[Advaita-l] mithyaa / anirvachaniiya and asattva

Naresh Cuntoor nareshpc at gmail.com
Wed Mar 13 16:49:34 CDT 2013

[Spinning off a thread from the ongoing ekajeeva discussion for more
clarity on the following point:]

  Only in the deep
> sleep state there are no objects perceived, since perceiving mind is not
> there.
> Therefore the existence of the objects there is indeterminate or
> anirvacaniiyam. However,
> there are objects both in the waking and dream states. In both states, the
> objects are the creation of the corresponding Iswara and not by
> local jiiva. Advaita is not the

Let us stick to the non-paaramaarthika level for now. According to the
above statements, in suShupti, no objects are perceived, so existence of
objects is anirvachaniiya. By the same token, why can't we then say, in the
jaagrat state, that the shashaviShaaNa is aniravahaniiya too? Given what we
know at the vyaavahaarika level today, a rabbit could very well be
genetically engineered to have a horn. (My background in biology is limited
to the 10th standard (grade) - so people in the field may laugh at the
question. But I hope the spirit of the question is clear.)

The other classical example of vandhyaaputraH is, I think, moot. By
definition, putravihiinaa vandhyaa. Then to say that vandhyaayaaH putraH is
asat is to simply restate the definition of the term vandhyaa.

Or if one is to say that the lakShaNa of a rabbit is to not have a horn,
and that a horned rabbit is really a different animal called "horbit" (no
offense to hobbits!), then again we end up with an asattva simply by a
vyaavahaarika definition a 'la vandhyaaputraH.

For something to be mithyaa, there has to be someone who is perceiving.
Otherwise, how do we say that it becomes a false notion? A rope lying by
itself will continue to be a rope. It requires a person to see the snake in
it, and subsequently the rope in it. The snake is mithyaa. Without the
person mistaking the rope for the snake, there would be no snake.

>From a vyaavahaarika perspective, as long as the false notion is held to be
true, then its mithyaa status is irrelevant. If our cognizer in this
example has a morbid fear of snakes, then he may have a coronary attack on
seeing the 'snake' next to him.

In the case of the world, from a vyaavahaarika perspective, isn't its
existence independent of anyone perceiving the world? Using anumaana and
arthaapatti, we know that the earth and the stars existed before there were
any humans to cognize the world, before any life for that matter. So how is
the existence of the world anirvachaniiya?


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