Anavastha (Sanskrit: अनवस्था) is a Sanskrit nominal compound derived from the verb Stha (meaning standing, resting, grounded or founded). The expression literally means: that which does not stand down, non-resting, unstable, holding no definite position, un-grounded or without foundation. It can also mean unsettled condition or character or absence of finality or conclusion. As a philosophical term it refers to the non-finality of a proposition or endless series of statements or regressus ad infinitum (infinite regress). In the Hindi language, as a noun Anavastha means Nothingness.
In Indian thought and Indian logic Anavastha is an important doctrine. All major schools of philosophy have examined and commented upon this concept and laid down guidelines so as to avoid the endless series of statements and propositions and the non-finality of those propositions. Certain aphorisms of Pāṇini, in his Ashtadhyayi indicate that asiddhatva leads to anavastha since rules which cause endless repetition of application cannot be there because application of a rule should certainly result in finality. The word अत्र atra of Sutra 6.4.22 indicates that two rules must have the same आश्रय āśraya or place of operation but where their places of operation are different they are not asiddha to each other.
The automatic application of sutras (rules of grammar) to take place without generating unintended results requires the establishment of a particular sequence among the rules and also the provision for cyclical application as well as blocking of some rules whenever it is desirable to do so. Panini orders rules and methods for their activation, reactivation and non-activation, and provides that the results brought about by some rules will not be 'known' to certain other rules, so that the question of these other rules becoming activated does not arise. The best example of the application of this method is known as Asiddhatva. He uses the concept of Asiddhatva to prevent the application of a rule on the substitute, to enable its application on a substituent and to mandate its application. According to Kiparsky’s definitions, Asiddhatva implies 'no order of taking effect' since asiddha means 'not having taken effect'.
The Upanishads speak about the two-fold Brahman, the one with attributes called the Saguna Brahman, and the other without attributes called the Nirguna Brahman only to deny and accept these two to state that Brahman is One. Brahman is called Nirguna because Brahman has not the three Gunas of Prakrti, and not because Brahman has got no gunas absolutely; in order to prove the substantive existence of Brahman (prameya), Brahman is called Saguna even though there is absence of Gunas in Brahman (aprameya). Brahman is One, and Oneness cannot be confounded with non-oneness; also oneness does not require another oneness to differentiate through second oneness or a third to differentiate the second oneness, otherwise there will be no end or conclusion. This fallacy is Anavastha or infinite regress. The Vedas advise that Brahman must be looked at in one and one mode only. In created things differences are of three kinds – 1) Existing in oneself, 2) difference in species and 3) difference in genus. In three words denoting a) 'oneness of Brahman', the svajatiya-bheda, b) 'restriction', the svagata-bheda and 3) 'rejection of duality', the vijatiya-bheda, these three differences are negated by the Sruti texts (Panchadasi Stanzas II.20&21). The created things are many, a chain of causes and effects is also present, but to avoid the fallacy of anavastha, it is necessary to consider Brahman as the root cause.
Vedanta does not admit the existence of the relation of samvaya (the inseparable inherence or concomitant cause or combining force) as subsisting between two different entities such as substance and qualities. In his Brahmasutra-bhashya II.ii.13, Sankara explains that if a samvaya relation is to be admitted to connect two things, then another samvaya would be necessary to connect it with either of the two entities that it intended to connect. Thus,there are two kinds of Anavastha - the Pramaniki, the valid infinite, and the Apramaniki, the vicious infinite. Knowledge is Chaitanya (anubhuti) i.e. Consciousness, and consciousness reveals the reality of objects. An object cannot be talked about if it does not exist. Any attempt to find out whether the second knowledge that reveals the first knowledge identical with it is a separate knowledge or not leads to anavastha. Because the first knowledge is a revelation, there is no second knowledge that reveals the first knowledge. Consciousness cannot be perceived, it perceives itself and is not perceived by any greater source; the logical fallacy of Anavastha (an endless series of cause and effect) would exist if it were to be said that Consciousness requires another source of perception (Devi GitaIV.12-13). If there is no eternal First Cause, the logical fallacy of Anavastha Dosha is inevitable. Brahman, the First cause, has no origin (Brahma Sutra II.3.9) Thus, a thing cannot be at the same time the object and the subject of action. Consciousness i.e. Chaitanya, is self-illuminating and it illuminates others by its own illumination. Kumārila Bhaṭṭa enquires, if an omniscient person exists that person can become comprehensible only to some other omniscient personality, and so on.
