[Advaita-l] Shankara and DrishTi-SrishTi vAda - eka jeeva vaada

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Thu May 19 01:32:27 CDT 2016

On Thu, May 19, 2016 at 12:41 AM, Srinath Vedagarbha via Advaita-l
> >
> >
> >
> You are correct, all statements which seems to yield to alternate meanings
> must be reconciled (saManvaya) with other explicit shruti/smriti vAkya-s.
> For example:
>  paramOpaniShad explains (in the context of wherever/whenever shruti
> equates this jagat to dream) on how one must understand such sentences as
> --
> "anitva vikAritva pAratantraAdi rUpataH | svapnAdi sAMyam jagatO, na tu
> bhOdha nirvatyAtA | sarvajnasya yatO vishNuH  sarva dvaita pratIyatE |
> bhOdhAsahaM tato naitat kMtvAjnAvashamasya hi"

Here is a response to the above:

In the Srimadbhagavatam is a verse on the mAyA-nature of the universe
explained with the rope-snake analogy:

आत्मानमेव आत्मतया अविजानतां
तेनैव जातं निखिलं प्रपञ्चितम् ।
ज्ञानेन भूयोऽपि च तत्प्रलीयते
रज्ज्वां अहेर्भोगभवाभवौ यथा ।। 10.14.25
//A person who mistakes a rope for a snake becomes fearful, but he then
gives up his fear upon realizing that the so-called snake does not exist.
Similarly, for those who fail to recognize You as the Supreme Soul of all
souls, the expansive illusory material existence arises, but knowledge of
You at once causes it to subside. //

The third line  ‘ज्ञानेन भूयोऽपि चतत्प्रलीयते’ specifically teaches that
‘through Knowledge the falsely projected duality ceases’ which is nothing
but ज्ञाननिवर्त्यत्वम्.  The rope-snake analogy too is significant in the
above bhAgavatam verse. The word ‘tat-praleeyate’ is the one that is
corresponding to the word ‘ स्यान्निवृत्तौ’ of the Bhuddhistic verse quoted
by Sri Madhva.

In the following verse too of the BhAgavatam (UddhavagItaa 17.55) we have
the illusory nature of the world-objects described:
अर्थे हि अविद्यमाने अपि संसृतिः न निवर्तते।
ध्यायतः विषयान् अस्य स्वप्ने अनर्थ आगमः यथा॥५५॥
//Even though the sense-world (of objects/subject and perceiving) is
unreal,अविद्यमाने अपि, the relative existence of a man who dwells on
sense-objects is never at an end, as troubles come in dreams. (Since dreams
are admitted to be effects of the impressions of the waking state.)//

Here we have the word ‘(न) निवर्तते’. This is the word that is found in the
Buddhistic verse  which talks about the ‘nivRtti’ of the samsara, the
‘vyavahAryam’, that will result in the ‘pAramArthika’.

Interestingly there is a verse composed by Sri Madhvacharya in his
विष्णुतत्त्वनिर्णयः -

अनित्यत्व-विकारित्व-पारतन्त्र्यादिरूपतः ।

स्वप्नादिसाम्यं जगतः न तु बोधनिवर्त्यता ॥

//PurANas describe the universe with the analogy of a dream, etc. This is
with a view to bring out the ephemerality, mutability, dependence, etc. of
the world.  However, the analogy of dream etc. is not to teach that the
universe is negatable/dispellable/falsifiable due to knowledge.//

One can easily see that the purANa, the Bhagavatam, by the words ज्ञानेन
भूयोऽपि च तत्प्रलीयते quoted above is directly contradicting the contention न
तु बोधनिवर्त्यता in the above verse of Sri Madhva.  The other verse of the
same Bhaagavatam (UddhavagItA) quoted above too can be seen to be
contradicting Sri Madhva’s thinking.  The word ‘na nivartate’ (of the state
of samsara/ignorance) with respect to the samsara is seen to correspond
with the words ‘ ज्ञानेन भूयोऽपि च तत्प्रलीयते’.(which is the state of
knowledge). The purANa emphatically teaches that the ‘non-existent’ world
of objects that does not seem to cease during the pendency of ignorance, is
seen in experience to cease/subside/be sublated due to Knowledge. This is
what is meant by ज्ञान/बोध-निवर्त्यता.

The BhAgavatam, again, in the uddhavagItA chapter 23 verse 32 teaches:

यदि स्म पश्यत्यसदिन्द्रियार्थं , नानानुमानेन विरुद्धमन्यत् ।

न मन्यते वस्तुतया मनीषी, स्वाप्नं यथोत्थाय तिरोदधानम् ॥३२॥

//Even if the illumined man sees the objects of the outgoing senses, he
does not consider them as something real and other than the Self, because
they are rejected by inference on account of their multiplicity - as a man,
on waking from sleep, dismisses the vanishing dream perceptions. //

Here one can appreciate the word ‘नाना’ which is reminiscent of the Shruti
’नेह नाना अस्ति किञ्चन’ which is interpreted in Advaita as ‘there is no
multiplicity at all in the Truth, Brahman’.  The Bhagavatam validates only
the Advaitic interpretation of this shruti in the above verse.

In this verse too the bhAgavtapurANa contradicts the ‘न तु बोधनिवर्त्यता’  idea
of Sri Madhva.  For, here in the bhAgavatam the very dream analogy is used
to show how the illumined/enlightened man perceives the world the way the
man awakened from dream (प्रबोधितः/प्रबुद्धः) considers the dream-vision.
In other words, the बोधनिवर्त्यता of the world is specifically taught by
the bhAgavatam through the dream analogy. The analogy fits the
dArShTaantika in both aspects: dream – awakening – sublation of dream
objects/events.  samsAra/prapancha – illumination/enlightenment – sublation
of the world (mithyAtvanishchaya).
We said all the above to show how the Buddhist verse quoted by Sri Madhva
says something (सांवृतं  व्यवहार्यं स्यान्निवृत्तौ पारमार्थिकम्) that is
already found in the purANa, smRti.

Read a six-part article series on the topic here:


> Wherever this world is said to be akin to dream in shAstras, it has to be
> understood not as something which is "nirvatya" or mithya .  It is said so
> because both are similar in sense of their anityatva, vikAritva and
> pAratantryatva. When this dvaita jagat is in Vishnu's knowledge (pratIti)
> and since He is sarvajna, how can His knowdge is brAnti and how can this
> jagt be mithya?

All this can be explained by the idea of 'achintya shakti' which is another
word for maya/prakriti.

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