[Advaita-l] arthApatti : is it a strong pramANa or a weak pramANa ?

Anand Hudli anandhudli at hotmail.com
Sat May 28 22:31:35 CDT 2016

I agree each pramANa is powerful in its own sphere of operation, as
Shankara says in his bhAShya on brihadAraNyaka 2.1.20 - "svaviShayashUrANi
hi pramANAni shrotrAdivat". Each pramANa makes known those objects that
cannot be made known by other pramANas, and for this reason, one pramANa
cannot override another in the latter's sphere of operation, as Shankara
says in his bhAShya on br. up. 2.1.20, " न च प्रमाणं प्रमाणान्तरेण
विरुध्यते ; प्रमाणान्तराविषयमेव हि प्रमाणान्तरं ज्ञापयति". For an example
of arthApatti being ruled out, see the bhAShya on sUtra 3.2.38,
"phalamata upapatteH", where Shankara says arthApatti to establish
apUrva is ruled out because the fact that fruits of karma
are assigned by Ishvara is already established by other means, अर्थापत्तिः
प्रमाणमिति चेत्, न, ईश्वरसिद्धेरर्थापत्तिक्षयात्.  However, the arthApatti
pramANa allows us to reach some highly significant conclusions. For
example, given the description of the creation of the world from Brahman in
the shruti, and also the assertion that Brahman is the only sole reality
and denial of multiplicity in the shruti, we use arthApatti to conclude
that the creation is not a real creation, but only a transformation
(vivarta) of Brahman, as a rope gives rise to an illusory snake. Another
instance is existence of the objectless nondual consciousness in deep
sleep, established through the memory of such sleep, "I slept well. I did
not know anything then."


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