[Advaita-l] Re: gauDapAda kArikA-s

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Mon May 26 23:13:05 CDT 2003

On Sun, 25 May 2003, kalyan chakravarthy wrote:

> >And pray, define what you mean by material attributes and transcendental
> >attributes, and also justify why you make an arbitrary decision not to
> >include material attributes in a discussion of sa-guNa brahman.
> Material attributes are those caused by prakriti,- like sattva, rajas and
> tamas. The guNas of saguNa brahman like imperishability, all-pervasiveness,
> etc. i.e. in short Its sakala kalyANa guNas are transcendental attributes.

So are you saying prakrti is not also part of Brahman?  If it is than how
do you justify treating "material" vs "transcendental"?

> That brahman is free from material attributes is known from bhagavad gIta.

That Brahman is free from _all_ attributes is known from the Gita.  Again
why the distinction between material and transcendental?

> Really? We have seen sammohitah svayam. But of course, you can always accuse
> me of mis-understanding. Let us see who is misunderstanding -

You are I'm afraid.  Sammohitam means _He_is_deluding_Himself_.  There is
only one true entity, Brahman.  So any illusion that we can speak of has
to be Brahman.

> Dont contradict yourself so openly. We have already seen that if the locus
> of avidya is brahman, then it means that brahman is deluded.

Only if avidya were the totality of Brahman.  It might help if I drew a
picture. (if it looks messed up, use a fixed space font like courier.)

  | +------+         |
  | |Avidya|         |
  | +------+         |
  |                  |
  |     Brahman      |
  |                  |
  |                  |
  |                  |

I can say "the locus of the small box is in the left hand corner of
the larger box."  But can I say "the smaller box is the larger box"?

> Looking for the locus of avidya is avidya in itself. Moreover, saying that
> brahman is the locus of avidya is the highest avidya. It is as un-vedAntic
> as you can get.

Yes but again it is a necessary part of Vedanta becuse we (meaning
advaita-l readers) are finite beings of space and time who normally deal
with concepts like loci (locuses?) When one finally moves beyond that
level a locus isn't necessary but by that point Vedanta isn't necessary

> This once again is from your own mail -
> ********************************************************************************
> It is not the intention of the kArikA author to say that Brahman is really
> deluded. It is only an "as if".
> ********************************************************************************
> I have pointed out why this argument is self defeating. Mr. X is not
> deluded. But delusion is unreal. Therefore Mr.X is deluded.

You have it backwards.  Mr. X is deluded.  delusion is unreal.  Therefore
Mr. X is not deluded.  Actually the sequence of events is probably more
like this:

1. Mr. X thinks he is not deluded.

2. Mr. X learns from study of the shastras that view 1 is a delusion.

3. After further study Mr. X learns that both 1 and 2 are unreal.

4. For that matter Mr. X-ness is also unreal.

5. Brahman (no Mr. X at this point) _knows_ it is not deluded.

> Your reasoning points to one conclusion alone -  brahman is unreally
> deluded. Since you imply that brahman is *deluded* in some sense, I have
> said that even that is unacceptable.

Unacceptable to whom?  The Vedas themselves say that Brahman is prana etc.
It is that identification which is being described here as delusion (but
again I repeat it is a necessary one.)

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
It's a girl! See the pictures - http://www.braincells.com/shailaja/

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