[Advaita-l] Why brahma jnAna is capable of sarva nivritti

Anand Hudli anandhudli at hotmail.com
Fri Mar 24 03:26:13 EDT 2017

Nice presentation by Shri Venkatraghavan. I would like to add a couple of
points here.

As rightly pointed out, the concept of sAkShI is different in dvaita
vis-à-vis advaita. While advaitins hold sAkShI to be
avidyAvRtti-pratibimbita-caitanyam, i.e. Consciousness reflected in
avidyAvRtti, for dvaitins, sAkShI is, as per the nyAyAkosha-kAra's
definition based on the pramANa-candrikA,
Atma-svarUpa-jnAnAdi-vyanjakatvam, i.e that which reveals the nature of
Atman, its properties, cognition, etc.

The thrust of Madhusudana's argument towards the later part of the article
is to establish that brahma-jnAna is not sublated, although he argued for
sarva-nivRtti earlier. This is necessary because the dvaitin can and
does argue that brahma-jnAna arising from shruti is also sublated. This
objection can be met with using two approaches. First, taking the
vyavahArika view, shruti is infallible and without any defect (doSha). It
augments other pramANas such as perception and inference, and makes known
what is not known through them, without contradicting them. That is why he
says, "advaita-tAtparya-grahasya ca pratyakShAdyavirodhena pramArUpatayA
doShatva-abhAvAt na tajjanyamadvaitajnAnaM bAdhyam. However, the dvaitin
can still argue that shruti itself is bhramAtmaka according to the
advaitin. Here, Madhusudana only implicitly refers to what is called
samvAdi-bhrama, for example in the PanchadashI 9.1 and 9.2. A person
perceiving the light emanating from a room containing a gem, think it is
the gem itself and runs after it and does, in fact, find the gem. Another
person perceiving light emanating from another room containing a lamp also
thinks it is a gem and runs after it, only to discover there is no gem. The
first is a case of samvAdi-bhrama, whereas the second is a case of
visaMvAdi-bhrama. In the first case, there is doSha-janyatva, arising from
a defect, but there is no viShaya-bAdha, negation of the object (gem).
Hence, it is not correct to say that doSha-janyatva or
bhrama-janyatva determines viShaya-bAdha. bhrama-janyatvasya
viShayabAdha-aprayojakatvAcca, says Madhusudana.


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