[Advaita-l] Some questions on 'khyAti vAda-s' - Theories of/on Error

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Wed Apr 21 12:06:34 CDT 2010

On Sat, Apr 17, 2010 at 9:30 PM, Anand Hudli <anandhudli at hotmail.com> wrote:

The mAdhva theory of abhinava anyathAkhyAti says that the silver is false
and the post-illusion experience "the false silver appeared" shows this.
Unlike the naiyAyikas, the mAdhvas hold that silver, the illusory object,
never occurs anywhere at any time. Cognition of a false (nonexistent) object
in a substratum (adhiShThAna) is admitted in
this system. Madhva holds that one cannot deny that a false object can be
cognized even in illusion.
न च असतो भ्रान्तावपि प्रतीतिर्नास्तीति वाच्यम् -विष्णुतत्त्वविनिर्णयः
In fact, he explicitly denies what is cognized in an illusion is
anirvachanIya, as the advaitins claim, and goes on to say that what is
cognized in the illusion is asat.
JayatIrtha clarifies, in his PramANa paddhati, that  what is meant is
atyanta asat, a completely false entity , "atyanta-asadrajatAtmanA
pratibhAtItyAchAryAH" . The following from the  विष्णुतत्त्वविनिर्णय of
Madhva makes the definition of illusion or bhrama clear:
असतः सत्त्वप्रतीतिः सतोऽसत्त्वप्रतीतिरित्यन्यथाप्
रतीतिरेव भ्रान्तित्वात् । The cognition of a nonexistent (false) entity as
existing and an existing entity as nonexistent is called bhrama or illusion.
This kind of cognizing one thing as another is illusion.
The Kannada commentary by Shri Vishvesha Tirtha, Mathadhisha of the Pejawar
Math clarifies this further:
ಅಲ್ಲಿ ನಮಗೆ ತೋರಿದ ಬೆಳ್ಳಿ ಎಲ್ಲಿಯೂ ತೋರದೇ ಇರುವುದುರಿಂದ ಅದು ಅಸತ್ಯವೆಂಬುದರಲ್ಲಿ
ಸಂದೇಹವೇ ಇಲ್ಲ. ಆದರೂ ಭ್ರಮೆಯ ಸ್ಥಿತಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ನಮಗೆ ಅದು ತೋರುತ್ತದೆ.

Namaste Anand ji,

In the above theory of the Madhva school, are there not these two 'problems'

1. The rule, in part, that Advaitins hold: असत् चेत् न प्रतीयेत [ if it is a
non-existent, it would / could not have appeared for cognition.
प्रतीतिविषयं नैव स्यात् ] seems to have been broken.

2. How is their definition not different from this definition of the second
mithyAtva of the AdvaitasiddhiH:

प्रतिपन्नोपाधौ त्रैकालिकनिषेधप्रतियोगित्वं वा मिथ्यात्वम् ?
[mithyAtva is that condition of (an object) being the subject of negation in
all three periods of time in the locus where it is perceived (erroneously)]

Have I missed to see something very fundamental?

Could you kindly explain these points?

Warm regards,

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