[Advaita-l] Re: vedanta as pramana

drganesh at vsnl.com drganesh at vsnl.com
Sun Jun 13 21:08:31 CDT 2004

Vedantic perception of an object 
This is in continuation of the thread on ‘pramana’. We know that Vedanta acts as  a means of knowledge, ‘shabda pramana’ with regards to atma gnanam or brahma vidya. In  the sampradaya it is said that any object is known by two factors of pervasion ; one is pervasion of ‘vrithy vyapthi’ which does the function of removing ignorance. This is soon followed by another pervasion which is ‘phala vyapthi’ and this does the job of illumination. Any object is thus known with the help of these two vyapthis- Although we divide this vyapthi as two for the sake of understanding , there is really no gap between removing ignorance and illumination [vrithy vyapthi and phala vyapthi] .

When it comes to atma  or self knowledge, We need vrithy vyapthi like any other knowledge, but phala vyapthi is not needed as there is no question of illuminating the atma- it being self effulgent. Sruthi statements will appear contradictory if this not understood as it says ‘atma cannot be, and need not be known’ which means there is no need for phala vyapthi as it is always shining being the very ‘I’-‘anuboothi swaroopa’.  Sruthi also says in some places ‘Atma has to be known’-here it only means that there is a need for vrithy vyapthi to remove ignorance. The jeeva undertakes sravanam and using vedantic words of mahavakyam, there is production of ‘vrithy vyapthi’ in the form of akandakara vrithy which alone removes avidya or ignorance and once ignorance goes the atma shines forth without need for phala vyapthi. It is not that the atma was not shining before but it was covered by our ignorance. Hastamalaka  describes this beautifully with the help of ‘cloud covering-sun’ ex
ample in his popular work.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

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