[Advaita-l] Ontological status of avidyA

H S Chandramouli hschandramouli at gmail.com
Thu Nov 24 07:49:40 CST 2016

Namaste Sri Venkatraghavan Ji,

 I was very hesitant to discuss on mulAvidya. But since you have made some
observations I am responding.

Reg  << Secondly what is the cause for avidyA to be adhyasta on Brahman in
first place? >>

and  << It is only
inferred through its products, kAryAnumeya.>>,

I agree.   But you also make the following statements

<< AvidyA being adhyasta itself, also cannot be adhyAsa kAraNa. So
what is the cause of adhyAsa? >>,

and   << Hence the question how can
adhyasta vastu be adhyAsa kAraNa is not applicable for avidyA, it being
unclassifiable as adhyasta in the first place.>>.

I thought the two are contradictory. Please correct me if I have understood

My understanding of adhyasa and avidya very briefly  is as follows. Adhyasa
involves two  entities, one real which is the adhisthana and real while the
other is adhyasta and mithya (unreal). Brahman is the first entity and
avidya the second. Avidya as kArana refers to the unmanifest form of
avidya. When the same becomes manifest in the form of nAma/rupa jagat, it
is the kArya form of avidya. Since the unmanifest avidya is adhyasta in
Brahman, the nAma/rUpa jagat being the manifest form of avidya  also is
adhyasta in Brahman. When avidya is referred to as the kArana for adhyasa
my understanding is that the kAranarUpa unmanifest avidya is the kArana for
the kAryarUpa manifest form(jagat) of avidya. Avidya  is not to be
understood as the kArana for adhyAsa itself per se.

As you have yourself clarified, avidya having Brahman as locus is to be
understood as avidya being the adhyasta and Brahman as adhishthAna, one
and the other real.

If I am only repeating whatever you have stated but only using different
terminology, I may be excused.


More information about the Advaita-l mailing list