Śrī Praśānt Neti
Is mūlavidyā fit enough to be a vaidika adhāyropa?
Is reality three-fold?
“Mithyā/asat/anṛtam – these are all ontological terms used by Advaitins and Bhāṣyakāra? For a definition, see BHGŚBh, II.16 and TUŚBh, II.1.
Is mithyā/asat/anṛtam ontological as per Bhāṣyakāra? And does Gītā Bhāṣya, II.16 and Taittirīya Bhāṣya II.1 supports such conclusion?
The answer is a plain no.
Please refer to same Gītā Bhāṣya II.16 and note that Bhagavatpāda clearly says:
For in all cases there is the experience of two awarenesses, viz. the awareness of reality, and the awareness of unreality. That in relation to which the awareness does not change is real; that in relation to which it changes is unreal. Thus, since the distinction between the real and the unreal is dependent on awareness, therefore in all cases (of empirical experiences) everyone has two kinds of awarenesses with regard to the same substratum: (As for instance, the experiences) ‘The pot is real’, ‘The cloth is real’, ‘The elephant is real’ (which experiences) are not like (that of) ‘A blue lotus’. This is how it happens everywhere. Of these two awarenesses, the awareness of pot etc. is inconstant; and thus, has it been shown above. But the awareness of reality is not (inconstant). Therefore, the object of the awareness of pot etc. is unreal because of inconstancy; but not so the object of the awareness of reality, because of its constancy.
The key bhāṣya vākya, is enough to conclude that mithyā/asat/anṛtam are not ontological but the very differentiation into sat & asat is epistemological alone inasmuch as asat is only available ‘as it were’ and limited to (i.e. available within) the epistemological error called adhyāsa a.k.a avidyā. There is differentiation into sad-buddhi and asad-buddhi available (as it were) about same vastu/sattā (i.e. Brahman) which alone exists, teaches Vedānta Śāstra.
The vastu that exists is always Brahman alone. All existence is to Brahman alone. Brahman alone exists. Nothing else has any existence, teaches Śāstra. That is why Bhagavān Bhāṣyakāra uses the eva (alone or only) śābda in his Taittirīya Bhāṣya II.1 which is quoted.
sat eva satyam! (What exists alone is Truth); satyam eva sat! (Truth alone exists).
asat/anṛtam is only a vikāra (vikāro’nṛtam says Bhāṣyakāra). Vikāra is not temporary ‘existence’ as later sub-commentators put it. It is an epistemological error not a ‘lower-level existence’ not even a ‘form of existence’. Of course, the error may last only for a while and hence may be called temporary but we must remember that there never is an object that existed (even temporarily existed) in correspondence to that error. The notion of snake (in a rope) is of course temporary but there is no snake that existed corresponding to the mithyā-jñāna (false knowledge) called snake (in a rope) – there is no mithyā-snake! If there is a mithyā-snake that existed temporarily i.e. which really got projected temporarily by the so-called avidyā śakti as mūlāvidyāvādins put it, then, please let me say that in such case the ‘knowledge called snake’ is not wrong-knowledge – such knowledge after all being true to vastu, we cannot say it as wrong-knowledge. Mūlāvidyāvādins say that the snake that is projected in that rope-in-a-snake example is not real snake but a positive though false snake (mithyā-snake). Even then it is not acceptable. Please do not say that in order to have false-knowledge a false-object must be there and that is what happening in case of snake-in-a- rope example. If anyone teaches like that, it is completely wrong and it is a gross misuse of snake-in-a-rope example.
The purpose of snake-in-a-rope example in Vedānta is to let us understand how we can have knowledge of something even when there is no object/existence corresponding to that knowledge. That alone is the purpose. Using that analogy what Śāstra wants to point is that our knowledge about world is only mithyā-jñāna (false-knowledge) because there is no existence whatsoever to that world, as ‘that world’ is only nāma-rūpa vikāra but not existential. All existence is Brahman alone – Brahman is the only true undivided existence unlike nāma-rūpa which are mere differentiation and limiting adjuncts as it were in the only true i.e. only existent Brahman.
