[Advaita-l] Advaita Siddhi series 034 - AbhAsa sAmya bhaNga:

Venkatraghavan S agnimile at gmail.com
Fri May 18 06:12:49 EDT 2018


This (brief) chapter is an attempt by the pUrvapakshi to argue that the
inference of the world's unreality is similar to other flawed inferences
and therefore must be dismissed.

ननु - विमतं, प्रातिभासिकम्, दृश्यत्वात्, ब्रह्म, मिथ्या, व्यवहारविषयत्वात्,
 असद्विलक्षणत्वाद्वा शुक्तिरूप्यवदित्याद्याभाससाम्यम्
The inference of the world's unreality is flawed, similar to other flawed
inferences such as
a)The world is prAtibhAsika, because it is known
b) Brahman is mithyA because one can transact with it (one speaks of
Brahman, studies it in vedAnta, etc) or alternatively
c) Brahman is mithyA because it is not an absolutely non-existent thing.
The illustration for all three inferences - like the unreal silver seen in
the shell (which is known, object of a transaction, and not absolutely

इति चेन्न; The siddhikAra in response says - No.

जगतोव्यावहारिकसत्त्वबाधे व्यवहारानुपपत्ति:, ब्रह्मणो मिथ्यात्वे
शून्यवादापात्तिश्चेति प्रतिकूलतर्कपराघातेन तयोरसाधकत्वात्, The allegation
that there is a similarity which such flawed inferences is incorrect
a) If the transactional (vyAvahArika) reality of the world was untrue, then
no transactions would be possible. If the world was not vyAvahArika, then
the existence of uncognised objects would be denied. If  things did not
exist prior to cognition, then, the operation of pramANas, or the means of
knowledge, would be denied, for the instruments of knowledge presuppose the
existence of objects prior to their cognition. Thus, if the world was not
vyAvahArika, the operation of the means of knowledge would be rendered
moot, and any transactions would be rendered impossible.
b) If Brahman was mithyA, then as there would be no real substratum
whatsoever, it would lead to nihilism, or shUnyavAda.
There are several unfavourable arguments (pratikUla tarka) which would
disprove such inferences.
प्रकृते च प्रतिकूलतर्कस्य निरसिष्यमाणत्वात् | Whereas the unfavourable
arguments against the inference of the world's unreality will be refuted
(in a later chapter).

Defects in the first inference:
The pUrvapakshi's claim that the advaitin's inference of the world's
mithyAtva is similar to the inference of the world's prAtibhAsikatva.
prAtibhAsikatva can be defined in one of two ways.
किञ्च प्रातिभासिकत्वं ब्रह्मज्ञानेतरबाध्यत्वं, प्रतिभासमात्रशरीरत्वं वा |
prAtibhAsikatva can either mean a) being sublatable by another cognition
other than right cognition of Brahman, or b) existence only at the time of

आद्ये साध्ये देहात्मैक्ये व्यभिचार:, अप्रयोजकत्वं च |
If the world's prAtibhAsikatva was of the former type,  there would be
vyabhichAra in the case of the illusion of the body taken to be the Atma.
The opponent accepts that this is known (the hetu is present) and that this
(erroneous) notion disappears only upon brahma jnAna (but the sAdhya is
absent). Hence the defect of vyabhichAra is present.

Further, even if something is knowable, how will that necessarily imply
sublatability by any knowledge? Thus the hetu of drishyatva does not prove
the sAdhya of prAtibhAsikatva, i.e., it is sAdhya aprayojaka.

द्वितीये दृष्टिसृष्टिमतेन सिद्धसाधनम् | In the latter case, (the world is
prAtibhAsika meaning it exists only at the time of cognition), this is
already established to be the case in the case of dRShTi-sRShTi vAda. Thus,
if this was the meaning of prAtibhAsikatva, this inference suffers from the
defect of siddhasAdhana, proving something that is already accepted.

Defects in the second and third inferences:
The second and third inferences quoted by the opponent set out to prove
that brahman was mithyA.
एवं ब्रह्मणि मिथ्यात्वे साध्ये सोपाधिके सिद्धसाधनम् |  If the brahman
referred to here was conditioned by adjuncts, then its mithyAtva is
accepted by us, and therefore the defect of siddha sAdhanam is present.

निरुपाधिके व्यवहारविषयत्वरूपो हेतुरसिद्ध: | On the other hand, if this was
brahman unconditioned by adjuncts, it cannot be the object of transactions,
and as the hetu is not present in the paksha, the defect of asiddha is

वेदान्तजन्यवृत्तिविषयत्वाभ्युपमेऽप्यप्रयोजक: | If, in accordance with the
vivaraNakAra, unconditioned brahman is accepted to be the object of
cognition that arises upon the contemplation of the texts of vedAnta (and
thus an object of "transactions"),  such a hetu does not prove the
mithyAtva of brahman.

एवमसद्विलक्षणत्वमपि ब्रह्मण्यसिद्धमेव | Similarly, as the hetu of
'different from non-existence' is not present in Brahman, the third
inference is also flawed. Brahman is existence, which is different from
non-existence. Why is this hetu not present in Brahman? Because:

क्वचिदप्युपाधौ सत्त्वेन प्रतीत्यनर्हत्वम् ह्यसत्त्वम्, तद्विलक्षणत्वम् च
क्वचिदप्युपाधौ सत्त्वेन प्रतीत्यर्हत्वरूपम् तच्च शुद्धे ब्रह्मणि नास्त्येव
| When advaitins refer to asat, or non-existence, they are referring to
that which is not capable of appearing as existing in any locus. Being
different from such a non-existence means that which is capable of
appearing as existing in some locus. However, Brahman does not appear to
exist in any locus, and therefore such a hetu is not present in Brahman.

This defect is on the basis of the meaning of asat as defined by the
advaitin. However, there is a problem even if the meaning is as per the
opponent. The opponent takes the meaning of asat to be that which is
sublatable. Thus asat vilakshaNam means that which is unsublatable. This
(asat vilakshaNatva) he uses as a hetu in his inference for Brahman's
mithyAtva.  His inference was ब्रह्म मिथ्या असद्विलक्षणत्वात्. That is, he
uses the presence of unsublatability to prove the sublatability of Brahman.
This is clearly contradictory.

अबाध्यत्वेन बाध्यत्वलक्षणमिथ्यात्वसाधने विरोधात् It is contradictory to
prove Brahman's mithyAtva, which essentially is of the nature of
sublatability, using a hetu that means unsublatability.

शुक्तिरूप्यदृष्टान्तस्य साधनविकलत्वाच्च, शून्यवादस्याग्रे
निराकरिष्यमाणत्वाच्च | Further, the illustration of the shell silver is not
unsublatable either. Thus the hetu is not present even in the illustration.
How can concomitance be established?

As said previously, this view leads to nihilism or shUnyavAda, which will
be further refuted later.

तस्मान्न दृश्यत्वादीनामाभाससाम्यमिति सिद्धम् | Therefore, it is incorrect
to say that the inference of the world, as established by hetu's such as
knowability bear any similarity to such flawed inferences.


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