Posted by: adbhutam | July 24, 2009

THE TREATMENT OF AVIDYA IN ADVAITA

ShrIgurubhyo namaH

The Treatment of Avidya in Advaita

Avidya is ignorance.  What does this mean?  In the adhyAsa bhashya the Acharya has said:

1, //Tametam evam-lakshanam-adhyasam panditAH avidyeti manyante.  Tadvivekena vastu-svarUpAvadhAraNam vidyAmAhuH.//

A little later, in this document itself He says:

2. //adhyAso nAma atasminstadbuddhirityavochAma//

Now, here it appears that the Acharya has given a definition of Avidya.  In simple terms Avidya = adhyasa.  AdhyAsa is normally translated as ‘misapprehension’, wrong cognition, viparIta pratipatti, etc.  The main idea is that adhyasa means seeing/mistaking one thing in the place of another.  For example: Mistaking nacre to be silver.

This is not the only place the Acharya has given us what He means by Avidya.  For example in the Bhagavadgita Bhashyam (13.2) He says:

3 (1) //tAmaso hi pratyayaH AvaraNaatmakatvAd-avidyA viparIta-graahakaH, samshayopasthaapako vA, agrahaNAtmako vA//

Here  itself, in a subsequent sentence He says:

3 (2)// tAmase cha AavaraNaatmake timirAdi-doShe sati agrahaNAderavidyA-trayasya upalabdheH.//

In the Mandukya kArikaa bhashya (I.16) He says:

4. //tattva-apratibodha-rUpena bIjAtmanA, anyathAgrahaNalakshaNena cha, anAdikAlapravRttena MAyalakshanena….//

In the Shvetashvataropanishad bnashya (Not agreed by all to be of Bhagavatpada), in the upodghaata it is said:

5. //chitsadAnanda-advitIya-brahmasvabhAvo’pyAtmA svAshryayA sva-vishayayA avidyayA svAnubhavagamyayA sAbhAsayA pratibaddha-svAbhAvikaashesha-purushArthaH…//

6. In the Brihadaranyakopanishad bhashya (I.iv.10) He writes:

//ato brahmavidyAyAm satyAm avidyA-kArya-anupapatteH, pradIpa iva tamaH-kAryasya. //

In the Brihadaranyakopanishad bhashya (I.iv.17) He writes:

6. //vastu-svarUpa-AvaranAtmikA hi sA (avidyA).  pravartakabIjam tu pratipadyate andhatvamiva gartAdipravartana-hetuH.  svAbhAvikyAm avidyAyAm vartamAnAh bAlaaH..//

A little later in this very bhashyam He says:

7. //svAbhaavikyA svAtmani kartrAdi-kAraka-kriyA-phalaatmakataa-adhyAropaNa-lakshaNayA avidyA-vAsanayA vAsitaH so-akAmayata kAmitavAn//

8. In the Brihadaranyakopanishad bhashya (I.iv.10) He writes:

//ato brahmavidyAyAm satyAm avidyA-kArya-anupapatteH, pradIpa iva tamaH-kAryasya. // (already quoted as No.6)

In the Bhashyam for the Gita verse 15.3, we find a separation made by the Acharya between avidya-effect (vikshepa shakti) and avidya-cause (avarana shakti):  While describing the samsara tree, He says: na rUpamasya iha …..svapna mareechyudaka-mAyA-gandharvanagara-samatvAt….[This is the standard ‘manifest’ form of avidya clearly bringing out the ‘atasmin tad buddhiH’ definition of adhyAsa.  It is this that is popularly termed as ‘vikshepa shakti’ of avidya. ]  The Acharya concludes this bhashyam by saying ‘asanga shastreNa chitva samsAravRkSham sa-beejam-uddhRtya’. [Here He says that the samsara tree seen in all its manifest form (adhyAsa/vikshepa) is to be cut along with its root/beejam.  Actually, the word ‘moolam’ translates to ‘root’/cause, etc. The Gita context is: ‘the samsara tree, the product of the  primordial ignorance, moola avidya, has to be ‘uprooted’ in order to gain liberation.’ This brings out the special significance of the bhashyam: sa-beejam.. This beejam is the cause of the adhyasa/vikshepa and is what is called ‘aavarana’.  The Acharya has said in the Brahmasutra bhashya: ‘avidyaiva naH shaktiH’, meaning ‘avidyA itself is the Power for us (the Vedantins).  Thus, it is only based on the Acharya’s statements regarding avidya, AvaraNa, adhyasa, tamas, beeja, moola, shakti, etc.,  spread across the PrasthAna traya Bhashyas that the later Advaita Acharyas have talked about the Avarana (concealing) shakti and the Vikshepa (projecting/multiplicating) shakti as pertaining to ajnAna.]

