[Advaita-l] Ontological status of avidyA

Praveen R. Bhat bhatpraveen at gmail.com
Thu Nov 24 22:02:13 CST 2016

Namaste Venkatraghavanji,

On Thu, Nov 24, 2016 at 10:36 PM, Venkatraghavan S <agnimile at gmail.com>

> On bhAshyakAra equating avidyA with mAya, and whose locus is the Atma (two
> birds in one stone), a very clear example is in mANDUkya kArika bhAshya
> 3.10. There in explaining the word आत्ममायाविसर्जिताः, he says
> देहादिसङ्घाताः आत्ममायाविसर्जिताः = आत्मनो माया अविद्या = तया
> प्रत्युपस्थापिताः. He takes  आत्ममाया as षष्ठी तत्पुरुष, आत्मन:माया, and
> explains  माया as अविद्या.

Thanks, that's interesting. अविद्या "शक्ति" of the individual here is
referred as माया or interchangeably, मायाशक्ति of the individual is माया।

> Typically Shankaracharya when referring to mAya and avidyA together
> resorts to  adjectival usage (avidyAkrita, avidyAlakshaNa, avidyArUpa,
> etc.), whereas here, its a straight identity.

अविद्यालक्षणा is a little different from अविद्याकृत because the former
equates the nature of Maya as avidyA, as seen in introduction to Gita 9.8
also, where Bhashyakara equates both by saying-- एवम् अविद्यालक्षणाम् to
qualify प्रकृतिम् (=मायाम्) in the verse.

> Holding माया and अविद्या as different is therefore not justified in my
> view, and if माया is not held to be abhAva rUpa, why should अविद्या?


Kind rgds,
--Praveen R. Bhat
/* Through what should one know That owing to which all this is known!
[Br.Up. 4.5.15] */

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