[Advaita-l] Locus of avidyA

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian rama.balasubramanian at gmail.com
Thu Nov 2 15:06:33 CST 2006

Not sure whether Sri Devanathan is being sarcastic below :-). However,
I do agree that members should be at least aware of what has been
written in the NaiShkarmya siddhi, etc, just as Sri Devanathan points

In any case, my opinion was about the interaction I had with people on
this topic and obviously does not include anyone else. It *wasn't a
general* statement. If Sri Devanathan is not being sarcastic, he is
going much further than I am.

That said, let's talk a little bit more about some fundamental tenets
of advaita. I will keep this short, hopefully a longer mail will
follow sometime. Thanks to Sri Murali for posting excerpts from
Anantakrishna Sastris book. I was actually pointed out the
shatadUshani as one of the "unanswered" works a while back. I read it
and quite frankly it was quite disappointing. I had no interest in
continuing to read books like shatabhUShaNi for the simple reason all
these questions from shatadUShaNi have already been raised, especially
 by Sureshvara, and answered multiple times in the same work! The
shatadUShaNi seemed to be merely a compilation of those puurvapaxa
statements, rather than deconstructing Sureshvaras answers!

First of all, as shankara points out in his bR^ihadaaraNyaka bhAShya,
when the nondual import of the veda is ascertained by shruti, liGga,
etc (mImAmsA techniques), you can't just refute it by saying that I
experience duality. You can't say the sky is actually blue, just
because you experience it do you? Sureshvara points out that the
ego-sense (aham) has to precede the experience of anything, and by the
method of anvaya-vyatireka you can show that without avidyA the two
kinds of experience attributed to the self (this and mine) cannot
exist [1].

Further what kinds of logic can be used for analysis? It is only
shR^ityanugR^ihIta tarka that can be used. This is of the form that
the effect is inherent in the cause, the analysis of the three states
without taking the observer from the picture (which shows that the
dream and waking objects are unreal, etc.). So, you can't point out
the "reality" of external objects, which if you think hard enough,
*assumes* the reality of time among other things. What is the basis
for such assumptions? All this goes quite away from shR^ityanugR^ihIta

Regarding the locus of avidyA, the matter has been settled
conclusively by Sureshvara in the introduction to 3.1. With all due
respect, there is no need to write more texts trying to defend advaita
against texts like the shataduShaNi. A mere pointing out of verse
numbers in these texts is more than enough.

The joke is that vishiShTAdvaitins claim that advaitins use shruti to
trump knowledge from perception (this is due to misunderstanding
advaita). But they don't hesitate to call a dream real by appealing to
shruti (actually shruti makes it clear that the dream is unreal,
that's a different point), while everyone knows that the objects were
false on waking up!

[1] See Nai-Siddhi 3.60-3.62. anvaya-vyatireka is a technique which
shows A => B and not(A) => not(B). In logical terms, this means A <=>

On 11/1/06, Antharyami <sathvatha at gmail.com> wrote:

> manner be accounted as counter factual arguments at all. Advaitins or the
> members of this group must atleast be aware that we have brilliant texts
> (dialectical) such as Naishkarmya siddhi - Sureswara, advaita siddhi-
> Madhusudhana Saraswati and so on dealing with such issues and not be carried
> away with fancy arguments posted on web.
> --

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