[Advaita-l] An adhyAsa challenge

Nomadeva Sharma nomadeva at yahoo.com
Tue Jun 10 07:25:38 CDT 2003

> --- S Jayanarayanan <sjayana at yahoo.com> wrote:

> > > Premise: logic and experience only, no quotes 
> > > from shruti or smR^iti.

> > > A co-existence of the Self that is of the nature
> > > of consciousness with the body that is of the 
> > > nature of the unconscious ought to be impossible

> > > (indeed, one might as well consider light to 
> > > co-exist with darkness), yet, it so happens that

> > > people perceive a connection between the Self 
> > > and the body - how do you explain this?
> > 
> > If you used anumAna of light-darkness, here's a
> > duShaNAnumAna supporting co-existence of mutually
> > contradictory things (I am not talking of
> > samanAdhikaraNya, though).
> > vAyu, one of the panchamahAbhUtas, is generally
> > taken to be "rUparahitaH sparshavAnvAyuH", 
> > while, pR^ithvI is 'rUpasahitaH'. One notices 
> > their co-existence.

> Firstly, leaving aside tradition for now, I would
> argue that the above analogy is highly defective 
> since air is not completely formless. We conceive 
> of a fluid such as water assuming the form of a 
> container such as a jug or pot, and rather than 

Rather your explanation serves no purpose in setting
aside the analogy as defective. For, it is only in the
presence of a container, you are assuming that it has
a form. The container is the upAdhi, the conditioning
factor. Air, by itself, is formless. No container, no

> being "formless", it is actually of "flexible 
> form".  

To say something has a 'flexible form', it should have
a default form (which changes according to the
situation). And, by default, air is formless.

In fact, I can use your idea of air_in_container as
further supporting my case that mutually contradictory
attributes are seen to co-exist.

(A Jaina will be happier to extend your analogy to
support his theory.)

> Secondly, since no analogy can perfectly bring out 
> the difference between the subject and object of
> knowledge, one can only be considered as an

Note that your original contention was between
consciousness and rest. That only the rest is an
object of consciousness is your postulate. Experience
says 'I know I am I'. So, you are violating one of
your premises.

> approximation. In this context, the analogy of light
> and darkness is much more in line with the original
> question. Darkness is exactly the non-existence of
> light 

Formlessness is exactly the non-existence of form.

> > If you are asking how the link between 
> > consciousness and body happens, noting that the 
> > consciousness is, to a great extent, incapable and
> > ignorant,
> These are very loaded terms. To claim that
> consciousness is "incapable" is absurd. 
> The "capacity" for consciousness is simply to be 
> conscious. In this way, it is superbly "capable".

> "Ignorant"? Hardly - being the subject of knowledge,
> it is in fact the only entity that really "knows".

It is a bit funny that you first label these terms as
loaded, and proceed to disprove me on the basis of
meanings you assumed.

This very act of yours proves my point that
consciousness is incapable and ignorant to a large
extent: you did not know what I meant by those terms;
nor were you capable of finding out what those mean
according to me, without asking me.

And ideally speaking, your business is only to find if
this solution is satisfactory or not. And that can be
independent of how that solution was arrived at. If
you disagree, I can give the meanings I assumed for
'ignorant' and 'incapable'.

> > I'd postulate another being, who has 
> > inconceivable powers, whose
> > ichChA shakti can by itself move the world.
> > 
> > Any corresponding quote in the shruti is 
> > coincidence  :-)

> :-) We still haven't come to the reality of the 
> world, which being the object of perception, comes 
> much afterwards. 

Jayna sir, you need to understand that most people
take world as real and it is in the common


You cannot say that the link between consciousness (C)
and un-C is itself not possible, for, that violates
your basic premise: experience. In fact, no experience
observes C independent of a body. As in any scientific
process, if theories don't match up facts, theories
are given up. In this case, the theory that there
cannot be any link between C and un-C should be given
up. (and it should be understood that your analogy of
'light-darkness' does not represent this case). 

> > > 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.

> Since you are not posting a series on adhyAsa, I 
> don't see why I should quit my adhyAsa postings when

> you can't do (quit) the same thing. 

My preference was for discontinuance of the original
postings on adhyAsa. Not yours.


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