[Advaita-l] ***UNCHECKED*** Re: Re: [advaitin] rope has some problem in rope snake analogy :-)

H S Chandramouli hschandramouli at gmail.com
Sun Dec 24 08:14:18 EST 2023

Namaskaram Vikram Ji,

Reg  //  These qualities are the attributes (viseshana) of Brahman and are
distinct manifestations //,

This seems to contradict point 4 unless you distinguish between
Brahman and nirvisesha
Brahman of point 5. But that does not appear to be the case as the word
Brahman appears to be used in other places in the post without clearly
mentioning any qualifications. Perhaps it would be better to use the word
Chaitanya for nirvisesha Brahman and correct the post accordingly at other
places where Chaitanya is intended.

Just a suggestion. I thought it would make it easier to comprehend your
intention unambiguously. All the more so because the word Brahman is used
in the Bhashya in three different contexts, namely nirvisesha Brahman, mAyA
vishishta nirvisesha Brahman, and mAyA upahita nirvisesha Brahman. Even in
respect of mAyA upahita nirvisesha Brahman, in my understanding, only
AvaraNa sahita  nirvisesha Brahman is intended and not AvaraNa rahita
Brahman where ever reference is made to mAyA upahita nirvisesha Brahman in
the Bhashya. For example in respect of sAkshi, antaryAmi etc.

