[Advaita-l] Application of pUrvamImAMsA nyAya to advaita vedanta - English summary

Anand Hudli anandhudli at hotmail.com
Thu Nov 10 09:32:40 CST 2011

The apaccheda nyAya of pUrvamImAMsA is used in situations where two events
occur, not simultaneously but in sequence. In the JyotiShToma Yajna, the
priests (Ritviks) are supposed to go around the sacrificial hall in a line
where each holds the waist cloth of the Ritvik in front. If the sAmaveda
priest, the udgAtA lets go the waist cloth of the priest in front, the
prAyashcitta is that the sacrifice must be completed with no fee given to
any priest. Furthermore, the sacrifice must be repeated. However, if the
pratihartA priest lets go the waist cloth of the one in front, as the
prAyashcitta the entire wealth of the sacrificer must be given to the
priests. Now, a question arises: if the two priests let go the waist cloth
of the one in front A) simultaneously or B) one after the other, what is
the prAyashcitta? For A) the answer is: either prAyashcitta can be
performed. For B) the answer is: the prAyashcitta related to the later
event is to be performed, not the one related to the earlier event.  This
is called the apaccheda nyAya wherein the second event is more powerful
than the earlier one. Extending this to cognitions that we gain from
different sources, the later cognition is more powerful than an earlier
one, which stands negated by the later cognition. This is exactly the
argument of AnandabodhAchArya, an advaitin, in his PramANamAla. From
perception, there arises a cognition of the reality of the world. However,
through the study of the upaniShads, the cognition of nonduality arises,
which sublates the earlier cognition. This is an application of the
apaccheda nyAya of the mImAMsakas.


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