[Advaita-l] Imagined nature of root ignorance in vivaranam

sriram srirudra at vsnl.com
Mon Aug 20 07:04:39 CDT 2012

Dear Sri Siva Senani Nori
Super imposition is as a result of the viwer`s mind which is confused due to 
emotion etc.But how do we reconcile that super imposition is not dependent 
on the object when we do know that similarity /identical patterns are a must 
for this phenomenon?One cannot superimpose a snake on a flat rectangular 
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Siva Senani Nori" <sivasenani at yahoo.com>
To: "A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta" 
<advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Sent: Sunday, August 19, 2012 8:15 AM
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Imagined nature of root ignorance in vivaranam

> Sir V. Subrahmanian wrote: "...The jnanam that a person gets, even of 
> Brahman, surely a sattva-guNa kAryam, is ultimately mithyA in advaita...."
> Indeed. This extract (given below) of the adhyaasa bhaashya clear states 
> that Moksha Sastra can operate only in light of the superimposition. This 
> assertion is immediately challenged: "How, again, can the means of valid 
> knowledge, such as direct perception as well as the scriptures, have as 
> their locus a cognizer who is subject to nescience?" (कथं 
> पुनरविद्यावद्विषयाणि प्रत्याक्षादीनि प्रमाणानि शास्त्राणि च ?) Rest of the 
> adhyaasa bhaashya is a reply to that objection.
> Another point to note is that the base of superimposition is not in any 
> way affected in the silghtest way by the good or bad qualities of the 
> thing which is superimposed (per the extract given below). Why? Because, 
> superimposition occurs only in the mind of the observer, and not in fact. 
> This becomes clear if we take an example. Let us say, somebody imagines - 
> due to wrong guidance - Sankara to be a pseudo-Buddhist. That does not 
> make Sankara a pseudo-Buddhist: the fact - that Sankara criticised 
> Buddhism in strong language - remains unaffected by the imagination of a 
> particular observer.
> Extract:
> "तमेतमेवंलक्षणमध्यासं पण्डिता अविद्येति मन्यन्ते। तद्विवेकेन च 
> वस्तुस्वरूपावधारणं विद्यामाहुः। तत्रैवं सति, यत्र यदध्यासः, तत्कृतेन दोषेण 
> गुणेन वा अणुमात्रेणापि स न सम्बध्यते। तमेतमविद्याख्यम् आत्मानात्मनोः 
> इतरेतराध्यासं पुरस्कृत्य सर्वे प्रमाणप्रमेयव्यवहाराः लौकिकाः प्रवृत्ताः, 
> सर्वाणि च शास्त्राणि विधिप्रतिषेधमोक्षपराणि ।" adhyaasa bhaashya of 
> Sankaracharya. (emphasis is mine).
> Translation (of Swami Gambhirananda, along with his footnotes)
> "This superimposition, that is of this nature, is considered by the 
> learned to be avidyaa, nescience [1]. And the ascertainment of the nature 
> of the real entity by separating the superimposed thing from it is called 
> vidyaa (illumination). This being so [2], whenever there is a 
> superimposition of one thing on another, the locus is not affected in any 
> way either by the merits or demerits of the thing superimposed. All forms 
> of worldly and Vedic behaviour that are connected with valid means of 
> knowledge and objects of knowledge start by taking for granted this mutual 
> superimposition of the Self and non-Self, known as nescience; and so do 
> all the scriptures dealing with injunction, prohibition, or emanicipation.
> [1] Since it is a product of nescience and is sublated by vidyaa 
> (illumination). The commentary refers to superimposition, which is a 
> product of maayaa, rather than to maayaa itself, because the latter is a 
> source of evil in its derived forms and not in its unevolved states, e.g. 
> sleep, whereas superimposition is directly so.
> [2] Since superimposition is a product of nescience.
> Regards
> N. Siva Senani
> From: V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com>
>>To: A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta 
>><advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
>>Sent: Sunday, 19 August 2012 7:24 AM
>>Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Imagined nature of root ignorance in vivaranam
>>On Sun, Aug 19, 2012 at 12:50 AM, subhanu saxena 
>><subhanu at hotmail.com>wrote:
>>> Sri Subramanian wrote:
>>Advaita accepts mAyA/avidyA to be triguNAtmikA. Tamas is one of the three
>>guNa-s. The nature of tamas is explained in the Bh.GitA: mohanam, etc.
>>And parallel to this Advaita is very certain that mAyA/avidyA is mithyA, a
>>superimposition. [bhUtaprakRtimokSham cha (abhAvagamanam) as clarified in
>>bhgitaa 13th chapter last verse/bhashyam] So, within the Grand
>>Superimposition, all the other superimpositions can happily exist just as
>>subsets within a set. For that matter, even sattva as a guNa and its kArya
>>are mithyA in advaita. The jnanam that a person gets, even of Brahman,
>>surely a sattva-guNa kAryam, is ultimately mithyA in advaita, for bandha
>>and mokSha are both only relative, vyAvahArika. [na nirodho na
>>chotpattiH..na mumuShurna vai muktaH....ityeShA paramArthatA ...Gaudapada]
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