[Advaita-l] Fw: Presupposition of an agent of action and errors thereof
bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com
bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com
Fri May 11 04:20:02 CDT 2007
praNAms Sri Siva Senani Nori prabhuji
SSN prabhuji :
I am forwarding this again as the first post does not seem to have been
picked up by the list. In case of a repeat, my sincere apologies.
Infact I've been receiving all your mails twice!! One to my ID directly &
another one from the list...If it is intended to the list, there is no need
for marking a copy directly to me. So that duplication of mails can be
Other members of the list be forewarned that this is a lengthy mail with
point by point response to Sri Bhaskar's earlier response regarding "On the
deliberation on vidyA - avidyA in Advaita." The sum and substance is that I
try to establish that Sri Bhaskar's post consists of "a confusion of
frame-works, presupposition of an agent of action, and conclusions based on
prabhuji, thanks for taking the task for doing a detailed analysis &
summarising your conclusions in three sentences..Kindly allow me to clarify
my stand further.
Again, I reiterate that let us not highlight the differences based on
comparisions...It is better to discuss the matter in issue within the frame
work of my mail..Hope you would agree with me.
* Sir, with due respect, I have not yet agreed to subscribe to the
framework of your mail, because there is a difference about your
assumptions, and I have restricted myself to discussion of those
That is fine prabhuji, you are welcome to disagree with me & I am happy to
learn from you if there is any problem with my understanding of the
siddhAnta. But for that rectification work you can stick to the *wrong
assumptions* that you can find in my mail...IMHO there is no necessity to
compare something else with my mail..
As to comparison, who are we kidding here? You had persistently requested
Sri Ramakrishnan to publish the Paper;
and after he published the paper, you had come up with a lengthly mail
dealing with one of the topics presented in the Paper, and, now exhort
members of the list "not to compare". Not done, Bhaskarji.
The reason behind drafting my mail under a separate subject heading &
asking for separate treatment for my mail without any comparision is a well
known fact to you prabhuji...I am not able to understand inspite of my
clarificatin, you are still dragging this issue beyond limits..is it so
painful for you prabhuji if I ask you that favour from you??
1. You insist that knowledge must be consistent with lokAnubhava.
In otherwords, I've just tried to explain in my mail how avidyA is *quite
natural* in our lOkAnubhava. With regard to term *anubhava*, I think I've
explained what is anubhava?? what does it mean when we say sArvatrika
pUrNAnubhava and vaiyuktika anubhava?? and why individual experiences
cannot be a pramANa in brahman jignAsa etc. etc. in my forwarded private
mail to you.
* If the special terminology of SSS differentiates between anubhva and
lokAnubhava, my question remains the same:
I am not able to get it!! I think I have clarified in that mail what is
*individual experience* and what is *universal experience* & how shankara
treats *individual experiences as against universal experience & how brahma
jnAna is anubhavAtmaka Atma jnAna.
SSN prabhuji :
Sruti is the fount; the sArvatrika anubhava by definition has to be what is
granted by Sruti.
If you accept my words that intuition & scriptural verdicts go hand in hand
then there is no hierarchical stages in it!!! Having said this, I once
again insist that shAstra is_not_a_pramANa *directly* revealing the nature
of brahman. Because brahman which we are *talking* here cannot be
expressed by words or sentences, for it has no genus, no quality, no action
or any other specific feature that we can attribute him in an effort to
objectify it. Under these circumstances, at no stretch of our imagination
we can say *shAstra* can directly *reveal* the nature of brahman as such
and such a thing!!... This is what shankara precisely says in
samanvayAdhikaraNa sUtra bhAshya. The knowledge of Atman as enshrined in
shruti-s has to culminate in experience. Hence shankara says in
bruhadAraNyaka bhAshya : A doubt may possibly be entertained regarding the
fruit of a religious rite as to whether or not it would accrue, since the
result is not expected to be within the doer's direct experience. But the
fruit of knowledge of Atman is quite within one's immediate intuition, in
as much as shruti says brahman is *sAkshAt aparOkshAt*..So, it is quite
obvious that noway can shruti *reveal the real nature of brahman* but we do
accept it as a valid pramANa since it eradicates avidyA..& It is further
elevated to antya pramANa (ultimate means) because it shows how the
distinction of pramANa and pramEya accepted in lOka vyavahAra is really due
to avidyA. And there cannot be any trace of pramANa and pramEya after the
knowledge of Atman is dawned & even vEdA-s which are *antya* pramANa are no
vEda-s (atra vEda avEda - bruhadAraNyaka shruti)in that non-dual absolute
2. You maintain avidyA is 'natural to the mind', whereas Sanakra
bhagavtpAda only said it is 'naisargika', that is natural - he did not say
it is natural to the mind.
