[Advaita-l] Mula avidya and adhyasa-SSS discussions.

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Fri Aug 24 04:58:47 CDT 2012

BrahmAshritA avidyA:

In the Br.up. bhashya 1.4.10 Shankara raises a question and answers:

In the Brih.Up. 1.4.10 where occurs the famous mahAvAkya 'aham brahma
asmi', Shankara while commenting raises a question: How can it be said that
avidyA is for Brahman?

And answers: *Since there is no other sentient being other than Brahman,
one has to conclude that it is Brahman alone, owing to ignorance pertaining
to Its own True nature, has assumed this jivatva.
And through the knowledge of Its own True nature, as 'aham Brahma asmi',
Brahman alone becomes liberated as it were.

This alone has been summarised as: 'brahmaiva sva-avidyayA samsarati iva;
sva vidyayA muchyata iva'.

See p.103 and 107 of Swami Madhavananda's translation:

Objection:  But is not ignorance out of place in Brahman?

Objection:  To think that Brahman, like us, is a seeker of liberation, is
notproper, and that is what we see in this passage 'It knew only
Itself...Therefore It became all.'

Reply:  Not so, for by saying this you will be flouting the scriptures.  It
is not our idea, but that of the scriptures.  Hence your fling hits them
(the shruti-s).   ...But owing to ignorance it superimposes on itself the
notion that it is not Brahman, and that it is not all, and consequently
thinbks, through mistake, that it is an agent, possessed of activity, the
experiencer of its fruits, happy or miserable and transmigrating.

On Thu, Aug 23, 2012 at 5:57 PM, Bhaskar YR <bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com> wrote:

> However, to raise this jeeva bhAva itself, we need a kAraNa and that
> kAraNa is mUlAvidyA which is one with Atma chaitanya but anirvachaneeya,
> thus says vivaraNakAra-s.  In short, according to this school,  brahman is
> adviteeya and jeeva bhAva is adhyArOpita on brahman so, BEFORE this jeeva
> bhAva there should exist a shakti that makes this nonsense assumption, and
> that shakti is avidyA shakti which has the prior existence to jeeva bhAva.
>  Jeeva anyway suffers from tulAvidyA for which upAdAna kAraNa is
> brahmAbhinna mAya/avidyA.
> Anyway, shankara clearly says in geeta bhAshya that avidyA is not
> kshetrajna's dharma as it is the dOsha of antaHkaraNa by giving the
> example of cataract of the eye.  Anyway, as you know these things have
> been discussed many times before without any meaningful conclusion :-))
> Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!
> bhaskar

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