[Advaita-l] Knowledge and the Means of Knowledge - 26

latha vidyaranya lathavidya at yahoo.co.in
Fri Oct 24 05:28:47 CDT 2008

hari om
my salutaions to sri sadanandji for writing such beautiful expositions with such patience and samadhaana chittha. alas! i am an auditory learner and not so much a visual learner. i wish the same explanations were recorded into an audio cassette / CD that i could listen to and understand better................
hats off to you sri sadanandji! please continue the good work!
hari om

--- On Sun, 19/10/08, kuntimaddi sadananda <kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com> wrote:

From: kuntimaddi sadananda <kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com>
Subject: [Advaita-l] Knowledge and the Means of Knowledge - 26
To: advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
Date: Sunday, 19 October, 2008, 8:52 PM

PraNAms to all. 
We are discussing the Vedanta ParibhASha of Dharmaraja Adhvarindra, based on my
                   Knowledge and the Means of Knowledge – 26

We are discussing the anumaana pramaaNa as the means of knowledge, where the
knowledge follows another knowledge, anumiti.  Inferential knowledge takes place
based on perceptual knowledge.  The classical example is – I see smoke on the
distant hill, and I infer that the hill on fire, even though I do not see fire.
Here knowledge of smoke and the distant hill occurs by perceptual process. 
Hence they are objective knowledge based on attributive content. The knowledge
is immediate and direct as we discussed before. However fire is not immediate
and direct since I do not perceive fire.  I infer that the distant hill is on
fire based on the concomitant relation between smoke and fire, which is called
vyaapti. The inference depends on this relation or vyaapti; and if I do not know
the relation, I cannot infer that there is fire on the distant hill. 
Technically the terms used in formulating this means of knowledge are: hetu,
linga, mark or middle term -
 refers to the smoke on the distant hill; the saadhya, character or major
premise - refers to fire on the distant hill. The hill itself is called paksha,
the minor term.  The conclusion or inference however is based on the concomitant
relation between the smoke and the fire and is called vyaapti.  Vyaapti in this
case is, wherever there is smoke there is fire, as is observed in the kitchen.
Kitchen example provides a dRiShTanta for establishing the concomitant relation
between smoke and fire. We have mentioned that vyaapti is asama, meaning it is
unidirectional, that is wherever there is smoke there is fire but not the other
way i.e. wherever there is fire there need not be smoke. For example we do not
see smoke with the red-hot iron ball. 

The invariable concomitance or vyaapti between middle term or hetu (smoke) and
the major term, saadhya (fire) is the back bone of inferential knowledge or
syllogism. It provides a universal proposition showing the connection between
the two.  It has to be acquired by observation and generalization. Observation
in a kitchen (in olden days fire wood is generally used for cooking) that smoke
is there whenever fire is there; and this observation is now generalized that
‘wherever there is smoke there must be fire’. That forms the vyaapti or
invariable concomitant relation.  As per Indian logic, the universal proposition
is supported by at least one observation, if there are no contradictory
observations. Hence inferential knowledge, according to India logic, involves
deductive and inductive reasoning; and there is no separation between the two,
as in western logic. Anumaana or inferential knowledge is therefore, an
inductive generalization with deductive
 particularization. Particular observation is, I see smoke when there is fire
in the kitchen. Deductive reasoning is whenever there is smoke in the kitchen
there must be fire there. Generalization of this is to conclude wherever there
is smoke there must be fire – that is independent of any condition. That
generalization is by induction that smoke cannot exist independent of fire. 

Advaitic position differs from NaiyAyikas in several aspects as outlined by VP.
 According NaiyAyikas the inferential knowledge involves several steps.  With
reference to the fire example, the steps involved are as follows. First we see
smoke in a kitchen, etc. Second, we recollect that smoke is never without a
fire. Third, we consider that the smoke is on the distant hill where fire has to
be inferred by the process of what is known as paraamarsha. Thus this third step
that involves paraamarsha is instrumental for the inferential knowledge. VP
dismisses these procedural processes.  It says we cannot establish that this
paraamarsha required for the inferential knowledge. Paraamarsha involves
brooding over the observations and vyaapti to arrive at the conclusion that the
distant hill is on fire. 