What always existed even while “I took it as snake” was rope alone. Similarly, what always exists even while we perceive it as world is Brahman alone. There is only one sattā. Brahman alone is that sattā. Vyavahāra is not a sattā. It is unfortunate that later sub-commentators and prakaraṇa granthas put forward most anti-Vedāntic theory which says sattā trividham (existence is three-fold).
Sattā is one without a second and it is Brahman alone. Period. Moreover, sattā trividham is not at all a useful adhyāropa too.
One cannot get away saying mūlāvidyā is also after all only an adhyāropa. It is only a wishful thinking to present it as adhyāropa. But actually, it is not fit to be an adhyāropa.
Here is why I say so.
Adhyāropa is that which Veda/Śāstra makes in-line with a misconception that man naturally finds within and it is made to ultimately help him transcend that notion. For example, ‘Īśvara’ is a vaidika adhyāropa which Śāstra makes in-line to ignorant person’s idea (in-line to the ādhyāsika notion) of taking something else to be cause. Here there are two objectives to the Śāstra in any adhyāropa it makes.
- Correcting a misconception: It helps to correct the ādhyāsika notion that the ignorant person most naturally finds within, to a ‘better’ notion which can be eventually recanted.
- Enabling instruction of Brahman: While doing so, it becomes possible to ‘present Brahman’ (which by its own nature not possible to be put into any transaction) by enabling pointing to Brahman from the plane of teaching – Brahman which is beyond all vyavahāra is made available (is made available as it were) into a vyavahāra called instruction/teaching which happens to be within avidyā bhūmi/plane of avidyā vyavahāra.
That means when an ignorant man naturally looks up on / seeks for something else to be cause of this jagat, Veda takes advantage of that natural misconception where a cause is sought after and presents Īśvara as a sole primordial cause. It is an adhyāropa because Brahman in its real aspect exists as one without a second and therefore pāramārthataḥ Brahman is not a cause to anything. It is an adhyāropa, nevertheless, it helps in shifting/correcting the error one naturally finds within. The error that gets corrected here is ‘taking something other than Brahman to be a cause’. Presenting Brahman as Īśvara the primordial cause is though an adhyāropa, it corrects the error of taking ‘something else’ to be cause. Having understood the significance of adhyāropa in these lines, if we take mūlāvidyā also to be an adhyāropa, and if that mūlāvidyā is ontological, then what error it corrects to this seeker? we must ask.
After all my default position is, I take ‘objects to exist (as objects)’ and now mūlāvidyāvādin with his theory of an ontological entity called mūlāvidyā, comes along and reconfirms to me that object exists ‘temporarily’ – here I ask what is the benefit I have from this teaching? i.e. What error I was able to transcend? Even before concept of mūlāvidyā is given to me, I was subscribed to the idea ‘object exists’ and now after being given with mūlāvidyā theory too, ‘objects exist’! (but may be now as a mithyā object, as they suggest). What is the use of this? This simply does not fit into the label called adhyāropa. Period.
By the way, nobody needs mūlāvidyā to say that object exists ‘temporarily’. Even without help of mūlāvidyā, everyone knows objects exists for a time! Therefore, pointing to the temporariness of object’s existence is of no help too. What is really helpful is that teaching which completely negates the existence of an object, and while negating, it points to the Brahman/Ātman as the sole undivided existence. To a person jumping in fear by perceiving snake-in-a-rope, explaining how snake is ‘only a temporary existence’ is of no use. What constitutes a helpful teaching is pointing to rope’s sole existence while negating snake as mithyā-jñāna (false knowledge).
