[Advaita-l] Avidyaa is Subjective not Objective

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Wed May 22 01:35:13 CDT 2013

On Wed, May 22, 2013 at 10:11 AM, Venkatesh Murthy <vmurthy36 at gmail.com>wrote:

> Namaste
> > One can read the entire dialogue in the Alladi Mahadeva Sastry's
> > translation with great clarity on pages 332 onwards.  In the bhashyam we
> > see, in the highlighted portion, that Shankara is establishing that
> avidyA
> > is a viShaya, object, to the viShayI, the sAkShin, the knower.  It is in
> > this sense that I had said that avidyA is an object, a dharma of the
> > kShetra, the mind, and not an attribute of the subject, the viShayI, the
> > knower.
> >
> > From above Gita Bhashya we can say Avidyaa is known to person having that
> Avidyaa .

It is exactly this 'knowability' 'dRshyatvam' that makes avidyA a viShaya,
object, and therefore not Atma dharma but only anAtmadharma.

> Another person cannot say I have Avidyaa. I have to know and say
> I have Avidyaa. I cannot say another person has Avidyaa looking at his
> sayings and behavior. Every person has to look at himself and say he has
> Avidyaa or not.

This is not denied at all.  Vidyaranya as said that hunger, thirst, joy,
sorrow, knowledge, ignorance etc. are known to oneself pratyakSheNa and to
others only by inference.

> This is showing Avidyaa is a Misconception in the mind. It is Subjective.

You have come to the point.  We are therefore not disagreeing : ) ..avidyA
is 'in' the mind and therefore not in the Atman. That is what Shankara says
in that diaglogue.

> But Teekaakaras are telling us there is a Moola Avidya attached to Brahman.

I have already shown that in the Br.up. 1.4.10 bhashyam Shankara Himself
has said that avidyA is to be admitted in/for Brahman.  [this is not to be
confused with what I said above: avidyA is an attribute of the anAtmA and
not of the Atman.)

> This Moola Avidyaa is Maayaa Shakti. It has created the world and we are
> all seeing that Objective Avidyaa.

This is exactly the teaching of the 13th chapter of the Gita.  The entire
avidyA/mAyAkAryam is the kShetra which is the known, as 'idam', and the
kShetrajna is the knower, vEttA.  Only that which is a viShaya, known,
dRshya can be an object.  And that is why it can be annihilated by vidyA.

> But Adi Sankara said that Maayaa Shakti
> is imagined by Avidyaa in the mind. It is Maayaa Kalpitaa.

Maybe you wanted to say here 'It is avidyAkalpita'.

> regards

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