In Yoga, Ecstasy is the yogic visualization of a deity. And, the beginning five states of ecstasy induced by Cakra are – birth, childhood, youth, maturity and adulthood; the 6th is unmana ( also said to denote the dreaming state) meaning agitation or excitement when the devotee often swoons; and when this occurs and when the strong desire to experience the ultimate parabrahman holds complete sway then the 7th state i.e. manollasa (extreme exhilaration) or anavastha (the state beyond states or state without qualities or locale)(also said to denote the dreamless sleep) is reached (Kularnava-tantra. Stanza 82). Patanjali calls the unsteadiness of intelligence as the unsettled state of anavastha because due to vritti the tracing of the steady state of the Self is difficult and therefore the splendour of the Self is doubted.
According to Hemachandra, Anavastha is a Dosha, a defect or fault along with virodha, vaiyadhikarana, samkara, samsaya, vyatikara, apratipatti and abhava. It is also one of the dialectical principles applied alongside atmasraya, anyonyasraya, cakraka, atiprasanga, ubhayatahspasa and the like employed by logicians from very early times. Sriharsa explains that dialectical reasoning, which has its foundation in pervasion, can lead to contradiction when the reasoning becomes fallacious, it is the limit of doubt; and since differing unwanted contrary options create new doubts difficult to resolve which lead to anavastha or infinite regress and there is the absence of finality. The argument that contradiction cannot block an infinite regress is rejected; it is the doubter’s own behaviour that process the lie to the doubt, that blocks it (pratibandhaka). According to the Jains, in the Jiva five states are possible which can manifest themselves simultaneously of these the Audayika-bhava is the state which is the consequence of the unhindered realization of the Karman, which state comprises all accidental attributes of the Jiva which become apparent with the udaya of karman. This particular state has 21 sub-species beginning with asiddhatva, which is the state of unholiness, when the spiritual perfection is lacking.
Nagarjuna states that if there is a characteristic of the conditioned other than origination (utpada), existence (stithi), and destruction (bhanga), there would be infinite regress (anavastha). If there is no such characteristic, these are not conditioned (na samskrta). The quest to find the origination of origination which originations are all conditioned by dharma is a never-ending cycle and leads to infinite regress. And that, whenever one wants to know how cognitions are grasped by other cognitions that attempt will lead to anavastha i.e. infinite regress, because if anything in objective experience with the particular property of acting on itself cannot be cited one has no grounds to assert that something that cannot be experienced has that unthinkable property. If pramanas are established through other pramanas it would result in infinite regress, then nothing can be established. Negation can be of an existent self-nature, if that self-nature does not exist it cannot be negated; the negation of non-existent entity is established without words.(Vigrha-vyartani Karika Stanza 11). The Abhidharma system which attributes svabhava to dharma because dharmas, the foundational components of the world, are independent of causes and conditions in a specific sense, retains the concept that dependently originated entities (pratityasamutpanna) are separate from the dependently designated entities (prajnaptisat). Nagarjuna tends to equate lack of svabhava with dependence on causes and conditions and not with parts, and his argument that dependently originated things lacked svabhava and were prajnaptisat or conventionally existing entities, and that all dharmas are prajnapisat does lead to an infinite regress or anavastha and is, therefore, not valid. Samyutta Nikaya summarises the doctrine of 'dependent-origination' in terms of the necessary conditions for something to be, which doctrine is applied by Sarvastivadins to determine whether or not an entity ultimately existed.
