[Advaita-l] some points on VP 10
michael_reidy at eircom.net
Tue Mar 18 19:31:56 CDT 2008
The first part of your comment - As I discussed before that mind goes out
with the senses only with respect to two senses (visual and audio) the
these stay where they are. But the statement that attributes are only
superposition on the substantive is independent of whether mind goes out or
stays there. It follows from:
Sarvam khalu idam brahma - all this is Brahman and Brahman is the upaadaana
kaaraNa for the world of objects. Hence Brahman is the adhiShTanam and
superimpositions are attributes - just as ring on gold. Conscious-existence
Brahman is the substantive and attributes of the objects that the senses
themind along with senses (whether going out or staying there) gather. Then
only the statement of VP that the subject consciousness unites the object
perceptualaty makes sense to me. All object knowledge is only attributive
knowledge since Brahman is all pervading as substantive of pramAta,
May I suggest that to say that the mind goes out
to two only of the senses i.e. sight and hearing, is questionable and
arises out of the confusion of the psychological and the metaphysical. My
intuition is that the mind goes out to all modalities, the mind goes out
to all brain events and tags them as live or replay or mood and inner or
You say that a ring is a superimposition on gold and that superimposition
is of attributes. Are we to take it then that there is such a things as
'ringness' that exists apart from rings themselves. Or circularity or
roundness? Is it not more simple to speak of gold in the form of a ring?
So we can speak of the material cause of the ring being gold, its formal
cause the design in the mind of the craftsman, its efficent cause the
craftsman and the final cause the adornment of the wearer of the ring.
However as an object its perceptuality is due to its being a form of
limitation of pure being. It is this that allows the mind to go out to it
and take its form.
I always took it that superimposition is of one whole object on another
i.e. the snake on the rope and not an attribute. When we discover our
error we discover that it was the sharing of an attribute i.e.
coils/coiled that led to the confusion. However we still see coils; that
attribute hasn't changed or else the confusion would not have been
Perhaps it may be that you have introduced a new analogy in relation to
Brahman which is of course entirely valid. Brahman as substantive and the
attributes of the objects as the attributes of Brahman.
Michael - true - attributes are not free floating. But the substantive is
only; hence they are locussed on sat. The senses can only measure the
attributes, the sat is ever present and infinite. When the senses gather
attributes they get locussed in the vRitti - vRitti is a thought the
are the attributes - the substantive is caitanyam in terms of
conscious-existent. The theory of knowledge rests on senses gathering
attributes for external perceptions. For internal perceptions the
are there inherent in the vRitti that is formed. All perceptual knowlede is
attributive knowledge only - hence it is direct and immediate.
The relation between visheshaNa and visheshya in advaita is only adhyaasa
the vishshya to the core is Brahman only - upAdAna kaaraNa - There is no
material in the universe. Hence object is attributes + Brahman - otherwise
will end up with duality as reality. That is the only way I understand the
janmaadhyasya yathaH - suutra - and all sRiShTi prakaraNas in the
I am glad you brought these issues. We agree or not, it will help others to
think deeply the truths that are being discussed - That is important for
discussion - especially when the posts are too long even to read!
I have been from the beginning struck by the varieties of analogy that are
available to the advaitin but it also is clear that once the narrow focus
that makes them useful is passed they can be a source of error. Outside
their narrow bright beam is delusive darkness.
In Shankara's commentary on Brh.II.iv.11 he says "The organs are but modes
of the objects in order to perceive them, as a lamp, which is but a mode
of colour, is an instrument for revealing all colours".
What is perceived are objects and not attributes of objects. The
attributes of an object are infinite, the object is one. Likewise the
number of objects that have the attribute of being 3 kilometres from the
Tower of London may be very many. Again I have to say that in standard
advaita it is the object that is the limiting adjunct. This substantive
and attributes analogy may be useful but stretched too far it becomes
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