[Advaita-l] An adhyAsa challenge

Nomadeva Sharma nomadeva at yahoo.com
Sat Jun 14 06:42:42 CDT 2003

Dear Jayna,

Sorry for the late reply.

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

> So you admit that air partakes of the form of the
> earth's boundary? 

You have not read the reply. You have missed that portion which makes
it compulsory for you to accept that air does not partake any nature of
earth. Hope you are not in a hurry to get over this example :-)

> Some scientists actually say that if light enters a
> blackhole, all or some of it could be radiated back,
> and that's hypothesised by none other than Stephen
> Hawking himself, and is known as "Hawking radiation".
> You can
> http://www.nature.com/nsu/001228/001228-6.html . 

I have some idea of Hawking radiation, which is why I put 'that' light
in quotes above ("Given that there is absence of 'that' light"). Let me
explain. Hawking radiation idea does not help your analogy of light and
darkness. The radiation from a blackhole is not exactly the reflection
of light that is thrown to it (i.e., same set of photons). So, in
effect, your analogy is not usable. Btw, I have the lecture SH
delivered in Mumbai in April 2001. Let me know if you are interested.
You will find more correspondence to what I said.

> ----------
> "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
> another being, who has inconceivable powers, whose
> ichChA shakti can by itself move the world."
> ----------
> Now, if I understand rightly what you're saying: since
> a person (who has identified consciousness with the

Not necessarily. Even a person who has not identified consciousness
with body.

> body) is incapable of several things (e.g. moving the

Or even deciding where to be born, to change his 'happiness' state 10
mins ago, to understand infinity, to know what conditions led to the
conditions that led to the supposed big bang, to change the mind of
another without effort.

> moon), and ignorant of several things (e.g.

Ignorant of where will (s)he born next, (and for an advaitin, a
non-advaitin is ignorant that he is ignorant :-)), ignorant of what
another consciousness is thinking ityAdayaH

> temperature of the moon), you're postulating the
> existence of a being (different from the previous
> person) that can do/know these things at will, thereby
> forming the link between consciousness and
> unconsciousness. 
> Whew! :-) If so, my only answer is that though that is
> indeed a solution, it is NOT satisfactory (my original
> posting in this thread specifically mentions a
> "satisfactory answer" to the problem) because it
> requires an immensely large assumption, which is quite
> unnecessary and unwarranted. But if it is satisfactory

Well, I knew that you had asked for a satisfactory solution, but
decided to go ahead without asking you to define that term. I hope you
don’t define the solution itself as 'that which agrees or leads to
adhyAsa' :-)
I'd like to know why you say it is 'unnecessary' and 'unwarranted'. It
might be unnecessary depending on whether a simpler solution to it can
exist without contradicting experience. I just hope your solution is
simpler in those terms, without ever bringing 'inexplicability' :-)

On a parallel thread, I'd like you to continue your adhyAsa series, so
that we can evaluate that solution too. But we are not to forget the
premises :-)

> Also, where would you find shruti statements to
> support such a theory about the link, for Brahman is
> never stated as a being that makes such a link. 

Brahman is stated as the antaryAmin of both jaDa and jIva. I am sure
you can find innumerable shruti vAkyas for each separately. So, the
link is established. If A controls B and C, and if there is a link seen
between B and C, it is clearly the work of A.

> > > > no experience observes C independent of a body.
> > 
> > > The experience of deep sleep does. 
> > 
> > Did you observe C in your deep sleep?
> > 
> Isn't it obvious that you answer your own question?

I see where you come from, but; no, I don't answer my question. See

> BTW, Shankara actually mentions this in his
> upadeshasAhasrI:
> For even my very denial that I did not observe C
> implies that I observed, for I only negate the object
> of observation during deep sleep but not the process
> of observation itself, which requires a conscious
> observer. Which means that I was conscious during deep
> sleep. 

It is nice of Shankara to write all that (because it is going to help
me in the argument for sAkshi), but the point is clearly opposed by the
fact that one does not have any information about what happens in
deep-sleep. All these statements are post-reactions. Morever,
contemporary science holds that it is possible that one has had dreams,
yet forgotten. So, it is not at all unlikely that we can have the case
of mistaken identity. The point is that this possibility lends credence
to the idea that we don't have any information. Therefore, I have not
answered my question. Also of consequence is the rejection of your idea
that 'one observes C in deep sleep'; it is open to question and cannot
be used to decide either way.

Granting that one does manage to observe C in deep sleep, even then, it
is not a case of 'observing C independent of body'. For, the experience
of deep sleep itself is impossible without the body. Thus, it is
impossible to observe 'C' independently of the body (i.e., yatra deho
nAsti, tatra chittadarshanaM nAsti). 

A possible counter-argument that there is no body in deep sleep is akin
to the position that there isn't a place called any Serbia because one
is not seeing it right now (I hope you are not there, dude) (Therefore,
it is impossible to agree with Shankara's yadi satyaM bhavedvishvaM

To remind you how this particular thing started, given that the link
between C and non-C is indeed a matter of experience, lack of a viable
explanations does not make it a phony or an illusion. That's how I
would look at it. And even you, if it were not for Advaita.


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