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

Venkatraghavan S agnimile at gmail.com
Mon Oct 18 02:55:02 EDT 2021

Namaste Vinodh ji
They are not examples, rather they are pramANa-s.

The former is from bRhadAraNyaka shruti (4.4.19)

मनसैवानुद्रष्टव्यं  नेह नानास्ति किञ्चन ।
मृत्योः स मृत्युमाप्नोति य इह नानेव पश्यति ॥

It is revealing that there is no multiplicity here whatsoever. There are
many such statements throughout the shruti.

The latter is anumAna pramANa - vimatam, the object about which there is
difference of opinion, is mithyA, because it is dRshya, cognisable /
knowable. The drShTAnta or example for the anumAna is the shell silver.

Through the use of such pramANa-s, the mithyAtva of the world is proven.


On Mon, 18 Oct 2021, 04:02 Vinodh, <vinodh.iitm at gmail.com> wrote:

> Sri Venkatraghavan ji,
> I do not seem familiar with the two examples you cite for establishing
> mithyatva of the world in 5). Could you kindly elaborate on them?
> Thank you and Namaskaram 🙏
> On Mon 18. Oct 2021 at 07:26, Vinodh <vinodh.iitm at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Thank you for the additional reference, Sri Subbu ji.
>> Thank you for concisely summarizing your thoughts on the discussion, Sri
>> Venkatraghavan ji. It matches with my understanding.
>> Namaskaram 🙏
>> On Mon, Oct 18, 2021 at 1:30 AM Venkatraghavan S <agnimile at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>> Namaste
>>> There are a few things that are going on here that must be separated
>>> here for clearer understanding.
>>> 1) Firstly, all pramANa prameya vyavahAra has been spoken of as
>>> presupposing adhyAsa between the body mind complex and the self in the
>>> adhyAsa bhAShya.
>>> 2) Shankaracharya holds that for the self to be a knower (pramAtA),
>>> there has to be a body and mind superimposed on the self. Thus pramAtRtvam
>>> (knowerhood) presupposes adhyAsa (superimposition).
>>> 3) However, mistaking the body to be the self and vice versa is in
>>> itself insufficient to prove the mithyAtva of all pramANa prameya
>>> vyavahAra. A mixup between two objects can happen even where both objects
>>> are real. This is what the naiyyAyikas say - a real silver present
>>> elsewhere is seen here in the shell.
>>> 4) Similarly, while dvaita (specifically tattvavAda of AnandatIrtha
>>> muni) accepts that taking the body to be the Atma is erroneous, it does not
>>> accept that all of the pramANa prameya vyavahAra is consequently within the
>>> sphere of ignorance. This is because in their view, while taking the body
>>> to be the self is erroneous, the existence of the body-mind-complex is not
>>> on account of ignorance. The body and mind are very much real, in their
>>> view.
>>> 5) Therefore, in order to establish the mithyAtva of the
>>> body-mind-complex and pramANa-s when faced with a dvaitin, we have to
>>> resort to other means of knowledge such as shruti (neha nAnAsti
>>> kinchana), anumAna (vimatam mithyA dRshyatvAt) etc. When the world is
>>> proven to be mithyA, the pramANa-s and the body mind complex, which are
>>> included within the world, are also proven to be mithyA.
>>> 6) Does this mean that pramANa-s have no validity in advaita? No. This
>>> in itself does not invalidate vyavahAra - or the transactional validity of
>>> pramANa-s. In fact, Shankaracharya quotes a verse by a pre-Shankara
>>> advaitin at the end of the samanvayAdhikaraNa bhAShya, linking the
>>> notion of taking the body to be the self with pramANatva - which I think is
>>> a good way to conclude this post, referring as it does both to the subject
>>> matter of this thread (dehAtma adhyAsa) and the incidental question
>>> (pramANatva) -
>>> देहात्मप्रत्ययो यद्वत्प्रमाणत्वेन कल्पितः ।
>>> लौकिकं तद्वदेवेदं प्रमाणं त्वाऽऽत्मनिश्चयात् ॥
>>> Just like notion of the body as the self is considered valid, so are
>>> worldly means of knowledge - albeit only until the rise of certain
>>> knowledge of the self.
>>> Regards,
>>> Venkatraghavan
>>> On Sun, 17 Oct 2021, 04:06 Vinodh, <vinodh.iitm at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> Thank you, Sri Raghav ji and Sri Subbu ji for your kind explanations.
>>>> Please allow me to summarize my understanding of the discussion so far
>>>> and kindly let me know if you have further thoughts.