Abhava means non-existence, negation, nothing or absence. It is the negative of Bhava which means being, becoming, existing or appearance.Adarsana
Adarsana refers to the real non-seeing of objects which already exist; it refers to the ignorance of factual existence of things. This term figures prominently in the Yoga school of thought, and in Jain philosophy.Aitareya Upanishad
The Aitareya Upanishad (Sanskrit: ऐतरेय उपनिषद्) is a Mukhya Upanishad, associated with the Rigveda. It comprises the fourth, fifth and sixth chapters of the second book of Aitareya Aranyaka, which is one of the four layers of Rig vedic text.Aitareya Upanishad discusses three philosophical themes: first, that the world and man is the creation of the Atman (Soul, Universal Self); second, the theory that the Atman undergoes threefold birth; third, that Consciousness is the essence of Atman.Anupalabdhi
Anupalabdhi (Sanskrit: अनुपलब्धि) means 'non-recognition', 'non-perception'. This word refers to the Pramana of Non-perception which consists in the presentative knowledge of negative facts.Asiddhatva
Asiddhatva is a Sanskrit term which is derived from the word, Asiddha (Sanskrit: असिद्ध्), which means imperfect, incomplete, unaccomplished, unaffected, unproved, not existing or not having taken effect (as a rule or operation as taught in grammar) or not possessed of magic power. This term refers to the state of imperfection, incompleteness, etc.; or to the state of being imperfect or incomplete etc.; but mainly implies not in existence (Jain usage) or non-existent or no order of taking effect (Sanskrit Grammar).Bhumika
Bhūmikā (Sanskrit: भूमिका) is derived from the word, Bhūmi, meaning earth, soil, ground orcharacter.Ekagrata
Ekāgratā (Sanskrit: एकाग्रता, "one-pointedness") is intent pursuit of one object, close and undisturbed attention. Yoga emphasises regular practice (Abhyasa) meditation and self-imposed discipline to acquire ekagrata.Fasting in Jainism
Fasting is very common among Jains and as a part of festivals. Most Jains fast at special times, during festivals, and on holy days. Paryushan is the most prominent festival, lasting eight days in Svetambara Jain tradition and ten days in Digambar Jain tradition during the monsoon. The monsoon is a time of fasting. However, a Jain may fast at any time, especially if he or she feels some error has been committed. Variations in fasts encourage Jains to do whatever they can to maintain whatever self control is possible for the individual. According to Jain texts, abstaining from the pleasures of the five senses such as sounds and dwelling in the self in deep concentration is fasting (upavāsa).Kasaya (attachment)
Kasaya is attachment to worldly objects and is an obstacle in the path leading to Nirvikalpa Samadhi: it is overcome through viveka, discrimination.Manana (reflection)
Manana (Sanskrit: मनन) is the deep state of thinking without joy or grief.Yajnavalkya in the context of the mahavakya – Tat Tvam Asi, told Paingala that whereas shravana ('hearing') is the inquiry into the real significance of this vākya, to inquire in solitude into the significance of shravana is manana (consideration or reflection). Patanjali terms manana as dharana, the unshakeable mental conviction.
In Advaita Vedanta, manana, the deep reflection on what is heard from the teacher, is a part of the three-fold process of shravana-manana-nididhyasana, the three stages of religious life which combined acting as the path of knowledge, lead to the attainment of moksha. According to the Pasupatas belonging to the cult of Shiva, manana is a satmaka or mastery over the power of seeing and acting; manana is the supernormal knowing of objects of thoughts.Manana means – 'thinking', 'reflection', 'meditation', 'cogitation'; Panchadasi (Sloka I.53) reads as follows:-
इत्थं वाक्यैस्तदर्थानुसन्धानं श्रवणं भवेत् |
युक्त्या संभावितत्वानुसंधानं मन्नन्तु तत् ||"The finding out or discovery of the true significance of the identity of the individual self and the supreme Universal Self with the great sayings is what is known as shravana; and to arrive at the possibility of its validity through logical reasoning is what is called manana."In this context, Vidyaranya had previously stated that the Self is untouched by doubts about the presence or absence of associates etc; that are superimposed on it phenomenally. In the afore-cited sloka, Swami Swahananda in his commentary explains that whatever be the relation between two vikalpas ('alternatives'), relation itself has to be understood which even though not an attribute is to be related, for the domain of bheda ('difference') is riddled with contradictions. Vedanta considers vikalpa as kalpana or 'contrary imagination' that invariably leads to anavastha ('infinite regress'). The identity alluded to by the great sayings (mahavakyas) conveyed by a Guru to his disciples i.e. sown in the mind of his sisya, have logical support for their validity which support is revealed through manana which process reveals true knowledge.It is through deep meditation that the knowledge of Brahman is gained, and Katha Upanishad (I.iii.15) declares that one becomes free from the jaws of death by knowing that which is ever constant; Badarayana states that what is mentioned in that Upanishad is meant for deep meditation on Purusha - आध्यानाय प्रयोजनाभावात् (Brahma Sutras III.iii.14), during which process the differing attributes are not to be combined but only non-different attributes which exist collectively in all the contexts.Sadananda (of Vedantasara)
Sadananda Yogendra Saraswati, the exponent of the Advaita Vedanta as taught by Adi Shankara and the renowned author of Vedantasara which is one of the best known Prakarana Granthas (text-books) of the philosophy of the Upanishads, was the son of Anantadeva, and probably lived in mid-15th century A.D. He is also reputed to have written - Vedantasiddhanta-sarasangraha, Bhavaprakasa on Bhagavad Gita and Brahmasutra-tatpryaprakasa – which are works of equal repute and importance. Not much is known about the life of this acharya. Hiriyanna states that Sadananda of Vedantasara is different from the Sadananda of Advaitbrahmansiddhi the text that was published by the Asiatic Society of Bengal.In his works Sadananda stresses the liberated being’s freedom from bondage, detachment from the body, and constant goodness, although being beyond virtue. The liberated being after having lived out his prarabdha karma merges with Brahman.Advayananda was the Guru of Sadananda.Sakayanya
Sakayanya, also known as Jata Sakayanya, a descendant of Saka, was a ritual authority and contemporary of Sankha in the Kathaka Samhita (xxii.70) also known as Charaka Samhita belonging to Krishna Yajurveda, and which was compiled by Katha, a disciple of Vaisampayana.Sakayanya was a disciple of Rishi Maitri. And, Shubhra Sharma in his treatise titled - 'Life in the Upanishads' writes that Sakayanya "burns with all the splendor and the grandeur of an incarnation of the Puranic literature, who appears out of the blue and even has the capacity of granting boons". The ideas which Sakayanya expresses were already formed and developed in the earlier Upanishads.Sakayanya speaks about the 'pure noumenal Self' who arising from the body shines in his own splendour, and of the 'phenomenal Self' called the Bhutatman who is subject to the influence of actions and therefore undergoes transmigration as was taught to him by Rishi Maitri.
