[Advaita-l] Response to Vidyasankar's responses.

Nomadeva Sharma nomadeva at yahoo.com
Tue Jun 10 08:40:21 CDT 2003

--- Vidyasankar Sundaresan <svidyasankar at hotmail.com>
> > > pare.avyaye sarve ekiibhavanti - what is the
> > > para avyaya?

> > VidyajI, it is surprising that you give this
> > The reason is the analogy given of rivers merging 
> > to the sea is agreed to be 'bheda-darshaka'. This 
> > point has been raised by Sri Vyasatirtha. He 
> > points out that Vachaspati Mishra, 
> > under 'avasthiteriti kAshakR^itsnaH (1.4.22)', 
> > accepts that this analogy shows differences only. 
> > I had a look at bhAmati, and he too echoes 
> > Shankara's words that 'nadI-dR^iShTAnta' shows the
> > aikya has been taken by some (i.e. Audulomi) to 
> > mean, 'merging' (which is possible only in case of

> > difference).

> It is well that I used this example. The point of
> bhAshya and bhAmatI is that auDulomi's
> interpretation is wrong, i.e., it is

I know. The point is that they have not explained this
shruti later (though they have used it) to demonstrate

> wrong to think that Sruti establishes both
> bheda initially and that a "transformation"
> into abheda finally. Why? The answer is
> given by kASakRtsna - avasthiteH. You 
> seriously refuse to understand the advaita
> perspective if you think that
> this example establishes difference.

Irrelevant. The unanswered point, also in the earlier
mail, was that this analogy is not 'answered' i.e.
explained to show abheda. Just in case you were to
reply that the idea of 'avasthiti' is the explanation
to the analogy of rivers, note that what is needed is
a word from Shankara or Bhamati or Kalpataru.

By thinking that this example establishes difference,
we are understanding the shruti perspective, which is
more important and different from advaita perspective.

> Anyway, do tell me whether the "merging" which
> (according to you) establishes difference, removes 
> the difference after the merging is accomplished, or

> whether the difference remains even after the 
> merging. At least auDulomi's school accepted abheda 
> at the end.

That is advaita interpretation of the auDulomi school
(Did he have a school per se?). Personally (I don't
know what the chandrikA says or what the esteemed BNK
Sharma says) I think that the interpretation offered
by Shankara on these sUtras is quite irrelevant. It is
incongruous to bring out the topic of jIva-brahma
relation (esp having done that in the adhyAsa-bhAShya)
so late (in the last few sUtras of last pAda) in the
samanvaya-adhyAya. Moreover, the interpretation does
not do any 'samanvayA' at all.

We do not accept abheda after the merger. The analogy
is a clear refutation of 'abheda' even after merger.
The waters of the various rivers are still different
from each other, though you and I cannot make it out.
Moreover, the volume of water increases. Since none of
these are seen in the 'pare', 'avyaye' (changeless),
post-merger identity is ruled out
(jagad-vyApara-varjaM ityAdeshcha). 
On the other hand, the mixing of milk and water is
also a 'merger'. (The Pancharatragama, while
delineating the abheda-mukti says that the abheda or
merger should be understood from the analogy of rain
falling on earth (where water does not become earth)
and goes on to explain merger in terms of sAlokya). 

All these points (except that in parentheses) are
noted in nyAyAmR^ita. The author points out to the
acceptance by Vachaspati that the rivers do not become
one and Madhusudana Saraswati does not answer the
charge that advaitins themselves have accepted that
this example does not establish abheda. Instead he
takes refuge in Chandogya's: sa samudra eva bhavati.  

As it stands, the analogy in the shruti you quoted is
a hindrance to the idea of 'attributelessness' or
'partlessness' of Brahman (that which you set out to
demonstrate using this shruti). You were welcome to
quote the Advaita-siddhi text (or any classical
advaita text) to show how top-advaitins (!) have
interpreted this shruti to show that the
nadIdR^ishTAnta shows 'abheda'.

The muNDakopaniShadbhAshya does not address the
issues. It says, such a vidvAn obtains "parAt
akSharAtpUrvoktAt paraM divyaM puruShaM
yathoktalakShaNaM upaiti upagacchati. Boink goes the
idea that shruti talks of 'attributelessness'.

> >In any case, the saptamI vibhakti or the locative
> >case is a serious obstacle. If it were to mean 
> >identity, the words would have been 'para avyaya 
> >bhavanti.
> Please take a look at the preceding sentences too -
> te brahmaloke tu parAntakAle ... parimucyanti

Irrelevant. The saptami vibhakti is of 'pare' and

> >(parAtparaM puruShamupaiti divyam.h). These
> >adjectives cannot belong to an attributeless Being.
> But they do not negate that the Being is inherently 
> attributeless either.

May be; but, since this shruti has not explicitly said
that it is inherently attributeless (or that these
attributes of 'puruShaM' and 'divyaM' are imagined),
quoting this shruti to show partlessness and
attributelessness of Brahman is a goof.

On a different point, can you clarify this pls? From
the idea of 'bhAga-tyAga-laxaNa', it appeared that
Shankara was proposing an equality called
chin-mAtra-aikya. Undifferentiated consciousness. So,
I have been thinking that he holds (sagUNa-brahman -
imposed attributes) = (jIva - imposed attributes) =
(nirguNa brahman). But (sagUNa brahman with imposed
attributes) is not equal to (jIva with imposed

In that light, with the muNDakopaniShat referring to
saguNa brahman, does the krama-mukti refer to merger
with saguNa brahman?

> punar Avartate". Even if you take divya purusha as
> referring to a being with attributes, the question
> of being born after knowing that purusha does not
> arise. And FYI, we advaitins do explicitly state
> that those who reach the world of saguNa brahman
> do not return to rebirth.

