For the logicians among you

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Wed Dec 3 00:29:04 CST 1997

On Mon, 24 Nov 1997 MC1 at AOL.COM wrote:

> Vedic testimony and perception are at odds concerning the non-duality versus
> the plurality of this world. How to reconcile?

Not really according to Advaita Vedanta following on a tenet of Purva
Mimamsa.  Those Vedic passages which appear to mention plurality are part
of the Karma kanda of the Vedas and are meant to extol rites.  They are
relevant for those who are qualified for rites.  For those who are
qualified to seek Brahman, the Jnana Kanda is relevant and it teaches

> Sureswara argues (reference supplied on request) that perception does not
> reveal difference! Difference is determined by the non-existence of one
> object in another -- there is non-existence of a horse in a cow and vice
> versa. Difference then, is about non-existence and perception requiring an
> object has nothing to do with non-existence -- it can only manifest objects,
> not draw conclusions about them. Inference, which can draw conclusions, being
> dependent upon perception also cannot determine non-existence.
> Is this a bit on angular reasoning? Fire although not perceived when we see
> smoke  is nonetheless inferred and yet there is definitely a difference
> between fire and smoke. We can also safely infer that smoke indicates the
> non-existence of ice. So then, does not inference give knowledge of plurality
> of objects? COmments, please.

It gives us a reasonable suspicion of that plurality but it cannot be
considered pramana until we know 100%.  On a closer look we may find that
it was indeed a whole of lot of ice which caused a mist that looked like
smoke from far away.  In the same maya causes us to misperceive things as
being different.  Closer investigation will tell us they are not.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>

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