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A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume 1

In Vedanta however there is no reference to action


and perception in the subjective

aspect is regarded as the identity of the subjective cit with the objective cit. This identity of course means that through the v@rtti the same reality subsisting in the object and the subject is realized, whereas in inference the thing to be inferred, being away from contact with anta@hkara@na, has apparently a different reality from that manifested in the states of consciousness. Thus perception is regarded as the mental state representing the same identical reality in the object and the subject by anta@hkara@na contact, and it is held that the knowledge produced by words (e.g. this is the same Devadatta) referring identically to the same thing which is seen (e.g. when I see Devadatta before me another man says this is Devadatta, and the knowledge produced by "this is Devadatta" though a verbal (_s'abda_) knowledge is to be regarded as perception, for the anta@hkara@na v@rtti is the same) is to be regarded as perception or pratyak@sa. The content of these words (this is Devadatta) being the same as the perception, and there being no new relationing knowledge as represented in the proposition "this is Devadatta" involving the unity of two terms "this" and "Devadatta" with a copula, but only the indication of one whole as Devadatta under visual perception already experienced, the knowledge proceeding from "this is Devadatta" is regarded as an example of nirvikalpa knowledge. So on the occasion of the rise of Brahma-consciousness when the preceptor instructs "thou art Brahman"
the knowledge proceeding from the sentence is not savikalpa, for

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though grammatically there are two ideas and a copula, yet from the point of view of intrinsic significance (_tatparya_) one identical reality only is indicated. Vedanta does not distinguish nirvikalpa and savikalpa in visual perception, but only in s'abda perception as in cases referred to above. In all such cases the condition for nirvikalpa is that the notion conveyed by the sentence should be one whole or one identical reality, whereas in savikalpa perception we have a combination of different ideas as in the sentence, "the king's man is coming" (_rajapuru@sa agacchati_). Here no identical reality is signified, but what is signified is the combination of two or three different concepts [Footnote ref 1].

It is not out of place to mention in this connection that Vedanta admits all the six prama@nas of Kumarila and considers like Mima@msa that all knowledge is self-valid (_svat@ah-prama@na_). But prama has not the same meaning in Vedanta as in Mima@msa. There as we remember prama meant the knowledge which goaded one to practical action and as such all knowledge was prama, until practical experience showed the course of action in accordance with which it was found to be contradicted. In Vedanta however there is no reference to action, but prama means only uncontradicted cognition. To the definition of self-validity as given by Mima@msa Vedanta adds another objective qualification, that such knowledge can have svata@h-prama@nya as is not vitiated by the presence of any do@sa (cause of error, such as defect of senses or the like). Vedanta of course does not think like Nyaya that positive conditions (e.g. correspondence, etc.) are necessary for the validity of knowledge, nor does it divest knowledge of all qualifications like the Mima@msists, for whom all knowledge is self-valid as such. It adopts a middle course and holds that absence of do@sa is a necessary condition for the self-validity of knowledge. It is clear that this is a compromise, for whenever an external condition has to be admitted, the knowledge cannot be regarded as self-valid, but Vedanta says that as it requires only a negative condition for the absence of do@sa, the objection does not apply to it, and it holds that if it depended on the presence of any positive condition for proving the validity of knowledge like the Nyaya, then only its theory of self-validity would have been damaged. But since it wants only a negative condition, no blame can be


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