[Advaita-l] Kingpin status of anubhava - mistaken or out of context (was re: Pramanas - Sruti vs. Anubhava)

Siva Senani Nori sivasenani at yahoo.com
Mon Apr 30 00:17:38 CDT 2007


I am in agreement with most of what you said. My only confusion / doubt was how anubhava could be held to be a kingpin amongst pramANas, without arriving at conclusions dramatically removed from orthodox positions. Now you say that Swamiji never said so, or it is taken out of context; and yet Sri Ramakrishnan quoted Swamiji as saying 

"While by means of empirical pramANas, certain objects or phenomena which are prameya alone (i.e. perceptible to either our senses or conceivable by our mind) may be cognized, but by means of this anubhava which is the kingpin of all pramAnas, the whole consummate reality behind this universe can be determined." (Reference No. 19 in Sri Ramakrishnan's paper, which for your ready reference is: svAmi  satchidAnendra sarasvati, The Basic Tenets of SA~Nkara vedAnta, adhyAtma prakASa kAryAlaya, holenarsIpUr, Dist. Hassan, Karnataka, p 50.)

Than again in p53 of the same book: “In the same way, for this kingpin among pramANas, viz. Anubhava, a kind of tarka is needed”

I trust Sri Ramakrishnan did not invent the sentences (before getting on to this list, I was not familiar with SSS and do not yet have access to his books, and hence this assumption), and the repetition of the same adjective 'kingpin' clearly shows that it was a considered statement by the Swamiji, not an offhand confused metaphor. The only thing which remains is that of context. Sri Ramakrishnan had indeed presented a very detailed analysis of the topic in Section 3 of his paper, and I thought the relative importance of Sruti and anubhava was central to the context, and so wanted to know if the views of SSS as presented in Sri Ramakrishnan's paper are indeed the correct ones.

Since you say it is not so, pray, how does the context of the quoted statements reconcile the supremacy or antya-pramANatva of Sruti with the 'kingpin' status attributed to anubhava, as a pramANa?

Best regards

----- Original Message ----
From: savithri devaraj savithri_devaraj at yahoo.com

--- Siva Senani Nori <sivasenani at yahoo.com> wrote:

> That being so, I would like to know: "How did His
> Holiness SSS reconcile the limitations imposed by
> Sruti on the validity of an anubhava (sArvartika,
> intuition or whatever) as a pramANa with the
> statement that anubhava is the kingpin amongst
> pramANas which presumably include Sruti itself?"

Namaste Sir,

I am Sorry, I don't agree that Swamiji ever said
"Anubhava is the kingpin amongst pramAnas".  Whoever
said this is completely mistaken, or is taking it
totally out of context. 

I was only trying to convey the fact that Swamiji
emphasizes sArvatrika loukika anubhava (not personal
experiences) and the avastha traya viveka in vedanta
jignAsa, and he has said that such unsublatable and
common experience available to all should be used when
resolving doubts regarding Sruti. That's all. 

Since you agree that Sruti is the antya pramANa for
realization of atman-brahman aikya, in what way can we
say anubhava is the kingpin of pramANas? Actually
anubhava isn't an independent pramANa at all, in fact
it is a culmination of the pramANic transactions.
Sruti is the only pramANa for Atman.  As Bhaskar has
explained earlier, Shankara teaches that unlike the
Karma Kanda where the Vedas are the only pramANa, in
Vedanta jignAsa, sArvatrika anubhava and tarka in
accordance with this anubhava are also considered as
valid means of resolving doubts in Sruti. 


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