[Advaita-l] substantive object

kuntimaddi sadananda kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Mon Jun 9 06:22:42 CDT 2003

--- Sankaran Aniruddhan <ani at ee.washington.edu> wrote:
> namaste Sri Sadananda,
> Thank you for your explanation. But I am still confused as
> to why all schools assume that there is a substantive
> different from the qualities. Is there a logical reason
> for this? Is the other position (absence of substantive)
> quite close to the buddhist position that nothing really
> exists?
> Aniruddhan

Shree Aniruddhan

The substantive is different from qualities - this is not  an assumption
- that is a fact.  Different schools only provide different explanations
for the relation between the substantive and the qualities.  For example
- How do we know a chemical substance like say water as water?  You
identify  a substance  (essentially differentiating it from all other
substances in the universe) using physical and its chemical properties 
- Is it not? – Properties are what water possess but properties are not
water.   These properties are measured  ultimately by the senses  -
color, oder, taste etc. By measuring  properties, I identify the
substance that has properties  as distinct from the  rest of the objects
in the universe.  That is what a chemist does.  But senses cannot (under
line  cannot) measure substantives.  

The major problems in understanding the explanations are not clearly
understanding where the observations end and where explanations and
conclusions start.   People take experience  as a fact.  I keep
emphasizing this fact that experience is not a pramaaNa. If any school
takes that as granted then one has to question their subsequent
conclusions.  - Experience has to be understood by analysis – that is
where  explanations come into picture and analysis therefore has to be
proper.  Experinces can be contradictory.  Correct knowledge, prama, is
that which takes into consideration even the contradictory experiences
and provide a self-consistent explanation - that is what essentially
'samanvaya' implies.  In the process one may reject the supreimposed
qualifications which are only superficial only take the essential - that
is what is also involved in the analysis of 'tat tvam asi' mahaavaakya. 

In order to do any correct analysis of the system, one has to separate
the observations without getting confused with the explanations and
experiences as observations. This is what a scientist does, if he is
worth the salt. 

Many cross the demarcation line and get the explanation mixed with the
facts.  That is what I have been pointing it out and Jay is still misses
that. His latest mail in response to my cotton to atoms is just
reflection of that.  I am slowly putting the epistemological issues in
self-contained article  hopefully before the end of the week.

But for those who are interested classical analysis of this problem is
provided by Dharmaraja Advariindra in his "Vedanta Paribhaasha" - There
are many commentaries and sub-commentaries on this work.

Hari OM!

> Sruti smRti purANAnAm Alayam karuNAlayam
> namAmi bhagavatpAda Sam.karam lokaSam.karam
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