[Advaita-l] [advaitin] 'Dvaita accepts body-adhyasa'

Vinodh vinodh.iitm at gmail.com
Sun Oct 17 21:56:31 EDT 2021


Thank you for the additional reference, Sri Subbu ji.

Thank you for concisely summarizing your thoughts on the discussion, Sri
Venkatraghavan ji. It matches with my understanding.

Namaskaram 🙏

On Mon, Oct 18, 2021 at 1:30 AM Venkatraghavan S <agnimile at gmail.com> wrote:

> Namaste
> There are a few things that are going on here that must be separated here
> for clearer understanding.
>
> 1) Firstly, all pramANa prameya vyavahAra has been spoken of as
> presupposing adhyAsa between the body mind complex and the self in the
> adhyAsa bhAShya.
>
> 2) Shankaracharya holds that for the self to be a knower (pramAtA), there
> has to be a body and mind superimposed on the self. Thus pramAtRtvam
> (knowerhood) presupposes adhyAsa (superimposition).
>
> 3) However, mistaking the body to be the self and vice versa is in itself
> insufficient to prove the mithyAtva of all pramANa prameya vyavahAra. A
> mixup between two objects can happen even where both objects are real. This
> is what the naiyyAyikas say - a real silver present elsewhere is seen here
> in the shell.
>
> 4) Similarly, while dvaita (specifically tattvavAda of AnandatIrtha muni)
> accepts that taking the body to be the Atma is erroneous, it does not
> accept that all of the pramANa prameya vyavahAra is consequently within the
> sphere of ignorance. This is because in their view, while taking the body
> to be the self is erroneous, the existence of the body-mind-complex is not
> on account of ignorance. The body and mind are very much real, in their
> view.
>
> 5) Therefore, in order to establish the mithyAtva of the body-mind-complex
> and pramANa-s when faced with a dvaitin, we have to resort to other means
> of knowledge such as shruti (neha nAnAsti kinchana), anumAna (vimatam
> mithyA dRshyatvAt) etc. When the world is proven to be mithyA, the
> pramANa-s and the body mind complex, which are included within the world,
> are also proven to be mithyA.
>
> 6) Does this mean that pramANa-s have no validity in advaita? No. This in
> itself does not invalidate vyavahAra - or the transactional validity of
> pramANa-s. In fact, Shankaracharya quotes a verse by a pre-Shankara
> advaitin at the end of the samanvayAdhikaraNa bhAShya, linking the notion
> of taking the body to be the self with pramANatva - which I think is a good
> way to conclude this post, referring as it does both to the subject matter
> of this thread (dehAtma adhyAsa) and the incidental question (pramANatva) -
>
> देहात्मप्रत्ययो यद्वत्प्रमाणत्वेन कल्पितः ।
> लौकिकं तद्वदेवेदं प्रमाणं त्वाऽऽत्मनिश्चयात् ॥
>
> Just like notion of the body as the self is considered valid, so are
> worldly means of knowledge - albeit only until the rise of certain
> knowledge of the self.
>
> Regards,
> Venkatraghavan
>
>
> On Sun, 17 Oct 2021, 04:06 Vinodh, <vinodh.iitm at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> Thank you, Sri Raghav ji and Sri Subbu ji for your kind explanations.
>>
>> Please allow me to summarize my understanding of the discussion so far
>> and kindly let me know if you have further thoughts.
>>
>> Consider two entities, A (Atma) and B (body-mind-senses + jagat). The
>> question at hand is "what is real?"
>>
>> The two main positions that are being discussed are:
>> - (Advaita) A alone is real and B is due to avidya / maya / illusion. Due
>> to adhyaasa of A-B, it appears as though B is real and A is the knower,
>> actor, experiencer, etc.
>> - (Dvaita) Both A and B are real. Due to adhyaasa of A-B, it appears as
>> though the actions and consequences of B are having an effect on A, when
>> truly A is never touched by what happens in B.
>>
>> Note that both the positions have the following common aspects:
>> 1. Adhyaasa of A-B: the qualities of B (like the knower, means of
>> knowledge, and the known) are erroneously superimposed on A
>> 2. All pramana (means of knowledge) are in B only. A does not have any
>> means for knowledge in B and necessarily requires the A-B adhyaasa to
>> become a knower and know things in B.
>> Both the above common aspects have been stated in several ways in this
>> thread. The natural question is, of course, where do the positions differ.
>>
>> My understanding of the explanations given in support for the Advaita
>> position is
>> a. the two aspects 1. and 2. (which are common for both Advaita and
>> Dvaita)
>> b. *asserting* that all pramana (i.e., all means of knowledge and the
>> instruments needed for it such as mind, senses, body, etc.) are **unreal**
>> The reason why Dvaita, even while accepting the common aspects 1. and 2.,
>> does not concur with the Advaita position is because they apparently assert
>> the opposite of b., that is, all pramana are real.
>>
>> Equivalently, the arguments in support of the Dvaita position are:
>> a. the two aspects 1. and 2. (which are common for both Advaita and
>> Dvaita)
>> b. *asserting* that all pramana (i.e., all means of knowledge and the
>> instruments needed for it such as mind, senses, body, etc.) are **real**
>> In a way, when one thinks about it, these assertions are just
>> restatements of the Advaita and Dvaita positions themselves (because B is a
>> set containing the pramana and their instruments such as mind-body-senses
>> etc.).
>>
>> My question thus far has been about an explanation for assertion b in
>> support of Advaita. Below are my observations of the discussions in this
>> thread regarding this question:
>> - Sri Subbu ji has emphasized the necessity of using pramana (including
>> the mind-body-senses etc.) to know any knowable object. This is of course
>> true and is also discussed in the Adhyasa Bhashya. It also concurs with the