In the ‘Upadesha sAhasrI’, a work agreed to be genuinely of the Acharya, we find the use of the word ‘vikshepa’ in the verse XIII.14.  The word ‘beejam’ is used in the verses: XVII.26,27,28.

This list, which obviously shows a variety of meanings/senses for the word ‘avidyaa’, tells us that it would be improper to conclude that ‘the Acharya has given a complete and comprehensive definition of avidya in the adhyAsa Bhashya by saying that the term ‘avidya’  connotes adhyasa alone by considering the adhyAsa Bhashya in isolation.

That the above supposed view of Bhagavatpada can be seen to be questionable from looking at the quote no.3.  Here we find that the Acharya is mentioning adhyAsa (viparIta-grahanam) as only one of the three manifestations of avidya. Quite interestingly, the Acharya restricts the meaning of adhyAsa to viparIta-grahaNa in the quote no.2 above.  This leaves us with a strict definition for adhyAsa (= mis-apprehension) and frees the term adhyAsa from over-pervading into the senses of –agrahanam (non-apprehension) and samshaya (doubt).  Thus, according to the Acharya avidya can mean three things: 1. agrahanam 2. viparitagrahanam and 3.samshaya.  All these are grouped under ‘tAmasa pratyayas’.  Generally tamas is avidya, ignorance.     The word ‘AvaraNaatmakatvAt’ is also interesting.  It says that tamas has the power to cover. He reiterates this idea in quote 3 (2). This meaning is brought out by Him specifically in the quote no.6 where He says that avidya has the power to conceal the true nature of the object/vishaya under consideration. It is only when this is present, the atasmin tad buddhirupa adhyasa takes place.  Hence, avidya does not mean Only adhyAsa/anyathaagrahana/aviveka. The quote no. 8 too conveys this very meaning.  He differentiates between avidya and its effect and gives the analogy of tamas, darkness, the AvaranAtmaka, and its effect namely getting into problems, in other words, atasmin tad buddhiH (taking one thing for the other).

The quote no.4 gives another dimension to avidya.  It says it is anAdi.  It also says that it is of the nature of a seed: bIjAtmanA.  What is the seed He is referring to here?  A seed is something that has the potency to give rise to some effect.  Here Maya is the seed and it works in two ways: 1.The tattva/svarUpa (of Atman/Brahman) is concealed resulting in agrahanam, non-apprehension.  2.  This results in anyathAgrahaNam (adhyAsa).  The initial agrahanam results in anyathAgrahanam and this result begets further results of samsara continuing birth after birth.  This creates a vasana (see quote no.7) which results in further and further samsaric experiences in multiple births.  In and through all this the basic agrahanam is kept intact. The quote no.6 demonstrates this.  The Acharya compares avidya to andhatva, impairment of vision, blindness.  When a person is blind, he does not know what is in front and he is bound to fall in a pit.  The meaning is clear: andhatva is the cause for agrahanam which is the cause for falling in a pit which is anyathAgrahanam and its effects.  Thus there is an avidyA-paramparA and this is anAdi.  For all that results in a series from anyathAgrahanam which the Acharya specifies in the quote no. 7 as ‘svAtmani kartrAdi-kAraka-kriyA-phalaatmakataa-adhyAropaNa-lakshaNayA avidyA-vAsanayA’ the basic andhatvam, tattva-agrahanam is the cause. Thus we can clearly see a causal’ Avidya and a ‘resultant’ avidya being admitted by the Acharya.

