Gaudapada’s Arguments against Phenomena, Creation, and Pluralism in Support of Non-dualism
Excerpt from Epistemics of Divine Reality (AAHE Thesis 2007, Google 2009, Lulu 2011)
The Advaitin Search for Unity in Diversity
The Advaitin Search for Unity in Diversity
1. In the search for the external, one begins with the attempt to first understand the internal, viz. consciousness.
2. Before knowing what is out there, one begins with the attempt to first understand why knowing even exists.
3. If consciousness as one experiences it is false, then all quest no matter how scientific it appears will be wrong headed. But if consciousness as one experiences it is true, then the quest can end up in truth.
4. The problem is not why something exists, but why something such as consciousness exists. The knower is thus the starting point.
5. Liberation, thus, becomes noetic; knowledge of the Truth brings salvation.
6. No wonder, then, in advaita the Brahman is called Sat-chit-ananda, meaning Being-Consciousness-Bliss, with pure consciousness as the essence of being and bliss; bliss being that condition of being as consciousness in which no distraction or strife by virtue of duality exists.
1. Objects perceived in a dream are false since they cannot be located in finite body (II.1, 2).
2. Objects perceived in the dream and the waking states, being common in the sense of both being perceived, are similar and, therefore, one (II.4, 5).
3. Therefore, objects perceived in the waking states are as false as objects perceived in the dream state.
1. Since consciousness is one, its perception must be consistent.
2. To say that objects in dream are false but objects in the waking state are real is to say that consciousness is inconsistent in perceiving things.
3. But if consciousness is inconsistent, then truth cannot be known for certain.
4. Since the objects in dream are obviously false from the standpoint of the waking state, it must be inferred that the objects in the waking state are false from another standpoint, and so on, in order that consistency of consciousness be maintained.
5. The standpoints cannot be infinite; therefore a final condition of consciousness must exist.
6. In the final analysis, it must, for the sake of consistency, be maintained that the objects of both the dream and waking states are false.
7. Therefore, the objects of both the dream and waking states are false and phenomenal plurality as it appears is unreal.
1. A thing can never change in its nature (as fire cannot change its heat).
2. The soul is immortal by nature.
3. Therefore, the soul can never become mortal, i.e., it can never pass into birth.
1. A thing that already exists does not pass into birth (for it already is).
2. A thing that does not pre-exist cannot pass into birth (for something cannot come out of nothing).
3. Therefore, there is no birth.
1. The only way the cause can take birth is by (at least partial) disintegration of itself.
2. But nothing that disintegrates can be eternal.
3. Therefore, if the cause disintegrates, then it cannot be eternal.
4. But the cause is eternal.
5. Therefore, it cannot disintegrate; i.e., it does not take birth.
1. By analogy, the effect is produced by the cause, even as a son is born of a father.
2. The father cannot be born of the son.
3. Likewise, therefore, the cause cannot be produced from the effect.
1. Every causal relation has a sequence (wherein the cause precedes the effect).
2. The Sankhya cause and effect are devoid of a sequence.
3. Therefore, the Sankhya cause and effect have no causal relation, which is to say that the cause does not produce the effect.
1. If external objects do not exist then consciousness has no contact with them.
2. External objects do not exist.
3. Therefore, consciousness has no contact with them.
4. However, if consciousness exists it should be eternal (for as already seen if it once was not, it cannot come to be).
5. Consciousness exists.
6. Therefore, it is eternal (has no birth).
7. Consequently, consciousness is eternal and external objects perceived by it do not come into being as they appear to be so.
1. If something is beginningless then it is also endless.
2. The phenomenal world is said to be beginningless.
3. Therefore, it is also endless.
1. If anything has a beginning then it has an end.
2. Liberation has a beginning.
3. Therefore liberation has an end, that is to say it is not eternal.
1. As the firebrand appears to be straight or crooked when in movement, so does Consciousness appear to be the knower and the known when in vibration (IV. 47).
2. As the firebrand, when not in motion, becomes free from appearances and birth, so Consciousness, when not in vibration, will be free from appearances and birth (IV. 48).
3. The appearances of the firebrand in motion are not externally caused. Neither do they come from anywhere else nor do they go anywhere else from it (since appearances are not things and so lack substantiality); likewise, when Consciousness is in vibration, the appearances do not come to It from anywhere else, nor do they go anywhere else from It when It is at rest. Appearances lack substantiality and therefore are unreal (IV. 49-52).
4. In this way the external entities (appearances) are not the products of Consciousness; neither is Consciousness a product of external entities. Thus, the knowers confirm the non-existence of cause and effect (IV. 54). Consciousness is, thus, objectless and eternally without relations (IV. 72).
5. As in dream Consciousness vibrates as though having dual functions, so in the waking state Consciousness vibrates as though with two facets as subject and object (IV. 61, 62).
1. In the same manner that magic is not an object that exists; Maya also is not an object that exists (IV. 58, 59).
2. As a creature conjured up by magic (Yatha mayamayo jeevo) undergoes birth and death, so also do all creatures appear and disappear (IV. 69).
3. The birthless Self becomes differentiated verily through Maya, and it does so in no other way than this. For should It become multiple in reality, the immortal will undergo mortality (III. 19). That is, the contradiction of “immortal is mortal” (A≠A) occurs.
4. The imagination that a plurality of objects exists is the Maya (delusion) of the Self by which it itself is deluded (II. 19).
5. Maya is not a reality in the sense that it exists separately of Brahman, but is only descriptive of the condition of self-delusion that Brahman experiences (IV. 58). If Maya were existent then non-duality would be false since the second is already imagined. If it were non-existent then the experience of duality could not be explained. Consequently, neither existence nor non-existence can be predicated of it. Attempts to call it as existent produces the error similar to calling delusion as a power that exists in the condition “the man is deluded.” Accordingly, the phrase “by the power of Its own Maya” (II. 12) may be re-phrased as “by self-delusion”.
1. First the Lord (Brahman) imagines the individual (soul).
2. Then He imagines the different objects, external and mental.
3. The individual gets his memory in accordance with the kind of thought-impressions he has.
4. The Self is, consequently, imagined to be the many.
5. This is the Maya of that self-effulgent One, by which He Himself is deluded.
1. Just as space confined within the jars etc. merge completely on the disintegration of he jars etc., so do the individual souls merge here in the Self (III. 4).
2. Just as all the spaces confined within the various jars are not darkened when one of the spaces thus confined becomes contaminated by dust, smoke, etc., so also is the case with all the individuals in the matter of being affected by happiness etc. (III. 6).
3. As the space within a jar is neither a transformation nor a part of space (as such), so an individual being is never a transformation nor a part of the supreme Self (III. 7).
4. Just as the sky becomes blackened by dust etc. to the ignorant, so also the Self becomes tarnished by impurities to the unwise (III. 8).
5. The aggregates (of bodies and senses) are all projected like dream by the Maya of the Self (atma-maya-visarjitah, i.e., Self’s deluded-projection). Be it a question of superiority or equality of all, there is no logical ground to prove their existence (III. 10).