[Advaita-l] Creation ex nihilo (was Re: Advaita vEdAnta - Unit(27))

Anand Hudli anandhudli at hotmail.com
Fri May 4 08:26:23 CDT 2007

kkathir at ncs.com.sg wrote:

>Let me illustrate this. Suppose you buy your first DVD recorder and you 
>find yourself not knowing >how to operate it. What would you attribute the 
>ignorance to? Would it be something in your >head that obstructs you from 
>knowing how to operate it or is it the absence of the 'operating
>knowledge' of the DVD Recorder? The ABSENCE of the 'operating knowledge' 
>caused an >EXISTENT effect of not knowing what buttons to press. Quite 
>simple right? Do we REALLY need >shabda pramana to come and rescue us from 
>this simple issue?

I believe this example is not quite analogous to the avidyA issue. Buying a 
DVD recorder without the slightest idea of how to use it is perhaps a case 
of absence of knowledge. You seem to be saying that the cause of absence of 
knowledge is absence of knowledge!! No problem here at all.

Now, contrast this with the case of having not absence of knowledge but 
*erroneous* knowledge. Suppose, you made certain "well considered" decisions 
on what buttons to push and ended up with wrong results. These well 
considered decisions would certainly be based on some wrong assumptions or 
wrong information that you may have collected somewhere.

In the case of avidyA too, nobody thinks "I do not have the slightest idea 
what the world is." There is no absence of knowledge but erroneous 
knowledge, taking the world to be what it is not, atasmin.h tadbuddhiH.  And 
this erroneous knowledge (superimposition), if you consider it existent, 
must necessarily have an existent cause. Any of the orthodox schools of 
Indian philosophy would agree with the principle that an existent effect 
must have an existent cause.


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