[Advaita-l] Visheshana and Lakshana

kuntimaddi sadananda kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Sat Dec 16 21:56:45 EST 2017

Anandji- PraNAms
Thanks for your post.
I am looking for an equivalent word that defines the necessary and sufficient condition provides swaruupa lakshaNa or an object. Cowness or Horseness - supposed to define the jaati, but still what is cowness becomes vague as you discussed. 
For necessary and sufficient condition, as you know, the converse has to be valid. When scripture defines Brahman as prajnaanam brahma - I feel it is providing a converse definition- Hence it is necessary and sufficient condition - hence if there is a conscious entity then it has to be Brahman. Because of anantatvam it becomes only a lakshyaartha or indicatory definition. 
Hari Om!Sadananda


   On Saturday, December 16, 2017, 9:54:41 PM GMT+5:30, Anand Hudli via Advaita-l <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote: 
 The nyAyakosha lists several definitions for lakShaNa.
uddiShTasya-atattva-vyavacchedako dharmaH, that property which excludes
anything other than the thing being defined, as stated by vAtsyAyana. He
gives an example - indriyArthasaMnikarShotpannaM jnAnaM pratyakSham, the
knowledge resulting from contact of sense organ and the sense object is
perception. A definition must be free from what logicians call
dUShaNatraya, the three defects - ativyApti, avyApti, and asaMbhava.
ativyApti (too wide) is explained as lakShyavRttitve sati
alakShyavRttitvam, being present not only in the lakShya (thing that is
being defined) but also in a thing not being defined. Example- defining
"cow" as "having horns" (shRngitvam) makes it too wide, since other animals
such as deer, buffalos, etc. too have horns. avyApti (too narrow) is
explained as lakShya-ekadeshavRttitvam, being partially present in the
thing being defined. Example- defining "cow" as "being of black color"
makes it too narrow, since there are cows that are not black but brown,
white, etc. asaMbhava is explained as lakShya-avRttitvam, not being present
in the thing being defined. Example- defining "cow" as "having one
(unsplit) hoof" makes it plain wrong and impossible, since cows have split
(cloven) hooves.

As the nyAyakosha mentions, vedAntinastu yo dharmo lakShye vyAptyA vartate
na vartate chAnyatra sa dharmaH, that property which pervades the thing
being defined and does not exist elsewhere. Pervasion is in the sense of
pervasion of smoke by fire, as in "where there is smoke there is fire."
Where the thing being defined is found there the lakShaNa is also found.
yathA gotvaM sAsnAdimatvam, "cowness" is defined as "having a dewlap".
Although, in modern zoology a dewlap is admitted in  many vertebrates, such
as dogs and rabbits, the "sAsnA" (dewlap) was admitted only for cows in the
ancient Indian context.

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