advaita-siddhi - 6 (MadhusUdana's reply)
Anand V. Hudli
anandhudli at HOTMAIL.COM
Sun Aug 22 12:15:24 CDT 1999
Brief recap: We have seen that mithyAtva (unreality) can be
defined as anirvachanIyatva (property of not being definable),
and this anirvachanIyatva can further be explained as
sadasadanadhikaraNatva, not being a substratum of either
existence or nonexistence. The opponent lists three ways in
which this sadasadanadhikaraNatva may be defined. He finds
fault with each of these definitions. MadhusUdana disagrees
and starts his counter-argument.
dvaya-vivaxAyAM doshhAbhAvAt.h | nacha vyAhatiH |
In the intended meaning of "sadasad-anadhikaraNa" (not being
the substratum of existence or nonexistence) as "the pair of
attributes, absolute absence of existence and the absolute
absence of nonexistence", there is NO defect. There is NO
contradiction too. (Why?)
sA hi sattvAsattvayoH parasparaviraharUpatayA vA, paraspara-
virahavyApakatayA vA, parasparavirahavyApyatayA vA |
That (contradiction could result) only if 1) existence and
nonexistence mutually negate each other or 2) they mutually
pervade each other's absence (one's absence is the invariable
concomitant of the other), or 3) they are mutually pervaded by
each other's absence (one is the invariable concomitant of the
other's absence). (PS: Recall the definition of vyApti in the
third part of this series.)
tatra nAdyaH, tadanaN^gIkArAt.h | tathAhyatra trikAlAbAdhyatva-
sattva-vyatireko nAsattvam.h, kintu kvachidapyupAdhau sattvena
pratIyamAnatva-anadhikaraNatvam.h | tadvyatirekashcha sAdhyatvena
There is no (presence of the) first condition, because it is
not accepted. It is so (not accepted) because the negation of
existence, that is not sublatable at any time, past, present,
or future, is NOT nonexistence, but (nonexistence means)
NOT being cognized as existing in any substratum (at any time).
The negation of that (nonexistence) is what is intended to be
(part of) what is to be proved.
[Please see note 1 and note 2 below]
tathAcha trikAlAbAdhyavilaxaNatve sati kvachidapyupAdhau sattvena
pratIyamAnatvarUpaM sAdhyaM paryavasitam.h | evaMcha sati na
shuktirUpye sAdhyavaikalyamapi | bAdhyatvarUpAsattvavyatirekasya
sAdhyApraveshAt.h | nApi vyAghAtaH, parasparaviraharUpatva-
The conclusion to be established is that while being different
from that which is never sublatable, it is (capable of) being
cognized as existing in some substratum. And this being so, there
is no defect of the sAdhya's (being absent) in silver-in-nacre.
(This is) because the negation of nonexistence which is sublatable
(always) does not form part of what is to be established (sAdhya).
(What does form part of the sAdhya is the negation of nonexistence
which consists in not being cognized in any locus or substratum at
any time). (Therefore,) there is no contradiction too (here) because
there is no mutual negation between (existence and nonexistence).
ata eva na dvitIyo .api, sattvAbhAvavati shuktirUpye vivaxita-
asattvavyatirekasya vidyamAnatvena vyabhichArAt.h |
For this reason, the second condition (under which contradiction
can occur) does not hold too. (There can be no invariable
concomitance of the absence of existence or nonexistence with
the other.) (The requirement for such concomitance to hold is
not satisfied) due to deviation (vyabhichAra),
since in (illusory things such as) the silver-in-nacre,
there is the absence of existence, but the absence of the
nonexistence with the intended definition (as above) is also
cognized. (In order for the concomitance to hold, nonexistence
would have to be present when existence is absent.)
nApi tR^itIyaH tasya vyAghAta-aprayojakatvAt.h, gotva-ashvatvayoH
parasparavirahavyApyatve .api tadabhAvayor-ushhTrAdAvekatra
The third condition does not cause contradiction. (For example,)
cow-ness (the property of being a cow) and horse-ness (property
of being a horse) are invariable concomitants of each other's
absence (ie. where cow-ness is present, horse-ness is absent
and where horse-ness is present, cow-ness is absent). Even so,
the two properties (of cow-ness and horse-ness) are NOT present
in the same locus such as a camel, etc., and (the absences of
cow-ness and horse-ness are) perceived thus together (in the
[Please see note 3 below]
tatashcha sattva-asattvayoH parasparavirahavyApyatve .api
tadabhAvayorekatra prapaJNche saMbhavAnna vyAhatiriti dhyeyam.H|
And therefore, even though existence and nonexistence are
invariable concomitants of each other's absence, the absences
of both CAN occur in the same place, ie. the world and due
to (this) there is NO contradiction. This is to be thought of.
