[Advaita-l] some points on VP 10
kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Wed Mar 19 03:45:42 CDT 2008
--- michael reidy <michael_reidy at eircom.net> wrote:
> 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
Michael - PraNAms.
I understand your point. From my perspective I do not consider metaphysics
should violates physics. In olden days that is the common understanding that
mind goes out and grasps. Now we know the eyes receives the reflected light and
forms image in the retina and is communicated to the brain. That is the
physics. Although mind is not the brain, perceptions and the mind are but
localized as software in the Brain.
Metaphysics can take us beyond the physics not out of physics. We do not need
to violate physics to explain - we need to do that only if that is necessary.
In the perception - the point is the sense input to the mind forming a vRitti -
that is the main point of perception. The rest of the details have no bearing
in terms of perception that is whether the mind goes out or the information
comes in - the end result is formation of the vRitti with the attributes of the
object AS GATHERED by the senses. If the sense input is defective or
incomplete, the cognition and therefore recognition could be defective causing
errors in perception. Up to this point no need to bring metaphysics here since
this is common experience and experimentally varifiable.
Meta physics comes in the perceptuality - as VP says the conscious-existence of
the subject is the same as the object. That is possible only if the object as
perceived as vRitti is illumined by the sAkshI caitanyam - sAkshI caitanyam is
upahita caitanyam hence it is also with limiting adjunct of the mind.
Anyway that is where I stand - otherwise my scientific trained mind would not
accept it, for I do not see the need to bring something that is not needed to
justify on the basis of metaphysics - that too when it would not make any
difference in understanding the perceptual process correctly. In the posts I
have clearly stated the conventional description and the one I prefer. Choice
> 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.
Michael - you can if you want to- as generic attributes of all rings. When
some one says ring, some generic form comes to your mind - is it not? But
unlike Nayyayikas - jaati is not eternal - it is just convenient as long as
there are many rings (as many is required to define jaati) and they have some
common attributes that differentiates them from say family of bangles.
As you know in the discussion of creation in Ch. Up - Sat alone is there - it
visualized and wanted to become many - from there we have tanmaatraas and the
panciikaraNa - thus subtle and grosser forms - but all are naama and ruupa as
per advaita Vedanta - as Ch. Up keeps repeating to us - vaachaarambhanam
vikaaro naamadheyam. The Ch. Up 6th centers on this - where Eka vijnaanena
sarva vijnaanam bhavati - knowing the upaadaana kaaraNa the knowledge of all
kaaryams are as good as known. Hence every object is nothing but sat + naama
and ruupa - naama comes only after knowing since one cannot name it without
knowing it and ruupa stands for shabda, ruupa, rasa etc all the five sense
input. In the perceptual process senses can only gather the sense input which
are only attributes since substantive is Brahman which is asparasham,
agraahyam, aruupam etc. When vRitti of the object forms in the mind using the
sense input, it is forming on the sat only. There is no way senses gather the
visheshya. In the ring on gold case, we have gold with its attributes - luster
etc which senses can gather - hence gold ring is different from silver ring.
But from metaphysical point Sat is the substantive and senses do not and need
not also gather since sat is infinite. Here we do apply metaphysics in line
with physics of the perceptual process. Physically when we see an object, thank
god the object does not go into the mind only the image of the object as
perceived by the sense form the input to the mind.
VidyAranya says I think in dRik dRisya viveka
asti bhaati priyam ruuma namam cetyanca pancakam |
Adyatrayam brahma ruupam jagat ruupam thathodvayam||
There are only five aspects of an object existence, illumination and
likability, plus name and form of the five the first three come from Brahman
(aspect of sat-chit-ananda) and the remaining come from the world (essentially
Bur from our perceptual point, the end result is vRitti with the attributes of
the object as gathered by the senses which is illuminated by sAkshI caitanyam
forming cidAbhAsa. This part is important to understand in the perceptual
process whether one thinks mind goes out or stays in but gathering info. by
senses is more important. I am not allergic to metaphysics - We do need to
bring in metaphysic, where it is needed and where physics cannot account
correctly or fully. That is my position.
Is it not simpler 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.
In the loukika examples - where Upanishad is trying to show cases where knowing
material cause one can know the products - once the possibility is proved,
Uddalaka starts with the creation to show the material cause for the whole
universe is SAT only - and there is nothing else besides SAT. Naama ruupa being
mithyaa, the substantive of all is SAT - Brahman.
This may not have anything to do for the mind to be allowed to go out. Mind is
subtle - if it goes out also there is no problem but the criteria for
perception is not based on mind going out - it is based on vRitti forming. I do
not think it would make any difference in the formation of vRitti - all it
needs is to have attributes of the object as perceived by senses. Sense input
is essential in both cases and that is what counts. In fact I should say
attributes are important for perception as we have internal perception where
attributes are not by senses.
> I always took it that superimposition is of one whole object on another
> i.e. the snake on the rope and not an attribute.
