[Advaita-l] [advaitin] Gita bhashya excerpt proves Avidya is Bhavarupa

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Wed Dec 21 08:16:49 EST 2022

Thanks for the additional inputs. Yes, it's very being objectified makes it
bhaava rupa. I think Sri SSS was not clear about the meaning of the term.


On Wed, 21 Dec 2022, 5:10 pm Jaishankar Narayanan, <jai1971 at gmail.com>

> Namaste,
> Even the following bhashya from Tai Up Bhashya says the same
> अविद्या च स्वानुभवेन रूप्यते - मूढोऽहम् अविविक्तं मम विज्ञानम् इति । तथा
> विद्याविवेको अनुभूयते । उपदिशन्ति च अन्येभ्य आत्मनो विद्यां बुधाः । तथा च
> अन्ये अवधारयन्ति । तस्मात् नामरूपपक्षस्यैव विद्याविद्ये नामरूपे च ; न
> आत्मधर्मौ
> *avidyā ca svānubhavena rūpyate - mūḍho'ham aviviktaṃ mama vijñānam iti **।
> **tathā vidyāviveko anubhūyate **। **upadiśanti ca anyebhya ātmano vidyāṃ
> budhāḥ **। **tathā ca anye avadhārayanti **। **tasmāt nāmarūpapakṣasyaiva
> vidyāvidye nāmarūpe ca ; na ātmadharmau* - Tai Up 2.8.5 Bh
> And ignorance is ascertained by such forms of its perception as, “I am
> ignorant”, “My knowledge is indistinct”. Similarly, the difference of
> knowledge (from the Self ) is perceived, and the enlightened people
> communicate the knowledge of the Self to others; and so, too, others grasp
> it. Accordingly, knowledge and ignorance are to be ranked with name and
> form; they are not attributes of the Self.
> Further the Katharudra Upanishad, which is quoted by Bhashyakara in Br Up
> 3.5.1 Bhāṣya, has the following verse
> प्रत्यगात्मानमज्ञानमायाशक्तेश्च साक्षिणम् ।
> एकं ब्रह्माहमस्मीति ब्रह्मैव भवति स्वयम् ॥ १२॥
> pratyagātmānamajñānamāyāśakteśca sākṣiṇam ।
> ekaṃ brahmāhamasmīti brahmaiva bhavati svayam ॥ 12॥
> He who realizes his own Self, which is the witness of the power called
> ignorance and mAyA, knowing
> ‘I am Brahman alone ’ becomes Brahman Itself
> The inner self is the witness of ajñāna shakti. How can this shakti
> witnessed by the inner self be abhāva?
> with love and prayers,
> Jaishankar
> On Wed, Dec 21, 2022 at 1:16 PM V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> In the Gita bhashya 13 chapter Shankaracharya  through a  short dialogue
>>  demonstrates that avidya is  objectified and not  the property of  the
>> observer consciousness.  This is what  clinches the case in favour of
>>  Avidya being Bhava rupa according to Shankaracharya  as he includes Avidya
>> along with the experiences of misery etc.  This very chapter  has
>>  categorised  Kshetra as  consisting of  of the five elements  and the
>> elemental  world outside,  the organs through which we experience  the
>> outside world and, most importantly,   the emotions such as  desire,
>> anger,  misery  which are included in  Kshetram that is distinct from the
>> observer Chaitanya consciousness, the Kshetrajna.
>>  Surely  for those who hold that Avidya is jnanabhava and not any bhaava
>> rupa category, there is the responsibility of  proving that  desire,
>> hatred, etc. that are experienced by all are also some 'abhava' and not
>> bhava.
>> The following is the translation the whole dialogue by Swami
>> Gambhirananda.
>> The terms in the Bhashya that clinch the issue are:
>>  यदा च एवम् , *अविद्यादुःखित्वाद्यैः* न ज्ञातुः क्षेत्रज्ञस्य किञ्चित्
>> दुष्यति ॥
>> (Therefore Avidya, misery, etc. do not taint the observer Consciousness
>> (that is, they are not the property of Atman but the dharma of the anatman,
>> manas)
>> यदि पुनः अविद्या ज्ञेया, अन्यद्वा ज्ञेयं ज्ञेयमेव ।
>> If avidya is observed, jneya, just like any other jneya, Avidya is jneya
>> for sure (and not the Knower, jnaata, consciousness)
>> There is no doubt that iccha, dvesha, etc. are jneya.
>> One cannot club abhava with bhava. Since Shankara clubs avidya with
>> iccha,dvesha, etc. which are all indisputably bhaava, it goes without
>> saying that for Shankara avidya too is bhava. If that were not so, he
>> should not have clubbed avidya with iccha etc. that are clearly antahkarana
>> dharmas. This also answers the objection that the talk of 'locus' for
>> avidya is a post-Shankara concept. Shankara clearly localizes avidya to
>> antahkarana along with iccha, devesha, etc. Also, here Shankara holds
