[Advaita-l] The Treatment of Avidya in Advaita - Part 1

Bhaskar YR bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com
Tue Apr 27 07:39:42 CDT 2010

Hare Krishna

I was about to write a reply to one of your earlier posts...but this one 
is appeared instantly in my mail box which requires an immediate attention 

Savithri Madam said:

I would say the sUtra prasthAna has more authority on the meaning of
avidya/adhyAsa than the possible different meanings in the different
upanishads from different rishis at different times.

>  Yes, it is because, shankara has dedicated one whole chapter as an 
introduction and taken all the pain to explain what exactly is this 
avidyA/adhyAsa is...did you notice such an elaborated notes anywhere else 
in prasthAna trayi bhAshya apart from adhyAsa bhAshya??  Please note, 
unlike your contention (and others ofcourse) shankara here does not give 
us even an iota of expression to call avidyA is anirvachaneeya & adhyAsa 
has the upAdAna kAraNa in the form of avidyA which is jadAtmaka & jnAna 

Fro this I showed that there is no  conflict in the meaning of 
avidya/adhyasa and therefore there is no need to call in the authority of 
the Nyaya prasthana to decide on this.

>  that is your opinion and you are welcome to express your opinion 
prabhuji..but fact remains that adhyAsa bhAshya is the ONLY elaborated 
source in shankara's prasthAna trayi bhAshya to understand the real nature 
of avidyA/adhyAsa.

And to say that this prasthana is not to be held as the ultimate one, I
quoted the mantra on the Mandukya. 

> this is exactly where you erred & quoted out of context maNdUkya..when 
we are talking about tamaH you are giving the reference about prakAsha 

And since you came up with an irrelevant objection, I showed the last 
lines of the adhyasa bhashya to prove that the
context is avidya nivritti throu atma jnana, which is the virodhi of 
and resulting in moksha prapti. 

>  how relevant is your quote about mOksha prApti when the vishaya of the 
discussion is all about bandha!!?? you decide yourself..

This is the meaning given by the Acharya for the nirvachana of the word 

>  I dont think sAvitri mAtAji talking about the importance of shAstra 
here to make you to show her the importance of shAstra!! ...As per my 
understanding (sAvitri mAtAji, correct me if I am wrong) she is trying to 
show you that shankara in adhyAsa bhAshya saying mutual superimposition is 
the anarthahetu and Atmaikatva jnAna (self knowledge) would remove this!! 
See, once again here her intention is to show you how adhyAsa is NOTHING 
but avidyA..this is not an effort to belittle the importance of shAstra 
nor a talk about means for liberation...It is onceagain quite obvious that 
you have completely misunderstood her intention in quoting that bhAshya 
vAkya & you have comfortably quoted totally irrelevant mAndUkya quote.

Also note that when the Acharya is making this statement: "asyAnarthahetoH 
prahANAya .....' His intention is
NOT to decide upon the meaning of avidya/adhyasa. 

>  yes, because shankara has explained in this very bhAshya itself that 
adhyAsa is avidyA..

He wants us to note that the superimposition is the cause of smsara. To 
quote this sentence completely out of its true context of bandhaaat 
jnaanena mokshaH, and erroneously take it as a support for avidya = 
adhyasa is the folly of some people.

>  Despite bhagavatpAda's clear cut clarification in this bhAshya itself 
i.e. avidyA=adhyAsa, some people are too funny to float their pet theories 
on avidyA..

This is exactly what I have discussed in my article and shown is not the
case : //the term avidyA mainly used in prasthAna
trayi bhAshya as adhyAsa only//

>  My dear prabhuji, please note this is the reply to your article 
only...if your article resulting in doubts in the minds of readers..then 
it is not fool proof & it is not an universally acceptable theory..

When you read the article and the discussion that followed correctly you
will realize how absurd & out of context your objection is!!! 

>  my objection to your out of scope quote is valid since you are yet to 
justify your quote with regard to 'liberation ' when the context is all 
about 'bandha' & 'bandha' svarUpa...

Like this you have quoted so many bhAshyA vAkya-s out of context to prove 
avidyA is not mAyA... I will not waste time to take all those bhAshya 
vAkya-s in detail to prove how those quotes are hardly near to your 
contention i.e. avidyA=adhyasa, avidya is not maya, etc.

>  Nice try prabhuji, I used this style while countering dvaitins in 
vAdAvaLi group :-)) keep trying prabhuji :-))

Please let this forum know what is the SSS-understanding of the term 
'samskaara vashaat' of Brahma sutra 4.1.15.  Your effort in this direction 
would be much more fruitful.

>  in short saMskAra vashAta does not mean traces of avidyA as you want to 
see in Sri SSS interpretation...If a switched off fan is still revolving 
it is not because of 'traces' of electricity!!  if that is the case, no 
doubt you are going to get shock!!! I have explained this with another 
example :'jihvA chApalya' in my earlier mail..More you can expect when my 
time permits :-)) Till that time atleast stop interpreting prArabdha karma 
= avidyA lesha, saMskAra vashAt=avidyAlesha etc. etc.

Best regards,

Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!

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