[Advaita-l] The deliberation on vidyA - avidyA in Advaita Vedanta

bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com
Mon May 7 06:19:16 CDT 2007

praNAms Sri Siva Senani Nori prabhuji
Hare Krishna

Dear Sri Bhaskar

SSN prabhuji:

I think the difference between the views of your Mail, and Sri
Ramakrishnan's Paper are due to certain fundamental differences, namely:

bhaskar :

Again, I reiterate that let us not highlight the differences based on
comparisions...It is better to discuss the matter in issue within the frame
work of my mail..Hope you would agree with me.

SSN prabhuji:

1. You insist that knowledge must be consistent with lokAnubhava.

bhaskar :

In otherwords, I've just tried to explain in my mail how avidyA is *quite
natural* in our lOkAnubhava.  With regard to term *anubhava*, I think I've
explained what is anubhava??  what does it mean when we say sArvatrika
pUrNAnubhava and vaiyuktika anubhava?? and why individual experiences
cannot be a pramANa in brahman jignAsa etc. etc. in my forwarded private
mail to you.

SSN prabhuji:

2. You maintain avidyA is 'natural to the mind', whereas Sanakra
bhagavtpAda only said it is 'naisargika', that is natural - he did not say
it is natural to the mind.

bhaskar :

If the innate avidyA does not pertains to antaHkaraNa (mind) then question
invariably follows for whom this avidyA pertains to?? It appears according
to lOkAnubhava & shankara's bhAshya vAkya, ignorance pertains to our
instruments (antaHkaraNa ) only.  Because :

(a) Shankara does not accept *second* chaitanya to attribute it to the
Jiva...(see bruhadAraNyaka bhAshya 1-4-10)

(b) Shankara does not agree that avidyA pertains to *Self* since it is
always nirguNa & nirvishEsha.

(c) Since vidyA & avidyA is *upAdhi* vyavahAra and there is NO vidyAvidya
vyavahAra in brahman

(d)since shankara while explaining adhyAsa gives the examples of *wrong
cognition* (seeing two moons due to eye defect) *wrong perception* (seeing
silver in place of nacre)& explains adhyAsa as *smruti rUpa* (like memory)

(e) And in gIta bhAshya shankara clearly says igorance pertains to
*instruments* and NOT to the *user* of instruments & in taitirIya bhAshya
shankara clearly says both vidya & avidyA can be cognized as vishya-s like
colour etc..

(f) Since shankara used synonyms like viparyaya, viparyAsa, adhyArOpa,
bhrAnti, mOha etc.etc. in place of adhyAsa we have to reckon that this
adhyAsa pertains to mind only.
(g) Since the question *to whom is avidyA*?? has to rise its hood ONLY in
dvaita & dvaita is in vyavahAra & vyavahAra we do through upAdhi-s, the
avidyA which we are talking here in dvaita too pertains to upAdhi-s i.e.

(h) To a question *to whom this ajnAna*?? In sUtra bhAshya shankara answers
"to you who is asking the question" (see sUtra bhAshya 4-1-3) who is this
*you* shankara referring here??  the person who is wrongly identifying
himself with BMI is it not?? & *asking* the question implies that there is
antaHkaraNa saMbaNdha in the enquirer...Shankara does not cross question
him here like asking "dear one, which avidyA you are asking?? whether it is
epistemic avidyA or ontic avidyA, if it is epistemic then it pertains to
antaHkaraNa & note antaHkaraNa, in turn is the product of mUlAvidyA which
has the ashraya of brahman itself  etc. etc. His answer is simple &
straight forward, if you are realized that you are Ishwara, then there is
no avidyA to anybody..(note here shankara says *no avidyA to anybody* in
the normal case the answer should have been "if you are realized that you
are Ishwara, then there is no avidyA to "YOU" )

>From the above references we can easily say that avidyA pertains to
antaHkara & it has nothing to do with socalled jIva which is in reality
non-dual self according to advaita vEdAnta.

SSN prabhuji :

3. You use the terminologies of nyAya and mImAmsA freely and yet do not
want them to be used in the discussion; if we note both the darSanas were
used freely by the bhagavatpAda, it is strange as to why you don't want to
admist them to the discussion.

bhaskar :

Using terminologies which are being used in pUrvapaxa schools is not a big
sin...for that matter Sri GaudapAdAcharya used plenty of words that we can
find in buddhistic texts...that does not mean Sri gaudapAdAchArya is a
buddhist!!  vEdAntic terms like jIva, brahma, jagat, avidyA etc. etc. have
equally been used by other dualistic Astika schools too but that does not
mean they are talking advaita...Likewise using terminologies of nyAya &
pUrva mImAmsa to refute those schools or substantiate vEdic school quite
normal & its a regular practice.

BTW, we are not against tarka but our insistence is that this tarka should
be shrauta tarka or upanishadic reasoning which is also in consonance with
intuitive experience.  The tarka *without* the support of shruti & anubhava
is shushka (dry), vain or empty logic for which the *intellect* alone is
predominant one.  Whereas in shrauta tarka (shrutyanugruhIta anubhavAtmaka
tarka)attaches all the importance to intuitive experience. See mAndukya for
example, see, how shruti through detailed analysis of our three states
*experiences* establishes the *turIya* nature of ours...

SSN prabhuji :

There might be others (I had not tried a focussed analysis), but to start
with if you can show the pramANa for the above positions either from Sruti
or bhAshyavAkya, it would be easier to accept the rules you set for
discussion and discuss your Mail.

bhaskar :

If your time permits kindly do the focussed analysis of my mail & let me
know where exactly I strayed from *lOkAnubhava* & bhAshya vAkya siddhAnta.

Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!

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