Selections from the advaita-siddhi - 1

Anand Hudli anandhudli at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri Mar 10 11:48:53 CST 2000

On Tue, 7 Mar 2000 20:36:33 EST, Ashish Chandra <ramkisno at HOTMAIL.COM>

>It was only after that little admonition that I decided to seriously study
>and, as far as possible, understand the purport of Advaita Siddhi by
>Madusudana Sarasvati. It is indeed like a full time course with my having
>sit down with a pad for notes and an English dictionary nearby (MS Word
>cannot pick up "polemical" :-( )

As I said as much in the first part of this series, my feeble attempt
here is only to scratch the surface of the ocean that is advaita-siddhi.
It will take months, if not years, of full-time study to really
understand the depths of this work. Here, we are only scratching the
surface, just a little bit. It has been said that the
nyAyAmR^ita-advaitasiddhi debate is one of the finest that one will ever
see in the history of Indian philosophy to date. This makes a compelling
reason for us to study the advaita-siddhi.

>The question I have is the following.
>Vitthalesh is quoted as saying "Even though He (the jIva) is liberated, due
>to being bound  by ignorance, He is under delusion. (If) He is actually
>bound and (really) deluded by reality, from that (it follows that) desire
>for liberation is impossible. (But this is not so.) Being desirous of
>liberation He follows a (worthy) Guru. [...]"
>I understand the part where jiva is described as being liberated but under
>delusion on account of ignorance (of unknown origin ?). However, the next
>sentence goes on to say if jiva is *actually* bound and *really* deluded by
>"reality", desire for liberation is impossible.
>1. Is the connotation to actual-boundness and apparent-boundness of the
>the same as that we infer for dream-state and waking state, i.e. it is not
>real but appears to be real ?
 Yes. It means the bondage is not real. And the act of freeing oneself
 from the bondage is also not real, because there was no bondage to
 begin with. Let us say you have a dream in which you are sick and then,
 in the same dream, you may dream that you become cured of the sickness.
 Both the sickness in the dream and the cure in the dream are not
 real. Similar is the situation of the jIva, except that upon being
 cured of the "dream" sickness, the jIva "wakes up."

>2. What is the reality that I have denoted by quotes ? Is this Brahman
>referred to here ? I tried to ponder over this and my conclusion was that
>cannot be Brahman that is causing the delusion. Because then we have
>Brahman, the absolute, and an absolute delusion that suppresses the desire
>for liberation. So we have dualism already. In case this reality means
>then what Vitthalesh is saying is that Maya(taking this to mean the
>"reality" I have quoted above) does not absolutely delude but does so only
>apparently, hence preserving the mumukshuta of the jiva (this mumukshutva
>can only be Vyavaharika, hence in the domain of Maya, correct?). By this I
>don't mean that Maya is a real principle, only that its powers over the
>are limited to a dream-like state which is shattered at the advent of
>and that all this time, the jiva's unity with Brahman is unaffected, even
>it(jiva) doubts its indentity. Is this a correct interpretation ?
>The sentence that says that "if jiva is actually bound and really deluded
>reality, desire for liberation is impossible" means that since it is
>accepted that jiva is the unborn-eternal (even though according to other
>schools of Vedanta, different from Brahman), its delusion would also be
>eternal and hence liberation would be impossible. Is this, again, a correct
>interpretation ?
 The delusion or bondage is caused by avidyA or mAyA. And this mAyA
 is itself anirvachanIyA, meaning it cannot be classified as real or
 unreal. First of all, nobody can deny that there is bondage or sorrow
 in the empirical life. Suppose the delusion or bondage has been caused
 by a reality called God. Then one may argue that God has put us into this
 bondage because it was His intention to do so. So the conclusion can be
 drawn: we are not supposed to get rid of this bondage, because doing so
 would be going against the will of God. A desire for liberation should
 never arise. We should simply accept that we will be eternally bound.The
 argument that God put us in bondage because He wants us to liberate
 ourselves does not make much sense because we can ask: why did He put us
 in bondage in the first place? So a plausible conclusion is to accept the
 bondage that God has made for us. Obviously, this is a wrong conclusion
 because almost all systems in India emphasize that liberation is the
 ultimate goal of life. Now, if the conclusion is wrong, there must be
 something wrong in the premises on which the conclusion was based. And
 what was the premise? That the cause of bondage is real. This must be
 wrong. advaita tells us that the cause of bondage is avidyA, mAyA which is
 itself anirvachaniyA. Since now we at least know that cause of bondage is
 mAyA, we can start asking why we should suffer the bondage. This means we
 can have what is called mumuxutva or desire for liberation. Note that I am
 not suggesting that there is no God, rather He is not the cause of this


bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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