[Advaita-l] Advaita Siddhi series 003 - vipratipatti vAkya

Venkatraghavan S agnimile at gmail.com
Tue Aug 29 03:07:40 EDT 2017


The advaita siddhi begins by identifying the central bone of contention
under debate between the dvaitin and the advaitin. The advaitin wishes to
prove that the only entity that is real is Brahman. It is that one Brahman
that appears as the individual soul - jIva, is worshipped as God - Ishvara,
and is transacted with as the world - prapancha. However, before advaitam
or non-duality is established, it is necessary to prove that duality is
unreal, mithyA.

What is mithya? This question will be elaborately dealt with in the
subsequent chapters, but as a provisional translation, we can call it
unreal. It is not quite that, and we will refine this translation - but for
the moment, this will do.

तत्राद्वैतसिद्धेर्द्वैतमिथ्यात्वसिद्धिपूर्वकत्वात् द्वैतमिथ्यात्वमेव
प्रथममुपपादनीयम् | उपपादनं च स्वपक्षसाधनपरपक्षनिराकरणानाभ्याम् भवतीति
तदुभयं वादजल्पवितण्डानामन्यतमां कथमाश्रित्य सम्पादनीयम् |

तत्राद्वैतसिद्धे: द्वैतमिथ्यात्वसिद्धिपूर्वकत्वात् Now, because duality
needs to established as mithyA, unreal, before the establishment of advaita,
द्वैतमिथ्यात्वमेव प्रथममुपपादनीयम् | it becomes essential to prove that the
world of duality is mithyA first.
उपपादनं च स्वपक्षसाधनपरपक्षनिराकरणानाभ्याम् भवति इति Proof means
substantiating one's own position and disproving the opponent's position
तदुभयं वादजल्पवितण्डानामन्यतमां कथमाश्रित्य सम्पादनीयम् Both these (ie
proving one's own position and disproving the opponent's) can be achieved
by employing any of the three methods of debate - vAda, jalpa, vitaNDa.

The nyAya system outlines the three ways a debate may proceed.
*vAda*, defined as तत्त्वनिर्णयफलं कथा विशेषं. This type of argument is
employed by ego-less seekers of truth, and the main purpose of this
argument is to arrive at the truth of a matter, irrespective of whether
that is the position held by the speaker, or his opponent. This is the best
of the arguments. Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad gIta says वादः प्रवदतामहम् -
amongst the arguments, I am the vAda.
*jalpa*, defined as परपक्षनिराकरणपूर्वक स्वपक्षस्थापनवती विजिगीषु कथा - the
proving of one's position along with the refutation of the opponent's
viewpoint. The bhAShya literature is typically jalpa.
*vitaNDa*, defined as परपक्षनिराकरण मात्रवती स्वपक्षस्थापनरहिता विजिगीषु
कथा - disproving of one's position without seeking to establish one's

The advaitin holds that the world is mithyA, and the dvaitin says that the
world is satyam. Before the debate proper commences, it is customary for
the moderator, the madhyastha to state the topic of the discussion.

*Is the world mithyA or not? *This statement, which encapsulates the
central discussion in the debate is called the vipratipatti vAkya.

Before we begin the debate itself, the first objection arises. The
nyAyAmritakAra's view is that the vipratipatti vAkya need not be said, as
it serves no purpose.

A sentence spoken in a debate cannot be considered as shabda pramANa,
verbal testimony. Its acceptability (or otherwise) is not on the basis of
it being shabda pramANA, but whether it meets the test for anumAna pramANa,
inference. The classic example of anumAna in shAstra is the inference drawn
that the mountain is on fire, not on the basis of visual perception of fire
there, but on the basis of the smoke seen in the mountain.

Now, if a person already knows that fire exists in the mountain, there is
no need to infer fire. Inference is only needed when direct perception of
the thing has not already happened. Therefore the absence of this
knowledge, in other words, the presence of doubt is necessary for inference
to occur. The prima facie view is that vipratipatti vAkya helps generate a

Coming to our debate, if there is certainty amongst everyone that the world
is real, or alternatively if everyone agrees that the world is mithyA,
there is no need to enquire into this question. Therefore enquiry
presupposes a doubt, and vipratipatti vAkya serves as a means to generate
this doubt.  This reason is examined and rejected by the nyAyAmritakAra.

