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

Aditya Kumar kumaraditya22 at yahoo.com
Wed Aug 16 04:46:16 EDT 2017

Interestingly, among all later Advaitins, it is only Vachaspati Mishra who says Jiva is the Ashraya of Ajnana and Brahman is the Vishaya. This is very rational with no need of any convoluted justifications to prove it. But another question arises - how can Jiva- a product of Avidya be the Ashraya of Avidya? Vachaspati says because Avidya is Anadi (and so is Jiva). I am not sure if I comprehend it correctly yet. But again, this is a very valid argument. If I were to ask, who has Avidya? then the reply would be 'you', the person who is asking but we cannot say Brahman has Avidya. On the other hand, Vivarana justifies its position by saying - as there is nothing other than Atman, Atman itself is the Ashraya and Vishaya. I don't know from which work this is but here's how it goes - svaAshraya, sva-vishaya, svAnubhavagamya. Here I am not sure if Atman means jiva or para because svanubhava can only mean phenomenal experience. Further, if we say as there is nothing apart from Brahman and hence it is the ashraya, in the same vein we can say as there is nothing apart from Brahman, there is no Avidya! 
I think while talking about the locus of Avidya, we have to assume that 'Brahman is all there is' is not established yet. Otherwise the conclusion itself will become a clause and hence result in absurdity. 

      From: H S Chandramouli via Advaita-l <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
 To: A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> 
Cc: H S Chandramouli <hschandramouli at gmail.com>
 Sent: Wednesday, 16 August 2017 1:16 PM
 Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] dRShTi-sRShTi definitions in the advaitasiddhi
> Creation in Bhamati.
> The following is a citation from the book The Bhamati-Chatussutri edited
> by Prof Suryanarayana Shastri and Dr, Kunhan Raja. The book can be accessed
> at the following link  <<
> https://archive.org/details/TheBhamatiCatussutriBySSSuryanarayanaSastriAndCKunhanRaja
> >>
> Introduction  pp 35-37  Quote << Each jIva would appear to be the
> creator of his world, through and out of his nescience abiding in him ; the
> world is sustained by his nescience, and is destroyed with its destruction.
> The true creator, sustainer, and destroyer would thus appear to be the jIva
> himself. If the world be considered to be created by a God, that could be
> no more than an illusion, on a par with the world-illusion itself. The
> Creator and His Creatorship would both be figments of the creature’s
> imagination. The jIva is enthroned on high and God apparently reduced to
> nothing. But such a conclusion can hardly be consistent with the true trend
> of advaita. It is true that for this system even Isvara is not ultimate ;
> endow Him as we may with the utmost knowledge and power, He still falls
> short of perfection, since the Perfect is beyond all attributes ; greatness
> is significant only in relation to smallness, while the Absolute is neither
> great nor small and is above relative predications. All this, however,  is
> very different from the position that Isvara is a figment of the jIva’s
> nescience. >>
> << The truth of the matter seems to be this. Ignorance is bipolar. It is
> located somewhere, ie, it belongs to someone ; and it has a content. Though
> the jIva is the locus, the content is Isvara. When ordinarily we use the
> possessive pronoun ‘ mine ‘ or ‘ his ‘, we imply in the person capacity to
> control what is referred to. Not so in he case of Ignorance ; I mean by “
> my ignorance “ the ignorance that is in me, not the ignorance that I can
> control. The control of avidya belongs not to me with my limited powers of
> knowing and acting, but to the omniscient and omnipresent Being. Isvara too
> may be said to be the Ashraya of ignorance, if by Ashraya is meant the
> content but not its locus (Adhara).  When, therefore, it is said that my
> ignorance creates the universe, it does not follow that I create the
> universe ; rather does it mean that Isvara, the content f my ignorance,
> uses the ignorance hat is in me and out of that as material cause, evolves
> the world ; the ignorance in me, the mayA, the prakriti is the primal
> material cause ; he who wields it for fashioning the world, the mAyin, the
> arch-juggler, is Isvara. >>    Unquote
> The authors have this to say in the footnote to this portion
> Quote  << We are indebted to MM Prof S Kuppuswami  SAstriyAr  for
> considerable help in understanding this part of the doctrine >>.  Unquote
> Regards

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