[Advaita-l] Fwd: On avidyA being anirvachanIya etc

subhanu saxena subhanu at hotmail.com
Mon Nov 7 18:02:51 CST 2011

Ramesh Krishnamurty wrote:
I was surprised by your quote of the 3.7 intro, as it clearly pertains to
pUrvapakSha, and wonder whether SSS in his kleshApahAriNI also considers
this to be siddhAnta (I have no exposure to SSS' works)
Namaste Ramesh yes I am aware this is the pūrvapaksha position, which is one of the reasons I quoted it. Suresvara can make a very clear and explicit statement in his purvapaksha and it is a joy to see exactly the thread he takes in refuting it, which parts he holds and which parts he corrects in the response. There is a similar example in BUBV 1.4.421, where in the purvapaksha he says nanvajnānam avastutvāt katham samskāra kāraṇam, how can ignorance, being a non-entity be the cause of samskāra. I won’t give you the detail as to what he responds (though you can guess from my other posts), as I  give this example as well as the NS.III.7 reference as an encouragement and enticement to read the TUBV and the BUBV in more detail and see the mastery with which Suresvara writes, and in this case how he posits an objection and then refutes it (in verse!). It is truly one of the delights of studying Suresvara in Sanskrit.
SSS does not consider this as the siddhānta either and if you read Sanskrit I would recommend you read his commentary on kleshāpahāriṇῑ III.7, especially the para’s headed:  pūrvapakṣah-mithyājnānavyatirekeṇa ajnānam nāsti; parihārah-ajnānam samshaya-mithyājnānayostattvam;  ajnātasata eva kāraṇatvam; atra mūlājnānavādasya nāstyavasarah. With reference your Ista Siddhi comment, you can also read mūla  Ista Siddhi sections in Vedanta Prakriya Pratyabhijna section 11 (and ignore SSS’ comments if you don’t want to read them), if you suddenly have an uncontrollable urge to do so.
I would like to make my final point in this thread: We all (including myself) tend to look for our own viewpoints in any text to justify our position, as we like to fashion reality in accordance with our own desires. There is an urdu verse that makes this point: khud apnee ārzu kā khāliq hai ādmee; hazb-e-mizāj usne khudā bhi banāye hai, meaning Man fashions and creates in a form that follows his own desires. He has even fashioned god’s image in a way favoured by Man! We sometimes need to just put ourselves in another point of view to ours just to see if new insights come. In the workplace we often ask teams to defend the other person’s position as a way to understand more deeply the critical issues on a topic, and it can be revelatory for some. As such I have encouraged the more staunch followers of SSS to read the bhashya , karika and vartika texts from the orthodox viewpoint to see what insights it can reveal  (it is no accident I quote panchadashi verses, or that I hold Sri Vidyashankar's old posts on yoga and advaita some of the finest I have read on the topic, as I have mentioned to him in the past. Also, many are not aware that the first advaita text that SSS read that inspired his study was vivekachudamani or that he has written  a book translating and extolling some of the prakarana granthas). For example, you can read BUBV 1.4.450-466 as refuting other views of error in favour of anirchvachanῑyakhāyati if you look for it. If you are happy and comfortable in your view and see no need to examine  from a different vantage point then that is fine also, as your right sādhanā will take you where you need to go anyway. If you are prepared to see the world through a different lens in the expectation that new insights may come then I can assure you that in matters of not just ātma-vichāra but in many facets of life, such an approach can be extremely rewarding. As such, Ramesh, I await your response to point 3 in my previous post to see if there is a real difference at all. 
Whatever you do, don’t just accept a view because you read it /heard it somewhere without applying your own critical reflection. As kalidāsa says :
purāṇam ityeva na sādhu sarvam, na chāpi kāvyam navam ityavadyam 
santah parῑkṣāṇyantarad bhajante, mūdhah para-pratyaya-neya buddhih (mālavikāgnimitram I.2)
Just because something is old it doesn’t make it right, also a poem should not be ridiculed just because it is new
The wise carefully examine and weigh up their own views; the slow-witted of us just follow somebody elses view.

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