[Advaita-l] Shankara and DrishTi-SrishTi vAda - eka jeeva vaada

Venkatraghavan S agnimile at gmail.com
Wed Jun 15 16:11:07 CDT 2016

Dear Shri Chandramouli ji,

I'd like to tackle 3 topics in this mail.

1) MAyA is accepted as non existent in all three periods of time. Surely
your objection is pertaining to its appearance, not its non existence?

It's traikAlika asattA is spoken of in the BrihadAraNyaka vArtika, where
Sri Sureshvaracharya says:

tattvamasyAdi-vAkyottha-samyagdhI-janma-mAtrataH | avidya saha-kaaryeNa
nAsIdasti bhavishyati ||

As the right understanding arises as a result of the sentence Tat tvam asi,
avidya, along with its effects are denied existence in all three periods of

In relation to its appearance, PrakashAnanda Swami has an ingenious
explanation. He asks, to whom does the world appear? Surely not to the
realised, because for him, everything is Brahman only - so the world really
doesn't appear for the jnAni. Now, coming to the deluded ones, how can we
give any credence to the experiences of those deluded - they who don't have
the discrimination to know whether something does or does not appear.
Therefore we should not consider the appearance of the world to the deluded
as appearance at all!

Further, as pointed out, this sloka is from the Panchadashi, and Swami
VidyAraNya himself has endorsed this. So if by using this doctrine, we are
saying that PrakAshAnanda is considering mAya as tuccha, so is Swami

2) Coming to the philosophy of perception as creation itself - Sri
PrakashAnanda acknowledges the drishTi samasamaya srishTi and extends to
drishTireva srishTi in the MuktAvali itself. He says

प्रतीतिमात्र सत्त्वं चेत् सत्त्वं प्रातीतिक मतं ।

अविरोधान्ममापीष्टं तद्भेदे वद का प्रमा ॥
"If (by the view expounded thus far that existence is contemporaneous with
cognition), it is meant that existence is merely cognition, it is
acceptable to me as well and not opposed to my view. If it is held that
there is a difference between the two, then pray what is the proof of the

Here he is asking if is an object different from its knowledge? If so, what
is the proof of its the difference? There is nothing in the object itself
that reveals itself as different from the knowledge. If there was a
difference, how is that difference knowable? It requires another knowledge
to ascertain the difference. If so, is that second knowledge different from
its object, the first difference? if it's different, that requires a third
knowledge, and so on so forth, ad infinitum.

This non difference of knowledge from its object is recognised in MAndUkya
bhAshya 4.67. न हि घटमतिं प्रत्याख्याय घटो गृह्यते, नापि घटं प्रत्याख्याय
घटमतिः । न हि तत्र प्रमाणप्रमेयभेदः शक्यते कल्पयितुमित्यभिप्रायः - one
cannot experience a pot without knowledge of the pot, nor can one have
knowledge of pot without the pot itself. We cannot conceive of a difference
between the instrument of knowledge and the object of knowledge. There
being no proof in support of the difference between the cognition and
cognised, this universe which appeared in consciousness is nothing but

In support, it is said in the MAndUkya 4.64/ 4.65 bhAshya - चित्तमेव हि
अनेकजीवादि भेदाकारेण विकल्प्यते । ...जाग्रतो दृश्याः जीवाः
तचित्ताव्यतिरिक्ता:, चित्तेक्षणीयत्वात् स्वप्नदृक्चित्तेक्षणीयजीववत् - it
is the mind that imagines the different objects in the waking state -
objects cognised in the waking state are really not different from the
mind, just like the objects seen in the dream are non different from the

Therefore, the non-difference of perception from the objects of perception,
and the corresponding refinement of the drishTi samasamaya srishTi into
drishTireva srishTi is foreshadowed in the bhAshya itself.

3) Now coming to the question of the sloka quoted by Prof. Dasgupta. That
sloka occurs in the ending of the MuktAvali as part of a "phala-sloka" like
set of verses. PrakashAnanda is probably the first one who has delved into
the depths of advaita siddhAnta and boldly put together a work which
focuses solely on drishTi srishTi vAda, and I view this sloka only in that
light. If Appayya DIkshitar says that the ideas contained in this are
included in smriti, and includes it in the siddhAnta lesha samgrahA as one
of the prakriyAs of advaita, then that is good enough evidence for its
acceptability within tradition.



On 15 Jun 2016 1:52 p.m., "H S Chandramouli via Advaita-l" <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> Dear Sri Anand Ji,
> Reg  <<
> And this is accepted by all advaitins, not just PrakAshAnanda. There is
> nothing here that singles out PrakAshAnanda from the rest of the advaitins.
> >>.
> Quite so.  Perhaps that is why, as I mentioned earlier on also,
> PrakAshAnanda is considered an advaitin only !!
> Reg  << Basically this verse is saying that from knowledge of shruti
> (vedAnta),
> mAyA is nonexistent (tuccha, कालत्रयेऽप्यसती nonexistent in all three
> periods of time, as Ramakrishna the commentator says), from a logical
> approach, it is anirvacanIyA, and from only worldly knowledge, it is
> real.>>,
>  In fact this is exactly what prompts PrakAshAnanda ( hereon I am only
> going by what Dasgupta has presented ) to postulate his prakriya to
> establish the advaitic sidhAnta without resorting to anirvachaniya ( second
> alternative in above verse cited by you )  prakriya  which according to him
> is defective as it does not accord with the shruti and is not able to
> satisfactorily refute the objections raised against it , and goes on to
> establish the sidhAnta through his postulate  based on the first
> alternative ( which is what is in accordance with the shruti )  namely mAyA
> is nonexistent (tuccha, कालत्रयेऽप्यसती nonexistent in all three
> periods of time.
> I just quote briefly from Dasgupta here. The book itself may be referred
> for further details ( pp 220-224 ).
> Quote from A history of Indian Philosophy   <<  If one looks at mAyA in
> accordance with the texts of the Vedas, mAyA will appear to be an
> absolutely fictitious nonentity (tuccha ), like the hare’s horn; if an
> attempt is made to interpret it logically, it is indefinable
> (anirvachaniya), though common people would always think of it as being
> real( vAstavI ). PrakAshAnanda thus preaches the extreme view of the
> vEdAnta, that there is no kind of objectivity that can be attributed to the
> world, that mAyA is absolutely nonexistent, that our ideas have no
> objective substratum to which they correspond, that the self is the one and
> only ultimate reality, and that there is no causation or creation of the
> world. >>  Unquote.
> Regards
> >
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