[Advaita-l] vicara Sagaram-4

kuntimaddi sadananda kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Wed Jan 25 00:38:01 CST 2012

III. Question is now, even this prepared mind, how can it know Brahman? Knowing involves illumining or throwing light on the subject of discussion. We say it is very illuminating talk, when the talk is thought-provoking. In the managala sloka it says – buddhi abhodhyam and budherdRik – it cannot be illumined by buddhi on the other hand it illumines the buddhi as a saaskhii. In essence the question is how does this knowledge takes place via the mind, when mind cannot illumine Brahman and knowing involves illumination by chidaabhaasa.

Ans: The answer is provided by examining the epistemological issues involved since all knowledge takes place via the mind. We will briefly discuss it here since it will be analyzed in relation to the separate series on attributes and their locus. Question is how does perceptual knowledge takes place. The description provided below is not by Shankara but aacharyas subsequent to Shankara and some aspect is parallel to those of miimasakas.  Briefly, perception of an object out there occurs when it becomes available for perception by one or more of the five senses. The classical description is in the presence of an object the mind goes out along with senses and envelops the object. The senses depending on their capability sense the attributes of the object and this sense input forms the vRitti in the mind. Up to this it is called vRitti vyaapti. vRitti is thus a perturbation in the mind formed with the attributive input of the object that is being perceived.
 Hence vRitti can be thought of as an extension of the mind itself. Since the mind has the capacity to reflect the all-pervading light of consciousness, the vRitti as extension of the mind also has the capacity to reflect the light of consciousness. That is the consciousness as though illumines the vRitti – which in essence has the contents of the attributes of the objecty. Reflection of all-pervading consciousness by the vRitti constitutes the knowledge of the vRitti, and in turn the knowledge of the attributive content of the object, and in turn the knowledge of the object out there. By this process we know the object. The associated second process that occurs spontaneously is called phala vyaapti, since the process involving perception is successfully completed. Although it is described as a process the perception is direct and immediate since mind travels fastest as per Vedanta. (In Mahabhaarat, in response to yaksha, yudhiShTara answers that mind
 is the fastest of all, perhaps beets the light barrier) – Thus objective knowledge takes place via vRitti vyaapti and phala vyaapti; this is stated in the Vedantaparibhaashya slightly in a different form as perceptuality condition. In this, the role of vRitti vyaapti is called uncovering the object or discovering the object and the process is called aavaraNa nivRitti. Knowledge of the object is completed with phala vyaapti when the sakshii illumines the vRitti, similar to chidaabhaasa, that is by the process of reflection of the light of consciousness. In this case the object being jadam or inert, light of consciousness has to illumine the vRitti to gain the knowledge of the vRitti, which involves the knowledge of the object out there. We may state here that even the outside light starting from Sun is still considered as jadam and has to be illumined by sakshii for the knowledge of the object to take place – this is stated in the mantra – na tatra
 suuryo bhaati…etc.

Hari Om!

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list