[Advaita-l] The Treatment of Avidya in Advaita - Part 1

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Tue Apr 27 14:00:42 CDT 2010

> See prabhuji, here context is 'avidyA' and its usage in prasthAna trayi 
> bhAshya as 'adhyAsa'. Please note this is NOT the context of bandha & 
> mOksha & it is not the discussion about 'what needs for liberation'...When 
> you are analysing the cause for 'bandha' you can not quote a sentence that 
> is talking about 'mOksha' :-)) Yes, there is a mention of self knowledge 

I think this line  of argument is getting really ridiculous. Bhaskar, although
you requested me to ignore your postings and although Sri Subrahmanian
can answer your comments directly, let me make some observations here,
beginning with stating my admiration of your penchant to argue everything
with such enthusiasm too!

When someone examines any topic in advaita and makes an observation
or conclusion different from yours (by this I mean not you alone personally,
but many people wedded to the particular interpretation of Sri SSS), the
response is, (a) one should look only at the adhyAsa-bhAshya, either in
exclusion to everything else or as a yardstick to measure everything else,
or (b) why read so many other commentators?, or (c) why spend so much
time on avidyA, rather than on vidyA?, or (d) how is this relevant for a
jignAsu who is not interested in hair-splitting arguments?


However, when you want to examine the same topic in advaita and get
into hair-splitting arguments over whether the adhyAsa-bhAshya should
be privileged over all other texts, or when you want to dismiss other sub-
commentators as having fundamentally misunderstood everything, or
when you want to examine avidyA in order to debunk what others say
about it, the answer to others is that they are taking things "out of


Sorry, it doesn't work this way on a discussion list. The context doesn't
get to be decided unilaterally by any one party in a debate or discussion.
The context is established initially by the first poster in any given thread;
it gets refined as others post their own thoughts and may even change
to a completely different emphasis as the discussion progresses. That is
why we use the device of changing the subject line every so often.

Context is not a static entity; it evolves. I think the regular posters on
this list have sufficient intelligence to figure out the context of a given
discussion thread and do not need to be told what they can quote and
at what juncture. If a discussion of avidyA and adhyAsa in the prasthAna
trayI bhAshyas is not intimately tied to a vicAra of bandha-moksha and
does not directly lead to a discussion of bandha and moksha, I fail to see
what will. And if one cannot quote a sentence about moksha when
analyzing the cause for bandha, when indeed can that sentence be

FYI, Sankara bhagavatpAda does not give any title to his introduction
to the sUtrabhAshya. The "adhyAsa bhAshya" is a title given by others
to this small portion of his vast writings. Almost every upanishad bhAshya
also has an introduction; it is just part of Sankara bhagavatpAda's style
of writing commentaries. His introduction to the bRhadAraNyaka bhAshya
is a highly important one too. He has provided an even longer introduction
to the gItA bhAshya and has not provided any commentary on the entire
first chapter of the gItA. One could well hold that everything in the
prasthAna trayI bhAshyas needs to be understood with respect to the
introduction on the gItAbhAshya or the bRhadAraNyaka bhAshya. This
kind of argument ultimately goes nowhere and it would be better if we
drop it and move on to more constructive studies of the texts. 





ps. In previous posts, I have provided ample material clarifying my position
and my problems with your positions. I have not merely given you a "firing",
and I don't think it is right for you to claim so. Re: the yAvad adhikAra sUtra,
I have not found the time yet to discuss it with the detail that it needs. I
had hoped to start over the weekend, but couldn't.

The New Busy is not the too busy. Combine all your e-mail accounts with Hotmail.

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