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A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume 1

But the soul is manifested in cognition as its substratum


The

question now arises, how is self cognized? Prabhakara holds that the self as cognizor is never cognized apart from the cognized object, nor is the object ever cognized without the cognizor entering into the cognition as a necessary factor. Both the self and the object shine forth in the self-luminous knowledge in what we have already described as tripu@ti-pratyak@sa (perception as three-together). It is not the soul which is self-illumined but knowledge; so it is knowledge which illumines both the self and the object in one operation. But just as in the case of a man who walks, the action of walking rests upon the walker, yet he is regarded as the agent of the work and not as the object, so in the case of the operation of knowledge, though it affects the self, yet it appears as the agent and not as the object. Cognition is not soul, but the soul is manifested in cognition as its substratum, and appears in it as the cognitive element "I" which is inseparable from all cognitions. In deep sleep therefore when no object is cognized the self also is not cognized.

Kumarila however thinks that the soul which is distinct from the body is perceived by a mental perception (_manasa-pratyak@sa_ as the substratum of the notion of "I," or in other words the self perceives itself by mental perception, and the perception of its

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own nature shines forth in consciousness as the "I." The objection

that the self cannot itself be both subject and object to its own operation does not hold, for it applies equally to Prabhakara's theory in which knowledge reveals the self as its object and yet considers it as the subject of the operation. The analogy of linguistic usage that though the walking affects the walker yet he is the agent, cannot be regarded as an escape from this charge, for the usage of language is not philosophical analysis. Though at the time of the cognition of objects the self is cognized, yet it does not appear as the knower of the knowledge of objects, but reveals itself as an object of a separate mental perception which is distinct from the knowledge of objects. The self is no doubt known as the substratum of "I," but the knowledge of this self does not reveal itself necessarily with the cognition of objects, nor does the self show itself as the knower of all knowledge of objects, but the self is apprehended by a separate mental intuition which we represent as the "I." The self does not reveal itself as the knower but as an object of a separate intuitive process of the mind. This is indeed different from Prabhakara's analysis, who regarded the cognition of self as inseparable from the object-cognition, both being the result of the illumination of knowledge. Kumarila agrees with Prabhakara however in holding that soul is not self-illuminating (_svayamprakas'a_), for then even in deep sleep the soul should have manifested itself; but there is no such manifestation then, and the state of deep sleep appears as an unconscious state. There is also no bliss in deep sleep, for had it been so people would not have regretted that they had missed sensual enjoyments by untimely sleep. The expression that "I slept in bliss" signifies only that no misery was felt. Moreover the opposite representation of the deep sleep state is also found when a man on rising from sleep says "I slept so long without knowing anything not even my own self." The self is not atomic, since we can simultaneously feel a sensation in the head as well as in the leg. The Jaina theory that it is of the size of the body which contracts and expands according to the body it occupies is unacceptable. It is better therefore that the soul should be regarded as all-pervading as described in the Vedas. This self must also be different in different persons for otherwise their individual experiences of objects and of pleasure and pain cannot be explained [Footnote ref 1]. ___________________________________________________________________


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