[Advaita-l] mUlAvidyA in sUta samhita

Sudhanshu Shekhar sudhanshu.iitk at gmail.com
Sun Jun 28 10:05:59 EDT 2020

Hari Om Chandramouli ji,

Generally wherever mUlAvidyA is questioned, it is stated as abhAva. I was
going through Shiva Gita (which comes within Padma PurANa). In chapter 9,
verse 4, Bhagvan says avidyA to be triguNatmika and pariNAmiNI.

I too had/have inclination to treat avidyA as abhAva, but there are clear
statements in purANAs to the contrary. I must confess that avidyA is
clearly treated as bhAva in smritis.


On Sun, Jun 28, 2020 at 6:55 PM H S Chandramouli via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> Namaste.
> The concept and terminology of mUlAvidyA, as to whether it is coined by
> post-Shankara commentators or whether it is advanced by Sri Bhagavatpada
> himself in his bhAshyAs as well as referred to in the commentaries of his
> direct disciples, has been a point of contention between the protagonists
> and opponents of mUlAvidyA. So far I had not come across any references to
> the possibility of the term mUlAvidyA being found in any pre-Shankara
> texts. However during the Upanyasa on Sutasamhita of Skandapurana by His
> Holiness Sri Sri Shankara Bhararti Mahaswamiji of Yadathore Math, KR Nagar
> near Mysore in the early part of this month, it was brought out that a
> reference is indeed available in sUta samhita, which forms part pf skAnda
> purANa, written by Bhagavan Sri Veda Vyasa himself. I am copying below the
> relevant part from the same. I believe this could be of some significance
> in the debate on the concept and terminology of mUlAvidyA.
> sUta samhita, Brahma GIta, Chapter 11 (covering Shvetasvatara Up), Verse
> 62  (Emphasis mine)
> <<  ज्ञात्वा देवं सर्वपाशापहानिः क्शीणैः क्लेशैर्जन्ममृर्त्यु्र्प्रहाणिः।
> तस्य ध्याना*न्मूलमाया*विभेदे विश्वैश्वर्यं याति कैवल्यरूपम् ॥  >>
> <<  j~nAtvA devaM sarvapAshApahAniH kshINaiH
> kleshairjanmamRRirtyurprahANiH|
> tasya dhyAnAn*mUlamAyA*vibhede vishvaishvaryaM yAti kaivalyarUpam ||  >>
> Regards
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