advaita-siddhi - 8 (more on the arthAntara charge)

In the previous part of the series, we have seen how MadhusUdana refutes the charge of arthAntara, ie. proving something other than what he intended to. Next, MadhusUdana shows how mithyAtva can be redefined so that the opponent cannot even dream (no pun intended!) of making the charge of arthAntara. MadhusUdana alternatively defines mithyAtva as the absolute difference from sattva and the absolute difference from asattva. It must be noted that this alternative definition is not a new definition; it is entirely equivalent to the one accepted so far, ie. the absolute absence of sattva and the absolute absence of asattva. The alternate definition makes use of mutual absence or anyonya-abhAva as opposed to atyanta-abhAva in the first definition.


 satpratiyogika-asatpratiyogikabhedadvayaM vA sAdhyam.h | tathAcha

 ubhayAtmakatve .anyatarAtmakatve vA, tAdR^igbheda-asaMbhavena

 tAbhyAmarthAntara-anavakAshaH |

  Alternatively, (we may define) the sAdhya (the unreality of duality,  mithyAtva) to be the difference that has existence as its counter-  positive AND the difference that nonexistence as its counter-positive.  (Simply put, mithyAtva is that which is different from existence AND  different from nonexistence as well.) And there is no scope for (charging  us with) arthAntara due to this because such difference from both  (existence and nonexistence) or difference from one of them  is not  possible (according to our other opponents- the logicians led by  Gangesha, the Buddhists, and the view of VAchaspati Mishra in the  nyAyavArttikatAtparyaTIkA).

Explanation by BrahmAnanda and explanation of BrahmAnanda's explanation by ViTThalesha

 BrahmAnanda (in his laghuchandrikA):

  bhedeti AtyantikabhedetyarthaH |

  By "bheda" (difference) (MadhusUdana) means "absolute difference."

 ViTThalesha (in his viTThaleshopAdhyAyI):

  nanu prapaJNchasya sadasadubhayarUpatAmate sadbheda-asadbhedayorapi

  avachchhedakabhedena tatra sattvAt.h siddhasAdhanaM ata Aha -  Atyantiketi |

  Now, even as per the view that the world is both real and unreal,  the difference from "sat" and difference from "asat" are present  there as limiting differences. This leads to siddha-sAdhana (doshha),  establishing what is already established (since such a view is already  held by VAchaspati Mishra in his nyAyavArttikatAtparyaTIkA.) Therefore,  (in order to refute this charge) (BrahmAnanda) says "(the difference)  is absolute."

  [ MadhusUdana uses the word bheda which BrahmAnanda clarifies to be  not  difference used loosely but absolute and complete difference.  Otherwise, the opponent can say that as per the view that holds the world  to be both real and unreal, a partial difference from reality and a  partial difference from unreality can be said to characterize the world.  And this would lead to the objection: "You are proving what has already  been proved."]


  ubhayAtmakatve iti|

  "bhramavishhayIbhUta-alIkasaMsargavishishhTAdirUpeNa prapaJNcho .alIkaH

   rUpAntareNa tu satya " iti nyAyapeTikAkAravAchaspatyuktapaxe ityarthaH |

   (MadhusUdana says) "in (defining the world as having) the nature of   both (sat and asat)." This means the view of VAchaspati Mishra in   his nyAyavArtikatAtparyaTIkA according to which "As the world is the   object of erroneous cognition (such as silver-in-nacre), due to being   qualified by the false relation, it (the world) is false. But in its   other capacity, the world is real."

   ViTThalesha explains:

   "bhramavishhayIbhUta-alIkasaMsargavishishhTAdirUpeNa prapaJNcho .alIka"

   iti| idaMrajatamityAdibhrameshhu satye dharmiNi satyameva hi dR^ishyaM

   rajatAdikaM alIkasaMbandhena bhAsate, tatra svarUpataH satyayorapi-ida


   In illusions such as "this is silver" (ie. illusion of silver in nacre),   a real object such as silver appears in the real subject (but) with a   false relation. In such a case, even though "this" and silver are   real in themselves, due to being qualified by a false relation they   are unreal.

