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AdvaitaSiddhi – Lecture 5 – Part 2

Posted by on March 2, 2016

After this the entire discussion is based on Nyayamritakara’s arguments against falsity. The revered author establishes the purvapaksha to establish the siddhanta point of view.
To understand mithyatwa one has to first understand the characteristics of mithatwa, i.e. the lakshan of mithyatwa. In Nyaya we have the famous saying “lakshan pramanabhyam vastu siddhi na cha pratijna matram” which means just by simply asserting something one cannot “prove” anything. In the context of the present debate this means that by asserting there is “mithyatwa” one does not establish mithyatwa as a distinct ontological concept. One has to actually define its characteristics and then proceed to establish its existence. In other words, one has to first give a definition (of mithyatwa) and then support it by means of right knowledge. Only then anyone will be able to accept the actual existence of mithyatwa.
So what is the lakshana of mithyatwa?
In this text Advaita-Siddhi, five definitions of mithyatwa is accepted and all of them are given by great Acharyas of the Advaita tradition.
Adyam sa panchapadikauktam tato vivaranaditodwe
Chitsukhi –chaturthsyat ante Anandabodhkam
His sloka is from a tika on Advaiat-siddhi. It means the first definition is given in the text is from Panchapadikacharya. The second and third definition is given by Vivaranacharya in His book Vivarana which is a commentary on Panchapadika. The next is given by Chitsukhacharya in Tattwapradipika. The last one is given by Anandbodhacharya. We now proceed to the main text.
The opponent asks:
Nanu km idang mithyatwang sadhyate? Na twavat mithya shabda anirvachanitam iti panchapadikavachanat sad asad anadhikaranatwarupam anirvachayatwam.
What is the definition of mithyatwa? Don’t say mithyatwa means “anirvachaniyata”= that which is inexplicable. This is what is accepted in panchapadika text, it (anirvachaniiyata) means “ sad-asad anihidakaranawatam”.
The opponent refuses to give any validity to this definition of falsity because he has doubts regarding this definition:
Tat hi kim satwavishitasatwabhava, uta satwaatayantaabhavasatwatyantaabhavarupang dharmadyam, ahosit satwaatyantaabhavavatwe sati asatwaatyantaabhavarupang vishitam
The purvapakshi is trying to break the compound word “sad-asad aniadhikaranatwam” and to understand the samasa. Is it of course not satwa vishishta asatwa non-existence qualified by existence. This is because it is impossible to have non –existence which is qualified by existence. So is it absence of satwa endowed with asatwa?
Or,
Is it absence of satwa (existence) and absence of asatwa (non-existence), both?
Or,
Is it eternal absence of satwa endowed with eternal absence of non-existence?
Nyayamritakara now proceeds to show all these definitions are not correct. He thus says,
Na adya, satwamatradhare jagate satwavishistasatwana abhupagamat vishishitabhavasadhane siddhasadhanat.
For the Madhavas, this universe is real=sat. In this sat jagat, i.e. a jagat which is qualified by sat one cannot simply conceive non-existence. Hence in the dwaita school also there is absence of sat qualified by non-existence. Hence if the first alternative be accepted as the meaning of mithyatwa, then Advaitins perform a logical fallacy known as Siddha-sadhana dosha, proving what is already proved/accepted(by the opponent).
Here, one may ask what about the second alternative. Even that is refuted by the Nyayamritakara:
Na dwitiyaha, satwasatwayo akabhave aparsatwavashyaktwen vayaghat.
The dualist argues that the second alternative i.e. mithyatwa is the absence of both existence and non-existence cannot be accepted on logical ground. This is because it means absence of existence and absence of non existence in the same place. This can happen only on the basis of different relations. Alternatively, existence and non-existence of the same object can happen in different places. Here, the Advaitin posits existence and non-existence in the same locus (jagat/universe) without specifying any relation. This is simply impossible, as existence and non-existence are opposed to each other like light and darkness. The absence of one would imply the presence of the other. This is vyaghat dosha= contradiction.
He further argues:
nirdharmaka bhramavat satwarahitya api sad ruptwen amithyatwoupapatya arthantatar dosha.
Here, Nyayamritakara shows what is known in logic as arthanatara dosha. This fallacy occurs when something is proved which was, not the intention of the speaker to be proved. That is when one is asked to prove something and he proves something totally unrelated. Te dualist argues as follows: Even if it is accepted tthat mithya implies both the absence of existence and absence of non existence, there would be arthantara dosha for the Advaitin. This is because in the system of Advaita, Brahman is accepted to be attributeless, hence Brahman cannot posses either the attribute of existence or the attribute of non existence. Hence Brahman becomes included in the definition of mithya. However, this is not a position tenable to Advaitins, because they accept (based on Upanishads) that Brahman is sat. Jagat which has both the absences of existence and non-existence, then should be accepted as sat also (like Brahman, because the situation is identical as Brahman which has absence of both existence and non-existence is accepted to be sat). Thus, the Advaitins wanted to prove that this jagat is false, but they ended up in accepting that jagat is real. Hence the second option leads to an obvious logical fallacy.

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