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

H S Chandramouli hschandramouli at gmail.com
Mon Dec 25 02:57:47 EST 2023

Namaskaram Vikram Ji,

Reg  //  To clarify, can I say that even the snake just 'imagined' is not
actually absent of any locus, but still has the locus in the antahkarana of
the person imagining? //,

No. Not in my understanding. Snake as ज्ञान (j~nAna) (knowledge) or स्मृति
(smRRiti) (recollection) or ‘ imagined ‘ has antahkaraNa as its location.
Not as a vastu.


On Mon, Dec 25, 2023 at 4:46 AM Vikram Jagannathan <vikkyjagan at gmail.com>

> On Sat, Dec 23, 2023 at 9:50 PM Kuntimaddi Sadananda via Advaita-l <
> advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
>> Vikramji -PraNAms
>> Enjoyed reading your crisp itemized list.
>> It would be complete if you added two aspects of avidya - aavarana and
>> vkshepa aspects, and which one gets eliminated with Vedanta janita vidya.
>> Hari Om!Sadananda
> Namaskaram Acharya Shri Sadananda ji,
> Definitely! I missed calling out that the earlier set of 50 points was
> just an initial list for discussion and agreement. Thought that we will go
> deeper and cover more points of fundamental Advaita as we align on these
> first. Avarana and vikshepa aspects of avidya will be an important
> component of the next list. Thanks a lot for your review and words of
> encouragement.
> On Sun, Dec 24, 2023 at 7:08 AM Ramesam Vemuri <vemuri.ramesam at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> Shri Vikram Jagannathan JI,
>> Namaskarams and Kudos to you, Sir, for the excellent and clear pointwise
>> unambiguous listing of the fundamental approach that Advaita takes in its
>> doctrine.
>> I wish to make two observations, if you do not mind:
>> i)  A Deletion suggested:
>> Under the itemized list at # 12 is the sentence: "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. "
>> In the well-known 'snake-on-the-rope' analogy,  rope stands for the
>> formless and featureless *brahman* Itself. Therefore, I submit that the
>> words "rope itself" may be deleted.
>> ii)  Two Additions suggested:
>> (a)   In the "adhyAsa bhAShya," bhAShyakAra Shankara himself expresses
>> why or when "adhyAsa" does arise.
>> "The unattached Self (brahman) cannot become a cognizer with the activity
>> of perception etc., without accepting the senses, mind and body are Its
>> own.
>> (b)  "The Self (brahman) is not absolutely beyond apprehension, because
>> It is apprehended as the content of the concept "I"; and is self-revealing
>> entity.
> Namaskaram Shri Ramesam ji,
> I wholeheartedly welcome your suggestions, words of wisdom & encouragement.
> Regarding the 'deletion' suggestion ref. #12, though the title of this
> email thread focuses on the rope-snake analogy, my intent of reviewing the
> fundamentals is more holistic. Please permit me to clarify my intention: I
> agree with you that within the context of the illustration, rope is
> considered as sat as it illustrates the nirvisesha Brahman. For #12, I wish
> to call out that the examples of mithya entities are not limited to a
> specific illustration, but more from a holistic perspective. In that sense,
> the snake appearing instead of a rope, as well as the very rope itself
> (actual rope and not the analogy equivalent for nirvisesha Brahman) is
> mithya too. Rope (as the equivalent of Brahman) is considered as sat only
> within the context of the illustration, but outside the context even the
> rope is mithya only. The reason I deliberately included "rope itself" is to
> avoid a possibility that someone might just be focused on the illustration
> and fail to look at the bigger more holistic picture wherein even the rope
> is only mithya. Kindly let me know if we are in alignment here.
> Regarding the 'addition' suggestions; we will include both these in a
> subsequent set when we look at the adhyasa & avidya in more detail.
> On Sun, Dec 24, 2023 at 7:33 AM H S Chandramouli <hschandramouli at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> 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
> Namaskaram Shri Chandramouli ji,
> Thanks a lot for your suggestions. I will definitely take it up for
> consideration, and would like to discuss these points with you and other
> members in the group.
> I don't see any problem with adding "in any locus" to #11, while at the
> same time I believe it might just be redundant. To clarify, can I say that
> even the snake just 'imagined' is not actually absent of any locus, but
> still has the locus in the antahkarana of the person imagining? This is
> because an imagination is also an antahkarana vritti, with the locus as the
> antahkarana. With this, every imagination also becomes mithya alone. What
> then about the case of a hare's horn? Can someone imagine it; and if so,
> does it then lose its status as asat and becomes mithya? What then can be
> an example of asat, since any example can still be confined within the
> realm of thought or imagination. Of course, we cannot limit mithya to
> external entities alone, since then kevala-sakshi-vishaya like punya-papa
> will also become asat. But then, this brings up the next question of what
> exactly is the definition of asat? I would like to seek out references /
> definitions from our purvacharyas. Maybe there is never a 'thing' as asat,
> except from a relative perspective, because there is a direct contraction
> between a 'thing' and 'asat'.
> Nevertheless, I will add "in any locus" to the bullet in my next iteration.
> 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.
> Yes, Chandramouli ji; you are correct that there is a point of distinction
> between Brahman in #7 versus Brahman in #4 and #5. Brahman described in #7
> is designated as savisesha Brahman as stated in #9; whereas Brahman
> described in #4 is designated as nirvisesha Brahman as stated in #5. At the
> same time, there is only one Brahman alone and not two different Brahmans.
> The difference is only in our understanding of Brahman. This is
> precisely why we do not have an explicit designation of "nirguna Brahman /
> nirvisesha Brahman" or "saguna Brahman / savisesha Brahman" anywhere in
> vedanta. It is just Brahman. The context alone determines whether the said
> Brahman is considered in the nirvisesha svarupa (as the former) or is
> superimposed with various viseshanas (as the latter). This point is
> clarified in #49 and #50. Though Sankaracharya Bhagavatpada has taught us
> clear guidelines as to how one should understand from the context if
> Brahman should be considered in the svarupa aspect or be taken to possess
> the attributes, at times explicit designations are provided for clarity and
> convenience.
> To summarize, the real nature of Brahman is as indicated in #1 - #5. But
> in our current worldly experience we superimpose attributes on the
> attributeless entity (#49). Brahman as the result of our ignorant
> superimposition is considered in #6 - #9. It is one Brahman alone in
> different perspectives.
>> 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
> Agreed. In the context of current discussion, clarity is more important
> for alignment. I will update the points to state "Chaitanya" for nirvisesha
> Brahman and "Isvara" for savisesha Brahman. A quick note - there are some
> contradictions and clarifications in "maya visishta nirvisesha Brahman" and
> "maya upahita nirvisesha Brahman", which can be discussed later.
> For easier reference and updates, I have uploaded the updated list to
> archives ->
> https://archive.org/details/reflections-on-fundamentals-of-advaita
> with humble prostrations,
> Vikram
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