FW: Re: [Advaita-l] Locus of avidyaa

M. S. Ravisankar ravi at ambaa.org
Tue May 27 14:48:37 CDT 2003

The original question still remains. Why did the post-Sankaran subschools:
bhaamAti and vivaraNa schools look for the locus of avidyA? Why did they
have to get into this mess, instead of using shankara's original approach?
For some details about these schools, please see:


The problem is when you go to debates with opposing schools, you may not
have a choice to do otherwise; because it is not the goal of the debate to
attain liberation.  This I see as one of the possibles reasons.

For a student who has shraddha, it is enough to say do not worry about the
logical status of avidyaa it will not really matter at the end. Because, he
is interested only in liberation. And the key is shraddha.

It is neither non-vedantic nor unphilosophical to ask an advaitin about the
locus of avidyaa.
It is a perfectly valid question.

Philosophy is literally love for knowledge. One of the steps in learning is
to understand what is wrong and incorrect, and the source of error.  You
cannot overcome a weakness without understanding it.

Also, it is certainly within the scope of vedanta, not only because other
schools of vedanta such as vishishhTaadvaita and dvaita ask this question
and criticize us, but also because teachers in our own tradition have
attempted to answer it.

Comments and corrections are welcome.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
> [mailto:advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org]On Behalf Of Jaldhar
> H. Vyas
> Sent: Monday, May 26, 2003 11:44 PM
> To: advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
> Subject: Re: FW: Re: [Advaita-l] Locus of avidyaa
> On Wed, 21 May 2003, M. S. Ravisankar wrote:
> > But my question is, does one always have the luxury of refusing
> to answer?
> > If yes, why it was not used?
> >
> Take the question "Is 7pm later than 5pm?"  Straightforward right?  If you
> are talking about 5pm and 7pm on the same day, the answer is yes.  But
> what if you are talking about 7pm on Monday and 5pm on Tuesday?  Then the
> answer is no.  So the true answer to the question as stated is
> -- anirvachaniyam.  The refusal to answer is not for strategc reasons but
> simply because it is logically impossible to answer.  The same with the
> locus of avidya.  The idea of locus is itself avidya so it is logically
> impossible to answer.
> [At this point it is "traditional" to make some remark about Quantum
> Physics and the Heisenberg principle but I won't. :-)]
> --
> Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
> It's a girl! See the pictures - http://www.braincells.com/shailaja/
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