[Advaita-l] A Vichara on the terms 'Avidya' and 'Maya' Part 1

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sun May 9 11:34:24 CDT 2010

On Sat, May 8, 2010 at 1:04 AM, Jaishankar Narayanan <jai1971 at gmail.com>wrote:

> Those who worship this asambhUti known as unmanifest,
> prakrti, cause and avidyA  which is the seed of desire and
> activities....
> Here Shankara is clearly using the terms avidyA, prakrtih etc
> synonymously. Also in In IshavAsya mantra 8 bhASya explaining the word
> shuddham shankara says
> shuddham nirmalam avidyAmalarahitam iti kAraNasharIrapratishedah..
> Here Shankara is equating avidyA with kAraNasharIra.
> Those who hold that avidyA is abhAva and mAyA is different from avidyA
> should explain these statements properly.
> with love and prayers,
> Jaishankar


Here is one more reference, from the Gita bhAshya 4.18, where Shankara is
rebutting the proposal that an effect, bhAva vastu, can originate from a
cause which is 'abhAva':

*नापि* नित्यानां अकरणात् *अभावात्* प्रत्यवाय*भावोत्पत्तिः*  ’नासतो विद्यते
भावः’ (२.१६)  इति वचनात्, ’कथं असत्ः सज्जायेत ’ (छा.६.२.२) इति च दर्शितं
असतः सज्जन्मप्रतिषेधात् ।  असतः सदुत्पत्तिं ब्रुवता असदेव सद्भवेत्, सच्चापि
असद्भवेत् इत्युक्तं स्यात् ।  *तच्चायुक्तं सर्वप्रमाणविरोधात्* ।

//Nor even can any evil, which is an entity, arise from the non-performance
of nityakarmas, which is a non-entity, for there is the statement, 'Of the
unreal there is no being' (2.16), and (in the Upanisad) it has been pointed
out, 'How can existence originate from nonexistence?' (Ch. 4.2.2). Since
emergence of the existent from the nonexistent has been denied, therefore
anyone's assertion that the existent originates from the nonexistent will
amount to saying that a non-entity becomes an entity, and an entity becomes
a non-entity! And that is not rational because it runs counter to all the
means of valid knowledge. //

Though the context of refutation here is karma, Bhagavatpada invokes this as
a general rule in places where even Srishti is involved.

Bhagavatpada has made similar refutation of this theory at some other places
too, for example, in the Taittiriya Upanishad bhashyam, Chandogya bhashyam,
etc.  Sri Sureshwaracharya too has stated this in the Taittiriya bhashya
Vartikam.  These were pointed out recently in another thread.  The above
Gita reference is an addition.

Om Tat Sat

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