[Advaita-l] What is akhaNDArtham - according to advaita siddhi

Venkatraghavan S agnimile at gmail.com
Tue Aug 1 14:07:10 EDT 2017


There was a recent discussion on akhaNDArthatvam in the list. I went back
to the advaita siddhi to read up a little more about the topic. This may be
of interest, so thought I will share.

1)  akhaNDArtham is not nirbhedArthatvam - ie a sentence that conveys that
an object has no bhedam, differences, is not akhaNDArtha vAkya. There are
three vikalpas, possibilities, here

a) akhaNDArtham does not mean that the sentence conveys that the object has
no bheda. Why? because if it did that, there would be two things conveyed
by the sentence - the object itself, and that it has no bheda. It becomes a
sakhaNDa vAkya like 'nirghaTam bhUtalam'. Even though the ground has
nothing on it, by appending the adjective 'pot-less' to the ground, the
sentence conveys both the ground and its potlessness. In a similar way, the
sentence 'brahman nirbhedam' is also not akhaNDArtham, because the sentence
conveys both brahman and its nirbhedatvam.

b) akhaNDArtham does not mean that the object that the sentence conveys,
has no bheda (even though the sentence itself does not convey its
nirbhedatvam). This does not work because even a saguNa vAkya will have
akhaNDArtham. When we say Ishvara sarvajna sarvavit etc, really speaking,
that sarvajnatvam and sarvavittvam are all only adhyasta attributes. Thus
the object conveyed is a nirbheda vastu, but the sentence is not really
akhaNDArtha vAkya. Therefore if this is the definition there will be
ativyApti in saguNa vAkya.

c) akhaNDArtham does not mean that the sentence conveys a nirbheda vastu,
and apart from that object, the sentence does not convey anything
else. This also will not work because the sentence prakrishTa prakAsha:
chandra: which is accepted as having akhaNDArtham, will end up not having
akhaNDArtham because of this definition (avyApti). Why? because the moon is
not a nirbheda vastu, however, this sentence happens to be akhaNDArtham.

If it is counterargued that Brahman, which is satya, has bhedam with
prapancha, which is mithyA. Thus if it is argued that Brahman also is not
nirbhedam, and therefore there can be no akhaNDArtha vAkya if this is the
definition - we will say no, because such a bhedam is not samasattA with
the dharmi, Brahman.  Thus, to clarify, nirbhedam means dharmi samasattAka
bheda rAhityam - the absence of a difference that is of the same order of
reality as the substratum.

However, even with such a definition of nirbhedam, chandra will still not
be nirbhedam (chandra and its bheda with other objects have equal sattA),
and therefore such a definition of akhaNDArtha will not apply to prakriShTA
prakAsha: chandra: sentence, which is a problem.

2) For the same reasons, akhaNDArtham is not nirvisheShArthatvam. It is not
a vAkya that conveys an object that has no visheShas.

3) akhaNDArtham is not - a sentence of non synonymous words, that conveys
only prAtipadika artham.

What is prAtipadika artha? When we say the rAma shabda rUpa, the basic word
is rAma, whereas rAma: conveys rAma + one individual, rAmam conveys rAma +
his nature as an object to a verb, rAmeNa conveys rAma + his nature as an
instrument, etc. Here the root word rAma is prAtipadika artha along which
various meanings are conveyed in various vibhaktis.

Thus this means that akhaNDArtham is not a sentence consisting of non
synonymous words conveying only the root meaning of the word.

Why? This seems to apply to both satyam jnAnam anantam and prakriShTa
prakAsha, but it also applies to sentences that talk about multiple

In the akhaNDArtha vAkya, satyam jnAnam anantam brahma, this definition
seems to apply - satyam, jnAnam, anantam and brahma are not synonymous and
they convey only the prAtipadika artha of brahma with no other vibhakti
artham added to it. Brahma svarUpa is prAtipadika artham, and that is
conveyed through non-synonymous words. Thus this definition applies to
satyam jnAnam anantam brahma.

Similarly, the sentence prakriShta prakAsha: chandra: does not convey
anything more than the prAtipadika artha of chandra: - it does not add
anything apart from the chandra svarUpa.

However, in the sentence "shItoShNa sparshavantau paya:pAvakau" - water is
that which is cold to touch, fire is that which is hot to touch. This
sentence conveys prAtipadikArtha artham however it can be argued that it is
not an akhaNDArtha vAkya because it conveys two different svarUpas.

4) akhaNDArtham is not ekavisheSyhaparatvam - it is not a sentence that
refers to only visheShya, because there is ativyApti in nIlotpalam.

So what is akhaNDArtham? It is aparyAya padAnAm pada vritti smArita
atirikta agochara pramA janakatvam.

It is a sentence of non synonymous words that together lead to a pramA of
only one viShaya - a viShaya which is only (and nothing else) the meaning
recollected through shakti (direct meaning) or lakshaNa (indirect meaning)
of the words.

Alternatively, it is a sentence of non-synomous words that conveys only one
prAtipadika artha.

The first definition is equivalent to the alternative definition.

Thus, there are a few features that need to be met for a sentence to be
called akhaNDArtha vAkya
1) The sentence should consist of words that are not synonyms
2) Only the direct or indirect meaning of the words should be recalled by
the words the sentence, and nothing else - no samsarga, or relations
between the words, or the objects they denote, should be the import of the
sentence. There are some technical reasons why the siddhikAra uses the term
smArita (recollected) as opposed to jnApya (known), but that is to do with
a particular problem that appears in anvitAbhidhAna and abhihitAnvaya vAdas
with jnApya, which is removed with smArita. That discussion is beyond the
scope of this article. We can deal with it later, if necessary.
3) The words of the sentence should together recall only one thing.
4) The sentence should generate pramA

To explain in a laukika context, in the sentence prakrishTaprakAsha:
1) the words prakriShTa, prakAsha:, chandra: are not synonyms
2) This sentence reveals the moon, that is all. Its purpose is not to say
the moon has brightness, but to reveal which object in the night sky is the
moon. It so happens that now, it happens to have  brightness.
3) Thus the words combine together to reveal that one chandrasvarUpa, and
not multiple things.
4) The sentence generates pramA - the moon is the object referred to and
understood and that knowledge is not falsified subsequently. So if today is
pournami and I tell someone prakriShTa prakAsha: chandra: and he knows the
object I am referring to, that knowledge does not get falsified during
amAvAsya. That object the hearer understood as the moon is still the moon,
even if it does not have prakriShTa prakAsha during amAvAsya.

To explain in the satyam jnAnam anantam brahma sentence:
1) the words satyam, jnAnam, anantam and brahma are aparyAya padA: - they
are not synonyms
2) they all refer to the svarUpa of Brahman, and nothing else
3) they do not refer to different aspects or components of Brahman
4) The sentence generates pramA - it is not falsified subsequently. Brahman
is satyam, jnAnam, anantam, and never otherwise.


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