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A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume 1

According to its diverse functions


style="text-align: justify;">addition. All our uncontradicted knowledge of the objects of the external world should be regarded as right knowledge until the absolute is realized.

When the anta@hkara@na (mind) comes in contact with the external objects through the senses and becomes transformed as it were into their forms, it is said that the anta@hkara@na has been transformed into a state (_v@rtti_) [Footnote 1]. As soon as the anta@hkara@na has assumed the shape or form of the object of its knowledge, the ignorance (_ajnana_) with reference to that object is removed, and thereupon the steady light of the pure consciousness (_cit_) shows the object which was so long hidden by ignorance. The appearance or the perception of an object is thus the self-shining of the cit through a v@rtti of a form resembling an object of knowledge. This therefore pre-supposes that by the action of ajnana, pure consciousness or being is in a state of diverse kinds of modifications. In spite of the cit underlying all this diversified objective world which is but the transformation of ignorance (ajnana), the former cannot manifest itself by itself, for the creations being of ignorance they are but sustained by modifications of ignorance. The diversified objects of the world are but transformations of the principle of ajnana which is neither real nor unreal. It is the nature of ajnana that it veils its own creations. Thus on each of the objects created by the ajnana

by its creating (_vik@sepa_) capacity there is a veil by its veiling (avara@na) capacity. But when any object comes in direct touch with anta@hkara@na through the senses the anta@hkara@na becomes transformed into the form of the object, and this leads to the removal of the veil on that particular ajnana form--the object, and as the self-shining cit is shining through the particular ajnana state, we have what is called the perception of the thing. Though there is in reality no such distinction as the inner and the outer yet the ajnana has created such illusory distinctions as individual souls and the external world of objects the distinctions of time, space,


[Footnote 1: Vedanta does not regard manas (mind) as a sense (indriya). The same anta@hkara@na, according to its diverse functions, is called manas, buddhi, aha@mkara, and citta. In its functions as doubt it is called manas, as originating definite cognitions it is called buddhi. As presenting the notion of an ego in consciousness aha@mkara, and as producing memory citta. These four represent the different modifications or states (v@rtti) of the same entity (which in itself is but a special kind of modification of ajnana as anta@hkara@na).]


etc. and veiled these forms. Perception leads to the temporary and the partial breaking of the veil over specific ajnana forms so that there is a temporary union of the cit as underlying the subject and the object through the broken veil. Perception on the subjective side is thus defined as the union or undifferentiation (_abheda_) of the subjective consciousness with the objective consciousness comprehending the sensible objects through the specific mental states (_tattadindriyayogyavi@sayavacchinnacaitanyabhinnatvam tattadakaravi@sayavacchinnajnanasya tattadams'e pratyak@satvam_). This union in perception means that the objective has at that moment no separate existence from the subjective consciousness of the perceiver. The consciousness manifesting through the anta@hkara@na is called jivasak@si.

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