[Advaita-l] Maya/avidya

srikanta at nie.ac.in srikanta at nie.ac.in
Thu Apr 24 03:48:10 CDT 2008

This is with reference to the above topic of discussion.In his discussion
on Maya/avidya Sri.Ananta has said that Maya has to act only as a bridge
between the absolute and Relative and not as a guiding principle of
Vyavahara.For that purpose "Pratitya-samutpada is eminently suited.

In Adwaita,the term Maya or avidya is taken for explanatory purpose only
for those who are yet uninitiated into Adwaita.Infact that Maya also
doesnot exist."Sa cha Maya na vidyate"says Acharya Gaudapada in
Gaudapadakarikas on Mandukyopanishad.

But,the "pratitya-samutpada"Theory of conditional co-origination" by
Nagarjuna,the founder of "Sunyavada" of Buddhism doesnot consider the
world to be existent or non-existent in the same way as Adwaita.While
world is Mithya(not sunya) the Sunyavada considers the world as absolute
non-existence(sunya)."Sarve nissvabhavah" says Buddha.For this the
Sunyavadins describe "Pratitya-samutpada"as follows:For example the seed
to sprout,it requires certain conditions.It requires
mud,fertilisers,water,air,sunlight etc.the seed becomes the sprout,but at
the same time because of the aggregates of mud,fertisers,water etc.At the
same time it is not the same as any of the aggregates,but yet at the same
time,it is not different from the above.For a thing to exist it requires
cerain conditions,hence it is called conditional co-origination.For
Sunyavadins,the silver in nacre is a nullity without a subsratum.So also a
mirage without the conservative principle of its illusion called the
sand."Kadaligarbhavath"(the sprout of a Banana plant)where one cannot find
either the source (root)or the end of it,because it is a series regressus
ad infinitum.The Buddhist consider the body as "durnimittam"(cause for
sorrow)unlike Adwaitins who say Brahman is the ultimate reality and the
body is the instrument(sadhana)for its realisation."Sareeram khalu Dharma
sadhanam".The Buddhists consider the body to be an aggregate of
"Pancha-skhanda"(an aggregate made of five limbs)Trishana,Vedana etc.and
the annihilation of the pancha-skhanda is consiered as "Nirvana(or
non-becoming)much like the "blowing of a candle".The ending of the body is
considered as"Nirvana".But,for the Adwaitin realisation of the Brahman or
Atman is considered as the Summum-bonum of life.The modern scientific
theory comes closer to Adwaita than Buddhism.The
inexplicable(anirvacaniya)theory of Maya is closer to Adwaita than
Buddhism.The theory of error(Khyati-badha vada)of the different schools
like Sankhya,Vaisheshika,Mimamsa,Jaina,Bauddha,and Vedanta are the
different views of the philosophers and is a great contribution of Indian
Philosophy to the world of Epistemology.
Regards,  Bhava Shankara Desika me Sharanam.

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