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

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Tue May 10 03:20:21 CDT 2016

On Tue, May 10, 2016 at 7:26 AM, Srinath Vedagarbha <svedagarbha at gmail.com>

> On Sat, May 7, 2016 at 4:43 AM, Venkatraghavan S <agnimile at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> 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.
> Neither dvaitins are charging you do perceiving asat. Instead what they
> are objecting to is that when you say asat chEt na prateeyeth while
> defining mihya, you cannot deny "knowablity" to asat. This exactly is the
> argument Sri.Jaya tirtha forwards -- nothing can be denied without knowing
> it first, so when asat is known, then only it can be denied as something is
> "not asat". So when asat is known, it only means asat chEt na prateeyeth
> hEtu is a contradiction in terms.

Response to the above:

I think there is nothing more than quibbling here:  'knowing and
perceiving.' When I differentiate the illusory snake perceived in a locus,
rope, from the hare's horn that is nowhere perceptible, I am not required
to first 'know' the hare's horn or perceive it, and then alone
differentiate the snake from that asat vastu. If Sri Jayatirtha thought so,
it is certainly a mistake.  For the Madhva also differentiates his adhyasta
tuccha vastu (imagined snake) from the atyanta tuccha vastu (hare's horn)
and only on that grounds 'if the status of this adhyasta snake is the same
as that of the hare's horn, it would not have been perceived in this locus,
rope. Since it is perceived, it is not of the hare's horn type.'

So if Sri Jayatirtha objects, // nothing can be denied without knowing it
first, so when asat is known, then only it can be denied as something is
"not asat". // it applies with equal force to him as well.

Here is an excerpt from the post of Sri Anand Hudli:


// Let us look at what the dvaitins mean by reality. Vyasatirtha says in his

nyAyAmR^ita:    "त्रिकालसर्वदेशीयनिषेधाप्रतियोगिता सत्तोऽच्यते", meaning
   "not being the counter correlate (pratiyogin) of negation with respect to
*all*  three periods of time and space is reality."  This is a technical
definition using nyAya terminology. What it means in simpler terms is
that if something exists in
*at least* one of the three periods of time, past, present and future,
then it is regarded
as real.
For example, a pot that exists now but is destroyed  later is regarded as
real. The mAdhva says a thing may be real without being eternal.
Temporarily existing
objects are to be considered real but not eternal.

What is also important is the remaining part of the above definition:
अध्यस्ततुच्छे तु तं प्रति प्रतियोगिनी । The superimposed and nonexistent
objects are counter correlates to such negation (niShedha) and
therefore are unreal
or asat.This means, in simple terms, what is superimposed or a fictitious entity
(chimera) is *absent in all three periods of time and at all places*.
A superimposed entity
is an illusory object superimposed on a real object called adhiShThAna or
An example of a superimposed entity is silver superimposed on nacre or a
snake superimposed on rope. An example of a fictitious entity is a
hare's horn or
man's horn, something that is never known to exist. Both superimposed and purely
fictitious entities belong the category of asat, unreality. Everything
else is considered real
or sat! //

> One can see from the above that the 'sarvadesha-kāla' adjective given by
> Sri Vyasa Tirtha is applicable to both the adhyasta asat and atyanta
> asat. Therefore, the attempt by Sri Srinath to distinguish the former from
> the latter on the eka-desha and sarva desha is not based on any proper
> ground.  Sri Anand Hudli's post further says:

// So neither a superimposed object such as silver on nacre nor a hare's
horn exist at any time at any place. They are both considered as asat.//

 Thus apart from the ground that the adhyasta asat appears, in other words,
its prateeti is had, on a real substratum, which feature is absent in the
atyanta asat, there is no other reason to differentiate the former from the
latter. We have this further clarification in the post linked above:

//The sadrisha rajata is not cognized in the real substratum, but the
*totally **nonexistent* silver is cognized, due to defects in the sense
organ. This sadrisha is the link between the naiyAyikas' anyathAkhyAti and
the mAdhvas' abhinava  anyathAkhyAti. //

If the perceived (illusory) snake (adhyasta) is mere 'eka desha-kāla
abhāva' as distinct from 'sarva desha kāla abhava' (atyanta asat), why
would Sri Jayatirtha repeatedly try to show his theory is distinct from the
naiyāyika conception of an adhyasta vastu? See what he says: (copied from
the linked post):

//In arguing against the nyAya theory that the silver cognized in an
illusion is the same silver that was seen earlier, JayatIrtha says:

