[Advaita-l] Vaadiraaja Teertha's Yuktimallika - Akhandarthavaada Criticism - Slokas 1-972 to 1-980

Venkatraghavan S agnimile at gmail.com
Mon Jul 10 08:34:23 EDT 2017

On Thu, Jul 6, 2017 at 9:31 AM, Venkatesh Murthy via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> Namaste
> Vaadiraaja is now trying to show Advaiti's Akhandarthavada has faults.
> ज्योतिष्ट्वेन हि चन्द्रस्य स्वरूपज्ञानवान् पुनः ।
> चन्द्रत्वेनैव तं ज्ञातुं कश्चन्द्र इति पृच्छति ॥ १-९७२
> A person knowing Chandra's Svarupa as Brightness will again ask 'Who is
> Chandra?' to know his special qualities from other bright objects in the
> sky. He wants to know how Chandra is different from other shining bodies in
> the sky. He knows Chandra's Svarupa as Brightness but he wants to know how
> to differentiate him.

What is the need to ask again "who is chandra?", if one has functioning
eyes and has been told the brightest object in the night sky is the moon?

> अतः कश्चन्द्र इत्येष प्रश्नः प्रश्नविदां मते ।
> किंलक्षणक इत्येव स्वार्थमर्थातुरो भजेत् ॥ १-९७३
> Therefore 'Who is Chandra?' question means in the opinion of Knowers of
> question analysis 'What are the qualities of Chandra?'. This is its meaning
> because there is no other meaning. The question 'Who is Chandra?' is asking
> to know the Sajaateeya and Vijaateeya Bhedas of Chandra from other objects.

The question "what are the qualities of the moon?" is different from the
question "what is the moon?". The former question presupposes that a person
has already seen the moon and now wants to know about its qualities. The
latter question only assumes that the questioner has heard of the word
"moon" and does not know the object that the word corresponds to. The
akhaNDArtha vAkya "prakriShTa prakAsha: chandra:" is the answer to the
latter question.

> चन्द्रत्ववान् क इत्येव वाक्यस्यार्थो यतः स्फुटः ।
> स्वरूपमात्रप्रश्नत्वं स्वरूपासिद्धमेव ते ॥ १-९७४
> The clear meaning of the question is 'Who has Chandratva?'. Therefore your
> Rule will have the defect of Svarupa Asiddhi. The Advaiti's Rule to show
> Brahman's Svarupa is Satyam, Jnanam and Anantam is using the Chandra
> example. But that example is not giving Svarupa of Chandra at all.
> Therefore the Rule has a defect.

The point is not that the vAkya captures the entirety of the moon's various
feature. The moon is a saguNa vastu, therefore to know the moon, one needs
knowledge of every guNa, even those which are pratyaksha atIta ones. Truly
speaking no one can everything about anything, because there are any many
aspects of any object that are beyond our pramANas. Only Ishvara, who is
sarvajna can know this. For the sake of vyavahAra however, we notionally
say we know X based on only those aspects of X that are accessed by our
senses and intellect. Thus svarUpa asiddhi is universal and not just for
akaNDArtha vAkya.

Whereas, brahman is nirguNam, therefore one does not need to know any of
its guNas, just drop those that do not belong to its svarUpa. This is the
AdeSa of the upaniShads - neti, neti and this has to be reconciled with
nArAyaNam mahAjneyam. The latter does not mean that nArAyaNa is a known
object, a jneya vastu, for the upaniShad says nedam yadidam upAsate. On the
contrary, what that sentence means is that nArAyaNa ought to be known. How?
anyadeva viditAt atho aviditAtadhi.

> एवं लक्षणवाक्यं च लक्षणं वक्ति नापरम् ।
> अपृष्टोत्तरमेव स्याद् रूपमात्रनिरूपणे ॥१-९७५
> The answer to the question has to give the qualities of Moon and not some
> other thing. If the answer gives Svarupa only it is answering an unasked
> question and it will not be answering the actual question.

Coming to the matter at hand, the role played by akhaNDArtha vAkya is to
reveal the basic nature of the visheshya, without resorting to attributes.
In the case of nirguNa Brahman, there are no attributes to be known, hence
the knowledge provided by akhaNDAkAra vritti is necessary and sufficient
for it.

> सत्यज्ञानादिवाक्यं तद् विशिष्टब्रह्मतत्परम् ।
> लक्षणप्रश्नवाक्यत्वाच्चन्द्रलक्षणवाक्यवत् ॥ १-९७७
> The Satyam, Jnanam, Anantam Brahma is describing Satyatva, Jnanatva and
> Anantatva qualities of Brahman because it is answer to question asking for
> qualities. This is like the question for Chandra's qualities.
No, for reasons outlined below.

> Then he is showing one more defect in the Advaiti's logic.
> स्वरूपमात्रज्ञानस्य पदेनैकेन संभवात् ।
> व्यर्थं पदान्तरं च स्याज्ज्ञातस्य ज्ञापनेन किम् ॥ १-९७८
> If Svarupa Jnana is required it can be done with one word only. If there
> are other words they become useless. They are giving knowledge of a Known
> object. Why do you say Satyam Jnanam Anantam gives Svarupa of Brahma. First
> word Satya itself is sufficient to give Svarupa of Brahman. Then the next
> two words Jnanam and Anantam become useless because they are giving Svarupa
> again of Brahman we already know from Satyam.

