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

Venkatraghavan S agnimile at gmail.com
Fri Sep 23 10:50:21 CDT 2016

Namaste Praveenji,

You may be slightly frustrated at the answers in line below, so apologies
in advance!

On 23 Sep 2016 4:12 p.m., "Praveen R. Bhat" <bhatpraveen at gmail.com> wrote:

>> JnAni being embodied is only from an ajnAni's perspective.
> Even jnAnI's mukti is from ajnAnI's perspective only, in pAramarthika
there being no bandha or mukti. Why that, even jnAni's body is seen
belonging to the jnAnI as prArabdha by the ajnAnI, just as the latter
considers his own body to be his own.


>> From jnAni's
>> perspective, he was not, is not, will not be embodied.
> If a jnAnI has a perspective, that is also superimposed by an ajnAnI.


"However, all that is perceived has to be explained. So jnAnI having
sharIra as prArabdha, he is seen to take care of it as sharIradharma."

Explained to whom? Only to the ajnAni. As you correctly say, he is "seen to
take care of it". In actuality there is no seeing or taking care.

>> This distinction of
>> jIvanmukti and videhamukti are all from vyAvahArika standpoint only.
> His upAdhi would limit the jnAnaphala based on his level of niShThA,
hence the categories even for jnAnIs and videhamukti as a stage where
upAdhi no longer limits in any way.

Again these are only vyAvahArika constructs. I am not wedded to them, but
if you see any merit in preserving them, I see no harm in it.

>> A
>> jnAni considers himself as nityamukta.

> Once again, the very idea of jnAni "considering" something indicates
jIvabhAva, individualization, which means avidyAlesha.

The use of "considering" was only a figure of speech. I don't have any
qualms accepting avidyAlesha, but again that is only a vyAvahArika

> On another point you had made earlier:
>> Same way for avidyA too. Whether it
>> is bhAva rUpa or abhAva rUpa, when jnAna arises it ceases to be. (and it
>> never was nor will be).
> Anything that is abhAvarUpa cannot and does not have to cease to be on
rise of jnAna since it was never there. Moreover, if anything abhAvarUpa
can cause a problem then what is to stop it from doing anything else? We
will have no say against Buddhists shUnyavAda then! Ergo, the na~n in
avidyA is virodhArthe na~n, which means that which opposed vidyA, not
abhAvarthe as in not being there at all. The same counter to Buddhism works
here, if you say avidyA *is* bhAvarUpa, the *isness* is the basis for its
presence, and its virodha, so it cannot not be at all. So the sampradAya
says yatki~ncit bhAvarUpa.

I do not believe avidyA to be abhAvarUpa. So I am fully in agreement with
your arguments for yatkinchit bhavarupa.

My point is we are anyway going to do apavAda of it, so why split hairs.


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