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

Venkatraghavan S agnimile at gmail.com
Wed May 24 18:15:36 EDT 2017

Namaste Sri Srinath,

On Wed, May 24, 2017 at 10:05 PM, Srinath Vedagarbha <svedagarbha at gmail.com>

>> 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
> anavastha.
> Not just mAyA / avidyA, but every doctrine is ultimately unreal, because
the only real entity admitted within advaita is Brahman. Therefore, there can
be no doctrine that has ultimate reality. Hence the question of the cause
of duality itself is unwarranted, because we hold that such a duality
itself does not exist - why search for the cause of something that does not
exist? Like how we do not seek the cause for an asat vastu in vyavahAra,
there is no need to the seek the cause for avidyA or mAyA or duality in

> 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?

Not true, for reasons given above. From the standpoint of vyavahAra, we say
that avidyA is anAdi, and a beginning-less entity requires no cause which
would lead to AtmAshraya.

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
> place?

What makes you think that there is a vyAvahArika avastha? If you say it is
because of my statement, then I will say that the purpose of my statement
was to merely satisfy your curiosity, from the standpoint of ultimate
reality no explanations need be given. No explanations can be given.

If you say it is because of your experience of everyday reality, I will say
that your experience of everyday reality is only evidence of everyday
reality, not  ultimate reality.

> 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 mean you would <not> find mention of those two viewpoints in other
schools? If so, I have given the reason why advaita vedAnta posits this.

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

One does not posit ignorance because there is vyAvahArika viewpoint – one
posits ignorance to ultimately invalidate vyAvahArika viewpoint.

> 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
> points.
> I was not referring to nyAyAmrita specifically, but the general question
that has been doing the rounds over the last few days - does Atma have
ignorance or not?

>> 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).
What do you mean by "given"? If you mean - does raw data of perception have
pAramArthika validity? Then we do not agree. Perception is incapable of
establishing the pAramArthika satyatvam (ie tri-kAla abAdhitvam) of

If you mean - does perception have vyAvahArika validity? I agree it does.
The mithyAtva of the perceived object does not invalidate its vyAvahArika
satya as established by perception, for you to claim that there is driShTa

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.
> Then those explanations will have to be provided– without knowing them I
cannot comment on it.

> 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.
Sorry, the words "without any real basis in shruti" is an addition on your
part, that was not intended by what I said. The tAtvikatvam or atAtvikatvam
of jnana is dependent on whether the jnana viShaya is bAdhitam or not.
Ultimately every thing with the exception of Brahman is bAdhitam -
therefore, even within shruti, it is only those vAkyas that have tAtparya
as Brahman which are  tAtvika - the problem of atAtvikatvam does not exist
merely for the concept of avidyA, but every jnAna, with the exception of
brahma jnAna.

> 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.

I was not intending this to mean for a third person. By one realising the
truth, I mean whether brahma jnana has arisen for me or not  - if it has,
then the mithyA object never existed in any point of time. If it has not
arisen, then the object continues existing as mithyA, ie as vyAvahArika
satya. Really speaking, there is no epistemological error, because
epistemology itself implies a tripuTi, which does not exist after
realisation. The point I wanted to make was that calling mithyA ontological
is only in vyavahAra, as a concession to you, I said you can call it
epistemological after jnAna, but really speaking it is non-existent.

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
> others.
> I do not agree with this, because no definition or narration can be made
from the standpoint of ultimate reality, because of the absence of the
subject-object-instrument tripuTi. Therefore, any description or definition
of mithyA serves only to negate the reality of prapancha. What must be
noted is that both prapancha and its abhAva are ultimately only
vyAvahArika. For a jnAna to be yatArtha / tAtvika, it does not require it
to be made from the standpoint of reality, it only requires that the jnAna
viShaya is not subsequently sublated.


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