Saturday, May 20, 2006

Shoonyavada and Mayavaada - 4


Humble prostrations to all.

Let us now continue further and start with the second mail of Shrisha Rao. Before continuing, some of us (at least some) might be thinking that “nobody is really reading these and hence why is this person typing all these – if nobody reads it, it will be useless and waste” --- Nothing is really waste or useless here because everything is filled with Lord. This work of analyzing Shoonyavada and Mayavaada is an offering to AMMA and no offering is a waste as it helps the seeker to purify the mind, know more about the topic and be constantly immersed in the ultimate reality of Self (posting or discussing is a form of manana and nidhidhyaasana).

... continued from previous part. In this previous part,

it was urged that the sUtra `vaidharmyAchcha nasvapnAdivat.h' must equally refute both the mAyAvAda and the shUnyavAda,for it to refute anything at all. It may be noted in this regard thatas B.N.K. Sharma records in the HDSV (p. 54, 2d ed.), "under the sUtra`vaidharmyAchcha na svapnAdivat.h' even a confirmed Monist like Samkaraforgets his own mental reservations and observes that `the objects of thewaking state are *not* similarly sublated (as in a dream) *at any time*
(\footnote: naivaM jAgaritopalabdhaM vastu kasyAJNchidapyavasthAyAMbAdhyate)."

The answer to this objection is there in the very words quoted by the objector as was bolded in the previous mail on the same. “Kasyaanchit api avasthaayaam baadhyathe” – “It doesn’t vanish in any avasthaa”. Here we have to note the word “Avastha” used and it is not “at any time” which is wrong interpretation by B N K Sharma. Sankara only says that the waking world doesn’t vanish in any of the avasthaas – in dream, waking world is dormant and hence it comes back after waking up. Thus Sankara means to say there is continuity and waking world doesn’t vanish in “any avasthaa” – the word Sankara uses is “Avasthaayaam” meaning “in avasthaa”, kasyaanchit means “in any”, api is to enforce or say “surely” and “badhyathe” means sublation or vanishing.

Thus here it is wrong interpretation of the Dvaitin and he twists Sankara’s bhashya to mean “at any time” rather than “in any avastha or state” as Sankara very clearly mentions. WE see and scriptures too tell that the waking world vanishes only after realization and thus it is present in all the avasthas which are waking, dream and deep sleep. But that which is beyond all these three avasthas is “Turiyaa” which is avasthaateeta and it is in this state that the world vanishes as Mandukya clearly mentions “Prapanchopashama shivah advaita” – when the world vanishes, there is only Self which is auspicious and illumination – it is also non-dual in nature. It cannot be argued here that Turiyaa is mentioned as the FOURTH state or CHATURTHAM – this is mentioned only in comparison or relative to the other three states – really speaking it is not a state at all as the word “advaita” and “prapancha upashama” is used.

To recapitulate what we have seen so far, briefly, it was initiallyclaimed by Srimad Acharya that the sUtra `vaidharmyAchcha nasvapnAdivat.h' is a criticism of mAyAvAda. This was objected to by theones criticized on the grounds that the sUtra is intended to criticize theshUnyavAda, not the mAyAvAda.

This was responded to by the Acharya by saying that the aspect of shUnyavAda criticized by the sUtra is alsocommon to the mAyAvAda, hence the sUtra must criticize the latter as well. The mAyAvAdins then said that because they admit of a momentary or lowerreality to the world, while the shUnyavAda holds only the shUnya to beReal, the sUtra can only criticize the latter. To this, our commentatorresponded that a momentary reality in respect of the world is alsoadmitted by the shUnyavAdins, so the sUtra would be no critique of themeither under those circumstances; assuming the sUtra to be meaningful, itmust criticize the entire idea that the world is not completely, primarilyReal.

To recapitulate, the Dvaitin hasn’t first got the two levels of reality clearly and thereby all the opposition and refutations come. If this is clearly understood, then there will be no questions whatsoever. First thing is the two levels of reality of “Empirical” and “Ultimate” can never be mixed together. Both of them are separate and a person cannot mix those – even a person cannot say “I am feeling hungry now so I will eat in dream”JJ. Isn’t this illogical in itself??? Yes, it is. Remembering that both levels of reality cannot be mixed, the sutra refutes the shoonyavaadin who don’t even accept reality to the world (even empirical). They say empirically also it is only temporary and unreal whereas Advaita accepts full reality to the world at the empirical level but only sublates it at the ultimate level.