>> common aspect 2.
>> - He has also referred to the Vedanta, e.g., by references to Kshetra and
>> Kshetrajna in the Gita, for establishing the separation between A and B,
>> where A is the Atma and B is the set of everything else including pramana.
>> This is also a meaningful separation to keep in mind. However, the
>> separation alone does not necessarily say anything about the reality of A
>> and B.
>> - He has also referred to the Adhyasa Bhashya, in which Shankara makes
>> the assertion that body-mind has avidya for its material cause, which is
>> essentially the same as assertion b.. He do not discuss this assertion
>> further within the Adhyasa Bhashya with additional supporting arguments
>> because it appears that Adhyasa is the main focus of the discussion there.
>> My apologies if I have missed this an explanation of this assertion. I
>> would sincerely appreciate if someone would be kind enough to point this
>> out in the Adhyasa Bhashya.
>> - Sri Subbu ji has also made a similar assertion that all instruments
>> required for pramana (mind-senses etc.) are unreal without discussing this
>> assertion further with supporting arguments, at least as far as I can see
>> from what is written in this thread. My sincere apologies once again if I
>> have indeed missed anything. 🙏
>>
>> Having summarized my understanding of the discussion thus far and having
>> reflected on it, it appears to me that assertion b. of Advaita (that all
>> pramana are unreal) can be established in two possible ways:
>> (1) using shabda pramana, e.g., sruti vaakya like 'ekam eva advitiyam'
>> (one without a second), which implies that there is nothing other than A
>> and therefore that B is unreal, or
>> (2) without using shabda pramana , e.g., by using pure reasoning as
>> Gaudapadacharya does in the Vaitathya Prakarana of his Mandukyopanishad
>> Karika.
>> The first requires a person to accept scriptural authority, whereas the
>> second does not.
>>
>> In contrast, I doubt if there exists anything that is in support of
>> assertion b. of Dvaita (that all pramana are real).
>>
>> Om tat sat 🙏
>>
>> On Sat, Oct 16, 2021 at 10:51 PM V Subrahmanian via Advaita-l <
>> advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
>>
>>> On Sat, Oct 16, 2021 at 9:26 PM Raghav Kumar Dwivedula via Advaita-l <
>>> advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
>>>
>>> > Namaste Vinodhji
>>> > Thank you for your question. I understand Subbuji was highlighting how
>>> even
>>> > dvaitin expositions don't deny adhyAsa of the body-mind and yet, (as
>>> > Advaita points out), they don't see the consequences of
>>> > I noticed that Subbuji indicated a brief answer along the idea of
>>> pramANas.
>>> >
>>> > In other words, if pramAtRtvaM is accepted as adhyasta and hence not
>>> > absolutely real, then all objects (prameyas) including body and mind
>>> are
>>> > unreal. Samkhyas don't see the implication of adhyAsa for the means of
>>> > knowledge by which alone anything can be said to exist. If puruSha is
>>> > discriminated from its false identification with prakRti, then
>>> subsequently
>>> > there is no way ( by pramANas like pratyaxa and anumAna) to assert
>>> prakRti
>>> > exists.
>>>
>>>
>>> Yes, Raghav ji, that is the point. There are these two statements that
>>> all
>>> accept: मानाधीना मेयसिद्धिः   लक्षणप्रमाणाभ्यां वस्तुसिद्धिः  -  The
>>> validation of a knowable object, prameya, vastu, is dependent upon 1. the
>>> means to know it, pramana and 2.the nature of the object, the information
>>> of which, together with the operation of the pramana.
>>>
>>> The Vedanta keeps before the aspirant the scenario where there is no
>>> body-identification. That is, the Atma is taught as that which has had no
>>> body identification; the virgin Atman, so to say.  From this Atman's
>>> standpoint, there are no pramanas, means to know anything, since all
>>> pramanas are, by default, situated in the body alone and nowhere else.
>>> So,
>>> from the Vedantic Atman's point of view, there is no world that can be
>>> validated since there are no pramanas at all.
>>>
>>> Also, a pramaa, a valid knowledge, arises out of a pramana. A bhrama,
>>> error, arises when the pramana, the right means of knowledge, is not used
>>> to know the object.  Hence alone a snake seen in the locus of a rope, is
>>> not a pramaa but a bhrama. From this it follows that the world is a
>>> bhrama since no pramana has had a place.  It is interesting the BG 13th
>>> ch.
>>> 6th verse says: the ten plus one organs, pramanas, the five sense and
>>> five
>>> motor organs plus the manas, antahkaranam, and the entire knowable world
>>> of
>>> sound, smell, tough, form and taste, all belong to kshetram, the world.
>>> So, the knowable world and the means to know it are all constituents of
>>> the
>>> world, kshetram.  The kshetrajna, the Consciousness principle, is outside
>>> this means and end duality.   Thus by the logic provided by the Vedanta,
>>> the world, including the body-mind-organs complex, is unreal since these
>>> are not established by any pramana.
>>>
>>> Hence alone the Advaitins invoked the apaccheda nyaya of the purva
>>> mimamsa
>>> in Vedanta: a person from birth believes in duality, the world, etc. When
>>> he is exposed to the Vedanta he comes to know that the world is not and
>>> he
>>> is actually the Atman.  The maxim here is: pUrvam pareNa baadhyate - the
>>> latter knowledge annuls the earlier knowledge.  The earlier knowledge is
>>> ignorance really, like the rope-snake, and the latter knowledge is the
>>> yathArtha jnanam.
>>>
>>> regards
>>> subbu
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> >
>>> >
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