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A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume 1

Is not perceived by the visual sense


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style="text-align: justify;"> The philosophical situation. A Review.

Before dealing with the Vedanta system it seems advisable to review the general attitude of the schools already discussed to the main philosophical and epistemological questions which determine the position of the Vedanta as taught by S'a@nkara and his school.

The Sautrantika Buddhist says that in all his affairs man is concerned with the fulfilment of his ends and desires (_puru@sadrtka_). This however cannot be done without right knowledge (_samyagjnana_) which rightly represents things to men. Knowledge is said to be right when we can get things just as we perceived them. So far as mere representation or illumination of objects is concerned, it is a patent fact that we all have knowledge, and therefore this does not deserve criticism or examination. Our enquiry about knowledge is thus restricted to its aspect of later verification or contradiction in experience, for we are all concerned to know how far our perceptions of things which invariably precede all our actions can be trusted as rightly indicating what we want to get in our practical experience (_arthapradpakatva_). The perception is right (_abhranta_ non-illusory) when following its representation we can get in the external world such things as were represented by it (_sa@mvadakatva_). That perception alone can be right which is generated by the object and not merely supplied by

our imagination. When I say "this is the cow I had seen," what I see is the object with the brown colour, horns, feet, etc., but the fact that this is called cow, or that this is existing from a past time, is not perceived by the visual sense, as this is not generated by the visual object. For all things are momentary, and that which I see now never existed before so as to be invested with this or that permanent name. This association of name and permanence to objects perceived is called _kaipana_ or _abhilapa_. Our perception is correct only so far as it is without the abhilapa association (_kalpanapo@dha_), for though this is taken as a part of our perceptual experience it is not derived from the object, and hence its association with the object is an evident error. The object as unassociated with name--the nirvikalpa--is thus what is perceived. As a result of the pratyak@sa the manovijnana or thought and mental perception of pleasure and pain is also determined. At one moment perception reveals the object as an

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object of knowledge (_grahya_), and by the fact of the rise of such a percept, at another moment it appears as a thing realizable or attainable in the external world. The special features of the object undefinable in themselves as being what they are in themselves (_svalak@sa@na_) are what is actually perceived (_pratyak@savi@saya_) [Footnote ref 1]. The _prama@naphala_ (result of perception) is the

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[Footnote 1: There is a difference of opinion about the meaning of the word "svalak@sa@na" of Dharmakirtti between ray esteemed friend Professor Stcherbatsky of Petrograd


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