[Advaita-l] Body is the disease
H S Chandramouli
hschandramouli at gmail.com
Tue Jan 14 02:04:50 CST 2014
H S Chandramouli
Dear Sri Anandji,
< Although avidyA is
spoken of as having Ishvara (Brahman) as the Ashraya, what is meant is that
the content of avidyA is Brahman, not the locus of avidyA, because it is
not possible for Brahman, whose nature is vidyA (knowledge), to be the
locus of avidyA.>
No doubt It is not possible for Brahman, whose nature is Vidya ( knowledge
) , to be the locus of avidya if both have the same level of reality (
sama satta ).But It certainly is possible if they are different levels of
reality ( vishama satta ). And that is the situation here.
< if you ask - whose is avidyA?
We say it is yours who ask thus. Again, in the gItA bhAshya, Shankara says
as much (13.2): avidyA kasya, yasya dRshyate tasyaiva. Whose is ignorance?
It is his by whom it is seen.>.
This is taken as a hint that Sri Bhagavatpada considers jiva as the locus
of avidya. You will notice that the entire statement refers to one level of
reality only, namely vyavaharika level. Then the locus could be jiva. But
the earlier question was with reference to Brahman being the locus of
avidya , which refers to two different levels of reality paramarthika /
vyavaharika So the answer should take that into consideration. Once that
is done Brahman can only be the locus of Avidya.
On Mon, Jan 13, 2014 at 11:27 AM, Anand Hudli <anandhudli at hotmail.com>wrote:
> Two questions may be asked of avidyA (ignorance). For example, if a person
> does not know a pot, we may say he/she has ignorance regarding the pot. In
> other words, the locus (Ashraya) of ignorance is the person while the
> content (viShaya) of ignorance is the pot itself. Basically, the locus is
> the answer to the question: Who has the ignorance or who is ignorant? The
> content is the answer to the question: What is the ignorance regarding? We
> may ask the same two questions of ignorance regarding Brahman. Who has
> avidyA? What is the avidyA regarding? In this case, all advaitins agree
> that the content (viShaya) of avidyA is Brahman, but not so on the first
> question. According to the VivaraNa school, the locus of avidyA is Brahman,
> but the bhAmatI school takes the locus of avidyA to be the individual soul
> (jIva). Shankara says in his sUtra bhAShya (1.4.3): avidyātmikā hi
> bījaśaktiravyaktaśabdanirdeśyā *parameśvarāśrayā* māyāmayī mahāsuptiḥ,
> yasyāṃ svarūpapratibodharahitāḥ śerate saṃsāriṇo jīvāḥ / . Here Shankara's
> position that avidyA has its locus (Ashraya) in Ishvara has been
> interpreted by bhAmatIkAra vAcaspati mishra as jIvAdhikaraNApyavidyA
> nimittatayA viShayatayA vA IshvaramAshrayata iti IshvarAshrayetyucyate na
> tu AdhAratayA vidyAsvabhAve brahmaNi tadanupapatteH. Although avidyA is
> spoken of as having Ishvara (Brahman) as the Ashraya, what is meant is that
> the content of avidyA is Brahman, not the locus of avidyA, because it is
> not possible for Brahman, whose nature is vidyA (knowledge), to be the
> locus of avidyA. Besides, Shankara has also hinted that the jIva is locus
> of avidyA in his sUtra bhAShya 4.1.3: kasya punaḥ ayam aprabodha iti cet
> / yas tvaṃ pṛcchasi tasya ta iti vadāmaḥ /, if you ask - whose is avidyA?
> We say it is yours who ask thus. Again, in the gItA bhAshya, Shankara says
> as much (13.2): avidyA kasya, yasya dRshyate tasyaiva. Whose is ignorance?
> It is his by whom it is seen.
> Therefore, vAcaspati declares (1.1.4), na avidyA brahmAshrayA, kintu jIve,
> sA tvanirvacanIyetyuktam, tena nityashuddhameva brahma, the locus of
> ignorance is not Brahman, but the individual soul, jIva. And that avidyA
> has been stated to be anirvacanIyA, not definable as sat or asat. It
> follows that Brahman is ever pure (i.e. not tainted by ignorance). An
> objection is also met by vAcaspati. It is said that jIva is Brahman with
> avidyA as the upAdhi. However, according to bhAmatI, jIva is also the locus
> or substratum of avidyA. Therefore, there is a circular dependency between
> the two. We cannot understand the concept of jIva without avidyA and we
> cannot understand the concept of avidyA without jIva. It is therefore not
> possible to establish either concept. As stated by vAcaspati, this
> objection is, avidyopAdhibhedAdhIno jIvabhedo, jIvabhedAdhinashca
> avidyopAdhibheda iti parasparAshrayAdubhayAsiddhiriti. And he answers the
> objection by citing the example of the seed and sprout (bIjAnkura nyAya).
> The seed is the cause of the sprout and the sprout is the cause of the
> seed. But we accept this in everyday life, because it is impossible to say
> which came first - the seed or the sprout. Both are without a beginning,
> anAdi. So vAcaspati says that because of the anAditva of jIva and avidyA,
> both have to be accepted as established. anditvAdbIjAMkuravadubhayasiddheH.
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