An Interesting article - any response?
ahudli at APPN.CI.IN.AMERITECH.COM
Thu Dec 5 11:08:07 CST 1996
Shrisha Rao wrote:
> > There are serious logical flaws in *this* argument. First, it assumes
> > that the relationship between the "absolute" state and the waking
> > state is exactly like the relationship between the waking state
> > and the dream state. How do we know this? In other words,
> > variety in dream state implies variety in waking state
> > does not necessarily imply
> > variety in waking state implies variety in absolute state
> See, the thing is, he's talking of *causation*, not *implication*,
> viz., that
> variety in the waking state causes variety in the dream state,
> and that
> non-variety in the absolute state cannot cause variety in the
> waking state (which has to be caused by something).
True, causality and implication are different. Causality is used
more in proving a hypothesis (scientifically) whereas implication
is used in logic. Since I believe we are discussing the issue at
hand at a logical level, not a scientific level, I saw it fit to use
the logical implication. Certainly, we are not talking (nor are we
to talk about what scientifically causes dreams, etc.
Moreover if you talk of causality, an important question remains
unanswered -- what causes the absence of variety in deep sleep (
sushhupti)? Deep sleep is also a state. According to you, if
the absence of variety in deep sleep is caused by the variety
in the waking state, then we will have the following relations
variety in waking state causes variety in dream state
variety in waking state causes nonvariety in deep sleep
If this be the case, is it so inconceivable to add one more:
nonvariety in absolute state causes variety in waking state
On the other hand, if you say the nonvariety of deep sleep is not
caused by the variety of the waking state, then what is it caused by?
If you say the cause has nothing to do with the waking state, then
you have admitted that a causal relation between variety/nonvariety
in one state and another might not exist at all. So you can't complain
if the advaitin says that there is nonvariety in the absolute state
even though there is variety in the waking state.
If, however, you say that the nonvariety in the deep sleep is caused
by something that is common between the waking state and deep sleep,
then you are getting closer to advaita. What is common between the
waking and deep sleep states? It is pure consciousness. Is it not?
This consciousness is of the nature "I exist."
In fact, this consciousness is *the* only common thing between the
three states commonly known to people, waking, dream, and deep sleep.
Now, is there variety or nonvariety in this consciousness? This is
question that dvaitins will have to ponder over.
> Causation and implication are very different beasts, I'm sure you'll
The difference from a logician's standpoint is not that great.
For example, you can say flu causes fever. Absence of flu does not
necessarily mean there is no fever, (because fever could be caused by
other factors). You could also say, flu implies fever. And you would
also be logically correct in saying absence of flu does not imply
lack of fever. If there is no fever, whatever that state is, is not caused
by flu. Logically, no fever implies no flu.
A causes B does not necessarily mean not A causes not B.
A implies B does not necessarily mean not A implies not B.
A causes B means not B implies not A.
A implies B means not B implies not A.
Example, if there is no fever, there is no flu.
> While one can have an implication relationship between any two of the
> three variables (length of pole, length of shadow, angle of sun) and
> the third, the causal relationship is not similarly malleable. Thus,
> any attempt to reason about causal relationships in terms of
> implicational relationships is fallacious. It is for this reason that
I think it is not so fallacious as you think. And I am in good
company. In writing expert systems, for example, it is routine
to represent causal relationships as logical implications.
> Your criticism is thus based on a false presumption that causality is
> the same as implication, and is thus subject to improvement. If you
> can come up with a different/better one, I'd love to see it.
Your criticism that my criticism is based on a false presumption is
> > There would be such an implication if the absolute state were
> > similar to the two other states in some sense. But this is impossible
> > according to the scriptures. The absolute is not only advaita (devoid
> > of duality) but also advaya (one without a second) and nirupama
> > (incomparable to anything).
> > So the absolute state cannot be compared to any state or for that matter
> > anything at all. The statement :
> > The absolute state must be similar to the waking state
> > and even the statement:
> > the relationship between the absolute and waking state is similar
> > to the relationship between the waking and dream state
> > are both not logically provable.
> The above has already been attended to, but let's go on to your piece
> de resistance:
> But of course, there is no need to do that. For the logic can be
> dismissed in and of itself. For there is no acceptance by the
> Tattvavaada school that duality needs a cause. It simply *is*. It
> has no more a cause than Brahman does. Only those things that arise,
> are created, etc., need causes, while duality is accepted to have
> existed for all time in the past. As such, speculation about its
> causes is mere moonshine.
Then duality is taken as an axiom. Incorrectly perhaps. because
the shruti speaks of nonduality, ekameva advitiiyaM etc. So duality
cannot be taken as a fundamental axiom.
> And in fact, since it is your assertion (I think?) that the duality of
> the waking state is not caused by the duality of the absolute state,
> for the excellent reason of the latter being absent, what is its cause
> then? Since it arises and subsides, it needs must have a cause. If
> it were spontaneous, without a cause, then it would be like Brahman,
> and would not subside at all, and you'd be left with eternal duality.
> Thus, given that duality in the waking is a fact, whether one likes it
> or not, a cause must be given for it, else it would have to be that
> the duality is eternal, a conclusion you do not accept.
I can explain more. But let me mince words and say that the cause
of duality and everything else is Brahman. I only said the duality
is not caused by duality in Brahman. But that does not prevent me from
saying Brahman itself, nonduality is the cause of duality.
> Therefore, since you yourself have shown that the postulation that
> duality at a certain state is caused by that in a higher state leads
> to infinite regress, it would follow that the duality of the waking
> state is not caused by something else, but is in and of itself an
> ultimate, unsubsiding truth.
this is where shruti will say " neha naanaa .asti kiJNchana"
there is no variety here whatsoever. All logic ceases.
> > > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > > Conclusion: the world is real. Jeeva can never be the same as
> > > Brahman.
> > > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> > Maybe according to PuraaNas and other fairy tales. But I seriously doubt
> > if the Vedas say so.
> Try the Rg Veda, X.71-6:
> yastityAja sachividaM sakhAyaM na tasya vAchyapi bhAgo.asti |
> yadIM shR^iNotyalakaM na hi praveda sukR^itasya panthAm.h ||
> One who gives up his True Companion, there is no truth even in his
> speech; whatever he hears, he hears amiss; he cannot be said to be on
> the path of virtuous action.
> It is significant that the same word `sakha' used elsewhere in the Rg Veda
> in the context of `dvA suparNA', is used here as well. Now, if the "sakha"
> were an incomplete truth, an illusion, etc., why would the Veda say what
> it does? Beats me...
Good. A step in the right direction. "sakhaa" is not an illusion. It is
God. It is Brahman. It is you. tat tvam asi. Did I miss an "a" somehere?
> Shrisha Rao
> > > K.Guruprasad
> > > Department of Mathematics
> > > Indian Institute of Science
> > > Bangalore-560 012
More information about the Advaita-l mailing list