[Advaita-l] Fwd: A question on PariNAma and vivarta

Venkatraghavan S agnimile at gmail.com
Thu Feb 9 07:12:17 EST 2017

Namaste Subbuji,
Thank you very much for the references. Some additional thoughts inline
below for your kind consideration.

On 9 Feb 2017 8:06 a.m., "V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com> wrote:

We can draw the above message of nirvikāratvam/asangatvam from this
bhashya:  In the Chandogya 6.2.3 bhashya Shankara clarifies:

तत् सत् ऐक्षत ईक्षां दर्शनं कृतवत् । अतश्च न प्रधानं साङ्ख्यपरिकल्पितं
जगत्कारणम् , प्रधानस्याचेतनत्वाभ्युपगमात् । इदं तु सत् चेतनम् ,
ईक्षितृत्वात् । तत्कथमैक्षतेति, आह — बहु प्रभूतं स्यां भवेयं प्रजायेय
प्रकर्षेणोत्पद्येय,* यथा मृद्घटाद्याकारेण यथा वा रज्ज्वादि सर्पाद्याकारेण
बुद्धिपरिकल्पितेन ।*

In your view here, why are two examples given - rajjusarpa and mrid-ghaTa -
if they are both indicating vivarta, would not either one have sufficed ?
Therefore, if we took away the assumption that this passge is talking about
nirvikAratvam, a reasonable interpretation is that the former is an example
of vivarta and latter of pariNAma.

The next question is - are we saying because shruti tAtparya is
nirvikAratvam here, ghaTa drishtAnta becomes a vivarta, or are we saying
because ghaTa drishTAnta is vivarta, shruti tAtparya here is nirvikAratva

In the former paksha, as we are now trying to establish whether shruti
tAtparya here is Brahman's nirvikAratvam, we cannot assume that very thing
to say ghaTa is vivarta.

In the latter paksha, as we originally started this conversation trying to
determine if ghaTa drishTAnta is vivarta, we cannot assume that as a basis
to say Brahma nirvikAratvam is shruti tAtparya here.

Therefore, we need an independent means to prove one of the two aspects
(shruti tAtparya is nirvikAratvam here or that ghaTa drishTAnta is vivarta)
, so that we can use that outcome to determine the other.

Here, Brahman resolved to become many. This is what creation is in this
shruti. Shankara clarifies here that 'becoming many' is of the nature of
buddhiparikalpitam of mṛt being imagined to be of the forms of pot, etc. or
rope, etc. being imagined to be of the form of snake, etc. By saying this,
Shankara implies that there is no vikāra/sanga in Brahman; it is only the
imagination of manifoldness that is spoken of as creation by the shruti.

In your view, is the adjective buddhiparikalpitena applicable only to the
proximate rajju sarpa or is it applicable to both examples - rajju sarpa
and ghaTa?

If only to rajju sarpa, then ghaTa vivartatvam is not proved in the absence
of proof of nirvikAratvam as the tAtparya here.

If to both, as the context is Brahman having the thought bahusyAm
prajAyeya, does the buddhiparikalpanA refer to that "let me be many"
thought arising in Brahman's buddhi as opposed to the nature of change
being only buddhi kalpita? I ask this because the bhAShya passage quoted
starts off saying that it is a chetana Brahman that is the upAdAna kAraNa
of the world as opposed to an achetana pradhAna, and so the focus is on the
"bahusyAm prajAyeya" thought. It would seem slightly out of context to be
bring in the nature of the reality of the change when talking about
Brahman's chetanatvam.

Secondly, because Shankara uses the word AkAra when saying ghaTAdyAkAreNa,
it would be difficult to argue that the ghaTa AkAra change is a vivarta.
Surely the clay shape transforming into pot shape is a pariNAma, not a
vivarta? If only ghaTa was used and not ghaTa AkAra, then there would be a
good basis to argue that here the example can be interpreted as vivarta,
but here ghaTa AkAra is used.

Thirdly how can we say that the ghaTa AkAra is buddhi parikalpita? If we
see a pot, we see it, the shape is not something imagined. However what can
be imagined is that the pot is really something other than the clay, but in
that case we come kAraNAt ananyatvam of the kArya, not nirvikAratvam of the

 सदेव तु सर्वमभिधानमभिधीयते च यदन्यबुद्ध्या,*यथा **रज्जुरेव** सर्पबुद्ध्या
सर्प इत्यभिधीयते, यथा वा पिण्डघटादि मृदोऽन्यबुद्ध्या
पिण्डघटादिशब्देनाभिधीयते लोके ।*

The focus of this passage is how the rajjusarpa and ghaTa are perceived
(sarpa buddhi and mrido'nya buddhi) and how that leads to names being
ascribed to them as opposed to how they are created.

Please also note the subtle difference in the language used in the two
cases. He describes sarpabuddhi as rajjureva sarpam, whereas with
piNDaghaTAdi, he uses mrido'nyabuddhi. In the former case the rope itself
is called sarpa ie there is no object other than the rope, whereas what
causes the name of pot etc. to be ascribed in the latter case, is the
erroneous notion of ghaTa's anyatvam from mrit. This usage from Shankara
would occur even if ghaTa vikAra was taken as pariNAma as opposed to



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