[Advaita-l] Difficulty in Ignorance Analysis
agnimile at gmail.com
Wed Jun 10 04:37:23 CDT 2015
Great explanation, Sri Chandramouli.
To add to what you have said: Whenever an object such as pot, etc is
perceived, that object is pervaded by the perceiver's thought or vritti.
This vritti pervasion (vyApti) is the remover of the veil of ignorance
about the object. However, vritti being jadam, it cannot illuminate the
object, which in the case of most objects are jadam too and therefore need
illumination. The thing to note here is that vritti vyApti can only remove
the veil of ignorance over the object. Object illumination requires
As we know, the mind reflects the sakshi chaitanyam or pure consciousness,
as chidAbhAsa, or reflected consciousness. The chidAbhAsA is present
whenever the mind is present, and as the mind consists of thoughts, the
chidAbhAsa is present automatically in every thought too.
When thoughts pervade the object, the chidAbhAsa that is present in the
thought also automatically pervades the object. The chidAbhAsa, in the
context of knowledge, is also referred to as phalam. Therefore chidAbhAsa
pervasion or phala vyApti also automatically takes place whenever
perception takes place. The phalam, which is of the nature of
consciousness, when pervading the object is the thing which causes the
illumination of the object, and not vritti, which is jadam.
To summarise, vritti vyApti removes ignorance and phala vyApti creates
illumination. Every knowledge of an object therefore requires three things
- the object, vritti vyApti and phala vyApti.
Coming to Sri VAdirAja, his claim that the removal of the veil of ignorance
over the pot should also remove the pot adhyAsA does not have merit. Vritti
vyApti can only remove the ignorance of the object over which the vritti is
pervaded. So when perceiving a pot, vritti vyApti on the pot can only
remove ignorance of the pot, not a cow that is not an object of perception
at the time.
Similarly, and this is the crucial bit of the argument, during the
perception of a pot, the avidya that covers the pot is the only thing that
is removed, and not the avidya that covers the upahita chaitanyam that is
enclosed by the pot.
Therefore in the perception of a pot, pot adhyAsa is not removed - the pot
doesn't disappear. Then what about a gyAni who perceives Brahman
everywhere? Does the pot disappear for him?
In the case of a gyAni, the perception process is different. The gyAni
perceives both the pot and the upahita chaitanyam in the pot. The latter
perception is in the form of the thought - "I am the chaitanyam that is
enclosed in the pot too". This is the vritti vyApti that removes the
ignorance over the upahita chaitanyam or Brahman.
ChidAbhAsa is present in this Brahman-knowledge-vritti too, however, no
illumination is required by chidAbhAsa for knowledge of Brahman - because
the Brahman is self effulgent. The very illumining power of chidAbhAsa is
sourced from Brahman. Therefore, phala vyApti has no role in the knowledge
To summarize, two vritti vyAptis take place for the gyAni - vritti vyApti
of the pot, and vritti vyApti of the upahita chaitanyam of the pot. Each
of these vritti vyApti remove knowledge of the respective items being
pervaded by the vritti, viz., pot and upahita chaitanyam, or Brahman.
As the phala vyApti of the pot takes place for a gyAni too, he has all
three things required for the knowledge of the pot - the object (pot),
vritti vyApti over the pot, and the phala vyApti over the pot.
However, while a gyAni continues seeing the pot, because the avidyA
AvaraNA over the upahita chaitanyam is removed by his mind's Brahman
knowlede vritti, he knows that the pot is simply mithya, and the upahita
chaitanyam that is enclosed in the mithya is himself, the only satyam.
Sri Venkatesh Murthy - I hope this hasn't confused matters. Sorry for the
On 10 Jun 2015 08:34, "H S Chandramouli via Advaita-l" <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
> Dear Sri Venkatesh Murthy ji,
> At the location of the object, the Avidya associated with Consciousness
> appears as the object and hence is termed the material cause of the object.
> This is Adhyasa. This object encloses the General Consciousness ( Samanya
> Chaitanya ) as well which then is termed Specific Consciousness ( Vishesha
> Chaitanya ) . This Vishesha Chaitanya itself is associated with Avidya also
> which is termed Toola Avidya ( तूलाविद्या ) . When you say
> << When I see a pot the Ignorance cover is lifted and then only I
> can see the pot. >>
> it is this Toola Avidya ( तूलाविद्या ) located in the Chaitanya enclosed
> by the pot which is neutralized by the Mental Vritti and not the Avidya
> associated with the projection of the pot itself ( which is Adhyasa ) which
> is the material cause of the pot. Thus there is no contradiction .
> It should however be clarified that the two Avidyas are not entirely
> different or independant of each other. Avidya is one only. But for
> purposes of analysis they are given different names to clarify the
> different roles played under different circumstances. There is only one all
> pervading Consciousness and only one Avidya associated with it. Wherever
> Consciousness is considered Avidya also is to be automatically construed.
> On Wed, Jun 10, 2015 at 9:38 AM, Venkatesh Murthy via Advaita-l <
> advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
> > Namo Vidvadbhyaha
> > I am having difficulty analysing one Vaadiraaja's argument in
> > Nyayaratnavali. All the objects are covered by Ignorance before we see
> > them. When I see a pot the Ignorance cover is lifted and then only I
> > can see the pot. Some books are calling this 'Veil of Ignorance' But
> > Advaitis will also say the pot is a Superimposition - Adhyaasa on
> > Brahman. But this Adhyaasa is also Ignorance only. If the earlier
> > covering Ignorance is destroyed when I see the pot how can the second
> > Ignorance - Adhyaasa arise? If the first covering Ignorance is
> > destroyed the second Ignorance must not arise. Because Vaadiraaja says
> > Advaitis say the Avaraka Ajnana - covering Ajnana is the Material
> > Cause of the Adhyaasa. Then if this is true I must not see the pot.
> > There is a contradiction in Vaadiraaja's opinion. I have to solve this
> > contradiction.
> > I have a firm belief there is a solution in Advaita but I dont know
> > it. Kindly inform me if there is a solution. I know some people
> > knowing the solution but they are not available to answer my question
> > now.
> > --
> > Regards
> > -Venkatesh
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