Most part of the previous mail in the series and this mail too are related to this alone. But then also, we will try to analyze itJ. If a seeker finds things being repeated each time, it is only a way to making the reality more clear by repetition as each one of us would have learned various subjects in school and college by repeating it many times (along with meaning thoughJ and not merely by-hearting).

At this point in the discussion, Sri Raghuttama Tiirtha presents thepUrva-paxa again:

nanu prapaJNchasyoktabAdhAbhAvarUpeNa sautrAdipadopAtta rajjusarpAdivailaxaNyasaMbhave.api svapnavailaxaNyoktirna yujyate `na tatra rathA' ityAdinAsR^ishhTyuktyA svapna-padArthasya satvAditi chenna svapnashabdena atra svApnapadArthe AropitajAgrattvagrahaNAt.h tasya cha rajjusarpAdivadbAdhyatvAt.h

"(An objector says :-- The objects of dream are also caused by the Lord; how can they be unreal? They must be as real as the objects of waking consciousness. To this, we reply that by the word "dream" in that Sutra is meant "the _idea_ of attributing the reality of waking consciousness to the dream consciousness." It means that when a person is dreaming, he thinks and wrongly thinks, that the objects which he is seeing in the dream are the very same objects which exist in the waking world. This notion is wrong. The true idea would when the dreamer will think the dream objects to be what they really are, namely, that they are dream-objects created by the Lord, for that particular individual, and that they are not waking objects."

A few words need to be said about DREAM according to Dvaita. Advaita’s strong fold is analysis of dream and comparing it with the waking state. And as experience very well proves that dream is unreal and is in the dreamer alone, therefore the rival systems of Dvaita and Vishistadvaita had but one say on it – DREAM IS REAL. A pretty easy way to prove Advaita wrong not directly but by propounding that Dream is not unreal as Advaita claims but is real.

Firstly advaita considers dream as unreal and present in the dreamer. Thus the controller or Ishwara of Dream is the jeeva alone. The Jeeva is the creator, the substratum and the controller of Dream. Jeeva is the nimitta or efficient as well as upaadaana or material cause of dream.

Dvaita system says that dream is real as it is experienced and sruthi also says so. Dream is not under the control of Jeeva but is under the control of Ishwara. Ishwara controls dream. Dream has two factors as per Dvaita – Ishwara’s will & samskaaras or latent tendencies (Advaita accepts only latent tendencies). The simple reason for bringing in Ishwara is that Jeeva doesn’t control the dream world as everything happens similar to waking and is not under his control. Therefore Ishwara controls dream as Madhva quotes various puranas in support of this in the Bhakthi paada of Brahma Sutra (3rd chapter 2nd paada) as well as Katha Upanishad statements too to prove the same.

“Sandhye sristhiraaha hi” – “at the middle point between deep sleep and waking, there is creation as scriptures point out” & this is attributed to Ishwara alone.

But if we analyze, this is against experience and logic too. Experience shows that there is no creator apart from the dreamer in dream because he is not able to perceive or infer about such a controller (whereas in waking state, we can infer about Ishwara as the Naiyyaayikas do). Also this is against logic as how can such a Ishwara do things which are beyond any logic as well as against even normal laws. The laws in dream are created by the dreamer alone as one day we fly and another day we can’t fly etc.

Thus Ishwara is not the creator of the dream world and the dream world is not real.

If we see here, in this sutra the Dvaitin clearly misinterprets and twists the sutra word “svapnaa” as the explanation in the above paragraph says. When the word has direct meaning as “dream”, it is interpreted wrongly. And if the Dvaitin here says that here it is not the direct meaning but indirect meaning has to be taken – this is against his own principle. This is against his principle because according to the Dvaitins, Advaitins always commit the fault of ignoring the direct meaning and taking resort to indirect meaning – this objection thus will be valid for the dvaitin in the interpretation of this sutra. You are wrong because you do wrong – I am not wrong even if I do wrong - What a real foolish approach is followed here!!!!

Therefore, the refutation of shUnyavAda in `vaidharmyAchcha nasvapnAdivat.h' must imply the refutation of mAyAvAda as well.

We have already seen that neither Sankara’s bhashya nor the tenet of Advaita is valid for being refuted in this sutra. The refutation thus is only for the shoonyavaadin – it is only the dvaitin who wants to put the advaitin into a nook through claim that this sutra refutes advaita too.

PS: Hope at least a single person has read the article till this line (of course excluding this limited intellect titled “Hariram”). Even if no, still there are no issues as everything is Brahman and this writing of the article is an offering to the Lord which never is waste (if others don’t read also it is not useless).

Let a moment not pass by without remembering God


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