[Advaita-l] Is prapancha mithyAtva mithyA?

Venkatraghavan S agnimile at gmail.com
Mon May 1 04:57:31 EDT 2017


A common objection raised to advaita is whether mithyAtva itself is mithyA
or satya. If prapancha mithyAtva itself is mithyA, then the mithyAtva of
prapancha itself must be mithyA, making prapancha satya.

If prapancha mithyAtva is satya - then that will lead to a problem of
vyabhichAra doSha (described below).

Therefore, whichever way you look at it, you are in trouble.

Advaita siddhi considers this objection in a chapter. The pUrvapakshi
firsts presents this problem:

ननु उक्तमिथ्यात्वस्य मिथ्यात्वे प्रपञ्चस्य सत्यत्वापत्तिः, Is prapancha
mithyAtva mithyA itself? If it is mithyA, then prapancha is satya.

एकस्मिन् धर्मिणि प्रसक्तयोः विरुद्धधर्मयोः एकमिथ्यात्वे अपरसत्यत्वनियमात् ,
if a vastu appears to have two viruddha dharmas, then if any one of them is
false, the other one has to necessarily be true.

If there is a shukti in the front, and one person says that is rajata, and
another person says it is not rajata. Only one of the two people can be
right. If one of them is correct, the other person automatically is
incorrect, and vice versa.

Prapancha is dharmi. You, the advaitin, claim that it is mithyA, according
to anumAna. It is satya, according to pratyaksha. If it is mithyA, it
cannot be satya. If it is satya, it cannot be mithyA.

मिथ्यात्वसत्यत्वे च तद्वदेव प्रपञ्चस्यसत्यत्वापत्तेः, if mithyAtva is
satyam, then in a similar way, prapancha becomes satya. How? the
drishyatvAt hetu loses its power to establish mithyAtvam sAdhya.

You claim prapancha mithyAtva has been established using anumAna, therefore
this mithyAtva itself enjoys drishyatvam according to you. If you are now
saying that this mithyAtvam is satya, then it is like saying a vastu which
has drishyatvam is satya, and therefore there will be vyabhichAra doSha
(hetu of drishyatvam is present, but sAdhya of mithyAtva is not, hence
vyabhichAra). If the hetu-sAdhya relationship between drishyatva hetu and
mithyAtva sAdhya is broken, then the original contention that prapancha is
mithyA due to its drishyatvam itself is falsified. Therefore how can you
claim prapancha is mithyA? prapancha must be satya.

उभयथाप्यद्वैत व्याघात - in both cases, advaita siddhAnta is refuted.

the siddhikAra replies:

इति चेन्न;  if this is the contention, no.

मिथ्यात्वमिथ्यात्वेऽपि प्रपञ्चसत्यत्वानुपपत्ते: | there is no rule that if
mithyAtva is mithyA, prapancha will become satyam.

Let us say a person looks at an object and says it is a horse, and another
says it is a cow. It is true that where there is horseness (i.e. in a
horse), there is no cowness. Where there is cowness (in a cow), there is no
horseness. However, the absence of cowness does not imply the presence of
horseness, nor does the absence of horseness imply the presence of cowness.
The object perceived could be an elephant. Here both the kotis (it is a
horse OR it is a cow) are wrong - the wrongness of one koti does not imply
the satyatva of the other koti. The important thing to note here is that
where both viruddha dharmas can be simultaneously negated, there the
negation of one dharma does not imply the satyatva of the other dharma.

pratyaksha pramANa is proving satyatva of the world. By anumAna, we proved
jagat's mithyAtva. You said mithyAtva and satyatva are viruddham. If one of
the two is wrong, then the other becomes true is your contention. However,
I am negating both together. The satyatva that is seen (drishyatvam)
through pratyaksha and mithyAtva that is seen through anumAna (drishyatvam)
are both mithyA. Both jagat and jagat mithyAtvam are drishya (due to
pratyaksha and anumAna respectively) and therefore they are mithyA.

तत्र हि विरुद्धयोर्धर्मयोरेकमिथ्यात्वे अपरसत्वं,
यत्र  मिथ्यात्वावच्छेदकमुभयवृत्ति न भवेत्, only where mithyAtva is not the
common attribute - the avacchedaka dharma of both viruddha dharmas - the
mithyAtva of one dharma will lead to the satyatva of the other dharma.

यथा परस्परविरहरूपयो रजतत्वतदभावयो: शुक्तौ, like for example - where there
is paraspara viraha rUpa (the absence of one is the presence of the other)
like between rajata (silver) and rajata abhAva in a shukti (shell). If a
silver is perceived here, its absence is not perceived. If its absence is
perceived, silver is not perceived.

यथा वा परस्परविरहव्यापकयो रजतभिन्नत्वरजतत्वयो: तत्रैव; alternatively, where
there is paraspara viraha vyApakatvam, for example between rajata, silver
and rajatabhinnatvam, difference from silver-ness. The absence of
rajatabhinnatvam implies the presence of rajatam. The absence of rajata
implies the presence of rajatabhinnatvam.

