[Advaita-l] avasthAtraya

Siva Senani Nori sivasenani at yahoo.com
Mon Nov 1 20:01:45 CDT 2010

Dear Sri Werlings

In Sanskrit also I heard of a similar thesis that there are no exact synonyms 
and generally, I do believe that. For instance, a tree might have so many names 
like vriksha, bhUruha etc. but each has a different etymological sense (a 
vriksha is what is cut, and a bhUruha is what grows on earth), which is 
sometimes exploited by the clever composer and often respected by the wise 

However, we should not take the etymological or inheret meaning too far. The 
Sanskrit language has a fairly high place for established or rUDhi meanings. For 
instance if I were to refer to my wife as paÑkajam (that born out of mud, 
lotus), it is a compliment and not a slight on her family. More seriously, there 
is a science of interpretation, called vAkyavicAra or pUrvamImAmsA which 
categorises all vedic statements into five types (vidhi, mantra, nAmadheya, 
nishedha and arthavAda); of these, vidhi itself is of four types - utpatti, 
viniyoga, adhikAra and prayoga; of these the viniyoga vidhi has six pramANas 
namely Sruti, linga, vAkya, prakaraNa, sthAna and samAkhya, each being 
progressively weaker. The first is a direct statement given in Veda which does 
not require any further explanations. The second is defined as "SabdasAmarthyam 
liÑgam" and refers to the established meaning of a word. Here, we need not go 
into the philosophical difference of mImAmsA and other schools, say vyAkaraNa 
but recognise that mImAmsA is the most respected - including for Vedantins - 
when it comes to interpretation, and that it gives preference to the established 
meaning and not the etymological meaning. An usual example is the Vedic 
statement which says "barhirdeva sadanam kriNomi" (O Deva, I make a seat with 
barhih). Here barhih refers to any grass, but the stablished meaning is that 
only kuSas are used.

So, while the three words are indeed different, to the best of my knowledge, no 
separate meaning is intended.


From: Guy Werlings <werlings.guy at wanadoo.fr>
To: advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
Sent: Mon, November 1, 2010 9:37:32 PM
Subject: [Advaita-l] avasthAtraya

Dear List Members,

namo namaH |

When it comes to avasthAtraya, I have seen the following expressions:

avasthAtraya vicAra,

avasthAtraya prakR^iyA and recently in the messages of the list,

avasthAtraya parIkShA.

Are all those expressions exact synonyms?

In French, we use to say that no word/expression is really an exact synonym of 
another word/expression ant that it is always worth to try to discrimininate 
between seeming synonyms.

Should be grateful for comments.



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