[Advaita-l] Attributes and upadhis

kuntimaddi sadananda kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Thu Jul 9 23:33:26 CDT 2015

Keshava Prasad - PraNAms- Here is my understanding

Keshava Prasad:

Q1: Can an upAdhi (say corresponding to an object ghaTa) exist independent of all the attributes ? If so, how do we 
That is, if-&-when all the attributes of an upAdhi are discarded, does that upAdhi remain as an attributeless-upAdhi ?  If so, how do we distinguish between one attributeless-ghaTa-upAdhi-G1 and another attributeless-ghaTa-upAdhi-G2 ? 

Sada: Some background. Traditionally there are two types of attributes - a) samyoga - contact relationship and b) swaabhaavika intrinsic attributes. Samyoga is like Pot on the table in contrast to pot on the ground. Pot on the table is qualified by being on the table in contrast to the pot on the ground. This is contact relationship - called also taTastha lakshanam or incidental qualification. Jagat is considered as tatastha lakshanam of Brahman - convenient to defined Brahman - janmaadyasya yataH.

Swaabhavika  LakshaNas or intrinsic attributes. locus and attributes are inseparable - period. Blue Lotus, the bluness is inseparable from lotus. Different daarhanikas define the relation between the attributes and the locus - nyaaya calls this relationship as samavaaya sambandha - and others criticise this as it leads to infinite regress. Others just call it as intrinsic attribute inseparable from its locus. 

Here I would like to distinguish those that are  swaabhavikam (necessary) and the others swarupa lakshaNa.(necessary and sufficient).  Ex. Sweetness of Sugar. It is necessary or swabhaavikam but it is not swaruupa lakshanam since converse is not true. That is if it is sweet it must be sugar - which need not be since we have many that are sweet which are not sugar. Swaruupam lakshana becomes very precise since converse has to be applied. Shankara defines the sat chit ananda are swaruupa lakshanaas because - anantatvaat since Brahman is defined also satyam jnaanam and anantam. - anantam eva anandam. 

No object in the world has clear cut swaruupam - the intrinsic material from which they came, by which they are sustained and into which they go back - they have only transactionally swaruupam - like gold becoming ring, bangle etc.Ring is only form of gold and so is bangle. Sans attributes they are nothing but gold. God itself has its attributes - Everyone is familiar with story of Eureka - hence all that glisters is not gold. 

Ask now if I discard the attributes of ring and bangle what do I see - should see attribute-less gold -But gold also has attributes. If I want to attributeless gold or iron or silver - I am going back to atoms which have their own attributes. Hence in transactional reality the game is endless. From the point of Vedanta the material cuase is nothing but Brahman only. But Brahman is imperceptible and undifferentialble. No question of mind grasping Brahman since mind itself is in Brahman. 

Hence I do not think attribute-less object is nothing Brahman which has to be understood by Vedanta shravana, manana, nidhidhyaasana. 


Q2: if-&-when an object ghaTa is stripped of its upAdhi, does that object lose all its attributes as well, having lost their locus, and still remain as an upAdhi-rahita-object which is therefore devoid of all its attributes ? OR is it true that the object having lost its upAdhi, cannot exist any more ? 

The answer follows from the above explanation - sans attributes the essence is Brahman and which is indivisible as per vedanta since all objects are just names and forms. 

Hari Om!

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