[Advaita-l] Vsheshana and Lakshana

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Fri Dec 15 02:46:10 EST 2017

Visheshana: adjective: blue, big, fragrant lily. In this example, the
blueness helps to distinguish 'this' lily from a red, etc. lily. The
bigness helps to distinguish this lily from small, baby lilies. Fragrance
helps distinguish this lily from those lilies that are devoid of fragrance.
This is a case of visheshana that distinuishes a thing from all other
members of the same class: lily.

On the other hand, a lakshana is that which helps distinguish an object
from every thing that is not that object.  Example: akasha is given the
lakshana 'avakasha  pradaatrtva - the one that accommodates (all other
things).  Now, this trait is unique to akasha.  nothing else in creation
has this.  When we say a house can accommodate people and things, it is the
space there that accommodates.

Similarly satyam jnanam anantam anandam are lakshanas of Brahman. Brahman
alone can have these, nothing else in creation.  Satyam is that which does
not go out of existence.  all that is created will go out of existence.
Jnanam is pure objectless consciousness.  every other jnanam in creation is
janya jnana like 'pot knowledge, cloth knowledge' It happens through a
vrtti. Brahman svarupa jnanam is not a vritti dependent one.  Ananta is
infinite in space, time and object.  everything in creation is limited by
space, time and object.  Thus alone the advaita Vedantin holds that satyam,
jnanam anantam are the svarupa of Brahman.  Brahman is satyam, brahman is
jnanam....Brahman can't be other than, without satyam.  just like there can
be no fire sans heat/light.

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