[Advaita-l] Perception in lightning

Venkatraghavan S agnimile at gmail.com
Tue May 11 16:40:15 EDT 2021

Namaste Raghav ji,
That is an interesting question.

Perhaps it is the svabhAva of each indriyam.

tvak, ghrANa, rasana need the physical contact with the substance to reveal
their object, chakshu and shrotra don't.

Perhaps it is the svabhAva of the viShaya of each indriya. Properties
discerned by touch are located in the objects, and the objects have to be
physically in contact with the golaka for tvak to detect them. Smell is
discerned when small physical particles come into contact with the golaka
of the nAsikA. Taste is discerned when the object is in physical contact
with the golaka. All of which involves a physical contact with the golaka,
hence the experience is of it occurring at the golaka.

Whereas sound and form / colour are discerned even when the source of the
sound and the locus of form / colour are not in physical contact with the
respective golaka-s containing the indriya-s that detect them. Hence the
experience is of sound / colour "out there".

Perhaps it is because of how the mind processes colour / form / sound.

In the case of sight, not only is the colour seen, the locus of the colour,
the object, and the relative distance between the subject and the object -
are all seen, leading to the cognition that the object is "out there".

With respect to sound, the ear the sound hits first and its loudness
(amplitude), carry with them clues for the mind about the direction /
distance of the sound. Further, the frequency of the sound waves hitting
the ears also leads the mind to gauge the distance from the source of the
sound - so, when an ambulance moves towards us, we discern the increase in
the frequency of the sound waves due to Doppler effect. Maybe these
auditory clues lead the mind to conclude spatial distance of the object
with the subject.

Not sure any of these fully address for your question - but perhaps this is
a start.


On Tue, 11 May 2021, 19:50 Raghav Kumar Dwivedula via Advaita-l, <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> Namaste Venkatraghavan ji
> The actual experience of smell is felt right where the indriya golaka is
> viz.,., the nose. We don't experience the fragrance as coming from the
> actual source. (Even in a case where lets say fragrance is unidirectionally
> spreading from a point, I cannot know the source direction.)
> In contrast, in the case of shabda and rupa experiences, they are not
> experienced at the point where the light is actually sensed viz., inside
> the eye. It is only an anuvAda of this empirical fact experienced by us of
> light and sound felt as originating somewhere outside of us, that siddhanta
> has to account for by talking of extension of mind to some putative
> external point - and this creates problems like the mind going to envelop
> non-existent objects etc.
>  We need to give some reason why, if in rUpa case too, as is being
> suggested, light contacts the physical golaka to mediate arising of
> manovRtti just like in the case of gandha, why does mind's
> projection/extension process happen only in  for rUpa and shabda?
> This may not be a big logical hurdle, but for completeness, some
> explanation is required. (Esp. since the siddhanta VP explanation to
> account for this very distant experience of sound/light if taken literally
> , runs foul in the case of observations of stars etc.)
> Om
> Raghav

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list