[Advaita-l] Pramana for adhyaropa apavada

Rajaram Venkataramani rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Mon May 13 16:53:31 CDT 2013

Ramesh, you are taking a simplistic position without regard for the
position of different sampradaya acharyas on the the nature of reflection.
Please allow me to start with the definition of Sakshi, Isvara and Jiva as
per the five major theories within advaita fold is given below as per my
understanding based on what I learnt from scholars in advaita.

1. AbhAsa vAdA - Self reflected on avidya is antayamin, Sakshi and isvara.
Self relfected on buddhi is jiva. As there are
many minds, there are many jivas.
2. Avacheda vAdA of Bhamati school - Isvara or pure consciousness is the
vishaya (object) of avidya (ignorance) while the
jiva is the asraya (locus) thereof.Jivas are many because tulA avidyAs
(empirical ignorance) are many. Each jIvA is a
creator of its own personal universe but ascribes to Isvara the act of
creation because He is the locus of mUlAvidyA.
3. Pratibimba vAdA of Vivarana school - Isvara is the pure Self limited by
avidya and is the bimba (reflected). Jiva is the
the pratibimba (reflection) of Isvara on avidya conditioned by the mind in
karanavastha (in causal state as in sushupti or
deep sleep) or kAryavasthA (active state as in svapna or dreaming and
jagratha or waking). The bimba is the Sakshi.
4. Sankshepa Sariraka of SarvajnAtma Muni - Self, limited by avidya, is the
bimba (reflected). This bimba (reflected)
reflects on avidya (ignorance) and the relfection is called Isvara. The
reflection of bimba on cosmic mind is Jiva. The
reflection of this prototype Jiva on other minds is the reason for many
jIvas. The bimba is the Sakshi.
5. eka jIva vAdA of Prakasananda -  Isvara is suddha caitanya not delimited
by avidya and jIvA is the consciousness
delimited by avidya. The jIvA independent of the Isvara creates the
universe including other jIvas and a concept of Isvara
delimited by avidyA.

Unlike the semblance theory (abhAsa vAda #1), the reflection theories (#3
and #4) regard the pratibimba as real and
identical with the bimba. Vidyaranya argues that the image is original
itself appearing as if located in the mirror and
that it is not the reflection that is illusory but merely its apparent
location.  Sankeshepa sariraka and Vivarna agree
that pratibimba is not different from bimba. The existence of bimba as
pratibimba different from bimba is imaginary and
hence unreal.  Madhusudana accepts the view of sarvajnAtma Muni though he
does not disagree with others. I think he
understands others as included in this eka jIva vada of sarvajnAtma muni.
In BhG 7.14, he shows the difference between
reflection of a picture where only the insentient portion alone is
reflected in the mirror and the relfection of
consciousness which has the nature of sentience.

Appayya Dikshita, younger contemporary of Madhusudana and a great devotee,
also harmonises multiple schools. In
Siddhantaleshasamgraha, he writes that the attainment of liberation even in
the disembodied form involves not the
realization with the nirguna brahman but rather identity with Isvara.
Interesting enough, he maintains that this is a
consequence of the very relation of jiva and isvara that Madhusudana uses
in BhR namely the version of pratibimbavada in
which the Lord is the original and the jiva is the reflection to show that
bhakti is not different from Isvara. It is the
merger of the pratibimba with the bimba, which in this view is isvara not
the nirguna brahman. Moksha is now understood as
the attainment of isvaratva or lordship i-e. identity with the personal god
not the final oneness with the transpersonal
brahman. As long as other reflections - other jivas - continue to exist,
the lord must also continue to exist as their
bimba and there can be no final merger in the absolute for the souls that
attained identity with Him. Appayya Dikshitar
maintained that the ultimate salvation of any one soul could not be
attained until all the jivas were liberated, which
would mean that all pratibimbas would be destroyed, and the universe
finally dissolved along with the lord.

I am happy to be corrected.

On Mon, May 13, 2013 at 2:25 PM, Ramesh Krishnamurthy <rkmurthy at gmail.com>wrote:

> On 13 May 2013 15:29, <rajaramvenk at gmail.com> wrote:
>> <<Please read his mails.>>
> I have read his mails. They match my own understanding.
> <<Is reflection jadam or only the medium?>>
> A distinct jIva is mithyA because the reflecting medium is mithyA. Without
> the reflecting medium, there is no jIva. The jIvahood of the jIva comes
> from the upAdhi (the jaDa reflecting medium).
> The point to be understood is that the chit aspect itself is never
> dR^ishya/bhogya. To the extent that one refers to a jIva as
> dR^ishya/bhogya, one is really referring to the jaDa reflecting medium
> which is what gives the jIva its status as a *distinct* entity. Without the
> medium, only the shuddha chaitanya remains and that can never be
> dR^ishya/bhogya.

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