[Advaita-l] Some questions on 'khyAti vAda-s' - Theories of/on Error

Anand Hudli ahudli at gmail.com
Fri Apr 23 07:10:31 CDT 2010

V Subrahmanian wrote:
>1. The rule, in part, that Advaitins hold: असत् चेत् न प्रतीयेत [ if it is
>non-existent, it would / could not have appeared for cognition.
>प्रतीतिविषयं नैव स्यात् ] seems to have been broken.
Yes, but this rule is not established by advaitins. Almost every school
holds this rule to be sacred. More on this in the second part.
>2. How is their definition not different from this definition of the second
>mithyAtva of the AdvaitasiddhiH:
>प्रतिपन्नोपाधौ त्रैकालिकनिषेधप्रतियोगित्वं वा मिथ्यात्वम् ?
>[mithyAtva is that condition of (an object) being the subject of negation
>all three periods of time in the locus where it is perceived (erroneously)]
>Have I missed to see something very fundamental?
The second definition of mithyAtva in the advaitasiddhi and the discussion
on it
which answers the above question are available at :


Briefly, the difference between asat and anirvachanIya is that the latter is
capable of being cognized as
existing in a real substratum. The asat entity cannot ever be cognized thus.
GauDapAdAchArya's kArikA
is worth mentioning again:
असतो मायया जन्म तत्त्वतो नैव युज्यते ।
वन्ध्यापुत्रो न तत्त्वेन मायया वाऽपि जायते ॥
There can be no birth of a purely nonexistent thing either through mAyA or
in reality.
A barren-woman's son cannot be born either through mAyA or in reality.

A nonexistent entity (tuchchha) cannot be cognized even in an illusion. For
example, there can never be
an illusion where a hare with a horn is superimposed on, say, a block of
wood. Nobody can mistake a distant
pillar for man with horns. Nobody says, "I see a vandhyAputra standing over
there", and then upon going closer,
"Oh! It is not a vandhyAputra. It is only a sign post!" Such an illusion can
never happen.

In contrast, an anirvachanIya vastu can be cognized as existing in a real
substratum, before sublation
(bAdhAtpUrvam). A distant sign post is mistaken for a man, a rope for a
snake, and so on. Even though,
after the illusion ends, one says, "The snake was never there at all. It is
not there now. And it will never
be there in the future. It was all false.", still one admits, "Yes. I did
see the snake during the illusion."
This is the critical difference.


More information about the Advaita-l mailing list