[Advaita-l] Siddhi Literatures
anandhudli at hotmail.com
Mon Nov 6 11:14:20 CST 2006
Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian wrote:
>I have never heard of yathArtha-khyAti. Perhaps you could post a summary?
On 11/4/06, Antharyami <sathvatha at gmail.com> wrote:
>...Have any here come across the concept of 'yathArtha khyAthi' ? other
>than the panca >khyAthi's ?
The Yatindra-mata-dIpikA of shrInivAsa-dAsa provides an explanation of the
yathArtha-khyAti or sat-khyAti of the vishiShTAdvaitins. According to this
theory, all perceptual knowledge whether it be of an illusion or not is only
valid (bhramAdi-pratyakShajnAnaM yathArthameva) and never invalid.
If one asks (probably in disbelief!) as to how such a theory can distinguish
between a valid perception such as that of a nacre and that of the illusory
silver (shukti and rajata), the answer is as follows:
satkyAtirnAma jnAnaviShayasya satyatvam.h | This is the theory of satkhyAti
which holds that the content (object) of a cognition is real.
tarhi bhramatvaM kathaM? If this is the case, then how can there be
illusion(error)? iti chet.h - If you ask thus,
viShayavyavahArabAdhAt.h bhramatvam.h - Bhrama (illusion, error) happens
when the object (perceived) cannot be part of any activity. This meansthe
silver pereceived in nacre is real but it cannot be part of any meaningful
activity. Therefore, the silver is bhrama.
How can silver possibly be really present in nacre?
Here is the answer: paJNchikaraNaprakriyayA pR^ithivyAdiShu sarvatra
sarvabhUtAnAM vidyamAnatvAt.h| ata eva shuktikAdau rajatAMshasya
idyamAnatvAt.h jnAnaviShayasya satyatvam.h |
By the process of panchIkaraNa, every element occurs in every element such
as the earth. Therefore, the cognition of silver in nacre is true, since
there is a (small) portion of silver (actually) in the nacre.
A modern day vishiShTAdvaitin may pitch in as follows. Since everthing can
be broken down into elementary particles (atoms, neutrons,
protons,electrons, etc.), there is already something in common between
silver and nacre. When you see silver in nacre, you see it only because of
One wonders: If there is really silver in nacre or for that matter gold in
not-so-noble metals like iron and lead, then why isn't everyone rich? Here
comes the reply:
tatra rajatAMshasya svalpatvAt.h tatra na vyavahAra iti taj-jnAnaM bhramaH|
Because, the amount of silver (in nacre) is very small (infinitesimal) there
cannot be any activity involving it.
For example, you cannot sell nacre as silver to someone else and make your
millions because the amount of silver in nacre is embarrassingly small. This
is the difference between bhrama and an ordinary perception (nacre as
Once you realize that the nacre-part exceeds the silver-part by a
overwhelmingly large degree, you give up your bhrama.
Needless to say, advaitins find this theory faulty. One counterpoint. The
silver in the nacre, if it really exists in the nacre, is infinitesimally
small. But the person does not see an infinitesimal amount of silver in
nacre during bhrama. One sees a big chunk (relatively speaking) of silver,
probably the same size as nacre. Likewise, if the snake really is in the
rope, one should see an infinitesimally small snake in the rope. But the
fact is that one perceives a fairly large animal, comparable in size to the
rope. If the argument is made that the bhrama consists in erroneously seeing
a large amount of silver where there is an infinitesimal amount, this is
the same as admitting that the large amount of silver is unreal.
Besides, the panchakhyati's - akhyAti, AtmakhyAti, anyathAkhyAti,
asatkhyAti, and anirvachanIyakhyAti- , and the satkhyAti of the
vishiShTAdvaitins, there are two more, namely the sadasatkhyAti of the
sAnkhya and the abhinava anyathAkhyAti of the dvaitins (mAdhvas).
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