तत्र निषेध्यतावच्छेदकभेदनियमात्, In each of the two cases above (rajata and
its absence, rajata and its difference), the two logical possibilities do
not share a common factor which can be the basis to negate both of them
simultaneously. In other words, the niShedhyatA avacChedaka dharma is

प्रकृते तु निषेध्यत्तावच्छेदकमेकमेव दृश्यत्वादि, However, in the current
context, that is, with respect to the prapancha and prapancha mithyAtva,
their simultaneous nishedha is because of the one common dharma of
drishyatvam. That is, prapancha's drishyatva is known through pratyaksha
and prapancha's mithyAtvam is known (i.e is drishya) through anumAna -
hence their negation (their mithyAtva) is because of the one nishedhyatA
avacChedaka dharma of drishyatvam. As a result, the mithyAtva of prapancha
mithyAtva does not imply the satyatva of prapancha.

यथा गोत्वाश्वत्वयोरेकस्मिन् गजे निषेधे गजत्वात्यन्ताभावव्याप्यत्वं
निषेध्यतावच्छेदकमुभयोस्तुल्यमिति नैकतरनिषेधे अन्यत्रसत्त्वं तद्वत् | In the
case of an elephant (gaja), cowness (gotva) and horseness (ashvatva) are
simultaneously negated.How? On the basis of the negation of the common
attribute of gajatva atyantAbhAvam vyApyatvam present in an elephant. To

Wherever there is gotva, there is the absence of gajatva. Wherever there is
ashvatva, there is the absence of gajatva.  Here, gotvam and ashatvam imply
(that is they are the vyApya for) the absence of gajatva - put technically,
gotvam and ashvatvam are gajatva atyantAbhAva vyApyam.

In an elephant, there is no cowness or horseness. Therefore, in an
elephant, there is the absence of gajatva atyantAbhAva vyApyatvam. With
this one negation, we have simultaneously negated both ashvatvam and
gotvam.  One cannot argue that in an elephant, the negation of any one of
gotva or ashvatva implies the presence of the other.

siddhikAra presents this in a technical way by saying that negation of
cowness and horseness in an elephant is on the account of both of them
sharing a common nishedhyatA avacChedaka dharma.

To this, the pUrva pakshi can argue thus:  You are giving an incorrect
example to prove simultaneous negation. You are saying an elephant does not
contain gotvam and ashvatvam. These two dharmas are both bhAva rUpa
dharmas, they are not like a pratiyogi and its abhAva, where one is bhAva
rUpa and the other is abhAva rUpa.

Therefore, this example is not appropriate for the context, because
satyatva and mithyA are pratiyogi and abhAva according to me.

यथाच सत्यत्वमिथ्यात्वयोर्न परस्परविरहरूपत्वम्, नवा परस्परविरहव्यापकत्वम्,
तथोपपादितमधस्तात् | To this, siddhikAra says that satyatva and mithyAtva
are not pratiyogi and abhAva. He had already said in the first mithyAtva
chapter that satyam and asatyam are not parasparaviraharUpam (the absence
of one is not the presence of the other), nor are they
parasaparavirahavyApakam (the absence of one does not imply the presence of
the other). Why? Because there are three categories - sat, asat and mithyA.
If you take any pair here, they will not have parasparaviraharUpatva or
parasparavirahavyApakatva, because of the third category which you have not
taken into account.

So what determines the order of reality of two viruddha dharmas in a vastu?

एकस्य साधकेन अपरस्य बाध्यत्वं विषमसत्ताकत्वे प्रयोजकम् , यथा
शुक्तिरूप्यतदभावयो: |
एकबाधकबाध्यत्वं च समसत्ताकत्वे प्रयोजकम्, यथा  शुक्तिरूप्यशुक्तिभिन्नत्वयो:

When the same pramANa can prove one vastu's satyatvam and another vastu's
bAdhyatvam, then two viruddha vastus can have different sattAs. In a shell,
pratyaksha does bAdha of rajata and sAdhya of rajata abhAva. Here rajata
(prAtibhAsika) and rajata abhAva (vyAvahArika) have different sattA.

When the same pramANa does bAdha of both dharmas, then both dharmas have
samasattA, equal orders of reality. Like jnAna of shukti does bAdha of both
shukti rUpya and shukti bhinna bhrAnti. Thus both shukti rUpya and shukti
bhinnam are samasattA.

अस्ति च प्रपञ्चतन्मिथ्यात्वयोरेकब्रह्मज्ञानबाध्यत्वम् |
In the same way prapancha and its mithyAtva are bAdhya by one brahma jnAna.

अत: समसत्ताकत्वान्मिथ्यात्वबाधकेन प्रपञ्चस्यापि बाधान्नाद्वैतक्षतिरीति
कृतमधिकेन |    therefore, by the bAdha of the sama sattA pair of prapancha
and its mithyAtva, there is no advaita hAni.

In this chapter, siddhikAra takes satyatva and mithyAtva as viruddha dharma
and argues that even if they are viruddha, it is possible that the negation
of one does not necessarily uphold the presence of the other. However,
really speaking, satyatvam and mithyAtvam are not viruddha dharma. The
satyatvam of the world that is seen through pratyaksha is not mithyAtva
abhAva and the mithyAtvam that is known through anumAna is only
pAramArthika virodha, it does not refute the satyatva perceived through
pratyaksha pramANa.


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