[Advaita-l] Sri SSS Discussions

subhanu saxena subhanu at hotmail.com
Sun Aug 19 19:05:17 CDT 2012

A few responses to various post below:
Sri Anand Hudli wrote:“Agreed, the three states of sleep, dream, and waking are themselves superimpositions, but then, why would a principal upaniShad be devoted to description of the three states, if we are able to brush them aside
so easily?”
Namaste, thank you for the reference in SLS. Can you provide any other references that explicitly state that any prior agrahaNa is only an implication of thought, and not a prior state and without a temporal relationship with adhyAsa?
 With reference to the above point you make, I think you and others have already provided the answer to this question. As Shankara says, “avidyA-kalpita-bheda-nivritti-paratvAt shAstrasya”. Shastra’s function is to remove the distinctions imagined by Avidya. The method as we know is adhyaropa-apavAda.  The description of the 3 states is a method par excellence to point out the superimposed nature of these states and then rescind them. This is definitely no waste of time as it helps a qualified seeker understand what Atman is not. 
Shastra as niSedha shastram is given clearly in BUBV 2.3.187
niSedhyAnAm asheSANAm anyonya-vyabhichAratah 
pratIcho-vyabhichAor’tah tatrAdhyastam niSidhyate [BUBV2.3.187]
As all objects that are denied are mutually related, and there is unfailing exisitence of the inner self, All that is superimposed is denied.
With regards superimposition, Shankara’s definition is sufficient “sarvathApi tu anyasya anyadharmAvabhAsatAm na vyabhicharati” to describe adhyAsa
Sri Rajaram Venkatramani wrote:“Madhusudana proves existence of avidya in three states using pratyaksha, anumana, arthapatti and sabda. He also reconciles vivarana and vartika views. Whatever you do, theories about avidya will abound because it is its verynature - indeterminate. And Sri Anand Hudli wrote: "Now, if there is avidyA in sleep, what is its nature?”There are 2 points to be made to the above 2 comments:1)      With regards the nature of avidyA, we all are guilty of following this in the breach than the observance, but one who is endowed with avidyA can never ascertain the nature of avidyA so such questions are illegitimate in Shankara’s tradition. Suresvara says at SV 179 “avidyAvAn avidyAn tAm na nirupayitum kSamaH”.  Any discussions to establish or describe avidyA as bhAvarUpa or anything other than superimposition established through experience must bear this in mind2)      avidyA cannot be established through pramANa, so the post Shankara tradition to “prove its existence” appears misguided and unnecessary, Actually Sri Subramanian has already made this point. Suresvara’s vArtikas again give specific guidance on this point at SV 184 “ataH pramANato’shakyA’vidyA’syeti vIKsITum; kIdrashI vA kuto vA’sau anubhUtyekarUpataH”. It is therefore impossible to establish avidyA by any pramANa, or its nature or from whence it came, as it is simply the nature of experience”

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