[Advaita-l] mithyaa / anirvachaniiya and asattva

श्रीमल्ललितालालितः lalitaalaalitah at lalitaalaalitah.com
Fri Mar 15 21:23:43 CDT 2013


On Sat, Mar 16, 2013 at 7:14 AM, Naresh Cuntoor <nareshpc at gmail.com> wrote:

> [Replying to both Sri Sadananda's and Sri Subramanian's notes.]
> Pranam.
> >> "Vandhyaa putraH is logical contradiction "
> I don't see how it is a logical contradiction. Isn't it simply a
> restatement?
> 1. A woman who does not have children is called vandhyaa
> 2. A woman who does not have children (i.e, vandhyaa) does not have a son.
> So where is the contradiction here?

That's wrong way to interpret a word. vandhyAputraH is a word, while you
are interpreting it as a sentence.
The specific word means 'son of a barren woman'. It doesn't mean that 'a
barren woman doesn't have a son' or repetition of any kind.

The relation of 'son' with the 'woman' which is denoted by word 'of' is
opposed to barrenness of woman. Hence, there is contradiction.

> > The idea of 'asat' 'objects' was conceived with a view to have examples
> for
> > 'a knowledge or idea arising out of use of words while the object
> > corresponding to that knowledge / word is not there'.  Thus, when
> > 'vandhyAputra' word is used one conceives of a barren woman and a person
> > but when asked to show the person, he draws a blank. There are other
> >
> >
> So if I understand this correctly, (a) what is thought of as tAtkAlika asat
> today could indeed turn out to have a vyaavahaarika sattva tomorrow.

Why go that much ? Just think of a child not yet born. That is not called
alIka though.

> (Mad
> scientists designing a shashaviShaaNa or kUrmaroma,

If such thing happens, then it will remove shashaviShANa, etc from the
category of alIka.
However, note that the defining quality or definition of rabbit doesn't
include horn. So, as soon as an animal gets horns by experiments will be
categoriged as something else, but not as rabbit. See name 'liger', which
denotes an animal developed by crossing of tiger and lion. The change of
qualities is followed by change of name !!

>  a kavi popularizing
> megha as gaganakusuma, and so on).

Those who say that gaganakusuma is alIka don't mean cloud by it. So, this
is not going to be considered.

> (b) The proverbial snake which has
> vyaavahaarika sattva turns out to be asat, and is therefore designated
> mithyaa.

I don't think the famous snake is accepted as vyAvahArika anywhere by
It is actually prAtibhAsika.

Moreover, note that just destruction or non-existence is  not going to make
anything alIka. alIka is that which is not found existing anywhere at

It is one thing to say that we cannot be certain about the existence or
> lack thereof of something (e.g., did a tree fall in the forest just now? I
> don't know. I'm not in the forest now.), but quite another to say that it
> does not exist.

vedAntin-s never say that whatever they don't know is mithyA. They consider
it aGYAta and in cases paroxa.

The anirvachanIyatva or mithyAtva of world means sattvena =
pAramArthikatvena ​​asattvena = alIkatvena cha nirvachanAbhAvaH. We try to
prove the world as pAramArthika or alIka, but fail; so we call it mithyA.
This is a pAribhAShika word only.

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