[Advaita-l] Debunking Drishti-Srishti Vada and Eka Jiva Vada - part 1

Aditya Kumar kumaraditya22 at yahoo.com
Sat Jul 15 03:59:17 EDT 2017

Namaste Venkatraghavanji,

    On Saturday, 15 July 2017 10:42 AM, Venkatraghavan S <agnimile at gmail.com> wrote:

DSV does not accommodate paramArtha satya? I would be curious to know how this is established- bases on my reading of the vedAnta siddhAnta muktAvali this is an incorrect understanding.
A : Please refer my previous mail sent to V Subrahmanianji. The Shankara bhashya 2-2-28 and 2-2-29 clearly refutes subjective-idealism and establishes that the world is independant of the observer. Yet, Vedantins can say world is unreal on the basis of Shruti. This is why maya is brought into the equation and hence it leads to paramartha view. But if the world is only subjective, neither maya nor paramartha is necessary. In fact shruti is also not necessay as we would have already established the unreality of the world. It is clear that Shankara accepts that there is a subject-object duality. But only on the basis of shruti, this can be denied not by any other logic as given by the Bauddhas. Prakasananda equates the Brahman to 'eka-jiva' or 'super-jiva' as dasgupta puts it. And by doing so, paramartha is lost. Further, he goes onto defend his view by mere logic like - the blueness example. 

That no causality can be attributed to Brahman from the standpoint of ultimate reality is pretty much the substance of the advaita prakaraNa of the kArika. So your argument can equally be directed against gaudapAda, which is absurd. 
A: I have clarified it in the next line. Vivarta negates the cause-effect relation, but retains Brahman as adishtana of the world. However, prakasananda denies that as well, much like the buddhists.

Vivarta is a bridge between the perception of the world and its mithyAtva. The world is seen, and therefore we think it is real because of perceiving it. The upaniShad says no, what you perceive is not real, it is only an appearance, a vivarta.
DSV is speaking from the standpoint of one who already has accepted that whatever is perceived is mithyA. Given his conviction that the world is a mithyA vastu, he does not seek an explanation for it. 
vivarta is postulated as an explanation to bridge the cognitive dissonance between the perception of an object and the statement that there is no world. If there is no need for an explanation, why does one need vivarta? 
A : Sir, you are very correct in saying that "DSV is speaking from the standpoint of one who already has accepted that whatever is perceived is mithyA." This is even my feeling. And that is exactly the reason why I think this view is flawed! And the same reason why Dasgupta says it has no proper epistemology or ontology for that matter. Vivarta already establishes the negation of cause-effect, but retains Brahman. What is the need or premise for rejecting vivarta whether it be Advaitin or a dualist? While nothing new is achieved for advaitin, rejecting vivarta is akin to rejecting the very model which we are using to establish the truth. Here vivarta is as per shruti. So by rejecting vivarta, prakasananda rejects shruti as well as brahman, just like the Buddhists! If Prakasananda would have had to debate with the mimamskas or any other schools of either vedas or other foreign schools, they would have rejected this view as there would have been no basis what so ever for arguments. This is true though, that prakasananda spoke exclusively for Advaitin audience. Thus his view is self-contradictory and inconsistent, I feel. 

Well, the source for this view is a sloka from the sixth chapter of vidyAraNya's panchadashi quoted by prakAshAnanda in the text. Again perhaps the criticism can equally be applied to vidyAraNya svAmi.
The sloka was referred to in the DSV discussion sometime back.
तुच्छानिर्वचनीया च वास्तवी चेत्यसौ त्रिधा ।
ज्ञेया माया त्रिभिर्बोधैः श्रौतयौक्तलौकिकैः ॥
Maya is known as tucCha (non existent) based on shruti, anirvachanIya based on logic, or (incorrectly as) real  by the uninformed.

Please refer to archives for details. 
A : This is quite interesting sir. I felt that instead of maya it has to be world? World is known as tuccha based on shruti, anirvachaniya based on logic and real by the uninformed? Anirvachaniyatva itself is maya right? Then how can it be anything else!?
In any case, I feel holding onto a single line or verse from any single work may cloud our understanding. What happens when we look at it without this verse? I respect Vidyaranya a lot but this surely can't stand as a proof in itself because it is a mere assertion. We don't even know if the text is authentic or did Vidyaranya actually write this....I don't think we can use Vidyaranya's reputation on a mere assertion and take it as a strong defence?


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