[Advaita-l] Perception in lightning

Venkatraghavan S agnimile at gmail.com
Tue May 11 08:31:59 EDT 2021

Namaste Subbuji,
I had suggested a response to the question "is what is seen the object, or
the conceptualisation of an object?" in an email to Raghav ji.

With respect to what is pramA / bhrama, the prakriyA is exactly the same as
the present. As the viShaya here is the reflected light, so long as the
light reflected from the object hits the eye + antahkaraNa, and the
antahkaraNa vRtti removes the ajnAna in prabhAvacChinna chaitanya, the
prabhAvacChinna chaitanya becomes one with the vRttyavacChinna chaitanya,
leading to the cognition "I see the object".

It is bhrama / ayatArtha if the light hits the eye, but due to some doSha,
the ajnAna in the prabhAvacChinna chaitanya is not removed, leading to

With respect to the X-ray example from Jagadguru Srimad Chandrasekhara
Bharati mahAsvAminah, the light that hits the X-ray plate is an X-ray (as
it is not within the visible spectrum, it is not pratyaksha yogya). What is
captured by the plate on the other side are the X-rays that have not been
absorbed by the foetus. That being so, the eyes have not made contact with
the foetus. Rather the eyes make contact with the X ray plate that has
recorded the X-rays that have not been absorbed by the foetus. Hence, here
it is not the object itself that is seen, rather what is seen is a plate.

In our example, it is the light from the pot itself that is seen, not the
light from the photograph of a pot.


On Tue, 11 May 2021, 12:34 V Subrahmanian, <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Tue, May 11, 2021 at 4:25 PM Venkatraghavan S via Advaita-l <
> advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
>> Namaste
>> It is not to account for exceptions per se. The idea is to preserve as
>> much
>> of the advaita epistemological framework as possible, while accounting for
>> observable scientific phenomena.
>> That being the case, what was suggested is that if we change the concept
>> of
>> what constitutes a viShaya to the subject (the object is not the viShaya,
>> light / sound is), one can preserve the existing framework while
>> addressing
>> the challenge of viewing objects that have ceased to exist.
> Would there be then the situation where one is perceiving/knowing not the
> object per se but only a reflection or a compromise  of it and still think
> that he is perceiving the object itself?  Would this then fall in the
> category of ayathartha jnana, bhrama?  Or would this be something like a
> 'samvaadi / visamvaadi bhrama' of the Panchadashi?
> HH Sri Chandrashekhara Bharati Swaminah had once remarked: when X rays are
> used to get a view of a fetus, for instance, what the resultant picture we
> get to see is not the fetus 'as it is' but only that of the object that has
> reacted to the X ray.  I think somewhat similar would be the case.
> regards
> subbu

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