[Advaita-l] Advaita Siddhi series 008 - prathama mithyAtva vichAra: (part 3)

Venkatraghavan S agnimile at gmail.com
Wed Sep 20 13:41:57 EDT 2017

The previous posts in this topic are available here:

In the previous post, the first and second options for the meaning of
sadasatvilakshaNatva were considered. Now the third option suggested by the
nyAyAmritakAra is taken up for discussion. However, instead of considering
the third option as "sattvAbhAvam and asattvAbhAvam present together in one
substratum" (because the arguments and the counterarguments would be quite
similar to the second option), the siddhikAra takes this option as "that
which is different from sat and asat", that is, satbheda and asatbheda

To understand the difference between the two, we need to consider the
difference between atyantAbhAva and bheda (anyonyAbhAva). The logician
holds that there is a difference between the two. According to him, abhAva
and its pratiyogi (i.e. absence and the thing absent) can be present in the
same substratum, whereas bheda and its pratiyogi (a substance, and that
which it is different from) cannot.

The former, where absence and its counter-positive are present in the same
location, is a special case which in nyAya is called avyApyavritti. Take
the example of a monkey sitting on a tree. The naiyyAyika says that there
is a type of a relationship between the monkey and the tree called samyoga,
where the monkey is in physical contact with the tree. The monkey is
sitting at the top of the tree, not the bottom. Thus samyoga sambandha
between the monkey and the tree exists at the top of the tree, but is
absent at the bottom of the tree. Thus both samyoga and its abhAva exists
in the same adhikaraNa.

However, a pot and that which is different from a pot, cannot exist in the
same place.

Thus absence and difference are different.

Extending this to mithyA, the siddhikAra says
सत्प्रतियोगिकासत्प्रतियोगिकभेदद्वयं वा साध्यं - Alternatively, the sAdhya
can be that which is different from sat and that which is different from
तथाचोभयात्मकत्वे अन्यतरात्मकत्वे वा, तादृग्भेदासंभवेन ताभ्यामर्थान्तरनवाकाश:
| There is no possibility of arthAntara (i.e. proving something other than
what is meant) because this definition of difference is not possible in the
case of that which is both sat and asat or that is only one of the two (ie
sat only or asat only).

Further, this sAdhya will not be siddha sAdhana (proving what is already
known) for any of these three groups of people - those who hold the world
to be sat, those who hold it to be asat, those who hold it to be sadasat.

न च - असत्त्वव्यतिरेकांशस्यासद्भेदस्य च प्रपञ्चे सिद्धत्वेनांशत:
सिद्धसाधनमिति वाच्यं  - do not argue thus - "as the world being different
from asat is already known, it leads to a part of the sAdhya already being
known, leading to partial siddha sAdhana".

The opponent already accepts that the world is different from asat, thus a
part of what needs to be proved - that it is different from sat and asat -
is already known. This leads to amshatah siddha sAdhana, or partial
redundancy. The siddhikAra rejects this line of argument, because the
nature of what we are trying to prove falls outside the scope of amshatah
siddha sAdhanam.

To prove why, he cites an example which is accepted by everyone as not
having amshatah siddhasAdhanam. Comparing this to the case at hand, he
argues that calling mithyA as different from sat and asat is also not a
case of amshatah siddhasAdhanam.

We take a slight detour to consider an argument between the bhedAbheda vAdi
and the tArkika. The bhedAbheda vAdi says that wherever there is
sAmAnAdhikaraNyam (sharing a common locus), there is bhedAbheda (difference
and lack of difference). When we say "this pot is black", black is guNa
(attribute), pot is dravyam / guNi (the substance). This is an instance of
sAmAnAdhikaraNyam, where both blackness and potness are found in the same
locus. The argument of the bhedAbheda vAdi is that an attribute and its
substratum are both similar and different.

