[Advaita-l] On avidyA being anirvachanIya etc

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Fri Nov 18 08:14:55 CST 2011

Dear Sri Krishnamoorthy,
The word anirvacanIya simply means indescribable. The typical usage that you will
see in SankarAcArya's bhAshya-s is in the phrase "tattvAnyatvAbhyAm anirvacanIya".
This means not describable (anirvacanIya) as this (tat-tva) or the other (anya-tva).
This phrase is typically applied to the primordial "unmanifest name and form" - 
avyAkRta nAma-rUpa. 
The vidyA that you can get from say, searching on google for a given topic, is more
on the lines of information and perhaps knowledge, but certainly not wisdom. advaita
vedAnta is not primarily concerned with avidyA as lack of knowledge of this or that
object. The avidyA that advaita vedAntins concentrate on pertains to the lack of Self
knowledge, not to the lack of knowledge of (say) electronics engineering on the part
of (say) a financial analyst. The avidyA that a mumukshu needs to be concerned with
is not of this type. Self-knowledge is, in the advaita analysis, ultimately not a qualifier
but an entity. It is never as if the Self is an object and its knowledge is a qualifier.
When avidyA is spoken of as being anirvacanIya, what advaita vedAntins mean is that
this avidyA can neither be truly existent (sat) nor truly non-existent (asat). It is not
just lack of study. And please do not forget to include SravaNa before manana and
nididhyAsana when you think of vidyA. SravaNa is most important.

> From: srirudra at vsnl.com
> To: advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
> Date: Fri, 18 Nov 2011 16:29:16 +0530
> Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] On avidyA being anirvachanIya etc
> Dear Members
> I just tried to understand the concepts of jnana,ajnana,avidhya and 
> anirvachaniya etc.The logical analysis appears to be on not on firm 
> grounds.These things exist not as entities but as qualifiers.Jnanam of 
> something which is different from the concept of jnanam is 
> understandable.There is no jnanam of jnanam.So when I say I donot know I 
> mean I have some inputs but these inputs are not adequate to establish this 
> is that.So to correctly know the object I do a google.This is Vidhya.Avidhya 
> literally means absence of study-say mananam/nidhidhyasanam-.A guru helps to 
> get rid of avidhya.I donot think avidhya is anirvachaniya except in the 
> context of using it as anadhi or as an axiom.This is not to belittle the 
> research done by some of our posters.
> Just my views on these concepts.R.Krishnamoorthy.

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