[Advaita-l] karmasrishTi vAda

Ravi Kiran ravikiranm108 at gmail.com
Thu Dec 8 21:09:45 CST 2016

On Thu, Dec 8, 2016 at 9:13 PM, Venkatraghavan S via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> Gaudapda in slokas 14-23 of alAtashAnti prakaraNa of his mANDUkya kArika,
> refutes a certain group of dvaita philosophers who hold that the world was
> created according to the laws of Karma and therefore believe that karmic
> law is absolutely real.
> Gaudapada offers 6 possibilities for how this can be held to be true by
> dvaitavAdins, and goes on to say how each one of the 6 suffers from logical
> defects. This method of refutation is called the विकल्प method.
> 6 possibilities for मूलकारणं, or ultimate cause of creation are put
> forward.
> 1) कर्म: Here by the word कर्म, कर्मफलं or पुण्यपापफलं is offered as the
> मूलकारणं for creation. It is because of कर्म that this world and the
> jIvasharIras are created, they say.  Gaudapada uses the word हेतुः for
> कर्म. He says calling कर्म as मूलकारणं for srishTi won't work, because
> where did the हेतुः (= कर्म) come from? कर्म cannot accidently come, nor
> can Bhagavan arbitrarily create and assign कर्म. Therefore, it must be
> admitted that कर्म  are generated out of actions performed by a कर्ता, who
> needs to have a शरीरं. Thus, कर्म cannot be the ultimate cause, the
> मूलकारणं for creation, as a शरीर is required for कर्म to be generated.
> 2) शरीरं - to remedy this, the dvaitavAdins say, let us say that शरीरं is
> the मूलकारणं for creation. Gaudapada uses the word फलं for शरीरं. The birth
> of the body, the type of body born, etc are not accidentally created, nor
> does Bhagavan arbitrarily determine this. The birth of the शरीरं is
> determined by कर्म, so शरीरं cannot be मूलकारणं for creation.
> 3) Now the dvaitavAdins say let us say, कर्म and शरीरं are mutually cause
> and effect. Gaudapada says this is illogical like saying father has
> produced the son and son has produced the father. So कर्म and शरीरं as
> mutual cause and effect also cannot be held to be the मूलकारणं for
> creation.
> 4) The dvaitavAdin then says, let us say कर्म and शरीरं are simultaneous
> products (युगपत् संभव:) from which  creation originates.  GaudapAda says,
> if they are simultaneous, they cannot have cause effect relationship.
> Therefore, you would require another cause for कर्म and शरीरं. So
> simultaneously also, they cannot held to be मूलकारणं for creation.
> 5) The dvaitavAdin, feeling cornered, says कर्म and शरीरं form a
> cause-effect chain. That is, karmas produced using the previous body are
> the cause of the next body. That new body performs new karmas which are the
> cause for a newer body and so on, and so forth. Thus, a chain of कर्म and
> शरीरं can be called the मूलकारणं for creation according to him. Gaudapada
> says this is fine, but the question we are considering is "what is the
> मूलकारणं for srishTi", that is what is the original cause? If there is a
> chain of karma and sharIra, with each one acting as the cause of the next
> one, what is the first, original cause? That question is not answered.
> 6) Totally frustrated now, the dvaitavAdin says, I say that कर्म and शरीरं
> form an अनादि cause-effect chain, so the question "what is the मूलकारणं?"
> need not be answered. It is an illegitimate question. Gaudapada says there
> are several defects in this theory:
> a) When you say कर्म - शरीरं - chain (प्रवाह:) is अनादि, you are using an
> adjective, अनादि to qualify the three-word phrase: "अनादि कर्म शरीर
> प्रवाह:". Which of the three is qualified  as अनादि? Not the first, because
> कर्म, has a beginning - it is created at a point in time from a sharIram.
> Not the second, because sharIra also has a birth, a beginning due to karma.
> Not the third, because there is no such thing called chain, a प्रवाह, other
> than the individual elements in the chain. It is only a concept in the
> mind. A family is a concept, it is not a thing. A society is a concept, it
> is not a thing. Similarly the chain is only a concept, not a thing.
> Therefore there is no "thing" to which the qualifier "beginning-less" can
> be applied. Therefore, a beginning-less chain doesn't exist.
> b) This is actually discussed a little later in kArika 4.30. Let us assume,
> for argument's sake, that a beginning-less chain does exist (अभ्युपेत्य
> वाद:). Does that beginning-less chain have an end or not? If it is
> beginning-less and endless, there is no possibility of moksha, अनिर्मोक्ष
> प्रसंग:. Why waste time on vedAnta shravaNa, manana, nidhidhyAsana? All
> moksha shAstra will be redundant or शास्त्र आनर्थक्य प्रसंग:. If it is
> beginning-less, but has an end, then the end of this chain will be the
> beginning of mokshA. Now, Gaudapada argues, whatever has a beginning has an
> end also, जातस्य ध्रुवो मृत्यु:, thus a mokshA which has a beginning, must
> also have an end. Of what use is such a temporary moksha? This also leads
> to अनिर्मोक्ष प्रसंग:. Hence, even if somehow a beginning-less chain of
> karma and sharIra has an end, the moksha thus gained from such a chain is
> not a real moksha.
> Therefore, by the theory of karma, creation cannot be explained. Without
> explaining a cause, you cannot talk about an effect or a product. And if
> you cannot talk about a product, you cannot talk about creation. Thus,
> Gaudapada argues: *There is no creation. There is only Brahman.*
> The last question asked by the pUrva pakshi is - O advaitin, if according
> to you, there is no creation, why do all the Upanishads talk of creation?
> GaudapAda's answer in the second and third chapter is, really speaking
> there is no creation. However, a student is not prepared to accept there is
> no creation, from the beginning. Like a new-born child is not able to eat
> solid food, similarly if an unprepared student is told that there is no
> creation, he will dismiss it as untrue. Therefore, Veda compromises and
> temporarily accepts creation. This temporary acceptance is अध्यारोप:. Once
> the student is ready, the real teaching is revealed to him - There is no
> creation at all, अपवादः. Therefore, the ultimate teaching of vedAnta is
> ajAtivAda.

Thanks for posting this write-up with clear flow..

This reminds - *Mandukyam ekam eva alam mumukshunam vimuktaye*

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