[Advaita-l] Body is the disease

Srinath Vedagarbha svedagarbha at gmail.com
Thu Jan 16 21:26:57 CST 2014

On Thu, Jan 16, 2014 at 12:10 AM, Anand Hudli <anandhudli at hotmail.com>wrote:

> MadhusUdana sarasvatI has addressed this objection to vAcaspati's
> theory of jIvAshrita ajnAna by the dvaitins in the advaita siddhi.
> MadhusUdana makes a distinction between anyonyAshrayatA and
> anyonyAdhInatA. The first is a defect (doSha) but not the second.
> anyonyAdhInatA prevails when two things A and B are mutually
> dependent. Such examples occur in everyday experience. The best
> example provided, is that of AkAsha and ghaTAkAsha. AkAsha or space is
> compared to Brahman, while the small space inside a pot, ghaTAkAsha is
> compared to the jIva. What has happened here is that AkAsha (Brahman)
> has been delimited by a pot (avidyA) or in other words, the pot
> encloses the small space (jIva) inside itself. Now, it is not possible
> to conceive a pot without the small space (ghaTAkAsha) inside it, nor
> is it possible to conceive just the small space (ghaTAkAsha) without
> the pot.

I am not sure how Dvaitins answered to Madhusudhana's justification in
their classical literature, but here is what I see issue with it.

Madhusudhana's contention that it is impossible to conceive a pot without
the ghaTAkAsha, is not entirely correct. Pot is not just ghaTAkAsha alone,
but it is ghaTAkAsha plus mud (upAdAna) enclosing and holding it.   Without
mud's participation, it is impossible for pot to manifest in the first
place. Otherwise, we would be seeing pots everywhere, for space is
everywhere. Therefore, it is not correct to say pot is adhIna on ghaTAkAsha
alone, it should be said pot is adhIna on ghaTAkAsha and upAdhAna together.
Mapping this to our problem domain -- avidya (pot) is not adhIna on jIva
(ghaTAkAsha) alone, but it is adhIna on upAdhAna also. But you see, in
 Madhusudhana's example there is nothing to represent upAdhAna. In this
sense, Madhusudhana's mapping of entities to pot example is incorrect. This
is one way of thinking.

In another way, speaking from kAraNa-kArya perspective,  ghaTAkAsha  is
caused by upAdhAna mud enclosing and limiting AkAsha. In this sense,
upAdAna should be really consider as parallel to avidya, which by limiting
Brahman causes jIva bhAva (ghaTAkAsha). So, from kAraNa-kArya perspective,
ghaTAkAsha cannot said to be exist unless upAdAna causing it. Where as
upAdAna can exist without ghaTAkAsha. So, the relationship between them is
not  anyonyAdhInatA as Madhusudhana contends, but it is dependence in one

> This is what madhusUdana calls anyonyAdhInatA. Although, the
> pot and pot-space are mutually dependent, they exist
> contemporaneously.

But such anyonyAdhInatA is already siddha in pratyaksha. The same fallacy I
was mentioning earlier applies if one invokes such anyonyAdhInatA in a
vAda, for entities involved in such relationship is not yet siddha and to
be established. Proponent has to establish their existence first
independent of relationship between them and then later show relationship
between them. The case here is different, for jIva cannot said to be
existed without avidya operating on Brahman, and in turn, avidya cannot be
traced without jIva exist for its locus.

> A further clarification is that there would be anyonyAshraya if the
> locus of avidyA is held to be jIva *and* the locus of jIva is avidyA.
> But vAcaspati does not say that the locus of jIva is avidyA.
anyOnyAshraya is not about their locus, it was charged about their
(alleged) existence . As said above,  jIva cannot said to be existed
without avidya operating on Brahman (limiting adjunct), and in turn, avidya
cannot said to be existed without sentient entity jIva as its locus to


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