[Advaita-l] Body is the disease

Srinath Vedagarbha svedagarbha at gmail.com
Sun Jan 26 12:36:32 CST 2014

On Sat, Jan 25, 2014 at 12:50 AM, Anand Hudli <anandhudli at hotmail.com>wrote:

> Srinath Vedagarbha wrote:
> >By all means you may consider both provisional paxa-s as provisional, I
> >have no objection. However, when you accept there is no avidya at all in
> >the end, this perceived bhEdAtmaka jagat remains unexplained by you along
> >with non-duality of Brahman.
> This bhedAtmaka jagat is mithyA or anirvacanIya, not false, not true.
> It is a product of avidyA which is itself anirvacanIyA. Yes, Brahman
> is the only reality. These are standard advaita tenets, which you may
> look up in standard texts.
When you say  "It is the product of avidyA which is itself anirvacanIyA" ,
you are basically going back on your earlier words that avidyA is asat
(your word "..since there is no avidyA at all really..."). Here is your
earlier quote;


First, advaitins are justified in using provisional facts to derive
provisional conclusions. I think you would have no problem in agreeing
to this. The question of the locus of avidyA is a provisional one,
since there is no avidyA at all really, and the answer is also
provisional. It is like asking - "In the dream last night, was I sick
or was it my friend?"  If one says the locus is Brahman, it is a
provisional answer. If one says the locus is jIva, it is again

//End Quote

So, if you are now saying it is anirvacanIyA, then my initial
objection holds back again.

In advaita partIGnyA "brahma satyam jagat mithyA, jIvo brahmaiva
naparah", it is obvious and implied that what advaitin meant is that
the very assertion "jagat mithyA" is niScchyAtmaka and "TRUE"
(tAtvIka) in order to make what he is saying in that pratIGnyA is
yatArtha (otherwise, why such ayathArtha pratIGnyA at all?). In order
to make that partIGnyA true, this jagat *has to be mithyA*. Jagat
cannot said to be mithyA unless its cause avidyA said to exist and
real. So, in your earlier reply when you denied existence of avidyA
itself, my contention was that this perceived bhEdAtmaka jagat remains
unexplained by you.

Now in your new position of making avidyA itself anirvacanIyA,  you
cannot say this jagat is product of avidyA anymore, for the reason
that since you cannot say any thing about nature of avidyA as its
cause or not cause (hence you said it is anirvacanIyA), how are you
concluding that this duality prone jagat is indeed its product (avidyA
kalpitaM) for sure?

So, here are three escape routes -

1. Either say avidyA is real and its product jagat is anirvacanIyA


2. Either say avidyA is anirvacanIyA and not say anything about jagat at all


3. Else say avidyA itself is asat (you said this in your earlier
reply) and also don't say anything about jagat at all.

If you take first option, non-duality of Brahman will be in question.
If you take option 2 or 3, since status of jagat is unexplained by
you, component of your siddhAnta " jagat mithyA" renders false. That
is the issue.

>Secondly, sweating/trebling etc, are not due to illusory tiger/snake
> >themselves per se. They are due to your jnyAna about them. Although this
> >jnyAna is a brAnti (ayathArtha jnyAna), nevertheless it is a real one (ok,
> >as real as you, to be specific). So, it is not correct to say mithya vastu
> >has sAdakatvaM for pramEya/tatva siddhi.
> The tiger in the dream also causes you to wake up, which means you
> wake up to a higher reality or tattva (relatively speaking) because of
> the dream tiger. So it is not just responsible for sweat but also for
> waking you up.

Isn't it waking-up also a kriyA?  You wake up to a higher tattva, agreed,
but the illusory tiger is not pramA sAdhana for telling you that the
pramEya of "there is a higher tatva called "waking state" other than this
dream state" kind. This exactly is my argument -- a mithyA vastu cannot be
pramANa. Your knowledge about very existence of higher "tattva" called
"waking-state" is gained only after you wake-up, not while you are still
dreaming. But the siddhAnta is quoting the pramANa called shruti in telling
"you are brahman" while you are dreaming (in this lower state of samasAra).
At the same time holding such pramANa is mithya. Thus, the argument is that
mithyA vastu cannot  be pramANa.

> If you say the knowledge of the tiger causes all this,
> then you have to say how the knowledge arose. It cannot arise without
> a corresponding object.