Therefore, presenting another layer of avidyā over and beyond Adhyāsa/avidyā and giving it ontological status is neither correct nor necessary. It fundamentally makes a mockery of the upaniṣadic/bhāṣya dictum that “vikāro’nṛtam”; vikāra is not lower order reality / temporary ‘existence’. The purpose behind labelling something as ‘vikāra’ is to negate the reality i.e. negate individual/limited existence of object we take for granted, but not to ask us to look up on it as ‘temporary existence’ and help us uphold the wrong idea that objects exists. This is very important. Once the implication of this is understood, then it becomes easy to understand why Śrī Svāmī Satchidānandendra Sarasvatījī has to say that mūlāvidyā is a major deviation from sampradāyika prakriyā.
If mūlāvidyā is indeed another adhyāropa, I don’t think Śrī Svāmī Satchidānandendra Sarasvatījī would have taken such pains to educate us the problems related to mūlāvidyā. To a Vedāntin who spent his life in writing hundreds of books to point us to what is genuine upaniṣadic method i.e. what is adhyāropa-apavāda, to say that he missed understanding how mūlāvidyā is also after all an adhyāropa is a bit too much. It is not an unnecessary noise that Svāmījī after all made. If mūlāvidyā is good enough to be put up as adhyāropa i.e. if it can be handled well enough through śruti-yukti-anubhava based vicāra then Svāmījī would have surely embraced it to be an adhyāropa. This mūlāvidyā is not fit to be an adhyāropa and it is unnecessary and most importantly it is not at all helpful. The mūlāvidyā as in post-Śaṃkara sub-commentaries neither agrees with śruti nor with yukti nor with anubhava, let alone giving it a ‘vaidika adhyāropa’ status. When we earnestly take up an unbiased study of Śrī Svāmī Satchidānandendra Sarasvatījī’s works, the matter becomes clearer as his books explain how mūlāvidyā is against śruti, against yukti and against sārvatrika anubhava.
Why say so much, as people who are either sympathetic to ‘moksha of masses’ or people who are sympathetic to 1000+years of post- Śaṃkara tradition called ‘mūlāvidyā based Vedānta’ put forward, if mūlāvidyā is really necessary / helpful for mokṣa of masses, I do not think Bhagavān Bhāṣyakāra himself would have missed mentioning it explicitly in Prasthānatraya Bhāṣya – As a Bhāṣyakāra in the sampradāya I simply cannot imagine that he could have missed it. What mūlāvidyāvādins quote as Bhāṣya vākya which support mūlāvidyā are all shown by Śrī Svāmī Satchidānandendra Sarasvatījī to not at all support mūlāvidyā. Please kindly study his books. Not at all deviating from the Bhāṣya and not at all re-inventing the wheel and not at all adding his own two-cents, his books are rich in manana and they carry the śruti’s message and point straight into anubhava and helps assimilate the message of Upaniṣad through Bhagavatpada’s Bhāṣya alone.
“To summarise – that which is a modification, an effect, available for sense perception, not separately available from its cause, has beginning (not available before) and end (not available after), that which after being ascertained in one form, changes from that – is mithyā, asat, anṛtam.”
I agree as this is almost a translation of what is said in Bhāṣya. However, the only point to which I draw the attention of the reader is, ‘the THAT’ which is referred to in above paragraph should not be presented as an ontological entity of lower order of reality. Instead, ‘the THAT’ is an epistemological error just like snake is a mithyā-jñāna (false knowledge a.k.a ignorance / erroneous understanding) about rope which alone exists without a trace of snake in it even while I took it as snake.
Now, the world is mithyā, asat, anṛtam and its cause avidyā is also of the same nature – mithyā, asat, anṛtam. It cannot be a totally non-existent jñānābhāva. So, Vedānta Sāra is correct in identifying Māyā/avidya as kiṅcit bhāvarūpa – as real and as existent as the mithyā/asat world. Obviously, it has no existence from a Pāramārthika dṛṣṭi/standpoint. Does avidyā as an upādhi not create dvaita? Śaṃkara has already answered this in BUBh III.5.1
The essence of my quotation from 3.5.1 Bhāṣya is – The mithyā vyavahāra (worldly transactions) due to differentiation is there for those (ignorant) who accept things as different from Brahman and for those (jñāni) who do not.
