Author Topic: Ontological status of pramaaNa if there is adhyaasa  (Read 506 times)

Dr. Sadananda

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Ontological status of pramaaNa if there is adhyaasa
« on: March 01, 2015, 01:58:41 AM »
Ontological status of pramaaNa if there is adhyaasa

      The next important issue is related to Veda-s as pramaaNa. Shankara says ignorance can only go with the knowledge of Brahman and the source of the knowledge for Brahman is Veda-s which are apaurushheya. Hence the inquiry into the nature of Brahman as stated in Brahmasutra. But in the discussion of adhyaasa, the satya a.nsha is only 'aham' or 'I am' and any other is only a superimposition of unreal on the real. This include all idam vastu-s or all that can be identified as idam or 'this' - These are not real and are superimposition on Brahman. Then the question is, are Veda-s real or unreal?. If Veda-s are real like Brahman then we have duality, Brahman and Veda-s and that violates the Advaita doctrine which states that Brahman is one without a second. If Veda-s are unreal then how can the unreal pramaaNa provide a knowledge of the reality? False books cannot teach us about real science! If Veda-s are unreal and such unreal texts are pramaaNa, the knowledge that they provide will also be apramaa or bhrama. Hence there is no use of inquiry of Brahman using invalid tools. In addition as per Advaitin, if Veda-s are considered as unreal, similar to the world which is considered as unreal, then Advaita cannot claim as aastika system of philosophy. It should be considered as naastika system similar to Budhhism.

      In fact they are more parallel to Buddhism, with nirguNa Brahman, which cannot described by any means, since all descriptions presuppose guNa-s. Brahman is as good as 'shuunyam', which cannot be described since there is nothing to describe it.

      Thus there are many questions raised against Advaita doctrine and Shri Vedanta Deshika has written a book with the title a 'shataduushaNii', hundred objections to advaita. We will address some of these later but it is suffice at this stage to know that philosophical discussions were kept alive. These discussions and counter discussion are back bone of our culture, and inquiry into the nature of reality is there at the time of Veda Vyasa, at the time of Shankara and even now with advancement of science and technology, as in the advaitin list serve ! These discussions are not necessarily for convincing somebody else, but at least for convincing the discussor himself. Otherwise there will be 'vyabhicaara doshha' - a vagrant mind uncertain about what the goal is.

      Now, those who want to venture into the discussion of the above issues may do so. But for the time being we will formally end here the adhyaasa bhaashhyam and we will next take up Shankara's Brahmasutra Bhashya. When and if the time permits we will come back later to address the above issues.

      This completes the Notes on adhyaasa bhaashhyam. With this introduction, Shankara takes up the suutra bhaashhyam. adhyaasa bhaashhyam forms the back bone for the entire analysis of the suutras and hence its importance need not be emphasized. This section should be thoroughly studied not only from the point of its contents but also from the point of its implications in terms of our day to day life.

      We will start the notes with discussion of Sutra 1, after three weeks. This will give some time to contemplate on the contents discussed so far.