[Advaita-l] Re: Advaita-l Digest, Vol 2, Issue 32

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Mon Jun 9 20:09:51 CDT 2003

Nomadeva Sharma <nomadeva at yahoo.com> wrote:

> > I forgot to mention the following in my earlier
> > response. If sAkshI-A means the sAkshI as per
> > advaita, then there is only one true meaning for
> > knowledge-A, i.e. the knowledge that is advaita.
> > It is not what we perceive about this world and
> > its business, for sAkshI-A already knows that all
> > that is avidyA, and not real knowledge.
>Vidyashankar-jI, can you pls tell me the source of
>above concept? The reason is that BNK Sharma quotes
>Advaitasiddhi as saying that sAkshi of Advaita can err
>at times. Ofcourse, the conception of sAkshi is

That seems like BNK Sharma's inference, and a mistaken one at that. For 
advaita, there is no question of the sAkshI erring at times and being 
correct at other times. As I mentioned in an earlier post, sAkshI has buddhi 
as an adjunct. Or you can adopt the langauge of reflection and say that the 
sAkshI is pure cit reflected in the buddhi. buddhi is a vRtti of prakRti, 
whether in sAMkhya or in vedAnta, and in later advaita texts such as 
advaitasiddhi, prakRti is equated with avidyA, and as such buddhi is an 

The buddhi can err or not err. BNK Sharma falsely casts the advaitin as 
saying that the error of the buddhi belongs to the sAkshI, who is pure cit. 
Typical of many strawman arguments, which start by denying the very 
existence of pure cit as described in advaita and then concluding in a 
self-confirmatory manner.

> > It is only sAkshI-D that has a problem with no
> > guarantee for sublation.
>That is because you have confused the sAkshi to be
>same as buddhi.

No. Rather, you wish to distinguish your sAkshI as jIva from buddhi, and are 
forced to postulate such a thing as svarUpendriya. What authority do you 
base this concept of svarUpendriya on?

>It is a bit confusing. Is it buddhi or antaHkaraNa?

Not at all confusing. buddhi is an aspect of antaHkaraNa, in advaita, in 
yoga, in sAMkhya, in vaiSeshika.

>You need sAkshi-D to tell you that there indeed is
>nothing else (not even time, in your conception) in
>suShupti where buddhi does not operate. Also, this
>irrefutable experience of 'I' is grasped by buddhi, in
>your case? It has to be the jIva, which is sAkShi

We have nothing against saying that jIva operates as sAkshI. However, we see 
no reason to accept a sAkshI-D, which is also svarUpendriya. The indriya-s, 
including the antaHkaraNa, are distinct.

>You are assuming that the buddhi will seek approval
>from sAkshi for every decision it makes and sAkshi

I assume no such thing.

>thus takes care of all resolutions. Not so. sAkshi is
>the independent witness to buddhi's decisions. Buddhi
>also takes decisions; which is the reason for

So now you think there are two decision-making bodies. Is it the sAkshI-D or 
the buddhi that comes to the above decision? Or is it both? Or are there 
really three, including the antaryAmin?

>reactions to snake (in rajju-sarpa analogy). Sakshi is
>the witness; in fact, while you take the analogy of
>rajju-sarpa to talk of adhyAsa, you talk on sAkshi's
>strength. Had it been just buddhi, you should have
>wondered: Is the snake real or the rope real?

Not so. The question does not arise, for you completely misunderstand the 
advaita position.

>Btw, all that is sAkshi-D only. sAkshi-A, as you
>mention, is non-existent, according to us.

Well, that is a strawman argument, for you have constructed your own idea of 
a sAkshI-A, based on BNK Sharma's inference (which is itself mistaken in my 
opinion) from what advaitasiddhi says.

> > It is totally mistaken to think that there was no
> > dvaita in the time of Sankara, and therefore he did
> > not address it. How is sAkshI in dvaita different
> > from purusha in sAMkhya?
>To the extent I know, sAmkhya puruSha does not have
>anything like 'svarUpendriya'. Thus, the mapping

And pray, from where does dvaita's jIva get svarUpendriya? On what SAstra 

Surely not the upanishad that says, adRshTaM drashTR aSrutaM SrotR etc., for 
that passage refers to akshara brahman, not the jIva as conceived of in 

>Dvaita is quite different (which is why some impudent
>folks complain on the lines of deviating from a
>phantom of a sAmpradAya) from earlier doctrines in

Phantom? Which sampradAya do the said impudent folks refer to? Is it a 
deviation from sAMkhya or a deviation from advaita?

