[Advaita-l] Definition of Ashrayatva and Vishayatva

Venkatraghavan S agnimile at gmail.com
Sun Jan 28 01:01:46 EST 2024

Namaste Chandramouli ji,

Thank you for sharing the references. Again, very interesting aspects
brought out in the comments below by Dr Raja and Suryanarayana Shastri. The
natural question it leads to is who is Ishvara in the bhAmati system that
uses the ignorance located in the jIva to create the world. Some answers
are found in the references provided by Dr Raja and S. Shastri themselves.

I checked the commentary to the Vedanta Paribhasha by Anantakrishna
Sastrigal and read what he has to say on the topic.

He says that in the commentary to the siddhAntu bindu, brahmAnanda
sarasvatI says that the determining factor for what is the cause of the
universe is where ignorance resides, and on that basis, it is the jIva that
is the cause of the universe according to vAchaspati miSra - because he
(vAchaspati) holds that ignorance resides in the jIva.

However, Anantakrishna Shastrigal goes on to say that the Kalapataru says
that according to vAchaspati miSra, Brahman is the cause of the universe.

In support, he quotes a verse from the Kalpataru commentary to the
jagatvAcitva-adhikaraNam / bAlAkyadhikaraNam.

The kalpatarukAra writes the following verse on the phrase जगत्कर्तृत्वस्य
च ब्रह्मणोऽन्यत्रासम्भवात् of the bhAmati -

जगत्कर्तृत्वमन्यत्र ब्रह्मणो नेति दुष्यति। वाचस्पतावुपालम्भमनालोच्योचिरे
जीवाज्जज्ञे जगत्सर्वं सकारणमिति ब्रुवन्।
क्षिपन् समन्वयं जीवे न लेजे वाक्पतिः कथम्?॥

So, in vAchaspati's view, Brahman is the creator of the world even if
ignorance is located in the jIva.

I don't think this is the support for the vichAra sAgara statement that the
intent of the bhAmatikAra is that Brahman is the locus of ignorance, and it
is notionally said to be located in the jIva on the basis of something
located in the visheShya is notionally said to be located in the vishiShTa


On Sun, 28 Jan 2024, 00:17 H S Chandramouli, <hschandramouli at gmail.com>

> 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.
> //
> xxxvi
> 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) // .
> Regards

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