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

Venkatraghavan S agnimile at gmail.com
Sat Jul 15 05:51:57 EDT 2017

Namaste Adityaji

On 15 Jul 2017 9:03 a.m., "Aditya Kumar" <kumaraditya22 at yahoo.com> wrote:

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.

I had an alternate view on Shankara's arguments in those two sUtras. Please
see the link below. You may or may not agree with these views, but that is
your prerogative.
There was a thread titled Shankara and drsti srsti vAda in May 2016 which
discussed this very issue. I encourage you to read it, as it is likely to
pre-empt several of the follow on arguments.


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.

Actually, to say there is no gradation, or fewer gradations of reality is
not the same as saying there is no reality.

The ignorant worldly man and the jnAni both say there is no order of
reality. There is only one reality for both. The former says the world is
the only reality, and the latter says there is no such thing called the
world, Brahman is all there is. Thus, in either case there is no gradation
of reality, only one reality, pAramArthika.

The question is - what about a student of advaita, who belongs to neither
category? The SDvAdin says there are three orders- prAtibhAsika,
vyAvahArika and pAramArthika satya. The DSvAdin combines the last two and
holds that there is a paramArthika and a prAtibhAsika satya, because he
sees no value to the task at hand (an enquiry into Brahman) in postulating
two different realities to the dream and waking worlds, because ultimately
they will be sublated by brahmajnAna.

However to argue that the DSvAdin, in compressing the orders of reality
from 3 to 2 is not accommodating pAramArthika satya, as you said
previously,  is incorrect. It is as incorrect as saying that the jnAni who
sees only one order of reality is not accommodating pAramArthika satya.

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.

One can still have subject object duality in the dream world, or in "I
witnessing my thoughts", so even within DSV there is scope for this
duality. The difference is that the scope of application is wider than
those two examples and the individual is the agent of creation and not an
external Ishvara.

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.

The status of Brahman as adhiShThAna is also from the vyahaArika
standpoint. If there is no adhyastha vastu, why is there a necessity to
maintain Brahman's adhiShThAna status?
Gaudapada makes the same point in 2.33 and 4.74 of his kArika
भावैरसद्भिरेवायमद्वयेन च कल्पितः ।
भावा अप्यद्वयेनैव तस्मादद्वयता शिवा ॥ ३३ ॥
अजः कल्पितसंवृत्या परमार्थेन नाप्यजः ।
परतन्त्राभिनिष्पत्त्या संवृत्या जायते तु सः ॥ ७४ ॥
Brahman is advaitam and ajam only from the viewpoint of samvritti,
unreality. Once that objects of denial have been understood to be unreal,
one can drop the denials too - advayam (called thus to negate reality),
ajam (called thus to negate creation and a creator, and cause-effect) and
adhiShThAna (called thus to negate reality to the adhyasta).

Once the negation has occurred, the epithets have fulfilled their purpose
and can be dropped.

Thus denying adhiShThAnatva does not necessarily equate to upholding
shUnyatva or kshaNikatva on the one extreme, nor does it imply upholding
dvaita on the other. It could simply mean it has served its purpose and is
no longer required.

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.

See above, it is simply an instance of apavAda after adhyAropa.

Here vivarta is as per shruti. So by rejecting vivarta, prakasananda
rejects shruti as well as brahman, just like the Buddhists!

Not quite, for reasons stated above.

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.

That is fine, any teaching is directed to a specific kind of pupil and it
is only for that pupil to accept or deny it - universal acceptance is not
the aim of a prakriya, only the scholar who is interested in comparative

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!?

Yes from a logical point of view mAya is tattvaanyatvAbhAyam anirvachanIyam
- one cannot logically state whether it belongs to Brahman or not. People
who do not know this think it is absolutely real. However to jnAnis, it is
absolutely non existent.

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

Well, I only brought this up because of your claim that holding mAya as
tucCha is "a death nail to the legitimacy" of prakAshAnanda's view. To this
I said the source of this is the panchadashi, not prakAshAnanda. He does
not claim this is his original argument, he quoted this verse which is
found in all versions of the panchadashi and its commentaries I have come

Now, if you are willing to deny the authorship of the panchadashi to
vidyAraNya to hold on to this viewpoint, then by the same token how do you
know the original sentence in the muktAvali really belonged to it or was
authored by prakAshAnanda?

I'm afraid it is a selective application of this principle, and the
argument is a weak one to begin with, made weaker by the selective


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