[Advaita-l] Advaita Siddhi series 015 - dvitIya mithyAtva vichAra: (part 7)

Venkatraghavan S agnimile at gmail.com
Tue Oct 31 13:42:58 EDT 2017

The previous posts in this topic are available here:

have been looking at the second definition of mithyAtvam, प्रतिपन्नोपाधौ
त्रैकालिकनिषेधप्रतियोगित्वं. In the previous post, the objection that this
definition of mithyAtva was in effect a definition of asat was raised and
refuted. Now the naiyyAyika pUrvapakshi raises a few objections to this
definition (this is not raised by the nyAyAmritakAra). In classical nyAya
tradition, each word in the definition is analysed, faults identified and
refinements proposed to the definition.

नन्वेवं सति यावत्सदधिकरणात्यन्ताभावप्रतियोगित्वम् पर्यवसितम् | That being
so, the result is that the definition of mithyAtva is equivalent to the
absolute absence of a thing in any real substratum.

Space according to the naiyyAyika has no substratum, AdhAra, ie it does not
have AdhAra Adheya  (locus-object) relationship with anything. It does not
however mean that space is a non-existent entity in nyAya. As defined, the
definition of mithyAtva (the absence of an object in a real substratum)
would also apply to space (as the absolute absence of space is present in
all substrata, according to the naiyyAyika). However, the naiyyAyika would
be unwilling to accept that space a mithyA object. If not mithyA, what kind
of an object is space in nyAya?

The absence of AdhAra Adheya sambandha for an object is technically called
avritti in nyAya. Thus, according to the logician, space is avritti, not

A syllogism where the sAdhya is present universally is called kevala
anvayi. As the absence of space in a locus is universal, the naiyyAyika
calls the atyantAbhAva of AkAsha as kevalAnvayi.

तथाच केवलान्वय्यत्यन्ताभावप्रतियोगिषु अवृत्तिषु गगनादिषु तार्किकाणाम्
सिद्धसाधनम् ; that being so, this definition suffers from siddhasAdhanam.
The absolute absence of space in every substratum, which happens to be
kevala anvayi, is classified as avritti according to the logicians, and
already known. One need not postulate a new category of mithyA to describe

यदधिकरणं यत्सत् तन्निष्ठात्यन्ताभावप्रतियोगित्वं तस्य मिथ्यात्वमिति
विवक्षायां, therefore, to avoid this defect, the following refinement is
made: if in the particular substratum of an object, the absolute absence of
the object is present, the object is to be understood as mithyA.

The naiyyAyika says there is a further defect even after this refinement.
If an object is in a substratum, then the substratum and the object have a
relationship, a sambandha, based on which, the object is present in that
locus. The object is not present in that substratum with any other

One sambandha is called samyoga, when the object and the substratum are in
physical contact. Another sambandha is called samavAya, where the
object-substratum pair have a part-whole, cause-effect, or
attribute-substance relationship. When a pot is on the ground, it has
samyoga sambandha with the ground. On the other hand, the relationship
between the pot and clay is samavAya sambandha. When considering clay as
the substratum of the pot, the pot is "present" in the clay with samavAya
sambandha, but not with samyoga sambandha. Therefore, according to the
naiyyAyika, it is well established that between every object and its locus,
there exists a sambandha, along with which, the object is present in a
substratum, and another sambandha along with which, the object is not
present in the same substratum.

Thus, if the definition of mithyA is that a specific object is not present
in a specific substratum in all three periods of time, that is already well
known to the naiyyAyika - he already knows that every object is not present
in its substratum with a particular sambandha.

अधिकरणपदेनावृत्तिनिराकरणेऽपि संयोगसंबन्धेन समवायसंबन्धेन वा यत् घटाधिकरणम्
समवायसंबन्धेन संयोगसंबन्धेन वा घटस्य तन्निष्ठात्यन्ताभावप्रतियोगितया
सर्वेषु वृत्तिमत्सु दुरुद्धरं सिद्धसाधनम्  ।

अधिकरणपदेनावृत्तिनिराकरणेऽपि Even though the avritti of the word substratum
in the definition was remedied, संयोगसंबन्धेन समवायसंबन्धेन वा यत्
घटाधिकरणम् because a pot and its locus can either have samyoga sambandha or
samavAya sambandha respectively
समवायसंबन्धेन संयोगसंबन्धेन वा घटस्य तन्निष्ठात्यन्ताभावप्रतियोगितया it
establishes the absence of the pot in that locus along with the samavAyA or
samyoga sambandha respectively. That is, if the pot is present with samyoga
sambandha is present, it is absent with samavAya sambandha and vice versa.
सर्वेषु वृत्तिमत्सु दुरुद्धरं सिद्धसाधनम् this condition will be met for
every object and its locus. Therefore even this refined definition will
suffer from siddhasAdhanam.

