[Advaita-l] adhyAsa - part XI - its cause

Jay Nelamangala jay at r-c-i.com
Wed Jun 11 08:16:55 CDT 2003

So,  the first kind of superposition admits of usage that points
to both identity and difference but denies mutual difference
(anyOnyabhAva);  the second kind does not give room for the
usage that points to difference.

So far it is established that superposition is an effect positive in
character.  At this stage,  one may suppose that superposition
is not a fact,  because it has no material cause.  This supposition
is not correct.  Superposition always presupposes nescience.  We
superpose silver on a shell only when there is the nescience of shell.
>From this it follows that nescience is the material cause of 

    It seems to be possible to explain the appearance and 
disappearance of superposition in quite a different way.  It is obvious
that the knowledge of reality does not give room for superposition.
If the shell is grasped as shell,  then silver can never be superposed
on it.   This implies that there will be superposition when there is the
absence of the knowledge of reality.  If this is the explanation of
appearnace and disappearance of superposition, then it is difficult
to determine nescience as the material cause of superposition merely
on the supposition that the appearance and disappearance of superposition
gives a clue to its cause.

    In meeting this objection, we have first to make it clear how the 
knowledge of reality gives no room for superposition.
The knowledge of reality may be regarded as an obstruction
to superposition or as something opposed to superposition.
In either case, it gives no room for superposition.

Let us consider the first case that knowledge of reality is an obstruction
to superposition.   What do we mean by obstruction, let us make it
clear first.  We regard something as an obstruction,  only when
it opposes the production of effect, when all the causes are fully
operated.  From this it follows that obstruction appears only when there
is full operation of the cause.

Similarly the knowledge of reality, the supposed obstruction to
superposition also ought to appear when the causes of superposition
have fully operated.  This is not the case at all.  Defects of sense organs,
defects such as glitter, darkness are the causes of superposition.
We superpose silver on shell only due to conditions such as defective eye,
and defective conditions,  and therefore cannot give the correct apprehension
of the shell.  When the conditions are defective,  the activity of the sense organ
is defective.  If the knowledge of reality is to be an obstruction, it must
appear only when there are the causes of superposition like the defect
of the sense-organ etc.  But this is contradiction in terms.

    The knowledge of reality can only be the result of the activity of a sound
sense-organ.  It can never appear when the sense-organ is defective.  From
this it follows that there can be the knowledge of reality only when the defect
of sense-organ etc., the causes of superposition are absent.  This clearly
shows that the knolwedge of reality can never be an obstruction.  So, it is
irrelevant to take the knowledge of reality into consideration in explaining
the appearance and disappearance of superposition.

So, it must be true that knowledge of reality is not an obstruction to 
superposition, but knowledge of reality  is opposed to superposition.
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