[Advaita-l] Pancikarana vs. Trivrtkarana (was Re: Dr Mani Dravid)

Sundaresan, Vidyasankar (GE Infra, Water) vidyasankar.sundaresan at ge.com
Tue Apr 7 16:11:20 CDT 2009

Dear Sri Devanathan,

Not to argue for the sake of arguing, but I think you are missing
my main point. There is clearly a historical issue of debate about
this topic that emerges explicitly in the kalpataru. It may well be
that the prakaTArtha vivaraNa of anubhUtisvarUpAcArya is prior to
amalAnanda's kalpataru, but I take all these relative dates with
abundant caution. Unless an author cites specific sentences from
or names an earlier author/text, we have to be very careful about
concluding which author came before the other. 

You are still ignoring the mention of pancIkaraNa in chAndogya
bhAshya, in a context where the source mentions trivRtkaraNa.
Sankara bhagavatpAda himself knows of pancIkaraNa, and applies
a "samAna nyAya" to it. So, although he doesn't call it a prakriyA,
you cannot attribute this to anubhUtisvarUpa or any other late author.
I don't remember the exact reference at this time, but I've read that
the mahAbhArata mentions pancIkaraNa and I'd anticipate that the
sAMkhya texts that talk of tan-mAtras as distinct from mahAbhUtas
would also do so. There had to have been some pre-Sankaran text
or author that described pancIkaraNa, in order for Sankara to have
even used this term in his chAndogya bhAshya. All of this is grist
for the mill of historical and textual analysis, which is interesting in
its own right, but quite besides the point here. The basic issue still
remains, "After five elements evolve, do only three elements get
intermixed or do all five get intermixed?" But if you ARE interested
in historical and textual analysis, you have to be honest and ask
yourself, "did those who hold to trivRtkaraNa-only read what the
chAndogya bhAshya says, even if only in passing?" After all, if
they had read it, they would have had to explore and explain what
is the nature of the samAna nyAya in both cases, right?

Whether it is anubhUtisvarUpa or amalAnanda who first attributes
vAcaspati miSra with a trivRtkaraNa-only opinion, it does not
matter. The fact is that this dispute is foreign to the bhAmatI and
it is foreign to the sUtrabhAshya. To me, this dispute is utterly
foreign to Sankara bhagavatpAda, the person, not just the sUtra
bhAshya as text, because he is ALSO the author of the chAndogya
bhAshya, a text that does mention pancIkaraNa, if only in passing.

Finally, it seems you miss the import of the term upalakshaNa,
used by madhusUdana sarasvatI in siddhAntabindu and others
before and after him. They are not denying trivRtkaraNa; they are
extending a process of intermixing to all five bhUtas. An argument
that Sabda and sparSa as properties are implicit in agni/tejas, so
therefore you need to intermix only three basic elements, not five,
is flawed. In actuality, this argument needs neither trivRtkaraNa
nor pancIkaraNa. The properties of Sabda, sparSa, rUpa, rasa
and gandha are all implicitly present in pRthvI and everything that
is material arises out of pRthvI, doesn't it?

ity alam anAtma cintanena,

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