[Advaita-l] What is the difference between Maya and avidhya ?T

Raghav Kumar raghavkumar00 at gmail.com
Fri Sep 23 05:15:14 CDT 2016

Maybe this is useful. Link of Sri Subrahmanianji post given at the end.

avidyA is upAdAna kAraNa while brahman reflected in avidyA ( triguNAtmikA
mAyA) is the nimitta kAraNam.

Quote starts here -
"In the bhashyam for the Brahma Sutra 1.1.5 ईक्षतेः न अशब्दम् we have an
interesting question-answer:

Brahman 'saw/deliberated/desired' and therefore we conclude that It is
chetana vastu.

Now, this Brahman is the subject, ईक्षणकर्ता. What is the object, karma,
that is 'seen' by the kartA Brahman?

Says the bhashyam: किं पुनः तत्कर्म, यत्प्रागुत्पत्तेः ईश्वरज्ञानस्य विषयो
भवति ? इति । What is the object, karma, that is 'seen' by the kartA
Brahman, prior to creation? तत्त्वान्यत्वाभ्यां अनिर्वचनीये नामरूपे
अव्याकृते व्याचिकीर्षते इति ब्रूमः ।
//Name and form, we reply, which can be defined neither as being identical
with Brahman nor as different from it, unevolved but about to be evolved.//
This 'object' vishaya, for Brahman, the kartA, prior to creation, is:
avidyA/mAyA/mUlAvidyA. It is with this basic material that Ishwara/Brahman
creates the world which is the manifest form of the unmanifest. Thus, in
the analysis done by Shankaracharya, we have a neat
subject-object-predicate tool involved. The subject is: Brahman. The
Object: is the
avyaktaa/maayaa/avidyaa/mUlAvidyA/unmanifest/shakti/beeja-shakti. The
predicate: is the ईक्षणक्रिया the act of 'seeing/deliberating/desiring'. It
is this predicate that became the vital ground for the Vedantin to refute
the saankhyan proposition and clinch the issue in favour of the Brahman of
the Upanishads. And that clinching reasoning is: BECAUSE 'seeing' can be a
property of only a sentient being. Now, four important corollaries stem
from the above Bhashyam: 1. Shankara teaches that there is a विषय-विषयि
realtionship between avidyA and Brahman. 2. Avidya is the viShaya and
Brahman, the viShayI. Therefore, the viShaya, AvidyA/ajnAna/mAya has to be
a bhavarUpa vastu. 3. This bhAvarUpa avidyA is the upAdaana kAraNam for the
world. It is with this shakti Brahman becomes the Creator. 4. This
bhAvarUpa avidyA is viShaya for Brahman 'before' creation. In other words,
prior to adhyAsa, there is a cause and this cause is avidyA."


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