[Advaita-l] Definition of sAkshI

H S Chandramouli hschandramouli at gmail.com
Tue Feb 6 03:28:13 EST 2024

Namaste Sudhanshu Ji,

Since a lot of ground has already been covered in this thread, I will
confine myself to a couple of points which I thought was relevant.

The definitions of adavaita epistemologic terms appearing in texts prior to
Vedanta Paribhasha are generally considered to have been superceded by the
definitions given in VP. This applies to texts like Advaita Siddhi,
Siddhanta Bindu, Ishta Siddhi  etc. As per VP, a vritti is accepted to be
its own vishaya as well. An object is revealed in a vritti by either
pratibimbita or AbhAsa Chaitanya (termed प्रमातृ pramAtRRi Chaitanya) while
the same vritti with its content is revealed by the आरूढ (ArUDha) (mounted)
Chaitanya on the same vritti. This आरूढ (ArUDha) (mounted) Chaitanya is
termed sAkshi Chaitanya. This is neither pratibimbita nor AbhAsa Chaitanya.

This is in respect of vrittis. In general, उपहित चैतन्य (upahita chaitanya)
is termed sAkshi Chaitanya. It is this same Chaitanya which is mounted on
the vrittis.

Another observation.

Reg  // साक्षी
#चाविद्यावृत्तिप्रतिविम्बितचैतन्यम् । //

//  And sAkshI means (shuddha) chaitanya-reflected-in-avidyA-vritti //,

It is not  (shuddha) chaitanya. It is (shuddha) chaitanya subjected to आवरण

This is my understanding

On Tue, Feb 6, 2024 at 12:00 PM Sudhanshu Shekhar via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> Namaste Venkatraghavan ji.
> //That is, is the vRtti the *means* for the sAkshi to know? Or are you
> saying that vRtti is the *object* of the sAkshi?//
> In my understanding, it is the former. Just as pramAtA needs
> antah-karaNa-vritti to know pramAtri-gamya-vishaya, sAkshI needs
> avidyA-vritti to know sAkshi-bhAsya-vishaya. So, if sAkshI were to know
> illusory silver, it would need rajatAkArA-avidyA-vritti and the illusory
> silver will be known by rajatAkArA-avidyA-vritti-pratibimbita-chaitanya. If
> sAkshI has to know avidyA, an avidyAkArA-avidyA-vritti would be required
> and avidyAkArA-avidyA-vritti-pratibimbita-chaitanya would be knowing
> avidyA.
> //If it is the latter, that is fine, but if it is the former, that is only
> true for those objects that are not sAkshibhAsya.//
> As I described above, in case of sAkshibhAsya objects alone, avidyA-vritti
> is required. In case of vishaya which are not sAkshibhAsya but
> pramAtri-gamya, antah-karaNa-vritti is required.
> अत एवं ‘इदं रजत' मिति भ्रमे इदमाकारवृत्यवच्छिन्नचैतन्येन रजतभानानुपपत्तेः
> #रजताकाराप्यविद्यावृत्तिरभ्युपेयते; स्वतश्चिद्विम्बाग्राहके चैतन्यस्य
> तदाकारत्वायोगात्, स्वतश्चिद्बिम्बग्राहके त्वन्तःकरणवृत्त्यादौ न
> वृत्त्यपेक्षेति नानवस्था ।
> //There is no requirement that the sAkshi needs to have a vRtti as a means
> to know something which is sAkshi bhAsya. As the siddhikAra says - न च
> वृत्तेरपि वृत्त्यन्तरप्रतिबिम्बितचिद्भास्यत्वे अनवस्था, स्वस्या एव
> स्वभानोपाधित्वात्। To know avidyAvRtti, the avidyAvRtti itself is
> sufficient.//
> avidyA-vritti is a special case wherein another avidyA-vritti is not needed
> to know it despite it being sAkshI-bhAsya. However, for every other
> sAkshi-bhAsya-vishaya, that respective vishaya-AkArA-avidyA-vritti would be
> a mandatory requirement.
> न पुनरनवस्था; अविद्यावृत्तिप्रतिभासके चैतन्ये अविद्यावृत्तेः स्वत एव
> उपाधित्वेन वृत्त्यन्तरानपेक्षत्वात् ।
> //Separately, and I can't say if this is the case for sure, I think the
> differing definitions of sAkshi as avidyA-upahita-chaitanya and
> avidyA-pratibimbita-chaitanya could simply be from the standpoint of
> avacChedavAda and AbhAsa vAda respectively.//
> ....differing definitions of sAkshi as avidyA-upahita-chaitanya and
> #avidyA-pratibimbita-chaitanya# ...... AchArya has consistently used the
> term avidyA-vritti-pratibimbita-chaitanya and not
> avidyA-pratibimbita-chaitanya. The upAdhi are different, in one case, it is
> avidyA-upahita-chaitanya... while in the other, it is
> avidyA-vritti-pratibimbita-chaitanya. Had it been avachchhedavAda and
> AbhAsavAda, the upAdhi would have been identical.
> It seems to me -- vritti is a must for actual knowing. In case of sAkshI,
> there are two types of knowing -- one is mere illumination and second is
> actual knowing. While avidyA-upahita-chaitanya is the illuminator,
> avidyA-vritti-pratibimbita-chaitanya is the actual knower of
> sAkshi-bhAsya-vishaya just as antah-karaNa-vritti-pratibimbita-chaitanya
> actually knows the pramAtri-gamya-vishaya.
> Since, avidyA-vritti-pratibimbita-chaitanya is adhyasta in
> avidyA-upahita-chaitanya, as avidyA-vritti is nothing but a pariNAma of
> avidyA, avidyA-vritti-pratibimbita-chaitanya can be called as sAkshI.
> Regards.
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