Author Topic: Samaadhaanam to objections to adhyaasa - continued  (Read 424 times)

Dr. Sadananda

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Samaadhaanam to objections to adhyaasa - continued
« on: March 01, 2015, 02:12:35 AM »
Samaadhaanam to objections to adhyaasa - continued

      In the last notes we began the discussion of Shankara's sha~Nkaa samaadhaanam or response to the objections of the puurvapakshiii that aatmaa-anaatmaa adhyaasa is not possible since the four conditions required for the adhyaasa are not met in the case of aatmaa-anaatmaa case. In response to the objections, Shankara shows that the first condition is incorrectly stated by the puurvapakshii and it should be prakaashhamaanatvam instead of pratyaksha vishhayatvam. The second condition should be aa.nshika aGYaatatvam instead of puurNa aGYaatatvam and this is fulfilled even the aatmaa-anaatmaa case. The third condition is not universal and there are exceptions and aatmaa-anaatmaa case falls in the category of the exceptions.

      For the fourth condition involving 'sa.nskaara' Shankara shows that it need not have to be real snake to have previous sa.nskaara, and even the sa.nskaara of a false snake can do the job. In the case of aatmaa-anaatmaa case also it is the previous experience of false anaatmaa that leaves a sa.nskaara, which helps to project false anaatmaa on the aatmaa. The previous sa.nskaara of false anaatmaa occurs because of previous to previous sa.nskaara of involving false anaatmaa. The chain can go on. For the question of how did the very first experience of false anaatmaa occurred. Shankara raises the issue that one cannot ask about the beginning for the avidyaa. It is anaadi or beginningless and it is similar to inquiring which is the first, chicken or egg. It is anirvachaniiyam - naisargitoyam - it is inexplicable or beginningless.

      This above forms the first answer to puurva+pakshii. This answer is applicable to objectors that belong to both aastika and naastika camps. The answer is given using the same laukika anumaana that puurvapakshii used in his objections.

      There is a second answer which is a more important answer, which is an offensive argument. This part is mainly for the aastika puurvapakshii-s who also believe in the validity of Veda-s as pramaaNa.

      Shankara claims that adhyaasa that is talked about is Veda pramaaNa. The rope-snake example is given not for proving adhyaasa. adhyaasa is not derived from the rope-snake example. This example is given only as an illustration of the nature of adhyaasa. Hence one should not try to extract more than what is intended for, from the rope-snake example. It is not meant for proving aatmaa-anaatmaa adhyaasa. The proof for that comes from Vedas, directly. Not realizing that many puurvapakshii-s and objectors focused their attention on the rope-snake example and extracted rules to apply for aatmaa-anaatmaa adhyaasa. Even if one can disprove rope-snake adhyaasa, that does not affect our arguments about aatmaa-anaatmaa adhyaasa, since it is scriptural based not on laukika anumaana, such as on rope-snake case. Arguments based on laukika anumaana are not applicable to adhyaasa aatmaa since it is scriptural based anumaana. (The reader is referred back to Ch.II,Limitation of Scientific Logic, to see the limitations of laukika or worldly example for application to inference about aatmaa). For this adhyaasa, shruti is pramaaNa. This is the first aspect to be noted.

      The second aspect is this adhyaasa involving aatmaa-anaatmaa should not be questioned by puurvapakshii-s coming from aastika group, because the puurvapakshii-s themselves have accepted, in one form or the other, adhyaasa in their own systems of philosophies, which they themselves are not aware of. Here we are referring to puurvapakshii-s of aastika darshaNa-s that is saa~Nkhya, yoga, nyaaya, vaisheshhika, puurvamiimaa.nsaa. In all their systems aatmaa-anaatmaa adhyaasa is already there, whether they recognize it or not. For example these systems also talk about aatmaa and they all accept based on veda pramaaNa that aatmaa is nityaH or eternal. They accept Veda pramaaNa, karmakaanDa, puNyam and paapam (merits and demerits), aatmaa surviving the death, and reincarnation into next birth - all implying the continuity of aatmaa. They are all aware that aatmaa refers to 'aham' or 'I' the self. Hence all of them say that "I" the self is immortal or nityaH, based on veda pramaaNa. In spite of this fact about aatmaa, which they all agree, they are conscious also of the fact that our experience is 'I am a human being' " I am a male', I am a female', I am a husband', I am a wife', I am a father' etc. Since aatmaa is neither human being, nor male, female, wife, husband, or father, the above statements, 'I am male' refers to anaatmaa only. Hence even according to their systems, I am a human being or I am a mortal when such statements are made, are they error or knowledge?

