Shruti and the Logic

Anand Hudli anandhudli at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Feb 28 02:38:05 CST 2002

On Mon, 25 Feb 2002 23:04:04 +0530, D.V.N.Sarma <narayana at HD1.VSNL.NET.IN>

>From gauDapAda kArika, SankarA's introductory commentary
>to Chapter 3 i.e., advaita prakaraNa.
>advaitaM kim AgamamAtrENa pratipattavyam AhOsvit tarkENApi
>ityata aha - SakyatE tarkEnApi  j~nAtuM; tatkathamityadvaita-
>prakaraNam ArabhyatE....
>Swami NikhilAnanda's translation.
>Now it is asked whether nonduality can be established only by
>scriptural evidence or whether it can be proved by reasoning as well.
>It is said in reply that it is possible to establish nonduality by
>reasoning as well. How is it possible? This is shown in this chapter
>of Advaita.

 naishha doshhaH. There is no problem here, as Sureshvara says.
 The key to resolving your doubt is in what you have yourself quoted.
 The Self can be inferred by analyis of, for example, the three states
 of waking, dream, and sleep. But such inference can only lead to an
 *indirect* understanding. Sureshvara aptly adds "liN^gavyavadhAnena
 tatpratipatteH" - because (you ) establish (the Self) by
 inference using the liN^ga or hetu as an intervention. The term
 liN^ga is a technical term in nyAya. Please refer to my posting -
 "Brief review of nyAya concepts and terms" as part of the advaita-siddhi

 To explain, suppose you infer the existence of fire on a mountain
 by observing smoke on the mountain. Here your inference is based on
 the rule "where there is smoke there is fire." However, your inference
 of fire on the mountain is not equivalent to actually observing fire
 on the mountain. To actually see the fire, you may have to climb the
 mountain. This is the direct experience of witnessing the fire,
 different from inference of fire.

 Besides, there is another important point about inference and direct
 revelation of the Self by the shruti. You can present a logical argument
 to infer the nondual Self and post it on a website, for example. Anyone
 who is open to logical discussion can read it and understand such
 nonduality, albeit indirectly. There is no other qualification required
 for such an understanding.

 On the other hand, if you have to realize the Self directly, it has to
 be through the shruti only.  You must have the necessary qualifications
 - the sAdhana chatusshTaya - *and* you must approach a Guru.

 JnAnottama's commentary on the naiShkarmya siddhi nicely summarizes
 this  difference between inference and shruti:

 "liN^gajanitaviGYAnasya vyavahitatayA paroxatayA
  vastugrAhakatvAdaparoxatayA grahaNAya vAkyameva apexata
 iti samAdhatte"

 Since the realization of the entity (Self) resulting from the
 intervention of knowledge produced by inference is indirect,
 direct realization depends *only* on the vAkya (of the shruti).
 (Sureshvara) thus resolves the issue raised by the opponent.


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