>many other ways. Shankara indeed has not refuted
>dvaita that is known today.

Mere history ensures your statement, so I should let it pass. However, what 
I said earlier was that he anticipated much of it and addressed it in the 
course of his discussion of sAMkhya. There is a world of difference between 
what I said and what you think I said. You, as a votary of bheda, should 
well appreciate this.

I will leave aside all the interesting questions that arise from your choice 
of words, "dvaita that is known today" lest I be deemed impudent towards a 
tradition that is a few centuries old, deviation or otherwise.

Nomadeva Sharma <nomadeva at yahoo.com> wrote:

>If you used anumAna of light-darkness, here's a
>duShaNAnumAna supporting co-existence of mutually

Where is the anumAna here? Don't you mean upamAna? Or do you?

>contradictory things (I am not talking of
>samanAdhikaraNya, though).

What you say below is not an instance of mutually contradictory things.

>vAyu, one of the panchamahAbhUtas, is generally taken
>to be "rUparahitaH sparshavAnvAyuH", while, pR^ithvI
>is 'rUpasahitaH'. One notices their co-existence.

Do you mean pancamahAbhUta-s or panca sUkhsma bhUta-s? rUparahitaH holds 
only for vAyu as a sUkshma bhUta, not as a mahAbhUta. If the latter, by 
definition, they do not co-exist, because the sUkhsma bhUta-s are tan-mAtra 
(only that and nothing else). I hope I don't have to translate this term for 
you in an interpretive manner.

If the former, any co-existence cannot be of mutually contradictory things. 
In the sRshTi-krama, vAyu comes earlier and pRthvi comes after. Following 
the chAndogya teaching of trivRtkaraNa, smRti (mahAbhArata and other texts) 
tells us that pancIkaraNa occurs, i.e. the panca sUkhsma bhUta-s get mixed 
up in order to form the pancamahAbhUta-s. The very process of pancIkaraNa 
means that vAyu mahAbhUta has a component of not only vAyu-tanmAtra, but 
also the other four tanmAtra-s, including pRthvi.

In any case, what do you mean by co-existence? Have you perceived any entity 
that is vAyu and pRthvI at the same time? If you have, then for all the 
importance you give to pratyaksha, you must give up your "general 
definition" of vAyu as you stated above, because you cannot have a thing 
that is simultaneously rUpa-rahita and rUpa-sahita, according to your own 
principles. If you redefine, then vAyu is no longer rUpa-rahita, so there is 
no mutual contradiction in your example. If you say something is 
simultanesouly rUpa-rahita and rUpa-sahita, you have accepted an illogical 
entity, again according to your own principles. So please explicate what 
your idea of co-existence refers to.

Or do you mean simply to say that we experience vAyu existing side-by-side 
with pRthvi in this world? If so, this is not a mutual contradiction at all, 
even without bringing in any of my above comments, and your dUshaNa fails. 
Because, existing simultaneously as two different entities is not the same 
as existing simultaneously AS the same entity. the vAyu exists as vAyu and 
the pRthvi exists as pRthvi, unlike consciousness operating in the body.

>If you are asking how the link between consciousness
>and body happens, noting that the consciousness is, to
>a great extent, incapable and ignorant, I'd postulate

Seeing as how you are in the realm of postulates here, who said that 
incapability and ignorance are intrinsic to the embodied consciousness? Or 
is that a postulate? And who proved that the consciousness in one body is 
quite different from that in another? Or is that also a postulate?

>another being, who has inconceivable powers, whose
>ichChA shakti can by itself move the world.
>Any corresponding quote in the shruti is coincidence

And another quote in Sruti that says that this being is indeed The only 
consciousness is also coincidence :)

> > Consequences: if the referees decide that your
> > answer to the above question is invalid, then you
> > will immediately quit your postings on adhyAsa,
>I'd go for it.

As a moderator of this list and as a participant in the discussion, I cannot 
be a referee. But I hardly see any need for one. So long as decorum is 
maintained, let the discussion go on. However, I would like to request that 
(a) this debate suggested by Kartik be one-on-one (I don't remember if it 
was addressed to Jay Nelamangala or Nomadeva Sharma) and (b) the number of 
postings per day per person be kept to two or three. This is for keeping 
focus, for preventing the cacophony that invariably results from multiple 
voices in an internet discussion and for keeping it moving at a reasonable 


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