Introduction to Brahma Sutrani - 6|
Adhyasa Bhashyam (contd.)
Shankara's answers to the objections raised by other systems of philosophy are
presented in this session:
ADHYAASA SHANKA SAMAADHAANAM/SAMBHAAVANA:
The adhyaasa shanka samaadhanam and ahyaasa sambhaavanam are very closely related.
Therefore, they are dealt together.
a) Pratyaksha vishayatvam (Possibility of direct perception).
Objection: The thing which is mistaken should be a pratyaksha vishaya, an object perceived
in front. Atma is not an object that can be perceived in front.
Ans:For a mistake to take place an object must be evident but it need not necessarily be
an object in front. Atma is not an object in front, but it is a subject, evident enough to
commit a mistake.
b) Ajnaatatvam (Possibility of ignorance).
Objection: Since the Self is self-effulgent, there cannot be any possibility of ignorance.
Ans: Atma, the self is partially known. The sat (existence) and chit (consiousness)
aspects of the Self are known, but the ananda (happiness) aspect is not known. This is
evident from our own personal experience. The fact that I exist as a conscious person is
ever-evident but I am ignorant of the fact that Ananda is my nature. If self ignorance is
not there Upanishads need not teach atma jnanam. Chandogya Upanishad says: atmavit shokam
tarati: The knower of the self crosses the ocean of sorrow.
c) Saadrishyam (Similarity)
Objection: How can there be a similarity between self and non-self, confusion between two
entirely different entities is not possible, Atma being consciousness and Anatma being
Ans: Saadrishyam is a general condition but there are exceptions. We do have cases where
error takes place without any similarity. Eg: Blueness superimposed upon the colorless
d) Samskaarah (Past impressions):
Objection: Satyaanrita mithuni karanam is possible in atma-anatma only when a real anatma
is experienced before. In the example, a real rope and unreal snake are possible because a
real snake has been already experienced by us and from that we get the snake samskaara and
we super-impose a false snake. This implies that a false anatma is possible only if there
is an experience of real anatma.
Ans: Samskaara is required, which comes from the previous experience. The previous
experience of snake is required for mistaking a rope for a snake, but it need not be a
real snake. Super-imposition is possible even by experience of an unreal thing. In the
case of anatma also, one anatma adhyaasa is possible because of the previous anatma
adhyaasa which is unreal. There is no real anatma.
Therefore, all four conditions are fulfilled and adhyaasa is possible.
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