If the innate avidyA does not pertains to antaHkaraNa (mind) then question
invariably follows for whom this avidyA pertains to??
SSN prabhuji :
* Interesting. I think this is a valid point of discussion. The answers
given by various schools are that ISvara is the locus of avidyA and that
ISvara is the content of avidyA.
Kindly pardon me..I am more interested in knowing what shankara offers for
this question...not other schools...shankara himself says in sUtra bhAshya
*Ishvara* & his ishitavya are valid only in vyAvahArika satya...so what is
It appears according to lOkAnubhava
* let us first establish the prAmANyata of lokAnubhava, as opposed to
pratyaksha, and then admit it as a pramANa
nobody asks pramAna for one's own anubhava....do we ask what is pramANa for
our ignorance?? dont we say it is there in our *anubhava*!!! It is very
strange that you are asking pramANa for anubhava...it is as good as asking
pramAna for pramAnatva of accepted pramANa-s :-))
& shankara's bhAshya vAkya, ignorance pertains to our instruments
(antaHkaraNa ) only. Because :
(a) Shankara does not accept *second* chaitanya to attribute it to the
Jiva...(see bruhadAraNyaka bhAshya 1-4-10)
SSN prabhuji :
* Just like jIva is the second from the pAramArthika point of view, mind
also is a second. There is no second to Brahman - neither jIva nor mind.
>From pAramArthika view point there is no *second* like jIva & mind
etc...brahman & brahman alone is yEkamEva advitIya satya..so there is no
vidyA & avidyA vyavahAra in brahman& in vyavahAra kindly clarify what is
jIva apart from BMI to attribute avidyA to him??
(b) Shankara does not agree that avidyA pertains to *Self* since it is
always nirguNa & nirvishEsha.
* We need to be careful about the point of reference; let us see how:
avidyA does not pertain to self, except from a vyAvahArika point of view.
If not, then who is obtaining moksha? whose avidyA is being removed?
when the process of removal of *avidyA* is over, one would realize that
there was/is/will be NO avidyA at all at any point of time !! when one is
in avidyA questions like above will come..how do these questions arise &
where do they arise?? without identification with upAdhi-s ??
(c) Since vidyA & avidyA is *upAdhi* vyavahAra and there is NO vidyAvidya
vyavahAra in brahman
* the lack of vidyAvidyavyvavahAra in Brahman does not lead to the
conclusion that avidyA is natural to the mind; it only means that there is
no avidyA from the absolute point of view.
you have ignored by first sentence i.e. vidyA & avidyA is *upAdhi*
vyavahAra...if not I request you to come out with a better logical
explanation which is in line with anubhava. We shall take from there
on...Until then it is better to accept what is offered by shankara with
regard to avidyA without inventing new thories.
(d)since shankara while explaining adhyAsa gives the examples of *wrong
cognition* (seeing two moons due to eye defect) *wrong perception* (seeing
silver in place of nacre)& explains adhyAsa as *smruti rUpa* (like memory)
* Examples are only that: they illustrate a point, but do not form the core
The core thesis what you are (or somebody who are trying to find a material
cause for this adhyAsa) assuming here did not get an entry into the
shankara's definition of adhyAsa. does it?? . The examples given to drive
home a point should have some relevance otherwise it will be completely
meaningless & irrelevant...do you mean to say shankara giving here totally
irrelevant examples to define adhyAsa theory?? What is that core thesis
you are referring here?? where shankara did exactly discuss this *core
thesis* of adhyAsa?? where he has given analogies to explain this *core
thesis* of adhyAsa?? kindly point out with appropriate reference.
Let me elaborate. If you are saying that since the Acharya illustrated
adhyAsa by wrong cognition and perception, and by memory, such an
illustration presupposes an antahkaraNa to do the cognizing, perceiving and
memorizing, then that conclusion is incorrect.
