[Advaita-l] Visheshana and Lakshana

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sun Dec 17 02:37:54 EST 2017

Many thanks Anand ji, for the reply.  The nyāyakośa reference is
interesting. By 'Vedantins', do they mean only Advaitins?  If yes, we have
a situation where a non-vedantic philosophy recognizing the Advaitin alone
as 'Vedantin.'  A few years ago HH Sri Bharati Tirtha Swamin had given a
talk in which he listed several instances of non-vedantic texts referring
to Advaitins alone as 'Vedantins.'


On Sun, Dec 17, 2017 at 10:58 AM, Anand Hudli via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> Shri Subrahmanianji,
> >>
> My question is:  The overall purport or principle underlying the 'vastu
> parcchedatva' is 'bheda' which is admitted by all as 'anyonyābhāva'.  Is
> there any reference in the nyāya or mīmāmsā or vyākaraṇa śāstra for the
> concept of vastu paricchedatva?
> >>
> The naiyAyikas would like a definition to distinguish the object being
> defined from all other objects or in other words to exclude all other
> objects from the object being defined, using the term vyavacchedaka dharma
> as put forth by vAtsyAyana. However, this is precisely the point where
> Shankara differs from the naiyAyikas in the context of giving a definition
> for Brahman, in the taittirIya Upanishad bhAShya, as you quoted. Brahman
> cannot be distinguished from other objects, because It is inclusive of all
> objects. Any distinction from other objects would be make it limited and
> not all-inclusive. Hence, the nyAyakosha mentions the view of the vedAntins
> separately - vedAntinastu yo dharmo lakShye vyAptyA vartate na vartate
> chAnyatra sa dharmaH. The point here is that Brahman is all objects and
> more, which is to say Brahman has qualities not present in other objects.
> Note this is not the same as saying other objects are excluded from
> Brahman. Shankara's bhAShya on Gita verses 9.4-6 is worth reading in this
> connection.
> Anand
> On Sat, Dec 16, 2017 at 9:54 PM, Anand Hudli <anandhudli at hotmail.com>
> 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.
> >
> > Anand
> >
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