[Advaita-l] What is akhaNDArtham - according to advaita siddhi

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Wed Aug 2 06:33:19 EDT 2017

Dear Venkat ji,

Thank you for posting a complex topic from the Advaitasiddhi. You have made
the topic comprehensible by including illustrations.


On Tue, Aug 1, 2017 at 11:37 PM, Venkatraghavan S via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> Namaste,
> There was a recent discussion on akhaNDArthatvam in the list. I went back
> to the advaita siddhi to read up a little more about the topic. This may be
> of interest, so thought I will share.
> 1)  akhaNDArtham is not nirbhedArthatvam - ie a sentence that conveys that
> an object has no bhedam, differences, is not akhaNDArtha vAkya. There are
> three vikalpas, possibilities, here
> a) akhaNDArtham does not mean that the sentence conveys that the object has
> no bheda. Why? because if it did that, there would be two things conveyed
> by the sentence - the object itself, and that it has no bheda. It becomes a
> sakhaNDa vAkya like 'nirghaTam bhUtalam'. Even though the ground has
> nothing on it, by appending the adjective 'pot-less' to the ground, the
> sentence conveys both the ground and its potlessness. In a similar way, the
> sentence 'brahman nirbhedam' is also not akhaNDArtham, because the sentence
> conveys both brahman and its nirbhedatvam.
> b) akhaNDArtham does not mean that the object that the sentence conveys,
> has no bheda (even though the sentence itself does not convey its
> nirbhedatvam). This does not work because even a saguNa vAkya will have
> akhaNDArtham. When we say Ishvara sarvajna sarvavit etc, really speaking,
> that sarvajnatvam and sarvavittvam are all only adhyasta attributes. Thus
> the object conveyed is a nirbheda vastu, but the sentence is not really
> akhaNDArtha vAkya. Therefore if this is the definition there will be
> ativyApti in saguNa vAkya.
> c) akhaNDArtham does not mean that the sentence conveys a nirbheda vastu,
> and apart from that object, the sentence does not convey anything
> else. This also will not work because the sentence prakrishTa prakAsha:
> chandra: which is accepted as having akhaNDArtham, will end up not having
> akhaNDArtham because of this definition (avyApti). Why? because the moon is
> not a nirbheda vastu, however, this sentence happens to be akhaNDArtham.
> If it is counterargued that Brahman, which is satya, has bhedam with
> prapancha, which is mithyA. Thus if it is argued that Brahman also is not
> nirbhedam, and therefore there can be no akhaNDArtha vAkya if this is the
> definition - we will say no, because such a bhedam is not samasattA with
> the dharmi, Brahman.  Thus, to clarify, nirbhedam means dharmi samasattAka
> bheda rAhityam - the absence of a difference that is of the same order of
> reality as the substratum.
> However, even with such a definition of nirbhedam, chandra will still not
> be nirbhedam (chandra and its bheda with other objects have equal sattA),
> and therefore such a definition of akhaNDArtha will not apply to prakriShTA
> prakAsha: chandra: sentence, which is a problem.
> 2) For the same reasons, akhaNDArtham is not nirvisheShArthatvam. It is not
> a vAkya that conveys an object that has no visheShas.
> 3) akhaNDArtham is not - a sentence of non synonymous words, that conveys
> only prAtipadika artham.
> What is prAtipadika artha? When we say the rAma shabda rUpa, the basic word
> is rAma, whereas rAma: conveys rAma + one individual, rAmam conveys rAma +
> his nature as an object to a verb, rAmeNa conveys rAma + his nature as an
> instrument, etc. Here the root word rAma is prAtipadika artha along which
> various meanings are conveyed in various vibhaktis.
> Thus this means that akhaNDArtham is not a sentence consisting of non
> synonymous words conveying only the root meaning of the word.
> Why? This seems to apply to both satyam jnAnam anantam and prakriShTa
> prakAsha, but it also applies to sentences that talk about multiple
> svarUpas.
> In the akhaNDArtha vAkya, satyam jnAnam anantam brahma, this definition
> seems to apply - satyam, jnAnam, anantam and brahma are not synonymous and
> they convey only the prAtipadika artha of brahma with no other vibhakti
> artham added to it. Brahma svarUpa is prAtipadika artham, and that is
> conveyed through non-synonymous words. Thus this definition applies to
> satyam jnAnam anantam brahma.
> Similarly, the sentence prakriShta prakAsha: chandra: does not convey
> anything more than the prAtipadika artha of chandra: - it does not add
> anything apart from the chandra svarUpa.
> However, in the sentence "shItoShNa sparshavantau paya:pAvakau" - water is
> that which is cold to touch, fire is that which is hot to touch. This
> sentence conveys prAtipadikArtha artham however it can be argued that it is
> not an akhaNDArtha vAkya because it conveys two different svarUpas.
> 4) akhaNDArtham is not ekavisheSyhaparatvam - it is not a sentence that
> refers to only visheShya, because there is ativyApti in nIlotpalam.
> So what is akhaNDArtham? It is aparyAya padAnAm pada vritti smArita
> atirikta agochara pramA janakatvam.
> It is a sentence of non synonymous words that together lead to a pramA of
> only one viShaya - a viShaya which is only (and nothing else) the meaning
> recollected through shakti (direct meaning) or lakshaNa (indirect meaning)
> of the words.
> Alternatively, it is a sentence of non-synomous words that conveys only one
> prAtipadika artha.
> The first definition is equivalent to the alternative definition.
> Thus, there are a few features that need to be met for a sentence to be
> called akhaNDArtha vAkya
> 1) The sentence should consist of words that are not synonyms
> 2) Only the direct or indirect meaning of the words should be recalled by
> the words the sentence, and nothing else - no samsarga, or relations
> between the words, or the objects they denote, should be the import of the
> sentence. There are some technical reasons why the siddhikAra uses the term
> smArita (recollected) as opposed to jnApya (known), but that is to do with
> a particular problem that appears in anvitAbhidhAna and abhihitAnvaya vAdas
> with jnApya, which is removed with smArita. That discussion is beyond the
> scope of this article. We can deal with it later, if necessary.
> 3) The words of the sentence should together recall only one thing.
> 4) The sentence should generate pramA
> To explain in a laukika context, in the sentence prakrishTaprakAsha:
> chandra:
> 1) the words prakriShTa, prakAsha:, chandra: are not synonyms
> 2) This sentence reveals the moon, that is all. Its purpose is not to say
> the moon has brightness, but to reveal which object in the night sky is the
> moon. It so happens that now, it happens to have  brightness.
> 3) Thus the words combine together to reveal that one chandrasvarUpa, and
> not multiple things.
> 4) The sentence generates pramA - the moon is the object referred to and
> understood and that knowledge is not falsified subsequently. So if today is
> pournami and I tell someone prakriShTa prakAsha: chandra: and he knows the
> object I am referring to, that knowledge does not get falsified during
> amAvAsya. That object the hearer understood as the moon is still the moon,
> even if it does not have prakriShTa prakAsha during amAvAsya.
> To explain in the satyam jnAnam anantam brahma sentence:
> 1) the words satyam, jnAnam, anantam and brahma are aparyAya padA: - they
> are not synonyms
> 2) they all refer to the svarUpa of Brahman, and nothing else
> 3) they do not refer to different aspects or components of Brahman
> 4) The sentence generates pramA - it is not falsified subsequently. Brahman
> is satyam, jnAnam, anantam, and never otherwise.
> Regards,
> Venkatraghavan
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