[Advaita-l] [advaitin] Re: avidya vs maayaa - What is the difference? - Part 4

Bhaskar YR bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com
Tue Dec 6 06:22:55 CST 2016

praNAms Sri Venkatraghavan prabhuji
Hare Krishna

You are facing somany logical problems when Sri Sada prabhuji attributing AvaraNa and vikshepa to jeeva and Ishwara...Dont you get any saiddhAntika doubts like this when someone equates avidyA with mAya out of context prabhuji??  Just wondering and curious to know how our inquisitive minds stop to think further when we think we have some very well  settled issues with us :-) 

Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!

-----Original Message-----
From: Advaita-l [mailto:advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org] On Behalf Of Venkatraghavan S via Advaita-l
Sent: Monday, December 05, 2016 5:33 PM
To: kuntimaddi sadananda <kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com>
Cc: A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] [advaitin] Re: avidya vs maayaa - What is the difference? - Part 4

Thank you sadAji for your patience in answering my queries.

What you are saying is very interesting - It appears that in delinking AvaraNa and vikshepa, you are proposing a new theory of epistemology also.

1) Typically, in advaita shAstra, ignorance (AvaraNa) covers objects (viShaya), whereas you are proposing that ignorance covers knowledge and that pramANa (which is another vritti, thought in your view?) removes the covering of ignorance from knowledge. The interesting thought that this opens up is that in your system, the knowledge of everything must be pre-existent in everyone's mind already, but is covered by ignorance. So, when you use the "I am ignorant of Chemistry" example, what you are saying is that the entire subject of Chemistry exists already in my mind, but most of it is covered by ignorance. As and when right pramANa of Chemistry comes to clear up certain portions of that covered knowledge, that knowledge that is pre-existent in the mind becomes discovered, as it were. It's only if
*all* knowledge is held to be present in the mind that the statement "ignorance covers knowledge" can be held to be true.

2) Coming to bhAvarUpa vs abhAvarUpa of avidyA. So when I say ignorance is bhAvarUpa, I mean the "cover" or AvaraNa is the bhAva. If what you mean is a lack of knowledge of a thing, it denotes the absence of a vastu, and hence abhAvarUpa. So in the above example, if you said that Chemistry ignorance simply means the absence of Chemistry knowledge in the mind (which is different from Chemistry knowledge being covered by ignorance, such a Chemistry ignorance would be abhAvarUpa.

Therefore the conundrum is a) does all knowledge of every possible thing in all three periods of time already exist in every jIva mind, covered by ignorance or b) does all knowledge not exist in the jIva mind, but the nature of ignorance is the absence of knowledge, abhAvarUpa?

This is what I hinted at in my previous email.

This problem is circumvented in advaita, by postulating that a) ignorance is located in the object delimited consciousness, as opposed to the mind and b) the nature of ignorance has both AvaraNa and vikshepa. This allows ignorance to be bhAvarUpa (ie cover the object in question), and at the same time not require that all object-knowledge be pre-existent in the limited jIva mind.

In advaita shAstra that I have come across, ignorance which is inert in nature, can only be located in consciousness. However, that ignorance is not postulated in the perceiver's mind-delimited consciousness, but the object-delimited consciousness.  So for example, in the rope snake example, the consciousness delimited by the rope contains within it, rope-ignorance, which covers the rope. The perceiver's thought which is also inert, removes the inert rope-ignorance to reveal the rope (vritti jnAnam), and the consciousness enclosed within the revealing thought becomes one with the rope-enclosed consciousness (phala jnAnam) to lead to the knowledge "I see the rope there".

If the perceiver's thought is not able to remove the inert rope-ignorance fully, that un-removed ignorance which also has the vikshepa shakti, creates the projection of the snake where the rope exists. The consciousness enclosed within the perceiving thought takes the form of the projected snake, leading to the erroneous conclusion, "I see a snake there". So each adhyAsa is actually two fold - one of the snake, which is the arthAdhyAsa, and the thought "I see a snake there", which is jnAnAdhyAsa.


