[Advaita-l] A reference to 'jIvAshritA avidyA'

Anand Hudli anandhudli at hotmail.com
Mon Dec 5 23:56:43 CST 2011

Shri Bhaskar YP wrote:

>But does not jeeva as a vishayi seeing both vidyA & avidyA as 'vishaya'??
>If yes, then how can we say jeeva dharma or jeevAshraya is avidyA?? Will
>it be appropriate to say jeeva's shareera dharma is vidyA & avidyA?? coz.
>both are jneya only is it not??  Hence, shankara too in geeta bhAshya
>(13.2?? not sure) says that there is no avidyA in kshetrajna, it is mere
>antaHkaraNa dOsha.

Whenever vidyA or knowledge is spoken of, the knower and known object have
to specified. In the case of avidyA too, the entity that does not know and
the entity that is not known have to be specified. The questions that need
to be answered are: 1. Who does not know? 2. And what does he/she/it not
know? In the case of avidyA, the answer to question 2 is, obviously,
Brahman, which means avidyA is about not knowing Brahman.There is a lack of
knowledge of Brahman.  In other words, the content or viShaya of avidyA is
Brahman. The answer to question 1 is where the schools of advaita differ.
The bhAmatI school holds it is the individual soul, jIva that does not know
Brahman, which means the locus of avidyA is the jIva. The jIva feels, "I do
not know Brahman". Brahmananda has justified the bhAmatI position in his
commentary on the siddhAntabindu as follows:  "brahma nAstItyAdi vyavahAro
yadAshritaH ajnAnamapi tadAshritam; kArya-karaNayor ekAshritatvasya
yuktatvAt". It is only appropriate that the locus of the cause and effect
have the same locus, where the cause the ajnAna (avidyA) and the effect is
the feeling there is no Brahman ( I do not know Brahman).


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