[Advaita-l] Vaadiraaja Teertha's Yuktimallika - Advaita Criticism - Slokas 1-511 to 1-524

Anand Hudli anandhudli at hotmail.com
Sun Jun 25 04:22:35 EDT 2017

Dear Shri Venkatraghavanji,

On Sat, Jun 24, 2017 at 11:27 PM, Venkatraghavan S via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> Namaste Sri Anand ji,
> Thank you for that erudite post.
> I had a question in this regard and would be most grateful if you could
> clarify.
> You had translated Sri Anantakrishna Sastrigal's usage of ajnAnaviShayatA
> as "content of ignorance".
> Sri Sastrigal says that when a pramANa operates correctly either ajnAna
> nivritti or ajnAnaviShayatA nivritti happens.
> ajnAnaviShayatA therefore cannot be the object of ignorance, ajnAnaviShaya,
> because no one can imply that the object's nivritti happens when ajnAna
> nivritti happens.
> Normally, I would have understood ajnAnaviShayatA as ajnAnaviShaya bhAva -
> or the characteristic of being an object of ignorance, and the nivritti of
> that characteristic is certainly possible.
> Since you called it the content of ignorance, I was curious to know if
> something else was implied.
> What does the content of ignorance actually mean? How does it differ from
> ignorance itself? Why did Sri Ananthakrishna SAstrigal decide to split it
> into ajnAna nivritti *or* ajnAnaviShayatA nivritti?

MM Shri Sastri does not explain, but my guess is as follows. ajnAna of an
object has a correspondence with jnAna.  If I don't know a pot, my specific
ignorance is about the pot, but not another object, say cloth. When a
person says he/she is ignorant we may ask: "Ignorant of what?" The answer
to the question is the content of the ignorance, although I agree it could
be confused with the object itself. It could also be the case that ajnAna
could be general, not restricted to a specific object or specific set of
objects. In that case, the ignorance is in its primary form, ie. mUlAvidyA.
Both these cases have to be considered when we talk about pramANas, since a
pramANa, in general, must satisfy the condition of providing new knowledge
that removes ajnAna. There is also a reference to the siddhAnta-bindu
commentary which I will try to look into in the coming days.


On Sat, Jun 24, 2017 at 2:27 PM, Anand Hudli <anandhudli at hotmail.com> wrote:

