Posted by: adbhutam | February 11, 2017

THE PURPOSE OF THE ANALOGIES CLAY, ETC. BY ADVAITA ACHARYAS

The purpose of the analogies of clay, iron, etc.in the works of Advaita Acharyas

In the Bhashyas of Shankaracharya in some places we have the clarification for the purpose behind the shruti taking the analogies of clay, etc. 

Goudapada Karika: 3.47
न कश्चिज्जायते जीवः सम्भवोऽस्य न विद्यते । एतत्तदुत्तमं सत्यं यत्र किञ्चिन्न जायते ॥ ४८ ॥
सर्वोऽप्ययं मनोनिग्रहादिः मृल्लोहादिवत्सृष्टिरुपासना च उक्ता परमार्थस्वरूपप्रतिपत्त्युपायत्वेन, न परमार्थसत्येति । परमार्थसत्यं तु न कश्चिज्जायते जीवः कर्ता भोक्ता च नोत्पद्यते केनचिदपि प्रकारेण । अतः स्वभावतः अजस्य अस्य एकस्यात्मनः सम्भवः कारणं न विद्यते नास्ति । यस्मान्न विद्यतेऽस्य कारणम् , तस्मान्न कश्चिज्जायते जीव इत्येतत् । पूर्वेषूपायत्वेनोक्तानां सत्यानाम् एतत् उत्तमं सत्यं यस्मिन्सत्यस्वरूपे ब्रह्मणि अणुमात्रमपि किञ्चिन्न जायते इति ॥
The teaching of creation, etc. through the examples of clay. etc. is with a view to enable the realization of the pāramārthika svarupa of oneself and therefore the teaching of creation is not absolutely real. The absolute reality, however is: no jiva ever is born by any means. Therefore the truth of this Atman is that it is never born. Also, nothing is born in Brahman. This is an instance where the bhashya holds the clay, etc. examples as leading to the truth of no- creation. Since by the example it could be thought that Brahman is the substratum in which the world is created, the clarification comes to show that such is not the case, thereby implying that the analogies are vivarta-para.

ब्रह्मसूत्रभाष्यम् द्वितीयोऽध्यायःप्रथमः पादः सूत्रम् १४ – भाष्यम्

………; नानात्वांशेन तु कर्मकाण्डाश्रयौ लौकिकवैदिकव्यवहारौ सेत्स्यत इति ; एवं च मृदादिदृष्टान्ता अनुरूपा भविष्यन्तीति । नैवं स्यात् — ‘ मृत्तिकेत्येव सत्यम्’ इति प्रकृतिमात्रस्य दृष्टान्ते सत्यत्वावधारणात् , वाचारम्भणशब्देन च विकारजातस्यानृतत्वाभिधानात् , दार्ष्टान्तिकेऽपि ‘ ऐतदात्म्यमिदं सर्वं तत्सत्यम्’ इति च परमकारणस्यैवैकस्य सत्यत्वावधारणात् , ‘ स आत्मा तत्त्वमसि श्वेतकेतो’ इति च शारीरस्य ब्रह्मभावोपदेशात् ; स्वयं प्रसिद्धं ह्येतच्छारीरस्य ब्रह्मात्मत्वमुपदिश्यते, न यत्नान्तरप्रसाध्यम् ; अतश्चेदं शास्त्रीयं ब्रह्मात्मत्वमवगम्यमानं स्वाभाविकस्य शारीरात्मत्वस्य बाधकं सम्पद्यते, रज्ज्वादिबुद्धय इव सर्पादिबुद्धीनाम् ; बाधिते च शारीरात्मत्वे तदाश्रयः समस्तः स्वाभाविको व्यवहारो बाधितो भवति, यत्प्रसिद्धये नानात्वांशोऽपरो ब्रह्मणः कल्प्येत ; दर्शयति च — ‘ यत्र त्वस्य सर्वमात्मैवाभूत्तत्केन कं पश्येत्’ (बृ. उ. ४ । ५ । १५) इत्यादिना ब्रह्मात्मत्वदर्शिनं प्रति समस्तस्य क्रियाकारकफललक्षणस्य व्यवहारस्याभावम् ; न चायं व्यवहाराभावोऽवस्थाविशेषनिबद्धोऽभिधीयते इति युक्तं वक्तुम् , ‘ तत्त्वमसि’ इति ब्रह्मात्मभावस्यानवस्थाविशेषनिबन्धनत्वात् ; तस्करदृष्टान्तेन चानृताभिसन्धस्य बन्धनं सत्याभिसन्धस्य च मोक्षं दर्शयन् एकत्वमेवैकं पारमार्थिकं दर्शयति, मिथ्याज्ञानविजृम्भितं च नानात्वम् । 

