[Advaita-l] SSS, avidyA, shrI Ramakrishnan

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Sat May 19 11:42:05 CDT 2007

--- Annapureddy Siddhartha Reddy <annapureddy at gmail.com> wrote:


> You stated the position of SSS to be "avidyA is the mutual
> superimposition of the real and unreal by the mind" (Pg. 8 of your
> paper, just before the summary on avidyA). I feel this is not the
> case
> at all.

I think you missed out reading page 5 of Rama's paper, where SSS
himself is quoted as saying in one of his own works (direct English
quote - not a translation!):

"AvidyA is subjective and has been explained by Sankara as the
natural tendency of the mind to superimpose the self and the not-self
on each other."

The reference is given as page 9 of:

[7] Svami Satchidanandendra Sarasvati. Misconceptions About Sankara.
Adhyatma Prakasha Karyalaya, Hoelenarsipur, Hassan Dist., Karnataka,
India - 573211, 1995.

You really need to read Rama's full paper before concluding that he
has done anything less than a thorough job!

> I feel SSS said "avidyA is the mutual superimposition of
> the
> real and the unreal (unreal also includes the mind btw)", which you
> also hold to be a tenable position. Let me point out the reasons
> why:
> -- If the superimposition is done by the mind, there would be three
> "ontological" categories, namely brahma (the real), the jagat (the
> unreal), and the mind which superimposes the real and the unreal.
> But
> I have not yet come across any statements of SSS which so much as
> discuss the nature of such a mind. What's its status in paramArtha?
> It
> cannot be real (as nirguNa brahma would not be advitIya then) or
> unreal (because we claimed it to be different from the jagat which
> comprises the unreal). Thus, it should be something like
> anirvachanIya, and I have not seen such an exposition from SSS
> (yet).
> Also, given the number of debates on this issue, I would be highly
> surprised if this issue was not pointed out earlier and if SSS did
> not
> have a position on it.

You have just argued against the theory that "the mind does the
superimposition of the Self and not-Self on each other".

If so, your arguments are targeted precisely ***against*** SSS, who
held such a false theory!

> -- SSS always talks of two "entities" - Self and not-Self (Method
> of
> Vedanta, translation by A.J.Alston ch.3, sec. 23, pg. 47). Nowhere
> does mind figure as a separate entity (mind, notion of jIva etc.
> are
> subsumed under anAtma, non-Self).

That is then another point against SSS: why did he say at one point
that the mind does the superimposition of the Self and not-Self, and
at another say that the mind itself is part of the not-Self?



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