[Advaita-l] Dvaita Vaada - Vadiraja Teertha's Nyayaratnavali Slokas 310 - 314 Pativrataa Stree

Anand Hudli anandhudli at hotmail.com
Thu May 7 23:37:49 CDT 2015

Perhaps, VAdirAja's contention that the advaitin admits the subject and
object of a cognition must necessarily be different is not without a basis
in an advaitic text, albeit this principle is taken out of context and
applied cleverly in the nyAyaratnAvali in an attempt to discredit the
abheda shruti. The influential work, nyAyamakaranda of Anandabodha, for
example, is concerned with, among other things, arguments with naiyAyikas,
PrAbhAkaras, Buddhists, and others on the Self-luminosity or
Self-manifestedness (svyaMprakAshatva) of Atman and JnAna as well. To
understand what Anandabodha is saying when he rules out the identity of the
subject and object in a cognition, we need to be aware of the nature of his
arguments in the nyAyamakaranda. First, according to naiyAyikas, knowledge
of jnAna is one of the attributes of the soul Atman, in which it inheres,
jnAnAdhikaramAtmA, as the tarkasaMgraha says. Atman is the substratum or
adhikaraNa in which jnAna inheres by means of the samavAya (inherence)
relation. Further, many naiyAyikas maintain that the Atman is revealed in
an inner perception of the mind, which they call "mAnasapratyakSha". This
mental perception, mAnasapratyakSha takes place independently of external
senses and is of the form "I know", "I will", "I feel", "I wish", etc.
However, even in such "inner perceptions", the Atman is not presented as
itself, but only as the substratum of jnAna, sukha, duHkha, icchA, and
yatna. To give a rough analogy, when we see a pot placed on the ground, the
substratum of the pot is the ground, and the perception of the pot is the
"foreground" perception, while that of the ground is the "background"
perception. The ground is undoubtedly perceived, but only as the substratum
of the pot, not in isolation. Even so in the case of the inner perception,
"I know", knowledge is perceived as inhering in its substratum, the Atman.
For this reason, a naiyAyika would describe the adhikaraNatA
(substratum-ness) of Atman (in a somewhat complicated way) as,
Thus, in short, the Atman is an object of inner perception,

In total contrast with the above, the advaitins hold that jnAna is not an
attribute of Atman, but jnAna *is* Atman/Brahman, vide satyaM jnAnam
anantaM brahma, prajnAnaM brahma, etc. And Atman is a self-luminous entity,
which does not require another entity to reveal it. Rather, the
self-luminous Atman reveals/manifests other objects in the empirical
(vyavahArika)  world, which themselves are not self-luminous. Cognition or
jnAna, is also self-luminous and manifests itself. This being the case,
Anandabodha argues that the Atman cannot be an object of cognition, in the
sense objects of the empirical world are. He neatly sums up his argument:
saMveditA na saMvidadhInaprakAshaH
saMvitkarmatAmantareNAparokShatvAtsaMvedanavaditi | The Cognizer cannot
depend on Cognition for His manifestation, because He is not an object of
Cognition, (but) directly reveals Himself, just as Cognition.

In other words, the Atman is the subject or witness of all empirical
cognitions, and it is self-luminous. Being the subject, it cannot be an
object of cognition. Anandabodha refutes the theory of mAnasa-pratyakSha of
the naiyAyikas thus: kartRkarmaNoraikAtmyAnupalambhAd, no
khlavangulyaivAngulI spRshyate chidyate vA dharayaivAsidhArA|  The Atman
cannot be the object of a vRtti (modification of the mind) because the
subject and object of a cognition cannot be the same, just as a finger
cannot touch itself, nor can a sword cut itself. It is also natural to
expect that Anandabodha was well aware of Shankara's bhAShya dealing with
the topic of adhyAsa and upanishad statements such as "na dRShTerdraShTAraM
pashyeH" (you cannot see the witness of vision), taM pratyagAtmAnaM
dRShTerdraShTAram na pashyeH, ataH naiva darshayituM shakyate gavAdivat
(hence It cannot be pointed out objectively like a cow), etc. To sum up,
the Atman cannot be an object of a cognition in the sense an empirical
object can be. It cannot be known in the sense an empirical object can be.
However, Shankara's adhyAsa bhAShya's point about the Self being the
"asmatpratyayaviShaya", as was pointed out, must be remembered in
interpreting vAkyas such as "AtmA vA are draShTavyaH", etc. In fact,
Sureshvara, in his Br. Up. vArtika, says that the AtmA vA are draShTavyaH
vAkya cannot be an injunction, in the sense of an injunction to perform an
act, precisely because the realizer (draShTR) and the realized (draShTavya)
have to be different in order for such an injunction to exist. When there
is no difference between one who is enjoined to perform an act and the
object of the act, no such injunction is possible.

द्रष्टृद्रष्टव्ययोर्भेदे सत्येवं धीर्विधीयते।
नियोज्यविषयाभेदे घटते न विधिर्यतः॥९७॥ (vArtika on Br. Up. 4.5.6)


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