A reference to this is made by the Acharya in His Mandukya kArikA bhAshya (I.2):

The discussion starts with the words of the bhashya: ‘katham prAna-shabdatvam AtmanaH?’  He goes on to say: ‘yadyapi sadbrahma prANashabdavAchyam tatra (in the Chandogya mantra ‘prANa-bandhanam hi somya manaH’) tathaapi jIvaprasavabIjaAtmakatvam aprityajyaiva prAnashabdatvam sataJ ….yadi hi nirbIjarUpam vivakshitam brahma abhavishyat ‘neti neti’….ityavakshyat.  (pl. read the entire discussion for a clear understanding of the Acharya’s position regarding the persistence of Avidya in deep sleep.)  He says: If we do not admit the persistence of Avidya in deep sleep, there will be the absurd consequence of those who enter sushupti/pralaya  emerging from those states (since they are wrongly admitted to be merged in the Sat, Brahman, the rule being: He who has merged in the Sat does not return to samsara, ‘yad gatvaa na nivartante – Gita 15 chapter ).  And the Muktas are to face the consequence of coming out of Brahman and entering samsara, since the absence of the avidya-bIja will be common to the Muktas and baddhas during sleep.  He concludes the discussion by declaring:// tasmAt sa-bIjatva-abhyupagamenaiva sataH prAnatvavyapadeshaH sarvashrutishu cha kAraNatva-vyapadeshaH.//   Thus, the Acharya admits of a state of avidya/maya-tainted Brahman which is the causal state.

One more thing is discernible from the above study.  The Acharya says avidyalakshana could be (quote no.4.) / (1)tattva-apratibodha-rUpena bIjAtmanA , AND (2) anyathAgrahaNalakshaNena  cha, anAdikAlapravRttena MAyalakshanena….//

This gives us the conclusion that avidya is not adhyAsa ALONE  but it ALSO is tattva agrahana.  It is clear from the above quotes that adhyAsa HAS A CAUSE and that is tattva agrahana.  This is of the nature of concealing, AvaraNaatmaka.  The Acharya admits an aavaranaatmaka cause that precedes adhyAsa.  This has been pointed out by the Ratnaprabha commentary on the Adhyasa bhashya for the quote no.1.  The commentary says that here the Acharya is specifying ‘kArya-avidya’.  This implies that there is a ‘kArana avidya’.  And that, we saw above, is admitted by the Acharya.

Is avidya an ‘existent’ entity, ‘bhAva rUpa’ ?

A straightforward commonsense answer to the above question is: If it is not, the Shastram would not be prescribing means for its eradication.  No one would be spending time, effort and money to treat a diseased hare’s horn.  The very fact that avidya is to be consciously addressed by sadhakas is itself proof of the Shastram considering avidya as an existing entity.  It is given an ‘asti, bhaava’ status, although not that which is equal to Brahman the PAramArthika Sat.  To object that considering avidya as ‘bhAvarUpa’ is fraught with the above absurdity is something pitiable.  The ones who so object do not understand what is meant by ‘bhAvarUpa’.  If avidya is considered as ‘jnana abhava’, absence of knowledge of the vastu, and therefore does not deserve to be called ‘bhaava rUpa’, it is a tragedy.  ‘jnana abhava’, absence of knowledge, cannot bring out a bhAva vastu, samsara, as its effect.  Avidya produces its effect, samsara.  It is true samsara, avidya, are all ‘non existent’ for a Jnani who has realized that there was never avidya/samsara.  But even he did address the problem as though it ‘is’.  So why make a big fuss about ‘bhAvarUpa avidya’?  If avidya and its effect are ‘abhava rupa’, how is it that we are experiencing them?  They are not absolutely existent and absolutely non-existent like a hare’s horn.  They enjoy a special status of anirvachaniyatva.  When we are experiencing the effects of avidya/samsara, how can we close our eyes to this and say avidya is abhava rupa?

