[Advaita-l] dvaita on pramA (Right knowlege)

Jay Nelamangala jay at r-c-i.com
Thu Jun 12 11:52:28 CDT 2003

Knowledge by nature grasps its object as it is, and it goes wrong
if there is anything wrong in its conditions.  We may now explain
pramA as that knowledge which grasps its object as it is.
>From this point it is called "yathArtha jnAna".  PramA as yathArtha
is definite, and it is different from doubt,  and wrong knowledge.

    The fact that pramA grasps its object as it is, implies that
the instrument by which it is produced also grasps the object as it is.
Just as pramA is yathArtha,  its proximate cause also is yathArtha,
"yathArtham pramANam".   

In other schools, we are told that pramA is the knowledge caused by
pramANa.  The primary meaning of pramA cannot be anything other
than the knowledge that grasps its object as it is.  This explanation
is consistent with the fact that the truth of knowledge is svatah.
To define pramA in any other manner, can not be consistent with 
this fact.

To prove this point, we may examine the  advaita definition that
pramA is the knowledge of an object which is not sublated.
A definition helps the knowledge of the thing defined.  The 
knowledge of the thing defined presupposes that of the definition.
So according to advaita definition, we have first to know that the
object of the knowledge in question is not sublated, and then we
may consider the knowledge to be pramA because its object is
not sublated.    But this position makes the apprehension of the truth
of knowledge parataha,  because the apprehension of the truth, 
according to this definition, is conditioned by the determination that
the object, in question, is not sublated.  That the object is not sublated
follows from the fact that knowledge is pramA,  but it does not
condition the truth of knowledge.
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