This way of saying “the mithyā vyavahāra due to differentiation is there….” i.e. the emphasis in saying IT IS THERE, IT IS THERE….again and again by pointing to vyavahāra as a positive entity and building definitions around it and either asking to reply only in-line with those kapola kalpita definitions or explaining Vedānta in line with those kapola kalpita definitions in most cumbersome and useless tārkika way where what one attains out of it is, not knowledge of Brahman, but a logically precise way of establishing a positive existence to vyavahāra is what makes the whole mūlāvidyā impossible to sublate (impossible for apavāda). For these reasons too, it is not at all fit to be a vaidika adhyāropa – because there is no proper apavāda to it.
I do not want to go into all details related to rejection of mūlāvidyā in one write up like this. But, to touch up on one more aspect, mūlāvidyā theory looks up on deep sleep only as that which has seed ignorance. Mūlāvidyāvādins do not teach that the seed ignorance in deep sleep is after all a śastriya adhyāropa made in-line to (and help transcend the) waking state ādhyāsika notion which seeks for a ‘cause to waking’. And they never teach that ‘deep sleep in its real aspect’ is ‘Brahman/Ātman in its real aspect’ intuitable in our very sārvatrika anubhava. They simply put ignorance as positively available ontological entity in all three avasthās. Having declared that, eventually they either end up presenting identity with Brahman as a “new experience” yet to be attained or vāsanā kṣaya to be a step-2 process after raise of knowledge because seed remains! – suggesting practice after theory!!
If avidyā exists in all three avasthās then show me (point to me) where is it that Ātman is already asaṅga? If Vedānta cannot point to asaṅga Ātman within sārvatrika anubhava what is the proof for Ātman’s asaṅgatvam? Please do not quote Upaniṣad vākya as proof. Why should anyone accept Upaniṣad vākya as a proof when the import of that vākya cannot be corroborated with anubhava? The sampradāya prakriyā is, having quoted Upaniṣad vākya (śruti), the teacher/prakriyā must also point to sārvatrika anubhava for the same while using yukti to remove any notions that go against the dictum of śruti. Then alone the prakriyā will be śruti-yukti-anubhava based pursuit. Mūlāvidyā does not fit into this because by saying ‘avidyā positively exists’ in all three avasthās, it fails in pointing to Ātman’s asaṅgatvam right in sārvatrika anubhava.
Now coming back to ‘vyavahāra’ about which the pūrvapakṣin says “it is there” (to both ajñāni and the jñāni), my response is, please do not re-affirm vyavahāra by saying “IT IS THERE”. Śāstra teaches that vyavahāra is ‘taken to be there’ by me, the ajñāni, and it never teaches that ‘IT IS THERE’ (as a positively existent) – ‘accepting vyavahāra to be there’ itself is the part and parcel of that ajñāna that śāstra is pointing to me. This is very important – teaching it as ‘it is there’ and pointing it as ‘you are taking it to be there my dear’ are two different teachings. The former binds us more to the already existing notion that ‘it is there’, whereas the latter transcends/liberates. The former is mūlāvidyā prakriyā and the latter is śuddha Śaṃkara prakriyā.
Only by understanding the difference and implication of two teachings “IT IS THERE” vs “IT IS TAKEN TO BE THERE”, one can understand how post-jñāna, as the śāstra alludes to, there is no more IT (i.e. no more world), but there is IT (i.e. Brahman) alone.
Therefore, we have to please pay attention to śāstra (Bhāṣya) when it is saying to us that ‘the very taking it to be there’ (about vyavahāra i.e. identifying self within vyāvahārika dṛṣṭi as a limited doer-enjoyer-knower) is what an epistemological error i.e. adhyāsa a.k.a. avidyā is about. That adhyāsa itself is avidyā as wise men consider it! Please, recall Adhyāsa Bhāṣya vākya:
This very adhyāsa the sages call avidyā.
