[Advaita-l] Fwd: {भारतीयविद्वत्परिषत्} Vakyartha vichara - 6.8.2017 Bengaluru

Venkatraghavan S agnimile at gmail.com
Sat Aug 19 06:49:14 EDT 2017

Following Subbuji's request to me, please find below a summary of the
vAkyArtha sadas.

*The topic*
aham pratyaye shuddho na bhAti.

The topic of discussion at the vidvat sadas was vyAsa rAja tIrtha's
objections in the tAtparya chandrikA to vAcaspati miSra's statement in the
bhAmati "aham pratyaye shuddho na bhAti" - shuddha Brahman is not known by
the I thought.

The chandrikAchArya asks: What does the bhAmatikAra's statement "shuddha
brahman is *not known* in the I thought" mean?

He suggests a few possibilities :
1) There is some aspect of Atma svarUpa that is known, and something else
that is not known?
2) Atma svarUpa itself is not known.
3) Atma svarUpa is known and so is anAtma. Thus shuddha brahman is not

The first vikalpa, is divided in turn into a few possibilities. What is the
aspect of Atma svarUpa that is not known?
a) sharIrAdi bheda - Is the notion "Atma is different from the body" not
b) kartritva bhoktritva abhAva - the notion "Atma has kartritva bhoktritva
abhAva, the absence of doership / enjoyership not known?
c) dvitIyAbhAva - Is the notion "Atma is non-dual" - nothing else apart
from it exists - not known?
d) brahmAtma abheda - Is the notion, I the Atma, am non-different from
Brahman, not known?

In all these instances, are the unknown notions the same or different from
Atma? If different, are they satya or mithyA? If different and satya, it
will prove that there are two realities, not one - siddhAnta hAni. If
different and mithyA, then shAstra which teaches these notions in Atma will
be teaching a mithyA thing, making shAstra atattvAvedakam, teaching
incorrect things. If the same, then how can Atma which is svayamprakAsha,
self evident, have an aspect which is not known?

The second vikalpa also cannot be true because a svaprakAsha Atma cannot be

The third vikalpa will lead to the same question - is the anAtma that is
known in the I thought, the same or different from Atma? This leads to the
same objections of the first vikalpa.

This question arises in the context of an enquiry into the subject matter
of vedAnta shAstra. We (both dvaitins and advaitins) need to prove that
shuddha brahman is the subject matter of vedAnta shAstra. A thing which is
already known cannot be the subject matter of shAstra. If shuddha is
already known by the "I thought", why should the veda deal with that as the
subject matter? Therefore, in order to make this a topic of shAstra, the
chandrikAkAra suggests that even though Atma is svaprakAsha, there are
aspects of it that are not known (difference from the body, absence of
doership etc). However, this will either result in
a) shAstra's atattvAvedakam (if such aspects are mithyA),
b) advaita hAni (if such as aspects as satya and different from Atma),
c) or that such aspects are known (they are satya and non-different from a
svprakAsha Atma), but this would disprove the bhAmati kAra.

*The advaitin's reply*
The reply given on behalf of the advaitin by Mani Dravid shAstriNah: is as

What is the nature of I thought? There is no thought of just "I" - whenever
the Atma is the object of the I thought, it is always along with some
visheshaNas e.g - I see, I hear, I am a human being etc.

In none of these "I thoughts", sharIrAdi bheda, kartritvAdi abhAva,
dvitIyAbhAva or brahmAtma abheda, the four suggestions of the
chandrikAkAra, are apparent. Therefore, even by the statement of the
chandrikAkAra, the four options suggested are not known, therefore it is
appropriate to hold that shuddha: na bhAti..

However, if we consider the intent of the chandrikAkAra (as opposed to what
he has written) - does shAstra have shuddham brahma as the object? If so,
one can take the absence of prior knowledge of these reasons as the basis
for shAstra to teach these aspects. Let us, for the sake of argument,
assume that shuddha brahman means the "I notion, endowed with features that
are readily apparent, and those that are not". It is not the nature of
shuddha in reality, but we assume this for the purposes of argument.

The purpose of shAstra is to teach shuddha brahman. Are the unknown aspects
of shuddha brahman in the I thought, the same as or different from Atma? In
advaita, bheda, or difference, can be considered both same and different
from the dharmi, the substratum.

>From one angle, we say the substratum is different from bheda. the pot is
different from the cloth. In the pot there is cloth bheda. The pot is paTa
pratiyogika vishiShTa bhedatvavAn - it is endowed with a difference that
has the cloth as its counterpositive. Thus the pot, and the cloth
difference that inheres in the pot are different.

>From another, we say the pot is non-different from the cloth clothes. We
say the pot svarUpa is not the pratiyogi of the bheda, but the cloth
difference inherent pot is the pratiyogi of the bheda.

It may be easier to understand this from atyantAbhAva as opposed to bheda.
While the pot is the same as the absence of pot absence, the pratiyogi for
pot absence is not the pot, but the absence of the pot absence.

Coming to anyonyAbhAva - the pratiyogi of cloth bheda is not the pot, but
the cloth-bheda-inherent-pot. Thus the pot and its difference from the
cloth are one and the same.