On Mon, Dec 5, 2016 at 10:51 AM, kuntimaddi sadananda < kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Namaste SadAji,
> One thing for you to consider is if you say jIva has some vikshepa 
> shakti, what is it in the jIva that has the vikshepa shakti, is it 
> avidyA? or is it antah karaNam?
> Venkatraghavanji – PraNAms
> We are looking as logically as possible how to describe the jiiva – 
> jagat – Iswara traid – since we need – shastra, yukti and anubhava in 
> that order for gaining moksha.
> Cominig from Science background, I am trained for critical examination 
> of any concept presented as they have to be logical and have to stand 
> for scrutiny to the extent possible.
> Hence I have no problem in looking at these issues as critically as 
> possible until we find no scriptural/logical absurdities.
> Here is the picture I have presented  which other Acharyas might have 
> already considered before and many disagree also.
> I am re-stating some simple facts that we are all familiar.
> 1.     Jeeva has avidya – since he does not know I am Brahman. It is
> evident since every jeeva is looking for happiness outside.   .
> 2.     Ignorance covers the knowledge -  that is the definition of
> ignorance and one has to remove the ignorance – dis-cover by a process 
> called pramana. Mind has to be prepared for any given pramaana to be 
> fully operational.
> Additional considerations.
> 3.     Ignorance itself does not project anything. It only covers –
> aavarana. Hence we say ignorance is a bliss sometimes. If it is 
> completely dark -  there is no rope or a snake. For projection of 
> something we need 1. Mind and 2. Chidaabhaasa  ( in essence an 
> activated mind) plus partial knowledge. Mind with full knowledge need not have to project.
> 4.     Additional conditions required for projection is the mind has to
> be active, not folded as in  in deep sleep state. In deep sleep state 
> what we have is just causal state or mind with ignorance only. When 
> the mind is folded, the vaasanas also are in the unmanifested state. 
> Hence it is called causal state. Otherwise it is just annadamaya 
> kosha, due to absence of subject-object duality.
> 5.     Mind being a subtle body will always be there either in its causal
> state which we call it as kaarana shareera or in the active states – 
> waking and dream states. Mind will merge with Hiranya garbha only 
> during the videha mukti of jeevan mukta.
> Avidya does not include vikshpa as we know that there is no vikshepa 
> in the deep sleep state as there is no projection of subject-object 
> duality and there is no space not time either- absence of all 
> objective dualities
> A jnaani sleeps as jnaani since the mind with jnanam is folded while 
> ajnaani sleeps as ajnaani. Both do not have objective 
> subjective-objective dualities or viskshepa in the deep sleep state – 
> This is the anubhava of everybody.
> Vikshepa comes with the unfolding of the mind and for that partial 
> knowledge is required as discussed in adhyaasa bhaashya.. This is a 
> separate property of the mind and need not have to be hooked with avidya.
> Nothing special is accomplished by this other than lot of confusion 
> and justifications as is evident by the various interpretations by 
> different aacharyas.
> Jeeva is alpa jna and alpa shaktimaan in contrast to Iswara who is 
> sarvanja and sarva shaktimaan. Hence we have jeeva sRiShTi and Iwara 
> sRiShTi – as separate entities.
> Jeeva sRiShTi covers praatibhaasika errors- rope/snake – notion that I 
> am = this and therefore not that, etc. desha-kaala-vastu 
> parichcchinnatvam which results in three-fold assumptions – a) I am a 
> mortal, b) I am ignorant and c) I am unhappy- realted to sat – chit – ananda aspects.
> Venkatraghavan:
> If it is avidyA, then you will come to our side with avidyA having 
> both AvaraNa and vikshepa shakti.
> Sada: Not really avidya can only do aavarana – just like my chemistry 
> ignorance. Jeeva vikshespa is separate property of the local mind with 
> chidabhaasa propelled by half knowledge.
> Venkatraghavan:
> If it is antahkaraNam, then you will also have to say avidyA is 
> abhAvarUpa
> - Otherwise how can avidyA existing in kAraNa sharIra cause vikshepa 
> existing in antahkaraNam to be activated?
> Sada: It is just ignorance or avidya which covers the knowledge – it 
> has no ruupa, bhaava or abhaava. In deep sleep state that is what it 
> is. In the dream and waking state, the mind is now unfolded and with 
> the unfolding comes a viskehpa – a property of the mind since for 
> vikshepa some knowledge is required. vikshepa depends on the knowledge 
> stored in the mind and the partial ignorance. For example, ignorance 
> just covers the truth that it is a rope – however there is a partial 
> knowledge that there is an object with say 5ft long, soft when stepped 
> on it and is lying on the alley. If it is complete ignorance no 
> projection either. Therefore it it is the mind that has partial 
> knowledge that has vikshepa Shakti. In addition the projected object comes from its memory where previous knowledge of snake is stored.
>  Therefore idt is not the property of ignorance per sec. Unfolded mind 
> is the potential mind (since chidaabhaasa is there) that can create 
> based on the know-how knowledge gained from the past.
> Jeeva’s mind cannot change Iswara sRiShTi including the universal laws 
> but can learn to adopt them and make use of them to create new things. 
> I do not see any problem in having vikshepa Shakti without any connection to avidya.
> Partial knowledge may motivate the mind the need to exercise its 
> vikshepa Shakti;  but avidya cannot the not material cause for projection.
> ------------------------.
> Venkatraghavan:
> Thus every vishaya ajnAna means lack of knowledge of that vishayA in 
> the mind, leading to vikshepa of that vishaya as something else.
> Sada:  The first part I agree. The second part is – it may motivate 
> the mind to unfold its vikshepa Shakti – for some, ignorance need not 
> motivate at all. I am ignorant of Italian language. That ignorance is 
> not leading me to project Telugu when I hear Italian, just because 
> some one claimed that Telugu is Italian of the East.  I will just 
> claim that I do not know that language. The partial knowledge can motivate the mind to project the rest.
> Hence adhyaasa occurs only when there is half-backed knowledge. That 
> is the essence of adyaasa, as I understand.
> -----------------------
> Venkatraghavan:
> Extending this argument, if all ajnAna is only antah karaNa dharma, 
> what is the need to postulate a kAraNa sharIra, but that is not a 
> position that you want to take, I think.
> Sada – Kaarana shareera is only when the mind is folded – the folded 
> mind has the vaasanaas in the causal state. For them to express as 
> desires, buddhi is needed. When is awake then manifestations in terms 
> of desire in the intellect, agitations in the mind and actions at the 
> body level. Hence folded mind with potential vaasanaas is the kaarana 
> shareera. Just folded mind with ignorance is called anandamaya kosha. 
> Vaasanaas come due to jeeva viksepa that I am = this which is the 
> essence of ego. yushmat ashmat pratyaya gochara yoH..
> One can be vaaasana less but remain with moola avidha unless that mind 
> dis-covers  aham brahaamasi using a pramaana.
> Personally I do not see any logical problems, if I delink avarana as 
> avidya and viskehpa with maaya (jeevan maaya and Iswara maaya) since 
> jeeva also creates as in dream example.
> Happy to learn if there are further logical problem in the model.
> Hari Om!
> Sadananda
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