For the mantra ‘utthiShThata jAgrata prApya varAn nibodhata…’ of the Kathopanishad (I.iii.14) the Acharya writes:

//….ataH taddarshanArtham anAdyavidyA-prasuptAH uttiShThata hey jantavaH AtmajnAna-abhimukhA bhavata, jAgrata ajnAnanidrAyAH ghorarUpAyAH sarvAnartha-bIjabhUtAyAH kShayam kuruta//

The Mundakopanishat says:

//…so’vidyAgranthim vikiratIha somya//

{the Jnani cuts asunder the knot of avidya here itself}

The above are just two of the numerous instances where the Shastra/Bhashyam speak of avidya as an existent entity.

By seeing the consummation of sadhana also it is clear that avidya is not to be seen as abhava rupa.  There is agrahana of the tattva.  The realization of the Truth removes this agrahana dosha and THEN ONLY destroys samsara, although there is no time gap in between. This has to be admitted.  Let us consider an example.  I go to a doctor with a severe stomach ache.  The doctor asks me some questions.  I am not interested in all that as I want relief from the unbearable pain.  He gives some tablets to be taken thrice a day for two days.  I get the cure.  Even though from my side there was no concern about the cause of the pain, the doctor would not leave it like that.  He has to probe into the cause.  Stomach ache can be caused by several factors. It could be viral infection, bacterial infection, food poisoning, over-eating, indigestion, or even a muscular catch while doing some bending activity, or it could be due to gastric causes, etc.  He has to ascertain the factor and give a suitable medicine. When the medicine gives me relief from pain, it has addressed the cause and only after that the pain has gone.  In the same way, even though the sadhaka might say: Why bother about what is the cause of adhyasa or that there is a cause for adhyasa?  Will not the Shruti operate as an independent pramana even if I hold adhyasa as the starting point?  The answer to such questions would be both yes and no.  One may not know the cause of adhyasa and yet practice the remedial measures prescribed by the Guru/Shastra and still attain liberation. The Gita 13th chapter has a verse:

anye tu evam ajānantaḥ śrutvānyebhya upāsate
tepi cātitaranty eva mṛtyuṃ śrutiparāyaṇāḥ 13.25

Like the medicine giving me the cure even though I am not concerned about the cause of the pain.  But as a Darshanakara the Acharya has to specify the cause of adhyasa.  He is aware of the fact that the remedial measures will give the fruit ONLY AFTER addressing the cause.  He recognizes this and while laying out a system of philosophy He makes it logically tight, elegant and practicable. So, whether we bother to know the cause of adhyasa or not, the fact is that there is a cause that precedes adhyasa and it is this cause that is first eliminated by samyagdarshanam.  Says the Acharya in the Mundaka bhashyam (II.i.10):

// ….sa evam vijnAnAt avidyAgranthim = granthimiva  dRiDhIbhUtAm avidyA-vAsanAm vikirati = vikshipati = nAshayati jIvanneva, na mRtaH san…….//

Translation: //…..he by virtue of such realization throws away = destroys the knot of ignorance = the tendencies and impressions created by ignorance that are hard to untie like knots here, even while living, and not after death….//

The sequence is clear. Sadhana culminates in generating the realization of the Truth, this destroys the ‘non-apprehension of the Truth’, tattva-agrahanam, that was all along present in the seeker in the form of AvaraNa, andhatva, tamas. (The Mandukya karika and Bhashya clarify that ‘tattva agrahanam’ is present in all the three states, and only the Turiya is free from this.) This results in the destruction of the effects of such non-apprehension which are the samsaric tendencies.

