[Advaita-l] A question on PariNAma and vivarta

kuntimaddi sadananda kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Fri Feb 3 23:57:24 CST 2017

Nathinji - PraNAms
Thanks for your input. your explanations seem to be reasonable.
Hari Om!Sadananda

      From: Nithin Sridhar via Advaita-l <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
 To: kuntimaddi sadananda <kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com>; A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> 
Cc: Advaitin <advaitin at yahoogroups.com>
 Sent: Saturday, February 4, 2017 10:22 AM
 Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] A question on PariNAma and vivarta
Dear Sadananda ji,

Though I have not read Panchadashi itself, from your email this is what I
could gather. I am not a scholar, just a student. Please feel free to point
out any error.

1. I think though the examples of mud being pot or gold being ring can be
used for vivarta while stressing the point that pot ultimately is just mud
or both ring and necklace is just gold. But, the Acharya uses it as an
example of Parinama to illustrate a completely different point. This can be
understood from his example of rope/snake for vivarta, where he says
vivarta is appearance as another state without change. Unlike the state of
rope/snake, where rope remains a rope and a form of snake which is
completely unrelated to rope is perceived, thus making rope transform into
snake without any change,in the case of mud/pot, mud, which has undefinable
form is transformed into a pot with specific form. Similarly, gold
available in nature is transformed using human effort into ring or
necklace. That is, some "effort" was applied to bring out the change from
mud to pot, gold to ring. But, no such effort was applied in rope/snake. I
think the Acharya was trying to illustrate this point that parinama
involves some effort, some change in the Upadana, even if it is only in
form. While in Vivarta, there is no change in Upadana, there is only an

2. Regarding the second query, I think, the example of rope/snake may have
been used to show because-
a. It best illustrates the point Acharya seems to make that vivarta is
appearance of sristi, without any kind of change, whatsoever it may bee to
the Upadana (Brahman). In case of mud/pot etc, there is still a change with
respect to form, from indefinable unspeakable form of mud to a specific
form of pot. But, Brahman only "appears" as srishti, so to speak.
b. Also, in the case of rope/snake, the appearance is due to mistaken
identity, ignorance. So is in the case of Jagat, which is perceived because
of misperception and due to ignorance about Brahman.
I think, Acharya has used this example only as an illustration and hence,
we need not worry that the example belongs to pratibhasika, while the topic
is Ishwara sristi. I remember reading of the Sringeri Shankaracharya's
advising a person that if the example used for metaphor is identical in
every respect with the thing we are trying to illustrate then they both
would be one and the same. I.e. there would be always those elements in the
examples used as metaphor, which does not agree with/conform to the tenets
of the concept being illustrated.


On Sat, Feb 4, 2017 at 9:46 AM, kuntimaddi sadananda via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> PraNams to all.
> Would welcome your thoughts on the following.
> We are currently doing the 13th Ch. of Panchadashi.
> I encountered this sloka - 13-8. In discussing the creation aspect, Shree
> Vidyaranya presents this sloka as examples of PariNAma
>  avasthaantarataapattiH Ekasya pariNAmitaa|syaat ksheeram dadhi mRit
> kumbhaH suvarNam kunDalam yathaa||
> avasthaantarataa aapatthiH - transforming into another state is
> pariNAmitaa - Essentially a transformation from one state to another state.
> The first example he gives is ksheeram dadhiH - milk truning into curds or
> yogurt. This is an irreversible transformation and well quoted example for
> pariNAma.
> To my surprise, he provides the next two example from Ch. Up which
> actually (in my understanding) should belong to vivarta. The next examples
> provided in the above sloka is - just as clay becoming pot and gold
> becoming ornament. The later ones Uddlaka uses for transformation-less
> transformation  - and upanishad uses the word for this as -
> vaachaarambhanam vikaaraH - or namesake or naamkevaaste transformation
> since gold still remains as gold but appears as different ornaments each
> differing from the other - yet all are gold. The cost of each ornament
> depends on the gold content and not really on the attributive aspects of
> the ornaments.  Transformation of ring into bangle can be called pariNAms
> since like Gold it is destructive transformation since that particular ring
> is destroyed to make bangle - it is similar to milk becoming curds.
> In sense the first example milk turning into curds is not of the same type
> as gold appearing as ornaments or clay appearing as pot.
> Most surprising is for vivarta - he gives the example of rope/snake -
> which is more like praatibhaasika error and belongs to Jeeva sRiShTi than
> Iswara sRiShTi that the topic is primarily concerned. The next sloka says:
> avasthaantara bhaanamtu vivarto rajju sarpavat| Appearance as another
> state without undergoing a change is vivarta. Here the appearance of snake
> without rope undergoing any change is called vivarta, at the outset appears
> to be right but appearance of the snake on the rope does not come under
> Iswara sRiShTi - Which shree Vidyaranya exhaustively discusses in the 4th
> Ch.
> Question, how did Shankara interpreted the Ch. Up. examples with
> vaachaarambhanam vikaara naamadheyam statements that is repeated 3 times -
> for Uddlaka to illustrate - ekavijnaanena sarva vijnaanam bhavati - by
> knowing one thing one can know everything.
> I am puzzled.
> Hari Om!Sadananda
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