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

Praveen R. Bhat bhatpraveen at gmail.com
Sat Sep 24 04:45:17 CDT 2016

Namaste Raviji,

Looks like you sent this mail only to me by oversight. Reply inline...

On Fri, Sep 23, 2016 at 11:22 PM, Ravi Kiran <ravikiranm108 at gmail.com>

> If you accept there is no trace of avidyA in paramArthA sat,

I suspect there is a mix up here in understanding when you say this. Having
brahman as the locus of avidyA doesn't mean that brahman
is affected by avidyA. The latter is mithyA, as said earlier. Moreover,
avidyA is opposed to jnAnam and vice versa, but brahman is opposed to
NOTHING. avidyA can "happily" have parabrahman as its locus.

> सदेव सदिति अस्तितामात्रं वस्तु सूक्ष्मं निर्विशेषं सर्वगतमेकं निरञ्जनं
> निरवयवं विज्ञानम्,
> That which is sukshmam, nirvishesham, sarvagatham, ekam , niranjanam,
> niravayavam, viJnAnam is kevala sat, ekam eva adviTIyam, before creation (
> paramArthika), is devoid of any mithyA  (mUlAvidyA) or any nAma rUpa
> vishesha that can be comprehended

There is NO difference whatsoever in brahman before creation and after
creation. The creation stories should not be taken as idam ittham. They are
adhyAropa to explain the world that we perceive. If you go ahead and still
differentiate in brahman prior to creation and that after creation, you
will have to explain where from this creation cropped up? You will surely
have to answer that it indeed came from Ishvara, who is nothing but brahman
with mAyA upAdhi. Then where was mAyA? Was it different from brahman in
which case advaita will become dvaita, or is it same as brahman in which
case brahman will not remain pure. Sureshvaracharya says that this mAyA/
avidyA rests in brahman itself, without affecting it in Naishkarmyasiddhi
(NS). Some may differentiate between terminologies of avidyA and mAyA, but
with the principle of Occam's razor, if you just see mAyA as that universal
avidyA, it has to have its locus in sat padArtha brahman itself. If you
differentiate between both and say Maya is shakti of brahman and avidyA is
seen in individuals, where would this individual avidyA have its locus?
Mind you, there is nothing other than brahman. jIva is brahman, (unless you
think jIva has an anAtmA component like some do). So it really cannot rest
anywhere else. And if doesn't rest in anything, it cannot come from
nothing. We are not shUnyavAdis. :)

> नामरूपक्रियावद्विकृतमुपलभ्यते -  creation is nAma rUpa vishesha
> superimposed on adhiSThAna sat (result of avidyA)
The only other non-option left is that avidyA rests in anAtmA.
Sureshvaracharya proves why this is a non-option in NS. If you think that
is a possibility and not brahman itself, refer to NS or let me know so that
I can jot down the points here.

--Praveen R. Bhat
/* Through what should one know That owing to which all this is known!
[Br.Up. 4.5.15] */

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list