[Advaita-l] Vidyaranya has a precedence in Gaudapada

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sun Feb 12 01:51:41 EST 2017

In the 4th chapter of the Mandukya karika, Gaudapada and Shankara say:

भूतं न जायते किञ्चिदभूतं नैव जायते ।
विवदन्तोऽद्वया ह्येवमजातिं ख्यापयन्ति ते ॥ ४ ॥
4 *An existing entity* cannot again *come into existence (birth)*; nor can
a non-existing entity come into existence. Thus disputing among themselves,
they really establish the non-dualistic view of ajati (non-creation).
तैरेवं विरुद्धवदनेन अन्योन्यपक्षप्रतिषेधं कुर्वद्भिः किं ख्यापितं भवतीति,
उच्यते — भूतं *विद्यमानं वस्तु* न *जायते* किञ्चित् विद्यमानत्वादेव आत्मवत्
इत्येवं वदन् असद्वादी *साङ्ख्यपक्षं* प्रतिषेधति सज्जन्म । तथा अभूतम्
अविद्यमानम् अविद्यमानत्वान्नैव जायते शशविषाणवत् इत्येवं वदन्साङ्ख्योऽपि
असद्वादिपक्षमसज्जन्म प्रतिषेधति । विवदन्तः विरुद्धं वदन्तः अद्वयाः
अद्वैतिनो ह्येते अन्योन्यस्य पक्षौ सदसतोर्जन्मनी प्रतिषेधन्तः अजातिम्
अनुत्पत्तिमर्थात्ख्यापयन्ति प्रकाशयन्ति ते ॥
In the above bhashyam the highlighted words summarize the pariṇāmavāda
admitted by the sānkhya: An existing entity alone is born.
In the Panchadashī 13.8 Vidyaranya says about the Pariṇāmavāda:
अवस्थान्तरता आपत्तिः एकस्य परिणामिता । स्यात् क्षीरं दधि मृत् कुम्भः
सुवर्णं कुण्डलं यथा ॥८॥
8. Parinama is the change of one state of the same substance into another,
as milk into curd, clay into a pot and gold into an ear-ring.
The commentary of Sri Ramakrishna says: इदानीं परिणामस्वरूपमाह - [Now, the
nature of Pariṇāma is being stated]
Now we have seen that both Gaudapada and Vidyaranya have one common aspect:
stating the pariṇāmapakṣa. This is called 'anuvāda' of the pariṇāmapakṣa.
Gaudapada in the 3rd chapter says:
मृल्लोहविस्फुलिङ्गाद्यैः सृष्टिर्या चोदितान्यथा ।
उपायः सोऽवताराय नास्ति भेदः कथञ्चन ॥ १५ ॥ 3.15
15 The scriptural statements regarding the creation, using the examples of
earth, iron and sparks, are for the purpose of clarifying the
understanding.Multiplicity does not really exist in any manner.
ननु यद्युत्पत्तेः प्रागजं सर्वमेकमेवाद्वितीयम् , तथापि उत्पत्तेरूर्ध्वं
जातमिदं सर्वं जीवाश्च भिन्ना इति । मैवम् , अन्यार्थत्वादुत्पत्तिश्रुतीनाम् ।
पूर्वमपि परिहृत एवायं दोषः — स्वप्नवदात्ममायाविसर्जिताः सङ्घाताः,
घटाकाशोत्पत्तिभेदादिवज्जीवानामुत्पत्तिभेदादिरिति । इत एव
उत्पत्तिभेदादिश्रुतिभ्य आकृष्य इह पुनरुत्पत्तिश्रुतीनामैदम्पर्
यप्रतिपिपादयिषयोपन्यासः मृल्लोहविस्फुलिङ्गादिदृष्टान्तोपन्यासैः सृष्टिः या
च उदिता प्रकाशिता कल्पिता अन्यथान्यथा च, स सर्वः सृष्टिप्रकारो
जीवपरमात्मैकत्वबुद्ध्यवतारायोपायोऽस्माकम् , ....तस्मादुत्पत्त्यादिश्रुतय
आत्मैकत्वबुद्ध्यवतारायैव, नान्यार्थाः कल्पयितुं युक्ताः । अतो
नास्त्युत्पत्त्यादिकृतो भेदः कथञ्चन ॥
The gist of the above bhashya is: If it is held that before creation the
Unitary Brahman alone was, post-creation there is the multiplicity caused
by the manifold jivas. In other words, before creation there was advaita,
post-creation there is dvaita. This objection/doubt was already settled in
the earlier discourse: The creation-shrutis have a different purport (than
conveying the idea that multiplicity is created). Just as multiplicity is
experienced when a person dreams, being projected by that very single
person... and just as many pot-spaces are observed owing to many pots being
created, even though only one space is there really...
Now, condensing the purport of all the differently speaking
