Nature of Consciousness

Anand V. Hudli anandhudli at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Jul 28 19:43:06 CDT 1999

On Wed, 28 Jul 1999 10:22:15 -0700, Sankaran Panchapagesan
<panchap at ICSL.UCLA.EDU> wrote:

>> In the10th verse he says his effort in the shlokavArttika is to turn
>> the mImAm.nsA which had been *mainly* atheistic into a theistic path.
>> Quite obviously he couldn't have been denying Ishvara. From the fact
>> that he says "mainly atheistic" it is reasonable to infer that there
>> were two strands of mImA.nsA in existence even in the bhaTTa's time:
>> theistic and atheistic. The latter was more popular, but the bhaTTa
>> makes his preference clear.
>Actually, I read that Sri Kumarila Bhatta's philosophy was atheistic only
>in the Srimad Sankara-digvijayam of Sri Vidyaranya, which I verified again
>last night. There, when Sankara goes to the Bhatta's house in order to
>challenge him to a debate, he finds that the Bhatta is burning himself to
>death as a prAyaScittam. When asked why, he gives two reasons - one of
>them is that in his philosophy he had denied the existence of ISvara
>though the Vedas clearly asserted his existence (the other reason is that
>he was guilty of gurudrOham - he was the indirect cause of his Buddhist
>guru's death from whom he had learnt Buddhism in order to refute it). On
>his argument against omniscience I read in T.R.V.Murti's book where he
>says that since the Veda is unauthored and eternal, it is more reliable
>than the Buddha, Vardhamana (Mahavira), Kapila all of whom claim
>omniscience and also contradict each other.

  I think it is not entirely accurate to call any mImAMsakas "atheist"
  in the sense that the term "atheist" is used today. The anIshvara
  mImAMsakas are not so much interested to deny God as the atheists of
  today are. For such mImAMsakas, it does not matter whether God exists
  or not. They hold that the fruits of actions are automatically granted
  by some unseen potency called "adR^ishhTa". Shankara has dealt with this
  position of the anIshvara mImAMsakas in his sUtra bhAShya.


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