[Advaita-l] Locus of maayaa and avidyaa

kuntimaddi sadananda kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Wed May 22 06:08:56 CDT 2013

>Just for the sake of those who might require this information...
>In all these discussions  we have to keep in mind the rule enshrined in the
>following very important verse of the samkShepashArIraka:
>[The locus and object of ignorance is indeed the impartite
>Brahman-Consciousness.  The entities that appear later, as products of the
>fundamental ignorance, cannot be the locus and object of ignorance.
>As per the above, the jIvabhAva, whether in the nAnA-jIva construct or the
>eka-jIva construct,  is only AFTER the avidyA makes its appearance in Pure
>Consciousness, Brahman, the ONLY ONE entity.  The 'second' entity the jIva,
>being a product of avidyA, cannot be the Ashraya, locus, of avidyA.  For,
>even this one jIva has to get rid of avidyA to realize its Brahman nature.
Subbuji - PraNAms
a point of clarification from my understanding. First, I changed the title since
the topic is more on the locus of avidya and maayaa. 
Second, since there is nothing
other than Brahman, locus for anything cannot but be Brahman. At the same time,
Brahman being infiniteness cannot be locus for anything.
Hence the whole discussion of the
existence of maayaa and avidyaa are in the realm of vyavahaara only. However,
vyavahaara itself is product of maayaa from the point of Iswara and avidya from
the point of jiiva. Personally I prefer the use of maayaa at Iswara level and
avidyaa at the jiiva level for one important reason. We need to distinguish Iswara
sRishTi and jiiva sRishTi - a macro and micro levels of creation as part of understanding
vyaavahaarika, praatibhaasika and paaramaarthika levels. These aspects are
clear as stated in ManDukya mantras where the micro and macro levels are
clearly specified. 
Even though the distinction of
Jiiva and Iswara in terms of upaadhi bhedas is clear - the term used for both is
just - upavishati - as though Brahman enters - either at macro level or micro
level is to be understood. Without compromising the sarvajnatvam of Iswara, it
is important to differentiate the maayaa as the locus of Iswara and avidya
locus of jiiva since it is the mind of the jiiva that is deluded but not the
mind of Iswara. Hence self-realization or jnaanam occurs at the level of
jiiva's mind and is not needed at Iswara's level. The realization at Jiiva level
also occurs as Upahita chaitanyam, where the upaadhi is his own BMI - it involves destruction of avidyaa but not destruction
of maayaa which is at Iswara level. Hence as we saw extended discussions in the
other list, there is a significant confusion in terms of misunderstanding of destruction of the whole
creation saying that jnaani does not have BMI and has no perception of the
world of plurality, when Jiiva attains self-realization. This problem seems to be somewhat deep-rooted as we see here as well as in the other lists due to some incorrect interpretations that were passed on. 
If we say jiiiva is product of
avidya and at the same time jiiva is the locus of avidyaa - there is obviously
anyonya aashraya - which Bhagavan Ramanuja criticizes in his seven untenables
against avidyaa of Advaita in his Shree Bhaashya; but this can be dismissed as
anirvacaniiya similar to seed and the tree case - in the cyclic process one cannot have a clear cause-effect relationships. It can only be called as anirvacaniiyam - the very basis for mithyaa too.
In essence, I feel it is more
clearly understood if one uses avidyaa at the jiiva level and maayaa at the
Iswara level; although it is muula avidyaa as the primordial cause for
creation. Most of the confusion, here and elsewhere (in terms of what is the
status of jiiva mukta) is due to this confusion of the terms of avidyaa vs
My 2 cents.
Hari Om!

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list