Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Vedanta Paribhasha - Pratyaksham - 7

Hari Aum

Prostrations to Guru. Prostrations to All.

Next Dharmaraja attacks two more concepts of Nyaya which we will in the next day.

It cannot be urged that if we thus admit both mediacy and iommediacy in the same knowledge, they would not be generic attribute (Jati); for we accept this objection, because technical terms regarding something being a generic attribute or characteristics other than that (Upadhi) are unsupported by any means of knowledge, and as such are unauthorized. Perceptions such as, ‘This jar’, are a proof of the existence of the attribute ‘jarhood’, for instance, but not of its being a generic attribute as well for since the thing to be established, viz, generic attribute, is something fictitious, the inference that establishes it also has no room. Moreover, since inherence is unfounded, and the whole universe, which is other than Brahman, is transitory, the definition of a generic attribute, which is based on its being eternal and inherent in many things, cannot apply to jarhood etc. Exactly in a similar way, the fact of being a characteristic other than a generic attribute may also be refuted.

Previously Dharmaraja refuted anuvyavasaya and alaukikam pratyaksham. Now Dharmaraja refutes another theory, Jati. Nyaya system accepts generic attribute called Jati. Jati is eternal and is inherent in many things. For example, Jarhood is the generic attribute as it is present in all the jars. It is eternal because this generic attribute of jarhood is present even if there is no jar. Inherence is an eternal relation in Nyaya system which relates generic to specific.

There are certain cases for which generic attribute is not accepted, they are
Unity of the substratum – etherhood is not accepted as generic attribute because, the substratum ether is only one, there are no two ethers.
Equality of extension – if the two attributes correspond to the same substance then both are not considered as generic attribute. Example jarhood and some other attribute of jar, both cannot be considered as generic attribute.
Cross-division – two attributes are partly exclusive and partly coexistent. For example, materiality and limitedness are partly exclusive and partly coexistent. Materiality is present in Earth, water, fire, air and ether but not present in mind. Limitedness is present in Earth, water, fire, air and mind, but not in ether. Hence there cannot be any Jati in these two.
Infinite Regression: If we assume that ghatvam or jarhood has another generic attribute ghatvatvam, then there will not be any end. Thus generic attribute of generic attribute is not accepted.

In the previous example Dharmaraja said that knowledge of Sandal wood is immediate and fragrance of the sandal is mediate. Now, since there is both mediacy and immediacy in the same knowledge they will not be Jati as there is cross-division. Mediacy and immediacy are exclusive to each other and hence it cannot lead to the generic attribute because of cross-division. This is the objection raised by the Nyaya system.

Dharmaraja welcomes such an objection and refutes Jati. According to Nyaya system, in case of Jar, ghatatvam or Jarhood is the Jati and it is eternally inherent in the Jar. When we perceive a jar, we don’t perceive the jar directly, we only perceive the jarhood and we relate the jarhood with the jar cognitively and infer that “This is Jar”. But Vedanta doesn’t accept Jati at all. In case of Jar, Jarhood is not a Jati but only an Upadhi or attribute which distinguishes it from some other substance. This cannot be considered as generic attribute because there cannot be any proof of Jarhood being a Jati. Jati or generic attribute can never be proved by any means of knowledge and hence such a concept is only a fictitious concept. Also according to Vedanta, Brahman alone is eternal there is nothing else other than Brahman which is eternal. Thus Dharmaraja proved that there is no room of having a Jati at all and the inference that we get by relating to the substance which is related through Inherence is also not possible at all.

In sentence like, “The hill has fire”, since the mental states are admitted to be different in respect of the hill and the fire, their distinguishing characteristic also are different, and hence there is no contradiction in mediacy and immediacy being together in the same Consciousness. So knowledge that is limited by mental states in the form of particular objects, is a perception in respect of such knowledge, when it is no different from the Consciousness limited by objects that are present and are capable of being apprehended by particular organs.

In this para, Dharmaraja concludes the analysis of knowledge being perceptual knowledge. In the case of fire in the hill example, the knowledge of hill is got by the conjunction of eye with the hill. Thus the Consciousness limited by the hill and the Consciousness limited by the Vritti formed in the mind are one and the same. Therefore, the knowledge of the hill is the perceptual knowledge. The fire in the hill is not seen but only inferred through the perception of smoke in the hill. Therefore, the Consciousness limited the fire is different from the Consciousness limited by the Vritti of the fire as there is no sense conjunction. Therefore, the knowledge of fire is not a perceptual knowledge.
Thus the following are the conditions for knowledge to be perception:
Vritti and the object should occupy the same space and hence Consciousness limited by object is same as Consciousness limited by the Vritti in the present.
Object of perception should have the capability of being perceived.

We will see Dharmaraja’s analysis on the object being perceptual the next day.

Prostrations to All.

Hari Aum


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