[Advaita-l] avidya and linga SarIra- distinction

S.N. Sastri sn.sastri at gmail.com
Wed Jun 7 01:14:01 CDT 2006

Sub: avidya and linga SarIra- distinction.

"Murali Karamchedu wrote on June 5, 2006:

I am trying to understand a distinction that Sri Chandrasekhara Bharati
makes in his Vivekachudamani  Bhashya . The context is the part where he
says that the linga SarIra is identical for all the janmAs until mukti. He
says that while avidyA has the characteristic of 'prAgabhAva
apratiyogitvam', the linga SarIra has the characteristic of 'pravAha
1.      So, what am I missing in the distinction between the two?

2.      Why doesn't prAgabhAva apratiyogitvam apply to the linga SarIra?

3.      In the same passage, earlier, the acharya says that if we admit that
linga SarIra is distinct for each janma, then one would have memory and
experience in dreamless sleep. Why? I understand the other reasons mentioned
why the linga SarIra is the same, I don't understand this one.

The reference appears to be to the commentary of Sri Chandrasekhara Bharati
Swami on sloka 99 of Vivekachudamani, starting with 'idam SarIram'.
prAgabhAva apratiyogitvam means 'not having prAgabhAva' or antecedent
non-existence. Whatever has a cause has prAgabhAva, because it was not
existent before it came into being. avidya is considered to have no cause
and so it has no prAgabhAva. But the linga SarIra is the product of the five
subtle elements, as stated at the beginning of the commentary on the same
sloka. A pot is non-existent before it is made and so it has prAgabhAva,
even though according to satkAryavAda the effect, pot, existed in the cause,
clay, even before the pot was actually made. Similarly, since the linga
SarIra is an effect, it had antecedent non-existence. At the same time, it
is said to be anAdi, beginningless, since creation is beginningless
and so  each
linga SarIra is also beginningless. Each linga SarIra goes on taking one
gross body after another till it ceases to exist on the dawn of
Self-knowledge. But though the same linga SarIra continues till liberation,
it goes on undergoing changes in every birth by the removal of old vasanas
and accumulation of new vasanas. So it is called pravAha anadi. The
distinction between avidya and the linga SarIra is that the former has no
cause, but the latter has a cause.

Re: the second point-- the AcAarya's statement that if we admit that the
linga SarIra is distinct for each janma, then one would have memory and
experience in dreamless sleep. My understanding of this is as follows: The
view held in Vedanta is that a jiva's waking state on any particular day
comes to an end as soon as his karma which is responsible for his waking
state on that day ends. Then he goes into the dream state  and continues in
that state till the karma responsible for that state is exhausted. The same
applies to sushupti. (This is stated by Madhusudana Sarasvati in his
commentary 'Siddhantabindu' on Sri Sankara's Dasasloki -- Please see page
107 of Siddhantabindu with commentary of Abhyankar published by Bhandarkar
Oriental Research Institute). If the linga SarIra in the present birth is
different from that in the past birth of the same jiva, he will have to
experience the results of actions he has not performed in past lives and
will not get the results of his own actions. Thus there will be confusion in
the results of karma to be experienced each day. The Acharya  seems to be
emphasizing this possibility of confusion by his statement. This is the
explanation that strikes me. If any one has any better explanation, I shall
be happy to know it.

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