(To be continued)
MadhusUdana's definition of non-existence can also be understood
in this way using Western-style logic.
Let us define a predicate S whereby S(X) means "X is sublated."
Also, let us say E(t) means the existential quantifier "there is
a t", and U(t) means the universal quantifier "for all t." Let
~ stand for the negation operator.
Then the definition of existence (sattva or simply sat) is that
thing, say X (Brahman) such that:
~ (E(t) such that S(X), for time t) ... (A)
In other words, sattva (Brahman) is that which is NOT sublated
at any time.
Next, MadhusUdana defines nonexistence (of something X) NOT as
simply negating the expression (A) above which would just be
(E(t) such that S(X), for time t) ... (B)
this would mean "X such that there is a time t when X is
If the advaitins had defined nonexistence as (B) above, then
the mAdhva opponent would have been justified in saying that
existence and nonexistence are mutually negations of each other.
Negating existence would be nonexistence and vice versa.
But, very significantly, MadhusUdana defines nonexistence (of
something X) as, where C(X) means "X is cognized in a locus",:
(U(t): ~ C(X), for time t) .... (C)
meaning "for all time t, X is not cognized in a locus."
The negation of *this* type of nonexistence is:
(E(t): C(X), for time t) ... (D)
which means "there is some time t at which X is cognized
in a locus." And this is precisely the negation of nonexistence
that is characteristic of illusions such as silver-in-nacre,
snake-on-rope, and finally, the world-on-Brahman illusion.
The illusory thing is cognized as existing in a locus
(substratum) sometime (the period of illusion). So such
illusory entities CANNOT be said to be nonexistent in the
same way as a fictitious entity, such as a hare with horns,
which is never cognized in any locus.
Also, as MadhusUdana says, (D) is not the same as (A),
and the negation of (A) is not the same as the nonexistence (C).
So there is NO contradiction if both the negation of (A),
ie. (B), and the negation of (C), ie. (D), both hold in the
same locus. This exactly is the conclusion to be established -
(B) and (D) both characterize the world of duality. There is
a time (the illusion phase) when duality is cognized in a
locus (Brahman) by super-imposition (adhyAsa). This establishes
the (D) part of the conclusion. And there is a time (the dawn
of jnAna) when the world of illusion is sublated. This
establishes the (B) part of the conclusion.
Note 2: BrahmAnanda clarifies that pratIyamAnatvarUpaM means
pratIyamAnatvayogyatvam.h, capable of being cognized.
pratIyamAnatvamityatra laDarthavartmAnatvavivaxaNe pratIti-
shUnyatvakAle mithyAtva-anupapattestadavivaxAM sphuTayati
TIkAyAM - pratIyamAnatvayogyatvamiti |
The intended meaning of "pratIyamAnatva" that indicates
the present tense does not indicate that mithyAtva (unreality)
is not established during times when there is no cognition.
To clarify this, (BrahmAnanda writes) "pratIyamAnatvayogyatvam.h"
capable of being cognized, in the commentary.
This can be understood in this way. Suppose C(X)
means X is a cow, and H(X) means X is a horse.
Now, we have:
C(X) -> ~ H(X)
H(X) -> ~ C(X)
where "->" stands for "implies". If X is a cow then X is
not a horse. If X is a horse then X is not a cow.
So 1) C(X) is an invariable concomitant of ~H(X), the negation
of H(X). 2) H(X) is an invariable concomitant of ~C(X), the
negation of C(X). This means it not possible to have:
(C(X) AND H(X))
for the same entity X. X cannot be both a cow and horse.
Suppose M(X) means X is a camel. Then the following is tenable:
M(X) -> ~C(X) AND ~H(X)
If X is a camel, it is neither a cow nor a horse.
This is what MadhusUdana is saying here.
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