So, this shruti on the face of it supports reaching
the saguNa brahman? And calls that as amR^itatvaM?

> Enough said.



> Elsewhere, there has been talk of svarUpendirya.
> So your conception of sAkshI-D as jIva says that
> he has indriyas different from "normal" indriyas.
> Pray tell me which Sruti or smRti or nyAya
> establishes such a thing.

First understand what svarUpendriya means. The term
indriya is used to denote that it is an instrument of
knowledge. The term 'svarUpendriya' denotes that this
instrument is the jIva itself. anyathA, 'viGYAtAramare
kena vijAnIyAd.h'?

Do you want a quote that jIva has indriyas other than
normal indriyas in mokSha? 

RV 7th maNDala: Speaking of moksha, axaNvantaH
karNavantaH sakhAyo manojaveShvasamAbabhUvuH | 
If it is just Jiva's svarUpa in moksha where he is
said to be without prAkR^ita indriyas and yet possess
eyes and ears, they must be visheShas of the Jiva
svarUpa only.


Nomadeva Sharma <nomadeva at yahoo.com> wrote:

> 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


> Typical of many strawman arguments, which start


That was a 'strawman' reply. You did not mention the
source of your idea of sAkshi-A. Secondly, it is
evident that you do not know what or which portion of
Advaita-siddhi BNKS has quoted. Without even asking
for the text, you proceed to prattle so much? 

>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

> >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 itself.

> 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.

The point is missed. You cannot do without a
self-intuitve, self-grasping knower in deep sleep.
That is sAkshi.

Let me repeat: 
What is the instrument through which you know that
'you have been to deep sleep'? Ask some person (who
has not heard of advaita) that question, it is not
unlikely that they will look at you queerly, search
for any catch in the question and then say, 'I know
it, dude'. That is the operation of sAkshi. Your
buddhi, antaHkaraNa --- every other indriya -- have no
contact with the 'chap' who is in deep-sleep.

It is rather the case that you are simply forced to
say that 'we don't need sAkshi which is svarUpendriya'
without answering why it is not needed for the above

> So now you think there are two decision-making 
> bodies. Is it the sAkshI-D or the buddhi that comes
> to the above decision?

sAkshi. It is not necessary that all sAkshis come to
the same decision at the same time.

> >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.

Read again. I am responding to your statement that
buddhi takes normal day-to-day decisions, because of
which you don't need 'sAkshi-D'. A side-question: can
an inert thing like buddhi grasp prAmANya?

> > > It is totally mistaken to think that there was
> > > 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 basis?

You might disagree all about svarUpendriya, but the
point remains that Shankara did not address it. Please
give references, if any, where Shankara refutes a
theory that talks of an agent that is infallible in
its justifications? 

> >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?

>From advaita and another school. Any school that is
not in the 'vicinity' of advaita is not sAmpradAyic,
they say. Btw, recently I found some more impudent
folks; apparently they think that advaita represents
the 'hoary traditions' of Upanishads and what not, and
thereby, that it is many more centuries older than
dvaita is. 

> 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?

Hello! don't you have the term 'dUShaNAnumAna' in
advaita-parlance? It appears so.

> >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
> bhUta, not as a mahAbhUta. If the latter, by 

Wrong. vAyu, even in its gross form, is rUparahita.
That it takes the form of container is a 'strawman'
(using your terminology) objection, for, the container
is the upAdhi. Does the air in front of you have any

> vAyu mahAbhUta has a component of not only
> vAyu-tanmAtra, but also the other four
> tanmAtra-s, including pRthvi.

If you consider that vAyu-tanmAtra is rUpa-rahita, and
if you accept that tanmAtras of different types (i.e.
with mutually contradictory attributes) can get mixed,
that too proves the point that entities of mutually
contradictory can co-exist.

Actually, most of your questions/arguments are largely
impertinent because you forgot the premises that Jayna
laid out. Nobody sees the tanmatrAs or knows about
panchIkaraNa without the aid of shruti/smriti.

> In any case, what do you mean by co-existence?
> Have you perceived any entity that is vAyu and
> pRthvI at the same time? 


Jayna, this is a question to you. I have used the word
'co-existence' in exactly the same way when you said:
"A co-existence of the Self that is of the nature of
consciousness with the body that is of the nature of
the unconscious".

> >If you are asking how the link between
> >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?

There is no need for me to answer any question. Read
Kartik's mail again. Experience is one of the
premises. If you think any of the above is not an
experience, but a postulate -- that would be a

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

> And another quote in Sruti that says that this being
> is indeed The only consciousness

that is the Lord of _every_ other chetanA 

> is also coincidence :)

Yes, yes. I was just supplying the phrase you forgot.


> >'advaitaM' part, we also note that this 
> >same 'advaita' has been described earlier in the 
> >Upanishad as: IshAnaH, prabhuH, devaH, turyaH (the 
> >fourth). You know, we simply consider it illogical
> >to extol somebody as the Lord and then to say, 
> >there is nobody to lord over.

> And you know, we consider that your opinion about
> what is illogical is contrary to the express words
> Sruti. Please note that the upanishat does not use 
> the word turyaH, but says caturthaH. Please also 
> note that this caturthaH is na antaHprajna na 
> bahishprajna,  ... na prajna, na aprajna.

shruti seems to have more prAjna than the entity it is

In any case, that is hardly a rejoinder to explain
prabhuH, devaH, turyaH. These words follow 'atraite
shlokA bhavanti' (which, I am not sure, you take it as
shruti).  Please note that the Brihadaranyaka says: yo
vai chaturthaM tat.h turIyam.h. (Also, note the nice
adjective that BU gives for turIya: the handsome!


Do you Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Calendar - Free online calendar with sync to Outlook(TM).

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list