In the Maitri Upanishad Sakayanya deals with various questions as to form, manifestation, division, existence, and infinity of time. With regard to the question - Whether time is the original cause of everything or not?, he says that Time (Kala), Death (Yama) and Life (Prana) are identical, Time is one of chief manifestation of Brahman, there are two forms of Brahman – 1) Time and 2) Non-time (that existed before the sun came into existence and is indivisible); from the former that is divisible, all creatures are born, and explains that Time ripens and dissolves all beings in the great self, but he who knows into what Time itself dissolved is the knower of the Veda (Maitri or Maitrayani Upanishad VI.14-16).He even offers Samkhya metaphysics to explain the Yoga processes.He finally removes the pessimism of Brihadratha Ikshvaku who saw the whole universe decaying around him and who had requested Sakayanya to lift him out of the mire of existence like a frog from a waterless well (Maitri I.7) by teaching him the six-faceted yoga involving pranayama ('breath-control'), pratyahara ('withdrawal of the senses'), dhyana ('meditation'), dharana ('concentration'), tarka ('inquiry') and samadhi ('absorption') which yoga was centuries later systemised by Patanjali.Samadhana
Samādhāna or samādhānam (Sanskrit:समाधानम्) is a Sanskrit noun derived from the word, samādhā (समाधा), and variously means – putting together, uniting, fixing the mind in abstract contemplation on the true nature of the soul, contemplate oneness, concentrated or formless meditation, commitment, intentness, steadiness, composure, peace of mind, complete concentration, clearing up of doubt or replying to the pūrvapaksha, agreeing or promising, a leading incident, justification of a statement, proof, reconciliation or eagerness.Samādhāna, which develops mental concentration, is one of the six virtues (shad sampat) that a seeker after truth is expected to develop so as to cultivate the attitude of detachment from all selfish-ends; it develops the ability to hold the mind on a single point. For achieving this qualification the mind is required to be sufficiently trained, and is achieved by the combination of the other five virtues – sama, dama, uparati, titiksha and śraddhā. Shankara defines it as a state of poise and tranquility that the mind gains when it is trained to revel continuously in the concept of a perfect ideal, at once universal and omnipotent.Samādhāna is the single-pointedness of the mind (चित्तैकाग्रता); it is the state of the mind which one has with a single goal in sight which is gained on the strength of the control of the mind and the senses, with-drawl from worldly pursuits, endurance of life-pangs and faith in the scriptures and teacher’s instructions. It is one of the four requisites for realization of Brahman (sadhana Chatushtaya) that directs the energy of consciousness towards moksha ('liberation') and not towards siddhi or vibhuti ('accomplishments').
