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.

 MadhusUdana's reply:

 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
 vivaxitaH |

 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-
 abhAvAt.h |

 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
 sahopalaMbhAt.h |

 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
 same locus).

  [Please see note 3 below]

 Balabhadra clarifies:

  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)

  Note 1:
  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.

  ViTThalesha comments:

  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.

  Note 3:

  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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