[Advaita-l] avaccheda, abhaasa and pratbimba vaadas

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sun Dec 25 00:15:15 CST 2016

On Sat, Dec 24, 2016 at 7:59 PM, H S Chandramouli via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> Namaste Sri Sadananda Ji,
> Reg  << Avaccheda vaada - pot space example - seems to ignore the
> enclosures - conscious or inert entities.>>,
> Space pervades everything. Pot is enveloped by space, pot envelops space
> and even the material of pot is pervaded by space.

The Commentary of Shankara to the BG 13.15 brings out this idea:

बहिरन्तश्च भूतानामचरं चरमेव च ।
सूक्ष्मत्वात्तदविज्ञेयं दूरस्थं चान्तिके च तत् ॥ १५ ॥

बहिः त्वक्पर्यन्तं देहम् आत्मत्वेन अविद्याकल्पितम् अपेक्ष्य तमेव अवधिं
कृत्वा बहिः उच्यते । तथा प्रत्यगात्मानमपेक्ष्य देहमेव अवधिं कृत्वा अन्तः
उच्यते । ‘बहिरन्तश्च’ इत्युक्ते मध्ये अभावे प्राप्ते, इदमुच्यते — अचरं चरमेव च,
यत् चराचरं देहाभासमपि तदेव ज्ञेयं यथा रज्जुसर्पाभासः । यदि अचरं चरमेव च
स्यात् व्यवहारविषयं सर्वं ज्ञेयम्, किमर्थम् ‘इदम्’ इति सर्वैः न विज्ञेयम्
इति ? उच्यते — सत्यं सर्वाभासं तत् ; तथापि व्योमवत् सूक्ष्मम् । अतः
सूक्ष्मत्वात् स्वेन रूपेण तत् ज्ञेयमपि अविज्ञेयम् अविदुषाम् । विदुषां
तु, ‘आत्मैवेदं
सर्वम्’ (छा. उ. ७-२५-२)
सर्वम्’ इत्यादिप्रमाणतः नित्यं विज्ञातम् । अविज्ञाततया दूरस्थं
वर्षसहस्रकोट्यापि अविदुषाम् अप्राप्यत्वात् । अन्तिके च तत्, आत्मत्वात्
विदुषाम् ॥

*English Translation Of Sri Shankaracharya's Sanskrit Commentary By Swami

13.16 Existing, bahih, outside- the word bahih is used with reference to
the body including the skin, which is misconceived through ignorance to be
the Self, and which is itself taken as the boundary. Similarly, the word
antah, inside, is used with reference to the indwelling Self, making the
body itself as the boundary.* When 'outside' and 'inside' are used, there
may arise the contingency of the nonexistence of That in the middle. Hence
this is said: acaram caram eva ca, moving as well as not moving-even that
which appears as the body, moving or not moving, is nothing but the
Knowable, in the same way as the appearance of a snake on a rope (is
nothing but the rope).* In all empirical things, moving as also non-moving,
be the Knowable, why should It not be known by all as such? In answer it is
said: It is true that It shines through everything; still it is subtle like
space. Therefore, although It is the Knowable, tat, It; is avijneyam,
incomprehensible to the ignorant people; suksmatvat, due to Its intrinsic
subtleness. But to the enlightened It is ever known from the valid means of
knowledge such as (the texts), 'All this is verily the Self' (Ch. 7.25.2),
'Brahman alone is all this' (Nr. Ut.7), etc. It is durastham, far away,
since, to the unenlightened, It is unattainable even in millions of years.
And tat, That; is antike, near, since It is the Self of the enlightened.

The commentary brings out two important points:

1. The container pot (the material pot) is also consisting of

2. Brahman 'Pervading' the entire creation in Advaita means: the entire
creation is superimposed in Brahman, just like a snake is in rope. In other
words, just like the rope is mistaken to be the snake, Brahman is mistaken
to be the creation (created world).

In pratibimba theory, the mirror which has the capacity to receive the
reflection, is the comparison for the mind/avidyā/māyā which has the
capacity to receive the reflection of Consciousness. Yet, the
mind/avidyā/māyā are all superimpositions in Brahman/Consciousness.


> Hence pot (including the
> material of which it is made)  does not disturb the continuity of space.
> Hence pot-space is nondifferent from space as such. This serves as an
> illustration in the case of Chaitanyam at the vyAvahArika level. From the
> vyAvahArika standpoint, Chaitanyam as associated with mind  (sAkshi)
> “appears” to be different (like pot space) from the allpervading Chaitanyam
> itself even though Chaitanyam pervades mind also. Evenso it is nondifferent
> from the allpervading Chaitanyam just like pot-space and space. This is
> apart from the fact that mind is only an “appearance” (superimposition) in
> Chaitanyam and hence from the pAramArthika standpoint in any case there is
> no such entity as sAkshi.
> I have tried to present my views as I understand your question. I hope my
> understanding of your question is correct.
> I am not clear about your observation concerning abhAsa and pratibimba.
> Regards
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