[Advaita-l] Brahman and Avidya - mutually exclusive?

Venkatraghavan S agnimile at gmail.com
Tue Jun 23 08:53:29 CDT 2015

FYI - resending this email after deleting history (got a message from the
forum admin saying that the size of the message is too large).

Sri Aurobind,

AvidyA can be broadly talked about as:

1) Absence of knowledge / mistaken knowledge of the true nature of self -
Atma avidyA: This avidyA is what is termed mUlAvidyA, kAraNa sharIrA or
mAyA. You have admitted that the terms are synonymous in a previous post.
So presumably, you are willing to accept that mAyA and Brahman can co-exist
but that brahman and avidyA cannot?

2) Absence of knowledge / or mistaken knowledge of objects - AnAtma avidyA:
If as you say  that "Tamah prakashyoh viruda swabhava"-vat, avidyA of
objects and brahman cannot exist simultaneously, a person, upon the rise of
brahma gyAna (ie the destruction of all avidyA), should automatically have
knowledge of all objects. This is not the case - a brahma gyAni will not
automatically become a sarvagyA and have vishaya gyAnam, he will *only*
have atma svarUpa gyAnam. Suppose a person doesn't have knowledge of
physics. After brahma gyAna utpatti for such a person, he will not say,
"yes now I completely understand physics". A brahma gyAni will simply know
that physics has no fundamental reality.

These are only two forms of presentation of avidyA - in reality there is no
difference between the two, they are simply one avidyA.

This topic arose because of this statement you made in your earlier posts:
>>In the deep sleep since This experince of even the sareera is absent,
even the ignorance is absent hence my statement that in deep sleep there is
no Avidya.

The experience of sharIrA being absent in deep sleep is an argument for
knowledge to be absent, not for ignorance to be absent. In your statement
above, it is unclear to me how you move from the phrase "experience of even
the sareera is absent" to the conclusion "ignorance is absent". The natural
conclusion from the first phrase "experience of even the sareera is absent"
is that knowledge of sharIrA is absent, or ignorance of sharIrA is present.

So two questions here:
1) Are you saying that mAyA or mUlAvidya is non existent in deep sleep?
2) Are you saying that the lack of experience of sharIrA is equal to the
lack of existence of the sharIrA?

I ask these questions because mUlAvidyA or kAraNa sharIra, is recognized as
one of the sharIra trayam comprising sthUla, sUkshma and kAraNa sharIrA. It
cannot be argued that mAyA disappears for a deep sleeper. mAyA or mUlAvidyA
is present for a deep sleeper, whether a gyAni or otherwise. However, when
the gyAni wakes up, he knows that he is not the kAraNa sharIrA, and that it
does not in fact exist.

Secondly, the lack of experience of something is not proof of lack of its
existence. The lack of experience of sharIrA is not proof of lack of the
existence of sharIrA.

However, brahma gyAna, which is knowledge that "experience" has no
"fundamental existence", which can only occur and be subsequently invoked
in the waking state, can lead one to conclude that there is no avidyA -
whether as mAyA, or of any other kind.


On Tue, Jun 23, 2015 at 12:51 PM, Aurobind Padiyath <
aurobind.padiyath at gmail.com> wrote:

> Sri Venkatraghavanji,
> Hari Om!!!
> Avidya as a product of Maya has all the three aspects of negative
> knowledge, Absence of any knowledge at all and mixed-up knowledge where you
> mistake one for another. I am limited and has only one life etc is the
> first group, The absence of a higher Self called Atma or Brahman etc falls
> in the second and I am the body and this body has rebirth etc are the third
> group. Here also some over lap between them happens so that we cannot
> strictly group them. But all are effects of Maya.
> Hari Om!!!
> Aurobind Padiyath

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