[Advaita-l] A vichAra on Swatantra & Paratantra (Independent & dependent Realities)

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sun Apr 11 13:01:01 CDT 2010

On Sun, Apr 11, 2010 at 8:24 PM, Shrisha Rao <shrao at nyx.net> wrote:

> Of course we can; e.g., we can say that the व्योमकमल is blue in color, and
> induce fear in a child or other person based on some characteristic of a
> तुच्छ (e.g., by saying that a शशविषाण is sharp and can cause grievous
> injury).

[ By doing this, you have only elevated an atyanta asat to a
vyAvaharika/prAtibhAsika entity.  Now the situation is all the more easy
(for me).  The child 'believes' in its existence, fears, obeys. ]

> Your claim is backward, that a gumma is not अत्यन्तासत् because it has
> साधकत्व; by that standard, even a व्योमकमल or शशविषाण can be given some
> साधकत्व and called not अत्यन्तासत.

[ You cannot give any sAdhakatva to such an entity, unless you are
addressing an ignoramus or an innocent child.  No sane man will propose:
this vandhyAputra is capable of eating a hundred laddus at a time.  And no
sane man will believe that and go to witness the feat.
Shankaracharya has quoted a verse in the Taittiriya Upanishad (Anandavalli
1) bhashya:

मृगतृष्णाम्भसि स्नातः खपुष्पकृतशेखरः ।

एष वन्ध्यासुतो याति शशशृङ्गधनुर्धरः ॥

// Having bathed in mirage water, donning his hair with the sky-flowers,
there goes the barren-woman’s son holding the bow made of hare’s horn.//

What sAdhakatva is there in this statement?  Will anyone go to have a view
of this scene?

> However, the gumma, like the व्योमकमल, does not have any of the three types
> of सत्ता -- it is an अत्यन्तासत् only, for it is not व्यावहारिक,
> प्रातिभासिक, and of course not पारमार्थिक.

[ You are mistaken.  For the very reason it was able to create effects, it
is bhAvarUpa; at least from the child's viewpoint. It  believes  it is
there, it might harm me if I do not believe'. ]

> > Gumma turns out to be not existent *only* upon Krishna searching for it
> in
> > all the worlds, including VaikunTha.
> This of course is also a characteristic of other तुच्छs such as शशविषाण;
> one could scour the world expecting to see one somewhere (if we were told
> that it existed).  A logically-inconsistent तुच्छ could be ruled out if one
> were sharp, but one might not know that something like a शशविषाण does not
> exist, and some false claim of its साधकत्व could be easily made.

[ Here too, you have made the case a praatibhAsika one for the other
person.  He believes your words and (mis)taking you to be an 'Apta' goes in
search of it and finally when the real 'Apta' tells him the truth or he
himself finds out the truth, he becomes wiser.  Till then the fact that it
is a 'bhAva vastu' is what is reigning in him. The subject matter for him is
a bhAva vastu although for you who have made him believe it, it is abhAva

> > The two songs prove that gumma, though not ultimately real,  can be a
> > saadhakatva of bhaya and upon searching for
> > it, not being available.  This is exactly of the status of a mithyA
> vastu:
> > the snake appears, creates fear, trembling, etc. but upon searching for
> it
> > turns out to be not there.
> However, the प्रातिभासिक requires the superimposition on something else
> (e.g., on a rope seen in poor light), whilst a gumma is not created by
> misperception of something else.

[ It is created by perceiving the mother's words as true.  Perception is not
necessarily ocular; in the case of gumma it is the ear that hears it but in
the mind of the child a 'some fierce' form, in tune with the mother's
description is formed.  And this does the magic.  Every time the mother
invokes the name of the gumma, this mental picture in the child is brought
up.  This  is how the gumma-psychology works. So, the words, the description
is what is directly heard by the child.  Because of its immaturity, it is
not able to see through the mother's words.  Thereby it successfully
mis-perceives the words to be real.  Just as a rope is not seen as a rope in
semi-darkness or due to one's own defective vision and something else, a
snake or a garland, etc. is perceived. ]

>  What is its substratum?

[ I have already explained it above.  Its substratum is the mother's words.]

> A निरधिष्ठान-भ्रान्ति is not possible (this is a difference between us and
> Buddhists) and in any event would not suffice to call it प्रातिभासिक.
> > A tucchA vastu is not of this type; it never even appears.
> Correct; which is true of a gumma as well -- who has seen it?

[ I have said before that from generations immemorial, only a kAlpanika
vastu is passed off as a gumma. It is presented as though real and the child
believes it to  be so and when it grows up, naturally the bhrama goes.  Here
the 'appearance' is the perception, the belief the child forms in his mind.
An example could be this: Dasharatha heard the gurugling sound of water at a
distance and concluded that an elephant (some animal) has come there to
drink water; he shot an arrow and it turned out to be that boy Shravana
kumara. Here, the 'shabdavEdi' power of Dasharatha misled him.

This is different from my statement above: A tucchA vastu is not of this
type; it never even appears.  No one mistakes a pillar to be a vandhyAputra;
it can be definitely mistaken to be a man or a robber. Thus, an atyanta
abhAva vastu can never be a candidate for mithyA pratyaya, only a bhAva
vastu can.  If you are able to make someone believe, as I said above, it is
still a bhAva vastu for that believer, till the truth is known.  ]

Let me conclude with some notes:

In the Panchadashi there is a verse:

तुच्छा अनिर्वचनीया च वास्तवी चेत्यसौ त्रिधा ।
ज्ञेया माया त्रिभिर्बोधैः श्रौत यौक्तिक लौकिकैः ॥

[ From three standpoints Maya is seen as having three different positions:
>From the Ultimate standpoint, of the Shruti-based tattva jnAna, mAyA is
tucchA; it never existed in all the three periods of time; Brahman is the
only satya vastu, adviteeya of any kind.  From the point of logical
analysis, as we have indulged in above, it is held to be anirvachaneeya
(sad-asad-vilakshana) on the basis of: सत् चेत् न बाध्येत, असत् चेत् न
प्रतीयेत.  >From the worldly, ignorant, view point maya is real.

For the child, the gumma prateeti is very much there; it is not asat.  Since
the truth is known when it grows up and the bAdhA occurs then, it is not
sat.  This is the nature of a mithyA vastu. The two songs of Purandara Dasa
prove this definition eminently.  ]

> Regards,
>   subrahmanian.v
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