[Advaita-l] BhAvarUpatA of avidyA

Praveen R. Bhat bhatpraveen at gmail.com
Thu Feb 1 06:59:37 EST 2024

Namaste Sudhanshuji,

On Wed, Jan 31, 2024 at 10:37 AM Sudhanshu Shekhar via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> In the lakshaNa of avidyA,  अनादिभावरूपं यद्विज्ञानेन विलीयते । तदज्ञानमिति
> प्राज्ञा लक्षणं संप्रचक्षते ॥, the word bhAvarUpa is explained to mean
> abhAva-vilakshaNa. Here, what exactly does the abhAva in
> "abhAva-vilakshaNa" refer to?

I suppose this lakShaNa is from Chitsukhi and I think it covers both of the
following, with na~n in virodhArtha.

> 1. Does it refer to nirvishesha-abhAva like horns of hare or does it refer
> to vishesha-abhAva such as pot-abhAva, cloth-abhAva?
> 2. Is abhAva-vilakshaNa intended to distinguish avidyA from asat OR is it
> to distinguish avidyA from prAgabhAva, pradhvansAbhAva, anyonyAbhAva,
> atyantAbhAva etc.

Since there is a pratiti of avidyA, it is atyAntAsatvilakShaNa and since it
also covers tUlAvidyA, it is also ghaTAbhAvAdivilakShaNa. I am not sure how
2 is seeking anything different from 1, because if abhAva covers both
meanings then bhAvarUpa being abhAvavilakShaNa also covers both meanings.
Naiyayikas' four abhAvas are w.r.t. viShaya not jnAna and their ajnAna is
abhAva of jnAna, not virodhi, so Vedanti's bhAvarUpatva of ajnAna has to be
vilakShaNa to their abhAva.

--Praveen R. Bhat
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