[Advaita-l] Advaita Siddhi series 027 - jaDatva hetu upapattih (part 3)

Venkatraghavan S agnimile at gmail.com
Fri Feb 9 09:08:56 EST 2018

We are discussing the topic of jaDatvam, or inertness. The advaitin wishes
to use this as a hetu to prove mithyAtva in the world. The world is inert,
thus mithyA. This raised the question - what is inertness? Some options
were considered and ajnAnatvam, or the difference from jnAna was postulated
as the meaning of inertness. The word jnAna was further refined to mean
object-less consciousness.

In the previous post
the pUrvapakshi had argued that it was impossible for consciousness to
exist independently of objects. This was refuted by the siddhAntin. This
led the pUrvapakshi to argue that consciousness cannot exist independently
of the knower.  To this, the siddhikAra replied:

- इति चेन्न ; if this is the argument, no.
The pUrvapakshi had argued using examples of beginning-less entities which
always occurred in conjunction with a corresponding counterpositive - e.g,
the universal (jAti) is always identified on the basis of the individual
(vyakti). The siddhikAra argues that this is not necessarily true.

जातेर्व्यक्तिनिरुप्यत्वेऽपि कदाचित्तदसंबन्धवदुपपत्ते:,
While in most cases, jAti is known only when the vyakti is seen, it is
possible for the jAti to be known without having a real vyakti relating to
it. For example, a person may look at a horse and mistake it for a cow.
Thus it is possible to identify the cowness jAti without a cow vyakti.
संबन्धप्रयोजकोपाध्यपेक्षया अधिकसत्ताकत्वात् | the jAti in such cases has a
higher degree of reality than the individual which leads to the

अतएव ज्ञानस्य सज्ञेयत्वं सज्ञातृत्वं च न स्वाभाविकम् | Therefore it is not
necessary that jnAna is intrinsically associated with objects
(sajneyatvam), or the knower (sajnAtritvam).Why?

तथाहि - सज्ञेयत्वं तावत् ज्ञेयजन्यत्वं वा ज्ञेयव्याप्यत्वं वा | The
association with objects can be either because a) the jnAna is born as a
result of objects, or b) because of the concomitance with objects - that
is, wherever jnAna is present, jneya are also present.

नाद्य:, परोक्षज्ञाने इश्वरज्ञाने चाभावात् | It cannot be the first, because
indirect knowledge does not require the objects to be simultaneously
present. Moreover, God's knowledge does not require the presence of objects
- He has knowledge of everything in all three periods of time, and
therefore at any point in time, His knowledge of an object does not require
its presence.

नापि द्वितीय:, 'यदा ज्ञानं तदा अर्थ' इति कालिकव्याप्तौ पूर्ववत्
व्यभिचारात्, दैशिकव्याप्तिस्तु दूर निरस्तैव | Therefore, for the same
reason, it cannot be the second either. A temporal concomitance, ie "when
there is jnAna, there is an object too", cannot be true (as mentioned
previously, such a concomitance does not exist for indirect knowledge and
God's knowledge). The possibility of spatial concomitance (where there is
knowledge, objects are present) is a distant prospect (ie impossible),
because jnAna arises in the mind, where there are no objects present.

The pUrvapakshi responds by restricting the concomitance of objects to
direct knowledge (and not knowledge in general). He says:
नच - यदा 'अपरोक्षज्ञानं तदार्थ' इति कालिकव्याप्तौ नास्ति व्यभिचार:, आत्मा च
'यत् साक्षात् अपरोक्षात् ब्रह्मे'ति श्रुतेरपरोक्षज्ञानरूप इति
सोऽप्यर्थव्याप्त इति - वाच्यम् ;
Whenever there is direct knowledge, objects must be present - In this
temporal concomitance, there is no vyabhichAra. The Atma has been spoken of
as "That which is directly perceived is Brahman" in the shruti. Through
such sentences, it is evident that the Self is the known object in the
direct knowledge of the Self.

The siddhikAra responds: do not argue thus, because
ईश्वरज्ञाने योगिज्ञाने च व्यभिचारात् | In God's knowledge and in the
knowledge of sages, there is no requirement that objects are simultaneously
present with knowledge.

'यदैन्द्रियकं ज्ञानं तदार्थ' इति तु व्याप्ति: सर्वसंमता | However, we do
agree that wherever there is knowledge born from the sense organs, there
has to be a corresponding object.

नचात्मरूपे ज्ञाने ऐन्द्रियकत्वमस्तीति न तया विरोध: | Knowledge of the Self
is not sensory perception, therefore this concomitance will not apply to
it, and will not contradict our position.

ननु - 'यदा अपरोक्षं ज्ञानं तदार्थ' इति व्याप्त्यनभ्युपगमे 'इदं
रजत'मित्यपरोक्षज्ञानान्यथानुपपत्त्या अनिर्वचनीयरजतसिद्धिर्न स्यात्, अर्थे
विनाप्यपरोक्षत्वोपपत्ते: -
The opponent asks - If the concomitance "when there is direct perception,
the object must also exist" is not accepted, it would be possible for
direct perception to exist even in the absence of objects. As a result, the
direct perception, "this is silver", is not the perception of an
anirvachanIya silver seen in the shell.

