[Advaita-l] Siddhi Literatures

Anand Hudli anandhudli at hotmail.com
Mon Nov 6 11:14:20 CST 2006

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian wrote:
>I have never heard of yathArtha-khyAti. Perhaps you could post a summary? 


On 11/4/06, Antharyami <sathvatha at gmail.com> wrote:
>...Have any here come across the concept of  'yathArtha khyAthi' ? other 
>than the panca >khyAthi's ?

The Yatindra-mata-dIpikA of shrInivAsa-dAsa provides an explanation of the 
yathArtha-khyAti or sat-khyAti of the vishiShTAdvaitins. According to this 
theory, all perceptual knowledge whether it be of an illusion or not is only 
valid (bhramAdi-pratyakShajnAnaM yathArthameva) and never invalid.

If one asks (probably in disbelief!) as to how such a theory can distinguish 
between a valid perception such as that of a nacre and that of the illusory 
silver (shukti and rajata), the answer is as follows:

satkyAtirnAma jnAnaviShayasya satyatvam.h | This is the theory of satkhyAti 
which holds that the content (object) of a cognition is real.

tarhi bhramatvaM kathaM? If this is the case, then how can there be 
illusion(error)? iti chet.h - If you ask thus,

viShayavyavahArabAdhAt.h bhramatvam.h - Bhrama (illusion, error) happens 
when the object (perceived) cannot be part of any activity. This meansthe 
silver pereceived in nacre is real but it cannot be part of any meaningful 
activity. Therefore, the silver is bhrama.

How can silver possibly be really present in nacre?

Here is the answer: paJNchikaraNaprakriyayA pR^ithivyAdiShu sarvatra 
sarvabhUtAnAM vidyamAnatvAt.h| ata eva shuktikAdau rajatAMshasya 
idyamAnatvAt.h jnAnaviShayasya satyatvam.h |

By the process of panchIkaraNa, every element occurs in every element such 
as the earth. Therefore, the cognition of silver in nacre is true, since 
there is a (small) portion of silver (actually) in the nacre.

A modern day vishiShTAdvaitin may pitch in as follows. Since everthing can 
be broken down into elementary particles (atoms, neutrons, 
protons,electrons, etc.), there is already something in common between 
silver and nacre. When you see silver in nacre, you see it only because of 

One wonders: If there is really silver in nacre or for that matter gold in 
not-so-noble metals like iron and lead, then why isn't everyone rich? Here 
comes the reply:

tatra rajatAMshasya svalpatvAt.h tatra na vyavahAra iti taj-jnAnaM bhramaH| 
Because, the amount of silver (in nacre) is very small (infinitesimal) there 
cannot be any activity involving it.

For example, you cannot sell nacre as silver to someone else and make your 
millions because the amount of silver in nacre is embarrassingly small. This 
is the difference between bhrama and an ordinary perception (nacre as 

Once you realize that the nacre-part exceeds the silver-part by a 
overwhelmingly large degree, you give up your bhrama.  
ie.shuktyaMsha-bhUyastvajnAnAt.h bhramanivR^ittiH|

Needless to say, advaitins find this theory faulty. One counterpoint. The 
silver in the nacre, if it really exists in the nacre, is infinitesimally 
small. But the person does not see an infinitesimal amount of silver in 
nacre during bhrama. One sees a big chunk (relatively speaking) of silver, 
probably the same size as nacre. Likewise, if the snake really is in the 
rope, one should see an infinitesimally small snake in the rope. But the 
fact is that one perceives a fairly large animal, comparable in size to the 
rope. If the argument is made that the bhrama consists in erroneously seeing 
a large amount of silver where there is an  infinitesimal amount, this is 
the same as admitting that the large amount of silver is unreal.

Besides, the panchakhyati's - akhyAti, AtmakhyAti, anyathAkhyAti, 
asatkhyAti, and anirvachanIyakhyAti- , and the satkhyAti of the 
vishiShTAdvaitins, there are two more, namely the sadasatkhyAti of the 
sAnkhya and the abhinava anyathAkhyAti of the dvaitins (mAdhvas).


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