In the above bhashya, it is stated that the analogies of clay, etc. are employed in order to bring about the knowledge of the true nature of the Self, through the method of jñāna nivartyatva, i.e. the false knowledge about oneself is annulled by the right knowledge of the Self.  The analogies of clay etc. are employed in the sense of satyatva and mithyātva. The idea of bādhitatva is with reference to vivarta alone and not pariṇāma as generally understood. The vivarta example given by Shankara here is the removal of the erroneous ideas of snake, etc. through the generation of the right knowledge of rope etc.

Shankara  also says that nānātva buddhi is due to mithyājnāna. It is the removal of this nānātva buddhi that is aimed at by the analogies of clay-clay products, etc. The mithyātva of the vikārajātam is taught and the satyatva of the kāraṇavastu asserted. The clubbing together the clay, etc. analogies with the idea of bādhya-bādhakatā through the rope-snake example and the characterizing the nānātvadarshana/buddhi as mithyājnāna by Shankara is especially noteworthy. In the common understanding of the clay-pot, etc. example as a modification, pariṇāma, the idea of rope-snake and bādhya-bādhakatā will be seen as a mismatch. Yet Shankara chooses to put across the shruti tātparya through these examples.   This norm is noticeable in all Advaitic works. Even in the Vanamālā, the Taittiriya bhashya abhiprāya has been stated clearly by bringing out the vivarta analogies.

The Bhashya Ratnaprabhā gloss BSB 2.1.14 says for the bhashya words annotating the vācārambhaṇa shruti: एवकारवाचारम्भणशब्दाभ्यां विकारसत्तानिषेधात्परिणामवादः श्रुतिबाह्य इत्यर्थः । [The shruti by the words ‘eva’ (‘as mrittikā alone’ and ‘vācārambhaṇa’ by negating the existence, sattā, of the vikāra, is teaching that the pariṇāmavāda is unacceptable to Veda. This is clearly because the parināmavādin does not accept the kārya to be mithyā.]  This clearly shows that the clay, etc. analogies are not pariṇāma para.

For the तस्करदृष्टान्तेन चानृताभिसन्धस्य बन्धनं words of the bhashya, the Ratnaprabha explains: श्रुतदृष्टान्तेन (the example is in the Chandogya tattvamasi instance) एकत्वं सत्यम्, नानात्वं मिथ्येत्याह .. Here is another instance of an Advaita Acharya holding nānātvam (vikāra) to be mithyā, contrary to the pariṇāmavāda idea.  It is not mere kāryakāraṇa ananyatvam  but the clear exposition of the mithyātvam of the kāryam and satyatvam of kāraṇam that are outside the ken of the pariṇāmavādin.
Sureshwaracharya too, in the Taittiriya Upanishad bhashya Vārtika admits the vivartaparatva of the Vācārambhaṇa shruti under the sectuion where the bhashya cites the vācā shruti:

