[Advaita-l] avidya vs maayaa - What is the difference?

kuntimaddi sadananda kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Thu Dec 1 20:51:24 CST 2016

PraNAms to all – This was posted butappeared only in advaitin list and not in this. I am posting this hear –copying from word but does not seem to come clearly in this list. The words getjoined even though in the word document this is not so.----------------------------------------------------------------Venkatragavanji – PraNAms
First thanks for taking time to analyze the proposition –  It helps mealso to sharpen or clarify the proposition. ------------Let's leave the question of whetheryour formulation is shAstra sammata or not, aside, as I think you agree it isas not. ------------------Sada: 

If shaastra sammata implies prioradvaita acharya-sammata – yes – since shastra can include Vedanta shaastrastoo. 

The two, avidya and maaya, have beenequated before by advaita achaaryas (not sure if shastras says so). Subbuji hasbeen giving many references towards that and I have no problem in those. 

However, I must say first that myarguments are not against Vedanta shaastras.  Second, the proposition is only thatby equating both avidya and maaya as the same, we are unnecessarilycomplicating the doctrine by that equation as evidenced by manypurvapakshas.  The fact is one can keep them separate without compromisingthe essential doctrine of Advaita – brahma satyam, jagan mithya, jeevo brahmaeva na aparaH. From the point of liberation or moksha, the essence of Vedantain terms of mahaavaakyas are not violated if the avidya and maaya areseparated.  Moksha as adviata defines is desha-kaala-vastuaparicchinnatvam – essentially freedom from all limitations. This knowledge hasto take pace in upahita chitanyam only, that too cognitively. That knowledgewill only eliminate the aavarana and not vikshepa as long as BMI is there. This very fact indicates that avidya is different from maaya, since avidya isgone but maaya is there since vikshepa is there. With vedehamukti – as though-one merges with Brahman where there is neither avidya or maayaa. 

Now responding in detail for clarification. Venkatragavan:
Let's only take a look at the merits, as identified by you:
1) It saves Ishvara from being endowed with "avidyA", therebycontradicting his sarvajnatva. As Sri Chandramouliji and I  have pointedout, this is forgetting what avidyA stands for in the context of Ishvara. Itonly refers to Ishvara having the shakti to project, and not indicative ofignorance (the popular usage of the term)  on the part of Ishvara.------------------------ Sada: 

Yes – The end effect is the same otherthan the fact that your statement is somewhat axiomatic, even though finalresult is the same – Iswara is free from avarana of avidya and only havevikshepa of avidya. In this above axiomatic statement we are making the twofold aspect of avidya as separable – aavarana part and vikshepa part. Thevikshepa part of the  Lord, Lord himself calls it as my maaya Shakti –daiveem eshaa guna mayi, mama maayaa duratyaya.   However if avidya is only taken interms of aavarana and not vikshepa – the same is achieved without invokingaavarana aspect of avidya for Iswara and keeping only vishepa Iswara.  Furthermore, the above statementsprove that the two aspects of aavanara and vikshepa are separable and mostimportantly can be locused without the other. That is one of the main pointswhy separation into two portfolios helps, and not hurts. Second avidya and aavarana areinterrelated; so is maaya and vikshepa. Shastra’s usage of two words requiresno further justification – without forcing them to be the same. Advaitindoctrine is not compromised either by having them separate.  To be continued in part II


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