   [In the illusion, "this is silver", the "this" and silver indicate   real objects of cognition. Silver in itself is a real object. So is   the thing indicated by "this". The fact that I am seeing something   which I call "this" is true. Also, it is true that I have seen   silver before. But the mistake I make is in identifying "this"   with silver when I say "this is silver." So VAchaspati Mishra holds   (in his nyAya text) that in an illusion, there is a false (alIka)   relation between real things that are related by such a false relation.   The relata are real in themselves but as relata of the false relation,   they are unreal. The false relation in the illusion "this is silver" is   the relation of identity (tAdAtmya). We will see next that  this view   is extended to define the world as being both real and unreal.]

   etanmate brahmaNi prapaJNchasya-alIkasaMbandhena bhrama iti na

   bhramitavyam.h | idami rajatasyeva tatra tattatpadArthAnAM

   bhramAnAdAyaiva sarvasyApi prapaJNchasya-alIkatopapatteH |

   (But) this view should not be mistaken as (holding) that there is a   case of illusion due to the false relation of the world with Brahman.   For, just as in the case of (the illusion of) "this" and silver,   the illusions of various things in the world cause the whole world   to be established as unreal.


   idaMtvarajatatvAdinA pramA-vishhayIbhUta-satyasaMsarga-vishishhTa-

   rUpeNa vetyarthaH|

   (By) "rUpAntareNa tu satyaH" (is meant): (But) by the nature of being   relata of a real relation that is the object of right knowledge,   things denoted by "silver", "this", etc. (and the whole world) (are   real).   [pramA is right or valid knowledge and bhrama is erroneous knowledge   or illusion. In pramA, a real relation is cognized among real objects   and so far as pramA is concerned, these objects are also real. In   bhrama, a false relation appears to be existing among objects that   are real in themselves. But due to the false relation, the reality   of the relata of the false relation is also denied. Thus it is that   the world is both real and unreal, since its objects can be relata   of both real and false cognitions. This is the view of VAchaspati   in his nyAyavArtikatAtparyaTIkA.]


   [Next, BrahmAnanda explains what MadhusUdana means when he says   "anyatarAtmakatve" ]


   anyatarAtmakatve iti | bhramavishhayo .api saMsargo deshAntarastha-

   tvAt.h satya iti prapaJNchaH satya eveti paxe,

   As per the view (of the realists, naiyAyikas), even though the relation   (of identity, for example in "this is silver") is the content of  erroneous knowledge, it is real because it occurs (as the content of  valid knowledge, pramA) in other places. Therefore, (all things in  the world are real and) the world is real.

  [The naiyAyikas led by Gangesha of the navya-nyAya school, who are   realists-to-the-core insist that erroneous  cognition or illusion is   really due some defect (doshha). "doshho  .apramAyA janakaH"   says VishvanAtha in the bhAshhA-parichchheda.  When there is an illusion "this is silver" with respect to nacre,  the memory of silver color, the similarity of the color being seen  with silver, and other defects such as improper light, poor  vision, etc., cause the illusion. But when real silver is being  seen, the same cognition "this is silver" becomes a valid knowledge,  pramA. So the cognition "this is silver", though erroneous due to  defect(s) in one place, can become valid in some other place. Hence,  there is no cognition of the unreal any time. And the world is real.]


   GYAnAtiriktarUpeNa-alIka eva prapaJNcho vikalpavishhaya iti paxe   chetyarthaH |

  And, as per the view (of the vijnAnavAdi-bauddha's), the world is  only false (unreal) because it is absolutely different from  consciousness and is a figment of imagination. This is the meaning.

  [Among the three views presented so far, it is obvious that absolute  difference from sattva is not possible in the case of VAchaspati  Mishra's view in his nyAya text and the view of the vijnAnavAdi-  Buddhists cannot admit an absolute difference from asattva. The naiyAyika  (logician) says the world is real, but then what MadhusUdana has said is  that the world is absolutely different from both the real (sattva) and the  unreal (asattva). Hence, none of the three views is identical to the  advaita view. This means that there can be no arthAntara in establishing  that the world is absolutely different from sattva and absolutely  different from asattva. BrahmAnanda next clarifies that the definition  given by  MadhusUdana that includes absolute difference from sattva rules  out any arthAntara charge made against advaita in the following manner.  "Since  Vachaspati's nyAya text says that the world is both real and  unreal, this is equivalent to saying that the world is different from the  real and the  unreal. So your definition of the world as being different  from sattva and  asattva is not going to prove mithyAtva at all. It is  going to prove the  view of Vachaspati in his nyAya text which is not the  view of advaita. Hence the arthAntara." ]


   anavakAsha iti | asattvAbhAvasya kevalaprapaJNche sattvasya

   tadupahitaprapaJNche svIkAre sattvopahitaprapaJNchasya kevala-

   prapaJNche tAdAtmyasattvAnna tatraikAntikaH sadbheda iti bhAvaH|

   The purport of (Madhusudana's saying) "anavakAsha" is: (Even by)   accepting the absence of asattva in the whole world which (also)   depends on sattva (since the world is also said to be sat as per   Vachaspati in his nyAya text), the world which thus depends on   sattva and this sattva-dependent part is identified in the whole   world, there is NO absolute difference from sat, (which is what   our definition of sadasadanadhikaraNatva requires).

   [Even though "both real and unreal" can be construed as "different   from real and different from unreal", this view does not entail,    for example, "absolutely different from real" which is what   MadhusUdana's definition requires. So there is no arthAntara   whatsoever].