[Advaita-l] The body is the disease

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Thu Jan 16 23:37:55 CST 2014

On Fri, Jan 17, 2014 at 9:29 AM, Srinath Vedagarbha
<svedagarbha at gmail.com>wrote:

> On Thu, Jan 16, 2014 at 12:40 PM, Suresh <mayavaadi at yahoo.com> wrote:
> > Friends,
> >
> > Thanks for all the replies. It is very enlightening.
> >
> > Would it be more appropriate to say "there is ignorance in Brahman"
> rather
> > than "Brahman is ignorant"? Pot exists in space, space is not pot - that
> > sort of thing. That way, delusion may exist in Brahman without Brahman
> > itself becoming delusional.....
> >
> >
> "Ignorance *in* Brahman" cannot be said. Because, next question arises is
> that -- is that avidya same as Brahman or different from Brahman. If you
> say it is different, then it goes against shruti nEha nAnAsti kiMchanna,
> where it denies difference in Brahman. If you say ignorance is same as
> Brahman, then I would not be trying for mOksha for sure :)
> There is one more option -- above mentioned problem exist if we assume
> ignorance is as sattya as Brahman. But what if it is consider either mithya
> or atyanta-asat? Well, we will analyze it.
> It cannot be mithya vastu, for any object to be called mithya you need
> adhistana and avidya about real svarUpa of adhistana. But, you see you need
> avidya to consider avidya is mithyabhUta vastu. This is the
> circularity/infinite regress here.

I think there is no problem here.  One can be ignorant about the real
thing, rope and is in fact ignorant about the fact that he is ignorant.
That is how a bhrama occurs.  There is no need to bring another ignorance
to support the 'second' ignorance.  That is the very swarupa of a bhrama.
Hence there is no defect of circularity/infinite regress.  One is ignorant
about one's svarUpa and does not know that one is ignorant and goes about
in samsara.  It is shAstra that draws his attention to the fact that it is
ignorance about his svarupa that is the cause of his samsara and he
realizes that he is ignorant of the very fact that he is under ignorance.
This realization helps him undertake steps to remove the fundamental
ignorance.  That is the way the shAstra pravRtti is. One proof of this is:
a student, nArada, approaches Sanatkumara the Acharya and tells him: I have
heard from great ones like you that one crosses over sorrow if he knows the
Self 'tarati shokam Atmavit.  This first level of realization has helped
narada to seek the method to remove the basic ignorance.

The idea of mithyAtva of mithyAtva in the Advaitasiddhi makes the atyanta
asat position of avidyA redundant.  This is because by another definition
of mithyAtva, the traikAlika niShedha pratiyogitvam of X in the locus where
it appears is admitted.  To explain, even though the thing superimposed
appears in the locus substratum, it is really absent there in all three
periods of time; it just  appears to be there.  If it is atyanta asat the
prateeyamAnatvam, being experienced, will not be there.  Thus,
prateeyamAnatve sati pratipannopAdhau kAlatraye api avidyamAnatvam becomes
the lakShaNam.


> With that, the only option remains for us is to say avidya is
> attyanta-asat. This position will eliminate the very question and we do not
> have to struggle to answer whether it is bramAshrita or jIvAshrita, end of
> story.
> From several posts here, it seems this is the position some takes when they
> say "as-if" avidya exist.
> /SV
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