Author Topic: Objections to adhyaasa -adhyaasa sha~Nkaa  (Read 470 times)

Dr. Sadananda

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Objections to adhyaasa -adhyaasa sha~Nkaa
« on: March 01, 2015, 02:16:31 AM »
Objections to adhyaasa -adhyaasa sha~Nkaa

      The objections are raised by all other systems of philosophies, sankhya, yoga, vaiseshika etc., who claim that adhyaasa introduction is an improper introduction because aatmaa-anaatmaaaa adhyaasa is impossible. Rope-snake adhyaasa is possible which can be accepted but not aatmaa-anaatmaaaa adhyaasa. To establish that the puurvapakshii (the objector) gives the following reasons. Any superimposition like rope-snake superimposition requires four conditions to be satisfied simultaneously. Only if all the four conditions are fulfilled then this satyaanR^ita mithuniikaraNam can occur otherwise it is not possible. In the case of aatmaa-anaatmaaaa adhyaasa not a single one of the four conditions is satisfied. Hence the idea of adhyaasa is itself an adhyaasa or a mistake.

      Let us illustrate the four conditions using the rope-snake example. First, the rope is a 'pratyaksha vishhaya', a directly perceivable object in front. Hence the first condition is 'pratyaksha vishhayatvam', an object which is directly perceivable in front. That is 'there is a rope in front', for anyone to mistake it as a snake.

      The second condition is that the rope should not be completely known. One should be ignorant of the fact that it is a rope. Hence the second condition is called 'aGYaatatvam', absence of the complete knowledge of the rope.

      The third condition is saadR^ishyam - there should be a similarity between what I superimpose and what is there in front. I mistake the rope only as a snake but not as an elephant or monkey, because there is no saadR^ishyam between rope and the elephant or monkey.

      The fourth condition is 'sa.nskaaram'. That is a false snake is superimposed because I had an experience of a real snake before which left the impression or vaasanaa in my mind. Because of that snake vaasanaa or 'sa.nskaara' alone I commit the mistake that the rope as a snake. If I have not experienced a real snake before then there is no question of mistaking the rope as a snake. Therefore the fourth condition is 'puurva anubhava janya sa.nskaaraH', a vaasanaa which is born out of the experience of a real snake before. Hence only when the four conditions, pratyaksha vishhayatvam, aGYaatatvam, saadR^ishyam and puurva sa.nskaara, are there, then one can have an error due to the superimposition or adhyaasa. If one applies this to aatmaa-anaatmaaaa case, none of the four conditions is fulfilled. Hence aatmaa-anaatmaaaa adhyaasa is impossible.

      Let us examine this in detail. The first condition is pratyaksha vishhayatvam - rope is clearly perceived as an object for the mistake to take place. In the case of aatmaaa, is it an object to be perceived in front to commit a mistake? aatmaaa is apratyakshaH, avishhayaH -it is imperceptible and also not an object - Thus it is not an object in front for any one to commit a mistake. Hence the first condition is not fulfilled. aatmaanaH apratyakshatvaat, a claim made by advaitin himself that aatmaa cannot be directly perceived, and that violates the first condition.

      The second condition is aGYaatatvam, ignorance with regard to rope in the rope-snake example. But in the case of aatmaaa advaitin accepts that aatmaaa is svayaM prakaashaH(self evident or self-effulgent), nitya chaitanya swaruupaH (always conscious). Hence how can there be ignorance with regard to self-evident aatmaaa? nityopalabdha swaruupaH - swaya.n jyotiH -It is self-luminous or shines by itself - these are advaitin's own statements regarding aatmaaa. If that is the case, how can there be ignorance in that chaitanya swaruupa swam prakaashha aatmaaa, self-conscious, self-shining aatmaaa? Hence the second condition of aGYaatatvam is not fulfilled and hence no adhyaasa is possible.

      The third condition is saadR^ishyam, similarity.

      Between aatmaaa and anaatmaaaaa what similarity is there? They are diagonally opposite to one another in all features. aatmaaa is the subject and anaatmaaaaa is the object. aatmaaa is chetanam (conscious entity) and anaatmaaaaa is jaDam( inert), aatmaa is sarva gatam (all pervading) anaatmaaaaa is alpa gatam (limited in time and space), aatmaaa is nirguNam (attributeless) where as anaatmaaaaa is saguNam(with attributes) - In every aspect they are opposite. Shankara says in his bhaashhyam 'tamaH prakaashavat viruddha swabhaavayoH, vishhaya vishhayinoH, yushhmadashhmat pratyaya gocharayoH' - they are diagonally opposite to each other like light and darkness, one is object and the other is subject etc. Hence saadR^ishyam or similarity is not at all there. Hence the third condition is not fulfilled.

      The fourth condition is sa.nskaaraH - Advaitin claims anaatmaaaaa is unreal and aatmaaa is real - since it involves satyaanR^ita mithuniikaraNam - satya aatmaa and anR^ita anaatmaaa are mixed up. In the case of snake the unreal snake is possible because we have experienced a real snake before. The sa.nskaara of real snake is there in the mind. In the case of aatmaa-anaatmaaa superimposition, for the unreal anaatmaa to be superimposed on real aatmaa, we should have prior sa.nskaara or experience of real anaatmaa, that is, we should have experienced before a real anaatmaa. But advaitin himself claims that there is no real anaatmaa at all because aatmaa alone is real, which is one without a second. Therefore the sa.nskaara, the fourth condition is also not fulfilled.

      Since all the four conditions are not fulfilled the aatmaa-anaatmaa adhyaasa is impossible. Hence the very foundation of Advaita Vedanta is on shaky grounds.

      Thus according to puurvapakshii for adhyaasa to operate all the four conditions need to be satisfied - they are 1. pratyaksha vishhayatvam, 2. aGYaatatvam, 3. saadR^ishyam, and 4. sa.nskaaraH. puurvapakshii, the objector shows while all the things are applicable to snake-rope case but none for aatmaa-anaatmaa case. Therefore aatmaa-anaatmaa adhyaasa is impossible and hence the whole theory of based on adhyaasa is wrong.

      This ends the arguments of the puurvapakshii or an objector.

      (A Note: We pause here for few days for us to think deeply - Is puurvapakshii or objector right in his arguments? If we are convinced of Advaita can we contour his arguments to show that adhyaasa is possible in the case of aatmaa-anaatmaa case? - what do you think? How do you address these objections? Can one argue that all the four requirements are met in the case of aatmaa-anaatmaa case as in the case of rope-snake example and therefore adhyaasa is applicable? Or is it the time now to switch our party and move to a different list? The ball is now in your court.)

      adhyaasa bhaashhyam (continued)

      In the last notes we stopped with puurvapakshii's claims that aatmaa-anaatmaa adhyaasa is not possible even though rope-shake adhyaasa is possible. For adhyaasa involving 'satyaanR^ita mithuniikaraNam', mixing up of real and unreal entities, four conditions need to be satisfied, simultaneously. All the four conditions are satisfied for the rope-snake case but none are fulfilled for the aatmaa-anaatmaa case. They are pratyaksha vishhayatvam, aGYaatatvam, saadR^ishyam and sa.nskaaram. (The reader is referred back to for details). Since none of the four conditions are satisfied, aatmaa-anaatmaa adhyaasa is not possible, and the concept of adhyaasa is wrong. Since adhyaasa is the foundation for Advaita Vedanta, the whole philosophy is on shaky grounds. This is the objector's contention.