Then how does the inferential knowledge really takes place? VP says it is by
vyaapaara and not paraamarsha. Vyaapaara is related to vyaapti. It involves
immediate recollection or transaction with the concomitant relation between the
hetu and saadhya.  Hence as soon as I see the smoke on the distant hill, I
remember the universal relation that smoke cannot exist without a fire and
therefore infer that there is fire on the distant hill. The vyaapti is already a
universalized relation based on prior particular observation.  Hence VP says
when vyaapti is available in the mind, then Vyaapaara (here connecting the smoke
to the fire via the vyaapti) can take place in the mind without any paraamarsha

For the inferential knowledge to take place one should have the knowledge of
the concomitant relation. The knowledge should be available with the person as
latent impression in the mind for its immediate operation or vyaapaara or use
when hetu is observed.  Latent impression is not recollection, but is a source
for it.  It is similar to saying that when I go to deep sleep state all the
knowledge I have goes into latent form which can be materialized when I wake up.
 Hence recollection is not in the sense of what NaiyAyikas subscribe to.  For
the NaiyAyikas, recollection involves two aspects: its non-existent in the mind
before a thing is recollected and its non-existence later after the operation of
inferential knowledge.  That means the recollected information was not there in
the mind before or after. It is produced when it is needed and destroyed when
its function is over.  These are called praak abhaava and pradhvamsa abhaava,
that is its
 non-existence before and non-existence after.  The reason they subscribe to
this is due to their belief in asat kaarya vaada that is existence comes from
its non-existence– as the pot case – it came into existence from its
non-existence before and it goes into non-existence when it gets destroyed. Thus
non-existence of a thing forms the cause for its existence later.  In the
current example, the recollection of vyaapti involves its coming into existence
in my mind (so that I become aware of) from its non-existence and after the
paraamarsha that is after the inferential knowledge has taken place,  its going
back to its non-existent state. 

VP rejects these arguments. If existence comes from non-existence it violates
the fundamental law that non-existence can never become existence (naasato
vidyate bhaavaH). Besides, there is no particular reason why a specific vyaapti
that is needed can come into existence since any other vyaapti can also arise
from its non-existence. In addition, there is no reason to have a prior vyaapti
to be established by dRiShTanta or observation.  Advaita does not subscribe to
asat kaarya vaada.  Vyaapti is in potential form or latent form in the mind
which comes into existence when needed. When there are many types of vyaaptis
stored in a latent or potential form only that which is relevant will come for
recollection. In the example, it is the vyaapti that relates the smoke to fire. 
  Latent impression means it exists as latent, just as pot exists in potential
form in the clay. This is called samskaara or latent impression in the mind
about the concomitant

VP discusses how the processes of inferential knowledge take place.  There is a
latent impression in the mind formed previously by generalization of the
particular observation that smoke is there only when there is fire. This latent
impression is in unmanifested form However, when I have a perceptual knowledge
of smoke on a distant hill, the latent impression manifests in the form of
vyaapti, providing the concomitant relation between smoke and fire. Hence VP
rules out the NaiyAyikas position that recollection arises from its prior
non-existence state. Latent impression relating to vyaapti exists which forms a
basis for recollection of the vyaapti. Similarly it dismisses their position
that recollection destroys preexisting latent impression.  In addition VP says
latent impression has to be awakened to form a basis for recollection. If it is
not awakened by the perception of the hetu and unawakened latent impression
cannot give rise to inferential
 knowledge, since vyaapti is not materialized in the mind. Hence one can
consider awakening of the latent impression as an auxiliary cause since it forms
a basis for recollection of vyaapti. Thus VP says, the inferential knowledge –
‘the hill has fire’-  arises as soon as I see smoke on the distant hill,
which triggers the latent impression to give rise to recollection of vyaapti.
Vyaapaara takes place and the mind infers that there is a fire on the distant
hill. There is no reason to have a third factor that involves paraamarsha as
discussed above which is only a cumbersome addition not needed to arrive at the
inferential knowledge. In the example, the inferential knowledge is only that
there is a fire in the distant hill because I see smoke there. The smoke and the
hill are objects of perceptual knowledge. The smoke and the hill are therefore
objective knowledge based on their attributive content.  The inferential
knowledge that there is fire is
 not an objective knowledge with attributive content of fire. This aspect we
have discussed it earlier in relation to perception. 

The vyaapti or invariable concomitance involves the coexistence of the saadhya,
that is the thing that is inferred, in our fire case it must be valid for all
situations where the existence of hetu (in our example, smoke) is observed. This
concomitant relation between the two has been established by the observation of
both and with out any exceptions, that is without observing any time smoke
without fire. VP says it does not matter whether this coexistence of the two is
observed once or many times as long as no violation of their coexistence is
noted. What counts is observation of the coexistence without any violation.
Other philosophers say that the observations should be more than once, and the
more the better. to establish the universality of the vyaapti, without any
violations.  Advaita and Nyaaya agree that one observation is enough since
vyaapti is both deductive and inductive as long as no exceptions are observed. 