Once adhyāsa is transcended there is nothing else that needs to be transcended because the cause of adhyāsa (i.e. the very causality framework argumentation / thinking) is too within the domain of adhyāsa only. Owing to adhyāsa alone, I seek for a cause to adhyāsa and having approached the śāstra which too is part and parcel of that adhyāsa framework, the transcendence of that adhyāsa (i.e. transcendence as it were) is figuratively spoken as mukti. To give an analogy, śāstra is like a dream tiger which though is limited to the realm of dream, it is useful enough to wake us out of dream. Śāstra also supports this understanding as Bṛhadāraṇyaka says “yatra vedā avedā” (from absolute standpoint, Veda is no more Veda i.e. it is no more an authority [in the sense that there is no need for that authority once its purpose stands fulfilled]). But please, whatever is in that dream should not be explained as to have existence, but they are to be pointed at as ‘being taken to have existence’, where they do not exist as they are perceived but what exists is Self alone. After all, though the dreamer thinks throughout the duration of the dream that the dream objects are separate from the dreamer, the truth is, those objects were never separate from the dreamer i.e. the dreamer, the dreamed and the dreaming put together, in its true essence, is Self alone in which the division into dreamer and dreamed is mithyā-jñāna. That is siddhānta.
Now according to Svāmījī if knowledge destroys vyakta-adhyāsa (not just ajñāna), then how can he account for statements like these? How does he even explain jīvanmukti?
As I understood, according to Śrī Svāmī Satchidānandendra Sarasvatījī, because he takes Bhāṣyakāra vākya alone (without accepting sub-commentator’s deviations), to him adhyāsa is avidyā. Period. Again, please recall Adhyāsa Bhāṣya vākya: “This very adhyāsa the sages call avidyā”, which supports such stand of Śrī Svāmī Satchidānandendra Sarasvatījī. Therefore, there is no other avidyā which needs to be removed separately over and above transcendence of adhyāsa. Moreover, when Śrī Svāmī Satchidānandendra Sarasvatījī says knowledge can remove adhyāsa alone but not avidyā, that avidyā he is referring to is mūlāvidyā as put forward by sub-commentators which cannot be removed by knowledge. The reason is simple, because mūlāvidyā is put forwarded in a logically precise way as a positively existent ontological entity, jñāna cannot remove it. There is a Bhāṣya vākya in support of it, Bhagavān Bhāṣyakāra says in Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad Bhāṣya, I.4.10:
Śāstra merely reminds but it does not create or bring into existence anything non-existing – this is well known.
To the second question i.e. “how does he (Śrī Svāmī Satchidānandendra Sarasvatījī) explain jīvanmukti?”, please refer to my answer above to the previous portion of the question where I mentioned transcendence of adhyāsa.
Transcendence of mutual superimposition of Ātman and anātman itself is jīvanmukti. When mūlāvidyāvādins with their own concept of mūlāvidyā struggle to make the apavāda to this so-called adhyāropa to point to jīvanmukti, perhaps the apavāda is possible at videhamukti. But it is not the case with śuddha-Śaṃkara prakriyā where jīvanmukti alone is primary and videhamukti is only from onlooker’s viewpoint. In addition to it, in general we should not forget that the “mukti” is also a figure of speech in the teaching of Upaniṣads (i.e. in Advaita siddhānta). The teaching is not jīva really exists (or jīva temporarily exists) and teaching is also not that jīva really becomes (or eventually becomes) Brahman. The teaching is, jīva was never a jīva, but always Brahman! The very “recognition” of jīva’s identity with Brahman as the truth i.e. assimilating tattvam-asi vākyārtha (pay attention to ‘asi’ and please understand how asi is different to bhaviṣyasi) and thereby recognizing aham-brahma asmi (pay attention to ‘asmi’ and please understand how asmi is different to bhaviṣyami) alone is figuratively ‘the mukti’. That means the ‘very drop of jīvātva’, i.e. drop of ‘that jīvātva’ which is not ‘an existential fact’ but ‘an error’ i.e. dropping ‘that jīvātva which is only as it were’ is figuratively called mukti in Advaita siddhānta – ‘Ātman in its real nature was never in bondage’, is the message of Vedānta. Its assimilation is mukti. But not any other mukti which is explained as / understood as an event in time.
