[Advaita-l] Nyayasudha Objections 1

Srinath Vedagarbha svedagarbha at gmail.com
Thu Feb 18 11:55:32 CST 2016

On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 11:15 AM, Anand Hudli via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> >If I understand correctly, this is the gist of dvaitin's interpretation of
> >sUtra "Om ikshayetE na aShabdam Om" -- meaning Brahman is not
> >aShabda/avAchya because of hEtu "it is known". Given that Brahamn cannot
> be
> >known by pratyaksha and anumAna, it leads to only option Aagama. Since
> >aagma is shabda based, hence it is not correct to say Brahamn is avAchya
> by
> >all pada-s in their mukhyArtha.
> In simple terms, as already pointed out by others in this thread, Brahman
> is never the Object, unlike in Dvaita. It is always the Subject, which
> means there cannot be a word that can be pointed at Brahman. For instance,
> a pot can be pointed at and a child can be told,  "this is a pot". Not so,
> in the case of Brahman.

Bit clarification needed here -- the context of this topic is not about
dispute about whether or not object of knowledge gained from experience
(anthakarNa/sAkshi) is object or subject. Instead the question is about
artha of a shabda/pada. We all have experience of type "I know myself" type
and the question is not about whether or not "I" as subject or object, but
the question is about atha of a shabda when someone says "You are a good
man".  What is that the pada "you" is referring to here is the question.
Obviously the artha of this pada-prayOga has to be object of knowledge so
gained from that shabda prayOga.

> All pramANas, including the Sruti itself, fall
> short of objectively describing Brahman.

 vAchkatvaM/lakShyaM of the pada is not about description of the the
underlying object being conveyed, but rather connotation of what is being
conveyed. In the usage "you are a holy man" we are not trying to describe
underlying man, are we?

> Does this mean Brahman can never
> be known objectively? Brahman is the Self of all beings, and as Shankara

says in the adhyAsa bhAShya, na tAvadayamekAntena aviShayaH
> asmatpratyayaviShaytvAt. And as BhAmatIkAra clarifies, aviShayo .api
> asmatpratyayaviShaya iva jIvabhAvamApannaH avabhAsate. Although,
> Brahman/Self is not an object, still It appears to be an object of the
> concept 'I'.

That is (another) objection of pUrvapaxin -- even in order to say "it
appears to be.." one needs some help from shabda pramANa, because our
immediate experience is that I am both subject and object in
self-referential knowledge of type "I know myself" .  But as soon as one
plead help from shada pramANa in order to do nirNaya "it appears to be...",
one will run into this issue of mukhyArtha vs. amukhyArtha.

> The dvaitin tries to set up a trap using the paradoxical situation.
> advaitasiddhi: nanu evaM lakShyapadenApi lakShyatve tIrasya agangAtvavat
> brahmaNaH alakShyatvApattiriti cet na iShTatvAt sarvathA nirdharmakatvAt
> lakShyavyavahArasya ca vAcyatvAbhAvanibandhatvAt tathA pratipAditaM prAk|
> Objection: Now, if Brahman is said to be "implied" then it becomes the
> primary sense of the word "implied". Since the implied object, for example
> the river bank, is not the same as the object which stands for the primary
> sense, for example gangA, Brahman ceases to be something that is implied!
> Reply: (What you say) is agreeable to us. For, Brahman has no property at
> all and even the process of being implied by a secondary meaning restricts
> its nature as not being expressed through words.

This can be valid argument only if underlying hEtu  "Brahman has no
property" is true. But how do we say so definitively without engaging
shabda pramANa-s, such as shruti? Once we engage shabda to support that
hEtu, we run into the same issue. Since one cannot say one way or the other
about Brahman using non-shabda based pramANa-s, the very underlying hEtu
used in the above advaitasiddhi has no basis ---  so argues a pUrvapaxin.


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