[Advaita-l] Advaita Siddhi series 004 - pakshatAvacChedaka vichAra: (part 1)
agnimile at gmail.com
Sat Sep 2 03:39:30 EDT 2017
*An enquiry into the paksha*
We previously considered why a vipratipatti vAkya is necessary before the
commencement of a debate.
1) Sometimes vipratipatti vAkya is useful in generating a doubt about a
subject, thereby justifying an enquiry, a vichAra.
2) Sometimes in the context of a debate, it identifies the primary subject
matter under discussion, allowing the moderator to determine the winner and
loser based on success or failure in proving the central hypothesis.
3) Sometimes even when there is no doubt, it helps to remind one of a
possible doubt, and thereby justify the commencement of a discussion on it.
The organisation of the initial sections of the advaita siddhi is in line
with the standard structure of the anumAna - paksha sAdhya hetu e.g dvaitam
mithyA drishyatvAt. First, an enquiry into the paksha will be conducted.
The next few sections will first discuss the nature of the sAdhya,
mithyAtva. Five definitions of mithyAtva will be studied. Following this,
an enquiry into the hetu, the establishing reason, will be undertaken.
Three hetus will be considered for mithyAtva - drishyatvam (knowability),
jaDatvam (inertness) and paricChinnatvam (limitation).
This chapter is an enquiry into the nature of the paksha. What is the
object that we wish to examine for mithyAtvam? The siddhikAra considers
this question through a refinement of the vipratipatti vAkya.
We had previously said that the vipratipatti vAkya can be द्वैतं मिथ्या न
वा - is the world of duality real or not? However, there is a problem with
this provisional statement. A second thing other than Atma is duality,
therefore this vipratipatti vAkya equates to the question - Is anything
other than Atma, mithyA or not?
Reality within advaita is classified into four categories - asat,
prAtibhAsika, vyAvahArika, Atma. asat is absolutely non-existent in all
three periods of time, thus it is not mithyA. Atma is also not mithyA. If
Atma and asat were included in the paksha, it would lead to a bAdhi doSha,
as the sAdhya of mithyAtva does not exist in the paksha (the Atma and asat).
prAtibhAsika, objects such as the shell silver, is already well-known as
mithyA. Thus, if prAtibhAsika is included within the paksha, it would lead
to a siddha sAdhana doSha - it will lead to proving that which is well
established. An enquiry commenced to prove something already proven is a
waste of time, and thus this is a defect.
Therefore, our vipratipatti vAkya needs to be refined to exclude asat, Atma
and prAtibhAsika This is the essence of the next sentence from the advaita
तत्र मिथ्यात्वे विप्रतिपत्ति: ब्रह्मप्रमातिरिक्ताबाध्यत्वे सति सत्त्वेन
प्रतीत्यर्हं चिद्भिन्नं प्रतिपन्नोपाधौ त्रैकालिकनिषेधप्रतियोगि न वा,
पारमार्थिकत्वाकारेणोक्तनिषेध प्रतियोगि न वेति |
तत्र मिथ्यात्वे विप्रतिपत्ति: There the vipratipatti vAkya for mithyAtva
ब्रह्मप्रमातिरिक्ताबाध्यत्वे सति is that which is unsublatable by any other
knowledge other than the right knowledge of brahman,
सत्त्वेन प्रतीत्यर्हं that which is capable of appearing as existing, and
चिद्भिन्नं that which is different from the Atma
प्रतिपन्नोपाधौ त्रैकालिकनिषेधप्रतियोगि न वा the counterpositive of the
negation in all three periods of time in the locus of its appearance?
पारमार्थिकत्वाकारेणोक्तनिषेध प्रतियोगि न वेति or is it the counterpositive
of the negation of absolute reality?
In summary, the vipratipatti vAkya is refined to be - Is that which is
unsublatable by any other knowledge other than the right knowledge of
brahman, that which is capable of appearing as existing, and that which is
different from the Atma, the counterpositive of the negation in all three
periods of time in the locus of its appearance? Or is it the
counterpositive of the negation of absolute reality?
