[Advaita-l] Tamas, physical darkness, is a positive object
ramachandra.sastry at gmail.com
Sat Jul 22 08:08:12 EDT 2017
I have a doubt regarding darkness being considered as objective existence
and request scholars to help me to understand.
If we say , since darkness is black hence we consider as positive object,
does it not contradict the science behind it.
As we understand , it is well known that the nerves in the eyes absorb the
colour of an object entering into them, therefore, the object appears in
Since all the colours are present in the sunlight and all of them are
absorbed by the nerves, sunlight appears colourless.
In darkness there is no colour to be absorbed by the nerves, the darkness
appears black and blackness is not a different colour and it is only
absence of all colours. The eyes get darkness only because there is no work
to be done by them, also if blackness of the darkness been another existent
colour, the eyes would have to be doing the job of seeing it, hence the
eyes would have had no rest.
Therefore, how can we say darkness has a objective existence.
On Fri, Jul 21, 2017 at 7:40 AM, V Subrahmanian via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
> On Thu, Jul 20, 2017 at 11:15 PM, Ravi Kiran <ravikiranm108 at gmail.com>
> > On Thu, Jul 20, 2017 at 6:24 PM, V Subrahmanian via Advaita-l <
> > advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
> >> Tamas, physical darkness, is a positive object
> >> श्रूयते । तत्र संशय्यते — किं ज्योतिःशब्दं *चक्षुर्विषयतमोपहं तेजः*, किं
> >> वा
> >> परं ब्रह्मेति ।
> >> Does the word 'jyotis' in the Chandogya passage 8.12.3 refer to the
> >> physical light that dispels darkness that envelops objects perceptible
> >> the eye or the Supreme Brahman?
> >> From the usage *चक्षुर्विषयतमोपहं* it is clear that darkness is a
> >> positive entity that is also popularly understood as 'absence of light'
> >> and
> >> that it is dispelled by light.
> > If darkness is a positive entity, how can light ( whose nature is to just
> > illumine, prakAsaka) dispel the darkness object ?
> This is the question raised by those who are not comfortable with
> 'bhAvarupa ajnana': If ajnana is a positive entity how can jnana dispel it?
> > In that case, where will darkness go, when light shines ?
> Since darkness is a manifestation of prakriti, it will go back to its
> >> In any case that darkness is admitted by the
> >> Vedantin as an object that is grasped by the eye is what we understand
> >> from
> >> the usage.
> > //Sw. Gambhirananda translation, says:
> > The doubt arises as to whether the word light refers to the "light
> > to the eye" and dispelling darkness, or to Supreme Brahman.//
> The Anandagiri and Ratnaprabha commentaries interpret that part of the
> compound word as 'the darkness that envelops the objects perceptible to the
> eye such as a pot.'
> >> We do have the Upanishad itself admitting darkness, tamas, as a
> >> specific entity and not as an abhava. In the antaryami brahmanam 3.7.13
> >> this mantra:
> >> यस्तमसि तिष्ठंस्तमसोऽन्तरो यं तमो न वेद यस्य तमः शरीरं यस्तमोऽन्तरो
> >> यमयत्येष त आत्मान्तर्याम्यमृतः ॥ १३ ॥
> >> He who, residing in tamas, impels the tamas (devata), but whom the tamas
> >> devata does not know, for whom tamas is body, this antaryami is your
> >> The Upanishad also says next that tejas, light, is a devata, etc.
> >> यस्तेजसि तिष्ठंस्तेजसोऽन्तरो यं तेजो न वेद यस्य तेजः शरीरं यस्तेजोऽन्तरो
> >> यमयत्येष त आत्मान्तर्याम्यमृत इत्यधिदैवतमथाधिभूतम् ॥ १४ ॥
> >> Recently in a chintana goshthi, a scholar asked 'in which element,
> >> could tamas be included?' I felt that since it is admitted to be an
> >> of the eye, the right element, bhuta, would be tejas, for among the five
> >> elements, rupa is the guna of tejas and since tamas has the black color
> >> that we perceive, it would be appropriate.
> >> Vidwan Sri Mani Dravid Sastrigal said in an Advaitasiddhi class that the
> >> mimamsakas admit tamas as an object, that is cognized by the eye as
> >> in color. Thus, tamas is a bhaavarupa object. An abhava cannot be
> >> Here is a audio recording of the Advaitasiddhi referred to above. One
> >> get to know a lot of things from a variety of shaastra-s from the talk:
> >> http://www.mediafire.com/file/7yw76ziain9vu1z/091_MD_agnane_
> >> anumana_upapattih_01_120212.WAV
> >> Even though the talk is in Tamil, everyone with a basic understanding of
> >> Sanskrit can appreciate the recording as the lines from the
> >> are read and many Sanskrit terms are used in the exposition. One can, if
> >> he
> >> chooses to, go to 7.40 minutes in the audio to hear about the tamas
> >> discussion.
> >> regards
> >> subbu
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