[Advaita-l] some points on VP 10

michael reidy michael_reidy at eircom.net
Tue Mar 18 19:31:56 CDT 2008

Sada-ji wrote:
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  
rest of
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,  
Prameya and


Namaste Sada-ji,
                           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.

You Write:
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  

Again ,
Best Wishes,

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