इन्द्रियार्थसन्निकर्षार्थं वा तदास्थेयं संस्कारसिद्ध्यर्थं वा ? नाद्यः ।
संस्कारश्च रजतान्तरानुभवमात्रेण भवतीति व्यर्था तस्यैवान्यत्रकल्पना । -
न्यायसुधा Is the contact with the sense organ (with the real silver
seen elsewhere and
at some other time) required to establish that (the real silver) is
present (at the time
of the illusion) or to merely for a mental impression (saMskAra) of
silver? The first is not
possible. If it is for generating a mental impression, then the mere
fact of previous
experience of (real) silver is sufficient. It is not of any use to
think that the *same* piece of
silver is cognized (in the illusion).   //

Thus Jayatirtha clearly denies that that the  adhyasta vastu is the
'same' that is available elsewhere.  He only agrees that it is similar
to it.

Thereby he is denying the availability of the adhyasta vastu anywhere
else, at any time.

The unique feature is that it is not available in any place and any
time other than in this place, that too illusorily.

One can also note that Jayatirtha has himself used the term 'pratiti':
अत्र प्रतीतस्यैवान्यत्र सत्त्वे मानाभावात् । He is also accepting that
such a vastu is available. sattva, elsewhere.

Whether the prateeti is wro the real vastu or the unreal one, it
matters little, for prateeti is what is had initially in a bhrama.

When he is happy with that usage with respect to the adhyasta vastu,
which alone the Advaitin too used only with respect

to the adhyasta vastu and not with respect to the  hare's horn, how
can Jayatirtha object to the Advaitin's

usage? One can also see Jayatirtha using the 'atyanta asat' epithet with

respect to the adhyasta vastu as well:

//The description of illusion (bhrama) according to JayatIrtha is :
शुक्तिकासंनिकृष्टं दुष्टमिन्द्रियं *तामेवात्यन्तासद्रजतात्मना* अवगाहमानं
ज्ञानं जायते, स भ्रम इत्यङ्गीकारात् ।
   - न्यायसुधा
Due to the defective organ (eye) that is in contact with the nacre
(shuktikA), a cognition of that same nacre as completely nonexistent
silver is produced.
This is accepted as bhrama or illusion.  //

Sri Srinath says:

> I guess you and Sri. Subu misunderstood "pratIti" as "perception" rather
> than "knowing". You both are agreeing above that you do not deny
> knowability to asat vastu. Thank you for agreeing with dvaitins!

Sri Srinath, pl. try to find out who has misunderstood? You cannot show any
difference between knowing and perceiving.  For, even if I know, without
perceiving, that a cow is there in a shed yonder, I base my conclusion on
the smell of cow dung and urine or the sound the cow makes or anyone
telling me that it is there.  All these are primarily based on indriya
perception. You need not have to thank advaitins for agreeing with the
dvaitins for such common things. On the other hand you have to acknowledge
that just as advaitins held the prateeyamānatvam as the ground to
differentiate the adhyasta vastu from atyanta asat (hare's horn), you too,
have used the same hetu for this purpose.

'asat chet na prateeyeta' is happily acceptable to the dvaitin too. For,
Jayatirtha admits the adhyasta vastu is perceived, prateeyate. He uses
another word, avagāhamānam, a synonym to that, which he too implicitly
denies to the hare's horn.  Thus the Madhva objection is without any

> 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?
> Quite simple -- while adhyastha asat is Eka dESha kAlEna abhAva, atyanta
> asat is sarva kalAdEshEna abhAva. There is no difference in their
> ontological state is concerned. This is unlike notion of mithya - a total
> another ontological category advaita posit.

Response to the above:

You have replaced the word mithya by positing another category: adhyasta
asat!!  It is certainly another ontological category. You cannot call it
satyam, either svatantra or paratantra. You cannot call it atyanta asat
like hare's horn.  Thus you have ended up admitting a third category:
adhyasta asat which is atyanta asad vilakshana.

>> The charge leveled against advaita applies to dvaita also.
> Not really.
> Please note, whatever difference dvaitin posit between them, such
> difference is not critical/contradictory to the definition of either of the
> terms. This is the key point.

What is the contradiction that you talk about?

> 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.
>> This is not necessary, as you & Sri. Subu essentially agreed with the
> very point dvaitins are arguing for. I rest my case.

I do not see any agreement from  our side.  Rather I only see that the
dvaitins agree with the advaitins that:

1.   the adhyasta vastu is not available in all the three periods in any
place.  While the advaitins call it anirvachaniya vastu, you call it
adhyasta asat.

2. While advaitins distinguish it from the hare's horn, you too distinguish
it, on the same grounds: prateeyamānatvam.



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