[Advaita-l] An article on 'avidyA'
bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com
Tue Apr 5 06:07:47 CDT 2011
To the question 'whose ignorance?' the *shastra* answers that as the very
appearance of the *vyAvahArika* is
due to ignorance, the ignorance, *avidyA*, has to be connected to
*brahman*which is the sole existing principle before the arrival of the
The above gives us the impression that avidyA is 'brahmAbhinna' or there
will be duality i.e. brahmA & avidyA right from the beginning and this
would mean 'avidyA' is as eternal & absolute as brahman!! Moreover,
vyavahArAteeta avidyA which has 'existence' on par with absolute brahman
cannot go 'vyavahArAtmaka' shrutivAkya shravaNa, mananAdi sAdhana!!
Putting all these speculations to rest, shankara clarifies the status of
avidyA in advaita vedAnta in sutra bhAshya. Here pUrva paxi asks a
question to whom does this avidyA pertain?? the answer vedAnti gives is :
to 'you' who are asking this question. pUrva paxi counters : but I am
taught by the shruti that I am Ishwara/brahman himself, how can I have
this ignorance?? for this objection, siddhAnti answers : in that case,
if you realize & awaken to that truth then there is no avidyA at all to
Ofcourse, we say anAdi avidyA, but it does not mean avidyA has the status
of vyavahArAteeta and sitting on par with brahman. avidyA is anAdi
because it is itself the conjurer of time in which any series can be
conceived to exist. In the advaita siddhAnta, avidyA is NO actual concept
of Atman to 'connect' it to the Atman it is because of the simple reason
that Atman/brahman can never be perceived by the mind!!
But as usual, for this explanation also we have a difference of opinion
within the advaitin circle :-))
Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!
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