creation-shrutis (various creation shrutis speak of creation with different
analogies), it is stated: all the different creation shrutis have the
teaching of the identity, aikyam, of the jivātma and paramātma. Therefore
the is no way one can adduce any other meaning to the creation-shrutis
(such as teaching the multiplicity, dvaita). Hence there is no duality
whatsoever (owing to the creation-shrutis).
In the above kārikā-bhāṣya it is clear that the creation shrutis such as
the vācārmbhaṇam (clay, iron) and the munkaka/brhadaranyaka analogy of
fire-sparks are alluded. It is also clear that these shrutis have the
teaching of aikya alone and not the actual coming into being of any new
effect. From the bhashya examples of dream and pot-space, it is clear that
what is perceived is not real and there is a truth underlying that
unenquired-into perception. In other words, the analogies of clay, iron
etc. apparently giving rise to manifoldness and difference, is not the
truth of those analogies but the statement of the truth of the cause alone
and unreality of the effect is what the purport is.
With this background we can see what Vidyaranya says in the Panchadashi
13th chapter:
 ईदृग्बोधे पुमर्थत्वं मतमद्वैतवादिनाम् ॥ ४६ मृद्रूपस्यापरित्यागाद्विवर्तत्वं
घटे स्थितम् ।
48. According to the doctrine of the non-dualists, such knowledge (i.e.,
the knowledge of the unreality of the superimposed thing, the world), gives
liberation, the supreme goal of life. As the substratum clay is not
rejected, the appearance of a pot in it is accepted.
Just as Gaudapada alluding to / restating the pariṇāma pakṣa in GK 4.4 does
not contradict his resorting to the shruti that teaches creation through
the clay example, so too Vidyaranya's alluding to the pariṇāma pakṣa in
13.8 does not contradict his alluding to the clay example in 13.48. In both
the cases of Gaudapada and Vidyaranya the parinama paksha was alluded as
anuvāda of that (sankhya) school at one place and the example of the
clay-clay products is alluded to in another place for the purpose of
espousing tattva jnāna.
Even in the case of the Panchadashi 13.51:
क्षीरादौ परिणामोऽस्तु पुनस्तद्‌भाववर्जनात् ।
एतावता मृदादीनां दृष्टान्तत्वं न हीयते ॥ ५१ ॥
 51. When milk is turned into curd, actual change of substance takes place.
Milk ceases to exist as such and cannot be recovered from the curd. By
this, the case of a clay-pot or a gold-ring (as examples of Vivarta) does
not suffer.
Vidyaranya gives an explanation for the suitability of the clay-pot analogy
over the milk-curd transformation for the purpose of the Vedantic jnana.
Since this is based on the shrouta analogy of clay, etc. this is a fit case
of shrutyanukūla tarka where the continued *visible* presence,
anusyūtatvam, of the mūlakāraṇam in the effects is what is required to get
the shruti-intended purport out of the analogy. In the case of milk, it is
well known that we have an array of products called 'milk-products'
consisting of curds, butter milk, ghee, cheese, khova, several sweets with
milk base, etc. Though there is kṣīra-anusyūtatvam in all these products,
yet the visibility of the basic material in the effects is not as strong as
in the mṛtkāryam. The distinction between milk-products and clay-products
is well brought out by Vidyaranya.
Thus, there is a fine precedence for Vidyaranya in  the

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