He does so for three reasons.
1) The upaniShad says Atma drashTavyah - the Atma must be known. For this,
it proposes 3 means, sAdhanas - shrotavyah, mantavyah, nidhidhyAsitavyah -
listen to scriptures, contemplate upon them, meditate upon their meaning.
By mantavyah, contemplation aided by anumAna, logical inference, is meant.
Therefore, the upaniShad enjoins the use of anumAna after shravaNam has
occurred. If shravaNam has occurred correctly, there should be certainty
about the Atma. If there is doubt, then shravaNam has not happened
correctly, and has to be repeated. Shruti cannot prescribe a second sAdhana
if the first sAdhana has not been performed adequately. Therefore, doubt
about the Atma should trigger further shravaNam, not anumAna (manana).
Therefore the rule that one must have doubts before one proceeds to anumAna
is incorrect.

2) A person hears thunder and infers the presence of clouds in the sky,
even when he has not seen the clouds. One does not start off with a doubt
whether there are clouds in the sky - he hears the thunder and
automatically infers clouds. Thus, doubt is not a requirement for the
operation of inference.  However, if the person already had seen clouds in
the sky, inference will not produce a new knowledge of the clouds,
therefore it ceases to be a pramANa in that instance. In the
nyAyAmritakAra's view, inference does not require doubt, it requires a lack
of knowledge of the object of inference.

3) However, even if a person has certainty about the object of inference,
anumAna can arise.  The nyAyAmritakAra argues that in some cases, even if
one has certainty about something, one may wish to use logic to prove it.
The desire to prove something by logical inference, sisAdhayiShA
(sAdhayitum icChA) could be a factor for the operation of anumAna.
Therefore when there is certainty about the thing to be proven (sAdhya
niSchaya) and no desire to prove it via logical inference (sisAdhayiSha
rahitatva), anumAna will not arise. Thus, what prevents anumAna is the
certainty about the object, coupled with the absence of sisAdhiySha. In the
case of mananam, even though there is certainty about the Atma after
shravaNam, because there is also a desire to prove the Atma by inference,
mananam is enjoined by scriptures.

However, this is not applicable in the case of vipratipatti vAkya in
question - is the world mithyA or not.

With this as a background, the advaita siddhi offers a provisional reason
for the use of the vipratipatti vAkya.

तत्र च विप्रतिपत्तिजन्यसंशयस्य विचाराङ्गत्वात् मध्यस्थेन आदौ विप्रतिपत्ति:
प्रदर्शनीया | The doubt born out of the vipratipatti vAkya serves as a
useful auxiliary to the enquiry and therefore there is a need for it to be
stated by the moderator in the beginning, as a nyAya shAstra vidhi, a rule
of the debate.

The siddhikAra first outlines the
* nyAyAmritakAra's position:*यद्यपि विप्रतिपत्तिजन्यसंशयस्य न
पक्षतासंपादकतया उपयोगः, सिसाधयिषाविरहसहकृतसाधकमानाभावरूपायाःतस्याः
संशयाघिटतत्वात्; अन्यथा श्रुत्यात्मनिश्चयवतःऽनुमित्स्या तदनुमानं न
स्यात्, वाद्यादीनां निश्चयवत्वेन
संशयाभावादाहार्यसंशयस्यातिप्रसञ्जकत्वाच्च; नापि विप्रतिप्रत्ते: स्वरूपत एव
 पक्षप्रतिपक्षपरिग्रहफलकतयोपयोग:, 'त्वयेदं साधनीयं', 'अनेनेदं दूषणीय'
मित्यादिमध्यस्थवाक्यादेव तल्लाभेन विप्रतिपत्तिवैयर्थ्यात्;

यद्यपि विप्रतिपत्तिजन्यसंशयस्य न पक्षतासंपादकतया उपयोगः While the doubt
born out of the vipratipatti vAkya does not serve as a basis for each
debater to pick his position,
सिसाधयिषाविरहसहकृतसाधकमानाभावरूपायाः तस्याः संशयाघिटतत्वात् the desire to
prove the sAdhya is present and a doubt about the sAdhya is absent (i.e.
there is a desire to examine the issue using anumAna and there is no doubt
about the sAdhya for both parties.) Therefore, there being no obstacle to
commence the enquiry, one need not postulate that a vipratipatti vAkya is
necessarily spoken to justify an enquiry.
अन्यथा श्रुत्यात्मनिश्चयवतःऽनुमित्स्या तदनुमानं न स्यात्  if doubt was a
requirement for anumAna,  there would be no need for mananam after
certainty about the Atma is had shravaNam
वाद्यादीनां निश्चयवत्वेन संशयाभावात् further, as both debaters are certain
about their respective positions, the vipratipatti vAkya will not create a
doubt for them.
jnAna is generated in two ways - AhArya and anAhArya. AhArya is where one
knows his position is wrong but still argues for it, and anAhArya is the
आहार्यसंशयस्य अतिप्रसञ्जकत्वाच्च Now one may assume assume that one has a
doubt and use that as a basis to start enquiry. This is called AhArya
samshaya. The nyAyAmritakAra says that if the doubt is AhArya, the
knowledge resulting from the enquiry that follows such a doubt will be
AhArya, and the enquiry will serve no purpose.
नापि विप्रतिप्रत्ते: स्वरूपत एव  पक्षप्रतिपक्षपरिग्रहफलकतयोपयोग: 'त्वयेदं
साधनीयं', 'अनेनेदं दूषणीय' मित्यादिमध्यस्थवाक्यादेव तल्लाभेन
विप्रतिपत्तिवैयर्थ्यात् even though the debater may not believe his
position, he may choose to argue for it, and the vipratti vAkya may be used
to clarify that one argues for one position, and the other argues for the
other position. The nyAyAmritakAra says this is also not right because the
moderator follows this with another sentence where he tells each debater
"you need to prove this" "he needs to disprove this etc." and thus the
usefulness of vipratipatti is denied.

