[Advaita-l] mithyaa / anirvachaniiya and asattva

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sat Mar 16 05:04:52 CDT 2013

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

> perceiving it is dependent on an observer who uses anumAna, etc. to posit
> its existence then.  It is this crucial 'dependence' on an entity external
> to itself that decides the anirvAchyatva/mithyAtva of the world.  It is
> Isn't it the same human mind that is thinking about 'sat' as well? Then
> does the existence of sattva become paratantra to intelligent thought?

Let me clarify.  When we perceive something as other than ourselves, we
experience it as 'is', as in 'there is a tree'.  Here the 'asti' of
something that has come into being, created, does become called 'sat' but
that is not the pAramArthika sat Brahman since this can become extinct and
liable to be called 'nAsti'.  So, the Bh.Gita 13.12 says 'अनादिमत्परं
ब्रह्म न सत् तत् न असत् उच्यते’.  A pot, after it comes into being is
denoted as 'the pot is'.  When it is destroyed, it is denoted as 'the pot
is not'.  Brahman does not come into being to be called 'is'.  It is only
those objects where words can be used that qualify for 'is'/'is not'.  So,
a thing that is known to be 'is' is not pAramArthika but only vyAvahArika
and ultimately mithyA.  The pAramArthika sat Brahman or in other words the
sattva of Brahman, nay, the sattvam that is Brahman, is not an experience
of / through sense organs/pramANa.  It is the very svarUpa of the pramAtR,
the sAdhaka, jIva, who can never become an object to himself.  It is the
subject, viShayI, never a viShaya, a-prameya.  All other things, denoted by
the word 'kShetram' in the BG 13th ch. come under the 'object, viShaya'
prameya category and definitely require a set of means, pramANa-s, to be
known: मानाधीना मेयसिद्धिः.  This dependence on their part on pramaNa, and
by extension, the operator of pramANas, the pramAtA, is what makes them,
the vishayas, the entire world, to come under the paratantra category.
Since even the pramANa-s and the pramAtA themselves belong to the kShetram,
as taught by the 13th ch., even these are paratantra alone as they depend
on the Consciousness/kShetrajna for their very existence/reality/सत्.  So
the lakShaNa of mithyAtvam is : परतन्त्रसत्यत्वं वा मिथ्यात्वम् because the
kShetram requires sattA to be 'given' to it; it does not have sattA
naturally.  So it is स्वसत्ताशून्यत्वे सति परसत्ताधीनसत्ताकत्वं
परतन्त्रसत्यत्वम्, मिथ्या इति यावत्, यथा रज्जुसर्पादि.

> By statements like  "world does not exist", then what is meant is the
> "world is mithyaa". Is that correct?

Yes. But then it must also be remembered that in the ultimate analysis
"world does not exist" means that it does not exist in all the three
periods of time in the locus Brahman.  'mithyAtva' is characterized by '
'सत् चेत् न बाध्येत, असत् चेत् न प्रतीयेत’.  Since the pratIti of jagat is
there, it is marked as different from the category of vandhyAputra (which
is also not existent in all the three periods of time) which can not even
come to be experienced, pratIti.  That is why Advaitins do not say 'the
world is asat'; they hold it to be mithyA alone.


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