‘jnAtvA devam sarva pAshApahaaniH’, ‘jnAnam labdhvA parAm shAntim’, etc. are all pointers to this sequence.  It may not be explicitly spoken of.  Yet, it is unmistakable. Even in the common error of rope-snake, the error goes only when the rope-knowledge is had.  When we look at the mechanism we find that the error, adhyasa,  was caused due to non-apprehension, agrahanam, of the rope (as rope) in the first place.  Now, the proper apprehension of the vastu, rope, resulted in removing the non-apprehension dosha and only then the wrong-apprehension goes.  Since the final remedy comes not without removing the cause of the problem, we have to admit the presence of a cause that precedes adhyasa.  And that it is of the nature of ‘bhAva rUpa’ since it gave rise to the effect called viparIta grahana and the subsequent problems.  A hare’s horn cannot be used for making combs or other artifacts.  A vandhyA-putra does not propagate his lineage.

What is the locus of avidya?

The Shastra and the Bhashyakara are quite certain about this question.  We have specific mention of this in the Shastra.  For example:

In the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (I.iv.10) we have the Mahavakya ‘Aham Brahmasmi’occuring:

//Brahma vA idamagra AsIt. tadAtmAnamEvAvEt . aham BrahmAsmi it tasmAt tat sarvamabhavat.  …..//

//All this was Brahman before.  That Brahman knew Itself as ‘I am Brahman’.  Thereupon It became  all…//

In the Bhashya we find this discussion:

//Objection: But is not ignorance out of place in Brahman?

Reply: Not so, for knowledge regarding Brahman has been enjoined.    When there has been no superimposition of silver on a mother-of-pearl, and it is directly visible, no one takes the trouble to say it is a mother-of-pearl, and not silver.  Similarly, were there no superimposition of ignorance on Brahman, the knowledge of unity regarding Brahman would not be enjoined in such terms as the following……

Objection:  We do not say that there is no superimposition on Brahman of attributes not belonging to It, as in the case of a mother-of-pearl, but that Brahman is not the cause of the superimposition of these attributes on Itself, nor the author of ignorance.

Reply:  Let it be so. Brahman is not the author of ignorance nor subject to error.  But it is not admitted that there is any other conscious entity but Brahman which is the author of ignorance or subject to error. Witness such Shruti texts as, …..//

The point is clear. (Brahman is the locus of avidya).

In the Kathopanishad/Mundakopanishat we have:

AvidyAyAm antare vartamAnAH…..

In the Gita too we have the Lord saying:

ajnAnena Avritam jnAnam tena muhyanti jantavaH…

These are all instances where the Shruti/Gita/Acharya say that there is a locus for Avidya and that locus has to be a sentient being.  There is no sentient Being other than Brahman.  So whether the Shastrakaras say ‘Brahman is the locus of Avidya’ or ‘Jiva is the locus’, it all means that they are correct in their assertion; there is no real difference between Brahman and jiva.  Avidya cannot be for any insentient object.  If we say avidya is for the manas, actually manas is a dravyam, a product of pancha bhutas.  It cannot have avidya.  Only a sentient being can have ignorance.  Only he suffers due to that ignorance.  That ignorance, agrahanam, only has brought him to associate himself with manas, adhyasa.  And the knowledge of the Truth has to come for him only.  That alone will free him from ignorance and the association with the manas.  Then, is it absolutely true that Brahman has/had avidya?  Let us consider an example:

In a dream, a couple of terrorists belonging to a banned outfit knock on my door at midnight. When I open the door, one of them opens a suitcase full of currency notes in bundles.  The other one points an AK47 at me.  The message is clear.  I let them in and they hide themselves in an interior room.  Shortly after, I hear the siren of the police jeep.  As it nears my house, I tremble in fear.  I wake up from the dream.

