[Advaita-l] A question about Avidya

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Wed Oct 18 03:03:25 EDT 2017

On Tue, Oct 17, 2017 at 11:11 PM, Aditya Kumar via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> Namaste,
> I have a question about Avidya and I request your views on it. Everyone
> agrees that Avidya is two-fold : agrahana and anyatagrahana. It is same as
> avarana and vikshepa. This corresponds to 'not-knowing' and
> 'incorrect-knowing'. Is this the same as Avidya and Maya? as in, Avidya is
> agrahana and Maya is anyatagrahana?
> Agrahana and anyatagrahana has a cause-effect relation. Because I do not
> know the rope, I see a snake. Does Avidya and Maya too have a cause-effect
> relation? Because of Avidya, there is Maya prapancha?

The term 'maya' does not connote the same concept always. For instance in
this passage of the Mandukya karika 1.16 where both the karana and the
karya are together designated as māyā which is itself a dream:

अनादिमायया सुप्तो यदा जीवः प्रबुध्यते ।
अजमनिद्रमस्वप्नमद्वैतं बुध्यते तदा ॥ १६ ॥
योऽयं संसारी जीवः, सः उभयलक्षणेन तत्त्वाप्रतिबोधरूपेण बीजात्मना,
अन्यथाग्रहणलक्षणेन चानादिकालप्रवृत्तेन मायालक्षणेन स्वापेन, ममायं पिता
पुत्रोऽयं नप्ता क्षेत्रं गृहं पशवः, अहमेषां स्वामी सुखी दुःखी क्षयितोऽहमनेन
वर्धितश्चानेन इत्येवंप्रकारान्स्वप्नान् स्थानद्वयेऽपि पश्यन्सुप्तः,
In the above bhaṣyam we can see that the āvaraṇa has been said to be of the
nature of 'tattva apratibodha', that is, not-knowing of the Truth, which is
the seed. For what? For the anyathā grahaṇa, which is the effect, the
sprout of the seed: vikṣepa. This is present in the two states jāgrat and
svapna. The 'seed' is present in all states as the fundamental ignorance.
This is what is meant by 'agantuka' in the current discussion, while the
'seed' is admitted to be anādi and present in all states, through all
janmas. till one becomes enlightened, which is what the above verse finally

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