paricCheda 1 - dvitIya mithyAtva vichAra: (part 4)

The last three posts of this chapter are available here:

In the previous post on the topic, we had taken a look at an objection raised by the nyAyAmritakAra to the second definition of mithyAtvam - pratipanna upAdhau traikAlika niShedha pratiyogitvam. The absence of an object in all three periods of time in the locus of its appearance is mithyAtva.

The negation of the world is absolute
The nyAyAmritakAra had asked - is the negation of the world, an absolute absence? Or is the negation an absence of absoluteness? If the former, this contradicts shruti which says that the world was created. A non-existent thing cannot be created.

If the latter, negation is the absence of absoluteness (pAramArthikatvam) -  you had defined pAramArthika sat as that which is abAdhyam (ie not mithyA), and now you have defined mithyA as that which is not pAramArthikam. Thus the absence of sat is mithyA and the absence of mithyA is sat. There is anyonya Ashraya, or mutual dependency between the definitions of sat and mithyA, leading to neither one being proven. Secondly, if mithyA is the absence of pAramArthikam, a mithyA object does not have pAramArthikatvam. Is the absence of pAramArthikatvam in that object an absolute absence or an absence of absoluteness? If the first, then all the defects of an absolute absence are reiterated and if the latter, is the absence of absoluteness an absolute absence or an absence of absoluteness. This leads to infinite regress.

We now look at the siddhikAra's response to these arguments. He says:
इति चेन्मैवं if this is the argument, not so.
स्वरूपेणैव त्रैकालिकनिषेधप्रतियोगित्वस्य प्रपञ्चे शुक्तिरूप्ये चाङ्गीकारात् we hold that the negation of the pratiyogi in all three periods of time is an absolute negation - that is, neither the world nor the shell-silver are existent in any of the three periods of time. How?
तथाहि - शुक्तौ रजतभ्रमानान्तरं अधिष्ठानतत्वसाक्षात्कारे रूप्यं नास्ति नासीन्नभविष्यतीति स्वरूपेणैव, 'नेह नाने'ति श्रुत्या च प्रपञ्चस्य स्वरूपेणैव निषेधप्रतीते: - after the illusion of silver seen in a shell is removed by the direct knowledge of the shell, the substratum, the negation of silver is absolute - it does not exist now, did not at any time in the past, nor will it at any time in the future. In a similar fashion, the shruti which says "there is no multiplicity here" negates the existence of the world absolutely.

Now a subsidiary enquiry is taken up. The siddhikAra says:
नच - तत्र लौकिकपरमार्थरजतमेव स्वरूपेण निषेधप्रतियोगीति - वाच्यं  Do not argue thus - the silver that is being negated absolutely (in the shell) is a silver that has worldly reality (vyAvahArika).
भ्रमबाधयोर्वैयधिकरण्यापत्ते: अप्रसक्तप्रतिषेधापत्तेश्च because if that was the case, the silver that is negated would be vyAvahArika, and the silver that is seen, prAtibhAsika. The illlusion and its negation would be referring to different entities. If I see a pot and negate a cloth, then the negation cannot sublate the pot. Similarly if the illusion and sublating knowledge do not have the same object, sublation will not happen. Secondly, only that which appears can be denied. One cannot deny that which has no relevance. Therefore, if what appears is prAtibhAsika silver, one cannot deny some other silver  - that is a case of denial of something that was never even suggested / did not appear.  

नच तर्ह्युत्पत्त्याद्यसंभव: However, the absolute denial of the world does not mean that its creation is an impossibility. The nyAyAmritakAra had said that if the world was absolutely denied - ie it does not exist even when it is seen, then how can its creation, etc be talked about? No one theorises about the creation of a hare's horn. To this, the siddhikAra says:

नह्यनिषिद्धस्वरूपत्वमुत्पत्त्यादिमत्त्वे तन्त्रं, परैरनिषेध्यरूपत्वेनाङ्गीकृतस्य वियदादेरुत्पत्त्याद्यनङ्गीकारात् it is not necessary that the non absence of objects is a requirement for their creation. For example, some (ie naiyyAyikas) say space does not have absolute absence. They however hold that space is eternal and thus not created. 
Thus the absolute absence (or not)  and creation (or not) are two independent factors.