Always remember the Parama guru Gauḍapādacārya’s teaching in Kārikā II.32:
There is no dissolution, no birth, none in bondage, none aspiring for wisdom, no seeker of liberation and none liberated. This is the absolute Truth.
What we should not do is ‘brush aside’ this teaching of Parama Guru by saying that “it is only from pāramārthataḥ but before that we have to answer and find a place for the question what is vyavahāra” and thereby present a totally aśastriya theory by elaborating on the mechanics behind vyavahāra. Bhāṣyakāra never does it in Prasthānatraya Bhāsya because it is wrong, it is neither ‘useful for mokṣa of the massess’ nor is it ‘necessary for masses’. Whereas later sub-commentators unfortunately focussed unnecessarily on explaining and finding place for vyavahāra (rather than helping sublate the reality we naturally ascribe to vyavahāra) and ended up deviating from the true sampradāya of Gauḍapādacārya, Bhagavatpāda and Sūreśvara.
How can a non-existent thing be a pedagogical tool?
I ask, why not? Strictly speaking, only a pāramārthataḥ non-existent adhyāsa/avidyā can be pedagogical tool because, Upaniṣad says and siddhānta accepts only Brahman to exist as one without a second. Therefore adhyāsa/avidyā which is a pedagogical tool do not exist in Reality! Nothing wrong with this. If the teaching being imparted through the tool is nothing less than the truth that Brahman alone ever exists as one without a second, then vaidika and laukika vyavahāra must be after all non-existent no matter how existent they feel to us. The pedagogic tool must therefore also be non-existent inasmuch as only a non-existent pedagogic tool called adhyāsa/avidyā alone makes sense but not ‘any other kind of avidyā’ which is kiṅcit bhāvarūpa.
This ‘kiṅcit bhāvarūpa’ is very problematic; Śāstra says nothing exists apart from Brahman let alone ‘kiṅcit existent’ avidyā. Please do not brush aside śāstra vākya by saying it is from paramārtha “standpoint”. Instead, please understand that division into paramārtha & vyāvahārika is the very ignorance śāstra is asking to transcend. Once something is said to be ‘kiṅcit bhāvarūpa’, transcending it through knowledge becomes impossible.
It makes immense sense to say mūla–avidyā is as real as the world appearance and use it as a pedagogical tool (adhyāropa) rather than proposing an abhāva. As the world is negated, mūla–avidyā also is destroyed/negated along with it as mithyā/anṛtam/asat.
“As the world is negated…….” is easier said than done when mūlāvidyā teaching is followed, because first of all ‘that world’ is an ontological existence of lower order reality (than Brahman) and its cause mūlāvidyā is also given to have an ontological status while saying “it is as real as world appearance and it is there” – ‘world’ in this mūlāvidyā based teaching though called as an appearance, it is a ‘positively existing’ mithyā world. I repeat, once you present it as a positively existent mithyā world, its negation through knowledge is only a wishful thinking. I repeat, no amount of jñāna can change/negate this positively existent mithyā vastu called world, because I repeat as Bhagavān Bhāṣyakāra says in Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad Bhāṣya I.4.10:
Śāstra merely reminds but it does not create or bring into existence anything non-existing – this is well known.
It not only cannot create or bring into existence but it also can not destroy a ‘lower level existence’. Please let me repeat, ‘Appearance is not an existence’. If anyone presents it as kiṅcit kind of existence by saying it is of lower order reality, they have to be sure that knowledge cannot remove it. Period.
