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

Venkatraghavan S agnimile at gmail.com
Thu May 25 06:54:16 EDT 2017

On 25 May 2017 9:47 a.m., "Kalyan via Advaita-l" <advaita-l at lists.advaita-
vedanta.org> wrote

Now, if the Atman is appearing to be affected by ignorance, to whom does it
appear that the Atman is under ignorance? Who is under the impression that
the Atman is under the ignorance? It should be to the Atman itself for the
Atman is the only conscious entity.

Please note that in saying that Atma is the only conscious entity, you are
already arguing from a pAramArthika viewpoint - you have therefore admitted
that there are no divisions within it. If Atma is the only thing, and it
happens to be divisionless how can it know anything, when the very act of
knowing requires a division between the knower, known and the instrument of
knowledge? Which is precisely why Gaudapada says that there is neither
mukti nor bandha, neither a seeker, nor  the sought, neither creation nor
destruction for such an Atma.
न निरोधो न चोत्पत्तिर्न बद्धो न च साधकः ।
न मुमुक्षुर्न वै मुक्त इत्येषा परमार्थता ॥

Therefore, the Atman thinks that it is under ignorance when it is not
really under ignorance. But, this is a contradiction since such a thinking
itself is a real ignorance as the Atman is thinking mistakenly.  So the
Atman is under ignorance and free from ignorance, simultaneously. Thus, the
advaitic position leads to a contradiction.

The moment you talk of Atma being under the impression that it is ignorant,
you are already presupposing that it has a mind with which to form such an
impression. You have already come to vyavahAra. The question becomes, is
Atma aware of its own ignorance (even mistakenly)? Your argument is based
on Atma being under the impression that it is ignorant - therefore Atma
must know that it is ignorant.

It is precisely because you say Atma is aware of ignorance (even
mistakenly) that ignorance cannot be its own dharma. Just as fire cannot
burn itself, nor can the eye see itself, the partless conscious principle,
Atma, cannot know an ignorance if it really belonged to it. Hence
Shankaracharya says in the kshetrajna  bhAshya in the Gita संवेद्यत्वाच्च
तेषां प्रदीपप्रकाशवत् न ज्ञातृधर्मत्वम् — संवेद्यत्वादेव
स्वात्मव्यतिरिक्तसंवेद्यत्वम् ; सर्वकरणवियोगे च कैवल्ये सर्ववादिभिः
अविद्यादिदोषवत्त्वानभ्युपगमात् ।

Therefore, the very premise of your question is incorrect. NirguNa Atma
cannot know ignorance for two reasons - it lacks the instrument with which
to know anything, let alone ignorance. Secondly, even if it does have an
instrument, ignorance cannot be a property of the partless Atma - if it
knows an ignorance, then ipso facto, that ignorance is not a property of
the knower, but the known.


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