[Advaita-l] Nyayasudha Objections 1

Srinath Vedagarbha svedagarbha at gmail.com
Wed Mar 2 19:46:56 CST 2016

On Wed, Mar 2, 2016 at 2:48 AM, Anand Hudli via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> >
> The shruti contains statements that lead us to believe Brahman cannot
> be known as well as statements that lead us to believe Brahman can be
> known, such as  "na dRShTerdraShTAraM pashyeH" and also "AtmA vA are
> draShTavyaH". How do we reconcile these statements?

In fact, for this very question the same sUtrakAra has answered in another
of His work garuda purANa  as ---

aprasiddhEravAchyaM tat vAchyaM sarvAgamOktithaH | atarkhyaM
tarkyAmajnyAyaM jnyAyamEvaM paraM smrutaM ||

(Brahman is said to be avAchya by shruti because He is apUrva/aprasiddha,
however since all agama-s revealing Brahman     (recall Krishna's words
"vEdEschha sarvErahamEva vEdyaH" in gIta) He is said to be vAchyaM. In same
reason, He is anUhya even when He is uhya, ajnEya even when jnyEya". )

Dvaitins quote an analogy  -- na tadIdhrugiti jnEyaM na vAchyaM na cha
takshrtE | paShyaMtOapi na paShyaMti mErO rUpaM || itivat

One cannot exactly define/pinpoint extents of mount mEru by using words,
and hence jnAni-s consider mEru as avAchya even though they try to use
words to describe its non-descriability. In the same sense Brahman is
vAchya even though He is avAchya. This is possible only to those which are
"rich" in their attributes such mount mEru and Brahman (recall shruti's
answer for its own question "ataH kasmAt ucchatE brhamEti?" as "brihintO
asmin hi guNaH". This feature does not applicable for nirguNa brahman.

> When it is said Brahman can be known, first it is important to understand
> that it can be known only by means of a pure mind according to the
> gItAbhAShya vacana:
> shAstrAcAryopadesha-shamadamAdisaMskRutaM mana Atmadarshane kAraNam.
> However, even in this case Brahman is not known through "phalavyApti", but
> through "vRttivyApti" only. This means there is no involvement of
> chidAbhAsa, the reflection of Consciousness in antaHkaraNa, as in the case
> of cognition of external objects. Rather the vRtti  serves to remove the
> ajnAna covering Brahman, which shines in all Its glory.

For this to say, one should know Brahman's astitvaM first and then to know
such Brahman is svaprakASha and covered by ajnAna. This is possible if
Brahman is pratyaksha gammya (or other non-shruti pramANa gammya), but that
is not the case as Brahman is only aagama siddha. Since aagamas are shabda,
one cannot offered to say it is avAchya.

> And what vRtti is
> this? shruti-pramANajanyapramArUpA. It is the knowledge generated by shruti
> pramANa.

Same question here -- can there a shabda be a pramANa when it is used in
lakshyArtha to denote sAdhya which otherwise not known from any of

Very basis of "lakShya" is that it is pratipAdya by lakshaNA-vRtti. Now,
what is lakShNa?  it is shakya-saMbandha - meaning for saMandha jnAna,
saMandhi jnAna is the cause. In the current context, Brahman is saMandi,
and how is this saMandi jnAna possible without having any words denoting in
its primary meaning? Without this being addressed, how can one accept
lakshyArtha be called pramA?


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