Knowledge can very well arise because of flaw in perception or flaw in
perceiver's buddhi. Don't you accept knowledge of snake arose without
actual snake out there? Don't you deny snake's existence in all three
period of time when you say it as trikAlikA niShEda pratiyOgitvam ?

So, the knowledge of tiger thinking it is real was arose because of dOSha
in dreamer. This avidya is quite real, as real real as dreamer. So, the
real knowledge is caused by another real vastu. It stand to the fact that
illusory vastu cannot cause knowledge, period.

> advaita does not support purely subjective
> knowledge, a.k.a. idealism, where there is no objective component. See
> sUtra bhAshya 2.2.28, for example.
Objective components which are responsible for illusion is accepted as
adhisTAna, but they are never considered as object of illusion. Rope is
must have as adhisTAna for the illusion of snake to happen, but such
objective object rope is indeed different from subjective object snake. In
dream analogy, objective object is dreamer himself but subjective object is
tiger (which turns out to be illusory and ayathArtha later)

> >*From another perspective too, your position is untenable. The notion of
> *>"mithyA pramAna could have sAdakatvaM" is in itself a pramEya from your
> >part, which is not (yet) acceptable to opponent. Now, as a proponent of
> >that pramEya, onus is on you to prove it. Using what kind of pramANa do
> you
> >prove it? Do you prove it using sat-pramANa or mithyA-pramANa? advaitahAni
> >if former, for you end up with dual entities -- Brahamn and this pramANa.
> >On the other hand, if you say you would use mithyA-pramANa, we are back to
> >our original question and you need another pramANa to prove the fact that
> >your first level mithyA-pramANa has a sAdakatvaM. You are on your way to
> >anavastA.
> Note: In the following, mithyA means anirvacanIya.
> As I said before, there is no need to establish that a mithyA pramANa
> can be used to prove something that is also mithyA, because of
> everyday experience. The "everyday life" is itself mithyA along with
> the world. If I establish by anumAna that there is fire on the
> mountain because I see smoke (parvato vahnimAn dhUmAt), I am using
> anumAna, a pramANa that is admitted to be mithyA by advaitins, to
> establish a mithyA sAdhya, fire, in a mithyA pakSha, mountain, due to
> a mithyA hetu, smoke. Hence, there is nothing wrong in claiming that a
> mithyA pramANa can be used to establish a mithyA vastu.

Very well then, so are you arguing mithyA pramANa could be used to
establish mithyA sAdhya? Then how are you establishing "you are indeed
Brahman"? I am sure you do not consider Brahman. which is one component of
equation, is also a mithyA vastu and the conclusion a mithyA sAdhya, do you?

What you have argued above holds good only for those mundane sAdhya-s where
you can comfortably take shelter under such sAdhya's also mithyA. Not when
sAdhyA is paramArthika. You are missing this point.

> Second, that a mithyA pramANa can lead to a higher reality (tattva) is
> also established in experience. The examples of the dream tiger and
> other illusions can be cited here.

As I explained above they do not.

Existence of higher "tatva" called "waking-up" was known only after one
wakes up. Not before. In vedAnta case, nirguNa Brahman is super-sensuous
(atIndriya) which is not known to exist or possible
while we are in this current state. Having that situation, we need pramANa
to say nirguNa Brahman exist and you are that Brahmn etc. But such
pramANa-s cannot generate that jnyAna if they are mithyA. This is the issue
pUrvapaxin is arguing about.

> Here the mithyA pramANa at work is
> perception (pratyakSha). But you may ask: the dream tiger woke you up
> alright, but are you not still in the waking state where the world is
> mithyA? Here, the only noteworthy point is that the dream tiger by
> means of mithyA pramANa woke you up to a *higher* reality. But what is
> the guarantee that there exists something that will wake you up to the
> pAramArthika reality Brahman? Here is where the shruti pramANa comes
> in. advaitins accept the shruti as a pramANa that will take you to the
> pAramAthika satya, Brahman. Now, the dvaitin cannot deny shruti as a
> pramANa because that would violate his own tenets. Nor can he say that
> advaitins have caused advaita-hAni by admitting two things -  Brahman
> and shruti. Although, it is accepted as a pramANa for Brahman, shruti
> itself is said to be mithyA, in the final stage.
As I argued above, shruti cannot be mithyA. If it is considered so (to
avoid advaita hAni), then the onus is on advaitin to prove mithyA pramANa
have pramA sAdakatvaM. So either say shruti is not mithyA, or say shruti is
indeed mithyA and prove the pramEya of 'mithyA pramANa could have pramA


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