येन संबन्धेन यद्यस्याधिकरणं तेन संबन्धेन
तन्निष्ठात्यन्ताभावप्रतियोगित्वमिति विवक्षायां, Suppose this definition is
further refined such that if an object having a specific relationship with
a specific locus is absolutely absent in that locus with that relationship,
then that object is mithyA -

अव्याप्यवृत्तिषु संयोगदिषु सिद्धसाधनम् this too suffers from the defect of
siddha sAdhanam, in the case of the samyoga sambandha being both present
and absent, like in the case of avyApvya vritti.

To explain, let us consider the example of a monkey on a tree. The monkey
and the tree have samyoga sambandha. A particular monkey is sitting on a
particular tree. Therefore, it is already accepted that this specific
monkey-tree samyonga sambandha has an abhAva everywhere else apart from
this tree. Within this tree also, the samyoga sambandha is present only on
the top of the tree, and not in the bottom. Thus the monkey with samyoga
sambandha is present in the top of the tree and absent in the bottom.  When
an object is both present and absent in the same location, it is termed
avyApya vritti in nyAya. This is already known, thus defining mithyA in
this manner leads to siddha sAdhanam due to avyApya vritti.

The siddhikAra says:
इति चेन्न if this is the argument, no.

येन रूपेण यदधिकरणतया यत् प्रतिपन्नं तेन रूपेण
तन्निष्ठात्यन्ताभावप्रतियोगित्वस्य प्रतिपन्नपदेन सूचितत्वात् |  If a
particular object that appears in a particular locus is not present in that
locus, then that object is said to be mithyA. This is indicated by the word
pratipannam in the definition of mithyA.

There is a flaw in the naiyyayika's argument. It must be noted that the
contact of the monkey with the tree is in the top part of the tree, not the
bottom. The substratum should be taken as the top of the tree, not the tree
in general. It will be avyApya vritti only if the monkey is both in contact
and not in contact with the same part of the tree.

तच्च रूपम् संबन्धविशेष: अवच्छेदकविशेषश्च | The locus is qualified in two
ways - by sambandha and by localisation (avacChedaka)

नहि संबन्धविशेषमन्तरेण भूतले घटाधिकरणता प्रतीयते | The ground appears as
the substratum for the pot only with a particular sambandha, and not

अवच्छेदकविशेषमन्तरेण वा वृक्षे कपिसम्योगाधिकरणता | The locus of the contact
of the monkey with the tree is limited to a specific location.

तथाच येन सम्बन्धविशेषेण येन चावच्छ्चेदकविशेषेण यदधिकरणताप्रतीतिर्यत्र
भवितुमर्हति, तेनैव सम्बन्धविशेषेण तेनैव चावच्छ्चेदकविशेषेण
तदधिकरणकात्यन्ताभावप्रतियोगित्वं तस्य मिथ्यात्वमिति पर्यवसते क्व
सिद्धसाधनम् | Therefore as the object which appears in a particular spot,
with a particular sambandha in a particular locus, is absolutely absent in
that spot, with that sambandha in that locus, resulting in its mithyAtvam,
where is the siddhasAdhanam that you speak of?

*No need to refine the definition*
Until now, the siddhikAra had refined the definition of mithyAtva in
response to the naiyyAyika's objection.  Now, his argument shifts to
dropping the assumptions inherently made thus far. Therefore, the existing
definition of mithyAtvam can be accepted as is, without any refinement.

*1) The adhikaraNa qualifier is not required in the definition. *
The naiyyAyika had said, AkAsha is avritti, it has no substratum. Hence he
had argued that its absence was in every substratum.

यदि पुन: ध्वंसप्रागभावप्रतियोगित्वमिवात्यन्ताभावप्रतियोगित्वमाकाशादौ न
स्यात् However, If instead we say - when space's destruction or creation is
not accepted by the naiyyAyika, its absence also must not be accepted.

साधकमानाभावस्य तुल्यत्वात् Because, just like in the case of destruction or
creation, there is no proof for the absolute absence of space either. The
naiyyAyika can say there is pramANa for atyantAbhAvam using the four
pramANas at his disposal - pratyaksha, anumAna, upamAna, shabda. There is
no scope for upamAna or shabda here, leaving only pratyaksha and anumAna.

इहाकाशो नास्तीति प्रत्यक्षप्रतीत्यसम्भवात् One cannot use pratyaksha
pramANa to say that "there is no space here". Because to prove the absence
of something, the pratiyogi must have the yogyatA of pratIti. That is, the
pratiyogi must be visible to begin with, so that its absence can also be
perceived. There has to be yogyAnupalabdhi. According to nyAya, space
cannot be seen. How can its absence be perceived? There is no pratyaksha
basis for concluding that space has absence.

अनुमाने चानुकूलतर्काभावात्, There is no anukUla tarka, or supportive logic
that can be used to argue for the absence of space. What harm ensues if
space's absence is denied?

