[Advaita-l] Definition of Ashrayatva and Vishayatva

H S Chandramouli hschandramouli at gmail.com
Sat Jan 27 11:17:04 EST 2024

Namaste Venkat Ji,

There does seem to be reference to this topic in Bhamati-Kalpataru. Also
discussed elaborately in his commentary on Vedanta Paribhasha by Sri
Anantakrishna Shastri Ji which also gives reference to Bhamati Kalpataru. A
novel interpretation has been presented by Prof Suryanarayana Shastri  and
Dr Kunhan Raja in their  introduction to Bhamati Chatusutri which I have
copied below. References to the above texts are also available therein. It
would take me quite some time to go through these  texts. If you have the
time, you may like to go through these and post your views here as to
whether they support the view taken in Vichara Sagara.



And this is all the more difficult to comprebend in the case of Vacaspati,
who begins his work with due invocation to Bhava, Kartikeya and Ganapati,
and throughout his work betrays little trace of the atheism that is his
apparent conclusion. There is no doubt, however, that the possibility of an
atheistic conclusion must have struck many of his critics, as the author of
the Kalpataru is anxious to make out repeatedly that Vacaspati does
recognise Is'vara and that they are fools who say there is no place for
Isvara in his system. The truth of the matter seems to be this. Ignorance
is bi-polar. It is located somewhere, i.e., it belongs to some one; and it
has a content. Though the jiva is the locus, the content is Isvara. When
ordinarily we use the possessive pronoun 'mine' or his, we imply in the
-person capacity to control what is referred to. Not so in the case of
ignorance; I mean by " my ignorance" the ignorance that is in me, not the
ignorance that I can control. The control of avidya belongs not to me with
my limited powers of knowing and acting, but to the omniscient and
omnipotent Being. Isvara too may be said to be the asraya of ignorance, if
by åsraya is meant the content, but not its locus (ådhara). When,
therefore, it is said that my ignorance creates the universe, it does not
follow that I create the universe; rather does it mean that Isvara, the
content of my ignorance, uses the ignorance that is in me and out of that
as material cause, evolves the world; the ignorance in me, the maya, the
prakṛti is the primal material cause; he who wields it for fashioning the
world, the måyin, the arch-juggler, is Isvara.'

At no time then do we have Isvara without the jīvas or the jivas. without
Isvara. Ignorance is the condition of the existence of both. And when there
is ignorance, it must exist somewhere and it must have a content. When this
polarity of ignorance is resolved, ignorance itself is transcended and
Brahmanhood fully realised. But when ignorance exists, Isvara is the image
which is reflected, as it were, in the various nesciences. The reflections
are the jivas.

( 1 We are indebted to Mahamahopadhyaya Prof. S. Kuppuswami S'astriar,
M.A., I.E.S., for considerahle help in understanding this part of the
doctrine. See further on the same topic, Mahamaho- padhyaya N. S.
Anantakṛṣṇa Sastri's commentary on the Vedanta- paribhasa, first edition,
Calcutta, pp. 2-3. Reference may be made to the Kalpataru, particularly p.
404 ) .

Vacaspati does not hold that the jivas are literally reflections, since
there can he reflection only of what is visible and in what is visible; and
neither Brahman nor avidya can he said to possess visible form.

But he has no objection to using the analogy of reflection extensively. The
diversities of jivas are compared to the diversities of the reflections of
one face in different media, such as a gem, a sword, a mirror. Vacaspati's
own conception of the relation of the jiva to Brahman is that of
finitisation of the infinite. Ether is infinite and all-pervasive; but it
seems to be confined in a pot as it were; and when the pot is moved, though
the pot alone is moved, there seems to be a motion of the ether in it as
well. In the same way Universal Spirit defined by the internal organ etc.,
is the jiva; when the defining adjuncts are got rid of, there is no longer
any difference between the jiva and Brahman. The finitising is bi-polar; at
one pole stands Is'vara and at the other the jiva. It is not that Brahman
is first reflected as Isvara and that the jivas are reflections of this
reflection, or that Isvara is a reflection in one medium and the jivas
reflections in another medium.'

Vacaspati's position in this question of whether the jiva is an avaccheda
or a pratibimba is discussed fully by Appayya Dikṣita in the Parimala, at
the close of I, i, 4, where he shows that Vacaspati favours the
avaccheda-vida. Some advaitins hold that maya is different from avidyas,
that the former is collective and single while the latter are diverse, or
that in the former the sattva constituent is pure, while in the latter it
is impure; and they say that Is'vara is the reflection of Brahman in maya,
while the jivas are the reflections of Brahman in avidya. Snch a view makes
Is'vara very remote and leaves Him little in common with the jivas. For the
various views, see the Siddhantalesasangraha, 1st pariccheda, pp. 66-104
(Kumbakonam edition) // .

