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

H S Chandramouli hschandramouli at gmail.com
Sun Dec 24 08:32:53 EST 2023

Namaskaram Vikram Ji,

Reg  //  Ontologically, asat is that which is never experienced as existing.
Hare’s horn is asat //,

In my understanding, the words ** in any locus ** needs to be added at the
end of ** as existing **. This is to avoid any mixup with all *imagined **
entities being understood as asat. For example, a snake just ** imagined**
(not as ** it is a snake**) is also nonexistent. Because just the word **
snake ** being imagined implies absence of any locus. But snake itself
cannot be called asat.

Incidentally this was why I had suggested earlier that the word
**imagined** with reference to rope-snake as inappropriate, because the
experience there is **It is a snake**, implying a locus which is
experienced through a pramANa.

You may like to consider



On Sun, Dec 24, 2023 at 6:44 PM H S Chandramouli <hschandramouli at gmail.com>

> 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  nirvisesha 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
> Regards
> 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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