Now, once awake, do I entertain the fear of being questioned by the police for ‘sheltering the terrorists’?  The case with the locus of avidya being Brahman/jiva is similar to this.  Bondage/samsara/avidya is a fact to be reckoned with and addressed in the appropriate manner.  But this is only as long as bondage persists.  If there is no locus of avidya, who is it that is called a sadhaka?  Why should he bother to do hard sadhana if he is not the locus of avidya but something else, the mind is? If he has the viveka to say from unshakable conviction: ‘Avidya is only for the mind, I am not the mind’, then he is already enlightened.  As long as he is a sadhaka, he identifies himself with the mind and suffers the pain of samsara.  What is wrong in saying that he is the locus of avidya?

PART TWO

श्रीगुरुभ्यो नम:

A Vichara on Avidya and Adhyasa

While reading the Upanishad Bhashyams of the Acharya, one comes across two distinct concepts: Avidya, Ignorance and Adhyasa, error.  These two are generally understood as AvaraNa and VikShepa respectively.  Here is presented a set of passages from the Upanishads and the Acharya’s Bhashyam on the Upanishads/Brahma Sutras that substantiate the two concepts Avidya and Adhyasa as accepted in traditional Advaita Shastra.

Evidence for the existence of Avidya and Adhyasa :

In the Chandogya Upanishad there occurs the BhUma Vidya.  Here, Narada, the disciple, approaches Sage Sanatkumara, the Preceptor, with a view to gain the Atman Knowledge.  The disciple says:

सोऽहं भगवो मन्त्रविदेवास्मि नाऽऽत्मवित्…सोऽहं भगव: शोचामि (७.१.३)

[O Venerable Sir, such as I am, I merely know the subjects textually.  But I am not a knower of the Self….I am full of sorrow..]

The Bhashya says:

…न आत्मवित् न आत्मानं वेद्मि ।…..नाऽऽत्मवित् नात्मप्रकृतिस्वरूपज्न: इत्यर्थ: । सोऽहं अनात्मवित्त्वात् हे भगव: शोचामि अकृतार्थबुद्ध्या संतप्ये सर्वदा…

[ ‘I am not a knower of the Self’ means ‘I do not know the real nature of the Self’….Therefore O venerable Sir, I am full of sorrow, I am ever under sorrow because of the sense of unfulfilment.]

In the above quotes, from the Upanishad and the Bhashyam we come to know that in the state of bondage there exists a kind of ignorance about the Self.  This is AvaraNa/a~jnAna.  In the above mantra itself we can see the ‘effect’ of this ignorance: misery/sorrow.  Sorrow implies taking oneself to be an experiencer/enjoyer, bhOktA.  This implies that one takes the mind-body complex to be oneself.  Actions performed using this complex (kartA) results in effects that are again reaped through this very complex by identifying oneself with them in the form of bhOktaa.  This is adhyAsa; taking one thing for another.  In other words, the ignorance of one’s Real nature that is free of the body-mind complex identification results in taking oneself to be this body-mind complex.  This is what is termed by the Acharya in the preamble to the Brahma sutra Bhashyam as: adhyAso nAma atasmin tad buddhiH.   One may recall the Gita Bhashya (13.2) where the Acharya says: tAmaso hi pratyayaH AvaraNaatmakatvAd-avidyA viparIta-graahakaH, samshayopasthaapako vA, agrahaNAtmako vA// meaning that the presence of ignorance leads to AvaraNa, covering/obscuring and vikshepa, error.

Another instance of the depiction of Avidya/AvaraNa and adhyAsa/vikshepa from the Bhashyam:

In the Taittiriya Upanishad Bhashyam (II.8) we have:

अविद्या च स्वानुभवेन रुप्यते मूढोऽहं अविविक्तं मम विज्नानमिति । तथा विद्याविवेकोऽनुभूयते । उपदिशति च अन्येभ्य आत्मनो विद्यां बुद्ध्वा ।

[ And ignorance is experienced by such forms of its perception as, ‘I am ignorant’, ‘My knowledge is indistinct’.  Similarly, the Self-knowledge is also experienced and the enlightened people communicate the knowledge to others..]  This is the Bhashyam instance for the existence and experience of Avidya in the state of bondage.

