[Advaita-l] Perception in lightning

Sudhanshu Shekhar sudhanshu.iitk at gmail.com
Mon May 17 06:18:11 EDT 2021

Hari Om Raghav ji,

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

Dhvani or light excites the physical indriya-golaka. Only after excitation
thereof, the indriya comes into action. For eg, when light strikes physical
eyes or sound waves strike physical ear drum, the respective indriya will
elongate and reach the vishaya. (Sound/light are abhivyanjaka and
shabda/rupa are abhivyanga)

//Greater clarity maybe needed for role of these propagating abhivyangya//

If shrotra-indriya-golaka is excited by a sound which originated with a
shabda at time t1, then shrotra-indriya will perceive shabda of t1 no
matter whether presently it is t2 or t3.. that is fala-bala-kalpya. (It
leads to a sort of mysticism of indriya-function, but there is no other

So suppose presently it is t2, then an observer near the source will hear
shabda which is produced at t2 because his shrotra-indriya-golaka is
excited by sound originated with shabda at t2. But if my
shrotra-indriya-golaka, which is located at a distance, is excited by sound
which originated with shabda at t1, then my shrotra-indriya will contact
with that shabda at t1.

//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//

It can be argued that chaksu-elongation and mind-elongation also got those
disturbances. The classic answer given in paribhasha tika is -- while going
to the vishaya, the shakti of chakshu and shrotra decreases. Therefore
there are perception of the vishaya different from the perception as that
of a person near the vishaya. A mountain looks different to person near
than to person from far. So, it can be argued that the elongated vritti
also gets disturbed (by those factors which disturbed the abhivyanjaka
sound/light) and also their shakti reduced. This reduced shakti may be in
different forms. So representationalism will not be attracted.

Having said this, the fact of sound travel is undeniable. I live on a busy
road. During Ganesh Chaturthi,when processions pass and they play loud
music, the glasses of my window and the floor of my home literally shake.
Sound wave travel is well documented. It cannot be denied. Simple
experiments also prove that. We are all using mobile and advanced
communication instruments. These are all based on such basic concepts. What
is to be discussed is whether it leads to perception.


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