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

Srinivasan Krishnamoorthy ksri2006 at gmail.com
Sun May 29 08:28:35 EDT 2022

Hi, please guide me as to how compare Brahma Sutra and Yoga Sutra of
dr.srinivasan k iyer

On Fri, May 27, 2022 at 10:20 AM Vinodh via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> Sri Michael,
> Fully in agreement with the SSS quote.
> When clay appears in a particular form (roopa) it gets the name (naama)
> “pot”. But the pot is not an entity separate from the clay at all. That one
> thinks it to be so is the ignorance.
> When gold appears in a particular form it gets the name “ornament”. But the
> ornament is not separate from the gold at all. That one thinks it to be so
> is the ignorance.
> Brahman appears in various forms and it gets various names accordingly. But
> all the naama-roopa are not entities separate the Brahman at all. That one
> thinks it to be so is the ignorance.
> Therefore all names and forma are not separate from Brahman. Brahman is sat
> (existence) and chit-svaroopam (nature of consciousness/cognition).
> Therefore all names and forms are also sat and they are perceived in that
> same chit-svaroopa. The maya is that they appear to be separate entities
> from Brahman.
> There arises no question of asat here because asat is of the nature of that
> which cannot be grasped (cognized), that which is non-existent. Asat cannot
> lead to something that can be cognized (sat) either. Therefore, nothing is
> asat, including avidya, maya, and the jagat which is perceived, nor are
> they caused by asat.
> On Tue 24. May 2022 at 15:50, Michael Chandra Cohen <
> michaelchandra108 at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Dear Vinodh, namaste
> > Yes, SSS demands subtlety of argument. One scholar reads SSS as teaching
> > "extraordinary tarka" as method. Comment below:
> >
> > > My response can refer to your comment, "These essentially correspond to
> > > paramArtha sat and vyAvahArika sat respectively."  Terminology is
> > > questionable, i,e,. vyAvahArika 'sat'. The implication of bhavarupa
> leads
> > > to the consequence of taking vyAvahAra as some kind of 'sat' which
> > enables
> > > categories of 'absence' and 'presence'. My earlier comment questions
> the
> > > status of vyAvahAra as 'sat' rather than asat or adhyasa.
> >
> >
> > Vyavaharika sat is also sat only and completely non-separate from
> Brahman.
> > Is the pot separate  from the clay? Is an ornament separate from gold? Or
> > is the snake separate from the rope? Not at all. That we see the pot, the
> > ornament, and the snake as something separate from the underlying
> > substratum is the maya. There that we see vyavaharika sat as a separate
> > entity from the paramarthika Atma is the illusion. This is also sat, that
> > is also sat. Sat comes out of sat. Asat never comes into existence
> > fundamentally or through maya, just like the son of a barren woman —
> > Gaudapada says this in the very next karika after the one you have quoted
> > (3.28).
> >
> > The issue is asat, not sat. One of the key distinctions between bhasya
> > Sankara and post Sankara Vedanta is the usage oi namarupa as the material
> > creation compared with maya shakti, sadasat vilakshana anirvacaniya, jada
> > bija, mithya ajnana. The latter are positive bhavarupa entities. The
> > former, epistemological entities only - non-existent as they appear, real
> > as they are truly. Here's a nice quote on the same:
> >
> > "Objection: Then, is this world not Sat now? It is qualified (as Sat) in
> > the beginning!
> >
> >
> > Answer: Not so. Then why the qualification (in the beginning)? What is
> > meant is that even now it is Sat but it is accompanied by differentiation
> > of name and form, and is understood (from the śabda-buddhi) by the term
> > 'this' (idam - in the verse idamagra). Before birth, in the beginning,
> > however, it was understood only through the śabda-buddhi of the term Sat.
> > Hence, it is emphasised please check red underscores that 'in the
> beginning
> > this was Sat only’. Is there any doubt that an entity can be apprehended
> > before it is said to have such and such name and form? This is exactly as
> > during the time of deep-sleep (suṣupti kāla; description follows). What
> is
> > meant is that immediately upon waking from deep sleep, one determines the
> > is-ness as - ‘Sat was the only entity (vastu) during deep sleep’ -
> > similarly, (one should apprehend that) it was, in the beginning or before
> > the birth of the universe. It is similar to how all this (jagat) is
> usually
> > spoken of. Chbh6.2.1"
> >
> >
> > > The same reasoning applies to the earlier topic of efficient and
> material
> > > causation. I provided the link to section 131 to highlight SSS's
> > > clarification,
> > > "And again, the strict Advaitin accepts (according to the opponent)
> that
> > > absence of knowledge is the root-Ignorance causing wrong knowledge, and
> > > that wrong knowledge arises from it. In this \vay he accepts that the
> > > existent arises from the non-existent, which contrad~cts received
> canons
> > of
> > > knowledge. Nor can he claim that he does not teach the rise of being
> from
> > > non-being by saying that superimposition is a modification of the mind,
> > and
> > > has the mind for its material cause. For the mind itself presupposes a
> > > material cause, and the demand for a first cause cannot on this basis
> be
> > > satisfied. So, because the strict Advaitin cannot account either for an
> > > efficient or for a material cause of Ignorance, his whole system is
> > faulty.
> > > But all this argument only arises from 'ignorance'. We do not admit
> that
> > > Ignorance is either the efficient or the material cause of the world,
> > since
> > > it has no real existence at all." Heart of Sri Samkara p135
> >
> >
> > This is a very subtle argument that SSS renders against the opposing view
> > who accuses Advaita as proposing the existent (wrong knowledge) to come
> out
> > of something non-existent (absence of knowledge). He does so by first
> > pointing out that this very view of the opponent arises from ‘ignorance’.
> > In this way, he points out to the apparent locus of ignorance, which is
> > centered on the view of opponent. He continues then by declaring the
> > pararamathika view that nothing other than Brahman, including ignorance,
> > has any real existence. The existence of everything else is out of maya.
> It
> > is in this cocntext that he quotes Gaudapada karika 3.27.
> >
> > In essence, from a vyavaharika standpoint, ignorance “appears” exist and
> > cause adhyasa etc. However, to whom is does vyavaharika view make sense?
> > Only to the one who ignorant. For one who sees nothing other than the
> > non-dual Brahman, where is the world or its cause? As an analogy, it is
> > only to the one who sees the snake in the rope or the silver in the shell
> > that an explanation about ignorance of the underlying substratum and a
> > superimposed entity make sense. Because it is he who is ignorant of the
> > truth and asks questions about vyavahara (illusions that he perceives).
> For
> > the one who sees nothing but the truth all such doubts hve disappeared
> > because he no longer sees any illusions.
> >
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