      They have to accept, and they do accept, that they are erroneous statements, since they believe based on veda pramaaNa that the self that I am is eternal and not mortal. The error is 'deha aatma buddhi' or manushhyatva buddhi or mR^ityatva buddhi - I am the body, I am a man, I am mortal - these errors It is an error accepted by all aastika systems. It is called 'sthuula shariira adhyaasaH', superposition of aatmaa on the gross body. They have to agree for this sthuulashariira adhyaasa. In case if they do not accept it as an error, then their philosophies will reduce to that of Charvaka system of philosophy, which does not believe in the existence of aatmaa, leave alone its eternity. This is because 'dehaatma buddhi' will become a fact, if it is not an error. To be classified under Charvaka will not be acceptable to any aastika philosophers, and therefore they have to accept that dehaatma buddhi (dehe aatmaa buddhi) is an error or adhyaasa and not a fact. Hence the second point is adhyaasa - stuulashariira adhyaasa, is already accepted by puurvapakshii-s even though they are not conscious of it when they raise this objection.

      Since stuulashariira adhyaasa, superimposition of aatmaa on gross body, is inherently accepted by the puurvapakshii-s, they have to accept the extension of this error as aatmaa-anaatmaa adhyaasa. Therefore puurvapakshii has no basis to raise the issue of fulfillment of the four conditions for adhyaasa, since they have accepted the stuulashariira adhyaasa without applying their four conditions. Let us take, for example the first condition, the 'pratyakshatvam' requirement for adhyaasa. It is not applicable, since in stuulashariira adhyaasa that puurvapakshii has already accepted as an error, even though the superimposed aatmaa is apratyaksham. Similarly the same applies with respect to all other conditions that the puurvapakshii has raised. What saadARishyam or similarity is there between aatmaa and stuulashariiram, gross body? Yet it is accepted due to shruti pramaaNa that says aatmaa is different from the inert gross body.

      Hence puurvapakshii has no basis to raise the issue against aatmaa-anaatmaa adhyaasa. Another problem with puurvapakshii's argument is he is bringing conditions pertaining to laukika anumaana which are not necessarily valid for aatmaa-anaatmaa adhyaasa, which is based on shruti that is accepted by both advaitin as well as puurvapakshii as valid pramaaNa.

      While aatmaa-anaatmaa adhyaasa is based on shruti, one can not question even the rope-snake adhyaasa also with the four conditions, since that adhyaasa or error is experienced by us. Hence puurvapakshii can explain, but not question the anubhava based rajju-sarpa adhyaasa. Different philosophers have different explanations for the rajuu-surpa or rope-snake adhyaasa, and these are called khyaati vaada-s.

      aatmaakhyaatirasakhyaatiH akhyaati khyaatiranyathaa |
      tathaa nirvachanakhyaatiH ityetat khyaati pa~nchakam.h ||
      The yogachaara Budhhists say it is aatmaakhyaati, which is one type of explanation. Madhyamika Budhhists say it is asakhyaati. Nyayavaiseshika-s say it is anyathaa khyaati, miimansaka-s say it is akhyaati, advaitins say it is anirvachaniiya khyaati; thus explanation vary for the snake-rope adhyaasa. Shankara says whatever be the explanation, one cannot question the snake-rope adhyaasa since it is based on anubhava or experience or pratyaksha pramaaNa. Similarly the aatmaa-anaatmaa adhyaasa also cannot be questioned since it is based shruti pramaaNa. Everyone's explanation for it may differ but adhyaasa cannot be denied.