bhrama-saṁskāras

(‘error impressions’)

Vācaspati Miśra (9th century A.D.) of the Bhāmatī fame, a prominent teacher of Advaita Vedānta in the post-Śaṅkara period, refers to two kinds of avidyā or nescience. The first is the psychological avidyā in the form of ‘bhrama-saṁskāras’ or error impressions; the second is the primal, positive avidyā, which produces the beginningless series of delusions and saṁskāras or impressions. The latter, he calls ‘mūlāvidyā’ or the ‘kāraṇāvidyā’ (primal nescience), which produces the former which is ‘tūlāvidyā’ or ‘kāryāvidyā’ (derivative nescience).

Bhramasaṁskāras can be removed by the cognition of the true or real objects whereas the mūlāvidyā can be destroyed only by the realization of Brahman.

See also BHĀMATĪ and VĀCASPATI MIŚRA.