advaita-siddhi 13 (Madhusudana's reply)

Sankaran Jayanarayanan kartik at ECE.UTEXAS.EDU
Fri Mar 3 12:34:18 CST 2000

This posting has a small dose of western philosophy, which I studied for
my personal awareness and a comparitive study with advaita. So for those
who wouldn't find it interesting, it's a good idea to skip this post.

On Thu, 2 Mar 2000, Anand Hudli wrote:


> In the cognition, "the pot is" (san.h ghaTaH), the permanent factor
> is " is" which indicates the underlying existence. What is an illusion
> is "the pot". What is cognized is just this permanent  factor
> but it is falsely understood to be a pot by the super-imposition (adhyAsa)
> of the name-and-form on the underlying Existence (sat). In another
> cognition, "the cloth is" (san.h paTaH), again the common, permanent factor
> is "is." What is an illusion has to do with "the cloth." In other words,
> between the cognitions "the pot is", and "the cloth is", what is
> common, constant, and permanent is the factor, "is."
> What we see above is a cognition where the cognizer gives a name to a
> cognized object, such as a pot, cloth etc. Another type of cognition
> tries to assert an adjective or attribute of an object. In the cognition,
> "the blue pot is", again what is common, constant, and permanent
> is the factor "is." What is illusion is "the blue pot." So what
> is being denied ultimate reality is the "blueness" and "potness" of the
> object but not pure existence indicated by "is".
>  Generalizing this to all cognitions, all objects are real as far as they
>  are treated as pure existence, but the moment you start associating them
>  with names and forms, the illusion begins. This Existence is the common,
>  unchanging, and permanent factor among all cognitions.

These are the same arguments given by a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher,
Parminedes, approximately 1200 years before Shankara!

Here's the basic structure of his argument:
"Everything" signifies "Everything that exists."  The fundamental
ingredient that goes into the making of everything is the substance
called "Being." Therefore everything is "constructed" of "Being."
Can there be anything that doesn't consist of Being, or consists of
non-Being? Clearly, no.

This leads to the conclusion: "There is only One (Being) that appears as
the many (forms)." (compare it with Brahman=sat, nAmarUpa=mAyA in advaita)

There are other similarities between Parminedes and advaita. Parminedes
goes on to show how Being always remains a constant, and that change is an
illusion. Paul Deussen was the first, I believe, to note the similarities
between the philosophies of Parminedes and Shankara.


>  Anand


bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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