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A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume 1

And thus perception becomes invalid


style="text-align: justify;">to the sense (_purvad@r@s@taparad@r@s@tancarthamekikurvadvijnanamasannihitavi@sayam purvad@r@s@tasyasannihitatvat_). In all illusory perceptions it is the sense which is affected either by extraneous or by inherent physiological causes. If the senses are not perverted they are bound to present the object correctly. Perception thus means the correct presentation through the senses of an object in its own uniqueness as containing only those features which are its and its alone (_svalak@sa@nam_). The validity of knowledge consists in the sameness that it has with the objects presented by it (_arthena saha yatsarupyam sad@rs'yamasya jnanasya tatprama@namiha_). But the objection here is that if our percept is only similar to the external object then this similarity is a thing which is different from the presentation, and thus perception becomes invalid. But the similarity is not different from the percept which appears as being similar to the object. It is by virtue of their sameness that we refer to the object by the percept (_taditi sarupyam tasya vas'at_) and our perception of the object becomes possible. It is because we have an awareness of blueness that we speak of having perceived a blue object. The relation, however, between the notion of similarity of the perception with the blue object and the indefinite awareness of blue in perception is not one of causation but of a determinant and a determinate (_vyavasthapyavyavasthapakabhavena_). Thus it
is the same cognition which in one form stands as signifying the similarity with the object of perception and is in another indefinite form the awareness as the percept (_tata ekasya vastuna@h kincidrupam prama@nam kincitprama@naphalam na virudhyate_). It is on account of this similarity with the object that a cognition can be a determinant of the definite awareness (_vyavasthapanaheturhi sarupyam_), so that by the determinate we know the determinant and thus by the similarity of the sense-datum with the object {_prama@na_) we come to think that our awareness has this particular form as "blue" (_prama@naphala_). If this sameness between the knowledge and its object was not felt we could not have spoken of the object from the awareness (_sarupyamanubhutam vyavasthapanahetu@h_). The object generates an awareness similar to itself, and it is this correspondence that can lead us to the realization of the object so presented by right knowledge [Footnote ref l].


[Footnote 1: See also pp. 340 and 409. It is unfortunate that, excepting the _Nyayabindu, Nyayabindu@tika, Nyayabindu@tika@tippani_ (St Petersburg, 1909), no other works dealing with this interesting doctrine of perception are available to us. _Nyayabindu_ is probably one of the earliest works in which we hear of the doctrine of _arthakriyakaritva_ (practical fulfilment of our desire as a criterion of right knowledge). Later on it was regarded as a criterion of existence, as Ratnakirtti's works and the profuse references by Hindu writers to the Buddhistic doctrines prove. The word _arthakriya_ is found in Candrakirtti's commentary on Nagarjuna and also in such early works as _Lalitavistara_ (pointed out to me by Dr E.J. Thomas of the Cambridge University Library) but the word has no philosophical significance there.]


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