[Advaita-l] dRShTi-sRShTi definitions in the advaitasiddhi

Anand Hudli anandhudli at hotmail.com
Thu Aug 10 01:13:16 EDT 2017

There is an interesting discussion in the advaitasiddhi regarding how
adhyAsa is handled in DSV. For one thing, it is hard to explain a
snake-rope illusion in terms of DSV since both the rope and snake are
prAtibhAsika! Remember there is no vyAvahArika satya (objective reality) in
DSV/EJV. Before we get to that point, let us see the definitions of DS
(dRShTi-sRShTi)  that Madhusudana offers in response to the pUrvapakShin's
fault-finding exercise in some ten definitions of the same. Madhusudana
accepts the ninth and tenth of the pUrvapakShin's definitions and adds a
couple more of his own. The first definition that is stated is a
combination of the ninth and tenth definitions with an additional qualifier
"doShaprayukta." The definition reads, "doShaprayuktatvanibandhanasya
jnAtaikasattvasya-ajnAtasattvAbhAvasya (vivakShitatvAt)." BrahmAnanda makes
it clear that doShaprayuktatvam is bhramatvajAtimadviShayatvam, ie. being
the object belonging to the category of illusion. jnAtaikasattva is
explained as jnAtaikasattvaM nAma svajnAnavyApyatvam, ie. being pervaded by
(its) own knowledge. yadA yadA viShayastadA tadA jnAnamityeva
jnAtaikasattvam. Whenever there exists an object there is (always) its
knowledge. This is jnAtaikasattva. Next, ajnAtasattvAbhAva is explained by
BrahmAnanda as svIya-ajnAnAbhAvena vyApyatvam, ie. that which is pervaded
by (concomitant with) the absence of its own ignorance. In simpler terms,
ajnAtasattvAbhAva is the absence of ignorance of any existing object. We
will see how Madhusudana's treatment of ajnAtasattA admits two kinds of
ajnAtasattA, of which one is denied and the other is accepted! So the first
definition means that which has the property of being an object belonging
to the category of illusion, that whose existence implies its knowledge,
and that whose ignorance implies its nonexistence. An astute reader will
observe that Madhusudana has introduced the qualifier doShaprayukta, caused
by a defect (avidyA), in order to eliminate pure Consciousness (the Self)
and a tuccha vastu (hare's horns) from consideration in dRShTi-sRShTi,
since a tucchavastu is ajnAta, not known and does not exist, and the Self
exists but is not known.(If the Self is known there is obviously no need
for any VedAntaprakriyA, including DSV!) Only mithyA objects are to be
considered here.

The second definition of dRShTi-sRShTi put forth by Madhusudana is:
pratipannopAdhidRShTi-janya-jnAtaikasattvam. This requires some background.
The pUrvapakShin in showing that the tenth definition, jnAtaikasattA, is
defective had argued earlier that pleasure, pain, and the like have this
property of jnAtaikasattA, since the existence of pleasure, for example,
implies it is known/experienced. This leads to a siddha-sAdhana doSha,
because jnAtaikasattA is nothing new and it is already established.
Further, according to the pUrvapakShin, pleasure, pain, etc. which have
jnAtaikasattA are real. If the advaitin tries to establish the mithyAtva of
the world through the jnAtaikasattA definition, he actually ends up
establishing the world is real, like pleasure, pain, etc. This is called
arthAntaradoSha, ie. establishing something other than what was sought to
be established. In order to deal with these objections, Madhusudana says
the definition is not just jnAtaikasattA but
The additional qualifier doShaprayuktatva is also said to carry over to
this definition. Nobody experiences/knows pleasure, pain, etc. in
*isolation*, but only through an experiencer, the substratum, adhiShThAna
of the pleasure, pain, etc. For example, you can say "I am pleased" or "he
is pleased" but not "pleasure is being experienced" without specifying who
is the experiencer. Hence, this knowledge/experience of pleasure, pain,
etc. is only through the knowledge of the substratum. It is, therefore,
pratipannopAdhidRShTijanya, where the term pratipannopAdhi means what is
one of the terms in the second definition of mithyAtva (pratipannopAdhau
traikAlikaniShedhapratiyogitvaM vA mithyAtvam). pratipannopAdhi is the
substratum where the mithyA vastu is cognized
and pratipannopAdhidRShTijanya is that which arises from the knowledge
(dRShTi) of the substratum where the thing is cognized. BrahmAnanda
describes this definition as
svapratipattivisheShyadRShTijanyavRttijnAtaikasattvam. In the case of
pleasure, pain, etc., these are not visheShya but visheShaNa of the
experiencer (visheShya). In the case of things such as a pot, BrahmAnanda
says there is an adhiShThAnasAmAnyAmshadRShTi, ie. the knowledge of a
general substratum, as in "this is a pot", where "this" is the generic
substratum. The knowledge of the generic substratum "this" (or "that",
"it", etc) gives rise to cognitions such as "this is a pot", "this is a
mat", etc.  This addresses one part of the objection. The remaining part is
addressed by applying the doShaprayuktatva term, which means the pleasure,
pain, etc. are also caused by avidyA, and hence they are mithyA.

The third definition, again with the carry over term doShaprayuktatva, is:
draShTrantara-avedyatve sati jnAtaikasattvam, ie. jnAtaikasattA that is not
known to another draShTA.  This is understood if we bear in mind that the
dream analogy is always in the backdrop when DSV is being discussed. In a
dream, the objects that are seen are known only to the dreamer, the
draShTA, and none else (draShTantara). And the dream objects have
jnAtaikasattA in the sense their existence necessarily means they are
known. However, there can be an objection along these lines. When Devadatta
observes Yajnadatta experiencing or expressing pleasure over some matter
(for instance, Yajnadatta won a lottery), from Devadatta's point of view
there is another draShTA for the pleasure. BrahmAnanda addresses this
objection saying that Devadatta imagines, in his own mind, another person
(Yajnadatta) to be experiencing pleasure, although Devadatta himself cannot
perceive the pleasure of Yajnadatta. "dRShTisRShTipakShe
puruShAntarIyasukhAdikaM na jnAyate, kiMtu puruShAntarIyatvena svasminneva
kalpyate iti bhAvaH."


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