[Advaita-l] Advaita Siddhi series 013 - dvitIya mithyAtva vichAra: (part 5)
agnimile at gmail.com
Fri Oct 20 17:35:06 EDT 2017
The previous posts in this topic are available here:
the the previous post, the nyAyAmritakAra had objected to the absolute
negation in the second definition of mithyAtva. To substantiate his
argument, he had cited a sentence from the panchapAdikA vivaraNa, a highly
respected work within the advaita tradition - "त्रैकालिकनिषेधं प्रति
स्वरूपेणापणस्थं रूप्यं पारमार्थिकत्वाकारेण प्रातिभासिकम् वा प्रतियोगि",
which appears to say that the object of negation in the shell-silver
illusion is the absolutely real silver. If the object of negation is the
real silver, the nature of negation is the negation of its absolute
reality. Thus this is a case of pAramArthikatvena niShedha, as opposed to
svarUpeNa niShedha, which was the position of the siddhikAra. In essence,
the nyAyAmritakAra's argument was that the siddhikAra's position was
contradictory to the vivaraNakAra's.
The siddhikAra had objected to this interpretation of the vivaraNakAra's
words. According to him, the vivaraNakAra meant that the silver appears to
be real, but is in fact prAtibhAsika. What is negated to remove the
illusion is that prAtibhAsika silver, not the real silver. If illusory
silver had appeared, and real silver was negated, the illusion and negation
would not have the same object, and the negation would not be able to
sublate the illusion. The meaning of the vivaraNakAra's words therefore is
- the illusory silver that is seen in the shell, which appears to us as
real as the silver in the shop (ApaNastha rajatam), is the counterpositive
of the absolute negation in all three periods of time. Alternatively, as a
concession to those not satisfied by the previous explanation(tuShyatu
durjana:), the negation is of the silver's reality. However, the
vivaraNAchArya's primary intent was to say that the object of negation was
the prAtibhAsika silver. Thus it is a case of svarUpeNa niShedha. However
pAramArthikatvena niShedha is offered as a concession to those unable to
accept svarUpeNa niShedha.
If the shell in the shop (ApaNastha silver) was not being negated by the
vivaraNakAra, why did he make a reference to it? The siddhikAra says:
एतावदुक्तिश्च पुरोवर्तितादात्म्येनैव रजतं प्रतीयत इति मतनिरासार्थं
लौकिकपारमार्थरजततादात्म्येनापि प्रतीयत इति प्रतिपादयितुं च | It (the
reference to the real silver seen in a shop) is to refute the view that the
only requirement for the superimposition of silver on shell is a similarity
with the object in front (the shell). The vivaraNakAra wants to establish
that in addition to this, similarity is also required with the real silver.
A person has to believe that it is real silver on the ground, otherwise
there would be neither the desire nor the action to pick it. If something
shone like silver, but the person did not think it to be real silver, there
would be no pravritti towards it.
*The interpretation of the vivaraNakAra's words by the siddhikAra is echoed
The siddhikAra wants to say that this interpretation of the vivaraNakAra is
not his own. chitsukhAchArya, in the tattvadIpika has also interpreted this
sentence in a similar fashion.
तदुक्तं तत्त्वदीपिकायां - 'तस्माल्लौकिकपरमार्थरजतमेव नेदं रजतमिति
निषेधप्रतियोगीति पूर्वाचार्याणां वाचोयुक्तिरपि पुरोवर्तिनि रजतार्थिन:
प्रवृत्ति दर्शनात् लौकिकपारमार्थरजतत्वेनापरोक्षतयाप्रतीतस्य कालत्रये अपि
लौकिकपरमार्थरजतमिदम् न भवतीति निषेधप्रतियोगितामङ्गीकृत्य नेतव्ये ' ति |
As has been said in the tattvadIpika -
तस्माल्लौकिकपरमार्थरजतमेव नेदं रजतमिति निषेधप्रतियोगीति पूर्वाचार्याणां
वाचोयुक्तिरपि - therefore, even though the prior AchArya's sentence seems
to indicate that the counter-positive of the negation is the real silver,
पुरोवर्तिनि रजतार्थिन: प्रवृत्ति दर्शनात् लौकिकपारमार्थरजतत्वेनापरोक्षतया
प्रतीतस्य (it has been said ) keeping in view the pravritti, or action of
the one desirous of silver, in picking up the object in front of him,
having directly perceived that object to be the real silver
कालत्रये अपि लौकिकपरमार्थरजतमिदम् न भवतीति however in fact, that this is
not real silver in all three periods of time,
निषेधप्रतियोगितामङ्गीकृत्य नेतव्या must be accepted as the counter-positive
of the negation. That is, that the silver is vyAvahArika is denied.
