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

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Thu Feb 9 10:31:43 EST 2017

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com>
Date: Thu, Feb 9, 2017 at 6:23 PM
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Fwd: A question on PariNAma and vivarta
To: Venkatraghavan S <agnimile at gmail.com>

On Thu, Feb 9, 2017 at 5:42 PM, Venkatraghavan S <agnimile at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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 two examples are given since the first one is stated in the shruti
explicitly and the second implicitly by the 'vikāro
nāmadheyam...mrttiketyeva satyam..'.  Surely the parinamavadin will not
hold the vikara to be mithya, not-satya.  For him the karanam and karyam
are satya. Both examples, in the shruti context, are for proving the
nirvikaratva of brahman.

> 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
> pratipAdanam.

Since the tatparyam is nirvikaratvam, the two examples are there to
establish that.

> 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.

It looks like you are trying to posit an anyonyashraya here, but such is
not the case.

> 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?

Both. The wording is clear.

> 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.

The term buddhiparikalpitena is not for the thought arising in Brahman
articulating bahu syam.

> 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.

Not so. Chetanatvam, as in the BUB 1.4.10 case, too, is only to show that
the world cause can be Brahman. It is admitted in the system that the
actual sankalpa, etc. is due to maya association; a maya vrtti.

> 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.

It is to make clear that ghata is no more than an akara and a word, which
even the vikaro namadheyam shruti states. In advaita even the process
called parinama is also an imagination just as such a process in dream is
held to be. So, at all stages, Shankara has said in another bhashya, it is
Sat that appears as those stages/objects of transformation. That is why in
all stages of the object the '...it is' is experienced, which belongs to
Sat. It is that reality that one attaches to transformation and effects
which is the cause of samsara that the shruti seeks to remove, correct.
That is why even in the discourse of the transformation of the body, mind,
organs, etc. in this very chapter, the repeated occurrence of '....vikaro
namdheyam....satyam' is found.

> 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
> kAraNa.

I had made that post to which you are now referring as an additional point
the vacharambhana shruti is making: nirvikaratvam.

>  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.

That is exactly the point. The 'buddhi' takes all into consideration; how
it appears, etc. For this passage, both the pot-creation and the
sarpa-appearance are no different from each other: both are appearances
having names/forms imagined by buddhi.

> 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
> vivarta.

The point to be noted in respect of mrt example is: the pinda is admitted
to be already a kārya of mrt. And the vijnana of the pinda as non-different
from its kārana mrt. is what is taught as resulting in the knowledge of all
other karyas that will emerge from the pinda which itself is a karya of
mrt. That is why he says  mrido'nyabuddhi. Even the pinda is realized to be
mrdeva just as sarpa is realized to be rajjureva.


> Regards,
> Venkatraghavan

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