[Advaita-l] 'world' is not the mental creation of tiny soul !!

H S Chandramouli hschandramouli at gmail.com
Tue Mar 25 01:58:38 CDT 2014

Sri Subhanu wrote << All will be familiar with Shankara’s frustratingly
evasive responses to the question “whose is avidyā?” at BSB 4.1.3 and Gita
13.2, where the response is “to whomever is asking the question”.  >>.

Sri Kuntimaddi wrote <<
The best answer is - ignorance belongs to the one who does not know that he
is Brahman >>

Sri Subhanu responds

<<  Sri Sadananda has summarised well the view of the tradition,( for which
I had also given the references from Shankara and Suresvara) that
"ignorance belongs to the one who does not know that he is Brahman..". >>

While Sri Bhagavatpada's reply is " frustratingly evasive " , the same
reply given by Sri Kuntimaddi is " summarized well " .How come ??

I am really not keen on a response to this. It is only to express my views
on the observation " frustratingly evasive " .


On Sun, Mar 23, 2014 at 10:53 PM, subhanu <subhanu at hotmail.com> wrote:

> V Subramanian wrote:“Where, in whom, does this AtmAjnAnAtatA [//“api tu
> ajñātātmaiva kāraṇam ityasmākam abhyupagamah “ ,//
> inhere as per SriSwamiji? remains to be answered.  Is it Brahman that has
> the AtmAjnAtatA or the jIva?
> Has sri Swamiji said anything on this?
> From what I understandfrom the quotes given by you here, Sri SSS is
> non-committal on that. “ And“I would like scholars to comment on the
> samAsa (ajnAtAtmA) shown above and offer other possibilities too to make
> the understanding firm.” Namaste, I would like to throw some light on the
> comments and questions above:1)     We can see Sri Swamiji’s view from his
> comments in Māṇḍūkya Rahasya Vivrittih 1.2 section 24 ajnātam brahma khalu
> sabῑjam brahmochyate,  Brahman unknown is falsely imagined to be Brahman
> with causative seed. This is in keeping with Suresvara ajnātāmaikasamsiddha
> bῑjāvastham idam jagat [BUBV 1.4.191]-This world appears to have the
> “state” of seed causality because atman is not known. As has already been
> mentioned by others on the list, duality is falsely imagined [kalpitam
> prasajed dvaitam at BUBV 5.1.31]. Sri HS Chandramouli sent me a Kannada
> phrase from one of Sri Swamiji’s works where he explicitly states he does
> not support the view that the jiva “creates” the world2)     With regards
> to where/in whom is ajnātātmatā, Sri Swamiji strictly follows Shankara and
> Suresvara. VPP section 223 (section 225 in Alston’s English translation)
> has: avidyā jñātur eva na jñeyasya, ātmano’apyajnānāshrayatvam ajnānādeva
> nānyathā ityetat bhāṣya-vārtikayoh spaṣṭam: “Ignorance has its seat in the
> knower, not the known, and the notion that the Self is the seat of
> ignorance is as a result of ignorance and nothing else. This is the clear
> view of Shankara and Suresvara”. All will be familiar with Shankara’s
> frustratingly evasive responses to the question “whose is avidyā?” at BSB
> 4.1.3 and Gita 13.2, where the response is “to whomever is asking the
> question”. Equally Suresvara tells us at SV 176 nāvidyāsyetyavidyāyām
>  evāsitvā prakalpyate; brahmadriṣṭyā tvavidyeyam na kathanchana yujyate
> “No, the notion that ignorance has its seat in the absolute and belongs to
> it is itself only imagined in ignorance. From the standpoint of Brahman,
> ignorance cannot exist in any way”. This should be clear to all: since the
> notions of space and time do not apply to Brahman, how can one talk of
> something being “in Brahman”? For further details on Sri Swamiji’s views
> please consult his comments at VPP section 75, where he discusses Maṇḍana
> Mishra’s views on the seat of ignorance, or his comments on Nai Si 3.1 in
> kleshāpahāriṇῑ on the same topic. Now you may wonder why Shankara gives
> such an elusive answer to the question “whose is avidyā?”. Well it is
> because the answers to certain questions in Shankara’s tradition yield no
> productive value, and are of the nature of a nirarthakah prashnah, a
> valueless question. Why is this? Well it is because one who is afflicted
> with ignorance can never know its nature. Suresvara tells as at SV 179
> avidyāvān avidyām tām na nirūpayitum kshamah, one endowed with ignorance
> can never know its nature. This is the point Vidyasankar makes in his March
> 18 post (those of you who are observant will note how he deftly quotes N.S
> 3.66, ignorance does not brook enquiry, as it is like searching for dark
> with a lamp). Such questions where the answers are valueless are:-
> What is the nature of avidyā? Is it positive or negative?-       Whose is
> avidyā?-       What causes my confusion?It is sufficient for Shankara,
> Gaudapada and Suresvara and their tradition to point out the error so it
> can be removed for a qualified aspirant through the shruti texts alone such
> as tat tvam asi. To the extent it is helpful, one can at most characterise
> one’s ignorance as imagined, of the nature of “I do not know”, established
> in our everyday experience through lack of critical reflection. Nothing
> more is needed for the sādhaka who is qualified to receive the teachings of
> vedānta. This can be frustrating for many, as our nature is to look for the
> cause of something, or know what it is and where it came from. We even have
> the following statement in the Shri Dakshinamurthy Math Prakashana edition
> of Pañchapādikā p xxix (which includes the commentaries vivaraṇam ,
> tattva-dῑpana, and rjuvivaraṇam-an excellent reference book for all serious
> students of advaita), made by the renowned scholar Panditraja
> Shastraratnakara S Subrahmanya Shastri: “It is undeniable that the great
> master Sankara did not work out all the implications of his avidyā, for he
> was more interested in brahmavāda”. Now many on this list, regardless of
> whether they follow vivaraṇa-prasthānam, bhāmati-prasthānam or
> bhaṣya-prasthanam of Holenarsipur Swami, will dispute this statement by an
> authority on vivaraṇam, and will feel that Shankara’s words as-is are
> sufficient to fully explain his tradition. However, it just shows how
> strong is the impulse within the tradition to attempt to answer such
> questions as the 3 above. I would submit that the simple solution is to
> never forget that the ātmavichāra of advaita is the enquiry into Brahman,
> not avidyā. When in doubt, strive to understand Brahman, not avidyā.
> RegardsSubhanu
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