[Advaita-l] Does Brahman's svaprakAshatvam make it mithyA?

Anand Hudli anandhudli at hotmail.com
Tue Apr 18 01:14:43 EDT 2017

Nice presentation again by Shri Venkatraghavanji. I would like some of my
notes on this.

A well known advaitic statement is "vimataM mithyA dRshyatvAt, jaDatvAt
pariChinnatvAt, shuktirUpyavat". In this and the following two sections of
the advaitasiddhi, MadhusUdana deals with the topics of dRshyatva, jaDatva
and pariChinnatva. The pUrvapakShi lists six definitions for dRshyatva and
proceeds to raise objections against each. These six definitions are 1)
vRttivyApyatva (being pervaded by vRtti), 2) phalavyApyatva (being pervaded
by phala), 3) sAdhAraNa (i.e. both 1 and 2), 4) kadAcit kathancit
cidviShaytva (at some time in some way being an object of consciousness),
5) svavyavahAre svAtirikta-saMvidantara-apekShAniyati (depending on a
cognition different from itself for its activity), and 6) asvaprakAshatva
(not being self-illumined).

In discussing vRttivyApyatva, we have to be clear about what a vRtti is.
For instance, Patanjali's yogasUtra includes valid cognition (pramANa),
viparyaya (erroneous cognition), vikalpa (imagination), nidrA and smRti
(memory) among vRttis. However, the laghuchandrikA-kAra has not accepted
this definition of Patanjali, and instead opts for the shruti based
definition from the brihadAraNyaka Upanishad vAkya ending in "hrIrdhIrbhIr
ityetat sarvaM mana eva" (1.5.3), the reason being Patanjali's definition
includes vikalpa or imagination. If vikalpa were to be admitted as a vRtti,
we would have to accept the vRtti produced by a fictitious thing as a
hare's horn and this in turn would make dRshyatva a property of the hare's
horn. This would mean a hare's horn is mithyA too like the observable
objects in the world. But this is against the definition of mithyAtva, for
example, pratipannopAdhau traikAlikanishhedhapratiyogitvaM vA mithyAtvam,
which rules out fictitious objects. Another thing to note here is that
vRtti must also include avidyAvRtti, not just antaHkaraNavRtti. To explain,
whenever an illusory object, such as silver in nacre,  is seen or pleasure
(sukha), etc are experienced, the corresponding vRtti is avidyAvRtti, and
we do accept the illusory object and sukha, etc, as mithyA too. Also, by
denying dRshyatva to objects of avidyAvRtti, there would be defect of
"sAdhanavaikalya" in the above mentioned rule "vimataM...", as
chandrikAkAra points out.

More later.


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