[Advaita-l] Fwd: Nyayasudha Objections 1

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Thu Feb 25 11:49:35 CST 2016

On Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 3:41 PM, Venkatraghavan S <agnimile at gmail.com>

> Namaste Sri Subbuji,
> Regarding Sri PurandaradAsa's explanation for the limitation of words to
> describe the infinite guNAs of Brahman, the context of where this vAkya
> occurs in Taittiriya doesn't lend itself to that interpretation. Here the
> context of shruti is when talking about Brahman as pancha kosha vilakshaNa,
> and not occurring where the vibhUtis of the Lord are being described.

That is very well said.

> Going back to other arguments made in this context. Just because shruti
> cannot refer to Brahman, it does not mean that it ceases to be a pramANa
> for Brahman, and one cannot use shruti vAkya in support of advaita.

Actually, there is this sentence in the Brihadaranyaka3.9.26: I ask you of
that Purusha, who can be known only in the Upanishad.  The bhashya is:

स्वेनैवात्मना व्यवस्थितो *य औपनिषदः पुरुषः अशनायादिवर्जित उपनिषत्स्वेव
विज्ञेयः नान्यप्रमाणगम्यः,* तं त्वा त्वां विद्याभिमानिनं पुरुषं पृच्छामि ।

This specification of 'upanishat purusha' is stated in that context of
teaching the method of 'neti neti', in that very mantra:

स एष नेति नेत्यात्मागृह्यो न हि गृह्यतेऽशीर्यो न हि शीर्यतेऽसङ्गो न हि
सज्यतेऽसितो न व्यथते न रिष्यति ।

The reason why Brahman cannot be known by ordinary means is also specified
there in the mantra itself and the bhashya:

स एषः — स यो ‘नेति नेति’ (बृ. उ. २-३-६)
निर्दिष्टो मधुकाण्डे एष सः, सोऽयमात्मा अगृह्यः न गृह्यः ; कथम् ?
यस्मात्सर्वकार्यधर्मातीतः, तस्मादगृह्यः ; कुतः ? यस्मान्न हि गृह्यते ;
यद्धि करणगोचरं व्याकृतं वस्तु, तद्ग्रहणगोचरम् ; इदं तु
तद्विपरीतमात्मतत्त्वम् । तथा अशीर्यः — यद्धि मूर्तं संहतं शरीरादि
तच्छीर्यते ; अयं तु तद्विपरीतः ; अतो न हि शीर्यते । तथा असङ्गः — मूर्तो
मूर्तान्तरेण सम्बध्यमानः सज्यते ; अयं च तद्विपरीतः ; अतो न हि सज्यते । तथा
असितः अबद्धः — यद्धि मूर्तं तत् बध्यते ; अयं तु तद्विपरीतत्वात् असितः ;
अबद्धत्वान्न व्यथते ; अतो न रिष्यति —
ग्रहणविशरणसङ्गबन्धकार्यधर्मरहितत्वान्न रिष्यति न हिंसामापद्यते न
विनश्यतीत्यर्थः ।

If Brahman had been within the realm of the created, then it would have
been possible to know It through other means, since such a created object
will certainly have attributes and thus knowable.. But the upanishad is
presenting brahman as free from the realm of creation and therefore, free
from attributes too.  Hence the need to approach the upanishat alone to
know it. Shankara shows how that Purusha is the very Atman, free of hunger,
etc. It is interesting to read this portion and what follows that.

यस्य नेति नेतीत्यन्यप्रतिषेधद्वारेण ब्रह्मणो निर्देशः कृतः तस्य *विधिमुखेन
कथं निर्देशः *कर्तव्य इति पुनराख्यायिकामेवाश्रित्याह मूलं च जगतो
वक्तव्यमिति ।
The vidhimukhena nirdesha is by employing a tree imagery, analogy, for the
Purusha. It is only by these two methods: neti neti and the analogy method
the Upanishad teaches Brahman.

> For shruti to be a pramANa, it is sufficient if it generates brahma pramA,
> which it does, through mahAvAkya. This link between the need to refer to
> mukhyArtha and pramaNatva does not hold.
You can see from the foregoing bhashya how Shankara upholds, on the lines
of the Upanishad itself, that the Upanishad alone is the source, means, to
know the Purusha, Brahman, and no other pramana.