This is the direct translation of the text, but we need some context to
understand this. Let us take the case of the rope that is mistaken for a
snake. The view of the advaitin is that when the snake appears, it exists -
it exists at the time of perception. It is prAtibhAsika. The view of the
naiyyAyika is that a snake that exists elsewhere is seen at the time of its
perception in the rope. The view of the dvaitin is that the snake does not
exist at all, it is asat.
The rope snake is sublatable, it is bAdhyam. Because we want to exclude
prAtibhAsika from the vipratipatti vAkya (and the paksha), can we say say
that which is abAdhyam, unsublatable, is mithyA? This is a problem for the
advaitin because he says jagat is mithyA, which is bAdhya, sublatable.
Therefore, if we define mithyA as abAdhyam, then prapancham cannot be
mithyA. That's the end of the debate. Therefore, we add a further qualifier
- brahma pramA atirikta abAdhyam - that is, it is that which is
unsublatable due to any other knowledge apart from the right knowledge of
brahman. Whereas the snake is sublated due to the knowledge of the rope,
the world is sublated only due to the knowledge of brahman, and nothing
else. Therefore to exclude prAtibhAsika objects such as the rope snake, we
add the qualifier, *brahma pramA atirikta abAdhyam*, unsublatable due to
any knowledge apart from the right knowledge of brahma.
asat does not exist anywhere, therefore to exclude asat from the
vipratipatti vAkya, we add the qualifier *sattvena pratItyarham*, meaning
that which is capable of appearing as existing.
There is no doubt whatsoever that Atma is satya, therefore to exclude Atma
from the vipratipatti vAkya, we add the qualifier *chidbhinnam, *that which
is different from chit, the Atma.
Therefore the paksha, now refined, becomes ब्रह्मप्रमातिरिक्ताबाध्यत्वे सति
सत्त्वेन प्रतीत्यर्हं चिद्भिन्नं - having excluded asat, prAtibhAsika,
brahman, the paksha is reduced to vyAvahArika objects. Now we move over to
the sAdhya, mithyAtva.
What is mithyA? According to the advaitin:
sat is that which exists and does not change at all in all three periods of
asat is that which does not exist nor appears to exist in any period of
mithyA is that which is neither sat nor asat.
If this is the extent of the definition, no opponent will object. The
dispute arises when the advaitin insists that the mithyA object is sublated
when the satya vastu is seen. This text will consider five different
definitions of mithyA, which will be elaborately considered. In the context
of the vipratipatti vAkya, the siddhikAra is giving the second definition
of mithyAtvam for the sAdhya.
Two alternative sAdhya's are considered. प्रतिपन्नोपाधौ
त्रैकालिकनिषेधप्रतियोगि न वा, पारमार्थिकत्वाकारेणोक्तनिषेध प्रतियोगि न वेति
In the first, that sAdhya, mithyA is defined as प्रतिपन्नोपाधौ
त्रैकालिकनिषेधप्रतियोगि, using the second definition of mithyAtva.
Translated, this means that which is negated in all three periods of time
in the locus of its appearance.
Therefore, the vipratipatti vAkya being ब्रह्मप्रमातिरिक्ताबाध्यत्वे सति
सत्त्वेन प्रतीत्यर्हं चिद्भिन्नं प्रतिपन्नोपाधौ त्रैकालिकनिषेधप्रतियोगि न
वा - is simply "Is the vyAvahArika vastu mithyA or not?".
One of the implications of the said definition of mithyA is that the
advaitin is saying that the object does not exist even when it appears,
which is something the dvaitin cannot accept. Therefore, as a concession to
the dvaitin, an alternative suggestion for the sAdhya is provided.
पारमार्थिकत्वाकारेणोक्तनिषेध प्रतियोगि न वा Does the object not have
This is different from the first alternative (प्रतिपन्नोपाधौ
त्रैकालिकनिषेधप्रतियोगि). The nature of the negation is different in the
two alternatives. The existence of the object in all three periods of time
is negated in the first, in the second, the ultimate existence of the
object is negated.
(to be continued)
The previous article on vipratipattivAkya is available here:
This article is available here:
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