[Advaita-l] Perception in lightning

Raghav Kumar Dwivedula raghavkumar00 at gmail.com
Mon May 17 04:07:35 EDT 2021

Namaste Sudhanshuji

Shankara Jayanti Greetings.
शंकर जयंती शुभाभिनंदनानि

I had read your article in hindi and the english translation which you
meticulously translated and thank you for the same.

Since the issue at hand is of a possible mismatch between empirical
observations and VP regarding distant objects, I wanted to draw your
attention to the following.

You had written that when a distant object is seen even while another
observer near that object notes that it is no longer existent, that is
because the shabda and tejas inhering in the object do not travel but
continue at their point of origin. Its only their gross
mainfestation/prabhAva/ abhivyangya/taraMga that propagates as a wave. That
is why we can still perceive the shabda/tejas even after the object may not
be physically seen as existent, by a observer located near the origin. If
my restatement of what you wrote is correct,  then a few questions arise.

What in your view is the role of this abhivyangya/taranga in vRtti

Also the persistence of shabda/tejas at the point of origin after the
destruction of the physical object seems to be not fixed for all observers.
If an observer at a distance stops seeing this subtle tejas after the
tarangas pass by him (in cases where the object gets destroyed) , then that
means the role of these gross dhvani/light tarangas at the golakas is
critical for perception of shabda/tejas. Greater clarity maybe needed for
role of these propagating abhivyangya. If they are modified or changed
along the way (lets say), that seems to change the characteristics of the
shabda of the object as perceived by the distant observer. That would
pretty much invite the charge of representationalism since the tarangas
were only modified along the way and not at the point of origin. So the
mind should have formed the correct vRtti since the shabda at origin is
undisturbed. But experience shows that the vRtti we form is wholly
influenced by any changes made to these tarangas on the way to us. This
should not have been the case if the mind can envelop the shabda/tejas at
the origin point itself. So Chitta-ji would suggest that, the GYAnam of the
abhivyanjana gained from these tarangas is only representational knowledge
of the object and not direct knowledge. Like we hear someone's voice on the
phone, the speaker in our headset merely recreates/synthesizes the original
speaker's voice, although we may feel we are hearing the actual speaker.

Broadly I am still inclined to agree with you that there is no irredeemable
problem with VP model and even with the time delays etc., that are claimed
to be observed . I hope to elaborate in some later mail.


