[Advaita-l] Dvaita Vaada - Vadiraja Teertha's Nyayaratnavali Slokas 267-287 Pratibimba Vaada Part 1

kuntimaddi sadananda kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Thu Jun 4 18:22:11 CDT 2015

Anandaji - PraNAms. 

Sorry for this delayed response.

First, thanks for taking time to explain Shree Madhusudana's account of bimba pratibimba aspect in his Advaita Siddhi. I am trying to go over that text carefully to understand the five definitions of falsity that he discussed. I have the copy of your articles related to that. 

Two aspects related to your post. 
In addition, knowing what modern science has to tell us, the position of the VivaraNa school can be justified considering an object and its image, reflected or produced by a lens or some other instrument. For example, when we see an object with the help of our eyes, what really happens is an image is formed on the retina, the screen, with the help of the lens in the eye. Although, the image formed on the retina is upside down, the brain corrects it and interprets it normally. Now, when a person sees an object such as a pot, he does not think that he is merely being aware of an image formed on his retina, but not the pot itself. The image, which is an accurate
representation of the object "out there" (assuming a normal eye with no defects), *is* considered as non-different from the object. In a similar fashion, telescopes, microscopes, cameras, and other instruments provide images of objects of varying sizes and at varying distances. Here too the image is considered to be non-different from the original object. For example, if a surveillance camera image shows a person stealing something in a store, the thief cannot argue, "It is only an image. It is different from me. I committed no theft!" In this case, undoubtedly, the image *is* identified with the person.

1. Just to note that Advaita follows the Meemamsa position in that the mind, along with the senses goes to the object and grasps the object to form vRitti in the mind - in contrast to perception (from science) is due to image formed by the light on the retina which is transmitted to the brain via optical nerves which 'somehow - a black box here' is converted to thought or vRitti. Obviously there is a program code designed by the Lord that converts the electrical signal into software - vRitti. Perceptuality condition is established when the consciousness of the subject and the existence of the object, expressed as existence of the thought, joining together for one to be conscious of the existence of the thought in the mind - and thus the existence of the object out there. 

The point is in the reflection only the form and color (or in essence the reflected attributes of the object) are transmitted - thus essentially justifying more correctly the Upanishadic statement that object is nothing but form (attributes) to which a name is given - object or jagat is just name and form since sense cannot gather the substantive which is nothing but Brahman. Hence pramaaNa - definition - yathaartham pramaaNam is not really true - since we can see only reflected attributes of the object only – for color blind person the reflected image is even more faulty.  Hence errors in perception are possible since the attributes that are perceived many not be complete or true representation of the object, out there. I have discussed some aspects of differences between classical position and scientific position in the my commentary on Vedanta Paribhasha. Science, in fact, echos the Vedantic position about the world more accurately.  What I see is
 what is there is only confirmed by transactions - vyaavahaarika satyam via karmendriayas. 

2. The second aspect is – while mirror image description is OK, I am referring to more fundamental issue that comes out in some form in Shankara’s commentary on Bri. Up. IV-4-3-7, that I could marvel.  In essence; One cannot see the light directly. a) Existence of any light is established only by its reflection by an object. If there is no object to reflect, the existence of the light cannot be established. Example is the sunlight, where the moon is, is not recognized unless moon is there to reflect it. As the Upanishad goes through the example of dream to show that it is the light of the self that illumines the objects there, as no external lights are available for reflection.  More important even for sadhana is without a reflecting medium present, the original light cannot be recognized. Without the mind – with the thoughts or without the thoughts (as in nirvikalka samadhi) present to reflect the all-pervading light of consciousness, pure sat
 chit ananda cannot be recognized. Hence importance of upahita chaitanyam in the realization is pointed out, indirectly.  

Dwaitin’s objections of course have no place from the point of science too, which Shree Madhusudana is rightly refuting in his Advaita Siddhi. 

Just my 2c

Enjoyed your response.

Hari Om!


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