[Advaita-l] Partlessness of Brahman and Maya

Venkatraghavan S agnimile at gmail.com
Tue Jun 18 06:58:50 EDT 2019

Namaste Sudhanshu ji,

On Tue, 18 Jun 2019, 09:09 Sudhanshu Shekhar, <sudhanshu.iitk at gmail.com>

> By corollary, it means TikAkAra thinks of something as niravayava AND
> nirguNa which is not ParamAtman. I cannot think of any such thing. Neither
> prAdhAna nor constituent guNa fit in the category of nirguNa+niravayava.

Why do you say that guNa-s are not nirguNa / niravayava? Even if pradhAna
is admitted to be sAvayava because of the presence of guNa-s, the guNa-s
themselves are admitted to be partless and attributeless by the pUrva
pakshi. That is why in the bhAShya, it is said यतः
सत्त्वरजस्तमसामप्येकैकस्य समानं निरवयवत्वम्.

That is also the basis for the sUtra स्वपक्षदोषाच्च -  sAnkhya will have to
admit that there is a niravayava, nirguNa entity in their system, which
changes. When such a flaw exists in their own system, by the rules of
debate, they cannot level it against the advaitin.

However, the same charge does not apply to the advaitin, because of shruti
and anubhava pramANa. The source for both Brahman's upAdAna kAraNatva on
the one hand and its nirguNatva, niravayavatva, avyayatva, etc. on the
other, is the shruti (श्रुतेस्तु शब्दमूलत्वात्), and anubhava, i.e., the
dream world conjured by the sleeper, (आत्मनि चैवं विचित्राश्च हि),

Interestingly, BhAshya also does not mention this either in 2.20 or 13.32.
> It rests content with vyaya-abhAva through sAvayava-dwAra AND vyaya-abhAva
> through guNa-dwAra.
> Yes, the bhAShya does not mention it there, because in that context
shankarAchArya is commenting on the sloka-s from the perspective of
advaita, not criticising the opponent's system as in स्वपक्षदोषाच्च. In any
case, the TIkAkAra adds that reference in gItA 13.32 even when the
bhAShyakAra does not do so, in order to address the charge similar to the
one that was brought up in the कृत्स्नप्रसक्ति adhikaraNa.  That is the
purpose of a sub-commentary - to expand upon the bhAShya and cover areas
that are not mentioned explicitly.

> *Only problem is - AkAsha, which is triguNAtmaka i.e. comprises three guNa
> - how can it be called as niravayava? That is to ask - are not
> niravayavatva and saguNatva mutually contradictory. This assumes importance
> in view of clear assertion of nirayavatva to AkAsha by BhAshyakAra in
> 13.27. This also assumes importance in view of the fact that in BSB 2.1.29,
> BhAshykAra did not object when opponent said PradhAna to be sAvayava owing
> to its triguNAtmakatva. So question to be pondered is - how can niravayatva
> of AkAsha and triguNAtmakatva of AkAsha co-exist.*
> Praveen ji, V Subramanian ji, Venkataraghavan ji. Pl share your views on
> the last para.

The point about 13.27 is that AkAsha's nirvavayavatva is invoked not for
its own sake, but to examine the relationship between the kshetra and
kshetrajna. The question asked is how can the kshetrajna, who is partless
like space, have a samyoga or samavAya association with the kshetra? The
opponent's intention is not necessarily to establish that AkAsha is
niravayava, but that the kshetrajna is, and therefore no relationship is
possible between the kshetra and kshetrajna.

However, the argument can be made that since the example is being used to
convey such a meaning, it makes sense to conclude that the example first
contains niravayavatvam. A counter-argument is that not every position by
the opponent must be necessarily rejected in every instance. If that were
the case, shankarAchArya should first have rejected the doubt on the basis
that samavAya itself is an impossibility, so the charge that samavAya is
not possible between the kshetrajna and kshetra is a futile one. He does
not do so, because the point he wishes to make is a larger one - that their
relationship is an AdhyAsika, superimposed one.

In any case, whether bhAShyakAra intends to convey that AkAsha is partless
through such a statement, or not, there is a case to be made both for
AkAsha's sAvayavatvam and niravayavatvam. The former, because of the
reasons you outlined. The latter, because it does not have parts or limbs.
It is that much alone that, in my opinion, must be understood as
necessarily present in AkAsha in order to raise the question that no
samyoga or samavAya relationship is possible for the kshetrajna with the



More information about the Advaita-l mailing list