According to the founder of nyAya shAstra, *Gautama, *anukUla tarka can be
of three kinds. Proving the cause through its effect (sheShavat), proving
the effect through the cause (pUrvavat) and proving one through an
unrelated other (sAmAnyato driShTa). The last of three, sAmAnyato driShTa,
is quite difficult to prove.

सामान्यतो दृष्टमात्रेण ध्वंसप्रागभावप्रतियोगित्वस्यापि सिद्धिप्रसङ्गात् if
sAmAnyato driShTa anukUla tarka was used to prove atyantAbhAva, the same
can be used to prove the dhvamsa and prAgabhAva of space too.

तद्व्यतिरेकेण कस्यचित् कार्यस्यानुपपत्तेरभावाच्च By holding that space is
never absent anywhere, no harm ensures anywhere.

Thus there is no reason to hold that space is universally absent, therefore
we need not qualify the specific nature of the locus in mithyAtva's
definition to exclude space.

*2) The sambandha qualifier is not needed in the definition*एवं
संयोगसंबन्धेन घटवति भूतले समवायसम्बन्धेन घटाभावसत्त्वे मानाभावात् There is
no basis to claim that the pot is not present in the ground with a samavAya
sambandha when the pot is present on the ground with a samyoga sambandha.
If a pot is present on the ground, the pot cannot be absent at the same
time in the same place. If you argue that the pot is not present with a
samavAya sambandha, that is not true because the absence is of the samavAya
sambandha, not the pot.

लाघवेन घटात्यन्ताभावत्वेनैव घटसामानाधिकरण्यविरोधित्वकल्पनात्
Applying the principle of parsimony, if an object is absent, it cannot be
held to be present in the same place at the same time.

Therefore, if there is valid perception of a pot in any place at a
particular time, one cannot have an equally valid perception of its absence
in that place at that time. If the objects of knowledge are mutually
contradictory, then their knowledge also will be contradictory.

There is no water in fire. This is known. When one sees fire,  no one gets
a  doubt if there is water in the fire. If the opponent's view is taken,
then this rule will face harm.

सम्बन्धविशेषप्रवेशे च गौरवात् घटसमवायमात्रविषयतया प्रतीतेरुपपत्तेः If the
naiyyAyika insists on introducing an adjective of sambandha in the negation
"there is no pot here with samavAya sambandha", all that does is to
establish that samavAya sambandha is absent, not that the pot is absent.

The naiyyAyika had said that space is avritti, and the absence of it is
present in all substrata. If the advaitin wants to argue that mithyAtva is
the absence of an object in (all) substrata, then what is established is
avritti, not mithyAtva. To this charge, the siddhikAra replies:

आधाराधेयभावस्य प्रत्यक्षसिद्धत्वेन घटस्यावृत्तित्वशङ्कानुदयात् when the
object-locus relationship between a pot and the ground on which it is
located, is clearly knowable by direct perception, there is no possibility
of a doubt arising whether the pot is avritti, ie has no substratum at all.
The defect of arthAntara is possible only if the possibility of arthAntara
is not contradictory to all other pramANa.

उक्तयुक्तेश्च न घटादेरत्यन्ताभावसामानाधिकरण्यम्; By the means of the yukti
provided, it is not possible to establish that a pot and its absence are
simultaneously present in one location.

*3)* *The avacchedaka qualifier is not needed in the definition*
The naiyyAyika had tried to establish using the monkey-samyoga example that
it was possible for samyoga to exist in one part of the substratum, but be
absent in another part of the substratum. The siddhikAra had suggested an
avacChedaka (locative) qualifier to remedy this. Now he denies the need for
an avacChedaka qualifier.

एवं संयोगतदभावयोर्नैकाधिकरण्यम् ; samyoga and its absence cannot be in one
substratum. Why not?

'अग्रे वृक्ष: कपिसम्योगी मूले ने' ति प्रतीतेरग्रमूलयोरेव
संयोगतदभाववत्तयोपपत्ते:, because when you say "the monkey is on the top of
the tree, not at the bottom", only the tree-top is the substratum - the
bottom is not. The agra vishiShTa vriksha - the top of the tree -  is
different from mUla vishishta vriksa -  the bottom of the tree. Therefore,
it is not possible to accept that in the same substratum there is both
samyoga and samyoga abhAva.

If someone asks, "Is there a monkey on this tree?", one can only reply
"yes". The reply is not "there is both a monkey and its absence". However,
if someone asks, "Is there a monkey sitting at the root of the tree?", one
can reply "no" without any hesitation. In this case, the question
identifies the substratum as "the root of the tree". Thus what is explicit
in one question is implicit in the other - the tree qualified by 'top-ness'
and 'bottom-ness' are two different substrata.

तदा सन्मात्रनिष्ठात्यन्ताभावप्रतियोगित्वमेव मिथ्यात्वं मन्तव्यं |
therefore, mithyAtvam should be understood as that which is the abhAva
pratiyogi and which has sat (Brahman) as its substratum. No further
refinement is required.

(To be continued).
Originally posted on 31st October, 2017.

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