So you are telling shankara without bothering about all these
inconsistencies has given the wrong examples with respect to adhyAsa!!!
please note, whatever examples I have given is shankara's own examples when
specifically asked *what is adhyAsa*?? in adhyAsabhAshya. It is but clear
that according to shankara one thing which appears as if it is another is
itself adhyAsa. Kindly note, in this context & in series of examples, the
*vastu tattva* or the essential nature of being of the entity is not
relevant at all..adhyAsa itarEtarAvivEkEna mithAjnAnanimittA
lOkavyavahAraH..having misconceived and as result of that unable to
distinguish one from the other, the general tendency of people are carrying
their trasactions like 'I am this' and 'this is mine' etc. in this manner
the subject matter jnAna alone is mentioned here & NOT second chandra
(moon) or silver literally!! If you need further clarification with regard
to this jnAnAdhyAsa, kindly refer Shankara's gIta bhAshya on
If you impose a pAramArthika point of view on every statement, language is
meaningless. The basic blocks of the grammar of a language, or the
assumptions underlying language, are that there is an agent of action,
action, and object of action; now if you deny differences of karta, karma,
and kriyA language does not operate.
Since we are in vyavahAra we have to keep this distinctions intact for our
regular transactions...but it does not mean that we should forget the
pAramArthik satya as embedded in shruti-s & AchArya vAkya (i.e. pramAtru,
prmANa & pramEya vyavahAra is avidyAtmaka ) especially when we are
discussing pramANa-pramEya vyavahAra.
(e) And in gIta bhAshya shankara clearly says igorance pertains to
*instruments* and NOT to the *user* of instruments & in taitirIya bhAshya
shankara clearly says both vidya & avidyA can be cognized as vishya-s like
* Who is the instrument? The antahkaraNa? But going by your previous logic,
there is no dvitIya to Brahman to act as an instrument, right? (Note: this
is denial by sarcasm, not my view. I do not intend to use the same
technique of imposing an irrelevant frame of reference.) Let us discuss
both the gitA and taittirIyA quotes properly in their context to see how
those quotes do not lead to the conclusion that avidyA is natural to the
please do that first prabhuji, instead of wasting time on sarcasm :-)) You
know after all we are here to learn & not to find fault with others &
making fun out of it!!! Anyway, I shall try to share by understanding with
regard to role of antaHkaraNa in brahma jignAsa in a separate post.
(f) Since shankara used synonyms like viparyaya, viparyAsa, adhyArOpa,
bhrAnti, mOha etc.etc. in place of adhyAsa we have to reckon that this
adhyAsa pertains to mind only.
* You are saying something has to be agent of the action called adhyAsa,
whatever the synonym, and that agent is the antahkaraNa. As I pointed out
in d) above, such reasoning is incorrect.
instead of passing judgement on my observation...would it not be fair on
your part to share what is your understanding on it??
(g) Since the question *to whom is avidyA*?? has to rise its hood ONLY in
dvaita & dvaita is in vyavahAra & vyavahAra we do through upAdhi-s, the
avidyA which we are talking here in dvaita too pertains to upAdhi-s i.e.
* You are simply presupposing the existence of the antahkaraNa and
therefore end up with a view that avidyA is epistemic; somebody else
presupposes the existence of the jagat and they end up with an ontic
I shall try to address this problem in a separate mail on antaHkaraNa.
(h) To a question *to whom this ajnAna*?? In sUtra bhAshya shankara answers
"to you who is asking the question" (see sUtra bhAshya 4-1-3) who is this
*you* shankara referring here?? the person who is wrongly identifying
himself with BMI is it not?? & *asking* the question implies that there is
antaHkaraNa saMbaNdha in the enquirer...Shankara does not cross question
him here like asking "dear one, which avidyA you are asking?? whether it is
epistemic avidyA or ontic avidyA, if it is epistemic then it pertains to
antaHkaraNa & note antaHkaraNa, in turn is the product of mUlAvidyA which
has the ashraya of brahman itself etc. etc. His answer is simple &
straight forward, if you are realized that you are Ishwara, then there is
no avidyA to anybody..(note here shankara says *no avidyA to anybody* in
the normal case the answer should have been "if you are realized that you
are Ishwara, then there is no avidyA to "YOU" )
* The Acharya's answer is consistent with his system, but does not imply
the conclusion drawn by you, as noted in b) above.
In (b) I had said : "Shankara does not agree that avidyA pertains to *Self*
since it is
always nirguNa & nirvishEsha"...Now, you are telling it is the conclusion
drawn by me & not shankara...could you please clarify then what is the
conclusion drawn by shankara by answering :"to you who is asking the
question"...who is "you" here shankara referring??
