[Advaita-l] Sringeri AchAryas on the vivaraNa - the cause of adhyAsa (2)
anandhudli at hotmail.com
Tue Mar 13 03:47:07 CDT 2007
The panchapAdikA-vivaraNa anticipates another objection that can be raised
regarding the cause of adhyAsa:
nanu adhyAsasya pratibandhakaM tattvajnAnaM tadabhAvashcha-ajnAnamiti
The pratibandhaka (obstruction) of adhyAsa (superimposition) is true
knowledge and the absence of such true knowledge is ajnAna. This ajnAna or
absence of true knowledge is related to adhyAsa and therefore the copresence
and coabsence (anvaya-vyatireka) that you seek to establish between ajnAna
and adhyAsa is already proven elsewhere.
What the objection means is that the cause of adhyAsa is not really ajnAna
but the absence of the obstacle, true knowledge. If there is true knowledge,
there cannot be superimposition. Conversely, if there is no true knowledge,
superimposition arises. Therefore, the absence of the obstacle, true
knowledge is the cause of adhyAsa, not some entity called avidyA or ajnAna.
Note: The term anvaya-vyatireka means the positive-negative concomitance
relation that exists between a sAdhya (what is to be established) and a hetu
(the reason). For example, smoke and fire coexist in a hearth, but both are
absent in a lake. So it is correct to conclude that where there is smoke
there is fire.
The vivaraNa replies:
naitatsAram.h| puSHkalakAraNe hi sati kAryotpAdavirodhi pratibandhakam.h| na
cha-adhyAsapuShkalakAraNe sati tattvajnAnaM kAryapratibandhakatayA jnAyate
kiMtvasatyeva-adhyAsakAraNe tattvajnAnodayaH |
(You are) missing the point! An obstacle (pratibandhaka) is one that
prevents the production of an effect even when the cause is present in full
measure. There is no observation that true knowledge prevents the production
of the effect, adhyAsa, when its cause is present in full measure. On the
other hand, (we observe that) true knowledge arises only when the cause of
adhyAsa is not present. Therefore, the copresence and coabsence
(concomitant) relation with ajnAna is not concerned with the absence of the
The vivaraNa-prameya-saMgraha of BhArati tIrtha-VidyAraNya points out that
it is plain wrong to see true knowledge as an obstacle! True knowledge
reveals itself and never obstructs anything. It is only possible for
something to be an obstacle to true knowledge but not the converse.
Therefore, as the vivaraNa-prameya-saMgraha puts it succintly,
tattvajnAnasya pratibandhaka-lakShaNarahitatvAt.h, true knowledge does not
have the characterstic of being an obstacle.
Still, another objection may raised and the vivaraNa-prameya-saMgraha
virodhisaMsarga-abhAva-viShayatvenApi tAvupapatsyete, iti chet.h, na |
kAryasya tAvadupAdAnApekShA prathamamutpadyate|
pashchAdvirodhisaMsarga-abhAva-apekShA | tathA cha
nyAyena-antaraN^gopAdAnaviShayatvameva tayornyAyam.h |
Still, (if you say that) the anvaya-vyatireka (copresence and coabsence
concomitance relation) may apply to adhyAsa and the absence of conjunction
with true knowledge which opposes adhyAsa, we say no. For an effect, the
first dependence (requirement) is on the material cause (upAdAna) and the
dependence on the absence of contact with an opposing factor arises later.
Furthermore, going by the rule that between the interior (more proximate)
and the exterior, the interior is stronger, it is appropriate to consider
the anvaya-vyatireka to apply between the interior or proximate material
cause upAdAna, ie. ajnAna, and adhyAsa (and not between the absence of
conjuction with true knowledge and adhyAsa).
The gist of the argument is this: even if you consider the absence of
conjunction with true knowledge as a candidate cause of adhyAsa, avidyA,
which is more proximate or directly related than absence of conjunction with
true knowledge, is the correct choice as the cause of adhyAsa.
The next question that arises is: what if adhyAsa is due to some defect in
organs, instruments, etc., not due to something called ajnAna?
The vivaraNa-prameya-saMgraha addresses this doubt.
na cha kAchAdidoShANAmupAdAnatvasaMbhave .api kimanena-ajnAnena iti
vAchyam.h, adhyAsatadupAdAnayorekAshrayatva niyamAt.h| iha tvAdhyAsa
AtmAshritaH, doShAshchendriyAdyAshritA iti nopAdAnatvaM teShAm.h |
(You) should not say "What is the need for this ajnAna while it is possible
for defects such as a disease of the eye to be the material cause of
adhyAsa?" This is because of the rule that adhyAsa and its material cause
must have the same Ashraya, substratum (locus). Here, adhyAsa has the Self
as the locus, but defects have organs, etc. as the locus, and hence they
(defects) cannot be the material cause of adhyAsa.
It is important to note that the vivaraNa school considers ajnAna to have
the Self-Brahman as the locus (Ashraya) and differs from the bhAmatI school.
More on this later.
PadmapAda next raises a question in his panchapAdikA regarding something
being natural (naisargika) and yet having a cause, before he answers it.
kathaM punaH naimittika vyavahArasya naisargikatvam.h?
How can something like vyavahAra (or adhyAsa) that has a cause be natural?
atra uchyate - avashyaM eShA avidyAshaktiH bAhyAdhyAtmikeShu vastuShu
tatsvarUpasattAmAtrAnubandhinI abhyupagantavyA | anyathA
(In reply we) state: This avidyAshakti (the power of avidyA) that is
related only to the (real) nature of external and internal objects should
necessarily be admitted. Otherwise, it would not be possible for illusory
objects to appear.
PadmapAdAchArya says this avidyA-shakti must necessarily be present, if we
agree that illusory objects appear.
Next, we will see how later vivaraNAchAryas explain this crucial statement
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