[Advaita-l] Difference between AkAsha and AvakAsha
sudhanshu.iitk at gmail.com
Tue Jun 18 11:02:57 EDT 2019
Hari Om V Subramanian ji,
//The answer is: There is no invariable rule that adhyasa can occur only on
an object in front. Akasa (ether) is not perceptible by the sense organs.
Still blueness is superimposed on it. The Tarkika says that akasa is the
abode of sound and so it is known only by inference. It is therefore not
perceptible as an object in front even according to the Tarkikas. In
spite of this, it is a well known fact that blueness is superimposed on
akasa. Similarly adhyasa is possible on the self though it cannot be
perceived as an object in front. By the use of the word ‘api’ after
‘apratyaksha’ in the bhashya the Acharya indicates that the view that akasa
is apratyaksha is not accepted by Advaita. According to Advaita akasa is
known directly by the witness-consciousness itself.
The Bhattas hold that akasa can be seen by the eye. This is rejected by
Advaita on the ground that, if akasa which has no form or colour can be
seen by the eye, it should also be possible to know it by the sense of
touch even though it does not have the quality of touch.
An objection is raised that, since one has to open the eyes to see akasa,
it is perceivable by the eyes.
The answer to this is that one has to open the eyes to see the blue colour
and not to see akasa. We can see with the eyes only things which are
limited in size and not what are unlimited, like akasa and the form of
Isvara. What we see with the eyes is not akasa but ‘avakasa’ or empty
space. If a thing can be seen by the eye, its absence should also be seen
by the eye. The rule is that the absence of a thing is known by the same
sense-organ by which its presence is known. So if we say that there is no
avakasa or empty space, it means that its absence is seen by the eye. So a
person has to open his eyes only to see that no object with form is there
and not to see empty space. *Avakasa (empty space) is different from akasa
(ether). An empty space disappears when an object is put there, but akasa
remains unaffected.* To know that a quality is or is not there, we have to
know its abode, for example to know smell we have to know its abode, such
as a flower. So when we say that there is no sound in a
particular place, we have to say that there is no sound in this particular
part of akasa. It is not necessary that the abode should be known by the
same organ by which its quality is known. Smell is known by the olfactory
organ, but the flower is known by the eye. We know sound by the ear, but
its abode, akasa, need not be known by the ear. It is known by the
This is from Mani Dravid Shastri Ji's lecture. Can we have some more
difference on the nature of avakAsha and AkAsha.
Praveen ji, pl note that avakAsha is treated as empty space. There appears
to be some crucial difference between these two which needs to be discussed
On Tue 18 Jun, 2019, 18:52 V Subrahmanian via Advaita-l, <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
> On Tue, Jun 18, 2019 at 3:57 PM Praveen R. Bhat via Advaita-l <
> advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
> > Namaste Sudhanshuji,
> > On Tue, Jun 18, 2019 at 2:23 PM Sudhanshu Shekhar via Advaita-l <
> > advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
> > > Kindly share your views on difference between AkAsha and AvakAsha.
> > >
> > > Taittiriya 2.1.1 लक्षणं तु सर्वत एव, यथा अवकाशप्रदात्राकाशमिति
> > >
> > > Taittiriya 2.1.1 आकाशो नाम शब्दगुणः अवकाशकरो मूर्तद्रव्याणाम्
> > >
> > > These verses show AkAsha as avakAsha-pradAtrA or avakAsha-kara.
> > Certainly A
> > > cannot be A-pradAtra. A has to be ~A-pradAtrA otherwise the usage will
> > > meaningless as agni is vahni-pradAtrA.
> > >
> > I am not sure I understand your question/ objection as AkAsha and
> > have different meanings as space and occasion/ opportunity, respectively.
> > avakAshapradAtA AkAshaH means that AkAsha is that which provides an
> > occasion/ opportunity for everything else, meaning it becomes an
> > (so to say) for everything else to manifest. That is why AkAsha is the
> > first to manifest.
> Akasha is admitted to be avakaashapraadtru, accommodates everything in
> creation. Without aakaasha nothing can stay, remain, as objects. Shabda is
> the basic guNa of akasha.
> > Kind rgds,
> > --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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