[Advaita-l] Sel Luminosity of Consciousness-1 - By Vaibhavji

kuntimaddi sadananda kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Sat Jan 7 22:31:27 CST 2012

From: Vaibhav
<vaibhav_narula21 at yahoo.co.in>

Subject: [advaitin] Self-Luminosity of Consciousness

To: advaitin at yahoogroups.com

Date: Friday, January 6, 2012, 11:47 AM


Sri Citsukha was an eminent Advaitin scholar in the 13th Century A.D. His most
important works are: 1. Adhikaranamanjari: a brief summary of contents of the
adhikaranas in Sri Sankara's Brahmasutra Bhashya. 2. Abhiprayaprakasika: A
commentary on Sri Mandana Mishra's Brahmasiddhi 3. Bhavaprakasika: a commentary
on Sri Sankara's Brahmasutrabhashya where he reconciles the differences between
the Vivarana and Bhamati
 Schools. 4. Bhavadipika:
a famous commentary on Sri Harsha's Khandanakhandakhadya (sweetmeat of
refutations). 5. Tattvaprakasika: a commentary on Sri Suresvara's Naishkarmaya
Siddhi. 6. Vivriti: a commentary on Sri Anandabodha's Nyayamakaranda. 7.
Vivati: a commentary on Sri Anandhabodha's Pramanamala. 8. Tatparyadipika: a
commentary on Sri Prakasataman Muni's Panchapadika Vivarana. 9. Tattva
Pradipika: an original treatise the purpose of which is to defend Advaita and
criticize the viewpoints of its opponents. The first section of this work
contains a systematic discussion on self-luminosity of consciousness. We will
be concerned with this part of the book.


To understand the rigorous dialectical discourse of Sri Citsukha it is
imperative to have some knowledge of Nyaya logic. Inference or anumana in Nyaya
is a pramana, it leads to valid knowledge of some object based on another
object which acts as a sign or mark for the presence of the former object. The
previous knowledge of invariable concomitance between the sign and the
signified and the knowledge of their presence in a certain locus based on the
above said relation leads to anumana. To illustrate with the help of an
example, someone notices smoke on a mountain. Smoke reminds him of fire and also
that he has noticed their co-presence in a kitchen or a hearth and their
co-absence in a lake and thus he knows that smoke is invariably accompanied by
fire. Based on this knowledge of invariable concomitance (vyapti) between smoke
and fire, the person believes that the smoke on the mountain also must be
accompanied by fire and he concludes this must be the case. Here the Naiyayika
is not saying that psychologically we always go through this long process when
we infer something for a difference is made between inference for oneself and
for another. When we present our inferential knowledge we always do so in a
syllogistic form and the above description was of a way to convey one's
inferential knowledge. The Nyaya syllogism consists of five steps:

1. Theory (Pratijna): The Mountain possesses fire

2. Reason (hetu): because of smoke

3. Example (udharana): where there is smoke there is fire as in a kitchen

4. Application (upanaya): This Mountain similarly possesses smoke which is
invariable concomitant with fire

5. Conclusion (nigamana): Therefore the mountain possesses fire.

Here smoke is the hetu or the middle term, fire is the sadhya or the major term
and mountain is the paksha or the minor term. The instances which have the
co-presence of the smoke and fire is the sapaksha and where such a relation is
not found that is called the vipaksha.

It should be noted that all examples brought in an argument and counter
argument to support an empirical generalization must be acceptable to both the

There are three different types of inferences in Nyaya:

1. Kevalanvayi (only positive): when the hetu and the sadhya have only a
sapaksha but no vipaksha. For example: All that is knowable is nameable. The
pot is knowable and hence is nameable. Here knowable and nameable pervade the
whole world and hence there is no instance where their co-absence may be found.
(For Nyaya there is no instance where knowability and nameability are absent).

2. Kevala Vyatireki (only negative): here the hetu and sadhya have no positive instance
of agreement in presence. An example will suffice here: no non-soul is animate.
All living beings are animate. Therefore all living beings have souls. Here the
hetu `animate' is said to be found only in living beings or beings possessing a
soul and nowhere else and hence no positive instance apart from the disputed
case can be found. Therefore the concomitance is established negatively,
between absence of possessing a soul and absence of `animate-ness'. 

3. Anvaya Vyatireki (Agreement in presence and absence): Here the hetu and
sadhya are both positively and negatively related to each other like in the
mountain fire and smoke example.

Inference takes place always when there is pervasion or vyapti between two
objects which act as sign and the signified. However vyapti may be of different
types or degrees. When the relation between the hetu and the sadhya is in an
unfailing relation, here both the objects may act as the sign and signified for
each other. For example something is sinful because it is prohibited in the
Vedas and something is prohibited in the Vedas because it is sinful. Then there
may be an instance where only one object forms the sign for another but not
vica verse. For example one may infer fire on the basis of smoke but not vica
verse as fire does not pervade smoke like in a red hot iron ball. Thirdly two
objects may be mutually exclusive for example the class of cows and the class
of horses, where the one is the other is not and hence there is a relation of
exclusion between them. 

In Nyaya there are no fallacies but blockers or preventers. The so called
fallacies in Nyaya block the awareness or cognition of an inference to arise or
they themselves may be cognitions that oppose the awareness of inference to
arise. Mostly they are based on deviation between the hetu and the sadhya,
either there is some instance where the hetu is and sadhya is not or their
relation may be conditional. This brings us to the theory of upadhi. Upadhi is
something that pervades the sadhya but does not pervade the hetu and hence
blocks an inference. For example in the inference mountain has smoke because it
has fire, fuel is the upadhi, it pervades instances of smoke but not of fire
for fire may be present in a red hot iron ball.

Tarka is that which removes any doubt about the invariable concomitance between
two objects. It starts with an assumption based on the denial of vyapti and
shows how it leads to absurdities. For example: If the soul was not eternal,
then it may not experience the fruits of past life and hence it is eternal.

There are four kinds of absence in Nyaya: a) prior absence, this is the status
of an object when it is absent before its production b) posterior absence, this
refers to an object that has been destroyed c) absolute absence, this is absence
of an object in a locus in all three periods of time and d) mutual absence,
this is absence of identity between two objects. The entity negated is called
the pratiyogin or counterpositive of the negation, for example, when we say a
pot is absent from the floor, the pot is the pratiyogin or the counterpositive.

This is a very short account of a subject which needs volumes to be expressed
in but nevertheless it is sufficient for our current purposes.

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