किन्तु वस्तुस्वभावादिकमन्यदेव किञ्चित् प्रयोजकं वक्तव्यं | therefore it must be said that the creation of an object is dependent on some other factor intrinsic to the object. Now, the pUrvapakshi may argue that if the object itself is not there, how can one say it has an intrinsic factor that determines whether it is created or not? To this, the siddhikAra says:

तस्य मयापि कल्पितस्य स्वीकारात् | If the object itself is non-existent, it cannot have an existent attribute either, however it can have an attribute that is imagined. To explain,  I am not denying that a pot has pot-ness. I am denying that the pot has existence. Similarly, I am not denying that the shell-silver seen has silver-ness, I am denying that the shell silver exists.

Holding the negation as absolute does not contradict vivaraNa
The nyAyAmritakAra quotes a sentence from the vivaraNa which seems to indicate that the vivaraNakAra's opinion is that the negation of the shell-silver is not an absolute negation, but the negation of absolute-ness. That is, the pUrvapakshi claims that the vivaraNakAra himself is saying that the view of advaita is not that shell-silver is absolutely absent, but that what is seen is not the real silver seen in a shop. The implication is far-reaching. This means that the world too does not have absolute non-existence, it only lacks ultimate existence. That being the case, the niShedha in traikAlika niShedha is not absolute, but only a denial of absoluteness. 

The siddhikAra says:
नच - त्रैकालिकनिषेधं प्रति स्वरूपेणापणस्थं रूप्यं पारमार्थिकत्वाकारेण प्रातिभासिकम् वा प्रतियोगीति मतहानि: स्यादिति - वाच्यं;
Do not argue thus - Holding the prAtibhAsika shell-silver as the counter-positive of the negation contradicts the words of the vivaraNAchArya - "the counter-positive of the negation of the shell silver in any of the three periods of time is the real silver that appears in the shop. The prAtibhAsika silver becomes the pratiyogi as the vyAvahArika silver." Thus what was said by you, the siddhikAra, is wrong.

The siddhikAra says  - the vivaraNAchArya is a teacher in the advaita tradition. Therefore, the correct interpretation of his words should be based on what an advaitin says - you cannot superimpose any meaning that takes your fancy on his words.

अस्याचार्यवचस: पारमार्थिकलौकिकरजततादात्म्येन प्रतीतम् प्रातिभासिकमेव रजतं प्रतियोगीत्यर्थ: |  These words of the AchArya mean that the pratiyogi of the negation of silver in the sublating knowledge is the prAtibhAsika silver, which appears to have a similarity (tAdAtmyam) to the vyAvahArika silver - and not that the pratiyogi is the vyAvahArika silver itself.

आपणस्थं रूप्यम् प्रातिभासिकम् स्वरूपेण पारमार्थिकत्वाकारेण वा त्रैकालिकनिषेधं प्रति प्रतियोगि - the prAtibhAsika shell-silver that appears to us as real as the one in the shop is the counter-positive of the absolute negation in all three times. As a concession (tuShyatu durjana nyAya), we can say that the negation is of the absolute silver.

तच्च स्वरूपेण पारमार्थिकत्वेन वेत्यनास्थायां वा शब्द: |  the usage of "vA" after the word "pAramArthikatvena" indicates that he does not have a desire towards the absolute-ness of the silver. Here the vA is not used as an alternative, it is used as a concession.

The vivaraNakAra could have said this directly, why did he make a reference to the ApaNastha rajata (the silver seen in the shop)? This will be discussed in the next post.

Originally posted on 15th October, 2017.