[Advaita-l] An adhyAsa challenge

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Tue Jun 10 18:38:40 CDT 2003

--- Nomadeva Sharma <nomadeva at yahoo.com> wrote:


> 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
> form. 

So you admit that if container --> then form.
Therefore *air that co-exists with earth has form* -
that of the boundary of the earth. By its contact with
earth, air assumes the form of the earth's boundary.
This is precisely why the analogy is defective -
because consciousness never ever partakes of
*anything* of the nature of the unconscious.
Consciousness remains wholly, purely, nothing but

Again, this is very closely analogical to that of
light and darkness - they never partake of the nature
of one another. Not a perfect analogy, but close. As I
mentioned previously, both light and consciousness
have a similiarity in their "illumining" aspect, which
is absent for form. 

> To say something has a 'flexible form', it should
> have
> a default form (which changes according to the
> situation).

Why should it have a default form, and what would be
the "default condition"? The term "flexibility of
form" is more appropriate in this context than
formlessness, as explained above. 

> Note that your original contention was between
> consciousness and rest. That only the rest is an
> object of consciousness is your postulate.

Where do you get that postulate? Read my original
posting in this thread again. I never used the words
"subject" or "object" in the premises. I only used
"conscious" and "unconscious". 

> Experience
> says 'I know I am I'. So, you are violating one of
> your premises.

As I said above, you're probably referring to a
premise that was not used. 

The terms "subject", "object" and "knowledge" came
into this discussion ONLY in the context of an analogy
between light and darkness, when it was contextually
clear that the "object of knowledge" that was being
referred to, bore an analogy to darkness. If you're
objecting to my using the terms "subject of knowledge"
for consciousness and "object of knowledge" for
unconsciousness, since there is the case when the
object of knowledge is the conscious subject itself
("I know I"), I completely agree. So what's your


> > 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.

The terms are loaded on account of being highly
subject to interpretation, and you did not define
them. Instead of asking you to define those terms and
then responding to your reply, I took a shorter route
and assumed ordinary meanings for the words to give my

But you've not defined the terms in this posting
either, and it looks like it has started something
that ought to have been apparent before this
discussion even began:

> 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.

There are several things that are implicitly assumed
in order to render a discussion possible. Actions such
as typing emails being "caused" by bodies of
individual conscious persons is assumed. We are also
assuming the internet to be "real" (now THAT is a
loaded term!). 

Now, are you telling me that for the above reasons,
actions are attributable to consciousness, and the
internet ought to be taken as real? Sir, what is
implicitly assumed to make a discussion possible
cannot be generalized to all experience and held to be
absolutely true. 

A small analogy will make things clear: a guest,
staying with his host, will occassionally refer to the
guest room as "my room", the guest towels as "my
towels" etc. Such phrases do not mean that he actually
owns the guest room or towels, only that he accepts
them as his own during the course of his stay. The
phrases make no sense when he takes leave of his host.

Therefore, within the scope of this discussion,
persons are capable and incapable, knowledgeable and
ignorant, of several things. 

In any case, we are digressing from my original

> 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'.

In the manner that I've chosen to interpret the terms
"incapable" and "ignorant", the solution has already
been disproved since they don't apply to

As I said before, unless you give me the meanings of
the terms as you've chosen to interpret them, there
can be no further response from my side.


> 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.

The experience of deep sleep does. 

> > 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.

As suggested by Vidyasankar, and since you're not
posting a series on adhyAsa, this debate is only going
to be between the two of us, with neither referees nor


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

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list