[Advaita-l] Fwd: Why only jagat is mithya and jeeva is brahman !!??

Venkatraghavan S agnimile at gmail.com
Sat May 7 03:43:40 CDT 2016

I had a conversation with Sri Subbu yesterday which helped me clarify some
concepts. Will share that with the group here:

According to advaita, anupalabdhi pramANa is only applicable for those
objects that are perceivable. That is, only they are yogya for anupalabdhi.
Asat objects that are not perceivable in any locus at any time, are not
yogya for anupalabdhi at all.

So the objection against advaita that "Don't you have a pramANa category
called 'anupalabdhi' to 'know' the absense of something? So, you cannot say
absense/abhAva cannot be known at all.", is not warranted because asat
objects are not subject to anupalabdhi anyway.

We are not saying abhAva of asat vastu is not knowable, we are saying that
the asat vastu itself is not perceivable in the world.

Further, Dvaita admits such a category of asat also - it also admits that
such objects are not perceived in any locus at any time.

So if their objection to advaita is how "unless you know what is asat, then
only you can say given thing is "other than" asat.", our question to them
is dvaita also differentiates adhyastha asat from atyanta asat. So if you
also say that you cannot perceive an atyanta vastu as it is not perceived
in any locus at any time, how do you do you differentiate adhyasta asat
from such a non perceptible atyanta asat. What are you differentiating
adhyasta asat from?

The charge leveled against advaita applies to dvaita also.

If we have further engagement with Sri Srinath, we can consider how advaita
is able to conceive of the asat category,  but for the moment I will stop.


Namaste Sri Srinath,

> > V:"Can you say that sarva dEsha kAla alIkatva of a hare's horn has to
be vEdya for it to be called asat? You cannot."

S: "Why not? Don't you have a pramANa category called 'anupalabdhi' to
'know' the absense of something? So, you cannot say absense/abhAva cannot
be known at all."

Yes, we have pramANa called anupalabdhi, so we can know the absence of
something. However, you are assuming that in order to know something as
absent, you have to know the thing itself elsewhere.

That condition is what is being refuted by us for atyanta asat things. For
example, take vandhyAputrah. Here the condition that you imposed, that is
you have to know a vandhyAputrah first in order to cognise his absence
doesn't hold good. We can cognise the absence of vandhyAputrah without
having met him :)

V:"To accept that hare's horn is asat, there is no requirement that it has
to be vEdya."

This statement was made in the context of what I said above.

S: "vEdya here is not about anuyOgi, the very abhAva of object being denied
(pratiyOgi) is itself is known. This exactly is the application of
anupalabdhi pramANa to ascertain abhAva of anything."

Addressed above.

V: "Once that is accepted, advaitins can say mithyA is vilakshaNa from such
an asat.
If dvaitins say that vedyatvam is a precondition for asat, either 1) they
must accept the perceptibility of hare's horn or 2) accept that hare's horn
is not asat - both outcomes are untenable and contradict the dvaitin

S: "This is based on wrong understanding of Subbuji regarding pramAaNa to
know any absense in general and his own school's anupalabdhi pramANa in

Not really, I would say the confusion is yours in mistaking the knowability
of the object for the knowability of its absence. Anupalabdhi addresses the
latter without requiring the former.

S: "Which link? "
This was provided in a subsequent mail. I forgot to add it in the original,

V: "Just to add another note. This is my addition -  not directly related,
but it does speak about vedyatvam (epistemology) in the context of satta
(ontology). In advaita, the perceptibility of something is not a
precondition of its sattA. In fact, I would say that its very
perceptibility rules out it as being sat or asat."

S:"Perceptibility may or may not needed for a thing to say it exist. But
existence is precondition and very much needed for our
knowledge/perceptability about it. Existence is quite different from (our)
knowledge about existence"

We are digressing from the topic, but how do you know knowledge *is*
different from the object? The object cannot reveal the difference, and
neither can the object knowledge reveal such a difference between itself
and the object. If indeed there was a difference, it would require a second
knowledge for us to know it's (the difference's) existence. You will say
the second knowledge will be different from its object, viz, the
difference. However to know that it is indeed different?- it will require a
third knowledge, and so on. However this will only lead to infinite regress.

But as I said, we digress.

V: "Only brahman is sat in advaita, we cannot rely on pramANas to perceive
it as an object - it is "known" only via shruti. By knowable, we say that
sat is not "knowable" in the popular sense of objectifying it. Secondly,
asat is also not perceivable / knowable, as it doesn't exist in any period
of time and is a purely fictitious entity for perception to occur."

S" Your position (of very perceptibility rules out it as being sat or
asat), rules out sat ever being known to exist, for being you cannot known
so unless you have a valid pramANa, whcih by definition falls under
perceptability category. Perhaps for this reason Shankara is denying atma
being object of its own knowledge (atma atmani na viShaya). This leads the
very doctrine 'only sat exist' on the loose grounds, for being the very
moment you know about sat it automatically means to be non existing per
your own definition."

Not true. Here what is meant is that pure existence (sat) is not
perceivable - it cannot be objectified. It needs a medium for its
We have said before that sat can ultimately  only be known as oneself. That
is not objectifying it.  Therefore it can be known when still not
perceived. Your argument about our doctrine being on loose grounds is

Srinath ji - I have asked you this before. What is it that you are seeking
to do here - why do you insist on proving us wrong? We have no quarrel with
you. If you want to know more about advaita that is fine, you can ask us
questions and we would be happy to discuss our understanding of advaita
with you.

If you think we are wrong, that is fine too, but no point coming to an
advaita forum with the premise "you are all wrong" - you will get some
responses but ultimately they will not be of much use to you. After a
point, we keep covering the same ground, and get into hair splitting

Let's have a discussion by all means, but once we understand there are
fundamental differences, isn't it better to stop?


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