Until now we had the arguments of the nyAyAmritakAra who set out to prove
the futility of vipratipatti vAkya. Now we commence the *arguments of the
advaita siddhikAra*:

तथापि विप्रतिपत्तिजन्यसंशयस्यानुमित्यनङ्गत्वेऽपि व्युदसनीयतया
विचाराङ्गत्वमस्त्येव | तादृशसंशयं प्रति विप्रतिपत्ते:
क्वचिन्निश्चयादिप्रतिबन्धादजनकत्वेऽपि स्वरूपयोग्यत्वात् | वाद्यादीनाम् च
निश्चयवत्वे नियमाभावात् "निश्चितौ हि वादं कुरुत"
इत्याभिमानिकनिश्चयाभिप्रायं, परपक्षमालंब्याप्यहम्कारिणो विपरीतनिश्चयवत:
जल्पादौ प्रवृत्तिदर्शनात् | तस्मात् समयबन्धादिवत्स्वकर्तव्यनिर्वाहाय
मध्यस्थेन विप्रतिपत्ति: प्रदर्शनीयैव |

तथापि विप्रतिपत्तिजन्यसंशयस्यानुमित्यनङ्गत्वे अपि व्युदसनीयतया
विचाराङ्गत्वं अस्ति एव - even though doubt born of the vipratipatti vAkya
is not a necessary component for the commencement of an enquiry, the
sentence serves a useful purpose in articulating the doubt that will be
removed by the anumAna.
तादृशसंशयं प्रति विप्रतिपत्ते: क्वचिन्निश्चयादिप्रतिबन्धादजनकत्वे अपि
स्वरूपयोग्यत्वात् वाद्यादीनाम् च निश्चयवत्वे नियमाभावात्
Now, while some may have certainty on their positions, and for them the
vipratipatti vAkya will not generate a doubt, there may be others (the
people witnessing the debate may have doubts, for example) who are not
certain and therefore this sentence serves to articulate their doubt.

"निश्चितौ हि वादं कुरुत" इत्याभिमानिकनिश्चयाभिप्रायं,
परपक्षमालंब्याप्यहम्कारिणो विपरीतनिश्चयवत: जल्पादौ प्रवृत्तिदर्शनात्
तस्मात् समयबन्धादिवत्स्वकर्तव्यनिर्वाहाय मध्यस्थेन विप्रतिपत्ति:
Even if a debater may think he has certainty on his position, he may have
doubts too (which he is unaware of). So even for such a speaker, the
vipratipatti vAkya may be useful in revealing their doubt. For example,
even a person of certain positions is sometimes forced to argue the
opposite position in a jalpa katha, and thereby gains certainty of  an
opposite position. Thus a doubt is always possible, even if there is
certainty in the present.
Alternatively, in jalpa katha where there is no doubt, sometimes the
participants may debate several matters in connection with the main content
of a debate. A person may win an argument in a secondary issue, but not the
main issue. Therefore, the purpose of vipratipatti vAkya is to state the
main issue of the discussion, which serves as a basis for the moderator to
fulfil his role in determining the winner and loser of the debate, based on
the winner or loser of that central issue.

In summary, the vipratipatti vAkya serves 3 purposes:
1) it is to ensure that a doubt about the issue to be proven, the sAdhya is
generated, so that a discussion can take place to answer the doubt.
2) even if the speakers have certainty in their positions, the audience may
not have a certainty on the question, and the vipratipatti vAkya creates
the doubt for the audience so that the discussion can serve the purpose of
addressing their doubt.
3) even if everyone has certainty in the matter, vipratipatti vAkya helps
by identifying the main topic of discussion so that the moderator can
determine the winner and loser of the debate.

The previous topic of mangalAcharaNam is available here:

This topic is available here:


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