[INDOLOGY] Attantya Abhava

Michael Williams michael.williams at univie.ac.at
Wed Jan 4 10:16:48 UTC 2017

Am 04.01.2017 08:30, schrieb Nagaraj Paturi:
> If you look at प्रागभाव,
> प्रध्वंसाभाव, अत्यंताभाव
> and  अन्योन्याभाव , the other three relative ,
> prior (pre-effect /pre-birth) absence, later (post-destruction)
> absence, mutual  absence (absence of one in relation (such as
> location) to the other). Hence अत्यंताभाव should
> be absolute absence. rūpaṃ is form not colour.
> On Wed, Jan 4, 2017 at 12:24 PM, alakendu das
> <mailmealakendudas at rediffmail.com> wrote:
>> Dr.Williams,
>> Thank you for your explanation. I,too, am aware of the fact that
>> colour of
>> Wind is a befitting example of Attyanta Abhava.
>> However, in course of my Vedanta Philosophy
>> studies ,I got stuck over a particular issue. Does the statement'
>> The pot does not exist in this
>> plane'(BHUTALE GHATA NASTI") can be taken as an example of
>> AttantyaAbvhava? I am a bit sceptical
>> on this issue. AttantyaAbhava means something which has a constant
>> multidimensional absence (
>> Trikaala Badhita). The absence of Pot in This plane may not
>> necessarily mean it's absence in
The judgment, "the pot is not on the ground" seems to indicate that 
there is no pot on the ground in the present moment. What type of an 
absence is in question would, I would guess, depend on whether a pot has 
been on that particular piece of ground before or not, and whether one 
will be there in the future. The point of the rūpa/vāyu example is that 
the wind will _never_ have any colour trope.

The Nyāyasiddhāntamuktāvalī also interprets it as temporal rather than 
spatial: nityasaṃsargābhāvatvam atyantābhāvatvam. The term "atyanta" 
does not suggest that it is absent from all locations, but that is 
_permanently_ absent from a particular location/set of locations. What 
you have in mind would perhaps correspond to Vyāsatīrtha's definition of 
nonexistence (asattva) in the Nyāyāmṛta. He asattva as "being the 
counterpositive of an omnispatiotemporal absence" 
(trikālasarvadeśīyaniṣedhāpraityogitā / sattocyate 'dhyastatucche taṃ 
prati pratiyoginī).

What is wrong with the translation "colour" for the term rūpa as it is 
used in Vaiśeṣika texts? In the classical Vaiśeṣika scheme, rūpa is a 
sort of guṇa (i.e. a non‐repeatable property particular). Modern 
translators generally use "colour" to translate this concept (understood 
as referring to a _particular shade_ of dark blue, a _particular 
manifestation_ of the variegated colour—if one believes in it—etc.) See 
Potter's translation of Raghunātha's Padārthatattvanirūpaṇa for the 
absence of colour-tropes in the wind (pp.35–38) and pp.45–46 for a 
discussion of the citrarūpa.

Best regards,


>> other planes too.
>> In spite of this, can it be taken as an example of AttyantaAbhava.?
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> --
> Nagaraj Paturi
> Hyderabad, Telangana, INDIA.
> Former Senior Professor of Cultural Studies
> FLAME School of Communication and FLAME School of  Liberal Education,
> (Pune, Maharashtra, INDIA )

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