On Mon, 17 May, 2021, 6:45 am Sudhanshu Shekhar via Advaita-l, <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> Chandramouli ji,
> Shabda gets generated in the AkAsha-avachinna-by-drum. Since drum does not
> move, the AkAsha-avachchinna-by-drum does not move. Hence shabda inherent
> in AkAsha-avachchinna-by-drum does not move.
> Shabda does not move precisely for this reason as explained in the attached
> screenshot taken from VedAnta ParibhAsha. Similar is what is written in
> Siddhanta Bindu TIkA. VivaraNa screenshot also says that shabda does not
> travel through veechi-tarang. But the exact reason of non-travel of shabda
> explained in the tIkA of VP which is attached. Because shabda inheres in
> AkAsha-avachchinna-by-drum and since drum does not move, the delimited
> AkAsha does not move and hence the inherent shabda does not move.
> The model explained by you has the dosha that it will not be shabda
> inherent in AkAsha-avachchinna-by-drum which is perceievd but some other
> shabda inherent in some other AkAsha (and not AkAsha-avachchinna-by-drum).
> To attribute drum-sound in that is illusion and not perception -- this is
> how VP explains.
> Regards.
> Show
> On Sun, 16 May, 2021, 3:58 pm H S Chandramouli, <hschandramouli at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > Namaste Sudhanshu Ji,
> >
> > You had observed in your post dated 11 May the following
> >
> > << In SiddhAnta, perception is said to be at the place of origin. Also,
> > shabda does not travel from place of origin to some other place of
> > perception. If it does, then how exactly does it happen. Clearly
> > veechi-tarang is refuted >>,
> >
> > As I had mentioned earlier, my  understanding  is that sound perception
> is
> > not necessarily at the place of its origin, but  somewhere outside of the
> > subject. This could be a deviation from VP, but perhaps not a serious
> one.
> >
> > I don’t think it is mentioned explicitly  anywhere in the Sidhanta that
> > shabda does not travel from place of origin. I am open to correction on
> > this. If such a statement has indeed been made, then my understanding is
> a
> > deviation from the same. But I do not think such an understanding leads
> to
> > any other violation of the epistemological position.
> >
> > Shabda is accepted as a guna of AkAsha. Being a guna there is no
> objection
> > to consider the same as spreading out in AkAsha itself from the place of
> > origin. This could be so by definition. Its intensity would be
> diminishing
> > as it spreads out leading to its complete decay at some point or the
> other.
> > This is in line with anubhava as well.
> >
> > Regarding refutation of veechi-tarang, not necessarily so. I am copying
> > below an interesting footnote by Sri SSS in his translation of BSB 2-2-24
> > which reflects my thinking also.
> >
> > BSB 2-2-24  <<…. आगमप्रामाण्यात्तावत् ‘ आत्मन आकाशः सम्भूतः’ (तै. उ. २ ।
>> >  । १)
> > <
> https://advaitasharada.sringeri.net/display/bhashya/Taitiriya?page=2&id=T_C02_S01_V01&hl=%20%E0%A4%86%E0%A4%A4%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%AE%E0%A4%A8%20%E0%A4%86%E0%A4%95%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%B6%E0%A4%83%20%E0%A4%B8%E0%A4%AE%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%AD%E0%A5%82%E0%A4%A4%E0%A4%83
> >
> >  इत्यादिश्रुतिभ्य आकाशस्य च वस्तुत्वप्रसिद्धिः । विप्रतिपन्नान्प्रति तु
> > शब्दगुणानुमेयत्वं वक्तव्यम् — गन्धादीनां गुणानां
> > पृथिव्यादिवस्त्वाश्रयत्वदर्शनात् । >>
> >
> > << …… AgamaprAmANyAttAvat ‘ Atmana AkAshaH sambhUtaH’ (tai. u. 2 | 1 | 1)
> > ityAdishrutibhya AkAshasya cha vastutvaprasiddhiH | vipratipannAnprati tu
> > shabdaguNAnumeyatvaM vaktavyam — gandhAdInAM guNAnAM
> > pRRithivyAdivastvAshrayatvadarshanAt | >>,
> >
> > Translation (Swami Gambhirananda)  <<  …..As for Vedic proof, it is
> > established from such Vedic texts as, ‘AkAsha originated from the Self’
> > (Tai. II-1-1), that AkAsha is a substance. But for those who are not
> > convinced by Vedic texts, it can be inferred through its quality of
> sound,
> > for qualities such as smell and the rest are seen to abide in substances
> > like earth and the rest >>.
> >
> > Footnote 2 in Kannada Translation by Sri SSS, page 94  ( Kannada to
> > English translation mine)
> >
> > << Similar to smell etc, that for which shabda is a unique quality should
> > be inferred to be AkAsha. The vyatireka that there is no shabda without
> air
> > (Vayu)  does not appear to have been taken into consideration anywhere in
> > the Bhashya. It is not known if the proponents of the view that shabda
> is a
> > quality of AkAsha were advancing as a yukti (reasoning) in support of
> their
> > stand  that just as the manifestation of chaitanya in inert objects is to
> > be attributed to Chaitanya, manifestation of shabda in air (Vayu)  is to
> be
> > attributed to AkAsha only >>.
> >
> > My understanding is also the same as in the Footnote above.
> >
> > Regarding  upapatti for speed of travel mentioned by Subbu Ji, anubhava
> > itself could be considered as the upapatti. Venkat Ji also had clarified
> > earlier.
> >
> > With this, I think all issues concerning the topic are covered.
> >
> > Regards
> > Chandramouli
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > <
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