>>>> Consider two entities, A (Atma) and B (body-mind-senses + jagat). The
>>>> question at hand is "what is real?"
>>>> The two main positions that are being discussed are:
>>>> - (Advaita) A alone is real and B is due to avidya / maya / illusion.
>>>> Due to adhyaasa of A-B, it appears as though B is real and A is the knower,
>>>> actor, experiencer, etc.
>>>> - (Dvaita) Both A and B are real. Due to adhyaasa of A-B, it appears as
>>>> though the actions and consequences of B are having an effect on A, when
>>>> truly A is never touched by what happens in B.
>>>> Note that both the positions have the following common aspects:
>>>> 1. Adhyaasa of A-B: the qualities of B (like the knower, means of
>>>> knowledge, and the known) are erroneously superimposed on A
>>>> 2. All pramana (means of knowledge) are in B only. A does not have any
>>>> means for knowledge in B and necessarily requires the A-B adhyaasa to
>>>> become a knower and know things in B.
>>>> Both the above common aspects have been stated in several ways in this
>>>> thread. The natural question is, of course, where do the positions differ.
>>>> My understanding of the explanations given in support for the Advaita
>>>> position is
>>>> a. the two aspects 1. and 2. (which are common for both Advaita and
>>>> Dvaita)
>>>> b. *asserting* that all pramana (i.e., all means of knowledge and the
>>>> instruments needed for it such as mind, senses, body, etc.) are **unreal**
>>>> The reason why Dvaita, even while accepting the common aspects 1. and
>>>> 2., does not concur with the Advaita position is because they apparently
>>>> assert the opposite of b., that is, all pramana are real.
>>>> Equivalently, the arguments in support of the Dvaita position are:
>>>> a. the two aspects 1. and 2. (which are common for both Advaita and
>>>> Dvaita)
>>>> b. *asserting* that all pramana (i.e., all means of knowledge and the
>>>> instruments needed for it such as mind, senses, body, etc.) are **real**
>>>> In a way, when one thinks about it, these assertions are just
>>>> restatements of the Advaita and Dvaita positions themselves (because B is a
>>>> set containing the pramana and their instruments such as mind-body-senses
>>>> etc.).
>>>> My question thus far has been about an explanation for assertion b in
>>>> support of Advaita. Below are my observations of the discussions in this
>>>> thread regarding this question:
>>>> - Sri Subbu ji has emphasized the necessity of using pramana (including
>>>> the mind-body-senses etc.) to know any knowable object. This is of course
>>>> true and is also discussed in the Adhyasa Bhashya. It also concurs with the
>>>> common aspect 2.
>>>> - He has also referred to the Vedanta, e.g., by references to Kshetra
>>>> and Kshetrajna in the Gita, for establishing the separation between A and
>>>> B, where A is the Atma and B is the set of everything else including
>>>> pramana. This is also a meaningful separation to keep in mind. However, the
>>>> separation alone does not necessarily say anything about the reality of A
>>>> and B.
>>>> - He has also referred to the Adhyasa Bhashya, in which Shankara makes
>>>> the assertion that body-mind has avidya for its material cause, which is
>>>> essentially the same as assertion b.. He do not discuss this assertion
>>>> further within the Adhyasa Bhashya with additional supporting arguments
>>>> because it appears that Adhyasa is the main focus of the discussion there.
>>>> My apologies if I have missed this an explanation of this assertion. I
>>>> would sincerely appreciate if someone would be kind enough to point this
>>>> out in the Adhyasa Bhashya.
>>>> - Sri Subbu ji has also made a similar assertion that all instruments
>>>> required for pramana (mind-senses etc.) are unreal without discussing this
>>>> assertion further with supporting arguments, at least as far as I can see
>>>> from what is written in this thread. My sincere apologies once again if I
>>>> have indeed missed anything. 🙏
>>>> Having summarized my understanding of the discussion thus far and
>>>> having reflected on it, it appears to me that assertion b. of Advaita (that
>>>> all pramana are unreal) can be established in two possible ways:
>>>> (1) using shabda pramana, e.g., sruti vaakya like 'ekam eva advitiyam'
