[Advaita-l] BhAvarUpatA of avidyA

Sudhanshu Shekhar sudhanshu.iitk at gmail.com
Thu Feb 1 08:15:16 EST 2024

Namaste Venkat ji.

Many thanks. It is crystal clear. The very fact that AchArya is mentioning
that tuchchha does not have abhAva-vilakshaNatA (and hence
sAdhana-avachchhinna-sAdhya is not present in tuchchha) implies that abhAva
in the definition of avidyA takes within its purview asat also.

Many thanks for clear explanation. I had missed that.

Namaste Chandramouli ji.

That was another question.


On Thu, 1 Feb, 2024, 5:51 pm Venkatraghavan S, <agnimile at gmail.com> wrote:

> Namaste Sudhanshu ji,
> With respect to your question:
>> 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.
> It refers to both. Why does abhAva in abhAvavilakshaNatva refer to asat?
> In the avidyA lakshaNopapattih chapter, the siddhikAra had said that the
> definition of avidyA was अनादिभावरूपत्वे सति ज्ञाननिवर्त्या सेति, based on
> the chitsukhI verse quoted by you. He had then said that  भावत्वं
> चात्राभावविलक्षणत्वमात्रं विवक्षितम्. To this the pUrvapakshI questions the
> purpose of the qualifier, विशेषणान्तरवैयर्थ्यम्, and had given an
> anumAna अज्ञानम् अनिवर्त्यं अभावविलक्षणत्वात् आत्मवत् - ajnAnam is not
> sublatable because it is different from the non-existent, like the Atma.
> To such an anumAna, the siddhikAra had shown आत्मत्वं as an upAdhi, आत्मत्वस्यैवोपाधित्वात्।
> Here, upAdhi means the defect in the anumAna, not the upAdhi of the
> sopAdhika bhrama. That is defined in the tarka sangraha as साध्य
> व्यापकत्वे सति साधन अव्यापकत्वं उपाधि: - ie a factor that is present
> wherever the sAdhya is present, but not present wherever the sAdhana is
> present.
> The sAdhya of the anumAna is अनिवर्त्यं. The hetu is अभावविलक्षणत्वात्. आत्मत्वं
> is present wherever अनिवर्त्यं is present, howveer, आत्मत्वं is not
> present in अज्ञानम् which has  अभावविलक्षणत्वं, hence this is an upAdhi.
> The opponent then tries to argue that  आत्मत्वं cannot be an upAdhi to
> his anumAna, and says: तुच्छे साध्याव्याप्तिः, meaning he wants to say
> that तुच्छ is अनिवर्त्यं - ie it is not sublatable, hence the hetu is
> present. However, the supposed upAdhi of  आत्मत्वं is not present. So
> आत्मत्वं does not have साध्य व्यापकत्वं, and hence cannot be an upAdhi to
> his anumAna.
> To this the siddhikAra says:  न च तुच्छे साध्याव्याप्तिः।
> अभावविलक्षणत्वरूपसाधनावच्छिन्नसाध्यव्यापकत्वोपपत्तेः। - you cannot say that
> there is sAdhya avyApti for the upAdhi in the case of tucCha, because we
> are only interested in only those instances of the sAdhya which is
> abhAvavilakshaNAvacChinnam, meaning wherever there is
> abhAvavilakshaNAvicChanna anivartyatvam, there Atmatvam is certainly
> present. What does he want to say by this?
> We do not have to consider the case of the tucCha for this anumAna because
> it does not possess an anivartyatvam that is abhAvavilakshaNAvacChinna.
> Therefore, this means that the abhAva vilakshaNatvam mentioned in the
> definition of avidyA is meant to exclude tucCha also.
> What is the purpose of the definition then? It is to remove the
> possibility of the definition of avidyA extending to jnAna prAgabhAva or
> jnAna-janya-kArya-prAgabhAva भावपदस्य ज्ञानप्रागभावे
> ज्ञानजन्यकार्यप्रागभावे चातिव्याप्तिवारकत्वेन सार्थकत्वात्।
> If it excludes tucCha and prAgabhAva, it excludes other atyanta-,
> dhvamsa-, and anyonya- also.
> However, they are not relevant here, because when definition avidyA in
> this manner, one is not concerned with jnAna atyantAbhAva etc, one is
> concerned with jnAna prAgabhAva only (because we have already qualified
> avidyA as jnAna-nivartyA in the definition, and that already precludes
> jnAna atyantAbhAva, anyonyAbhAva, and dhvamsa).
> Kind regards,
> Venkatraghavan

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