Regarding presenting evidence of absence

Vidyasankar Sundaresan vidya at CCO.CALTECH.EDU
Sat Dec 7 19:24:42 CST 1996

On Sat, 7 Dec 1996, Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian wrote:


> In another response Vidya wrote:
> >> svataH pramANa, even) for there being many perceivers; what cognition
> >> exists to show that there is only one?
> >
> >No cognition, but Sruti. "yatra tvasya sarvam AtmaivAbhUt ...", "neha
> >nAnAsti kincana", etc. We cannot present evidence for absence of anything,
> Such a cognition exists in deep sleep, does it not? From the point of view, of
> the waking state, what you say is perfectly true though. An impartial analysis
> would of course say that "cognition to show that there is only one", exists in

You are correct. I was thinking only of the waking state, as debate takes
place only in the waking state. However, sushupti provides only the
evidence that no objects are cognized. For the advaitin, this might be
evidence for the absence of multiplicity, including multiple perceivers.
It is not necessarily so for the dvaitin. For the dvaitin, sushupti could
conceivably be thought of as the individual self entering some separate
world, without positing that this individual self is the same as brahman,
i.e. it does not prove that there is only One. Only Sruti does that.


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