free ebooks

A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume 1

These forms are different from the essence of consciousness


its forms. Just as the silver-appearance

of the conch-shell is not its own natural appearance, so the forms in which consciousness shows itself are not its own natural essence. In the state of emancipation when supreme bliss (_ananda_) shines forth, the ananda is not an object or form of the illuminating consciousness, but it is the illumination itself. Whenever there is a form associated with consciousness, it is an extraneous illusory imposition on the pure consciousness. These forms are different from the essence of consciousness, not only in this that they depend on consciousness for their expression and are themselves but objects of consciousness, but also in this that they are all finite determinations (_paricchinna_), whereas consciousness, the abiding essence, is everywhere present without any limit whatsoever. The forms of the object such as cow, jug, etc. are limited in themselves in what they are, but through them all the pure being runs by virtue of which we say that the cow is, the jug is, the pot is. Apart from this pure being running through all the individual appearances, there is no other class (_jati_) such as cowness or jugness, but it is on this pure being that different individual forms are illusorily imposed (_gha@tadikam sadarthekalpitam, pratyekam tadanubiddhatvena pra@tiyamanatvat_). So this world-appearance which is essentially different from the Brahman, the being which forms the material cause on which it is imposed, is false (_upadanani@s@thaiyaniabhavapratiyogitvalak@sa@namithyatvasiddhi@h
--as Citsukha has it).

The nature of the world-appearance, phenomena.

The world-appearance is not however so illusory as the perception of silver in the conch-shell, for the latter type of worldly illusions is called _pratibhasika,_ as they are contradicted by other

446

later experiences, whereas the illusion of world-appearance is never contradicted in this worldly stage and is thus called _vyavaharika_ (from _vyavahara_, practice, i.e. that on which is based all our practical movements). So long as the right knowledge of the Brahman as the only reality does not dawn, the world-appearance runs on in an orderly manner uncontradicted by the accumulated experience of all men, and as such it must be held to be true. It is only because there comes such a stage in which the world-appearance ceases to manifest itself that we have to say that from the ultimate and absolute point of view the world-appearance is false and unreal. As against this doctrine of the Vedanta it is sometimes asked how, as we see the reality (_sattva_) before us, we can deny that it has truth. To this the Vedanta answers that the notion of reality cannot be derived from the senses, nor can it be defined as that which is the content of right knowledge, for we cannot have any conception of right knowledge without a conception of reality, and no conception of reality without a conception of right knowledge. The conception of reality comprehends within it the notions of unalterability, absoluteness, and independence, which cannot be had directly from experience, as this gives only an appearance but cannot certify its truth. Judged from this point of view it will be evident that the true reality in all our experience is the one self-luminous flash of consciousness which is all through identical with itself in all its manifestations of appearance. Our present experience of the world-appearance cannot in any way guarantee that it will not be contradicted at some later stage. What really persists in all experience is the being (_sat_) and not its forms. This being that is associated with all our experience is not a universal genus nor merely the individual appearance of the moment, but it is the being, the truth which forms the substratum of all objective events and appearances (_ekenaiva sarvanugatena sarvatra satpratiti@h_). Things are not existent because they possess the genus of being (_sat_) as Nyaya supposes, but they are so because they are themselves but appearance imposed on one identical being as the basis and ground of all experience. Being is thus said to be the basis (_adhi@s@thana_) on which the illusions appear. This being is not different with different things but one in all appearances. Our perceptions of the world-appearance could have been taken as a guarantee of their reality, if the reality which is supposed of them


eBook Search
Social Sharing
Share Button
About us

freefictionbooks.org is a collection of free ebooks that can be read online. Ebooks are split into pages for easier reading and better bookmarking.

We have more than 35,000 free books in our collection and are adding new books daily.

We invite you to link to us, so as many people as possible can enjoy this wonderful free website.

© 2010-2013 freefictionbooks.org - All Rights Reserved.

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Contact Us