>From the above references we can easily say that avidyA pertains to
antaHkara & it has nothing to do with socalled jIva which is in reality
non-dual self according to advaita vEdAnta.
* Actually, we see that all the above is a confusion of frame-works,
presupposition of an agent of action, and conclusions based on unsound
I am afraid, you have not done the justice to your judgements...
for that matter Sri GaudapAdAcharya used plenty of words that we can
find in buddhistic texts...that does not mean Sri gaudapAdAchArya is a
buddhist!! vEdAntic terms like jIva, brahma, jagat, avidyA etc. etc. have
equally been used by other dualistic Astika schools too but that does not
mean they are talking advaita...Likewise using terminologies of nyAya &
pUrva mImAmsa to refute those schools or substantiate vEdic school quite
normal & its a regular practice.
* And hence, my question: why do you want to bar those terms in the
Where did I say we have to *bar those terms* in the discussion...I dont
have any problem with terminologies used in those two schools & usage of
the same in our discussion...I only said since shankara himself refuted
those schools of thought (pUrvamImAmsa & nyAya)let us not bring in those
theories in our discussion...
which is also in consonance with intuitive experience.
SSN prabhuji :
* Here starts the difference. If we can agree on what can be used a
pramANa, then a discussion can happen. Let us say, one person says the
Quran is the ultimate authority, and the other says Vedas are; those two
can exchange mails any number of years, without agreeing on anything.
prabhuji you mean to say anubhava & shruti are like vEda & Quran & never
meet each other :-)) Kindly share with us the definition of Anubhava that
you have in mind..I've shared what I meant by anubhav in my mail to you...
The tarka *without* the support of shruti & anubhava
is shushka (dry), vain or empty logic for which the *intellect* alone is
predominant one. Whereas in shrauta tarka (shrutyanugruhIta anubhavAtmaka
tarka)attaches all the importance to intuitive experience. See mAndukya for
example, see, how shruti through detailed analysis of our three states
*experiences* establishes the *turIya* nature of ours...
SSN prabhuji :
* SrutyanugrihIta tarka is fine; anubhavAtmaka tarka is a new imposition,
and I am sure you understand that the whole burden of the analysis of
differences is that.
Its all depend upon how do you understand this term *anubhava* when I say
anubhavAtmaka tarka...As you know, in our day to day affair we have
different types of anubhava like :
(a) *I am writing this mail to you*, it is my pratyaksha anubhava coz. I am
sitting in front of the computer monitor, using keyboard & typing a reply
using my official time:-))...This is my perceptual experience or knowledge.
When I go home & remember this event, then those monitor, keyboard, mouse
etc. etc. donot appear physically to me, the event & the experience of it
is mere 'smruti' (memory) to me. Thus, we can say jnAna is of two kinds
one is anubhava that is through my direct perception and another is smruti
rUpa (in the form of memory)... Also called as *pratyakshAnubhava*
(b) Yesterday I was in my office gym & while jogging on the treadmill, I
felt bit pain in my knee joint..This pain I felt is not pratyakya, it
cannot be perceived like computer monitor, it is only a feeling...Hence
this *vEdanAnubhava* is not pratyakshAnubhava..this type of anubhava does
not mean the cognitive form or pratyaksha rUpa of knowledge. ..It is called
And Now, please note, the anubhavA that which I have been insisting for the
*tarka* is neither of these two types of anubhava-s...The
sArvatrikapUrNAnubhava or sAkshi anubhava is something different from the
above two categories..The nature of this anubhava I've explained to the
best of my ability in my private mail to you. Based on this anubhava
(which is a valid premise I believe since this anubhava is *universal* in
nature) we have to do tarka.
* Thanks, Bhaskarji, that you attach importance to my analysis. You perhaps
have overlooked that the original context of my comment about focussed
analysis is to show the differences in assumption between your Mail and Sri
Ramakrishnan's Paper, which I thought, you do not want. Never mind that and
needless to say, I do not consider lokAnubhava / anubhava / sArvatrika
anubhava / a-vyAktika anubhava, as different from pratyaksha as a pramANa.
Since this mail is stretched too long already, in short, sArvatrika
sAkshyanubhava is not restricted to pratyaksha pramANa...it takes the whole
scenario into consideration.
Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!
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