There is yet other upanishadic sentences that form the basis for the
Advaitic stand that Brahman is avedya, avāchya, aviṣaya, as collected by
Shankaracharya in the Br.up.bhashya 1.4.7:

 ‘न दृष्टेर्द्रष्टारं पश्येः’ (बृ. उ. ३-४-२)
 ‘विज्ञातारमरे केन विजानीयात्’ (बृ. उ. २-४-१४)
, (बृ. उ. ४-५-१)
विज्ञातृ’ (बृ. उ. ३-८-११)
न आत्मविषयं विज्ञानम् |
The collective meaning of the above cited upanishadic passages is:
It is impossible to 'know' the one who alone knows. In other words, that
which is at the basis for all knowledge activity cannot become an object of
any knowledge. The second passage there is very powerful: 'By which
instrument, O Maitreyi, is the Knower known?'  It is not a question but the
negation of the possibility of the 'Knower' Consiciousness becoming the
known.  The full form of that segment is: येनेदं सर्वं विजानाति तं केन
विजानीयाद्विज्ञातारमरे केन विजानीयादिति ॥ १४ ॥
The bhashyam for this segment is:

 यत्रापि अविद्यावस्थायाम् अन्यः अन्यं पश्यति, तत्रापि येनेदं सर्वं
विजानाति, तं केन विजानीयात् — येन विजानाति, तस्य करणस्य, विज्ञेये
विनियुक्तत्वात् ; ज्ञातुश्च ज्ञेय एव हि जिज्ञासा, न आत्मनि ; न च अग्नेरिव
आत्मा आत्मनो विषयः ; न च अविषये ज्ञातुः ज्ञानमुपपद्यते ; तस्मात् येन इदं
सर्वं विजानाति, तं* विज्ञातारं केन करणेन को वा अन्यः विजानीयात् *— यदा तु
पुनः परमार्थविवेकिनो ब्रह्मविदो विज्ञातैव केवलोऽद्वयो वर्तते, तं विज्ञातारं
अरे केन विजानीयादिति ॥
The Atman cannot become a vishaya for the Atman itself. Just as fire cannot
burn fire itself.

The attempt made by the other member to paint advaita as unvedic, is
> totally preposterous.
It is only in the early Madhva history that such an attempt was made. Later
Madhvas clearly realized that such an attempt was not successful. That is
why, we have, for instance, even Vadiraja, in his Yukti mallika, as stated
by Dr.A.V.Nagasampige, has employed the analogy of 'brothers of the same
family, though having fights between themselves, would unite to fight
against an alien attack' to show that the three schools, though differing
doctrinally, are united in defending themselves from the attacks of the
non-vedic schools, like, for example, buddhism.

There is a book by a Madhva scholar, Krishnavadhuta, which has set forth
the method of the brahma sutras as per the Advaitic, and other schools.
These show that the label of 'unvedic' against Advaita is of only academic
value today and no more than that.

A noted Madhva scholar Dr.Anandatirtha Vysampayanacharya Nagasampige,
Director, Purnaprajna Samshodhana Mandiram, a Bangalore-based premier
Madhva research institution run under the patronage of Sri Vishvesha Tirtha
SwamigaLu, the seer of the Pejawar Mutt (whose disciple is the author),
writes in his popular Kannada book: 'Mata traya sameekshaa':

// * ಮೂರು ದರ್ಶನಗಳಲ್ಲಿರುವ ಸಮಾನತೆಗಳು:*  ಅದ್ವೈತ-ವಿಶಿಷ್ಟಾದ್ವೈತ ಹಾಗೂ ದ್ವೈತ
ಸಿದ್ಧಾಂತಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಸ್ಥೂಲವಾಗಿ ಕೆಲವು ಸಮಾನತೆಗಳನ್ನು ನಾವು ಕಾಣಬಹುದಾಗಿದೆ:  *ವಿಷ್ಣು
ಪರದೇವತೆ ಎಂಬ ಸಂಗತಿ ಅಚಾರ್ಯತ್ರಯರಿಗೆ ಸಮ್ಮತವಾಗಿದೆ*:

[The similarities/sameness present in the three systems: In Advaita,
Vishishtaadvaita and Dvaita, we can see an explicit similarity: - ]

And has quoted appropriate passages from the works of the Three Acharyas.
In respect of Shankara, he quotes the following:

೧. नारायणः परोऽव्यक्तात् अण्डमव्यक्तसंभवम् ।

अण्डस्यान्तस्त्विमे लोकाः सप्तद्वीपा च मेदिनी ॥ [Introduction by Shankara
to His Gita Bhashya]

Narayana is beyond the Avyakta; From the Avyakta the Mundane Egg is born;
Within the Mundane Egg, verily, are these worlds and the Earth made up of
the seven dvipa-s.

