advaita-siddhi 14 (MadhusUdana's reply contd.)

Anand Hudli anandhudli at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Mar 15 15:58:06 CST 2000

BRIEF RECAP: MadhusUdana started by accepting the definition
of unreality (of the world) as "pratipanna-upAdhau traikAlikanishhedha-
pratiyogitvam.h" (please see advaita-siddhi 10). Unreality is that
which is subject to absolute negation (negation for all times) in the
substratum where it is cognized. So the opponent asks: Now, how do you
classify this absolute negation that you speak of? Is this absolute negation
pAramArthika, vyAvahArika or prAtibhAsika? We have seen how MadhusUdana has
answered this question by pointing out that the absolute negation can be
treated as pAramArthika, identical with Brahman. In doing so, there is
no harm done to the non-duality principle. Also, the opponent cannot
insist on the rule that a negation and its counter-positive (pratiyogin)
have to have the same order of reality (sama-sattAka), because an
exception that breaks the rule is readily found in the case of an
illusion such as the silver-in-nacre illusion. The illusory silver is
prAtibhAsika but its negation is pAramArthika if the substratum of
illusion is treated as Brahman Itself or at least vyAvahArika, if
the substratum is taken to be nacre.

Having shown how the negation can be pAramArthika, MadhusUdana now shows
how the negation may also be treated as vyAvahArika. This corresponds
to the unreal part of the negation.

The basis of this approach to analyzing the negation is found in
such treatises as the dR^ig-dR^ishya-viveka which says:

 asti bhAti priyaM rUpaM nAma chetyaMshapaJNchakam.h |
 AdyatrayaM brahmarUpaM jagadrUpaM tato dvayam.h || 20 ||

 Everything has five factors: 1) Existence, 2) Consciousness
 3) Bliss, 4) Name, and 5) Form. Of these, the first three are of the
 nature of Brahman and the last two (Name and Form) belong to the world.

 khaMvAyvagnijalorvIshhu devatiryaN^.h narAdishhu |
 abhinnAssachchidAnandAH bhidyete rUpanAmanI     || 21 ||

 In the elements, space, air, fire, water, and earth, in Gods,
 animals, and humans, (and other things in the world) what is
 non-different (constant, unchanging) are Existence, Consciousness,
 and Bliss. What are different (among all these things) are the
 Name and Form aspects.

[The first verse above also occurs in the sarasvatI-rahasya-upanishhad.]

When the world is negated, the sachchidAnanda aspect, which is
un-negatable, remains. The nAma-rUpa aspects are negated. These
were never real to begin with.

A rough analogy, that has its own limitations, may be given to illustrate
the two aspects of negation. Suppose we see a pot on the ground. Then
the pot is removed. For a while after the pot has been removed, we
"feel" the absence of the pot, although we continue to perceive the
ground. During this phase, we perceive, in some sense, the absence
of the pot, as well as the ground. Subsequently, we forget all about
the pot. At this point, we are only aware of the ground, not the pot
or its absence. Both the pot and its absence have been forgotten.
There is no memory of either having existed.

In such a case, where the negation is cognized as different from the
substratum, the negation can be taken to be the same order of reality as
the thing that is negated, the pratiyogin. This is what MadhusUdana says

advaita-siddhi text:

atAtvika eva vA nishhedho .ayam.h | atAtvikatve .api na prAtibhAsikaH,
kiMtu vyAvahArikaH| nacha - tarhi nishhedhasya bAdhyatvena tAtvikasattva-
avirodhitvAdarthAntaram-iti vAchyam.h | svApnArthasya svApnanishhedhena
bAdhadarshanAt.h | nishhedhasya bAdhyatvaM pAramArthikasattva-avirodhitve
na tantram.h, kiMtu nishhedhyApexayA nyUnasattAkatvam.h | prakR^ite cha
tulyasattAkatvAt.h kathaM na virodhitvam.h |


atAtvika eva - only unreal, vA - Or, nishhedho .ayam.h - this negation,
atAtvikatve .api - Even if it is unreal, na prAtibhAsikaH - it is not
illusory, kiMtu vyAvahArikaH - but empirical, nacha - And (it) cannot,
tarhi nishhedhasya - then, of the negation, bAdhyatvena - due to being
sublatable, tAtvikasattva-avirodhitvAd-arthAntaram - due to being not
opposed to the reality of (the world), there is the defect of arthAntara
(proving something other than what was intended), iti vAchyam.h - be
said thus, svApnArthasya - of the dream-object, svApnanishhedhena - by
negation in the dream, bAdhadarshanAt.h - because of experiencing the
sublation, nishhedhasya - of the negation, bAdhyatvaM - sublatability
pAramArthikasattva-avirodhitve - in being not opposed to the absolute
reality, na tantram.h - is not dependent (does not imply), kiMtu
nishhedhyApexayA - but as compared to what is negated, nyUnasattAkatvam.h -
having a lower order of reality,  prakR^ite cha - And in the point under
discussion, tulyasattAkatvAt.h - because of the equal order of reality,
kathaM na - how is there no, virodhitvam.h - opposition.


Or we may say that this negation (of the world) is unreal. Even though it is
unreal, it is not illusory (prAtibhAsika), but empirical (vyAvahArika).
And (you) cannot say:"Since the negation, that is itself sublatable, cannot
be in opposition to the reality (of the world), there is the defect of
proving something other than intended." (Why?) Because, of the instance of
sublation of a dream-object along with its dream-negation. There is no
dependence or implication of the non-opposition to absolute reality on
the sublatability of the negation, but on the negation's being of a lower
order of reality than the thing that is negated. In the present case, there
is equality of the order of reality (of the negation and the thing that is
negated, ie. the world). So how is there no opposition (to the reality of
the world)?

MadhusUdana says here that the negation of the world can be viewed as
vyAvahArika. This prompts an objection: If the negation of the world is
vyAvahArika, then this negation should itself be sublated. Upon sublation
of the negation of the world, the world's reality, not unreality, would
be affirmed. That means the advaitin is proving something other than what
he intended, a defect called arthAntara. To this objection, MadhusUdana
replies that it is not the case that world's reality would be affirmed upon
sublation of the negation of the world. In the example of a dream, an object
in the dream may be negated later in the same dream. And the negation itself
is negated upon waking up. This does not result in the dream-object becoming
real in the waking state! So what implies the reality of a thing is NOT
the mere fact that its negation is sublatable, but the fact that such
negation is of a lesser order of reality than that of the thing itself.

For example, if we see a rope in semi-darkness and imagine it to be a snake,
we may say "There is no rope." Here we are negating the rope. But this
negation is illusory (prAtibhAsika). Upon removal of the illusion, we
realize that the thing seen before is indeed a rope. So the rope, which
was negated before, is being affirmed (as vyAvahArika). What has
happened here is that the reality order of the negation is prAtibhAsika
which is less than the reality order of the rope, vyAvahArika.

It is only in such cases that the reality of the thing negated may be
affirmed, not otherwise. In the case under discussion, the negation of the
world being described and the world are of the same order of reality. So
the mere sublatability of the negation cannot make the world real.


bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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