On Sat, Jan 27, 2024 at 4:45 PM Venkatraghavan S <agnimile at gmail.com> wrote:

> Namaste Chandramouli ji,
> That is very interesting. I wonder if there is any textual basis for this
> - e.g. any statements from the sub-commentators of the bhAmati.
> Regards,
> Venkatraghavan
> On Sat, 27 Jan 2024, 18:01 H S Chandramouli, <hschandramouli at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> Namaste Venkat Ji,
>> Vichara Sagara has an interesting interpretation for the view of Sri
>> Vachaspati Mishra in Bhamati on this issue.
>> Topic 259, PDF page 255, Foot Note 1
>> //  1.  'अहमज्ञः' इत्यनुभवबलादज्ञानस्याश्रयो जीव इति वाचस्पति मिश्रा आहुः
>> । अयं पक्षो मुमुक्षुबुद्धौ सुखं प्रविशेदिति तैस्तथा वर्णितम् । वस्तुतः
>> तेषामेवमाशय:---- अहंशब्दस्य वाच्यार्थोऽन्त:करणविशिष्टचैतन्यरूपो जीवः ।
>> तत्र विशेष्यांशभूत साक्षिचैतन्यमेव ब्रह्म । तच्च ब्रह्माज्ञानस्याश्रयः ।
>> विशेष्यधर्मस्य विशिष्ठे व्यवहार इति न्यायेन जीवस्याज्ञानाश्रयत्वव्यपदेशः
>> कृतः । //
>> //  1.      'ahamaj~naH' ityanubhavabalAdaj~nAnasyAshrayo jIva iti
>> vAchaspati mishrA AhuH | ayaM pakSho mumukShubuddhau sukhaM pravishediti
>> taistathA varNitam | vastutaH teShAmevamAshaya:---- ahaMshabdasya
>> vAchyArtho.anta:karaNavishiShTachaitanyarUpo jIvaH | tatra
>> visheShyAMshabhUta sAkShichaitanyameva brahma | tachcha
>> brahmAj~nAnasyAshrayaH | visheShyadharmasya vishiShThe vyavahAra iti
>> nyAyena jIvasyAj~nAnAshrayatvavyapadeshaH kRRitaH | //
>> Translation by Smt Bhuvaneswari  //  'I am ignorant', by the strength of
>> this experiential means, the locus of ignorance is jīva, and this is the
>> view of Vacaspati Miśra. This view can be easily understood by the seekers,
>> and hence this has been described in this manner by him. In fact, his idea
>> is this - The primary meaning of the word 'I' is the jiva in the form of
>> Consciousness attributed with the mind. Here, the witness Consciousness
>> which is the substantial part is Brahman. That Brahman is the locus of
>> ignorance. By the maxim 'the mixture of substance with its quality alone is
>> the mode for transaction'; the locus of ignorance as jiva has been said
>> // .
>> Regards
>> On Sat, Jan 27, 2024 at 2:01 PM Venkatraghavan S via Advaita-l <
>> advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
>>> Namaste Subbuji
>>> Thank you.
>>> The Ashraya of avidyA in the bhAmati prasthAna is the jIva.
>>> Some examples:
>>> 1) in the adhyAsa bhAShya commentary he says that the locus of avidyA is
>>> the samsAri jIvAtma - तदनेनान्तःकरणाद्यवच्छिन्नः प्रत्यगात्मा
>>> इदमनिदंस्वरूपश्चेतनः कर्ता भोक्ता कार्यकारणाविद्याद्वयाधारोऽहङ्कारास्पदं
>>> संसारी सर्वानर्थसम्भारभाजनं जीवात्मा इतरेतराध्यासोपादानः,
>>> तदुपादानश्चाध्यास
>>> इत्यनादित्वाद् बीजाङ्कुरवन्नेतरेतराश्रयत्वमित्युक्तं भवति ।
>>> 2) नाविद्या ब्रह्माश्रया, किं तु जीवे, सा त्वनिर्वचनीयेत्युक्तम् , तेन
>>> नित्यशुद्धमेव ब्रह्म ।
>>> 3) He addresses the charge of the samkshepa shAriraka of पूर्वसिद्धतमसो
>>> हि
>>> पश्चिमो नाश्रयो भवति नापि गोचरः by saying that as both the jIvabhAva and
>>> avidyA are beginningless, it is possible for the jIva to be the locus of
>>> avidyA while at the same time being dependent on it for his jIvabhAva,
>>> like
>>> the seed and the sapling -
>>> न चाविद्यायां सत्यां जीवात्मविभागः, सति च जीवात्मविभागे
>>> तदाश्रयाविद्येत्यन्योन्याश्रयमिति साम्प्रतम् । अनादित्वेन
>>> जीवाविद्ययोर्बीजाङ्कुरवदनवकॢप्तेरयोगात् ।
>>> Kind regards,
>>> Venkatraghavan
>>> On Sat, 27 Jan 2024, 13:01 V Subrahmanian, <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com>
>>> wrote:
>>> > In the Panchadashi, 6th chapter too the concept is mentioned:
>>> >
>>> > जलव्योम्ना घटाकाशोयथा सर्वस्तिरोहितः ।
>>> > तथा जीवेन कूटस्थः सोऽन्योऽन्याध्यास उच्यते ॥ २४॥
>>> >
>>> > अयं जीवो न कूटस्थं विविनक्ति कदाचन ।
>>> > अनादिरविवेकोऽयं मूलाविद्येति गम्यताम् ॥ २५॥
>>> >
>>> > विक्षेपावृतिरूपाभ्यां द्विधाविद्या प्रकल्पिता ।न भाति नास्ति कूटस्थ
>>> इत्यापादनमावृतिः ॥ २६॥
>>> >
>>> > अज्ञानी विदुषा पृष्टः कूटस्थं न प्रबुध्यते ।न भाति नास्ति कूटस्थ इति
>>> बुद्ध्वा वदत्यपि ॥ २७॥
>>> >
>>> > स्वप्रकाशे कुतोऽविद्या तां विना कथमावृतिः ।
>>> > इत्यादितर्कजालानि स्वानुभूतिर्ग्रसत्यसौ ॥ २८॥
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > From the other Acharyas that have spoken on this, can we conclude that
>>> > this concept of ashrayatva-vishayatva is of the Vivarana school?  Does
>>> not
>>> > the Bhamati bother about this at all?
>>> >
>>> > regards
>>> > subbu
>>> >

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