The pUrvapakshi is arguing that anirvachanIya khyAti, the theory of error
based on the creation of an indeterminate object in the locus of error,
would be disproved if it is held that the concomitance between direct
perception and object is not true. As far as the deluded person is
concerned, he is directly seeing silver in a shell. Citing this, the
advaitin argues that an anirvachanIya silver is created in that locus,
which leads the seer to conclude - "there is silver, *here*". If direct
perception did not necessarily require the object, then there must be no
anirvachanIya silver in the shell.

The siddhikAra responds:

इति चेन्न, 'इदं रजतमहं जानामी'त्यनुसन्धीयमानं यत् ज्ञानविषयत्वं
तस्याश्रयान्तरानुपपत्त्या अनिर्वचनीयरजतसिद्धेर्वक्ष्यमाणत्वात् | That is
not true. We will explain this further, but in the cognition "I see silver
here", the object of knowledge must be understood as the anirvachanIya
silver, because no other locus is possible.  Further, our argument is that
the rule "all direct cognitions must be associated with objects" is not
universal. That does not mean that in this particular cognition, there is
no corresponding object. The denial of the universality of a rule does not
rule out its specific applicability.

अतएव परोक्षभ्रमेऽपि अनिर्वचनीयार्थसिद्धि: | As a result, we hold that even
indirect delusions (ie where the object of delusion is not in front of the
observer) can have an object which is anirvachanIya.

जन्यापरोक्षत्वेन वा अर्थव्याप्यता आर्षज्ञानस्यापरोक्षत्वानभ्युपगमात् |
Alternatively, if we consider the concomitance to be "direct perceptions
that is generated must be associated with objects" - that is also not
necessarily true. The knowledge that sages gain through their meditation is
not considered as generated direct perception.

तथाच नानिर्वचनीयरजतसिद्ध्यनुपपत्ति: | Thus, it is not true to say that the
anirvachanIya silver is disproved by holding on to this view.

Now the siddhikAra moves to the charge that jnAna cannot exist
independently of the knower.
एवं सज्ञातृकत्वमपि किं ज्ञातृजन्यत्वं, ज्ञातृव्याप्यत्वं, ज्ञातृसमवेतत्वं
वा | Similarly, what does association with the knower mean? Is that a)
knowledge is born from the knower, or b) where knowledge is present, the
knower is present too, or c) knowledge is inherently present in the knower
(ie it is a samavAya sambandha between knowledge and the knower)?

आद्ये ईश्वरज्ञाने व्यभिचार: ज्ञाननित्यत्वस्य साधयिष्यमाणत्वाच्च | The first
is not true because that rule fails for God's knowledge, which will be
later proved by us as eternal. If God's knowledge is eternal, how can it be

द्वितीयेऽपि अप्रयोजकता | The second option also is not true, because there
is no purpose served by holding such a concomitance to be true. What is the
harm if there is no knower when knowledge is present? If no harm is done in
the absence of the rule, then the rule is not valid.

न तृतीय:, the third option is also wrong.

ज्ञानजन्यत्ववत् ज्ञानसमवेतत्वस्यापि असंभवात्, Similar to the arguments
against the position "knowledge is born from the knower", the position
"knowledge is inherent in the knower" is also not true. Knowledge is not an
attribute of the knower, and thus it cannot have an inherence relationship
with the knower.

ज्ञानस्य गुणत्वक्रियात्वयोरनभ्युपगमेन द्रव्याश्रयत्वानुमानायोगात्,
Knowledge being either an attribute or an activity is not acceptable to us.
Thus without it being an attribute or activity, it cannot be accepted as
located in a substance. Without being located in a substance, knowledge
cannot be accepted as being inherent in any substance. Thus it cannot be
inherent in the knower.

The pUrvapakshi had argued that the advaitin's position - "jnAna is
independent of the knower and known" - is contradicting the vivaraNAchArya.
The siddhikAra responds to that charge:

कदाचित् ज्ञातृज्ञेयसंबन्धेनैव अनुभवस्य विवरणवाक्यस्य च उपपत्ते: | The
relationship between the knower and knowledge is experienced at some time
(ie in vyavahAra) - it is in that context that the vivaraNAchArya's
statement is made. It does not mean that as a rule knowledge, knower and
known are related.

The pUrvapakshi had also argued that the statement - "Brahman exists"
 अस्ति ब्रह्म - grammatically implies that there is an agent, a kartA. This
is being refuted next.

'अस्ति ब्रह्मे'ति च लकारो न ब्रह्मसत्तां प्रति ब्रह्मण: कर्तृत्वमाह; The
use of lakAra (tense) in the sentence "Brahman exists", does not imply
agency on Brahman's part in the action of existing.
Really speaking, what is meant to be said is that "ब्रह्म अस्" or Brahman
is existence (ie without the use of lakAra). The statement "Brahman asti"
is only said because of the conventions of pANiNian grammar, that one
should not use a root without an appropriate suffix. Therefore, it is not
meant that Brahman is existing, but that Brahman is existence.

नित्यत्वेन तदसंभवात्, किन्तु साधुत्वार्थ द्रष्टव्यम् | As Brahman can never
have agency, the sentence is only keeping in line with  grammatical

Thus the siddhikAra has systematically established that knowledge need not
necessarily exist in association with the knower or the known.

In the next post, the siddhikAra will consider whether the term jnAna can
be used without the associated classification of validity or invalidity
(pramA / bhrama).

Originally posted on 9th February 2018.

(To be continued)


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