[Advaita-l] Advaita-l Digest, Vol 50, Issue 21 - anubhavAN^gaatvena

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian rama.balasubramanian at gmail.com
Sat Jun 23 14:19:59 CDT 2007

Dear Sri Werlings,

This is indeed a very important passage and somewhat tricky to
interpret. First to answer your question:

anubhava + aN^gatvena = anubhavAN^gatvena by the rules of external
sandhi (final a + initial a = A).

aN^ga also means part of, not just secondary importance. To understand
this passage, the few suutras previous to this and also 1.1.2 should
be clearly understood.

Prior to this particular suutra, the logician claims that brahman
being the material cause of the universe is contradicted by anubhava,
and so such passages should be interpreted figuratively like "This
disciple is fire" [1]. Sankara comes out strongly against this. But
his point is that shrutyanugR^ihiita tarka [2] alone should be used to
analyze anubhava, and not shuShka tarka. This valid tarka serves to
only *reinforce* the actual fact taught by shruti, and is not an
independent means of knowing brahman. The bhAShya to 1.1.2 is
especially relevant here.

Note that anubhava is something directly experienced, and doesn't
require any thing else. But to analyze it, we need a tarka and that
should be sanctioned by shruti. shuShka means having no ground or
basis, i.e., proper basis [3]. The logic used by the logician is
dependent on kaNAda or gautama, and however great they may be, they
cannot get the authority of shruti. This is also pointed out by

So, getting back to anubhavaaN^gatvena, it means that the shruti
sanctioned logic is resorted to as a part of (analyzing) anubhava,
which the logician claims is in his favor.

Note that Sureshvara has also pointed out that anubhava and its
analysis cannot reveal brahman, it is shruti ALONE that can reveal
brahman - yamaiva vR^iNute, tena labhya.h, etc.

[1] A common example in the miimaa.msaa shaastra, where it is pointed
out that the disciple is not actually fire.

[2] shrutyanugR^ihiita = shruti + anugR^ihiita. Another equivalent
compound used by Sankara is aagamaanusaarita = aagama + anusaarita.

[3] Some people translate shuShka tarka as "dry logic". I don't like
this, dryness or freshness of something such as logic is a personal
assessment, whereas "logic not having (a proper) basis" is an
objective assessment.


On 6/23/07, Guy Werlings <werlings.guy at wanadoo.fr> wrote:
> Dear shrii Vidyasankar,
> Thank you very much for your kind, rapid and precise answer as to
> anubhavAN^gaatvena.
> I understand, however, that according to the Monier-Williams, aN^gatva means
> n. a state of subordination or dependance, the being of secondary
> importance, the being unessential.
> And this seems to me somewhat strange in the context. I had understood
> anubhavAN^gaatvena tarkaH as "reasoning based upon experience" - not
> "reasoning being of secondary importance to experience". Or should I
> understanding it as "reasoning depending upon experience"?
> I should be very grateful to know what the true purport according to you is.
> A "secondary question": in your anwer you mention aN^gatvena as the
> instrumental of aN^gatva,which I ought to know, but in the text in which I
> read the expression it seems to have been "anubhavAN^gaatvena" with a long a
> in ┬░gaatvena - is this just a typo?

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