[Advaita-l] Who has Ajnana/Maya?

Kalyan kalyan_kg at yahoo.com
Fri Mar 17 06:55:46 EDT 2017

Dear Sri Venkataraghavan

 [These positions are considered further by
 sureshvarAchArya who was of the
 view that
 Brahman is the locus of avidyA. vAcaspati mishrA, on the
 hand, takes the jIva to be the locus
 of avidyA. Both positions can be
 so take your pick.]

As jIva is sopAdhika Atman and the upAdhis being jaDa cannot be affected by ajnAna, the position that jIva is affected by ajnAna boils down to the position that the Atman is affected by ajnAna.

[ If
 Brahman is taken as the locus of avidyA, there is no issue
 with that
 position either - because
 avidyA's ontological status is lower than
 Brahman's - that being so, it is no more
 capable of affecting Brahman, than
 water is capable of wetting the sand on which it appears.]

The position that Brahman cannot be affected by ignorance due to difference in ontological status of the 2 entities, goes against everybody's perception that they are experiencing and being affected by misery, despite being non-different from Brahman (as per advaita). As Des Cartes says, I think, therefore I exist, so also, I experience misery, therefore it cannot be denied, for my existence and experiences are more real to me than anything else. I can deny the external world but not myself and my experiences.


 there are two kinds of Ashraya -
 adhishThAna rUpa Ashraya and abhimAni rUpa
 Ashraya - so while Brahman is adhishThAna rUpa
 Ashraya for avidyA (ie
 Brahman is the
 substratum on which avidyA is located), it cannot be
 considered to be abhimAni rUpa Ashraya (ie
 "I am ignorant"), thus the issue
 of blemish does not really exist.
 >    2.
 If Maya is an attribute of Ishwara, then doesn't Mayatva
 >    the nirgunatva aspect
 that Advaitins claim?
 Again, Brahman and mAya have
 different ontological statuses - so mAya is
 not a guNa of Brahman from the standpoint of
 ultimate reality. It is
 acceptable for
 Ishvara to have mAyA as an attribute within advaita
 sampradAya. In advaita, Ishvara is considered
 to be saguNa Brahman and
 there is a separate
 entity called nirguNa Brahman. Thus, it is possible for
 one to say that mAyA is the attribute of
 Ishvara, while maintaining that
 mAyA is not
 an attribute of nirguNa Brahman.
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