[Advaita-l] Significance of Mula Avidya

Praveen R. Bhat bhatpraveen at gmail.com
Thu Oct 26 12:36:28 EDT 2017

Namaste Adityaji,

(Sorry the earlier mail got sent by a palm click of the touchpad!)
On Thu, Oct 26, 2017 at 8:32 PM, Aditya Kumar via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> I want to understand the significance of Mula Avidya in Shankara's
> Vedanta. It seems to me that Mula Avidya is the main distinguishing factor
> between Vijnanavada Buddhism and Vedanta.

​The main difference between the two is that the consciousness that
pervades vijnANa is not kShaNika in Vijnanavada, that which is kShaNika is
vRttijnAna in Vedanta. It is also that which makes the difference between
the adhiShThAna in Vedanta and atyantAbhAva shUnya in Buddhism. If
mulAvidyA itself is not considered then brahman will not remain
vivartopAdAnakAraNa, but will become pariNAmI. However, the point you are
making is also right that if this avidyA is not considered as a
yatkinchidbhAvarUpA, then we will not have any logical refutation of
shUnyavAdins in which we state that existent something cannot come from

Is this Mula Avidya also the reason why we have vyavaharika and
> paramarthika satyas?

> ​... ​
> Hence I am keen to know if there are any implications if we consider Mula
> Avidya to be positive in nature or otherwise.
​The implication is as above; ​if from absence of vidyA can cause this
entire jagat and bondage, why not shUnya? Both are equally illogical.

--Praveen R. Bhat
/* येनेदं सर्वं विजानाति, तं केन विजानीयात्। Through what should one know
That owing to which all this is known! [Br.Up. 4.5.15] */​

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