[Advaita-l] An article on 'avidyA'

Bhaskar YR bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com
Tue Apr 5 06:07:47 CDT 2011

To the question 'whose ignorance?' the *shastra* answers that as the very 
appearance of the *vyAvahArika* is
due to ignorance, the ignorance, *avidyA*, has to be connected to 
*brahman*which is the sole existing principle before the arrival of the 

Hare Krishna

The above gives us the impression that avidyA is 'brahmAbhinna' or there 
will be duality i.e. brahmA & avidyA right from the beginning and this 
would mean 'avidyA' is as eternal & absolute as brahman!! Moreover, 
vyavahArAteeta avidyA which has 'existence' on par with absolute brahman 
cannot go 'vyavahArAtmaka' shrutivAkya shravaNa, mananAdi sAdhana!! 
Putting all these speculations to rest, shankara clarifies the status of 
avidyA in advaita vedAnta in sutra bhAshya.  Here pUrva paxi asks a 
question to whom does this avidyA pertain??  the answer vedAnti gives is : 
to 'you' who are asking this question.  pUrva paxi counters : but I am 
taught by the shruti that I am Ishwara/brahman himself, how can I have 
this ignorance??  for this objection,  siddhAnti answers : in that case, 
if you realize & awaken to that truth then there is no avidyA at all to 

Ofcourse, we say anAdi avidyA, but it does not mean avidyA has the status 
of vyavahArAteeta and sitting on par with brahman.  avidyA is anAdi 
because it is itself the conjurer of time in which any series can be 
conceived to exist.  In the advaita siddhAnta, avidyA is NO actual concept 
of Atman to 'connect' it to the Atman it is because of the simple reason 
that Atman/brahman can never be perceived by the mind!!

But as usual, for this explanation also we have a difference of opinion 
within the advaitin circle :-))

Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!

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