[Advaita-l] adhyAsa - part VIII - its place in vEdaanta.

Jay Nelamangala jay at r-c-i.com
Thu Jun 5 08:58:26 CDT 2003

Superposition need not presume similarity.  Shell and yellowness
are not similar.  But due to jaundiced eyes,  yellowness is superposed on
the shell in "Shell is yellow".  Similarly,  the superposition of
Atman and anAtman each on the other, may be due to nescience.

Nescience is not something that is conjectured.  It is a matter of direct
experience that the real nature of Atmna i.e, chit and Ananda is covered
from time immemorial.  This covering agent is nescience.  From this it
follows that it is a positive entity.  So, it is not the negation of knowledge.
Since it is given in experience we can not deny it.  If we deny nescience,
then we will have to deny Atman.

    The superimposition of Atman and anAtman is beginningless.  It
consists of attributing to Atman defects like action, enjoyment and 
detachment.  The superimposition of enjoyment presupposes that of
doing.  For the entity that does not do, does not enjoy.  The superimposition
of doing presupposes that of the defects, attachment etc.  For one 
cannot do if one is devoid of attachment.  The superimposition of the
relation of defects on Atman presupposes that of enjoying.  For one
can be attached only to that which one has enjoyed or which is similar
to what one has enjoyed.  Similar considerations apply to the previous
superpositions.  Thus,  the whole course of superposition is 
beginningless as the course of seeds and plants.   In the course of
superposition,  the preceeding ones cause the following ones.

    The common criticism against the theory of superposition is that it
forms a vicious circle - the superposition of the world on Atman 
presupposes the knowledge of it,  and the knowledge of it presupposes
the superposition;  for without knowing a thing we can not superpose it
and without superposing it we can not know it,  since we can know
only that thing which appears.
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