Siddhantabindu of Madhusudana Sarasvati---15

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E text source- www.celextel.org 88. In the school that holds the view that the jiva has the internal organ as limiting adjunct, as well as in the school in which the jiva is omnipresent, devoid of the relationship of identity-cum-difference with objects, and is a reflection in avidya, the mental modification serves to connect the knower-consciousness with the object and also to remove the veil of avidya covering the consciousness which is the substratum of the object. In the third school according to which the jiva is limited by avidya, is all-pervading, and covered (by avidya), since the jiva itself is the material cause of the universe and is therefore connected with all objects, the mental modification serves only to remove the covering of avidya (on the object-consciousness). This is the difference.

Note: Three different views on the nature of the jiva are considered here. The first is where the jiva is considered to be limited by the internal organ (mind). In this view the jiva is limited to the particular mind. The second view is that in which the jiva is a reflection of Brahman in avidya. In this view the jiva is all-pervading, because the reflection is considered to be identical with the original which is all-pervading. But the jiva is not the cause of the universe in this view because it is not the locus of the avidya that is the cause of the universe. Since it is not the cause of the universe, it cannot have the relationship of taadaatmya, identity-cum-difference with objects, which exists between the cause and its effect. So in both these views a connection between the mind and the object has to be brought about and for this a vritti is necessary. In addition this vritti removes the covering of avidya which veils the pure consciousness limited by the particular object. Thus the vritti serves two purposes.

The third view is that of Vachaspatimisra in Bhamati, according to which the jiva is considered to be limited by avidya (the limitation theory) and the jiva is the locus of avidya. Since avidya is all-pervading, the jiva is also all-pervading in this view and the jiva is the creator of the universe, with the avidya located in it as the material cause. Being the material cause of the universe, (through avidya), the jiva is always connected with all objects in the universe which are its effects, by the relationship of taadaatmya. So a vritti is not necessary for connecting it with objects. A vritti is necessary only for removing the avidya which covers the object-consciousness.

89. Obj: If the purpose of the vritti is to connect the knower-consciousness with the object, then a vritti is not necessary for knowing merit and demerit (punya and paapa), etc., and also Brahman, because they are by their very nature connected with the mind, and so would be always perceptible without any vritti.

Note: Merit and demerit are in the mind itself and so they are always connected with the mind. The mind is always connected with Brahman because Brahman is all-pervading. Thus these are always connected with the mind. So what is the need for a vritti to connect them? This is the question.

90. Answer: That is not so because consciousness (limited by the mind) has not taken the forms of these. Not taking these forms is due to the fact that there is a covering (of avidya) even on Brahman-consciousness inspite of its being pure. In the case of nacre-silver, etc., which are not covered by avidya, it is because they do not have purity (or the capacity to reflect). In the case of merit and demerit it is because they are not capable of reflecting and also because they are covered. Therefore, even in respect of a thing which is pure (or is capable of reflecting), but is covered by avidya, the mind can take its form only through the operation of a means of knowledge. In respect of nacre-silver, etc., which are not capable of reflecting even though not covered by avidya, the mind can take its shape only through an avidya-vritti. As regards happiness, sorrow, etc., which are not covered and are capable of reflecting, they are by their very nature cognizable by the witness-consciousness. Therefore the mere connection of the mind with the object is not always sufficient for a thing to be perceived.

Note: For an object to be cognized, three things are necessary. The knower-consciousness should be connected with the object, the avidya that acts as a veil should be removed, and the object should be made capable of reflecting consciousness. Actually all objects are superimposed on pure consciousness and avidya covers pure consciousness. It is because of this covering of the substratum by avidya that an object remains unknown. A vritti of the mind not only brings about a connection between the knower-consciousness and the object, but in addition it removes the veil of avidya which covers the object-consciousness and makes the object capable of reflecting. Only then the object can be perceived. In the case of Brahman, a vritti is necessary for removing the veil of avidya. Illusory things like nacre-silver have no existence except when they are perceived. It is because of this that it has been said above that they are not covered by avidya. The function of a vritti in such cases is therefore not to remove a covering, but only to make the illusory thing capable of reflecting consciousness. The mind becomes modified into the form of an object only when the modification is brought about by a pramana.Illusory objects like nacre-silver are cgnized directly by the witness-consciousness (sakshi-pratyaksha). The modification of the mind in the form of illusory nacre-silver is not caused by a pramana since there is no contact of the eye with the illusory silver, but it is brought about by avidya. So it is an avidya-vritti that reveals the illusory silver. Merit, demerit, etc., are, by their very nature, incapable of being known.