[Advaita-l] Ontological status of avidyA

Venkatraghavan S agnimile at gmail.com
Thu Nov 24 08:25:09 CST 2016

Namaste Chandramouliji,
My answers in line below.

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

>From memory, SSS' question was how can an adhyasta vastu be adhyAsa kAraNa.
This is not my view.

> 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.>>.
This is the suggested reply to the question above.

What you have given below is a very good explanation and I am in agreement.

> 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
>mithya​ ​(​ unreal​)​ and the other real.

I am not saying avidyA is adhyasta on Brahman, I am saying avidyA is, to
use Shankaracharya's words, tattvanyatvAbhyAm anirvachanIya, incapable of
classification as one with Brahman or otherwise.


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