>>>> (one without a second), which implies that there is nothing other than A
>>>> and therefore that B is unreal, or
>>>> (2) without using shabda pramana , e.g., by using pure reasoning as
>>>> Gaudapadacharya does in the Vaitathya Prakarana of his Mandukyopanishad
>>>> Karika.
>>>> The first requires a person to accept scriptural authority, whereas the
>>>> second does not.
>>>> In contrast, I doubt if there exists anything that is in support of
>>>> assertion b. of Dvaita (that all pramana are real).
>>>> Om tat sat 🙏
>>>> On Sat, Oct 16, 2021 at 10:51 PM V Subrahmanian via Advaita-l <
>>>> advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
>>>>> On Sat, Oct 16, 2021 at 9:26 PM Raghav Kumar Dwivedula via Advaita-l <
>>>>> advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
>>>>> > Namaste Vinodhji
>>>>> > Thank you for your question. I understand Subbuji was highlighting
>>>>> how even
>>>>> > dvaitin expositions don't deny adhyAsa of the body-mind and yet, (as
>>>>> > Advaita points out), they don't see the consequences of
>>>>> > I noticed that Subbuji indicated a brief answer along the idea of
>>>>> pramANas.
>>>>> >
>>>>> > In other words, if pramAtRtvaM is accepted as adhyasta and hence not
>>>>> > absolutely real, then all objects (prameyas) including body and mind
>>>>> are
>>>>> > unreal. Samkhyas don't see the implication of adhyAsa for the means
>>>>> of
>>>>> > knowledge by which alone anything can be said to exist. If puruSha is
>>>>> > discriminated from its false identification with prakRti, then
>>>>> subsequently
>>>>> > there is no way ( by pramANas like pratyaxa and anumAna) to assert
>>>>> prakRti
>>>>> > exists.
>>>>> Yes, Raghav ji, that is the point. There are these two statements that
>>>>> all
>>>>> accept: मानाधीना मेयसिद्धिः   लक्षणप्रमाणाभ्यां वस्तुसिद्धिः  -  The
>>>>> validation of a knowable object, prameya, vastu, is dependent upon 1.
>>>>> the
>>>>> means to know it, pramana and 2.the nature of the object, the
>>>>> information
>>>>> of which, together with the operation of the pramana.
>>>>> The Vedanta keeps before the aspirant the scenario where there is no
>>>>> body-identification. That is, the Atma is taught as that which has had
>>>>> no
>>>>> body identification; the virgin Atman, so to say.  From this Atman's
>>>>> standpoint, there are no pramanas, means to know anything, since all
>>>>> pramanas are, by default, situated in the body alone and nowhere else.
>>>>> So,
>>>>> from the Vedantic Atman's point of view, there is no world that can be
>>>>> validated since there are no pramanas at all.
>>>>> Also, a pramaa, a valid knowledge, arises out of a pramana. A bhrama,
>>>>> error, arises when the pramana, the right means of knowledge, is not
>>>>> used
>>>>> to know the object.  Hence alone a snake seen in the locus of a rope,
>>>>> is
>>>>> not a pramaa but a bhrama. From this it follows that the world is a
>>>>> bhrama since no pramana has had a place.  It is interesting the BG
>>>>> 13th ch.
>>>>> 6th verse says: the ten plus one organs, pramanas, the five sense and
>>>>> five
>>>>> motor organs plus the manas, antahkaranam, and the entire knowable
>>>>> world of
>>>>> sound, smell, tough, form and taste, all belong to kshetram, the world.
>>>>> So, the knowable world and the means to know it are all constituents
>>>>> of the
>>>>> world, kshetram.  The kshetrajna, the Consciousness principle, is
>>>>> outside
>>>>> this means and end duality.   Thus by the logic provided by the
>>>>> Vedanta,
>>>>> the world, including the body-mind-organs complex, is unreal since
>>>>> these
>>>>> are not established by any pramana.
>>>>> Hence alone the Advaitins invoked the apaccheda nyaya of the purva
>>>>> mimamsa
>>>>> in Vedanta: a person from birth believes in duality, the world, etc.
>>>>> When
>>>>> he is exposed to the Vedanta he comes to know that the world is not
>>>>> and he
>>>>> is actually the Atman.  The maxim here is: pUrvam pareNa baadhyate -
>>>>> the
>>>>> latter knowledge annuls the earlier knowledge.  The earlier knowledge
>>>>> is
>>>>> ignorance really, like the rope-snake, and the latter knowledge is the
>>>>> yathArtha jnanam.
>>>>> regards
>>>>> subbu
>>>>> >
>>>>> >
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