[Advaita-l] A question on PariNAma and vivarta

Praveen R. Bhat bhatpraveen at gmail.com
Tue Feb 7 20:07:57 CST 2017

Namaste Sadaji,

On Sat, Feb 4, 2017 at 3:50 PM, kuntimaddi sadananda via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> I still have a problem in appreciating the parinaama vs vivarta in the
> examples provided.

First of all, let me state that I am surprised at your question, since you
are taking the parts of examples which are not meant. Second, having agreed
in toto to the first response by Nithinji, you have gone back to

No example can ever do complete justice in each and every aspect of
Vedanta. So the same thing can be reused to show another aspect of the
example. ONLY the common features of the example and the exemplified are to
be taken and others discarded AKIN TO how you would use bhAgatyAgalakShaNa.
How else will anyone ever equate jIVa and Ishvara?

Those who have studied Paninian grammar would know that the same sUtra
vipratiShedhe'paraM kARyam stands for both para and aparakAryam and is used
as per the context of application. Same with Vedanta examples. The example
is used as per the context of explanation and not as per one's own
understanding of what the example stood for somewhere else. As a
pUrvapakShin would say everything is satya dRShTatvAt and we would say
everything is mithyA, dRShTatvAt. Then we will say, everything is satya, as
brahma. This is the apavAda, as you very well know. Now, in the example of
pot-clay and ornaments-gold, one has to do apavAda of the understanding
that creation is *exactly* like those examples. To do that, another example
more close to vivarta is brought out as rope-snake. Again, whether this is
an example for jIvasRShTi or prAtibhAsikasatya is irrelevant, since
Vidyaranyamuni is not using it for that purpose here.

> I would have agreed with your explanation, other than the fact that Shree
> Vidhyaranaya is discussing about the creation in terms of upaadaana
> kaaraNam as the following slokas provide. In that sense the topic is
> directly relevant to the Chandogya Up. statements - vaachaarambhanam
> vikaara naamadheyam. Unmanifested gold cannot be perceived also if we
> exclude all forms of its appearances.
The creation in terms of upAdAnakAraNam also need not use the same examples
as we understand.

> Not sure if rope/snake example is provided by Upanishads, at least it is
> not common -  may be some rare upanishad.
This is something I found a great teacher saying as well, but that is a
very restrictive thinking, IMHO. The rarity is based on exposure. These
Upanishads, which are all part of 108 Upanishads include rope-snake
example: Niralamba, Yogakundalini, Tejobindu, Rudrahridaya, Nirvana,
Nadabindu, Katharudra, Atmabodha, Atma, Annapurna.

> Shree vidyaranya is discussing in this chapter about maaya shakti and its
> locus, Iswara;  and the discussion pertains to Iswara srushTi only and not
> to jeeva srushti as in the case of rope/snake example. Perhaps mirage water
> would have been a better example where errors in perception is universal.

As I said earlier, if you leave your stock examples aside and just stay
with the Muni, your understanding will definitely improve. We have this
general tendency to map what the other says as per our prior understanding,
especially when there is prakriyAbheda and we know only a prakriyA or
two. . This is seen even in great teachers. I have seen them set aside even
Tikakara and Bhashyakara to impose their own understanding. I particularly
think that that is a disastrous approach to learning and teaching. There is
no issue about debating what is said, but first one has to understand what
is said and then debate it.

--Praveen R. Bhat
/* Through what should one know That owing to which all this is known!
[Br.Up. 4.5.15] */

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