Types of inferences according to NaiyAyikas: Based on anvaya and vyatireka
logic, NaiyAyikas propose three different types of vyaaptis or invariable
concomitant relations.
a)	anvaya-vyatireka (affirmative-negative)
b)	kevala anvaya (purely affirmative)
c)	kevala vyatireka (purely negative)
In the first case the concomitant relation between the hetu and saadhya are
related to each other both affirmatively and negatively.  This is determined by
observation of their co-presence  and co-absence.  In the case of smoke and fire
the positive concomitant relation involves ‘smoke is fire is, as in the
kitchen’. The negative concomitant relation involves ‘smoke is not fire is
not, as on the lake’. That is, there is agreement in the presence as positive
or affirmative vyaapti and also there is agreement in their absence as negative
vyaapti.  Both establish the relation between smoke and the fire.  Advaitin do
not subscribe for the requirement of both. They only subscribe for the
affirmative and not for the negative.  When there is smoke there must be fire is
the affirmative and is sufficient for the inferential knowledge. I see the smoke
on the distant hill and based on the anvaya vyaapti or affirmative invariable
concomitance that whenever
 there is smoke there must be fire. Therefore I can infer that there is fire on
the hill.  NaiyAyikas say that even the negative concomitance can cause
inferential knowledge.  I see the smoke on the distant hill. Now applying the
negative concomitance we have to infer as, ‘if there is no smoke there must
not be fire, as on the lake’.  Since there is smoke on the hill there must be
fire. First it is a round about logic.  Second, the vyatireka or negative logic
is faulty for many reasons.  For one, if three is no smoke on the lake, many
things may not be there along with the absence of fire. Hence co-absence may not
be generic to smoke in relation to fire. Hence the inter relation between smoke
and the fire is not invariable for the concomitance to work. Hence Advaita
rejects this requirement of negative concomitant relation to arrive at the
inferential knowledge. For adviatins, the negative concomitance discussed above
comes under postulation than
 vyaapti. In order to establish inferential knowledge between hetu and saadhya,
all we need is positive concomitant relation between the two. 

Purely affirmative concomitant relation is the second type according to
NaiyAyikas.  Purely affirmative concomitance involves saadhya, the thing to be
inferred to be present everywhere or to put it technically, it is not counter
positive to non-existence. Counter positive to non-existence in simple terms is
existence, as it is opposite to non-existence. They give example for purely
affirmative concomitance as – ‘the jar is nameable, because it is
knowable’; because nameability (saadhya or thing that is inferred) is
everywhere, since whatever is knowable is nameable. Since the absence of
knowability and nameability is no where to be observed, the knowledge of
negative concomitance is not possible. Hence NaiyAyikas argue that this is the
case of pure affirmative concomitance.  Advaitin obviously reject this. For them
that which is counter positive to non-existence is existence itself, which is
Brahman, and which is non-dual and by definition cannot
 have any qualifications what so ever. There is no co-presence of anything else
with Brahman.  Hence they do not subscribe to kevala anvaya or purely
affirmative concomitance. 

Similarly there is also purely negative  inference or kevala vyatireka,
according to NaiyAyikas, inference is solely based on the negative invariable
concomitance. The example they give is – ‘God is Omnipresent, because He is
the creator’. The vyaapti for this is purely negative invariable concomitance,
‘whoever is not Omnipresent is not the creator’. No knowledge of positive or
affirmative invariable concomitance is possible in this case – if there is it
would read for example as He is Omnipresent, therefore He is the creator’-
such statement is not possible since co-presence of ‘Omniscience’ and
‘creatorship’ is no where to be observed.  Advaitins reject the purely
negative concomitance as the basis of inference, since such a knowledge is not

Hence Adviatins reject both purely affirmative (kevala anvaya) and purely
negative (kevala vyatireka) invariable concomitant relationships between two
entities – hetu and saadhya. They only subscribe for positive (not purely
positive) or anvaya vyaapti or invariable concomitance.  VP establishes this by
rejecting the NaiyAyikas position. For more detailed discussion of the above,
please refer to Methods of Knowledge by Swami Satprakashananda. 

Hari Om!
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