[Advaita-l] Sringeri AchAryas on the vivaraNa - the cause of adhyAsa (3)

bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com
Tue Apr 10 03:19:15 CDT 2007

praNAms Sri Anand Hudli prabhuji
Hare Krishna

I heard that you are in Bangalore...Despite several requests till today you
have not granted me permission to meet you in person :-))...Anyway, thanks
for taking time to address some of the issues.   With the permission of my
masters Sri Vidya prabhuji & Sri Jaldhar prabhuji I would like to continue
this discussion on some philosophical issues.

AH prabhuji:

There could be several reasons why Shankara does not explicitly mention
bhAva-rUpa-ajnAna in his adhyAsa bhAShya.

bhaskar :

Not only in adhyAsa bhAshya..As far as I know in the whole works of
prasthAna trayi bhAshya shankara nowhere used the terminology bhAvarUpa
avidyA / mUlAvidyA to explain the adhyAsa part of advaita siddhAnta.  For
that matter, I believe neither Sri GaudapAdAchArya, the paramaguru of
shankara nor Sri SureshwarAchArya, direct disciple of shankara have used in
their principal works even a single word about *mUlAvidyA*...If you find it
kindly let me know.  Whereas one can find there are abundant usage of words
like mUlaprakruti, bIja, shakti, avyakta, avyAkruta, mAyA to describe the
phenomena of nAma & rUpa...But there is no substantial evidence to prove
these terms denoting the adhyAsOpadAna kAraNa bhAvarUpa avidyA i.e.

AH prabhuji:

He uses the word "naisargika"  (natural) more than once in talking about
adhyAsa. So Shankara is describing this natural phenomenon adhyAsa and how
it operates in  humans and animals alike, making his observations, by and
large, without quoting from the

bhaskar :

You are absolutely right prabhuji...there is hardly any reference to
support the theory of differentiation between adhyAsa & avidyA to assert
avidyA is the upAdAna kAraNa for adhyAsa...Shankara is quite clear here
when he is mentioning that *adhyAsa is itself avidyA* (adhyAsaM paNditA
avidyEte maNyante--reference vide adhyAsa bhAshya) .

AH prabhuji :

The shruti is primarily meant for revealing to us that which we do
not see otherwise or are not able to infer otherwise through reasoning. The

thrust of Shankara's argument is that the evil of adhyAsa afflicts us and
can only be destroyed through the study of VedAnta. The aim of the
introduction is to lead us to the study of VedAnta and not to dig deeper
get into an analysis of adhyAsa and its cause, which will be done anyway
later during the study of VedAnta.

bhaskar :

shankara in his preamble to sUtra bhAshya deals with adhyAsa quite
elaborately on the basis of the *lOkAnubhAva*.  That is the reason why he
has not taken any pramANa vachana from shruti-s...If at all there is an
upAdaNa kAraNa for adhyAsa shankara would have definitely, atleast at one
place mentioned about it...because one can easily see the *main topic* of
this introduction to sUtra bhAshya  is *adhyAsa*...as you know, that is why
it is popularly called *adhyAsa bhAshya*...If bhAvarUpa/mUlAvidya is not
here I dont know how can it be there somewhere else!!!!

AH prabhuji:

It is only with the help of shruti and reasoning consistent with the shruti
will we be able to do this analysis. This also does not mean that the
shruti is only preoccupied in analyzing adhyAsa. Its main topic is Brahman.

bhaskar :

Again, shankara is quite clear here that shrutis' purport is there to teach
us the knowledge of the unity of Atman...(atmaikatva vidyA pratipattaye)&
it does not anyway mean *adhyAsa* also can be parallelly analysed with the
help of shruti & reasoning!!  If at all nAsadIya sUkta of rigvEda
supporting mUlAvidyA, why shankara not treated this as shruti support to
put it in adhyAsa bhAshya or somewhere else in his prasthAna trayi

AH prabhuji:

The other point raised about PadmapAda's usage of the word mithyAjnAna is
already addressed in the first part. I have noticed that the same points or

"doubts" keep coming up even after appropriate responses. In such cases, it

is better to use time for other purposes.

bhaskar :

Ananda prabhuji,  please note in all your mUlAvidyA series you have
provided only vyAkhyAnakAra-s explanations on mUlAvidyA...That cannot be
the *mutually agreed* valid pramANa when someone questioning the very
truthfulness of these vyAkhyAna-s to shankara siddhAnta.  As you know,
despite the fact that  all vyAkhyAnakAra-s (from bhAmati & vivaraNa
schools) are profound scholars & knowers of tradition (saMpradAyavits)there
is no harmonious agreement among them..they donot accept one another's
interpretations or opinions. You yourself pointed out one of those points
with regard to *locus of avidyA* in your mail.  Under these circumstances
dont you think it is quite but reasonable to seek the concurrence &
confirmation of bhagavadpAda for certain issues???  As you know, if there
is any conflict between shruti & smruti, as a rule of vEdic law shruti
alone is accepted as antya pramANa...Likewise, in advaita sampradAya we
have to give utmost importance/validity to the statement of bhagavadpAda
when it comes to *siddhAnta nirNaya*..I hope being a genuine follower of
tradition you wont disagree with me on this issue...

Now let us come to the topic mithyAjnAna, if we examine the vivaraNa
schools broken/split of shankara's word mithyAjnAna as *mithyA ajnAna
nimittaH* and subsequent statements such as,  'this ajnAna in bhAvarUpa is
anirvachanIya' and 'this is also the upAdAna cause for adhyAsa & world
etc.' it is quite clear that we can hardly find any weighty support from
bhagavadpAda's bhAshya vAkya-s. You have not given a single reference from
bhagavadpAda's commentary  to the effect that where exactly shankara
mentioned about this *anirvachanIya mUlAvidyA*..So till you show
substantial evidence from mUla bhAshya, the vyAkhyAna presented by you
about *mithyAjnAna* is not acceptable to those who want to stick to
bhagavadpAda's mUla bhAshya.

I shall stop here & from the second part of your series I shall show how
vyAkhyAnakAra-s go against shankara's own assertion with regard to avidyA
vishaya (subject matter) & Ashraya (locus).


Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!

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