[Advaita-l] Perception in lightning

Venkatraghavan S agnimile at gmail.com
Wed May 12 08:31:29 EDT 2021

Namaste Raghav ji,
I think you may have left out the list in your reply. Copying it in my

Isn't what you are suggesting open to the charge of representationalism? I
am not sure whether to account for the experience of ghrANa, rasana and
tvagendriya at their respective golaka-s vs the experience of chakshu and
shabda outside the golaka-s, one needs the manovRtti going out to the
object. Maybe it is. I am not convinced it is needed.

It has the advantage of preserving the prakriyA mentioned in advaita texts
more or less intact.

It has the disadvantage that it is open to the charge of sAkAravAda +
representationalism. If I have understood correctly what you have said, the
object that the mind goes out to is a projection within one's own
subjective "space".

It is also more gaurava compared to the mind going to the object / light
hitting the eye, requiring both to happen.

Ultimately, it is a question of the weighting attached to different factors
in determining which theory fits better.  That is subjective, a case of यया
यया भवेत् पुंसां व्युत्पत्तिः, सैव प्रक्रिया साध्वी.


On Wed, 12 May 2021, 12:10 Raghav Kumar Dwivedula, <raghavkumar00 at gmail.com>

> Namaste Venkatraghavan ji
> Yes some elaboration and tweaking of traditional epistemological
> explanations is in order. There is no advaita hAni at all in doing so.
> What would you say about the idea that the idea of projection/extension of
> the mind happens *after* the golaka receives the prabhaava. (That would
> seem logical enough).  *And* it (going/projecting/extending out to the
> viShaya) refers to the formation of the pratyaxa manovRtti experienced by
> us as a *3D world extended/projected* out in front of us.
> Different indriyas and corresponding viShayas have different dharmas, no
> doubt.
> The experiences created by other senses like GhrANa are not explained as
> involving this process of mind extending etc. only because the manovRtti
> that arises in their case does not give us a 3D experience of a world
> extended in space around us.
> Even if we contend that the golaka receives the prabhaav to trigger vRtti
> formation, the mind extending outward can still be held to happen. Its just
> that it (extension) happens subjectively in our 'cidAkAsha' - in our
> subjective pratyaxa experience of space.
> This (our different experience of chakshu/shrotra compared to the rest of
> the senses) is the only reason why in siddhAnta, there was felt a need to
> talk of mind extending to the location of the distant 'object' (rUpa).
> Om
> Raghav
> On Wed, 12 May, 2021, 2:10 am Venkatraghavan S, <agnimile at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> 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.
>> Regards,
>> Venkatraghavan
>> 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