The statement "this pot is a cloth" - is not a case of sAmAnAdhikaraNyam.
Because it is not possible for pot-ness and cloth-ness to exist within the
same locus. Therefore, we can draw the conclusion that where two things are
absolutely different (bheda), sAmAnAdhikaraNya is not possible. On the
other hand, the statement "this pitcher is a jug" is not a case of
sAmAnAdhikaraNya, because the words 'pitcher' and 'jug' are synonyms,
referring to the same object. It is not a case of two things sharing one
locus, both words refer to only one object. Thus where there is identity,
abheda,  sAmAnAdhikaraNya is not possible there also. Therefore, the
bhedAbheda vAdi draws the conclusion that sAmAnAdhikaraNya and bhedAbheda
share a invariable concomitance ie wherever sAmAnAdhikaraNya is present,
 bhedAbheda is present as well. He uses this vyApti to draw the conclusion
that the relationship between an attribute and its substratum is a case of

The bhedAbheda vAdi uses this vyApti to make the inference "As
sAmAnAdhikaraNya is present between the attribute and the substratum, they
must have bhedAbheda between them." The naiyyAyika holds that the attribute
and substratum have bheda, are different. Thus he seeks to disprove the
anumAna made by the bhedAbheda vAdi.

However, in refuting the bhedAbheda vAdi's argument, the naiyyAyika does
not take recourse to amshatah siddhasAdhanam. He does not say, I already
know that they have bheda, why are you trying to prove bhedAbheda to me? He
does not do so because he realises that the aspect of the sAdhya that he
does not accept, abheda, is not sufficient  for a vyApti with
As there can be no sAmAnAdhikaraNya with only one element, the
bhedAbhedavAdi has to say that the sAdhya is bhedAbheda.

The naiyyAyika refutes this anumAna in a different way, but that is outside
the scope of the present context. The important thing to the topic at hand
is that he concedes that this anumAna does not have amshatah siddhasAdhanam.

The siddhikAra says, if the naiyyAyika does not cite amshatah
siddhasAdhanam against the bhedAbheda vAdi, why are you citing amshatah
siddhasAdhanam against me under similar circumstances?

'गुणादिकं गुण्यादिना भिन्नाभिन्नं समानाधिकृतत्वादिति'  भेदाभेदवादिप्रयोगे
तार्किकाद्यङ्गीकृतस्य भिन्नस्य सिद्धावपि उद्देश्यप्रतीत्यसिद्धेर्यथा न
सिद्धसाधनं | "the attribute and substance are different-and-not-different,
on account of sAmAnAdhikaraNyam", in this piece of inference by the
bhedAbheda vAdi, the logician who holds that they are different, does not
cite the doSha of siddha sAdhanam - because it is not sufficient to say
that there is abheda for sAmAnAdhikaraNya to be present.

The power of the hetu to prove the presence of the sAdhya lies in the hetu
always being present with the sAdhya. If the hetu is present even without
the sAdhya, it cannot establish the sAdhya in the paksha. There can be no
smoke without fire. Similarly,  the bhedAbhedavAdin argues that both bheda
and abheda have to be present for sAmAnAdhikaraNya to be present. The
siddhikAra extends this to say that difference from both sat and asat have
to be present together for drishyatvam to be present.

If that is the case, when can amshatah siddhasAdhanam occur?  It can occur
when the sAdhya (pakshatA avacChedakam) is multiple. To explain - if I want
to prove that all men are mortal and intelligent, the sAdhya is two-fold.
We are seeking to establish both mortality and intelligence in men. If my
opponent already knows that all men are mortal, then I would be committing
amshatah siddhasAdhanam. It would be sufficient if I prove intelligence
alone. By doing that, I would have achieved my objective of proving
mortality (already accepted) and intelligence (proved now) in men.

तथा प्रकृते अपि मिलितप्रतीतेरुद्देश्यत्वान्न सिद्धसाधनं in our context
(sadasat vilakshaNa), its only when the sAdhya consists of both elements
 (sat bhedam asat bhedam) together, can the desired objective be achieved.

The pUrvapakshi may argue, in the case of bhedAbhedam, one needs to have
both bheda and abheda for the hetu of sAmAnAdhikaraNya to be present. The
hetu for the advaitin is drishyatvam (knowability). For drishyatvam, you do
not need both sad bhedam and asat bhedam, it is sufficient if you have asat
bhedam. Why are you seeking both?

