[Advaita-l] Function of Pramana

venkata subramanian venkat_advaita at yahoo.com
Sat Jun 12 03:43:43 CDT 2004

Thanks Sri Ramakrishnan.
I have got your answer. i will take some more time to actually "digest' it into my understanding.

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian <balasr at yahoo.com> wrote:
Let me try again - my writing skills are not as good
as they should be.

First, opposite stances are not taken in the two

In the MaBh, sha.nkara says that a pramaaNas role is
to remove darkness like a lamp removes darkness from a
pot. After this, the rise of knowledge is automatic
and no *further pramaaNa* is required. This is similar
to the shruti negating the notions of antar, bahi, etc
and the knowledge of the unity of the self
automatically rises. This pertains to the *knower*.
The whole context is *epistemological* and relates to
knowledge being a vastu tantram.

In the BrBh, the opponent says nothing is *added to
the pot* when the light shines (he explicitly says
this), light merely destroys darkness, and sha.nkara
says no - the pot is covered with light. This pertains
to the *pot* or what is *known*. The context is
ontological and proves that when an object is brought
into the range of perception it may or may not undergo
change with respect to its previous state. Sha.nkara
points out:

pot in darkness (not preceived) -> shine light -> pot 
perceived -> change with respect to previous state -
pot is now covered by light

pot covered by a wall or obstruction -> tear down wall
-> pot perceived -> no change with respect to previous

Both examples are given by sha.nkara and not mine.

The MaBh does *not* say that when darkness is removed,
that there is no light on the pot or that the visual
sense can work without light. Surely that's quite
silly and no one would claim that. All the MaBh says
is that the pramaaNas role is to merely remove the
darkness. Sure, the pot will be covered with light,
but that is irrelevant, the point is no further
pramaaNa is required. Knowledge is automatic, it being
a vastu tantram. 

In the BrBh, the opponent tries to make Sha.nkaras
position ridiculous sounding (namely the effect is
pre-existent in the cause). In the course of the
arguments, Sha.nkara merely points out that the object
may or may not undergo change when it comes within the
range of perception with respect to its previous
state. That's all.

I think reading the bhasshya as a whole will make this
clear. Taking one sentence alone will destroy the
context and make things confusing - missing the wood
for the trees and all that.

Can anyone who has been following this thread - Sri
Sadananda or any one else - comment on this? Maybe in
my excessive devotion to Sha.nkara I am not seeing any

--- venkata subramanian 
> 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)

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Sadgurubhyo Namah.
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