[Advaita-l] Function of Pramana

kuntimaddi sadananda kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Thu Jun 10 20:01:11 CDT 2004

--- Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian <balasr at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Let me try again -.......

> my excessive devotion to Sha.nkara I am not seeing any
> contradictions?
> Rama
> --- venkata subramanian <venkat_advaita at yahoo.com>
> wrote:
> > I still fail to understand how all these replies are
> > an answer to the question posted originally in this
> > topic.
> >  
> > How do we understand the opposite stands taken in
> > the Mandukya 7 Bhashya and the Brihadaranyaka
> > Bhashya (sa deepa Ghatasya upalabdhatvat)

As I see:
Shree Rama in a way resolved the apparent contradiction.  Advaita by
definition cannot have contradictions and Shankara does not contradict
himself.  Any apparent contradiction is only contextual related.  Give
this premise, if one examines the two cases (as I have also restated)
lies in the difference of the 'knowledge of' vs. 'knowledge' itself.

In the Mandukya Bhashya - reference is directly to the 'pure knowledge'
which is swataH siddham and hence removal of ignorance is also the
gaining of knowledge- it is immediate as well as aprameyam - no further
means of knowledge is required since all means of knowledge operate
within the sphere of pure knowledge only - all modifications are known
due to the consciousness itself - it itself cannot undergo any
modification. It is aparoksha anubhuuti.

In the Br. Up. The objection pertains to cause-effect relation. Does the
removal of darkness bring the knowledge of the pot - Is there a
cause-effect relation here? Can we say the light that brought the vision
of the pot - the cause - that is involved in the removal of ignorance of
the pot, but is it involved in the production of the pot? - Here the pot
is not ontologically on par with the light of consciousness, which is
swataH siddham and therefore aprameyam.  But pot cannot be both. Even
though the pot is immediately visible when the light on - its presence
truly involves operation of pramana (hence you can only say an apparent
modification is involved) (even if it is vastu tantram) and even if it
is aparoksham (direct and immediate).  The vision of the pot operates
through pramana - perceptual process - since even if the light is on, if
I have closed my eyes the pot vision does not occur. Consciousness, I,
pervades both seer (i) and the seen (pot-vision) - for me to recognize
that 'there is a pot out there' - when the light is turned on.  Does the
light bring 'pot' into existence - on a relative plane - no. In an
absolute sense yes, since the illumination of the 'pot' by 'the light' -
both (pot as well as the illumination that illumined the pot) became
illumined by my consciousness as the image is brought into my mind.
Without all these pramana-s operating, the vision of the pot 'out there'
is not possible.  Yet it is still aparoksham as 'Vedanta paribhaasha'
explains the perception is immediate and direct. My consciousness has
undergone an apparent modification as subject, i, and the object,
pot-both seer thought and the seen thought. 

In summary one is related to object vision (pot) and the other involved
the vision of the subject.  In the object vision both the seen (object)
and seer(the subject, i) are involved and both are in my consciousness -
the consciousness has undergone an apparent modification to have the
vision of the subject, i, and the object, pot. Taking the subject-object
distinction as real in the vision of any object is caused by delusion.
The removal of the 'ignorance' of an object is synonymous to the
'knowledge of' the object hence they have immediate relation.  The
removal of ignorance of the self is synonymous to the knowledge of the
self - and they have immediate relation.  In the former pramana has to
operate in the later it is swayam siddham and aprameyam. The similarity
and the distinction have to be understood as inherent in the object vs.
the subject vision.  

Anyway as Rama has rightly pointed out these are no real contradictions
but discussion from different points of view. Given our initial premises
these can easily be resolved.

Hari OM!


What you have is His gift to you and what you do with what you have is your gift to Him - Swami Chinmayananda.

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