[Advaita-l] Defintion of anubhava

Venkatraghavan S agnimile at gmail.com
Tue Jul 4 13:34:41 EDT 2017

Namaste Praveen ji,

On Tue, Jul 4, 2017 at 1:50 PM, Praveen R. Bhat <bhatpraveen at gmail.com>

> Namaste Venkatraghavanji,
> I couldn't find the definition of अनुभव in that thread. The
> interpretation, however, looks same as what I said in my first post अपरोक्षज्ञानम्।
> This is not at all at dispute. To clarify, I wish to know:
> 1) Whether we agree with the Nyaya definition स्मृतिभिन्नज्ञानम् अनुभवः। If
> not,
> 2) What is our definition of अनुभव?

I now understand the purpose behind your query. I cannot recall coming
across a specific definition of anubhava, but there is one thing I wish to
draw your attention to. According to yoga shAstra, there are five kinds of
vrittis - pramANa, viparyaya, vikalpa, smriti and nidrA. This is something
which is acceptable to us too.

yatArtha jnAna corresponds to pramANa vritti, ayatArtha jnAna to viparyaya
vritti, vikalpa is different from these two - asat vastu are the "objects"
of vikalpa vritti - which is neither correct nor incorrect knowledge. nidrA
and smriti are well known.

However, the naiyyAyika says that there is no such thing as asat - it
cannot even be the object of nAsti shabda prayoga.

The naiyyAyika differentiates atyantAbhAvam from asat - what is present in
one thing, but completely absent in all three periods of time in other
things is called atyantAbhAvam by him. In vAyu, rUpam is atyantAbhAvam.  So
in a vAkya, if "nAsti" shabda prayogam happens, according to the
naiyyAyika, it can only refer to atyantAbhAvam, not asat.
In nyAya matam, abhAva is divided into -  samsargAbhAvam and anyonyAbhAvam.
samsargAbhAvam is divided into three - prAgabhAvam, pradhvamsAbhAvam and
atyantAbhAvam.  asat is not in one of the abhAva categories.

Therefore, he does not need to recognise a category of vritti like vikalpa
that refers to an asat vastu.

Coming to our context, one cannot have anubhava of asat vastu. Because the
naiyyAyika by definition says asat cannot be the object of even a
nAsti shabda prayoga, he can get away with defining anubhava as smriti
bhinnam (i.e. it is yatArtha jnAna, ayatArtha jnAna, sushupti jnAna), I
think we will have to define anubhava as smriti-vikalpayorbhinnam.


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