[Advaita-l] drushti and satya

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Mon Feb 22 04:15:24 CST 2010


Reproduced below is a reply, to the following statement made by a member
in the other discussion forum.  As this topic was raised in this forum too
the reply
could be seen as relevant.

//it is logical to say drushti beda than sathya beda...coz there is
not beda in ONE sathya//

No one disagrees with your above statement, especially that there cannot be
bheda in ONE Satya. It would be wise to recognize that dRiShTi-bheda
presupposes, implies, a satya-bheda. Consider the following example:

Kumar sees a rope on the roadside and thinks: someone has left this rope
Maybe it will be picked up by him later.

Krishna who comes to that spot a little while later sees that same rope and
thinks: O there is a snake lying on the edge of the road. Let me hurry up
caution others.

Now we have two dRiShTi-s: 1. Rope-dRiShTi and 2. Snake-dRiShTi. But do the
dRiShTi-s represent the same truth? Obviously no. The former is based on the
'paramartha' satya, the actual status there and the latter is based on the
a-paramArtha satya, the mistaken status there. Thus, you can never speak
dRiShTi-bheda without explicitly or implicitly admitting satya-bhEda. Yet,
there two 'satya-s' really there? Surely no. There can be only one truth
the rope: that it is a rope. Yet the possibility of two dRShTi-s exposes us
the admitting of two levels of satya pertaining to the one object, rope. Why
we admit two 'levels'? It is because, one, the lower level of satya, will be
negated, sublated, when the 'higher' level satya pertaining to the rope is
gained. Till that happens, we have to keep talking about two levels of
Once the truth is known, there will be no scope to talk about two levels at
even the term 'paramArtha' is redundant when we do not have an a-paramArtha
satya to speak of. Consider some of these statements of Shankaracharya and

In the  GaudapAda KArikA (GK)  3.48 it is said:

yEtattaduttamam satyam....(This is the Highest Satyam)

Shankaracharya comments:

sarvo'pyayam manonigrahAdiH, mRllohAdivatsRiShtiH, upAsanA cha uktA
paramArthasvarUpapratipattyupAyatvena, na paramArthasatyA iti.
paramArtha-satyam tu na ...pUrvEShu upAyatvena uktAnAm satyAnAm yetad
satyam...satyasvrUpe brahmaNi aNumAtramapi kinchid jaayate iti.

The overall meaning of the passage, paraphrased, is: Thus far, in this
PrakaraNam' 3rd chapter of the GK, these were talked about: 1. the practice
mind-control, etc. 2. creation akin to the clay-clay products, iron-iron
products, fire-fire sparks, 3. meditation, dhyAna. These were talked about
a view to get the realization of the Supreme Truth, Absolute Truth,
svarUpa, as a means to realize IT. However, these 3 talked about here are
the absolute reality; paramArtha satya. The paramArtha satyam, however, is
not...Among those 'satya-s' talked about earlier, THIS is the UTTAMAM
the Highest Truth, which is the non-origination of even a wee bit of
anything in
the Absolute SvarUpa Brahman.

Now, why would GaudapAda and BhagavatpAda talk about 'uttamam' satyam unless
they admit of some satyam that is non-uttamam satyam? Shankaracharya even
to the extent of using ShaShThI bahuvachanam with regard to satyam:
(among the said many satyams, This is the Highest). Unless He admits of
a-paramArtha satyams, why would He make a comparison and conclude by picking
the paramArtha Satyam/svarUpam? Is it that Bhagavatpada and GaudapAda are
ignorant about the 'logic' stated by you:

//it is logical to say drushti beda than sathya beda...coz there is not beda
ONE sathya// ?

Remember Bhagavatpada has said: adhyAropa apavAdAbhyAm...(by the method of
deliberate superimposition and subsequent negation...a method taught by
'sampradAya vits', 'knowers of the method of disseminating the Truth' as
Shankara revers them.) According to this rule, the different wrong dRiShTis
admitted as 'satyam' of a lower level, a-paramArtha, un-uttamam satyam only
distinguish them from the paramArtha, uttamam satyam. There is a compelling
need to admit different levels of satyam, as unmistakably done by Shankara,
Gaudapada, examples of which abound in the bhashya, and finally negate all
them and uphold only One Absolute Truth. At this final level, however, as
have stated, Satyam is Only One. There is no need to label it as
uttamam, etc.'. It is silence.

Here is a fine example of the 'satya bheda' and 'dRiShTi-bheda' co-existing,
Shankara's own words:

Commenting on the GK 3.18: 'advaitam paramArtho hi, dvaitam tadbheda
teShAm ubhayathaa dvaitam...' Shankara states:

//......dvaitinAm tu teShAm paramArthataH, aparamArthataH cha ubhayathApi
dvaitameva. yadi cha teShAm bhrAntAnAm dvaitadRShTiH, asmAkam

The meaning is: For the dualists, it is dvaitam both ways: in the relative
as well as in the absolute realm. Further, theirs is the deluded
view,dvaitadRShTiH, and ours is the undeluded view: advaitadRiShTiH...

It is unmistakable that Shankara talks about two satyams, realities, in the
first part of the sentence, relative and absolute, and about two views,
drishti-s, in the second part of the sentence. Now, you can easily connect
with the example of rope-snake we considered at the beginning of this

The conclusion is: dRiShTi-bhEda presupposes, implies, satya-bheda. The one
cannot exist without the other. To make a distinction between them is
unnatural. It is impossible to teach the Tattva without alluding to these
sets of bheda-s. It is because, we are under the compulsion, to do so by the
'adhyaropa-apavaada' rule. The Upanishad, GaudapAda and Shankara can never
flout this rule.

Best regards,

P.S. Yet another instance of Shankara using the word 'paramArtha satya' is:
2.34 bhashya: 'na hi atra advaye paramARthasatyAtmani...' Now, unless He
that anything other than the Non-dual Atman is a-paramArtha, why would He
qualify the Non-dual Atman as he does?

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