paricCheda 1 - tritIya mithyAtva vichAra: (part 2)

In the previous post, we had looked at the third definition of mithyAtva proposed by the vivaraNakAra - jnAna nivartyatvam. The nyAyAmritakAra had cited certain exceptions to this definition, which in his opinion, rendered it unfit to describe mithyAtvam completely (avyApti) or accurately (ativyApti). The siddhikAra in each case had addressed the defects identified by the nyAyAmritakAra.

In doing so, the true meaning of jnAna nivartyatvam was brought out as jnAna prayukta avasthiti sAmAnya viraha pratiyogitvam - the general absence of all the states of an object brought about by knowledge. The nyAyAmritakAra may think that this is a refinement that the siddhikAra has independently provided to the original definition. To refute such a potential allegation, the siddhikAra now sets out to prove that this is the intention of the vivaraNAchArya as well. He says:

अतेवोक्तं विवरणाचार्यै: - "अज्ञानस्य स्वकार्येण प्रविलीनेन वर्तमानेन वा सह ज्ञानेन निवृत्तिर्बाध " इति | The same was said by the vivaraNAchArya - sublation is the cessation of ignorance along with its products in their physical state (वर्तमानेन = current, i.e. tangible state) and in their causal state (प्रविलीनेन).

The words 'jnAnena nivritti' of the vivaraNakAra are equivalent to the siddhikAra's 'jnAna prayukta', and the words 'pravilInena vartamAnena vA nivritti' are equivalent to 'avasthiti sAmAnya viraha pratiyogitvam' of the siddhikAra.

Not only the vivaraNakAra, the same has been said by sureshvarAchArya too.

वार्तिककृद्भिश्चोक्तं - "तत्त्वमस्यादिवाक्योत्थसम्बन्धधीजन्ममात्रत: | अविद्या सह कार्येण नासीदस्ति भविष्यति ||" इति | The vartikakAra also has said this - by the mere rise (janma mAtra) of the jnAna (sAkshAtkAra) that is born out of the mahAvAkya "That thou art", avidyA and its products cease to exist in any of the three periods of time - past, present and future.
सह कार्येण नासीदिति लीनेन कार्येण सह निवृत्त्यभिप्रायं | by the words "(avidyA) with its products were not in existence", the sublation of the object along with its samskAra (latent impression) is implied.

How? To answer, let us consider, when do we talk of an object in the past tense? When we are reminded of an occasion in the past in relation to the object. Therefore when we say "there was a pot", we can infer that a samskAra of the pot exists now, which triggered the memory of its past existence. Therefore by saying nAsIt (it was not in existence), the vArtikakAra is implying samskAra nivritti (लीनेन कार्येण सह). By the use of nAsti (it is not in existence), the vArtikakAra is referring to the negation of its physical state in the present.

"सह कार्येण न भविष्यति" इति तु भाविकार्यनिवृत्त्यभिप्रायमितन्यदेतत् | by saying avidyA and its products will not come into existence (na bhaviShyati), it means that the effect cannot be born if the cause, ignorance, no longer exists. By anyadetat, siddhikAra is saying that this - that an effect cannot come into existence without its cause - is an aspect not relevant to our discussion now.

Now we take a little diversion to consider whether avidyA is one or many. If avidya is one, ie there is only one ignorance, then the destruction of ignorance, will lead to the rise of brahma jnAna. That is, if shell ignorance is removed by knowledge of the shell, knowledge of brahman should also arise, as in destroying shell-ignorance, the only ignorance is destroyed. However, this is an absurd proposition - many disappointed silver seekers would end up as brahma jnAnis! 

To avoid this, if one were to say that the knowledge of the shell does not remove the ignorance of the shell, then that is equivalent to saying knowledge cannot remove ignorance. Thus brahma jnAna will also not remove brahma ajnAna. There is no drishTAnta, example, with which to argue that with brahma jnAna, brahma ajnAna nivritti is possible. Thus there are some logical problems when using the shell-silver example, in the case where avidyA is one. They can be surmounted, but for this discussion, the siddhikAra takes the case of avidyA being many.

रूप्योपादानमज्ञानम् स्वकार्येण वर्तमानेन लीनेन वा सहाधिष्ठानसाक्षात्कारान्निवर्तते | तत्तद्रूप्योपादानानामज्ञानानाम् भेदाभ्युपगमादिति न दृष्टान्ते साध्यवैकल्यम् ;
The sublation of the illusory shell silver and its material cause, shell ignorance, happens when the shell is directly perceived. This silver can be present at the time of perception or only as a latent impression. Each form having a different material cause, a different ajnAna (ie nAnA ajnAna paksha), there is no sAdhya vaikalyam, ie the charge that mithyAtva (jnAna nivartyatvam) does not exist in the example, is refuted. With each jnAna, the cessation of both the illusion and its material cause, which is a unique ignorance, happens. Thus in the nAna ajnAna paksha, there is no sAdhya vaikalyam.

