Sunday, October 28, 2007

Vedanta Paribhasha - Pratyaksham - 8

Hari Aum

Prostrations to Guru. Prostrations to All

The perceptuality of objects such as a jar, however, consists in their not being different from the (Consciousness associated with the) subject.
Objection: How can a jar etc. be one with the Consciousness limited by the mind, since it contradicts our experience of difference, as when we say, “I see this”?
Reply: The answer is this. The absence of difference from the subject does not indeed mean identity it means having no existence apart from that of the subject. To be explicit, since a jar etc. are superimposed on the Consciousness limited by them, their existence is but the existence of the Consciousness associated with the object, fro the existence of what is superimposed is not admitted to be something over and above that of its substratum. And since the Consciousness associated with the object is, in the manner described above, but the Consciousness associated with the subject, the latter Consciousness alone is the substratum of a jar etc., and hence their existence is but that of the subject, and not something else. So the immediacy of a jar etc. is proved. But in case of inference etc., since the mind does not go out to the space covered by the fire etc., the Consciousness limited by the fire is not one with the Consciousness associated with the subject, and therefore the existence of the fire etc is distinct from that of the subject. So (the definition of perception) does not wrongly extend to such cases.

After the analysis of the knowledge being perceptual, now he starts his analysis on the object being perceptual. For the object to be perceptual, the object is not different from that of the subject. After giving the condition, he raises a question how jar is one with the subject? When we say “I see this”, it clearly shows that the object is different from us, so how object be one with the subject. To this he answers that, by saying object is not different from subject, it doesn’t mean identity. It only means that the object cannot have an existence apart from the existence of the subject. The existence of the object is same as the existence of the subject.
As explained by Dharmaraja earlier, when we see a pot the mind goes out through the sense organs and takes the form of the pot. Thus we have Consciousness associated with the object and the Consciousness associated with the mind of the subject. As he said earlier, the Consciousness associated with object is not different from the Consciousness associated with the mind, and here from the perspective of object, Consciousness associated with the mind is the Consciousness associated with the subject. Thus Consciousness is the substratum of both subject and the object. Pot cannot have any existence apart from the substratum of Consciousness to which it is associated with because the pot is superimposed on the Consciousness associated with it and since the Consciousness associated with the pot is same as the Consciousness associated with the subject, the pot is perceptual. Thus the existence of the pot is same as the existence of the subject.
In the case of inference, as in fire in the hill example, the fire is not perceived through the sense organs. Since Vritti is not formed through the sense contact, the Consciousness associated with fire is different from the Consciousness associated with subject and thus the existence of fire is different from the existence of the subject. Therefore fire is not the object of perception.

Thus the first criterion for object to be perceptual is that, the reality status of the object is not different from the reality status of Consciousness associated with the subject.

Objection: Even then, in the case of an inference regarding righteousness and unrighteousness, the latter would be objects of perception, because the Consciousness limited by them not being distinct from the Consciousness associated with the subject, the existence of righteousness etc. is not apart from that of the subject.
Reply: No, for capability of perception is also a qualifying attribute of the object.

Similar question was answered by Dharmaraja in the earlier analysis as well. The question is, in case of regarding oneself to be righteous or not, we have righteousness or unrighteousness as object and the consciousness limited by righteousness being not different from Consciousness limited by the subject, righteousness becomes an object of perception which in reality is not. To this as before, Dharmaraja answers that righteousness or unrighteousness doesn’t have the capability to be perceived and hence there is no problem at all.
Thus the second criterion for the object to be perceptual is its capability of being perceived.

We will continue with the analysis the next day.

Prostrations to All.

Hari Aum


1 comment:

vedanta said...


Prostrations to all.

Dharmaraja here brings a very beautiful concept with respect to an object being perceptual. The same concept can be extended into the Advaitic view of SARVAM BRAHMA MAYAM.

He says that when we say that the pramaatha or Knower is not different from Prameyam or object to be known, he means that the prameya doesn't have any existence apart from the pramaatha. This is very easy to understand. When we take the example of Rama seeing a pot, Rama is the pramaatha and pot is the prameya. Without Rama, there is no pot -- in this case pot is not unreal but pot as a prameya is not there until the pramaatha of Rama is not there. This means that Rama and pot both might exist but the pot as prameya comes into existence only when Rama as the pramaatha perceives it. Thus the pramaatha determines the existence of the prameya.

