Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Vedanta Paribhasha – Pratyaksham - 5

Hari Aum

Prostrations to Guru. Prostrations to All

Objection: In that case the recollection of the happiness etc. abiding in oneself would be a perception in respect of the happiness etc.
Reply: No, for there the happiness that is being recollected being a past event, and the mental state in the form of recollection being a present event, the two limiting adjuncts in the mind belong to different times, and hence the two Consciousnesses limited by them are different; for the criterion of the unity of the substratum having the limiting adjuncts is that the two limiting adjuncts must occupy the same space at the same time. If, however, the criterion of that unity be occupation of the same space alone, then in order to prevent from unduly extending to a recollection such as, “I was happy before” the object must be qualified by the idea of presence.

In the case of perceptual knowledge, we have 3 entities,
pramata, the subject
Prameya, the object
Pramana, the mind which stretches out to the object.

When a person sees a pot in front of him, the mind goes out through the openings of the eyes and takes the form of the pot. This modification of mind in the form of pot is known as Vritti. The consciousness qualified by the Vritti is same as the consciousness qualified by the object because the space occupied the Vritti and object is one and the same. Thus, the person gets the knowledge that “This is pot”. Thus, the first criterion for the knowledge to be perceptual is that the object and the Vritti formed in antah karanam should occupy the same space. After explaining about the perception of external objects, he also told that the knowledge that “I am happy” is also a perceptual knowledge as the internal object happiness and the modification in the form of happiness occupy the same space.

Now Dharmaraja raises a question. If the knowledge “I am happy” is a perceptual knowledge on account of happiness and vritti occupying the same space, then the knowledge that “I was happy” should also a perception as in this case also the object and the vritti may occupy the same space. He dismisses this question by saying that the object of recollection of happiness and its Vritti belong to different time. The experience of happiness is in past and the recollection is in present. Since both the object and the Vritti belong to different time, the Consciousness qualified by them is different. Thus he brings forth the second criterion for perceptual knowledge that along with the same space which the object and the vritti occupy, they should also be present at the same time. Dharmaraja at the very beginning itself differentiated between the valid knowledge and the remembrance. In this context, the happiness is an experience in the past and that experience is remembered in the present and hence is not a valid knowledge. The reason for this not being a valid perceptual knowledge is that they both belong to different time. Finally, he finishes the explanation of this criterion by saying that if we are to consider only same space criterion, then the object should be in present.

Objection: Even then, when the present righteousness and unrighteousness relating to one are known through verbal testimony and so forth, the definition unduly extends to such verbal comprehension etc because there the Consciousness limited by righteousness and unrighteousness and the Consciousness limited by the mental state in the form of those are one.
Reply: No, for capability of perception also must form a qualifying attribute of the object. That in spite of their being equally attributes of the mind, some are capable of being perceived while others are not, can be explained only by a reference to the inherent of things, which we want assume on the basis of the actual result. Otherwise, even in the Nyaya system, righteousness and unrighteousness would inevitably be matter of perception like happiness etc, because they are equally attributes of the Self.

Now Dharmaraja raises a question. Dharma and adharma can be known only through Verbal Testimony. When somebody says that “You are righteous”, such verbal testimony at the present gets extended to be perception also because the consciousness limited by dharma or adharma and the consciousness limited by the Vritti of dharma or adharma will be same. Thus there is overpervasion of extending into perception. To this he answers that, for an object to be perceptible, the object should have the capability of being perceived. If an object doesn’t have the capability then there cannot be any perceptual knowledge at all. Here ones own dharma or adharma doesn’t have the capability to be perceived and hence there is no over pervasion.
Also he says that such a question cannot be put forth by Nayayikas because, for them dharma and adharma are the qualities of the Self. Nyaya system talks about 24 qualities dharma, adharma, sukha, dukha are few among the 24 qualities. Therefore even according to Nyaya system, dharma and adharma cannot be perceived as then it would lead us to say that Sukha and dukha are also perception as they are also qualities like dharma and adharma. But according to Nyaya system, Sukha and Dukha can be known through Inference only.
Thus, the third criterion for knowledge to be perceptual is Capability of object to be perceived.

It cannot be urged that even then, while happiness is present, the knowledge arising from sentences such as “You are happy”, would be a perception; for we accept this view, inasmuch as in sentence like, “you are the tenth man”, which refer to objects that are in contact (with the organ), we admit immediate or perceptual knowledge even from verbal testimony.

Dharmaraja anticipates a question that if somebody says when there is happiness in the present “You are happy”, whether the knowledge out of that verbal testimony is perception or not. He says that it is perception knowledge the object which is happiness is present and when the anthah karanam senses this object, the person gets the clear knowledge that “I am happy”. ‘Happiness’ is an internal object, when it is present the Consciousness qualified by happiness and the Consciousness limited by the Vritti of happiness is one and the same and hence the knowledge that “I am happy” is perceptual knowledge. Dharmaraja quotes an example for the same, the 10 fool example which is a very familiar example for everyone. When the passer-by told the person who counted others “You are the tenth man”, he gets the clear knowledge that “I am the tenth man”.

Prostrations to All.

Hari Aum


No comments: