[Advaita-l] Function of Pramana

kuntimaddi sadananda kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Sun Jun 6 06:00:17 CDT 2004

Pranaams, and thanks for the very interesting discussion by Shree Rama
and Venkat.

Inherent in the discussion of ignorance and its analogy with darkness is
the assumption about the nature of the knowledge; and the nature of
knowledge in the format of the advaita, particularly during the post
Shankra period.   Knowledge is considered as swataH sidhham and hence
Rama’s reminder from bhashya- s that it is vastu tantra.  Here one is
faced with the distinction of ‘knowledge of’ versus ‘knowledge’ itself.
Knowledge of ‘a pot’ or any object for that mater – that it can be vastu
tantram,  but ‘pot’ can not be swatah siddham  - hence it is
puurvaabhaava patriyogini – counter to it’s previous non-existence. 
Removal of darkness or ignorance does not necessarily imply the vision
of pot unless the pot is preexisting, and then only it becomes vastu
tantram as Rama rightly pointed out.  The removal darkness and
simultaneity of the vision of pot in the light can occur for a
pre-existing objects – which of course is implied – but for deeper
analysis it has be recognized, otherwise objectors will jump on it.   
Hence the vision of the pot although vastu tantram is not independent of
pramana- This is inherent in any examples which involves

 The  pure knowledge( in contrast to ‘knowledge of..’) is swataH siddham
since it is chaitanya swaruupam; and that is ‘aprameyam’ as no means of
knowledge is required to know itself.  

The confusion of the ‘knowledge of’ where a pramaana has to operate
(even if it is vastu tantram) and self-knowledge which has ‘aparameyam’
has in my opinion led to the confusion of ‘bhava ruupa aj~naana’ in
contrast to ‘abhaavaruupa aj~naana’.

Any thoughts on that?

Hari OM!

--- Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian <balasr at yahoo.com> wrote:
> This is a really good point brought about by Shri
> Venkat, where sha.nkara seemingly contradicts himself.
> The key point to remember is that knowledge is vastu
> tantra, a property of a thing and not kartR^i tantra,
> a property of the knower or the doer. This is what is
> driven home by sha.nkara in his magnificient MaBh.  He
> points out that once the darkness is removed from a
> pot, the knowledge of the pot does not depend on any
> further action by any pramaaNa on part of the knower.
> The knowledge automatically rises once the hindrance
> is removed. To wit, each pramaaNa acts *unaided* by
> some other pramaaNa, in its own sphere (otherwise it
> would cease to be pramaaNa!) and it's vastu tantra.
> Thus is the case with shruti, which sublates any
> notion of duality and does not need any repeated
> thinking, meditation, etc., after the notion of
> duality is sublated. The main point of the bhaashhya
> is the *subject* or the cognizer of the pot.
> In contrast, in the BrBh, sha.nkara is concerned with
> showing that the effect pre-exists in the cause.
> Obstructions prevent us from seeing the effect as
> pre-existing. Each effect destroys the previous effect
> - example a pot destroys the lump shape which existed
> before. His opponent tries to prove his position as
> ridiculous by claiming that anyone would try to just
> get rid of obstructions and not attempt to make a pot!
> Sha.nkara points out that even in the simple case when
> darkness shines on a pot, the pot is changed - namely
> the pot is covered with light. It is not a *rule* that
> an object remains unchanged when the obstructions
> related to it being perceived are removed. It could be
> the case *sometimes*, but not *always*. Here the main
> point of the bhaashhya is the *object*, i.e., the pot.
> Thus there is no contradiction between the two
> bhasshyas. 
> Rama
> --- venkata subramanian <venkat_advaita at yahoo.com>
> wrote:
> > 
> > Apart from destroying the darkness, light does not
> > do anything else to enlighten  a pot.
> > 
> > however, in his Brihadaranyaka Upanishad Bhashyam
> > (Asadeva Idamagra Aaseeth) while establishing that
> > even effect existed before creation, he mentions
> > that it cannot be said that light simply destroys
> > the darkness, it also entlightens the pot, as the
> > pot is also seen covered with light.
> > 
> > How should we understand this two opposite
> > statements; one in Mandukya and the other in
> > Brihadaranyaka.
> > 
> > 
> > Thanks & Regards,
> > Venkat.
> > 
> > Sadgurubhyo Namah.

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