Sunday, December 23, 2007

Vedanta Paribhasha - Pratyaksham - 10

Hari aum

Prostrations to Guru. Prostrations to All

Similarly, although the mind and its attributes, etc, are objects of the witness alone, yet, as we assume mental states in the form of those, the definition mentioned above applies there also, and hence it is not too narrow. It cannot be urged that if the mind an d its attributes etc. are assumed to be objects of mental states, it will contradict the assumption that they are cognized by the witness alone; for, being cognized by the witness alone does not mean that they are objects of the witness without the presence of mental states but that they are the objects of the witness without the activity of the means of knowledge, such as the organs and inference. Hence the Acharya, in his gloss, in the passage dealing with egoism, has admitted a mental state in the form of the ego. Hence also, in the case of an illusory piece of silver, a state of nescience in the form of the silver has been admitted by the traditional interpreters. So the definition of which the mental states as the limiting adjuncts are a factor, applying to the mind and its attributes, etc. which are cognized by the witness alone, it is not too narrow. Therefore the gist of the matter is this: An object is said to be cognized by perception when it is capable and is devoid of any existence apart from that of Consciousness associated with the subject, which has for its limiting adjunct a mental state in the form of that object.

Dharmaraja previously explained that modification of the mind of the object is not perceived by another modification of the mind, whereas that Vritti is the object of itself. Here Dharmaraja explains about the witness as well. All the modifications of the mind and its attributes are the objects of witness, and cognition by witness alone does not mean that there are no modifications of the mind corresponding to the cognition, but it only means that it doesn’t require any activity like sense organ etc for its cognition. Self, which stays as the witness, witnesses all the activities of the mind without requiring anything to make it to cognize the mind and its attributes. The acharya which Dharmaraja is referring is Prakashatman. In the Prakashatman’s Vivarana, it is mentioned that Ahamkaram or Ego is a Vritti in the mind. This Vritti of ahamkara or ego is cognized by witness only. When a illusory silver is seen on the nacre, a Vritti is formed in the form of ignorance as silver is an illusion in the Nacre, which is also cognized by the witness. Thus on both the levels of reality, Vyavaharika level and Prathibasika level, it is witness which cognizes the Vritti without requiring any activity to cognize.

With this explanation he summarizes the second cognition type which we are learning, that perception from the standpoint of the object. For an object to be perceptible,
1) It should have the capability to be perceived
2) Its reality status is not other than the reality status of the Consciousness associated with the subject

When we perceive an object that has the capability to be perceived and has the same reality status same as the subject then by the conjunction of mind with the object through the sense organs forms a Vritti in the form of the object which makes the object perceptible.


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