Seizing on this, the pUrvapakshi raises another objection. He claims that
this sentence proves his point - chitsukhAchArya also says that the object
of negation is the vyAvahArika silver, not the prAtibhAsika silver. The
vivaraNakAra, when talking about mithyAtvam of the shell-silver, is
referring to its absence in all three periods of time. That is, he is
saying the shell silver is mithyA because there is the atyantAbhAvam,
absolute absence of silver in the shell. However, chitsukhAchArya is
talking about anyonyAbhAvam - The shell-silver that is seen is different
from the real silver. We are back to the svarUpeNa niShedha vs.
pAramArthikatvena niShedha debate.
*The difference between anyonyAbhAvam and atyantAbhAvam*
In order to understand whether there is an internal contradiction between
the two AchAryas, we need to understand the differences between
atyantAbhAvam and anyonyAbhAvam.
1) atyantAbhAvam refers to the absolute absence of an object in a place.
anyonyAbhAvam refers to the difference of one object from the other. For
example, when a pot is absent, the naiyyAyika refers to it as pot's
atyantAbhAvam being present. In the same way, a pot is different from a
piece of cloth, which the naiyyAyika describes as the pot having
anyonyAbhAvam with the cloth.
A question may arise, in a negation, when there is a reference to abhAva,
does it refer to atyantAbhAva or anyonyAbhAva? There has to be some rule /
identifying mark that allows us to determine which one of the two is being
2) When speaking of difference, e.g. "a pot is not a cloth", that is, "घट:
पट: न", the pratiyogi of the difference is the cloth. The subject, the
anuyogi, is the pot. Here both the pratiyogi and anuyogi are in prathamA
vibhakti, nominative case.
3) When speaking of absence, e.g. "the pot is not on the ground", that is,
"भूतले घट: नास्ति", the anuyogi is the ground, and the pratiyogi is the
pot. Here the anuyogi is in saptami vibhakti (locative case) whereas the
pratiyogi is in prathamA vibhakti (nominative case).
4) Thus, we can infer a general rule - if negation is conveyed in a
sentence, and the anuyogi-pratiyogi pair have the same case-ending, the
negation is anyonyAbhAva and if they have different case-endings, the
negation is atyantAbhAva.
Coming to our context,
1) When the silver was first seen in the shell, the seer thinks "idam
rajatam", "this is silver".
2) Then he realises that he was wrong before and thinks "na idam rajatam".
Here both idam (this) and rajatam (silver) are in the same vibhakti, thus
this negation is a case of anyonyAbhAva.
3) What is being referred to by the word "idam"? Is it the shell, or is it
the silver that was seen previously? Both are correct. In the former, the
speaker is saying "this (shell) is not silver", and in the latter he is
saying "this (shell-silver) is not (real) silver".
4) If the seer means the previously seen silver by the word "idam", ie if
he thinks that this is not real silver, the counter-positive of the
negation is the vyAvahArika silver that he initially had in mind when he
said "idam rajatam". This is the same silver that the vivaraNAchArya
referred to as "ApaNastha rajatam", the silver in the shop.
5) If this is the case, what is the status of the silver that was actually
seen? If the silver that was seen was not the real silver (vyAvahArika), it
must have been an unreal one (prAtibhAsika). This is mithyAtvam by
arthApatti (implication), or arthAt mithyAtvam.
