[Advaita-l] Ardhajaratiyam

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Tue Oct 9 11:25:30 CDT 2012

The traditional application of ardhajaratI nyAya is as follows. A woman may be
considered old because her limbs have lost their youthful vigour. On the other
hand, the same woman may be considered young, because her hair is still black.
To conclude that the woman is "half-old" (ardhar-jaratI) would be quite wrong.
She is what she is. One has to accept that both physical qualities, blackness of
hair and looseness of limbs, can be possessed by the same woman at the same
time. One cannot pick and choose a quality as it suits one's purpose.

Similarly, one cannot say that the -maya suffix allows for the possibility of vikAra
(change) only from the annamaya to the vijnAnamaya and that it indicates the
quality of prAcurya (abundance) only with respect to the Anandamaya is not a
self-consistent view. This has a tremendous implication for how to interpret the
sUtra-s "Anandamayo 'bhyAsAt, vikAra SadbAn neti cen na prAcuryAt" in the
AnandamayAdhikaraNa of the brahmasUtra-s.
In the bhAshya, Sankara bhagavatpAda first provides a traditional interpretation
as handed down from before his times (probably by the vRttikAra). At the end
of the adhikaraNa, he revisits the entire set of sUtra-s and provides a logically
self-consistent interpretation, which concludes that the Anandamaya Atman is
saviSesha brahman, not nirviSesha brahman. This basically says that a critic
of vedAnta cannot cite the vikAra-tva indicated by the -maya suffix and deny 
the brahma-tva of the Anandamaya (vikAra SabdAn neti cet). The vedAntic
response to that is no (na), because the -maya suffix also has the meaning of
abundance (prAcuryAt). It has already been stated in the previous sUtra that
the Anandamaya has been repeatedly affirmed in the upanishad texts as
ISvara/brahman (abhyAsAt). 

ps. A contemporary, politically correct observer may want to object to the
use of a woman as a reference point in the ardhajaratI nyAya. But every
idiomatic usage in a language has its own history and we should focus on
the logical point being made, rather than the form of the term being used.

> Date: Mon, 8 Oct 2012 15:55:56 +0530
> From: v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
> To: advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
> Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Ardhajaratiyam
> The crucial sentence of the bhashya is now given in devanAgari:
> ....इति च विकारार्थे मयट्प्रवाहे सति आनन्दमय एव अकस्मात् अर्धजरतीयन्यायेन
> कथमिव मयटः प्राचुर्यार्थत्वं ब्रह्मविषयत्वम् चाश्रीयत इति ।
> On Mon, Oct 8, 2012 at 3:49 PM, V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com>wrote:
> >
> > In the Brahmasutra bhashya 1.1.6..19 (अस्मिन्नस्य तद्योगं शास्ति) we have
> > the vAkyam:
> > idaM tviha vaktavyam - 'sa vA eSha
> > puruSho'nnarasamayaH.....prANamayaH...manomayaH...vijnAnamayaH....(tai.up.
> > 2.1,2,3,4) iti ca vikaaraarthe mayaTpravaahe sati, Anandamaya eva akasmAt
> > *ardhajaratIyanyaayena* kathamiva mayaTaH prAchuryArthatvaM
> > brahmaviShayatvaM cha AshrIyata iti.

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