[Advaita-l] Some questions on 'khyAti vAda-s' - Theories of/on Error

Anand Hudli anandhudli at hotmail.com
Sat Apr 17 14:02:35 CDT 2010

V Subrahmanian  wrote:

>seems reasonable.  How can one 'recognize' or 'cognize' even in a
>bhrama-sthala an atyanta asat (vandhyAputra, hare's horn, etc) ?  For, to
>recognize something now, I must have seen it before and have formed a smriti
>in me.  But with reference to such atyanta asat vastu-s, we have not seen
>them in our non-bhrama states and therefore no smriti of such a thing is
>available in our mind.  Such being the case, how is it possible to get the
>cognition: 'this is that?' about a shUnya, atyanta asat padArtha? . I can
>see a (false) man in a distant pillar, but I can never see a vandhyaputra in
>that pillar as  adhyasta.  I cannot even imagine, in a manoratha, a
>vandhyAputra playing cricket with me.  The moment I visualize a boy of 18,
>tall, dressed in whites, etc. I am imagining only a normal man, not a
>vandhyAputra.  It is impossible to have any kalpana with regard to an
>atyanta asat vastu.


This is an excellent question. I did not want to get into too many details in my 

brief note. The question is: how does the utterly nonexistent (atyanta asat) appear 

or be cognized in a substratum? A brief answer is as follows. The sense organ, eye, that

is in contact with the nacre (shukti), comprehends the silver (rajata), that is atyanta

asat, due to defects (in the eye).  In other words, the sense organ, due to defects,

when in contact with purovR^itti (what is in front of us), generates the cognition of 

even a totally nonexistent thing. This is what Vedesha tIrtha's commentary on the

relevant portion of Jayatirtha's pramANapaddhati has this to say:

पुरोवृत्तिसन्निकृष्टमेवेन्द्रियं दोषलक्षणसहकारिमहिम्नाऽसद्रजतापरोक्षज्ञानमपि 

जनयतीत्यभ्युपगमात् ।विस्तरस्तु सुधायां द्रष्टव्य इति ।

To know more details, we are asked to consult the magnum opus of JayatIrtha, the 





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