[Advaita-l] Advaita Siddhi series 025 - jaDatva hetu upapattih (part 1)

Venkatraghavan S agnimile at gmail.com
Wed Jan 31 08:10:00 EST 2018

We discussed drishyatvam as a hetu for mithyAtva. Next, we will consider
jaDatvam, intertness as another possible hetu.

जडत्वमपि हेतु: | Inertness can also be considered as the hetu.
The nyAyAmritakAra introduces his objections to this. He asks:
ननु - किमिदं जडत्वम् ? What does inertness mean?
अज्ञातृत्वं वा, अज्ञानत्वं वा, अनात्मत्वं वा | - Is it 1) being other than
the knower 2) is it being other than knowledge 3) is it being other than
the Atma?

Each of these alternatives is problematic.
नाद्य:, त्वन्मते पक्षनिक्षिप्तस्यैवाहमर्थस्य ज्ञातृत्वात्तत्रासिद्धे:,
शुद्धात्मनोऽज्ञातृत्वेन व्यभिचाराच्च | It cannot be the first, because
according to you (the advaitin), the knower is the entity behind the "I"
thought. However, that is also considered mithyA, and thus included within
the paksha. If inertness as an indicator of mithyAtva means being other
than the knower, then the object of the "I" thought would not contain the
hetu of inertness. This would be asiddhi - the hetu is not present in the
On the other hand, pure consciousness cannot be the knower too. Advaita
claims that pure consciousness needs the mind in order to know, and
therefore without the mind, pure consciousness is not accepted as the
knower. Thus the hetu of inertness (taken to mean being other than the
knower) is present in pure consciousness. The hetu (jaDatva) is present,
but the sAdhya(mithyAtva) is absent. Thus there is vyabhichAra in Brahman.

नापि द्वितीय:, वृत्त्युपरक्तचैतन्यस्यैव ज्ञानत्वेन केवलाया वृत्ते: केवलस्य
चैतन्यस्य चाज्ञानत्वेन वृत्तावसिद्धिपरिहारेऽपि चैतन्ये व्यभिचारतादवस्थ्यात्
It is not the second option either because the combination of thought and
consciousness alone is knowledge. Neither thought on its own, nor
consciousness on its own can be said to be knowledge. This definition would
remedy asiddhi with respect to thought (thought is part of the paksha, it
is not knowledge, thus jaDatva and mithyAtva are both present). However, as
discussed, consciousness too cannot be called knowledge, so the hetu of
jaDatva is present. Consciousness is not mithyA. Thus there is vyabhichAra
in Brahman.

नापि तृतीय: ; आत्मत्वस्यैव निरूपयितुमशक्यत्वात् | Neither is it the third
alternative (ie being not Atma), because the concept of Atma itself cannot
be proven.

तद्धि न जातिविशेष:, त्वयात्मन एकत्वाभ्युपगमात्, विशिष्टात्मनां भेदेऽपि
तेषां पक्षकुक्षिनिक्षिप्तत्वात् |
Atma cannot be described as an instance of a species, because according to
you, Atma is one. There can be no species consisting of only one member.
Even if it is said that jIvas are many (jIvas, being Atma along with the
mind body complex, can be many due to the multiplicity of mind body
complexes), and Atma is taken as the species to which jIvas belong, because
the jIvas are part of the paksha, they are mithyA too.

नाप्यानन्द रूपत्वम्, वैषयिकानन्दे तद्व्यतिरेकस्य हेतोरसिद्धे:,
तस्याप्यात्मत्वे अज्ञानपक्षोक्तदोष: प्रसञ्जनीय: Atma cannot be described as
the nature of bliss, because one encounters bliss in everyday objects too.
Thus the hetu of not having the nature of bliss would be absent in objects,
which are part of the paksha. This would lead to asiddhi. If on the other
hand, it is argued that the bliss of objects is also Atma, then it would
lead to the same defects as the second option (not knowledge). Experiential
bliss is a combination of thought and consciousness, which is the second

Thus in any of the three alternatives, there are issues. The siddhikAra
- इति चेत् - मैवम् ; If this is the argument, not so.

द्वितीयतृतियपक्षयो: दोषाभावात् | The second and third paksha are not
defective. (The first one also can be addressed, but is not dealt with

तथाहि - "अज्ञानत्वं जडत्व" मिति पक्षे नात्मनि व्यभिचार:, In the alternative
"inertness is that which is other than knowledge", there is no vyabhichAra
in Atma as suggested. The nature of Brahman is jnAna, thus to argue that
Brahman has the absence of jnAna is futile. The argument that jnAna is
necessarily consciousness in association with a thought, is only a
secondary definition.

अर्थोपलक्षितप्रकाशस्यैव ज्ञानत्वेन मोक्षदशायामपि तदनपायात् | Thus, jnAnatva
(of the nature of knowledge) in fact means consciousness that has been
incidentally denoted (upalakshita) by objects. Such a jnAna exists without
obstruction at all times, including moksha.

We had previously
at three ways by which an object can be uniquely identified - visheShaNa
(included adjective), upAdhi (excluded adjective), upalakshaNa (incidental
adjective). The siddhikAra says that jnAna is not associated with objects
or thoughts always - they serve as incidental identifiers of consciousness,
and such a object/thought identified consciousness is the real meaning of
the word jnAna.

The crow seated on top of Devadatta's house in the past is used to identify
the house now. The relationship between the crow and the house is purely
circumstantial. It is neither an inseparable part of the house, nor is it
necessarily present when the house is later known as belonging to
Devadatta. In a similar way, the relationship between jnAna and thought /
objects is merely AdhyAsika, superimposed. jnAna can exist even in the
absence of objects.

Brahman, taken in this sense, is jnAna, and therefore the charge of
vyabhichAra based on Brahman not being jnAna has been addressed.

The siddhikAra makes a very subtle point - that knowledge can exist
independently of objects. This will be challenged by the pUrvapakshi, which
we will look at in the next few posts.

To be continued.

Originally posted on 31st January 2018.

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