Understanding Sada's position - 3
sada at ANVIL.NRL.NAVY.MIL
Mon Aug 13 08:30:55 CDT 2001
>Without my mind and my consciousness backing it up - there is no way - no
>way is underlined - the existence of the world is established or proved.
>Be my guest if you can do that.
You say the without consciousness the world is not proved. But
again without the world is consciousness itself proved?
Sada: Nanda, it is like asking without clay pot cannot be there,
now without a pot can clay exist?
In all these the degree of reality of clay and pot are not the same,
since one is the cause and the other is an effect. One is
independent and the other is dependent. To prove that world has to
be there to prove existence of consciousness is like saying dependent
has to be there for independent to be recognized as cause for the
dependent. (in mathematics this is called a converse theorem. Proving
a converse theorem establishes the necessary and sufficient
condition - that is valid only for swaruupa lakshana and not for
taTastha lakshaNa - A house where a crow is sitting right now is
Devadatta's house if I say, the crow is a taTashhtalakshana since
converse is not valid that if there is no crow sitting then it cannot
be Devadatta's house) - In Brahmasuutra, Badaraayana defines Brahman
as the cause for the world since that is the only way for a sadhak
who is involved in the world as real to recognize the cause. But
this definition is as Shankara explains is only a taTasta lakshaNa of
Brahman. Swaruupa lakshaNa of Brahman which one cannot define as
thought is - satyam j~naanam anantam brahma. That is the very
substratum of the thoughts as I explained in my notes. This does not
mean that world is required to define Brahman. That is what is the
implication of taTasta lakshaNa means and I have discussed
elaborately this aspect in my notes related to suutra 2.
Nanda: As Shankara asks : do we perceive consciousness in itself?
Sada- yes or no - if we reject the naama and ruupa in all the
perceptions , yes it is nothing but Brahman. No, if we pay our
attention to only name and form. Nanda if you are sitting in a pitch
dark room and I call out from outside - Nanda - are you there? - What
is your answer. Do you say I cannot perceive anything here - I am
not sure whether I am there or not. Or yes I hear you, therefore I
must be here somewhere! - No Nanda, you do not need any means to know
that you are there and you are conscious -' Existence-consciousness
that you are'- is self evident. Hence it is called swaruupa
lakshaNa. Not even scripture is required to establish your presence
and your consciousness. Scripture is pramaaNa for establishing the
existent consciousness that you are is the same as that which
pervades everthing - tat tvam asi Nanda. - All thoughts raise in your
consciousness, sustained by your consciousness and go back into your
consciousness. But thoughts are not needed to establish your
existence-consciousness. On the other hand your
existent-consciousness is required to establish the existence of the
thoughts. This theory operates only one way not the converse.
Nanda: Consciousness is necessarily proved only because of the
objects that we perceive. Since we are conscious of things around us
(objects) we say that we're conscious beings. Without an object of
consciousness where's there any meaning to "consciousness" itself?
Even so called self-consciousness is nothing but consciousness of
oneself as a psycho/physical unit - as an object.
Sada: Absolutely not Nanda. Please recognize difference between
swaruupa lakshaNa and taTasta lakshaNa. I am existent-consciousness
is what is called aprameyam - no means of knowledge is required to
establish my existence and consciousness. All pramaaNa-s gets
validated only because of my existence and consciousness. It is not
that pramaaNa-s validate me. Please if you have time read my notes
on adhyaasa bhaashya of Shankara.
Nanda: Also for "consciousness" to have any meaning not only do we
need objects, we need a subject too. It is not merely consciousness
which is conscious of a subject which perceives and object which is
perceived, how can you establish consciousness itself?
Sada: There is no need to establish that which is self-existent and
that self-existent is I am. I have to be there to establish every
thing else - and that is the gist of what you call sada's position.
That is the gist of Ch. Up. 6th Chapter.
Nanda: Without each one the other two cannot be established.
Sada: No Nanda - one is independent and the other dependent - one is
cause and the other is effect. From effect point, cause has to be
there. But cause can exist independently without becoming effects.
No independent means or pramaaNa required since it is self-existent
and self-effulgent consciousness. When objects are there I am
conscious off. Other wise I am just pure consciousness requiring no
pramaaNa since it is swataH siddham or self-existent. Veda becomes a
pramaaNa not to establish existence and consciousness that I am but
to establish I am ananda swaruupa too or limitless brahman.
