[Advaita-l] Question for Mr. Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian (fwd)

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian rama.balasubramanian at gmail.com
Sat May 19 23:54:47 CDT 2007

Dear Sri Ranga Rathnam,

I do not have the book you quote below, nor have listened to Sri Mani
Dravids lectures.

In the context of epsitemic errors, what I meant was this. The basic
adhyaasa, superimposition of the real and unreal is what leads to
epsitemic errors. This is because the notion of epistemic assumes
apriori the existence of a pramaatR^i (not saaxin), who undergoes
change. So, avidyaa cannot fundamentally be epistemic. Now, the paper
does not discuss the mechanism of epistemic errors, nor discussion of
avidyaa by later advaitins. This is too much to be discussed in one
place. I hope to write in detail about these in some later publication
and show that although terminology between shankara and some later
advaitins can vary greatly, they capture essentially the same
philosophy. The paper as it is is narrowly focussed and pretty much
refutes the interpretation of avidyaa by SSS, that's all.


On 5/19/07, Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com> wrote:
> Please cc sranga2001 at gmail.com on replies as he is not subscribed to the
> list.
> --
> Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Ranga Rathnam <sranga2001 at gmail.com>
> Dear List Moderators,
> I have been a passive spectator of the advaita-vedanta list for quite
> sometime and I have a question for Mr.Ramakrishnan
> regarding the recent paper he has put up.
> First to quote from the paper
> Many times ´ Sa ? nkar¯ac¯arya and Sure´svar¯ac¯arya compare the avidy¯a due
> to which we superimpose false limiting adjuncts on brahman to truly
> epistemic errors. A few such examples are: superimposition of snake on a
> rope, illusion of movement of trees due to movement of a boat, and
> attributing blueness to the sky.
> /end quote/
> I remember reading from a book 'The mind of Adi Sankaracharya' by Shri
> Keshava Menon that the rope in the snake is not an error because of a defect
> in the subject at least in the same class as a jaundiced eye.
> Also to quote from 'Adhyasabhasya - lectures by Sri Mani Dravid' from the
> advaita vedanta list website
> 5. Anirvachaniyakhyati. This is the theory of the Advaitins. According to
> this the silver seen on nacre cannot be categorized as either real or
> unreal. The person seeing it thinks that there is real silver before him
> and that is why he stretches out his hand to grab the silver. Similarly,
> the universe which is an appearance on Brahman is neither real nor
> unreal. As in the case of silver, the universe is looked upon by all as real
> until Brahman is realized. As a result of this superimposition every one
> says 'I am a man', etc., and 'This is mine'. Thus there are two kinds of
> adhyasa.
> /end quote/
> I sense a disconnect when Mr. Ramakrishnan says 'truly epistemic errors' and
> would be grateful to receive a clarification.

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