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

Anand Hudli anandhudli at hotmail.com
Tue Dec 6 09:04:57 CST 2011

Shri Rajaram Venkataramani wrote:

>RV: As maya is indeterminate, its locus cannot be determinate which is why
>I think different advaita  schools differ in their view on the locus of
>avidya. And someone like Madhusudana Saraswati is able to syncretize very

avidyA/mAyA's being indeterminate may not have much to do with it. A
valid point raised by sureshvara himself, later developed by
sarvajnAtman, and prakAshAtman of the vivaraNa school, is that in the
state of deep sleep, avidyA is
experienced. The person, upon waking up, exclaims "I did not know
anything while asleep!" However, it is important to note that the
there is no notion of jIva in the state of deep sleep. This shows that
avidyA can exist  without
the jIva. If this is the case, it follows that the locus of avidyA is
not jIva but Brahman or pure Consciousness which exists in all the
three states. Another charge made against the bhAmatI school by
nyAyAmrita, and taken
up for rebuttal in the advaita-siddhi by madhusUdana, is that of
anyonyAshraya. jIva is defined in terms of avidyA, for example, as a
reflection of Brahman in avidyA or Brahman delimited by avidyA. If
avidyA has its jIva as its locus,
as the bhAmatI school contends, then there is mutual (cyclic)
dependence between jIva and avidyA. But madhusUdana has successfully
defended the bhAmatI position in the advaita-siddhi.


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