Earlier, MadhusUdana set forth the objective of establishing the unreality (mithyAtva) of duality (dvaita), or in other words the unreality of the world (jaganmithyAtva).

 After a brief digression of navya-nyAya, we will now look at the first definition of mithyAtva (unreality) that comes under attack from the mAdhva opponent. This definition is the one given by PadmapAdAchArya in his PanchapAdikA.


    atha prathamamithyAtva-vichAraH |

  The opponent criticizes the definition of mithyAtva as follows:

  nanu kimidaM mithyAtvaM sAdhyate, na tAvat.h "mithyAshabdo-

 anirvachanIyatAvachana" iti panchapAdikAvachanAt.h sadasad-

 anadhikaraNatvarUpamanirvAchyatvam.h, taddhi kiM asatva-

 vishishhTa-sattvAbhAvaH, uta sattvAtyantAbhAva-asattva-atyanta-

 abhAvarUpaM dharmadvayam.h, Ahosvit.h sattvAtyanta-abhAvavatve

 sati asattva-atyanta-abhAvarUpaM vishishhTam.h |

  Now, what is this unreality (mithyAtva) that (you) want to infer (as characterizing the world)? This unreality is by no means non-definability as defined by the statement of the panchapAdikA that the word mithyA (unreal) is denoted by non-definability, the non-definability being of the nature of NOT being the substratum (adhikaraNa) of either existence or non-existence. What is "not being the substratum of existence or non-existence"?

  Is it 1) the absence of existence qualified by non-existence or 2) the pair of attributes of a. absolute absence of existence and b. absolute absence of non-existence, or 3) the property of the absolute absence of nonexistence during the absolute absence of existence, ie. being a common substratum of the attributes - the absolute absence of existence and the absolute absence of non-existence?

  nAdyaH, sattvamAtrAdhAre jagatyasattvavishishhTasattva-anabhyu- pagamAt, vishishhTa-abhAva-sAdhane siddha-sAdhanAt.h |

  (You) cannot (claim) the first (regarding the world) because the world is the substratum of only existence (sattva) and existence qualified by non-existence is not admitted. And by proving the absence of existence as qualified by non-existence , (you commit the flaw of) proving what is already established (siddha-sAdhana).

  [Please see Note 1 below]

  na dvitIyaH, sattva-asattvayorekAbhAve aparasattva-avashyakatvena

 vyAghAtAt.h, nirdharmakabrahmavatsattva-asattva-rAhitye .api

 sadrUpatvena amithyAtvopapattyA arthAntarAchcha, shuktirUpye

 abAdhyatvarUpasattva-vyatirekasya sattvena bAdhyatvarUpa-asattvasya

 vyatireka-asiddhyA sAdhyavaikalyAchcha |

  (You) cannot (claim) the second. Because, wherever there is an absence of one of existence and nonexistence, there the presence of the other is necessary; this leads to a contradiction. (Also), the world, just like the Brahman without attributes, even being without the attributes, existence and nonexistence, by (its very) nature of existence, is established as NOT unreal; this would lead to (the defect of) arthAntara, proving something other than what is to be proved. In the silver-in-nacre (example of illusion that is often quoted by advaitins to show the ontological status of the world), (we grant that) it (silver-nacre) is without existence whose nature is non-sublatability (noncontradicted-ness), (but) the absence of nonexistence, whose nature is sublatibility (contradicted-ness), is NOT established; this leads to the defectiveness of (your) sAdhya, what (you) seek to prove.

  [Please see Note 2 below]

  ata eva na tR^itIyaH, pUrvavadvyAghAtAt.h, arthAntarAtsAdhya- vaikalyAchcha

  For the very same reason(s) as before, the third (alternative in defining mithyAtva, ie. the common substratum of the attributes, absolute absence of existence and the absolute absence of nonexistence) cannot (be claimed) because of the fallacies of contradiction (violation of the law of the excluded middle), proving something other than what is intended, and defectiveness of the sAdhya.

  MadhusUdana now begins his reply thus:

  iti chet.h, maivam.h

  If this is what you say, it is unjustified.


 Note 1: BrahmAnanda points out that the siddha-sAdhana allegation  made by the mAdhva in his criticism of the first alternative to defining sadasadanadhikaraNatva is not technically accurate. Here is why:

  mAdhvamate alIkasyaiva-atyanta-abhAva-svIkAreNokta-vishishhTa-

 pratiyogika-abhAvaprasiddhAvapi matAntare tadaprasiddhirityapi bodhyam.h |

  Even though the absolute absence of an alIka (fictitious entity) is accepted by mAdhvas and the absence of the qualified adjunct is (accepted) as exampled, in some other system (mata) it is not exampled (and, therefore, it is not accepted.)

  ViTThalesha clarifies here that matAntare means naiyAyikAdi mate, among naiyAyikas, etc.

 The argument is this. The first alternative to sadasadanadhikara- Natva is claimed by the mAdhva as leading to sidhha-sAdhana, establishing what is already accepted. But this is true only in the case of mAdhva's system, not in the case of others such as naiyAyikas who do not accept the negation of a purely fictitious entity. For example, the sentence "a hare with horns is not in the forest" is not accepted by the naiyAyikas because it involves the negation of a purely fictitious entity, a hare with horns. The naiyAyikas absolutely insist that what is being negated must be an exampled entity. The naiyAyikas are extreme realists as much as mAdhvas are. If any false knowledge creeps into the inference process, the naiyAyika feels that the whole process is suspect. Therefore, he insists that any and all terms that are used in an inference must be only exampled terms, not unexampled terms, fictitious terms. In fact, vAtsyAyana makes it clear in the nyAya-sUtra-bhAshhya that the conclusion that is to be proved must be possible - saMbhavastAvat.h pratiGYa.

  In any case, the naiyAyika would also object to the first alternative in defining sadasadanadhikaraNatva, just as the mAdhva does, but for a different reason.

  Note 2: Here, the opponent argues that the world (with duality) could be just like Brahman in that Brahman does not have existence as an attribute but existence is Brahman. So the duality of the world can also be such that existence is not an attribute but its very nature. If the advaitin admits this, he would be proving something other than what he wishes  to prove.