Michael - please see VP makes it point to show that superimposition or
adhyaaropa is not one whole object on the other. The other is - the is-ness -
which is subtler that senses cannot grasp. - Here Brahman as though appearing
as the object - just as even in the snake case it is not snake on rope - it is
rope appearing as snake - The same why the Brahman appearing as the world of
objects. It is not one on another - adhyaasa is 'atasmin tat buddhi' It is some
what similar to anyathaa khyaati but not exactly since there is no reality to
the appearance - or ontologically superimposed and the substantive are not
equal - just as snake on rope - hence advaita calls it as anirvacaniiya
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
Yes that part is correct - the sense gather some attributes but not all due to
semidarkness - hence those attributes that are common to both rope and snake
that are gathered are not discriminative enough to differentiate snake from
rope. The error occurs due to incomplete input from senses and sometime even
wrong input due to defects in senses - like color blind etc.
> 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.
Oh! My God! Spare me my dear Michael! - I never said the attributes of the
objects are attributes of Brahman. Attributes of superpositions are not the
same as attributes of the substantive. Attributes of the substantive will
carry onto the attributes of the superimposition - like ring has attribtues of
gold and objects have attributes of Brahman and not the other way. Brahman will
remain nirguNa inspite of superimposed objects are attributive. The reason the
attributes of objects do not count is they are mithyaa. Attributes of ring are
not the attributes of gold otherwise ring looks like bangle. The whole of Ch.
Up 6th Chapter is the essence of how SAT is the substantive for the whole
universe. Hence only knowing SAT , one can know everything (as though) that
comes of out of sat - that is the first part of the Chapter - the second part
shows you are that sat - tat tvam asi - repeated 9 times. The basis of advaita
Vedanta with adhyaaropa apavaada rests on this principle - that comes down to
Brahma satyam and jagat mithyaa - mithyaa is superimposition on the satyam
which is Brahman. It is not one on top of the other it is Brahman as seen as
the world that is what is implied in adhiShTanam and adhyaasa.
The beauty of VP is this essence as stated in the very first statement of VP -
in my post 4 - perceptual knowledge of objects is nothing but pure
consciousness alone - That is valid from the point of substantive only as he
gives the reference to Br. Up. Since these are discussed in the earlier post, I
do not want to go over again.
> What is perceived are objects and not attributes of objects.
Michael We perceive everything using senses that is the only available
input to the mind. Every other pramANa rest on pratyaksha for validation,
except for apourusheya objects for which we need to relay on shabda. Hence it
was said mind goes out riding on senses. Senses cannot grasp the substantive.
When Shankara says we perceive the object all the objective knowledge is
attributive knowledge only Hence when we have the limiting consciousness of
the subject uniting with the limiting consciousness of the object it is the
unity at substantive level only.
Look at this way how do you define an object? Only by its attributes not on
the basis of substantive. In fact science is coming to the same point since all
the substantive for all objects are just electrons-protons and neutrons
assemblage or forming or packaging makes one object appear to be different from
the other. The more discriminative the attributes are which can be perceived,
the more distinctively the object can be defined from all other object in the
universe. Object is nothing but attributes on substantive. Knowledge of the
object is attributive knowledge and substantive knowledge. Hence perceptuality
criteria of VP is from substantive level and attributive level. At substantive
level the consciousness of the subject is the same as object and at the
attributive level the vRitti has attributive contents measured by senses. The
story is complete. That is what objective knowledge involves when the vRitti is
illumined by sAkshI and reflection from illumination occurs.
> attributes of an object are infinite, the object is one.
No, attributes we are concerned are those that are perceptible by the senses.
Sense can only perceive those that are dominant ones. Imperceptible attributes
are inferential and not perceptible.
> number of objects that have the attribute of being 3 kilometers from the
> Tower of London may be very many.
If the senses can see that many objects in the same vision that pictorial
vision will be one objective knowledge like birds eye vision. What ever you
see is the object of your vision and that is what the image or vRitti in the
mind if you have one vision of the whole 3 kilometers of agglomerated objects
that total assemblage as one object you will see and vRitti is exactly that
it is as simple as that. I see no problem looking at 3 kilometers or 10
billions of light years far way object through a powerful telescope. What comes
to my vision is what I see and that is the object of my vision or perception.
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
Your first part is correct and what I said does not violate that. If senses
measure 5 feet tall object that exactly the vRiiti will have 5 ft attributive
knowledge. The limiting adjunct is established by the attributes starting
with form which is limited, shape etc every attributes is limited not
infinite. Hence vRitti that is formed is also attributive object since
substantive in the object out side and vRitti inside is the same
conscious-existence. (VishiShTaadvait says Lord has infinite auspicious (they
are limiting in one way since inauspicious are excluded) attributes which of
course can never be grasped by senses! )
Michael substantive /attribute is not an analogy it is the fact of the
matter! Sarvam khulvidam brahma involves substantive Brahman with mityaa
attributes. That is the essence of ever object and all objects.
VP statement that perception is direct and immediate only because of these two
substantive and attributive knowledge occurs directly and immediately since
consciousness is the substantive for pramaata, prameya and pramaaNa.
Anyway I have provided all that I understand for whatever it is worth.
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