कल्पितेन परिच्छेदो न ह्यकल्पितवस्तुनः ।

कल्पितश्चेह कालादिर्वाचारम्भणशास्त्रतः ॥ १३५ ॥
What is real, indeed, cannot be limited by what is illusory. Here, time, etc. are illusory as shown by scripture [which speaks of modifications] as ‘arsing from speech.’
This also proves, incidentally, that kāla, etc. are only effects, kāryam.
The idea of kalpitatvam is alien to the pariṇāmavādin. Anandagiri commenting on the above vārtikā says:
कार्येण कालादिना परिच्छिन्नस्य ब्रह्मणो न युक्तं मुख्यमानन्त्यमित्याशंक्य कल्पितत्वात्कालादेर्नैवमित्याह – कल्पितेनेति । कल्पितत्वमेव कालादेरसिद्धं मानाभावदित्याशंक्याह – कल्पितश्चेति । विकारस्य वाचारम्भणत्वेन मिथ्यात्वाद्विकारत्वाच्च कालादेरपि मिथ्यात्वसिद्धिरित्यर्थः ।
The above holds that vikāra, being mere speech, is mithyā. In the translation of Dr.R. Balasubrahmanyam, there is a statement, source not known: कारणत्वं सत्यत्वप्रयोजकम्, कार्यत्वं मिथ्यात्वप्रयोजकम् । Thus, Advaita Acharyas have held that kārya-kāraṇa taught by this shruti as denoting satya-mithyā concept. Surely, the parinamavadin does not accept this.
सकृत्प्रमितरूपाद्यद्रूपमन्यत्कदाचन ।
नैव प्रपद्यते सत्यं तस्मात्कार्यविलक्षणम् ॥ ५६ ॥
This is the verse that exactly paraphrases the bhashya abhipraya stated by Shankara as  ‘yadrūpeṇa yanniśchitam…’ 
That is real which never attains another form different from that in which it has been once known. Hence it is different from effect. 
The translation by R.Balasubrahmanyam cites the Chandogya shruti:..’says by way of illustration, that the clay alone is real and the modifications such as pot, and so on are unreal. Since Brahman is real, it is different from this which are produced (kārya vilakshanam).’  
Another verse from the vārtika:
नामरूपात्मकं कार्यमनात्मत्वात्स्वतो ह्यसत् ।
यत्सदेकं परं ब्रह्म ततो वै सदजायत ॥ ४१६ ॥
The world which is an effect composed of names and forms is in itself non-existent, asat, because it is not-self. It is from Brahman, Sat, that it is born…..
Here too R.Balasubrahmanyam cites the vācā shruti.  
So, Sureshwara, Anandagiri, etc. also hold that this shruti is vivartapara only.
Upadeśasāhasrī of Shankaracharya:
वाचारम्भणशास्त्राच्च विकाराणां ह्यभावता ।
मृत्योः स मृत्युमित्यादेर्मम मायेति च स्मृतेः ॥ ३५
The commentary says: न्यायतो द्वैतस्य मिथ्यात्वमुक्त्वा शास्त्रादपि तन्मिथ्यात्वं सिध्यतीत्याह.. वाचारम्भणं विकारो नामधेयमिति वाक्यात्कार्यानृतत्वप्रतिपादकात्…विकारस्यासत्यत्वे...विकाराणामाकाशादीनां यतो मिथ्यात्वमवगम्यते तस्मादद्वितीयत्वमविरुद्धमित्यर्थः ।
Thus, in the Upadeshasahasri too Shankara is using this vācā shruti to establish the mithyātvam of dvaita, kārya, thereby admitting the vivartaparatvam of this shruti and the mrdādi analogies.
मात्रत्वात्सुषुप्तादिकं त्वसत् ।
सत्यो ज्ञश्चाहमित्येवं सत्यसन्धो विमुच्यते ॥ ६६
The commentary says: the avasthātraya is mithyā and the sāksī thereof is satya. 
Here, we find Shankaracharya revealing another dimension where the vācā shruti is applicable. The avasthatraya is only name and form. This has been elaborately explained in the Mandukya bhashya: abhidhāna-abhidheya…etc. 
In the work ‘Anubhūti prakāśa’ of Swami Vidyaranya there is a chapter dedicated to the discussion of the ‘Vācārambhaṇa’ shruti of the Chandogya Upanishad. This is available in the pdf on pages 331 onwards at this link with Hindi explanation. Those who do not need the explanation can read the verses:
The part related to the discussion of the three analogies of clay, etc. is covered from the first verse up to the 25th verse. It is a lucid explanation and worth perusing.
Om Tat Sat
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