Vidyasankar vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Sep 11 13:19:05 CDT 2002

Re: abhAva and anupalabdhi -

The two terms are sometimes used interchangeably, but often have slightly
different connotations. When we talk of the absolute non-existence of a
thing, we can say "abhAva", but not "anupalabdhi". Thus, for example, the
abhAva of the hare's horn  refers to the fact that such an entity does not
exist at all. There is no expectation that it should exist, and so we do not
say that not perceiving a hare's horn is a case of anupalabdhi. In this
sense, abhAva refers to ontological non-existence.

On the other hand, "anupalabdhi" refers to the non-perception of an entity
that is expected to exist. This term is therefore preferred in an epistemic
sense, and is used more often in discussions of pramANa-s and such, e.g. in

In this connection, it is important to note that the Atman is called
nityopalabdhi-svarUpa or that which is always obtained (perceived).

>As I understand:
>anupalabdi, as well as arthaapatti are somewhat close degenerate
>forms of anumaana pramaaNa only, at least as per other achaarya-s.

Yes, but to consider them as forms of anumAna overlooks some other salient
features. An inference has to strictly follow from the perceived facts. The
non-perception of a thing cannot validly lead to any inference about that
thing. On the other hand, anupalabdhi is based partly on the expectation
that a perception should have been there and it involves at least one
premise that is not directly perceived.


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