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

Praveen R. Bhat bhatpraveen at gmail.com
Fri May 20 09:48:42 EDT 2022

Namaste Michael ji,

On Fri, May 20, 2022 at 2:43 AM Michael Chandra Cohen <
michaelchandra108 at gmail.com> wrote:

> *Something from nothing is good epistemology, bad ontology. avidya is an
> epistemological error upon an ontological reality. An epistemological
> agrahana commonly produces an effect - not knowing the train's schedule;
> forgetting the wife's birthday. Name and form is all that accounts for what
> we call jagat.    *

Your example cases can also be answered as cases of absence that are not
really causes of anything!
a) A person doesn't know the train's schedule. You might insist that that
is the reason he missed the train. The reason the person missed the train
is because he knew a wrong time, a bhAvarUpa erroneous understanding,
opposed to the right understanding of correct time. Else, not knowing the
train's timing and yet being at the station, one would still board the

b) Forgetting the wife's birthday. You might insist that it led to wife's
anger. The reason for the anger is that the husband remembers everything
else or was busy doing something else valuing that something else more than
remembering the wife's birthday. That is the bhAvarUpa cause. If the
husband forgets the wife's birthday while doing something that the wife
values a lot more wouldn't lead to the wife's anger!

Kind rgds,
--Praveen R. Bhat
/* येनेदं सर्वं विजानाति, तं केन विजानीयात्। Through what should one know
That, owing to which all this is known! [Br.Up. 4.5.15] */

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list