[Advaita-l] vishEsha

Jay Nelamangala jay at r-c-i.com
Fri Jun 6 08:51:03 CDT 2003

> process - eyes see the form and color, right - therefore for form and
> color eyes are the only pramaaNa - for sound, the ears and like wise
> each of the senses have their specific fields. But form and color are
> only attributes and not the substantive. Each sense can only sense the
> qualities but not substantive. 'Which reveals 'this' my fried. Now tell

Why did you ignore "vishEsha" while formulating your question?
Your question is :   is dravyatva a guNa? or not?.
What indriyas can sense is only guNas,  then how can you have the
knowledge of  the dravya.   That is your question.

The answer is that guNas are identical with the substance in the
sense that they can not be seperated.   The two are different in
the following sense:

When you hold a white towel in your hand,  you are holding the
substantive in your hand.   It is as simple as that.   You can not hold
towel in your left hand and its whiteness in your right hand.
The word "towel" stands for a substance.  The word "whiteness" stands
for an attribute.  The words towel and whiteness are not synonymous.
If one hears the word towel,  one does not have the idea of whiteness.
If one hears whiteness,  one does not have the idea of towel.
The towel  serves a definite purpose, which whiteness does not.
Whiteness serves a different purpose.   If I just say "bring a towel"
one need not bring me white towel.  The expression "towel is not towel"
involves self-contradiction.   But the expression "cloth is not white" is
correct.  A blind man can recognize a cloth,  but he can not the whiteness.
It is possible to spot out a towel in darkness, but not its colour.
Darkness affects the whiteness and not the cloth.

These experiences or usages point to the difference between a cloth and
its whiteness.   None of them is an illusion.    They are as true as the
experience that tells us that cloth and its whiteness are identical.
So we can not deny any one set of experiences in the interest of the other.
We have only to draw the implication of both of them with a view to
removing the apparent contradiction between them.

Thus the towel and its whiteness are given in one sense as identical and
in the other as different.     This peculiarity is called "vishEsha".

So,  we may conclude that there is the idea of different properties with
reference to the same thing owning to the presence of vishEsha in it.
So,  the relation between a substance and its properties is that of
But this identity admits of the idea of difference.  The reason for this
is the presence of vishEsha in the thing.  From this point of view, we
may characterize the identity as the identity conditioned by vishEsha.
We call  it "savishEsha-abhEda".   It is simply an expression of the
idea that a substance is a unity in its diversity,  in so far as it exists.
Even the diversity in it is the expression of its unity.

So when I put a towel on my hand,  my sensory organs generate
the knowledge of guNas, and because of  savishEsha-abhEda
we get the knowledge of  the substance towel.

I hope I have answered your question.

If you want to know the physical process of
indriyArtha-sannikarsha between the object-senseorgan-mind,
let me know.

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