[Advaita-l] akhanDaakara-vRtti‏

Venkatraghavan S agnimile at gmail.com
Wed Jul 8 05:38:27 CDT 2015

Sri Bhaskar-ji,
Namaste and thanks for the email.

I am not disputing that the common devadatta has attributes - he/she/it
clearly does. I am simply saying that the sentence "this is that" is not
conveying any attributes, and the knowledge generated by the sentence* does
not contain any attributive content about that common devadatta*.


On Wed, Jul 8, 2015 at 11:15 AM, Bhaskar YR <bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com> wrote:

>  PraNAms Sri Venkatraghavan prabhuji
> Hare Krishna
> Ø  At the risk of stretching this analogy, let me share my thoughts with
> you.
> The question was if it is possible to cognize an object without its
> attributes.
> The answer in certain cases, like "soyam devadatta", you can. Please
> consider the sentence soyam devadatta, leaving all notions of whatever or
> whoever devadatta is.
> What does that sentence, taken in isolation, convey? Do we know, just by
> that sentence, if devadatta is a man, a woman, a dog, an alien? We don't.
> The sentence simply conveys that there is an object called devadatta,
> which is commonly referred to by the sa: and ayam padAs.
> Ø   Yes, that sentence would simply convey that there exists  some object
> by some ‘particular’ name (‘devadatta’ in this example) on which I donot
> know anything.
> Because we don't know the attributes of devadatta, can we say that no
> knowledge whatsoever is produced by the sentence?
> We cannot, because that sentence produces knowledge that there is such a
> common object referred to by sa: and ayam, we just dont know what exactly
> he/she/it is.
> Ø   As Sri Keshava Prasad prabhuji observed, normally an inquisitive mind
> does not stop by mere getting the knowledge that there is something out
> there!!  Though knowing something more on that something exists is a
> subsequent process, as soon as some object has been pointed and addressed
>  ‘this’ object is ‘that’, our mind would grasp this sentence with some
> attributes only, it may be either way, wrong or right immaterial here, but
> invariably our mind associates some attribute to ‘this’ to know that ‘this’
> is nothing but ‘that’.  We may recall here shankara’s observation in
> bruhadAraNyaka here with regard to ‘drum sound’ ( in second adhyAya!!?? Not
> sure).  Here shankara clarifies by grasping the genus sound as produced by
> the beat of the drum, that species underlying it are also grasped, but
> ‘they cannot be grasped as distinct from that genus’.  For as species they
> have no independent existence.  If we apply this rule to this particular
> example, this and that devadatta must have some underlying common genus
> through which this devadatta has been  equated with that devadatta.  And
> without this common underlying devadatta there cannot be independent
> existence for both ‘this’ and that devadatta.  Hence, this underlying
> common genus (called devadutta who is common in both this & that) must be
> recognized first to declare that this is that devadatta.  This recognition
> need not be directly related to currently perceiving attributes of object
> (this devadatta)  nor it is necessary that it should have the similarity
>  with the previously cognized ‘that’ devadutta, but what needs to be there
> is some commonality which can be termed as attributes to correctly identify
> the devadatta.  I think this commonality what Sri Ananda Hudli observed
> while narrating his observation, he said :
> //quote//
> Both the Devadatta seen now as "this" and the Devadatta seen earlier as
> "that" have attributes. They are both men, with parts such as hands, feet,
> etc. What is going on here?
> Although Devadatta is very much a perceivable person with attributes, the
> crucial point here is that the perception "this is that Devadatta" does not
> involve any of those attributes. It is exactly expressing an identity
> between two objects, this Devadatta and that Devadatta, nothing less,
> nothing more. So there is no "appeal" made to any attribute in the
> knowledge "this is that Devadatta", although Devadatta does have attributes.
> //unquote//
> So, bottom line is ‘devadatta’ (any object) does have the attributes which
> is common in both this & that but directly not related in raising the
> knowledge i.e. this is that devadatta.
> Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!
> bhaskar

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