[Advaita-l] No Parinama in Brahman says Shankara Bhagavatpada

Venkatraghavan S agnimile at gmail.com
Wed Jun 26 06:22:41 EDT 2019

Sudhanshu ji,

"Denied" means it does not exist. I would like to draw your attention to
the fact that by "mithyA", what is meant is the absence of the thing in the
locus of its appearance. Thus, both asat and mithyA denote the absence of
things, the only difference between them is that the former does not appear
and the latter does. That is all.

However, such a mithyAtva (ie absence) applies not only to the object that
is mithyA, but to the object's appearance too. This is so because the
grounds for the mithyAtva of the object (drishyatva) applies equally to the
mithyAtva of appearance - both the vastu and its pratIti are known (I know
the pot. I know that I know the pot), and therefore mithyA - absent.

You may argue that appearance involves change, but that change is in the
seer, not in Brahman. That is why in the mANDUkya kArika, gauDapAdAchArya

उभे ह्यन्योन्यदृश्ये ते किं तदस्तीति नोच्यते ।
लक्षणाशून्यमुभयं तन्मते नैव गृह्यते ॥4.67
Both (the world and the mind) are mutually dependent objects of perception.
If you ask whether each exists independently, the answer is no. There is no
independent proof of either's existence, because the knowledge of one is
simply based on the knowledge of the other.

आत्मसत्यानुबोधेन न सङ्कल्पयते यदा ।
अमनस्तां तदा याति ग्राह्याभावे तदग्रहम् ॥3.32
When the mind does not report duality on account of the clear knowledge of
the self, the mind ceases to be - for in the absence of the objects of
cognition, cognitions cease.

Shankaracharya says न हि घटमतिं प्रत्याख्याय घटो गृह्यते, नापि घटं
प्रत्याख्याय घटमतिः । न हि तत्र प्रमाणप्रमेयभेदः शक्यते
कल्पयितुमित्यभिप्रायः ॥ It is not possible to determine that the pot
exists, without a pot-cognition. However, the pot-cognition cannot exist
without the pot's existence. There is thus no way to distinguish between
the cognition and is object.

Thus the world and its appearance (cognition), are both mutually dependent,
neither of them real. The appearance of the world (and thus change, which
is the basis of appearance), is merely a cognition which is as unreal as
the world, the object of the cognition. Thus such a change is not in
Brahman, but in the unreal mind / the world.

Then why do we talk of anirvachanIyatva? Because when we begin the journey
in advaita, we take the support of logic as guided by shruti, and from such
a perspective, the description of the world as neither real nor unreal is a
useful stepping stone to the ultimate conclusion that the world is totally
non-existent. This is the meaning that the shruti would like to lead us to.
As vidyAraNya svAmi has said in the panchadashi:

तुच्छानिर्वचनीया च वास्तवी चेत्यसौ त्रिधा ।
ज्ञेया माया त्रिभिर्बोधैः श्रौतयौक्तलौकिकैः ॥

The objects of cognition and mAya are spoken of in three ways - absolutely
non-existent, indescribable and real, from shruti, logic and the worldly


On Wed, Jun 26, 2019 at 9:52 AM Sudhanshu Shekhar <sudhanshu.iitk at gmail.com>

> Venkataraghavan ji,
> What do you mean by "it is denied"? If the appearance and the seer is
> hare's horn, then it is not possible because hare's horn cannot have even
> an appearance. If the appearance and seer are mithyA i.e.
> sat-asat-vilakshaNa, then it implies change. There is no appearance without
> involving change. Just by saying "it is denied" in siddhAnta, the objection
> of existence of change is not obviated.
> I am surprised that people do not have this problem. May be I am really a
> manda-dhi with lot of impurity of mind.
> Sudhanshu.
> On Wed, Jun 26, 2019 at 1:32 PM Venkatraghavan S <agnimile at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> Sudhanshuji,
>> Even the explanation that it is an appearance only a provisional one. It
>> is merely a step to get the student to accept that the world is not real.
>> So don't take it as siddhAnta. It's only if you believe it is the ultimate
>> reality will the question "how did the appearance come about in the absence
>> of change" will arise.
>> The appearance of the world and the seer who sees that appearance, are
>> also part of the  world which is being denied.
>> Regards,
>> Venkatraghavan
>> On Wed, 26 Jun 2019, 08:46 Sudhanshu Shekhar, <sudhanshu.iitk at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>> Venkataraghavan ji,
>>> Can appearance come about without change? There are two things.
>>> Changeless and appearance which is sought to be stated as non-existent. How
>>> even the appearance can come about without change. And that change cannot
>>> be of the appearance because appearance is a result of change.
>>> I think I have explained my problem quite clearly. I have broken my head
>>> over this issue for years without any convincing solution.
>>> Sudhanshu.
>>> On Wed, Jun 26, 2019 at 1:10 PM Venkatraghavan S <agnimile at gmail.com>
>>> wrote:
>>>> Yes Bhaskar ji. This is the ajAti vAda of mANDUkya kArika.
>>>> Regards,
>>>> Venkatraghavan
>>>> On Wed, Jun 26, 2019 at 8:23 AM Bhaskar YR <bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>> praNAms
>>>>> Hare Krishna
>>>>> Reminds me kArika 2-32, na nirOdhO na chOtpattiH, there is neither
>>>>> creation nor dissolution, ……this is the whole truth ityesha paramArthA
>>>>> 😊  To realize the changeless I reckon we cling to only neti neti
>>>>> supporting shruti and bhAshya vAkya-s.
>>>>> Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!
>>>>> bhaskar
>>>>> 6) There is no world.
>>>>> 7) There is no creator.
>>>>> What remains? That is the thing.
>>> --
>>> Joint Commissioner of Income-tax,
>>> Pune
>>> sudhanshushekhar.wordpress.com
> --
> Joint Commissioner of Income-tax,
> Pune
> sudhanshushekhar.wordpress.com

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