No, because the nature of Brahman is the absence of asatyam,  the absence
of jaDatvam, the absence of paricChedatvam. Here the abhAva is not a guNa,
but adhikaraNAtmakam. When we look at a pot on the ground, and later the
pot is not there, the naiyyAyika says bhUtale ghaTAbhAva: asti, whereas we
say that there is no such thing as ghaTAbhAva: other than the ground. The
bare ground itself is the absence of the pot. Thus there is no need to
postulate the ground being endowed with ghatAbhAva attribute.

Therefore, because there are several false notions about Brahman, the
upaniShad has to resort to the negation of these incorrect attributes in
order to reveal the true nature of Brahman. Another instance of neti neti
at work. Hence the use of multiple words to talk about the same object - it
does not mean the endowment of different attributes such as satyatva,
jnAnatva, anantatva, it means the absence of their opposites, each of which
serves a purpose of removing a false notion of Brahman.

Further, this does not mean brahman is endowed with asatyatva abhAva,
jaDatva abhAva, paricChedatva abhAva either, because Brahman, the parama
adhikaraNa, is the abhAva of those things.

> यदि सत्यादिपदतो लक्ष्ये ब्रह्मणि केवलम् ।
> व्यावृत्तिः स्यादसत्यादेस्तेन सार्थक्यमिष्यते ॥ १-९७९
> If you say the use of Satya, Jnana and Ananta words is to show absence of
> Asatya, Ajnana, and Paricchinna even though Satya, Jnana and Ananta words
> also give Svarupa of Brahman - what happens?
> तर्हि गङ्गापदाल्लक्ष्ये तीरेऽपि न्यायसाम्यतः ।
> व्यावृत्तिः स्यादगङ्गायास्तीरे स्यान्मज्जनं सदा ॥१-९८०
> Then using same logic there will be absence of Aganga on the shore of Ganga
> because the bank of Ganga is the Lakshyartha of Ganga. This will
> mean immersion of a pilgrim has to be done not in Ganga river but on the
> Ganga banks. Vaadiraaja is saying nonsense will come out as a result of
> using Advaiti's logic. There is a rule to immerse yourself  in Ganga river.
> But if we use Advaiti logic for Satyam, Jnanam, Anantam Brahma here we get
> nonsense result. If you say immerse in Ganga it means where there is
> absence of Aganga. But Lakshyartha of Ganga like in the example Gangaayaam
> Ghoshah is the bank of Ganga but not Ganga river itself because village
> cannot be in the river. It must be on the bank. Now also if you say immerse
> in Ganga we can use Lakshyartha and say immerse on the bank because there
> is also absence of Aganga. This is the nonsense result. Nobody can immerse
> himself on the bank because it is land.

This is a viShama drishTAnta - in sanskrit, some verbs have the expectation
of an object, whereas others do not. Let us take two verbs gacChati and
tiShTati, which are opposites, such that na gacchati = tishThati.

We can say devadatta: grAmam na gacchati. However, when we say devadatta:
tishThati, we do not say grAmam tishThati. Therefore because there is an
association of karma kArakam with gacchati, when we say "na gacchati" too,
we use a karma kArakam with it. However, when we talk of tishThati, which
is the same as na gacchati, we cannot use karma kArakam. Similarly, even
though we notionally say bhUtalam is AdhAra for ghaTAbhAvam, it is only
notionally, in reality bhUtalam is not an AdhAra for ghaThAbhAvam. It is
only a kalpanA. The ghaTAbhAvam is adhikaraNa svarUpam. This is the
difference between bhAvam and abhAvam.

Similarly, I am not saying satyatva is not there in Brahman. Just like
ghaTAbhAva and bhUtalam are not two different things,  satyatva  and
Brahman are not two different things, satyatva IS Brahma svarUpam. That is
why Brahman is nirdharmakam.

Coming to vAdirAja's example, there is a vidhi vAkya that one has to have a
bath in the gangA - the tAtparya is to enjoin a bath in the ganga river.
Basic logic also means that a bath can only be hand in a river, unless
there is a specific vidhi to have a mud bath (which is accepted as one of
the different kinds of bath in shAstra). When there is neither anvaya
anupapatti or tAtparya anupapatti for taking the meaning of ganga as the
river ganga, why should one resort to lakshaNa of gangA tIra, and then talk
of aganga abhAva in gangA tIra and then claim that it is ridiculous for one
take the meaning of the sentence to be "take bath in the gangAtIra, which
is where there is aganga abhAva".

It certainly is ridiculous, but only so because you took a ridiculous
interpretation of the sentence in the first place. When the direct meaning
conveys the tAtparya of a vAkya, just take the direct meaning. Why resort
to lakshaNa?

However, there is tAtparyam in satyam jnAnam anantam brahma referring to a
nirguNa brahma vastu because there are many statements across shAstra which
deny any attributes in brahman (asthUlam anaNu, sAkshi chetA kevalo
nirguNashca, etc).  As there is avagati sAmAnyam (unanimity of upaniShads)
in a nirugNa vastu, one has to take a meaning of these words that does not
contradict other shruti vAkya. Therefore, we cannot take this vAkya to mean
that satyatva, jnAnatva and anantatva are attributes of Brahman.

Hope this helps.


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