Author Topic: Examination of adhyaasa  (Read 447 times)

Dr. Sadananda

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Examination of adhyaasa
« on: March 01, 2015, 02:18:49 AM »
Examination of adhyaasa

      This adhyaasa or error can be defined differently by looking at it from different angles - As mentioned before the study of knowledge and error comes under the science of epistemology. There are differences of opinions about error (some may be erroneous too !) and these are called khyaati vaada' or analysis of errors. From the standpoint of rope, one can call it as 'misapprehension' of rope - mistaking (missing the rope and taking the snake!) the rope is an error. In Sanskrit it is called 'anyathaa grahaNam or anyathaa khyaati'. The same error can be defined from the standpoint of snake also. From the point of snake error is 'superimposition of a snake', that is a non-existent snake is superimposed on the existing object. This is called 'adhyaaropa' or 'adhyaasa'. A third definition is both from the point of rope and snake. From this point an error is a combination or mixing of some parts of real rope and some parts of unreal snake. When we say 'there is a snake', in that 'there is'- belongs to rope, which is saamaanya a.nsha, which is real. Hence the statement ''there is a snake' involves a real saamaanya a.nsha and unreal visheshha a.nsha. Hence error involves mixing up of satyam, real, and asatyam or unreal or anR^itam.

      Hence error is defined as 'satyaanR^ita mithuniikaraNam' - mixing up of real and unreal. By the mixing up of the two entities, real and unreal, a third singular entity is created that involves parts of the real and part of the unreal. A fellow while seeing a rope says 'there is a snake'. While saying, he does not know that there are two entities, real and unreal, which he is mixing. The problem is, in principle, is inconsequential, but for the fact that he is having a real suffering as a consequence of the mistaken identity or the presence of unreal snake. From our point who knew the whole truth, he is mixing up of the two entities. From the mistaker point, he is not aware of the two things. In his cognition, there is only one entity but only on analysis we find that in his unitary perception there is a satya nsha and anR^ita a.nsha. When he says 'the snake is frightening' - frightening part belongs to anR^ita a.nsha, the snake, whereas the 'is' part belongs to the satya a.nsha, the rope. 'It is a long snake' - the length belongs to the rope and it is therefore satya a.nsha. "It is a poisonous snake' - the poisonous part belongs to snake which is anR^ita a.nsha. ' It is a curved snake' - the curved part belongs to rope, hence satya a.nsha. Hence a peculiar mixture of some aspects which are satyam and some aspects which are anR^itam. He mixes them both to arrive at one unitary entity.

      Similarly when a person says 'I am so and so' - he takes himself as one unitary entity but Shankara says there are two aspects mixed in that statement - a satya a.nsha and anR^ita a.nsha, creating a jiiva who is miserable. When he says 'I am existent conscious being' - existent and conscious are from satya a.nsha. When he says 'I am a fat person' - fat person is anR^ita a.nsha. Hence jiiva is neither pure aatmaaa nor pure anaatmaaaaa, it is a mixture of aatmaaa and anaatmaaaaa, satya and anR^ita a.nsha. It is this mixed unitary entity, jiiva, is striving for liberation. This missing up is called 'error' called 'satyaanR^ita mithuniikaraNam.

      The purpose of Brahmasutra is to inquire into the nature of jiiva to discard the unreal part and to get established in the real part. In this process, the sa.nsaara which is associated with the unreal part gets dissolved and that is Moksha or liberation. This is the general background on adhyaasa.