[Advaita-l] Ontological status of avidyA

Venkatraghavan S agnimile at gmail.com
Thu Nov 24 06:40:01 CST 2016

Namaste Bhaskar ji,

Your concern that by calling avidyA brahma Ashrita, avidyA becomes brahma
svarUpa, is not valid because brahman is sat whereas avidyA is
anirvachanIya, two different orders of reality. That relationship is not
like fire and heat.

Your concerns also appear to step from from attributing a negative aspect
to avidyA. Here, what is meant by avidyA is the same as avyakta / prakriti
/ avyAkrita / mAya elsewhere in shAstra. Shankaracharya adds an adjective
to these terms in many places as avidyAlakshaNA / avidyArUpa etc. What does
he mean?

Taken in the context of sarvajna Ishvara, avidyA is shuddha sattva guNa
(i.e. sattva pradhAna), therefore Ishvara's avidyA does not have AvaraNa
shakti, it is vikshepa shakti pradhAna. In the context of jIva, avidyA is
malina sattva guNa and therefore it has both AvaraNa and vikshepa shakti.
Fundamentally, whether it is shuddha sattva or malina sattva, it is the
same triguNAtmaka avidyA only.

If it still offends your sensibilities, wherever the term avidyA is used as
being located in Brahman, you can take that to mean mAya instead


On Thu, Nov 24, 2016 at 11:20 AM, Bhaskar YR <bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com> wrote:

> 1) avidyA being anAdi, therefore it is ever located in Brahman, hence no
> cause need be postulated for it being "adhyasta" on Brahman
> praNAms
> Hare Krishna
> 'avidyA EVER located in brahman !!  Other way of saying this is, brahma
> svarUpa itself is avidyA hence it is anAdi like brahman it is too anAdi and
> Ananta (aja,shAshwata) like brahman  !!??  prabhuji, do you think it is
> shAstrAdhArika, yukti sammata siddhAnta according to bhAshyakAra??  I don’t
> think so, yes, shankara himself in adhyAsa bhAshya says anAdiranantaH
> naisargikOdhyAsaH, that means no beginning and end to this avidyA and it is
> natural !! But if we are doing the jignAsa on brahman, are we doing the
> jignAsa on the brahman in which avidyA is anAdi, Ananta and svAbhAvika ??
> What we are going to do with that brahman who is the permanent abode for
> avidyA??  If we understand this 'anAdi Ashrita avidyA which is ever located
> in Atman out of context  then there is no meaning in shankara's words : yat
> sarvajnaM sarva Shakti brahma 'nitya shuddha buddha  mukta svabhAvaM.  So,
> there should me 'something' behind it when shankara talks about
> brahmAshrita avidyA in br. bhAshya...dont you think so prabhuji??
> Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!
> bhaskar

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