The Adhyasa is spoken of by the Taittiriya Upanishad itself by the elucidation of the Five sheaths, the pancha koshas.  These constituting the gross body, the prANa, mind, etc. are superimpositions that everyone experiences.  The bhashyam too explains this vividly.  For example we have in the Taittiriya Upanishad bhashyam (II.8) itself:

अविद्याकृत-तादात्म्य…[ identity with the body, etc. created by ignorance.] This is an instance in the bhashya where the ‘error’ is said to be created by ignorance.  AvaraNa creates/results in vikshepa.

Another famous instance of the jiva with adhyasa is the Mundakopanishad mantra ‘dvaa suparNa’ (3.1.1).  In this mantra, the Upanishad, with the two-birds imagery teaches the bound, saamsaaric, state of the jiva, experiencing the fruits of his karma.  As seen earlier, this experiencing presupposes identification with the body-mind complex which in turn has the basic avidya/Avarana for its source.  Needless to say, the freedom from ignorance/error through knowledge is also taught in this Upanishad in the mantra 3.1.3.

The Eradication of Avidya/AdhyAsa:

We can see one classic instance of the eradication of ignorance and error/identification from the Brahma sutra bhashyam (4.1.9.13):

सूत्र( 4.1.9.13)भाष्यस्थवाक्यम् –

पूर्वसिद्धकर्तृत्वभोक्तृत्वविपरीतं हि त्रिष्वपि कालेषु अकर्तृत्वाभोक्तृत्वस्वरूपं ब्रह्माहमस्मि । न इत: पूर्वं कर्ता भोक्ता वा अहमासं, न इदानीं, नापि भविष्यत्काले इति ब्रह्मविदवगच्छति ।

[ Quite contrary to what had been previously regarded as agent and enjoyer, I am verily that Brahman, which, by nature, is neither agent nor enjoyer at all in all the three periods of time. Even earlier I was never an agent or enjoyer, nor am I so at present; nor shall I be so in future – such is the realization of the knower of Brahman.] (translation contained in SridakshinAmUrtistotram Vol I p. 717.)

In the above quote, we can see:

  • The Knowledge of the True Nature of the Self, Brahman (avidya absence)
  • The experiencing of freedom from the doer-enjoyer identification (adhyasa absence)

There are a number of Shruti/Gita passages too to show the existence of avidya/adhyasa and their removal through Jnana.  What we have seen above, to recapitulate, is the Shruti and Bhashya evidence for the presence and absence of avidya/adhyasa.

SrisadgurucharanAravindArpanamastu

Om Tat Sat


Responses

  1. In fact ignorance and error are not two different events but simultaneous experiences. ignorance necessarily leads to error. because existence is fact, so ignorance of true nature of existence automatically leads to error. its like karna being ignorant of being karna. but his existence is given fact, so he has to experience himself as some thing else, in this case as radheya.

    so acharya’s explanation of adhyasa meaning ignorance automatically results in error.

    • Your thoughts on applying the scriptural teaching to quell the internal enemies by attacking their root are appropriate. Thanks.

  2. Dear Sir, I accidentally stumbled on to your blog while reading on Purandara dasa composition. Which took me to your blog on Purandara dasa and Acharya today. Your blogs are amazing. Yes, if one recognizes and confirms again and again that one is awareness (Self) and not the content of awareness (Body mind experiences) then one is free and saved of agrahana and anyathagrahana. This simple seeing will remove the poison of duality and wrong identity because this recognition will cut it at the root rather than trying to put effort at removing each vice – kama, krodha etc… . This clarity came by listening to a living scripture “Mooji” url- mooji.tv. There are several satsang video of his on You Tube too. He points sadhakas directly to the Self like Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi. I also listen in awe to the crystal clear exposition of Acharya’s comentaries by Swami Paramarthanandaji.
    thank you,
    Jyoti


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