, however illogical it is, it has to be the answer (or something like

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