[Advaita-l] [advaitin] 'Dvaita accepts body-adhyasa'

Vinodh vinodh.iitm at gmail.com
Fri Oct 15 08:19:34 EDT 2021

This translation of the lectures of Sri Mani Dravid Shastri seems relevant
to the question:

Quote: "It has been established that there is mutual superimposition
between the self which is pure consciousness, and the not-self consisting
of the body, mind and senses. Such a superimposition is essential for a
jiva to become a knower (pramaataa). Only if the jiva becomes a pramaataa
he can experience objects through the sense-organs. Only then he becomes a
seer, hearer, thinker, etc. Even for the Saastra to be applicable there has
to be superimposition. For performing the rituals laid down in the Vedas
for attaining heaven the person should know that there is a self which is
different from the gross body and which will continue after death. But he
need not know the real nature of the self as described in Vedanta. If he
knows the real nature of the self it will be an obstacle to his performing
the rituals laid down in the Vedas because there is nothing to be attained
by such a person. Rituals are laid down based on caste such as Brahmana,
etc., ashrama, age, etc. So a person has to identify himself as a Brahmana
or a grihasta, etc., to perform rituals. All these relate to the body. Such
identification is possible only if there is adhyaasa of the body on the

In the above, it is stated that the adhyaasa of the body, mind, and senses
on the self is essential for any vyavahara. So far, I assume the argument
is understandable.

The question that remains from the Dvaita perspective is: why can it not be
that the self as well as the body-mind-senses are both real? And that there
is a self for a Jiva and a different self for a Paramatma, for example? It
could still be that, in this case, the superimposition of the
body-mind-senses is a cause of suffering for the Jiva. But this
superimposition does not necessarily imply that the body-mind-senses
themselves are unreal.

There seems to be a somewhat similar question raised in the above text
(quoted below), but it seems to be answered by an assertion that the
body-mind-senses are not just made of panchabhootas as material cause, but
are also made of avidya as a material cause. And therefore, it is not a
matter of thinking one thing for another (misapprehension).

I suppose this assertion that body-mind-senses have avidya as material
cause is not accepted by the other schools? Because without this additional
assertion that avidya is a material cause for body-mind, it is not entirely
clear if it follows just from the body-mind adhyaasa on the self that all
vyavahara is in avidya. Any thoughts on this would be highly appreciated. 🙏

Quote: "Can the attribution of the qualities of the body, mind and senses
to the self be said to be anyathakhyati? Here also the answer is, no. The
material cause of the body is not only the five elements but also the
nescience relating to the particular jiva. Since nescience is
anirvachaniyam, its effect, the body, is also the same. In this view maya
is the totality and individual nescience is a part of it. The body is not
something already existing elsewhere but it has come into existence from
the individual nescience. So anyathakhyati is not applicable."

On Fri, Oct 15, 2021 at 4:30 PM Vinodh <vinodh.iitm at gmail.com> wrote:

> Thank you for the clarification, Sri Subbuji.
> Could you please elaborate on (or point to the place in the Adhyasa
> Bhashya where it is shown) how the body-adhyasa (alone) leads to the
> conclusion that all pramana-prameya vyavahara is happening in avidya?
> The reason for asking this is that I thought that the Samkhya school (and
> other Dvaitic shools) claims that the body-mind is sat (existent) and part
> of Prakriti (insentient) and it is only an error on part of the sentient
> Purusha to not see the difference between itself and the insentient? In
> this case, it seems to me that they argue that while the body-adhyasa on
> the Purusha is an error, this does not necessarily mean that body-mind is
> avidya kalpita.
> So I am curious to know how the admission of body-adhyasa (alone)
> necessarily leads to the consequence of all vyavahara being in the realm of
> avidya according to the Adhyaasa Bhashya.
> On Fri, Oct 15, 2021 at 1:27 PM V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> On Thu, Oct 14, 2021 at 10:11 PM Vinodh <vinodh.iitm at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Namaskaram,
>>> Kindly pardon any ignorance on my part, but I thought that body-adhyasa
>>> was always accepted by Dvaita? In other words, I assumed that Dvaitins hold
>>> that the Jivaatma which is chaitanya-svaroopa (nature of consciousness or
>>> sentient) is falsely imagining itself to be the body which is jada
>>> (insentient). This is, in my limited understanding, similar to the view
>>> of the Samkhya philosophy where the (multiple) Purushas which are sentient
>>> experience the Prakriti which is insentient (and makes up 24 tattvas
>>> including the five panchabhootas of which the body is made) while not
>>> realizing the difference between Purusha and Prakriti.
>>> It is my understanding that the main difference of Advaita to these
>>> philosophies is not the body-adhyasa but rather the Jiva-Brahma-aikyam
>>> (one-ness of the Jiva and Brahman).
>>> So this post makes me wonder if there anything new (or surprising) about
>>> Dvaitins accepting body-adhyasa.
>> That all aastika schools hold the Atma to be distinct from the body-mind
>> complex is well known. The purpose of mentioning this with reference to
>> Dvaita is that the consequence of the error (of taking the body to be the
>> self) is, as explained by the Adhyasa Bhashya, all pramana-prameya
>> vyavahara, both laukika and shaastriya, up to moksha, will have to be
>> bracketed as happening in the realm of avidya.   This default, bold
>> observation by Shankaracharya is unacceptable to all the others.  The
>> status of the body-mind that is wrongly seen as the self, is also in
>> danger:  avidya kalpita.  It falls in the category of anirvachaniya since
>> it can't be satyam as it is sublated upon right knowledge and it can't be
>> asat like the gagana kusuma since it is experienced.  Such a category is
>> anathema to all others.  So, merely holding the idea that the
>> body-identification is an error is not enough and one will have to go
>> further to accept the consequences too.
>> regards
>> subbu
>>> Please do correct me if any of my above understanding is incorrect. 🙏
>>> On Thu 14. Oct 2021 at 21:36, V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com>
>>> wrote:
>>>> Here is an updated article on the above topic.  New evidences are added
>>>> including a short video clip of the late Pejawar Swamiji on taking the body
>>>> as the self is bhrama, mithyaajnana:
>>>> https://adbhutam.files.wordpress.com/2021/10/dvaita-accepts-body-adhyasa-1.pdf
>>>> regards
>>>> subbu
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