In the Mahabharata(277:6), samādhāna is explained as the absorption of meditation or as that state of mind in which one has no longer any affection for the world. In his Vivekachudamani (Sloka 27), Shankara explains that:-
सम्यगास्थापनं बुद्धेः शुद्धे ब्रह्मणि सर्वदा |
तत्समाधानमित्युक्तं न तु चित्तस्य लालनम् ||the perfect establishment of the buddhi always in the pure (nirguna) Brahman (free from all limitations) is said to be samādhāna, not the indulgence of the mind (not giving free rein to the mind to stray at will).Samatva
Samatva (Sanskrit: समत्व, also rendered samatvam or samata) is the Hindu concept of equanimity. Its root is sama (सम) meaning – equal or even.Sāmya - meaning equal consideration towards all human beings - is a variant of the word.Sankalpa
Sankalpa (Sanskrit: संकल्प) means an intention formed by the heart and mind -- a solemn vow, determination, or will. In practical terms a Sankalpa means a one-pointed resolve to focus both psychologically and philosophically on a specific goal. A sankalpa is a tool meant to harness the will, and to focus and harmonize mind and body.Titiksha
Titiksha or titikșā (Sanskrit: तितिक्षा 'forbearance') is defined by the Uddhava Gita as the "patient endurance of suffering." In Vedanta philosophy it is the bearing with indifference all opposites such as pleasure and pain, heat and cold, expectation of reward and punishment, accruement or gain and loss, vanity and envy, resentment and deprecation, fame and obscurity, lavishness and obeisance, pride and egotism, virtue-respect and vice-respect, birth and death, happiness, safety, comfort, restlessness and boredom, affection and bereavement or infatuation, attachment and desire etc. Being entirely responsible for encouragement and/or reproach for ones own personal behavior, past behavior, frame of mind and esteem. It is one of the six qualities, devotions, jewels or divine bounties beginning with Sama, the repression, alleviating or release of the inward sense called Manas. Another quality is Dama, the renunciation of behaviors or utilizing self-control with moderation, with correct discrimination and without aversion.Shankara defines Titiksha in the following words:
सहनं सर्वदुःखानामऽप्रतिकारपूर्वकम् |
चिन्ताविलापरहितं सा तितिक्षा निगद्यते ||"Endurance of all afflictions without countering aids, and without anxiety or lament is said to be titiksha." (Vivekachudamani 25)By speaking of titiksha as endurance without anxiety or lament and without external aids, Shankara refers to such titiksha as the means to inquiry into Brahman, for a mind which is subject to anxiety and lament is unfit for conducting this kind of inquiry. Vivekananda explains that forbearance of all misery, without even a thought of resisting or driving it out, without even any painful feeling in the mind, or any remorse is titiksha.The practice of Yoga makes a person inwardly even-minded and cheerful. The very act of calming emotional reactions develops a better ability to influence outer circumstances, therefore, titiksha does not make one apathetic or dull; it is the first step to interiorizing the mind, and to bringing its reactions under control. The important way of practicing titiksha is to watch the breath (parahara) which practice leads to the practice of meditation proper. Prakrti (matter or nature) shows the way to titiksha, the creative principle of life – just as inertia is a property of matter.Uparati
Uparati, is a Sanskrit word and it literally means "cessation, quietism, stopping worldly action". It is an important concept in Advaita Vedanta pursuit of moksha and refers to the ability to achieve "dispassion", and "discontinuation of religious ceremonies".According to Adi Shankara Uparati or Uparama is the strict observance of one’s own Dharma. Sama is the restraining of the outgoing mental propensities i.e. the curbing of the mind from all objects other than hearing etc., and Dama is the restraining of the external sense-organs from all objects other than that. Uparati is Pratyahara, the withdrawing of the Self (Vedantasara Slokas 18-20). These essentials along with Titiksha i.e. endurance of pairs of opposites, Samadhana i.e. constant concentration of the mind, Śraddhā i.e. faith in the truths of Vedanta, and Mumukshutva i.e. yearning for spiritual freedom, which are the six-fold inner-wealth prepare one eager for liberation to gain the knowledge of Brahman. Effort is involved in inculcating Sama and Dama but the exercise of Uparati requires no efforts. In the state of Uparati, which is total renunciation of actions i.e. enjoined duties, one discovers an inner poise, silence or joy. The mind which is conditioned to fulfil duties is not free to pursue knowledge. It is through renunciation that a few seekers have attained immortality – not through rituals, progeny or wealth – "na karmana na prajya dhanena tyagenaike amrtatvamamasuh" – Kaivalya Upanishad, 3. Immortality is the state when becoming and being are one.Whereas the fruit of Vairagya is Bodha i.e. spiritual wisdom, the fruit of Bodha is Uparati. The best Uparati (self-withdrawal) is that condition of the thought waves in which they are free from influences of external objects (Vivekachudamani Slokas 23). Uparati is the abstaining on principle from engaging in any acts and ceremonies enjoined by the Shastras; otherwise, it is the state of the mind which is always engaged in Sravana and the rest, without ever diverging from them.Utsaha
Utsāha is an essential factor in matters governing human thoughts and actions, and directs all human achievements because primarily it is the strength of will, firmness of resolve, energy and power, endurance and perseverance, and the joy and elation resulting from achievement of pre-determined objectives.Vivartavada
Vivartavada is the Vedantic theory of causation; it is the method of asserting this doctrine.