The siddhikAra says
- अयमाशय: - एकविभक्त्यन्तपदोपस्थापिते धर्मिणि प्रतियोगिनि च नञो
अन्योन्याभावबोधकत्वनियमस्य व्युत्पत्तिबलसिद्धत्वात् 'घट: पटो न भवती 'ति
वाक्यव'दिदं रजतं न भवती'ति वाक्यस्य अन्योन्याभावबोधकत्वे स्थिते
अभिलापजन्यप्रतीतितुल्यत्वादभिलप्यमानप्रतीते: ' नेदं रजत 'मिति
- अयमाशय: - एकविभक्त्यन्तपदोपस्थापिते धर्मिणि प्रतियोगिनि च नञो
अन्योन्याभावबोधकत्वनियमस्य व्युत्पत्तिबलसिद्धत्वात् - the intended meaning
is this - if the pratiyogi (counter-positive) and the dharmi (anuyogi,
substratum/subject) happen to have the same vibhakti anta-pada
(case-endings), the naN (negation) conveys anyonyAbhAva (difference), as
proven by everyday usage (vyutpatti balam = loka vyavahAra)
'घट: पटो न भवती 'ति वाक्यव'दिदं रजतं न भवती'ति वाक्यस्य
अन्योन्याभावबोधकत्वे स्थिते like the sentence "the pot is not the cloth",
the sentence "this is not silver" indicates anyonyAbhAva.
अभिलापजन्यप्रतीतितुल्यत्वादभिलप्यमानप्रतीते: Because usage in the two
sentences is similar, the meaning conveyed by them ought to be similar too
'नेदं रजत'मिति वाक्याभिलप्यप्रतीतेरन्योन्याभावविषयत्वमेव Therefore, the
meaning conveyed by the words in the sentence "this is not silver" is one
of anyonyAbhAva only.
रजतशब्दनिर्दिष्टव्यावहारिकरजतान्योन्याभावप्रतितेरार्थिकं मिथ्यात्वम्, '
नात्र रजत ' मिति वाक्याभिलप्या तु प्रतीतिरत्यन्ताभावविषया ;
arthAt mithyAtvam, or mithyAtvam by implication, is established by the
meaning of the sentence 'nedam rajatam'. The word idam in the sentence
denotes the object in front, the silver that was seen first. The word
rajatam in that sentence denotes vyAvahArika silver. The negation conveys
the difference between the seen silver and the real silver. Therefore, if
the seen silver was not real, it must be unreal. This is mithyAtvam by
' नात्र रजत ' मिति वाक्याभिलप्या तु प्रतीतिरत्यन्ताभावविषया On the other
hand, the meaning conveyed by the sentence "there is no silver here" is the
atyantAbhAva (absolute absence) of silver
संसर्गाभावबोधकत्वनियमात् | because of the rule - if words denoting the
substratum and counter-positive of the negation have different
case-endings, the negation denotes samsargAbhAva (meaning atyantAbhAva here)
सा च पुरोवर्तिप्रतीतिरजतस्यैव व्यावहारिकमत्यन्ताभावम् विषयीकरोतीति
कण्ठोक्तमेव मिथ्यात्वम् | that (the sentence "there is no silver here")
conveys the real absence of silver in the object in front, therefore its
mithyAtva is conveyed directly (as opposed to mithyAtva by implication)
अतो नापसिद्धान्तो नान्यथाख्यात्यापत्तिर्न वा ग्रन्थविरोध इत्यनवद्यम् |
Therefore, there is no contradiction (apasiddhAnta) - the vivaraNAchArya is
not referring to atyantAbhAva in one place, and anyonyAbhAva elsewhere.
Neither does this imply anyathAkhyAti. The pUrvapakshi cannot argue that
the silver that was seen at the place of illusion was in fact the real
silver seen elsewhere in the shop. The use of ApaNastha rajatam by the
vivaraNAchArya is not to imply that a real silver located elsewhere is seen
at the place of illusion (by alaukika sannikarSha as the naiyyAyika would
argue - more on that later). It is to imply that the seer mistakenly
attributes reality to the illusory silver. Neither is the interpretation of
the siddhikAra contradicting prior advaita AchAryas.
(To be continued)
Originally posted on 20th October, 2017.
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