Moving from here to our context of sharIrAdi bheda. The Atma, which is the
pratiyogi of sharIrAdi bheda, is sharIrAdi pratiyogikatva vishiShTa
bhedatva vishiShTa abhAva - that is, the absence in which is inherent the
difference which has the counterpositiveness of the body etc inherent in
it. In the second mithyAtva definition, the siddhikAra had said that the
abhAva is adhikaraNa svarUpam. In sharIrAdi pratiyogikatva vishiShTa
bhedatva vishiShTa abhAva, the visheshya (abhAva) is pAramArthikam, whereas
the vishishTa abhAva is mithyA.

Thus when shAstra says that the Atma is different from the body, it is
talking about an Atma which is endowed with a difference from the body (the
vishishTam is the object of shAstra, not the visheshya).

Such a sharIrAdi vishiShTa vastu being mithyA is not a problem for us,
because the parama tAtparya is not to teach us that Atma is different from
the body. This is only a secondary objective or an avAntara viShaya of

The primary objective, the parama tAtparya is the Atma itself, the
substratum and that is satya. Such an Atma becomes the final teaching of
shAstra, when it indirectly teaches about the visheshya Atma, through a
process of negation, by statements such as neti, neti. Thus the charge of
atattvAvedakatva to shAstra does not hold.

*The dvaitin's reply*
The shAstra cannot teach the visheshya amsha because such an Atma is
accepted as svaprakAsha. Thus the only thing that the shAstra teaches is
the vishishTa amsha and that has been accepted as mithyA by the advaitin.

Secondly, shAstra's teaching of dvitIyAbhAva, sharIrAdi bheda etc, is not
the teaching of these in-and-as-of themselves (ie their svarUpa), but of
them being the endowments of Atma. This is taught as shuddha brahman, and
according to the advaitin, this is mithyA. A mithyA jnAna cannot lead to a
moksha that is real, thus not only does the shAstra's status reduced to
atattvAvedakatvam in advaita, it also leads to mithyAtva of the moksha.

Thirdly, it was argued that the visheShya was satya but the vishiShTa was
mithyA. If the visheShaNa (dvitiyAbhAva) is mithyA, then not only is the
vishiShTa mithyA, but the visheShya too, as the visheShaNa is an
inseparable part of the visheShya. Thus visheShya too is mithyA for the

*advaitin's response*
As we said, the visheShya amsha is not spoken of directly by shAstra, it is
the paryavasita artha of shAStra. It leads to that outcome by the negation
of visheShaNas from the vishiShTa. In other words, the shAstra first
teaches a dvitIyAbhAva yukta Atma (and that is mithyA), but later denies
even that dvitIyAbhAvatvam through statements like the neti neti. Thus what
remains, is the undeniable visheShya, which is satya.

In response to your statement that visheShaNa's mithyAtva will lead to the
visheShya's mithyAtva - we need to consider what vishiShTatva means - is it
upAdhi, upalakshaNa or visheShaNa?

This question was raised in the discussion, but there was no opportunity to
discuss this. I am presenting what I consider to be the response.
There are three kinds of adjectives considered in shAstra -
1) visheshaNa - where the attribute is an inherent part of the object, and
it is not possible to separate the visheshaNa from the substratum,
visheShaya in an action. For example, when we say "fetch the black pot",
the blackness of the pot, is very much part of the pot. Therefore in the
act of bringing the pot, it is not possible to fetch the pot without the
2) upAdhi - where the attribute is not an inherent part of the object. For
example, when we say "fetch the person seated in the chair", only the
person is brought, not the person along with his chair. Thus the seatedness
in the chair is only a means of identifying the person from a group, and
the intention is not to convey that the attribute is inherent to the noun.
3) upalakshaNa - where the attribute has an incidentally association with
the object, and that incidental association is used as a basis for the
object's identification, even if the association is not present at the
current time.  For example, two people are walking down a street, and spot
a crow sitting on top of a house. They continue walking and later one
person asks the other - "Where is devadatta's house?", to which the other
person replies "Do you remember the house that we saw that had the crow
sitting on top of it? That is devadatta's house". In this example, the
crow's association with the house is only incidental, and at the time
devadatta's house is described, that association may no longer exist as the
crow may have flown away. Thus, the crow being perched on the house is an
upalakshaNa for devadatta' house.

Coming to the topic at hand, where adjectives such as dvitIyAbhAva,
sharirAdi bhinna: are used for Atma as visheShaNas, and it is not possible
to separate the Atma from its dvitIyAbhAvatva, the mithyAtva may imply the
visheShya's mithyAtva. However, where they are only incidental attributes
like upAdhis or upalakshaNas, the upAdhi/upalakshaNa's mithyAtva has no
bearing on the satyatva or mithyAtva of the upahita / upalakshita vastu.

However, this last bit was not discussed in the sadas.

Kind regards,

On Mon, Aug 7, 2017 at 10:36 AM, V Subrahmanian via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com>
> Date: Mon, Aug 7, 2017 at 3:05 PM
> Subject: {भारतीयविद्वत्परिषत्} Vakyartha vichara - 6.8.2017 Bengaluru
> To: BHARATIYA VIDVAT <bvparishat at googlegroups.com>
> Namaste
> A Dvaita-Advaita meet was organized at the Sri Rayara Maṭha, N.R.Colony,
> Bengaluru, yesterday, 6.8.2017. The event was live-streamed. The links to
> view the video recordings of the event are:
> https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1399506226769289
> &id=523638701022717  Forenoon
> See the comments section too on FB.
> https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1399761710077074
> &id=523638701022717  Afternoon
> regards
> subrahmanian.v
> --
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