There is no temporarily lasting positively existing mithyā entity called world. The teaching is, ‘World’ is (or ‘as world’ it is nothing but) mithyā–jñāna about what alone exists i.e. Brahman.
Why ajñāna cannot be jñānābhāva has been discussed in Svārājya Siddhi and in Saṃkṣepaśarīraka. I may have to refer the books to get the exact verses.
Please note that Bhagavān Bhāṣyakāra accepts ajñāna of jñāna–abhāva nature and also blessed us by saying that such ajñāna (which is of nature of jñāna–abhāva) will indeed get destroyed with raise of jñāna. Period. There is no need for another book which says otherwise. If we follow that other book which says otherwise then there is nothing wrong to conclude that we are following a deviation! What Bhāṣyakāra never said in his entire Prasthānatraya Bhāsya and his prakaraṇa grantha Upadeśa Sāhasrī is about ‘that avidyā’ which the way mūlāvidyāvādins describe it (kiṅcit bhāvarūpa etc etc).
Here is Bhāṣya vākya which accepts jñāna–abhāva type of ajñāna. Bṛhadāraṇyaka Bhāṣya III.3.1:
In whatever way we talk of ignorance, whether it is absence of knowledge or doubt or wrong knowledge, all of them are removable by knowledge.
Is this jñānābhāva, absence of knowledge, ultimately non-existent?
Yes. It is surely non-existent because jīva/jīvātva is not at all true even while one considers oneself to be a limited jīva, teaches Upaniṣad and it can be corroborated with anubhava of deep sleep. The true nature of the Self which is the essence of waking world including the waker is exactly same as nature of Self in deep sleep and no matter how much otherwise it feels to me (i.e. to the body-mind complex) from the waking standpoint, the true nature of Self remains unaffected. No matter how much oneself feels limited / bound due to superimposing the properties of body- mind on self, the true nature of Self remains ever unlimited / never in bondage. This is similar to rope remains unaffected as a rope irrespective of my understanding (superimposition) of it as snake.
Also, please recall Adhyāsa Bhāṣya vākya:
This being so, whenever there is a superimposition of one thing on another, the locus is not affected in any way either by the merits or demerits of the thing superimposed.
Also recall Gītā Bhāṣya XIII.2:
Ignorance makes one perceive contrarily, or it arouses doubt, or it leads to non-perception. For it disappears with the dawn of discrimination.
Therefore, the ignorance that we can accept for sake of correction (as it were) is either jñānābhāva or saṃśayajñānam or mithyājñāna, but not any other ‘temporarily positively existent neither real nor unreal and hence indescribable material ignorance’.
I conclude by requesting all earnest seekers to also understand that, what mūlāvidyāvādins say to be ‘avidyā’ is not ‘just another way’ of explaining avidyā, but it is most wrong way of handling the pedagogical tool called avidyā. It is wrong way because that way of presenting avidyā is supported neither by śruti nor by yukti nor by anubhava. It is neither required, nor necessary nor helpful to the majority. The method of instruction through mūlāvidyā is both siddhānta-hāni [doctrine corruption] and anirmokṣa-prasaṅga [no possibility of realization]. So far, I have presented some contrast between vyākhyāna-based-Vedānta which promotes idea of mūlāvidyā and Bhāṣya-based-Vedānta where adhyāsa is avidyā and tried to explain to my best possible ability as to what is it that śāstra is teaching us and how is it that it is teaching us. I rest my case as more detail manana on the śāstra is available for earnest seekers from Śrī Svāmī Satchidānandendra Sarasvatījī books. I acknowledge that there is a lot of repetition in what I have written so far and I ask the readers to please excuse me because I thought the pointers given are worthy enough for repetition as it was written with a primary intention to serve the purposes of manana but not with a sole intention to simply refute the other side.
Oṃ Tat Sat