The Madhva scholar goes on to list other 'commonalities' across the Three

*1. All the Acharyas agree that the Veda is apauruSheya and is the
parama-pramANa. (he quotes appropriate passages from the works of the three
Acharyas which substatiate this)*

2. That Bhakti alone is the means for liberation is admissible to all the
three Acharyas.  In support of this he quotes Shankara's statement from the
Gitabhashya 18.65:

एवं भगवतःसत्यप्रतिज्ञत्वं बुद्ध्वा भगवद्भक्तेः अवश्यम्भाविमोक्षपलमवधार्य
भगवच्चरणैकपरायणो भवेदिति वाक्यार्थः ।

//The idea conveyed by the passage is: Having thus understood that the Lord
is true in His pormise, and knowing for certain that liberation is the
unfailing result of devotion to the Lord, one should have dedication to God
as his only supreme goal,//

3. That karma is subsidiary to Jnana and is the cause for chitta-shuddhi is
admissible to all the Three Acharyas. The Shankara-passage given for this

....अग्निहोत्रादिलक्षणं कर्म ब्रह्मचर्यादिलक्षणं च अनुग्राहकं भवति
विद्योत्पत्तये. (Taittiriya Up.Bhashya 1.11)  [for the karmas such as
Agnihotra, as also the practices of celibacy, etc., undertaken in the past
lives, become helpful to the rise of knolwedge....]



> Venkatraghavan
> On Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 2:44 PM, Venkatraghavan S <agnimile at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> Thirdly, in all the arguments thus far (and I may have missed this as I
>> haven't kept track), if Brahman is indeed knowable in sense alleged by the
>> dvaitin, how can shrutis such as "yato vAcho nivartante, aprApya manasA
>> saha" etc. which talk about the apremyatvam of Brahman, and smritis such as
>> Vishnu SahsranAma, which have "aprameya" as one of His names, be explained?
> Words along with the mind will fail to 'reach' Brahman because of Its
> attributes, guṇas, are infinite.  They cannot be spoken of by words, fully.
> Sri Purandaradasa, in the famous song 'jagadoddhāraṇa...' said:
> .ನಿಗಮಕೆ ನಿಲುಕದ ಅಗಣಿತ ಮಹಿಮನ ಸುಗುಣಾಂತರಂಗನ ಆಡಿಸಿದಳೆಶೋದ.  [Yashodha cuddled
> that Krishna whose greatness cannot be fully captured even by the Veda...]
> And for the word 'aprameya', one can easily say: it is aprameya for the
> worldly pramanas and not for the Veda. Of course, Shankara too, in that
> commentary said this alone but went further to also clarify how the Veda
> teaches Brahman, by the mode of negating what is superimposed.
> regards
> vs
>> Thanks,
>> Venkatraghavan
>> On 25 Feb 2016 5:30 a.m., "V Subrahmanian via Advaita-l" <
>> advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
>>> On Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 1:27 AM, Srinath Vedagarbha <
>>> svedagarbha at gmail.com>
>>> wrote:
>>> >
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > Even Dvaitins are not saying in a sense Brahman is object. All they are
>>> > saying Brahman is jnEya and has IkShaNeattvaM and hence sUtrakAra's
>>> used it
>>> > as a hEtu in that sUtra Om IkShattEH  na aShabdaM Om. Other member was
>>> > denying that hEtu does not fit in Brahman.
>>> >
>>> From the beginning of this discussion when the word 'IkShattEH' was
>>> used, I
>>> have been unable to understand exactly what that word means according to
>>> the Dvaita interpretation of that sutra. From what you have said so far:
>>> 'that Brahman is known, or knowable, seen, etc.'  it is not clear how
>>> that
>>> word in that sutra fits this meaning.  For, in my understanding, if the
>>> sutra should mean: 'because Brahman is seen/known', then the word should
>>> be
>>> 'īkṣyate' 'ईक्ष्यते’ , in the karmaṇi prayoga, (indirect speech), which
>>> will mean: (Brahman) is seen, or known. But the word in the sutra is
>>> 'ईक्षतेः’ The meaning the Advaita bhashya gives to that word is:
>>> ईक्षतिकर्तृत्वं ब्रह्मणः एव श्रवणात् (’तदैक्षत, बहु स्याम्, प्रजायेय इति’
>>> (तैत्तिरीय), वेदबाह्यस्य जडस्य प्रधानस्य तदसम्भवात्, न प्रधानं
>>> जगत्कारणम्,
>>> अपि तु चेतनं ब्रह्म वैदिकम्.  [कथमशब्दत्वम् ? ईक्षतेः =
>>> ईक्षितृत्वश्रवणात्कारणस्य । bhashyam for 1.1.5]
>>> How will that word ''ईक्षतेः’ of the sutra give the meaning: 'because
>>> Brahman is seen/known' in the passive voice?
>>> > What you are saying now is you are accepting jnEyatvam in Brahman, and
>>> > that is enough for the case.
>>> >
>>> The jneyatvam is not the way that Brahman is an object but as that which
>>> has to be known.  It is in the sense of ज्ञातव्यम्.
>>> vs
>>> >
>>> > /sv
>>> >
>>> >
>>> >
>>> >
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