> >To this, Sri brahmAnandA says, yes mahAvAkya has avidyA apeksha, but here
> >the apekshA of avidyA is not as a doSha. For example, a jaundiced patient,
> >In whose driShTi, everything is yellow goes to a doctor. The doctor
> >correctly diagnoses the patient. The doctor's knowledge (ie diagnosis) has
> >an apekshA of pittam in the patient, but pittam is not a doSha for the
> >doctor himself. So while the presence of pittam is a requirement for the
> >doctor's jnAna, it is not capable of rendering the doctor's jnAna faulty,
> >In the same manner as it affects patient's chakshu jnAna. In a similar
> way,
> >mahAvAkya has an apekshA for avidyA, but that avidyA is not as a doSha
> that
> >affects the tAttvikatva of its viShaya.
> Incidentally, the definition of "anadhigatatva" also addresses the issue
> of how there is an apekShA of ajnAna for a pramA (valid cognition) to
> arise. This is found in the excellent commentary by MM Shri Anantakrishna
> Sastri on the VedAnta ParibhAShA. Says he:
> ayaM ghaTa ityAdau svakShANa eva ajnAnasya ajnAnaviShayatAyA vA nivRttiH
> na tu sva-avyavahitapUrvakShaNa iti ghaTAdiranadhigata eva| smRtau tu
> saMskArodbodhasyApi ajnAnaviShaytAnivartakatvasya dvitIyamithyAtve
> brahmAnandasarasvatIbhiruktatvAt sva-avyavahitapUrvakShaNe ghaTo nAjnAta
> iti nAtivyAptiH| vastutastu svapUrvasvakaraNakShaNAvacchinnAjnAnaviShayatvameva
> anadhigatatvam ...
> In cognitions such as "This is a pot", the ignorance (of the pot) or the
> content of the ignorance are destroyed at the moment when the pot-cognition
> arises, but (the ignorance) is not destroyed during the immediately
> preceding moment. Hence, the pot is (previously) unknown. In the case of
> memory (recollection), although it destroys the content of ignorance, as
> BrahmAnanda-sarasvatI has said in the second definition of mithyAtva in the
> advaita-siddhi, the pot is not unknown during the immediately preceding
> moment. Hence, the definition is not too wide. In fact, the prevalence of
> ignorance and its content during the preceding moment when the (pramANa)
> karaNa operates is defined as anadhigatatvam, ie. being previously unknown.
> Perhaps this requires further explanation for those who are not familiar
> with the way how advaitins view the production of knowledge of an object
> through a pramANa. The knowledge arises as a vRtti in the mind, after the
> ignorance of the object has been destroyed. It is necessary for this
> ignorance of the object to exist before its destruction through the
> operation of a pramANa and to be called an anadhigata object. Since
> advaitins also hold that this ignorance is bhAva-rUpa, i.e. a "positive"
> entity, they are not talking about the destruction of a mere absence or
> nonexistent entity. This bhAva-rUpa-ajnAna of an object, say pot, must be
> destroyed in order for the knowledge of the pot to arise as a vRtti in the
> mind. Now, this bhAva-rUpa-ajnAna exists for a previously unknown object,
> and through operation of a pramANa, it gets destroyed and replaced by the
> knowledge of the object. However, in the case of a mere recollection or
> memory of an object, the object is not previously unknown, and hence, the
> bhAva-rUpa-ajnAna of the object does not exist, which means the necessary
> condition for anadhigatatva is absent.
> In short, without the bhAva-rUpa-ajnAna of an object, the object cannot be
> revealed by a pramANa, and a pramA (valid knowledge) of the object cannot
> arise. It can, however, be recollected as a case of memory, without the
> need for a pramANa.
> Anand
> On Fri, Jun 23, 2017 at 2:07 PM, Anand Hudli <anandhudli at hotmail.com>
> wrote:
>> Dear Shri Venkatraghavanji,
>> >Re the above, Sri vAdirAja's question is if the pramANa viShaya is
>> >vyAvahArikam, it is by definition bAdhyam upon brahma jnAna. pramANa
>> >according to advaitins is abAdhitArtha viShayatvam, so by definition, all
>> >the shruti vAkya that have vyAvahArika vastu as their viShaya are not
>> >pramANas. This point by vAdirAja is valid in my opinion, but is not a
>>  > problem for advaita.
>> One of the necessary conditions for a source of knowledge to be called a
>> pramANa is that it should make things known that are not already known
>> (anadhigata). What happens in this case can be examined in two phases. In
>> the phase before the dawn of Brahman knowledge, both abheda and bheda
>> shrutis are pramANas, since we are still in the vyAvahArika phase and there
>> is no sublation of vyAvahArika objects. After the dawn of Brahman
>> knowledge, *both* abheda and bheda shrutis, ie. the whole shruti itself,
>> becomes atattvAvedaka and ceases to be a pramANa, since it cannot make any
>> thing known that is not already known. So what I am saying is that we have
>> either a situation where 1) both bheda and abheda shrutis are tattvAvedaka
>> or where 2) both abheda and bheda shrutis are atattvAvedaka. The charge by
>> VAdirAja is that one type of shruti is tattvAvedaka and another is
>> atattvAvedaka, as per the advaitin. But as we have have seen, we will never
>> be in that situation.
>> Anand
>> On Fri, Jun 23, 2017 at 8:48 AM, Anand Hudli <anandhudli at hotmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>> As explained in the vedAnta-paribhAShA, the validity (prAmANya) of
>>> pramANas is of two kinds. vyAvahArika-tattva-Avedakatva is the
>>> capability to make known vyAvahArika reality.
>>> pAramArthika-tattva-Avedakatva is the capability to make known the Absolute
>>> reality, Brahman. The first kind belongs to pramANas other than the one
>>> which yields BrahmajnAna, whereas the second kind belongs only to
>>> statements (shruti texts) that teach the unity of jIva and Brahman, for
>>> example, sadeva somyedamagra AsIt, tattvamasi, etc. This implies that Bheda
>>> shrutis belong to the category of vyAvahArika-tattva-Avedaka pramANas,
>>> while the abheda-shrutis belong to the category of
>>> pAramArthika-tattva-Avedaka pramANas. However, it is also clear that
>>> advaitins do not state there is an atattvAvedaka pramANa in the Veda, as
>>> alleged by VAdirAja. If they had indeed stated that a part of the Veda is
>>> atattvAvedaka while another part is tattvAvedaka there would have been
>>> shrutahAni surely, but they did not. advaitins do agree that every shruti
>>> is tattvAvedaka, although the tattva that it conveys could be vyAvahArika
>>> or pAramArthika. The topic of Bheda-shrutis vis a vis the abheda-shrutis is
>>> discussed in detail in the advaitasiddhi. Suffice it to say that one
>>> solution is to accept Bheda-shrutis, those vAkyas of the shruti that seem
>>> to deal with duality, as describing vyAvahArika bheda, since there cannot
>>> be be any bheda at the pAramArthika level. Bheda shrutis play a role
>>> similar to the role played by arthavAdas in the context of a vidhi, vide
>>> the mImAMsA sUtra - vidhinA tu ekavAkyatvAt stutyarthatvena vidhInAM syuH,
>>> 1.2.7. Just as arthavAda vAkyas are not independent pramANas but do
>>> help by supporting and commending the enjoined act (vidhi), bheda-shrutis
>>> too serve the purpose of supporting the abheda-shrutis. Taken
>>> independently, they are not pramANas for revealing Brahman. Hence, there is
>>> no shrutahani.
>>> Anand

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