[Advaita-l] Avidya and Adhyasa
vinodh.iitm at gmail.com
Mon May 23 00:16:34 EDT 2022
Thank you for the feedback, Anandji.
Thanks also for sharing subbuji’s blog on bhaavaroopa of avidya.
It is reminiscent of the following two kaarikas from the Advaita Prakarana
of Gaudapadacharya because, in essence, it argues that avidya, which leads
to the maayika-samsara, is of the nature of an existing entity for a
entity cannot have an effect.
सतो हि मायया जन्म युज्यते न तु तत्त्वतः ।
तत्त्वतो जायते यस्य जातं तस्य हि जायते ॥ २७ ॥
sato hi māyayā janma yujyate na tu tattvataḥ |
tattvato jāyate yasya jātaṃ tasya hi jāyate || 27 ||
27. That which is ever-existent appears to pass into birth through illusion
(Māyā) and not from the standpoint of Reality. He who thinks that this
passing into birth is real asserts, as a matter of fact, that what is born
is born again (and so on without end).
असतो मायया जन्म तत्त्वतो नैव युज्यते ।
वन्ध्यापुत्रो न तत्त्वेन मायया वाऽपि जायते ॥ २८ ॥
asato māyayā janma tattvato naiva yujyate |
vandhyāputro na tattvena māyayā vā'pi jāyate || 28 ||
28. The unreal cannot be born either really or through Māyā. For the son of
a barren woman is born neither in reality nor in illusion.
On Fri 20. May 2022 at 13:30, Anand N via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
> Namaste Vinodhji,
> Thank you for this mail. I was rather overwhelmed with the technicality of
> the other discussion.
> I too understand it the way you have put it.
> As an aside on Bhavarupa Ajnana, Subbuji had many years ago on his blog
> posted an article, which I found very useful.
> It is something I tend to re-read since this topic is so subtle and I
> haven't fully internalised its implications.
> I hope Subbuji you are ok with me quoting/citing you :-) 🙏
> Om Namo Narayanaya,
> On Fri, 20 May 2022 at 04:54, Vinodh via Advaita-l <
> advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
> > Namaskaram,
> > The discussion on the topic "Are avidya and adhyasa the same?" in the
> > thread was fascinating.
> > Many learned scholars had shared their detailed responses on the topic
> > references to various texts of Acharyas and other scholars.
> > Unfortunately, however, for someone like me, who is neither well-versed
> > all these texts nor has a great understanding of Sanskrit, the discussion
> > was quite hard to follow.
> > So I had been thinking about this topic to reason about their equivalence
> > or otherwise and this is what occurred to me thanks to Guru's grace.
> > *Avidya and Adhyasa*
> > Avidya literally translates to 'not knowing' or ignorance. Ignorance of
> > what? In Vedanta, it refers to not knowing the Truth.
> > Adhyasa on the other hand translates to superposition (placing one on top
> > of another so that the underlying thing appears as something else). In
> > Vedanta, it refers to the placing of something other than Truth on top of
> > Truth.
> > From the above, it appears that Adhyasa and Avidya cannot necessarily be
> > one and the same.
> > Let us explore further.
> > There could be Avidya without Adhyasa.
> > How?
> > In sushupti (deep sleep), we all are still under Avidya (not knowing the
> > Truth), but we do not perceive anything else. Therefore there is no
> > adhyasa.
> > This is analogous to a rope in complete darkness. Neither a rope (the
> > Truth) is seen nor is the superimposed illusion of a snake on the rope.
> > However, there cannot be Adhyasa without Avidya.
> > Why?
> > If there is no avidya, that is, the Truth is clear, then there is no
> > possibility of superimposing an illusion on the Truth.
> > Once the magician's trick is revealed, it is no longer possible to
> > the illusion because the underlying Truth of the illusion is known.
> > So Adhyasa requires Avidya, but not the other way round.
> > Therefore, Avidya is the cause and Adhyasa is the effect of Avidya.
> > I am not sure how the above aligns with the various references discussed
> > the other thread. It seems to me that it should be in alignment with the
> > traditional view of the sruti and of the advaita acharyas.
> > I would be grateful for any thoughts on the above. 🙏
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