मुद्गरपातानन्तरं घटो नास्तीति प्रतीतिवदधिष्ठानज्ञानानन्तरं शुक्त्यज्ञानं तद्गतरुप्यं च नास्तीति प्रतीते: सर्वसंमतत्वात् | After a hammer breaks a pot, its clearly known that there is no pot in existence. Similarly,  after the knowledge of the substratum, the knowledge that neither shell ignorance nor its product, shell-silver, is in existence is clearly acceptable by everyone.

The nyAyAmritakAra had said that jnAna nivartyatvam is not an acceptable definition, it has to be refined to jnAnatva vyApya dharmeNa jnAna nivartyatvam (the sublation by a special case of jnAna). jnAnatvam is present in all cognitions in general, whereas sAkshAtkAratvam (of the nature of direct perception), anubhavatvam (of the nature of experience), smrititvam (of the nature of memory) etc are jnAnatvavyApya, special cases of jnAna. He had argued that the sublation by knowledge is not by all cognitions (ie with jnAnatva sAmAnya dharma), but it is a special kind of jnAna that sublates (jnAnatvavyApya dharmeNa jnAna nivartyatvam). He had gone on to argue that even this definition was incorrect because there is an overextension, ativyApti, in the case of samskAra. He had also said that there is ativyApti in the case of the sublation of one cognition by another cognition that immediately follows it.

The siddhikAra now refutes both these defects.

ज्ञानत्वव्याप्यधर्मेण ज्ञाननिवर्त्यत्वमित्यपि साधु | It is correct to say that the sublatability by knowledge is in fact the sublatability by a special kind of knowledge. 
उत्तरज्ञानस्य पुर्वज्ञाननिवर्तकत्वं च न ज्ञानत्वव्याप्यधर्मेण,  किन्त्विच्छादिसाधारणे नोदीच्यात्मविशेषगुणत्वेन उदीच्यत्वेन वेति न सिद्धसाधनादि | The destruction of one knowledge by the subsequent knowledge, is not because the subsequent knowledge has a special attribute - any knowledge in general that arises subsequently, including icChA (desire) etc, which according to the naiyyAyika is a special attribute of the Atma, is capable of superceding the previous knowledge. Therefore, it is udIcyatvam of the jnAna, ie its immediate occurrence after the prior knowledge, which gives it the ability to remove the previous knowledge.  We had already seen that such a subsequent jnAna cannot remove the samskAra of the previous jnAna, so this 'destruction' is not a case of jnAna nivartyatvam.

नापीच्छाद्यनिवर्तये स्मृतित्वे न ज्ञाननिवर्त्ये संस्कारे अतिव्याप्ति: Latent impressions, are not destroyed by desire, but memory, leading to the overextension of this definition of mithyAtva to samskAra - this was the view of the nyAyAmritakAra. According to him, the memory of an object / experience can remove the samskAra of that object / experience. Thus he had argued that memory, a jnAnatva vyApya dharma, is capable of removing samskAra, making it mithyA. The siddhikAra refutes this view (that memory can remove samskAra). 

There are three views within nyAya in this regard:

1) raghunAtha shiromaNi (dIdhiti) - there is destruction of latent impressions due to memory. That recollection creates a new latent impression which is stronger. If that is again recollected, it will destroy the newer impression and create another stronger impression, and so on.
2) vishvanAtha bhaTTAcArya (nyAya siddhAnta muktAvali) - latent impressions are not created by memory, only by experience. Similarly, impressions are not destroyed by memory. With each recollection, the impression is activated (samskAra udbodha), which keeps the impression from deactivating, making it stronger.
3) the ancients (prAchina) - Both experience and memory create latent impressions. Memory does not destroy impressions. With each recollection, new impressions are created. The multitude of impressions about the same object make it strong.

स्मृतित्वेन स्मृते: संस्कारनिवर्तकत्वे मानाभावात् | There is no pramANa, basis, to claim that memory can destroy latent impressions.

स्मृतौ हि जातायां संस्कारो दृढो भवतीत्यनुभवसिद्धम् | In fact, experience tell us that our latent impressions become stronger with each recollection.

तेषां दृढतरत्वं च समानविषयकसंस्कारानेकत्वादित्य दोष: | When the same experience is recollected, newer samskAras created, causing the recollection to become stronger. As a result, the claim that memory destroys latent impressions is not true and therefore there is no defect here.

वस्तुतस्तु, साक्षात्कारत्वेन ज्ञाननिवर्त्यत्वम् विवक्षितम् ; अतो न पूर्वोक्तदोष: | In any case, what is meant is that it is the direct perception of the substratum that leads to the sublation. Therefore, the previous defects cited do not apply.

नापि निश्चयत्वेन ज्ञानत्वव्याप्यधर्मेण ज्ञाननिवर्त्ये संशये अतिव्याप्तिरीति सर्वमवदातम् || When we have certainty, any doubts that we may have are cleared. nishchayatvam (certitude) which is a special property of jnAna, is also jnAnatva vyApya dharma. The pUrvapakshi may argue that as doubt is removed due to jnAna endowed with certainty,  it leads to ativyApti in the case of doubt. However, since the intention of the jnAnatva vyApya dharma was to refer to sAkshAtkAratvam, such a charge is uncalled for.

With this, the chapter covering the third definition of mithyAtva in the advaita siddhi has been completed.

Originally posted on 24th November, 2017.