>> avidya to be located in the jiva: jivaashrita avidya.  In the
>> Brihadaranyaka 1.4.10 'aham brahma asmi' bhashya, Shankara accepts avidya
>> to Brahman. Thus Brahmaashritaa avidya is also accepted by Shankara.  All
>> these concepts are not post-Shankara products.
>> So, Shankara holds avidya to be an observed, just like misery, desire,
>> etc. are saakshi vedya. So, by no means can avidya, like iccha, dvesha, be
>> an abhava rupa.  By including Avidya in the same category of iccha, etc.
>> Shankara has held Avidya to be bhava rupa.
>> Gambhirananda:
>> Oh! Sir, if being ignorant, sorrowful, etc. are qualities of the Self,
>> how is it that they are directly perceived? Or how can they be alities of
>> the Knower of the field? If the conclusion be that all that is known
>> constitutes the field, and that the one who knows is verily the knower of
>> the field, then, to say that being ignorant, sorrowful, etc.are the
>> qualities of the knower of the field and that they are directly perceived
>> is a contradictory statement having only ignorance as its basis. Here, (the
>> opponent) asks: To whom does ignorance belong? (The answer is that) it
>> belongs verily to him by whom it is experienced! Objection: In whom is it
>> perceived? Reply: Here the answer is: It is pointless to ask, 'In whom is
>> ignorance experienced?' Objection: How? Reply: If ignorance be perceived
>> (by you), then you perceive its possessor as well. Moreover, when that
>> possessor of ignorance is perceived it is not reasonable to ask, 'In whom
>> is it perceived?' For, when an owner of cattle is seen, the estion, 'To
>> whom do the cattle belong', does not become meaningful. Objection: Well, is
>> not the illustration dissimilar? Since, the cattle and their owner are
>> directly perceived, their relation also is directly perceived. Hence the
>> estion is meaningless. Ignorance and its possessor are not directly
>> perceived in that manner, in which case the estion would have been
>> meaningless. Reply: What will it matter to you if you know the relation of
>> ignorance with a person who is not directly perceived as possessed of
>> ignorance? Opponent: Since ignorance is a source of evil, therefore it
>> should be got rid of. Reply: He to whom ignorance belongs will get rid of
>> it! Opponent: Indeed, ignorance belongs to myself. Reply: In that case, you
>> know ignorance as also yourself who possess it? Opponent: I know, but not
>> through direct perception. Reply: If you know through inference, then how
>> is the connection (between yourself and ignorance) known? Surely it is not
>> possible for you the knower to have at that time ['When you are knowing
>> your own ignorance.'] the knowledge of the relation (of the Self) with
>> ignorance which is an object of knowledge; ['After having perceived
>> ignorance as an object of your knowledge, how can you who continue to be
>> the knower cognize yourself as the knower of that ignorance? For this would
>> lead to the contradiction of the same person becoming the subject and the
>> object of cognition.'] because the cognizer is then engaged in cognizing
>> ignorance as an object. Besides, there cannot be someone who is a
>> (separate) cognizer of the relation between the knower and ignorance, and a
>> separate cognition of that (relation), for this would lead to infinite
>> regress. If the knower and the relation between the knower and the thing
>> known be cognizable, then a separate cognizer has to be imagined. Of him,
>> again, another knower has to be imagined; of him again a separate cognizer
>> would have to be imagined! Thus, an infinite regress becomes unavoidable.
>> Again, whether the knowable be ignorance or anything else, a knowable is
>> verily a knowable; similarly, even a knower is surely a knower; he does not
>> become a knowable. And when this is so, [Since the knower cannot be known,
>> therefore his relation with ignorance also cannot be known by himself or by
>> anybody else] nothing of the cognizer-the knower of the field-is tainted by
>> such defects as ignorance, sorrowfulness, etc.
>> End quote.
>> regards
>> subbu
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