[Advaita-l] Body is the disease

Anand Hudli anandhudli at hotmail.com
Mon Jan 27 06:47:56 CST 2014

Srinath Vedagarbha wrote;

>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;

Please read carefully what I wrote: 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. Now, where did I say avidyA is
asat? Even the illusory snake that is superimposed on the rope did not
exist at all really. This is the realization after the illusion ends.
You see only a rope and conclude that the snake never existed. Can you
say the snake is also asat just like the horns of a hare? If you say
yes, then you are in the company of dvaitins, which is where you are
arguing from, anyway. If you hestitate to say yes to the question,
please read the theory of anirvacanIya khyAti in some advaita text. If
you cannot find it, please let me know and I will explain it to you.

>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.

If avidyA is said to exist and real (which is what you say above), we
are not discussing advaita anymore. It is something else, because of
the duality- Brahman and avidyA. This is the true advaita-hAni, which
is what you have landed in.

>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?

anirvacinIya does not mean: "we cannot say anything about it". It
means it cannot be classifed as True or False. There seems to be a lot
of confusion in your mind, which can be cleared by studying advaita
granthas. Since avidyA is the *material* cause of jagat, the latter
also must necessarily be anirvacanIya (or mithyA, which is the same
thing). Again, please refer to advaita texts for further explanation.
So the three alternatives that you proposed are not applicable.

>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.

You are correct in saying that the shruti tells us "You are Brahman".
It also points to a higher state/tattva *and* says "atra pitA.apitA
bhavati mAtA.amAtA lokA alokA devA adevA vedA avedA". The beauty of
shruti is that it points to a higher reality and denies its own
reality, in the final analysis. Because of the special status enjoyed
by shruti, we have to accept that although it is mithyA, there is a
sAdhakatva in it.

>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 ?

Are you saying the snake is utterly nonexistent like the hare's horns
(shashashRnga)? If so, this is exactly the dvaitin's argument too, not
that of advaitins. As per advaita, the snake is anirvacanIya. It
cannot be equated to an asat vastu, simply because it was perceived at
some point.

>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.

The exception here is the shruti pramANa. Either you accept shruti or
you don't. You cannot selectively accept it. If it says, "You are
Brahman", you accept it. If it points to a fourth state "turIya", as
in the mANDUkya upanishad, you accept it. And if it denies its own
reality, "atra vedA avedAH", you accept it. So here you have a case
where a mithyA pramANa can point to a higher state while you are still
"dreaming", wake you up, and vanish without a trace, after you have
woken up! This is exactly what the shruti does.

*>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

The ball is, in fact, in the dvaitin's court. Either he must accept
the shruti as a pramANa completely, not do just lip service by
selectively accepting a few vAkyas, and leaving out the rest.
Specifically, he must accept that shruti rules itself out of reality
at some point (atra vedA avedAH, etc.). Then he will see that a mithyA
pramANa does indeed have sAdhakatva.

One last comment. Instead of looking at advaita with dvaita colored
glasses, please study first some advaita works and fully understand
what they are saying. Only then you can read the khaNDana granthas
(debate-oriented works) and discuss pUrvapakSha arguments of the
dvaitins. Especially, study of the mANDukya upanishad with gauDapAda
kArikA and shAnkara bhAShya, with the help of a qualified teacher, is
a must to understand the final position of advaita.


More information about the Advaita-l mailing list