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Avidya alias Adhyasa

Posted by on February 25, 2013

Was in Brindavan for a coule of days, as I was asked by some of the sadhus there I did adhyasa bhashya for them. In that there is a statement in the bhashya, “tam etam evam lakshanam adhyasam panditaa avidya iti  manyante” – that this adhyasa is accepted as avidhya by the knowledgeable people, when I was explaining this as adhyasa and avidya are synonyms and not different.

There was a doubt raised by one of the sadhus. The reason being, many a commentator have explained this avidya as the cause and adhyasa as the effect. But we have not distinguished between both. Here what they say is, avidya is the karana, cause and adhyasa is  the karya, effect. Because we see sometimes that the avidya though exist in the deep sleep state or in the Samadhi state does not cause any trouble but only when we have the adhyasa, its effect, we have trouble.

This idea is not right (though for prakriya sake i am ready to accept anything and everything now J). Because, if the avidya and adhyasa are seen as cause and effect, the whole point is explained by bhagavan bhashyakara himself this adhyasa is avidya and “tat vivekena vastusvarupa avadharanam vidyam ahu” by the right knowledge of this we gain the clarity of the true Self which is called as vidya. Now, if this is what is vidya, e clear knowledge of the adhyasa then we cannot understand avida in anyother  way. Because if we remove the adhyasa through understanding and after removal of it if the avidya still exists, it will because we have not removed the cause but only the effect. Then we will never be able to attain mukti.

To support this view, bhagavan bhashyakara goes on to say, “tam etam avidhyakhyam atmanatmanor itetara adhyasam” – that this that is reffered to as avidya (named as avidya) which is the non-differentibility of the atma from the anatma which is adhyasa. Here He refers to the adhyasa as that which is called avidya. Now, if we say “this boy called rama” in this statement the boy and rama cannot be accepted to be in cause-effect relationship.


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