If that is the case, can't we say that the pot exists but is just not perceived?
Yes, we can. But how can say something exists without actually perceiving it? or can we really say the pot exists without us perceiving it? It is for this reason that all systems attack Advaita by telling that Nirguna Brahman which is the goal doesn't exist as it cannot be experienced. We can use the same logic against such objections by saying that even though Nirguna Brahman isn't experienced, it still exists. Will the objecting people accept it? No, never.

Thus for an entity to exist, we should perceive it. Therefore going back on my words (like chandrashakha nyaaya -- raising a wrong view and refuting it for a higher view:)), the pot doesn't exist at all without Rama existing (earlier i said that pot might exist but pot as prameya doesn't exist which I am modifying now).

Extending this view of "prameya doesn't exist without pramaatha" to the prameya of world and pramaatha of Brahman, the world doesn't exist without Brahman as the individual Self in each one of us. Thus when sruthi says that everything is Brahman, it means that without Brahman the world has no existence at all. Add to it that the world is just an illusion of names and forms, we will end up with the statement that EVERYTHING IS BRAHMAN. Since one Brahman determines the existence of the entire world, therefore Brahman is adviteeya or advaita as it alone really is independent and ultimately real. That which is dependent exists only for limited time like the pot seen by Rama - such limited entities which was not there in the first place, seems to be there now and will vanish later is termed MITHYAA and unreal by Vedanta.

It is not one Rama who sees the pot but there is another Krishna as well who sees the pot. So pot's existence is not entirely on Rama but at times on Krishna as well.
This is perfect right except that we hold the view that Krishna and Rama are essentially Brahman.

How can it be true? Why can't we have many jeevas as selves each different from one another?
Navya Nyaaya (new-logic) started by Gangesha Upadhyaaya in order to get out of the vehement destruction of Pracheena Nyaaya by Sriharsha, Anandabodha, Chitsukha, Anandagiri etc. speaks about a concept called LAGHAVA. Laghuthaa or quality of being light is a common word in Sankrit. Laghu can also have the meaning of simple. This concept of LAGHAVA is already well known by many of us because it is present in mathematics amongst other sciences.

We have an equation to be proven. Rama proves it in 5 steps whereas Krishna proves it in 2 steps. As per modern science, Krishna's solution is better but Rama's solution is not negated or wrong. The concept of LAGHAVA is same. If Rama explains a concept using 2 entities whereas Krishna explains it using 1 entity, Krishna's solution/explanation is laghu or simple. Hence Krishna's is accepted as better and right. Unlike mathematics, here Rama's solution is negated or taken to be wrong as there is a better way to prove it. The best or simplest way to prove something is taken as the right one. Thus by using the panchami vibhakthi (used for hetus or reasons), we can conclude an analysis by telling "laghavaat" (because of simplicity).

Though many systems including Dvaita and others speak about aneka jeevas each different from one another, the nyaaya system proclaiming the chit atman as many, we can explain it with just one CHIT or Consciousness. When comparing Multiple Chits and one CHIT, one CHIT is simple. Hence due to simplicity, ONE CHIT is enough for doing away with essential difference between Rama and Krishna. Thus it is one BRAHMAN which is really perceiving the world.

If it is one Brahman, then why don't I see what AMMA sees?
Though essentially everything is seen by one Brahman, we have to accept many jeevas or reflected Consciousnesses which are reflections in the intellect. As many intellects, so many jeevas. As is the intellect, so will be the vision. If we are able to go beyond the intellect to the state of Brahman, we will see only Brahman everywhere (which many saints have experienced and explained in the scriptures).

Thus essentially everything is Brahman but empirically we have to accept differences. This is like telling that the dream world is essentially the dreamer still the objects of the dream world are different from each other (with respect to being inside or in the dream world).

Thus the concept of praameya being not different from pramaatha can be extended beautifully to understand the Vedantic statement of SARVAM BRAHMAMAYAM.

Prostrations to all.




Let a moment not pass by without remembering God