You may like to consider


On Sun, Dec 24, 2023 at 8:05 AM Vikram Jagannathan via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> Namaskaram Shri Bhaskar ji,
> Before we continue on the main thread, I would like to understand the
> extent we are aligned on the fundamentals of Advaita. Below, I have
> mentioned my current understanding in a sequential order. Please let me
> know if you agree with these points or not. If you disagree with any point,
> please stop there and do not proceed until we discuss that particular point
> and come to an agreement.
> I would like to open this discussion to the entire group and request others
> to share & contribute their agreements / disagreements. I have
> deliberately kept the explanations for these statements to a minimum. If we
> agree to the statement, but have different explanations / reasons for
> arriving at that, that's fine; we will get an opportunity to clarify as we
> go deeper.
> With the right spirit and intention, we will have subsequent posts where we
> continue to add more points.
> 1. The svarupa lakshana of Brahman is: existence (sat), real (satya),
> consciousness (chit), knowledge (jnana), bliss (ananda), eternal (nitya),
> infinite (anadi & ananta), full (purna), partless (avyaya), homogeneous
> (eka rasa), immutable (kutastha), unchanging (avikara), pure (suddha),
> devoid of any differentiation whatsoever (sajatiya, vijatiya, svagata
> abheda)
> 2. Per ekam-eva-advitiyam, there is no sajatiya or vijatiya or svagata
> bheda, whatsoever, in Brahman
> 3. Per neha-nanasti-kinchana, there is no plurality or ‘other’ or something
> ‘else’ whatsoever in Brahman
> 4. An infinite homogeneous partless immutable entity cannot have any
> attributes (viseshana), since an attribute is defined as a quality that is
> inseparable but distinct from the substance, and there cannot be any
> distinction in a completely abheda homogenous entity
> 5. This Brahman is designated as nirvisesha Brahman for the sake of
> convenience
> 6. Any quality associated with Brahman, that has in context or in relation
> something ‘else’, is only a tatastha lakshana of Brahman. This includes
> qualities such as sarvajna, sarvasakthi, sarveshvara,
> creator-sustainer-destroyer of the universe, antaryami, witness, being the
> locus for something else, etc.
> 7. These qualities are the attributes (viseshana) of Brahman and are
> distinct manifestations
> 8. Their relationship with Brahman is that of attribute-substance or
> shakti-shaktivan or possessed-possessor. In all these cases, they are
> inseparable but distinct from Brahman.
> 9. Brahman described as possessing these qualities is designated as
> savisesha Brahman for the sake of convenience
> 10. Ontologically, sat is that which once ascertained as existing always
> remains unchanged across all time. Nirvisesha Brahman is sat.
> 11. Ontologically, asat is that which is never experienced as existing.
> Hare’s horn is asat.
> 12. Ontologically, mithya is that which is neither sat nor asat nor both
> (sadasat-vilakshana) - it appears to exist but later sublated. The universe
> of plurality, the viseshanas & sakthis of savisesha Brahman, snake on a
> rope, rope itself, mirage, double-moon are all examples of this mithya
> category. If you do not agree with this definition, please clarify what is
> the ontological status of a mithya entity.
> 13. Anirvachaniya explicitly means the entity cannot be specifically
> described as sat or as asat or as both simultaneously - the reason why an
> object may appear to exist but later sublated. There may be other
> definitions, but if you do not agree with this definition, please clarify
> what is the right definition of anirvachaniya and if anirvachaniya is sat
> or asat or both or something else?
> 14. If the above two points are in agreement, then the ontological status
> of anirvachaniya is mithya
> 15. In our current ignorance we believe the entire perceived universe of
> plurality and change has an independent existence. What is the actual
> ontological status of the universe and what is the ontological status of
> the universe as we believe it to be in our ignorance? Both mithya?
> 16. But let’s say that through shastra and sadhana, we gain the knowledge
> that this universe is only a nama-rupa change of Brahman and is completely
> dependent on Brahman. What now becomes the actual ontological status of the
> universe and the ontological status of our perception of the universe?
> Still both mithya?
> 17. Does the nitya-suddha-buddha-mukta-svarupa nirvisesha Brahman perceive
> or cognize the universe? Answer is no?
> 18. Is there the perception of this universe for the savisesha Brahman?
> Answer is yes?
> 19. Do you believe that, per “brahmavid brahmaiva bhavati”, a knower of
> Brahman (jnani) verily becomes (is) Brahman? Is this savisesha Brahman or
> nirvisesha Brahman? Answer is nirvisesha Brahman?
> 20. Does this knower of Brahman perceive or cognize the universe? Answer is
> no?
> 21. In Adhyasa Bhashya, right after stating the first definition of adhyasa
> as “smriti rupa …”, Bhagavan bhashyakara explains various theories of how
> adhyasa could occur. After the last theory, bhagavatpada states in the
> sentence “sarvathapi tu…” that the one common mechanism in adhyasa is
> “cognition of one thing having the qualities of another”.
> 22. Various later acharyas have called this particular section of the
> Bhashya as explanation of “khyati-vada (theory of error)”. Bhagavan
> bhashyakara calls this error (khyati) itself as adhyasa.
> 23. “Khyati”, as related to an incorrect cognition, is a term used in
> pre-Sankara period itself, such as PatajaliYogaSutra-2.5.
> 24. Various later acharyas, in their sub-commentaries, have explained that
> the common mechanism (sarvathapi tu ...) stated in the bhashya is the
> universal concept of “anirvachaniya khyati”.
> 25. Anirvachaniya, also because the various khyati vada can be broadly
> categorized as sat-khyati, asat-khyati or sat-asat-khyati. Bhagavatpada’s
> common explanation is an underlying thread amongst all these khyati vada.
> Hence it transcends being exclusively described as sat or asat or sat-asat.
> 26. In answering the question on how there can be a superimposition between
> light & dark or ‘I’ and ‘thou’, bhashyakara says that nevertheless
> (tathapi) this is a natural worldly experience of coupling the real &
> unreal
> 27. Though of mutually conflicting attributes and a logical impossibility,
> bhashyakara still says that adhyasa is still a common observation in the
> world and only explains it as a 'natural' (naisargikah) phenomenon.
> Implying that this phenomenon cannot be exactly described or is thus
> anirvachaniya.
> 28. This natural phenomenon is adhyasa
> 29. This adhyasa is also later termed as avidya
> 30. The entire gamut of loka vyavahara (secular and religious) depends on
> this adhyasa or is the effect of this adhyasa
> 31. Since adhyasa is also avidya, the entire gamut depends on and is the
> effect of this avidya
> 32. Since this natural phenomenon is anirvachaniya, the exact explanation
> for adhyasa or avidya is anirvachaniya
> 33. In other words, Adhyasa as a term is described as “atasmin tad buddhi”.
> But, how or why adhyasa take place in a certain way cannot be exactly
> described.
> 34. Examples of this anirvachaniya adhyasa are shell silver, double moon,
> rope snake, mirage, colored crystal, red hot iron ball, ‘I’-ness and
> ‘mine’-ness with BMI and objects
> 35. In all these examples, the resulting entity, the result of adhyasa, is
> distinct from the true object; and the true object doesn’t actually contain
> all the perceived qualities of the resulting entity
> 36. For example, when a rope is perceived as a snake, there is actually no
> snake whatsoever in the rope. The qualities of the snake are superimposed
> on the rope and the rope appears as the snake.
> 37. Prior to the perception of the rope as the snake, while the rope is
> perceived as the snake, after the true cognition of the rope as a rope,
> across all these periods, there is never actually a snake in the rope
> 38. The superimposed qualities, which actually are not present in the
> actual object, only appears to be present in the object during adhyasa
> 39. As long as the resulting adhyasa entity is perceived to be so, the
> entity is considered as real and existing
> 40. But on the dawn of true discriminative knowledge, the true nature and
> qualities of the actual object is perceived as-is
> 41. At this point the earlier cognition of the adhyasa entity is understood
> to be false and not actually present in the actual object
> 42. Because the adhyasa entity is actually not present in the actual
> object, the adhyasa entity cannot be called as sat
> 43. At the same time, because the adhyasa entity was experienced as
> existing prior to dawn of true knowledge, the adhyasa entity cannot be
> called as asat
> 44. Obviously the adhyasa entity cannot be both sat and asat simultaneously
> due to mutual contradiction
> 45. Thus the ontological status of the adhyasa entity is neither sat nor
> asat nor both (sadasat-vilakshana). The adhyasa entity is mithya
> 46. Since adhyasa is also called avidya, avidya too is only mithya
> 47. Since adhyasa or avidya is anirvachaniya, mithya too is anirvachaniya
> 48. Anirvachaniya is sadasat-vilakshana
> 49. Nirvisesha Brahman is perceived as savisesha Brahman due to adhyasa. In
> other words, the viseshanas are superimposed on Brahman
> 50. When adhyasa is overcome, the nirvisesha Brahman is realized as-is
> with humble prostrations,
> Vikram
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