Nanda: There're more problems here. It is said that the subject is conscious
of an object. So there're three entities in this equation : subject,
object and the consciousness by which the subject perceives the object. But
again what's the connection between the subject and the consciousness?
Without being conscious itself, the subject cannot be conscious of
consciousness or the object presented to it by consciousness. So if the
subject itself was a conscious entity then either its true nature is itself
consciousness or it is something which has consciousness as its attribute
(the consciousness we're discussing here is different from the consciousness
which perceives objects). If the subject were consciousness itself, then
what's the difference between itself and consciousness which perceives
objects? Are they one or two? If the subject is something whose "attribute"
is consciousness then what relates its attribute to itself and what relates
the attribute to the consciousness which perceives objects? Another
consciousness? This would lead to infinite regress.
Sada:: I am very familiar with these dialectic arguments. Most of
it I dismiss as concocted logic. Tarkikaas bring 'samavaaya' to
establish the relation between attributes and the object, which to me
is meaningless. Madhva brings in the same concept but calls it
differently to show that he is different. Vedanta Deshika instead of
samavaaya formulates using essentially oxiomatic statements relating
to dravya and adravya. Advaita questions the reality of the
attributes to have any relation at all. I am questioning very
existence of the object itself - it is only an inference by the mind
and not real. Advaitic position stands more correct within their
definition of real, unreal and mithya. My arguments are not different
from Advaitic position.
To bring in the mind into this equation will only add to the problems. If
the mind is something which perceives objects - then what's its true nature?
Consciousness or is it an object whose attribute is consciousness? And
what's its connection with the its attribute consciousness, the self and the
consciousness which perceives objects? Are they one or many?
Sada: Without the mind the existence of relatives is indeterminate as
I stated before. It is not adding to the problem - it is the problem
if we ignore the play of the mind. Otherwise it can be just the
Glory of the Lord or Glory of myself - however you want to perceive
it. Pasyam me yoga maiswaram - Look at my glory as Iswara- says the
I see that the rest of the arguments below is only extension of the
above arguments. I have already explained using example of thought
wave how the subject-object distinctions get dissolved in the
recognition of consciousness which is substratum for both. It is not
just intellectual analysis - to see this fact one has to use viveka
dismissing the unreal and abiding in to the real since it is my own
nature. With this I end my discussions hoping that I have made
myself more clear now.
Nanda: We can extend this argument to the senses too : the eye perceives.
If the true nature of the eye is vision, then unless the mind too has
vision as either its true nature or as an attribute (which will lead to the
same problems all over again) how can it see what the eye sees? Are they one
or two? We also have to take into account the other senses - unless the mind
has as its true nature or as attributes of
hearing/seeing/smelling/taste/touch etc how can it interpret what the
senses present to it? Multiple qualities cannot be the true nature of a
single thing - then the word "true nature" itself loses all meaning. If all
the qualities are attributes what is the true nature of the mind and what
connects it to these attributes?
The problem doesn't end here as we also have to figure out the connection
between the mind and the self - which experiences everything.
As Nagarjuna says : things which are dependent on each other can neither be
established as one or many. We're just linking things and giving them
individual identities based on common sense. But if we analyze them they
have no substance in themselves.
Psychology/epistemology is beyond comprehension - anirvaacaniya. It can be
used for living a practical life but doesn't have absolute validity.
Sada, I apologize if I offended/hurt you in any of these posts. I'm by
nature a very aggressive debater and that's one of the reasons that I did
not want to get into a debate with you earlier - I didn't want to say
something harsh and hurt your feelings. Again I apologize if I did so - it
When you write your reply I would appreciate it if you address each
post individually - also address each point individually.
Sada: Nanda, I tried to address as much as I can. No need to
apologize since there is nothing personal and the purpose of this
forum is meant for these discussions. I should in fact thank you for
providing an opportunity to clarify myself. Only with discussions we
resolve our understanding- we may agree or may not agree. I wish you
all the best in your pursuits, although I think that trying to
eliminate the thoughts is a loosing battle. I strongly advise you
however to read my notes on the adyaasa bhaashya (ch. 3) and the
notes related to suutra-2.
Naval Research Laboratory
Washington D.C. 20375
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