To this, the siddhikAra says - the case of bhedAbheda is not different from
यथा तत्त्वाभेदे घट: कुम्भ इति सामानिधिकरण्यप्रतीते: अदर्शनेन
मिलित्सिद्धेरुद्देश्या, तथा प्रकृते अपि सत्त्वरहिते तुच्छे
दृश्यत्वादर्श्नेन मिलितस्य तत्प्रयोजकतया मिलितसिद्धेरुद्देश्ये इति समानं
just like sAmAnAdhikaraNya cannot be seen by abheda alone (the pitcher and
a jar, do not have sAmAnAdhikaraNya as they are one and the same), in the
present conext too, drishyatva is not necessarily present if you have only
asatbhinnam (Brahman is asatbhinnam, but it is not drishyam) or satbhinnam
(a hare's horn is satbhinnam, but it is not drishyam). drishyatva can
necessarily be present only when satbhedam and asatbhedam are
simultaneously present. The two cases are similar.

अतएव सत्त्वात्यन्ताभावे अपि सत्यसत्त्वात्यन्ताभावरूपं साध्यं विशिष्टं
साध्यमित्यपि साधु । therefore, the third option of the nyAyAmritakAra, the
absence of sat and the absence of asat present in conjunction can also be
accepted as the sAdhya. In this section, he had started off by proving the
simultaneous presence of difference from sat and difference from asat as an
acceptable sAdhya. He extends this to the simultaneous absence of sat and
absence of asat.

न च - मिलितस्य विशिष्टस्य वा साध्यत्वे तस्य कुत्राप्रसिद्ध्या
अप्रसिद्धविशेषणत्वं, प्रत्येकं सिद्ध्या मिलितस्य विशिष्टस्य वा साधने,
शशशृङ्गयोः प्रत्येकं प्रसिद्ध्या शशीयशृङ्गंसाधनमपि स्यादिति - वाच्यम्;
The opponent argues: The absence of sat present simultaneously with asat is
not seen anywhere. If you, the advaitin argue that, as each is individually
seen in separate places, one can join those two elements to get to the
sAdhya, we would say that by that logic, we can prove that a hare's horn is
also capable of being seen. We see a hare in one place, we see a horn
elsewhere. Can we join these two to say that a hare's horn can be seen?
Therefore, your sAdhya of sadasatvilakshaNam is aprasiddham, not observed
The siddhikAra says, if this your argument, that is incorrect because:

तथाविधप्रसिद्धेः शुक्तिरूप्ये एवोक्तत्वात् | I have already proved how
sadasatvilakshaNatva is possible in the case of the shell silver.

The sAdhya of mithyA can also be said to be the lakshaNa, definition of
mithyA. The pUrvapakshi wants to say that such a definition of mithyA would
lead to ativyApti (ie the definition applies to an entity that is not

न च निर्धर्मकत्वात् ब्रह्मणः सत्त्वासत्त्वरूपधर्मद्वयशून्यत्वेन तत्र
अतिव्याप्तिः  The opponent says that this lakshaNa has ativyApti doSha
because Brahman, being without attributes, has neither sat, nor asat as its
attributes. This is the same as the lakshaNa, and therefore Brahman would
be covered by this definition of mithyA, therefore this is ativyApti. The
siddhikAra says, no.

What does ativyApti mean? It means that the definition (lakshaNa) covers
something that is not meant to be covered by it (alakshya). If Brahman is
without attributes, how can it have the attributes of sat atyantAbhAvam and
asat atyantAbhAvam? Therefore, by nirdharmakam, perhaps what is meant by
the pUrvapakshi is that Brahman does not have bhAva rUpa dharma, but it
does have abhAvarUpa dharma.

Sattvam itself can be abhAva rUpam. How? Because sattvam is that which is
abAdhyam - that which is not sublatable. That is the absence of
sublatability is sat.

सद्रूपत्वेन ब्रह्मणः तदत्यन्त्याभावानधिकरणत्वात्  As Brahman *is* sat (ie
it is bAdhyatva abhAva), it cannot *have* sat atyantAbhAva. Thus the
lakshaNa of mithyA cannot apply to Brahman.

निर्धर्मकत्वेनैवाभावरूपधर्मानधिकरणत्वाच्चेति दिक् If Brahman means that it
is nirdharmakam (ie it has neither bhAva rUpa or abhAva rUpa dharmas), it
cannot have the attributes of sat atyantAbhAva or asat atyantAbhAva either.
Thus the lakshaNam cannot apply there.

The nyAyAmritakAra had made several objections to this definition of mithyA
- if we apply the principles outlined in this chapter, all of them can be
addressed. This brings us to the end of the chapter titled prathama
mithyAtva vichAra:.

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