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

Anand Hudli anandhudli at hotmail.com
Tue Apr 18 22:48:11 EDT 2017

On Tue, Apr 18, 2017 at 11:29 PM, V Subrahmanian via Advaita-l
< advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
> Dear Anand ji,
> Even though the 'vṛtti' definition of the Yoga sutra is not admitted by
> Vedantin for the reason stated by you (vikalpa), I heard from Sri Mani
> Dravid Sastrigal's talks on the Advaitasiddhi that Madhusudana Saraswati
> accepts the Yoga Sutra definition (perhaps even the Bhāmati accepts) of
> 'vikalpa: śabadjñānānupātī vastuśūnyo vikalpaḥ' which is a definition of
> sorts for a asat vastu such as hare's horn. If such is true, then the
> meaning of 'vikalpa' as per the Yoga sutra within 'vṛtti' cannot be
> imagination, kalpitam, adhyastam, etc. but asadvastu.  Could you please
> clarify?

Yes, asat means non-existent and this fits the description of the hare's
horn. By imagination, I meant a vRtti which does not have a corresponding
object. But asat is not the same as mithyA, and the topic of dRshyatva has
to do with mithyAtva. That is exactly why the definition of dRshyatva has
to rule out things which are asat, apart from ruling out Brahman itself, in
order to eliminate the defect of the definition being too wide.


On Tue, Apr 18, 2017 at 10:44 AM, Anand Hudli <anandhudli at hotmail.com>

> 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.
> Anand

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