[Advaita-l] What is avidyA vR^itti as against antaHkaraNa vR^itti?

H S Chandramouli hschandramouli at gmail.com
Mon Jul 27 22:32:54 CDT 2015

Dear  Sri Anand Ji,

Is not sopadika bhranti ( सोपाधिक भ्रान्ति ) considered avidya vritti ,
even though it can be classified as objective knowledge ? Please clarify.

Regards and Pranams

On Sun, Jul 26, 2015 at 11:10 PM, Anand Hudli via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> An attempt to answer some questions.
> The difference between objective knowledge and subjective knowledge lies in
> the capability of the former type of knowledge to be *directly*
> (aparokSheNa) conveyed or used in dealings (vyavahAra) with people other
> than the person who has this knowledge. For example, if you see a pot, you
> may point it out to others, "this is a pot", and they too will have the
> same direct perception of the pot. On the other hand, if you feel happy,
> you cannot *directly* convey this feeling to me. There is no way for me to
> *directly* feel what you are feeling. You may express your feeling with
> some act, words, etc. that allows me to understand your feeling, but this
> only gives me an *indirect* knowledge. Coming to illusions such as a
> silver-nacre, the advaitasiddhi holds that two cognitions are involved
> here. In the (erroneous) cognition, "this is silver", the "this" (idam)
> part is objective, but the "silver" (rajatam) part is subjective. Why? When
> a person seeing illusory silver says, "this is silver", another person in
> the vicinity will certainly see some object as the first person did, but
> he/she may not see the object as silver. It is possible the second person
> is not affected by the illusion, and may, in fact, see the nacre, not
> silver. So the agreement between the first person and the second person is
> that there is "something" out there. The knowledge of "something" is
> objective and is common to both persons. However, the knowledge of "silver"
> is restricted to the first person who is affected by the illusion. The
> second person may have the knowledge of nacre, not silver. This is why it
> is said avidyAvRtti can be prAtibhAsika or vyAvahArika.
> If we look "under the hood" and try to understand what is anataHkaraNa
> vRtti and what is avidyAvRtti, it is important to note that objective
> knowledge, called "pramA", is gained through a pramANa (means of knowledge,
> such as perception, inference, scriptures, etc), while subjective
> knowledge, including the prAtibhAsika type, is not so obtained. In the case
> of subjective knowledge, the witness-consciousness (sAkShicaitanya)
> cognizes it without the need for antaHkaraNavRtti.  In contrast, objective
> knowledge gained through a pramANa results in the modification of the
> antaHkaraNa (mind), called antaHkaraNavRtti. MahamahopAdhyAya Abhyankar has
> remarked in his commentary on the siddhAntabindu (dashashlokI):
> apramAjnAnaM na manovRttirUpaM kiMtu avidyAvRttirUpaM sAkShyAshrayam.
> Anand
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