[Advaita-l] Who is Ishwara? He is NARAYANA only. Beautiful and soothing Narayana Bhajan

Srinath Vedagarbha svedagarbha at gmail.com
Wed May 24 17:05:51 EDT 2017

Sri. Venkararaghvan -- Namaste.

On Wed, May 24, 2017 at 2:45 PM, Venkatraghavan S <agnimile at gmail.com>

> Namaste Srinath ji,
> If you don't mind me intruding, perhaps I can offer some explanations.

Not at all.

>  If nirguNa-nirviShESha
> brahman is always is, how could AV brings mAya/avidya to explain this
> dvandva prapancha?
> This question assumes that mAyA / avidyA is a pAramArthika guNa of
> Brahman, it is not. It is kalpitam, or imagined in Brahman.

So, you are saying doctrine of mAya/avidya itself is kalpitam? Other than
mAyavAda itself rendering to be false doctrine on one hand, the more
philosophical implication would be on the question of what caused such
imagination (imagining Brahman's avidya is cause of duality)? If that
imagination itself is another imagination, then you are on your way of

On the other hand, to avoid this anvasthA dOSha if you argue the same
avidya itself caused such imagination of avidya on Brahman, then you end up
with aatmAShraya dOSha in your vAda. Remember the issue of one try to lift
oneself with his own bootstrap?

> Since ignorance cannot float freely without any aShraya,
> and given that only NB is only the tatva according to AV, then his question
> is how NB possibly could have ignorance?
> It does not have ignorance from a pAramArtha viewpoint. It does from a
> vyAvahArika viewpoint.

Then the question is what caused very vyAvahArika avstha in the first

Your thinking is not correct. It is not that you have two avastha-s of
pAramArtha-vyAvahArika and then you posit avidyA-vAda only in vyAvahArika.
Existence of pAramArtha-vyAvahArika view point is not at all given outside
of AV's doctrine. The proposal about them itself part and parcel of the
narrative. That's the reason you would find mention of those two view
points in any other schools.

You cannot posit ignorance unless you have vyAvahArika viewpoint. You
cannot have vyAvahArika viewpoint unless you have ignorance.

This issue about anyOnyAShraya dOSha is raised in nyAmrita. To avoid that
Madhusudhana takes a different take. That will be for another day.

> The question arises because of the confusion between the two viewpoints.
> From a pAramArthika viewpoint, the questioner asks a vyAvahArika question -
> How can you say Brahman is the only reality, when I see the world? And then
> from a vyAvahArika viewpoint, he asks a pAramArthika question - how can you
> say Brahman has ignorance?

The question raised in nyAmrita is not one of that confusion about view

> Ultimately, the siddhAnta is that there is only one pAramArthika vastu,
> nirguNa Brahman. There is no avidyA or mAyA here and no duality to be
> explained here.

Is raw data of perception given or not? Even if you interpret them being
avidya, none the less raw data is given because we experience it. Your
above position leads to flaw of ignoring the raw data itself (what we call
in shAstra as  drusTahAna-dOSha).

> If it cannot then why invoke
> ignorance argument to explain away duality?
> It is only invoked when someone seeks an explanation for the apparent
> disconnect between perceived duality and shruti vAkyas which deny reality
> to such a duality, such as neha nAnAsti kinchana. So how to reconcile these
> two?
It is by introducing avidyA. This is classic adhyAropa apavAda teaching.
> Introduce avidyA if someone seeks a reason for perceived duality. Use
> avidyA to deny duality pAramArthika satyatvam, and having denied it,
> withdraw avidyA too.

That exactly is the charge by other schools. AV invokes unsupported avidya
to explain some seeming monoistic vAkyas. They can be equally explained
without any such invocation.

> AvidyA is merely a notional construct introduced by shAstra to explain the
> perception of duality. It does not have pAramArthika sattA.

Same problem, if the explanation is notional construct only without any
real basis in shruti, then such vAda is atatvIka and hence
indistinguishable from any other false doctrines. The only difference is it
is made to funnel through shruti and make it appear it is bonafide -- is
the charge by other schools.

> If you permit me, let me explain mithya w.r.t to Sat and Asat.  NyAmrita
> deals with not single, but by five definitions of 'mithya' as propounded
> across various texts in Advaita.  Ignoring all those technical definitions
> aside, let me say -- mithya is not at all an  ontological category such as
> sat & asat, but rather an epistemological error confusing one for the
> other.
> Again whether it is ontological or an epistemological error depends on
> whether one has realised the truth or not.

This thinking is not correct. There is no question on whether one has
realised or not. It is all about me (speaking from first person point of
view) realized or not. I cannot admit duality of Guru is realized but I am
not. As long as I am seeing distinction between realized and not so
realized, Brahman is not realized because I (Brahman) am seeing duality.

> Before its bAdha, mithyA is very much an ontological category. After its
> bAdha, one realises it was only epistemological and no object existed in
> any period of time.
That exactly is my point I was making. Since realized state is real one,
all your definition and narration about mithyA must be from such a real
point of view. This demand is warranted if such definition needs to be
called yathArtha/tAtvIka. So, what AV calls 'mithya' is simple asat for


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