Prostrations to Guru. Prostrations to All.
Thathra pratyakshapramaakaranam pratyaksha pramaanam pratyaksha pramaa thu athra chaitanyameva, “yad saakshaad aparokshaad” ithi srutheh ‘aparokshaath’ ithyasya aparoksham ithyarthah
Of these, that which is the distinctive cause (karana) of valid perceptual (pratyaksha) knowledge is the pratyaksha-pramaana. Here [in the definition], valid perception knowledge is but consciousness, because of the sruti, ‘That [Brahman] which is direct, immediate’ (Brh., III.4.1). Of the word aparokshaa, the meaning is aparoksham(immediate).
The first chapter of this work explains about the pratyaksha pramaanam. As we learned in the introduction, pramaa means valid knowledge and that which serves as the instrument to get this valid knowledge is called Pramaanam. Pratyaksha Pramaa means valid perceptual knowledge and Pratyaksha Pramaanam means that which serves as the instrument to get the Pratyaksha Pramaa or valid perceptual knowledge.
According to scriptures, there is only Brahman.
“Sarvam hyethath brahma”
Everything is Brahman’
Brahman is of the nature of Sat-Chit-Anandam. So whatever seen in the world is only Brahman of the nature of Consciousness. Every object in the world has the essential nature of Brahman along with nama and roopa. When the nama and roopa are removed, what exists is only Sat Chit Ananda Brahman. So all experiences in the world are pervaded by Consciousness only and hence we can say the perceptual knowledge is also Consciousness only. The object which we perceive in front of us is immediate perception of Consciousness only, but because of adhyaasam or superimposition we perceive the object as nama and roopa. The underlying substratum of pot is clay only, therefore though we say “I am seeing a pot”, it is only clay we are seeing and pot is only a temporary name and form of clay. In the same way, whenever we see an object which is front of us though we say that “I am seeing this object”, but actually what is present is only Consciousness. Dharmaraja quotes from Brihadaranyaka Upanishad that Brahman is direct and immediate.
Lakshmidhara kavi says in Advaita Makaranda that
“abhaaroopasya vishvasya bhaanam bhaasathridhervinaa
Kadhaachith na avakalpeta bhaa chaaham tena sarvagah”
“The inert Universe can never be experienced without the proximity of Consciousness. I, the Consciousness, therefore, am present everywhere”
Nanu chaithanyam anaadhi, thath katham chakshuraadheh thath karanathvena pramaanathvamithi? Uchyathe chaithanyasyaanaadhithvepi thath abhivyanjaka anthah karana vrittih indriya sannikarshaadhinaa jaayathe, ithi vritti vishishtam chaithanyam aadhimadh ithyuchyathe, jnaana avachedhakathvaacha vrittau jnaanathvopachaarah thadhuktham vivarane, “anthah karanavrittau jnaanathvopachaaraath”
Objection: Is not Consciousness without a beginning? So how can the eye etc., as instruments of that, be the means of knowledge?
Reply: The answer is this. Although Consciousness is without a beginning, yet that mental state which reveals it arises through the contact of the organs etc. Hence consciousness qualified by the mental state is spoken of having a beginning. And as the mental state limits the (resulting) knowledge, it is figuratively designated as knowledge. So it has been said in the Vivarana, “On account of the mental state being figuratively spoken of as knowledge”
After giving a brief explanation of what is valid perceptual knowledge, the author then continues the work by raising the objection and answering them. It is very well known that Consciousness is without beginning and the author has explained that pratyaksha prama is Consciousness only. Since the Consciousness is always there, how can there be any knowledge through the organs of eyes etc. To this he answers, Consciousness is without beginning no doubt, but here we are not speaking about Consciousness in its pure sense. When an object is seen, the mind gets modified and takes the form of the object. The consciousness qualified by this modification of the mind is only said to have a beginning. How the modification of mind is produced? The modification of the mind is caused by the conjunction of sense organ and the object. When the sense organ like eye etc. gets in contact with the object, the mind gets modified and takes the form of the object. The consciousness which is qualified by this modification of the mind only gives the knowledge about the object. When we see a pot, the consciousness limited by the modification of mind, which is in the form of pot, gives knowledge about the pot. If there is no modification it means there is no conjunction of sense organs with any object and thus there is no perception. This consciousness qualified by the modification of the mind is figuratively called as the knowledge.
Prostrations to All