[Advaita-l] Fwd: Perception in lightning

Raghav Kumar Dwivedula raghavkumar00 at gmail.com
Wed May 12 09:23:39 EDT 2021

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Raghav Kumar Dwivedula <raghavkumar00 at gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 12 May, 2021, 6:53 pm
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Perception in lightning
To: Venkatraghavan S <agnimile at gmail.com>

Namaste Venkatraghavan ji
Thank you for your mail. I think you touched upon all the key points that
needed elaboration/consideration.


On Wed, 12 May, 2021, 6:01 pm Venkatraghavan S, <agnimile at gmail.com> wrote:

> Namaste Raghav ji,
> I think you may have left out the list in your reply. Copying it in my
> reply.
> 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.
> Regards,
> Venkatraghavan
> On Wed, 12 May 2021, 12:10 Raghav Kumar Dwivedula, <
> raghavkumar00 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> 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

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