[Advaita-l] A pithy sentence seminal to Advaita from the Bhamati

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sat Feb 3 22:08:29 EST 2018

A pithy sentence seminal to Advaita from the Bhamati

 A very significant statement of the
author of the bhAmatI.  Says Sri Vachaspati Mishra in the gloss to the
Bhashya on the sutra: 2.1.14 तदनन्यत्वं आरम्भणशब्दादिभ्यः -  ‘ न
खल्वनन्यत्वमित्यभेदं ब्रूमः, किंतु भेदं व्यासेधामः ...(by
non-difference we do not suggest identity; but only negate absolute
difference…). By imposing identity between the cause, clay, and the
effect, pot, a difficulty would arise where the practical
utility/parlance cannot be accomplished.  When a man wants a pot to
store water/cook rice, etc., he goes to a potter to buy one.  In case
the potter hands him a lump of clay saying ‘take this, for is not the
pot the same as clay?’, that would be an undesirable situation.  This
is not the way Advaitins want the cause-effect non-difference to be
understood.  All that is intended is to wipe out any idea of absolute
difference between the cause and the effect.  One not given to enquiry
holds the effect and the cause as two distinct real entities.  This
view is not conducive to the understanding of the fundamental reality,
tattva.  The correct view of appreciating the non-difference of the
effect from its material cause without jeopardizing the practical
parlance, vyavahAra, is to understand, by enquiry, that the two, the
cause and effect, are not two distinct, real entities; one cause alone
appears, through imagined/superimposed name and form, as many effects.
 The fundamental reality, however, is one only which is neither the
cause nor the effect.

Sri Venkat ji had pointed out that this sentence of the Bhamati is hidden
in the Advaita Siddhi:  and the siddhikAra - अभेदे
कार्यकारणभावव्याहत्या कथंचिदपि भेदस्यावश्याभ्युपेयत्वात्.

A fine input from the Bhamati for contemplation, mananam.  I request others
to post such gems from the Bhamati.  Dr. Maheswaran Nambuthiri of Chennai
had made a doctoral study on the Mimamsa references in the Bhamati.


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