[Advaita-l] Paul Hacker on Avidya in Brahma Sutras

Venkatraghavan S agnimile at gmail.com
Tue May 17 15:00:11 EDT 2022

Namaste Raghav ji,
Thank you.

On Tue, 17 May 2022, 04:10 Raghav Kumar Dwivedula via Advaita-l, <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> Namaste Venkatraghavan ji
> Thank you for your lucid post.
> Can we have a laukika example where avidyA is only the nimitta kAraNam and
> not both nimitta and upAdAna kAraNam?

Can we take the example of a person due to avidyA centred on "the way to
> reach Gangotri" takes a wrong route and ends up at Yamunotri and
> experiences Yamunotri? In this case avidyA was the nimitta for his landing
> in and experiencing Yamunotri instead of Gangotri. But even upon realising
> his mistake, he is going to continue to be in Yamunotri; he is not going to
> cease experiencing Yamunotri.

As far as I know, all bhrama in advaita is explained by anirvachanIya
khyAti, which requires avidyA as the upAdAna kAraNa. In the case of
prAtibhAsika things, the upAdAna kAraNa is tUlAvidyA - e.g. the case of the
rope snake, shell silver etc. In the case of vyAvahArika things, the
upAdAna kAraNa is mUlAvidyA.

In the path to Yamunotri being mistaken for the path to Gangotri, the
avidyA of the path to Yamunotri undergoes pariNAma to appear as the path to
Gangotri to the person. When he reaches Yamunotri, his avidyA of the path
to Yamunotri is destroyed, leading to the sublation of the illusion of that
being the path to Gangotri. Here too, the avidyA is not just the nimitta
for the adhyAsa, it is also the upAdAna.

> Also in the case of the jnAnI - can we say that *if* avidyA had been only a
> nimitta kAraNam for samsAra, then the kleshas like rAga dveShas alone would
> have been destroyed (upon the arising of jnAnam) while the cycle of births
> etc., would have *indefinitely* continued for even a jnAnI notwithstanding
> his jnAna? Because (under the assumption of) avidyA not being the upAdAna
> kAraNam, there is no reason for the cessation altogether of the cycle of
> janmas etc., upon jnAnam, since their (continued embodiments')  upAdAnam is
> not destroyed - only the rAga dveSha and abhiniveSha would be removed.
> Not just for a jnAni, for anyone who experiences an adhyAsa - the
sublation of the adhyAsa is only possible if ignorance is the material
cause of the adhyAsa. Without avidyA as the material cause, there is
neither the adhyAsa, nor is there its sublation.


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