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A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume 1

Vedanta was bound to follow this slippery middle course


style="text-align: justify;">[Footnote 1: See _Vedantaparibha@sa_ and _S'ikhama@ni._]


attributed to its theory of self-validity. Vedanta was bound to follow this slippery middle course, for it could not say that the pure cit reflected in consciousness could require anything else for establishing its validity, nor could it say that all phenomenal forms of knowledge were also all valid, for then the world-appearance would come to be valid; so it held that knowledge could be regarded as valid only when there was no do@sa present; thus from the absolute point of view all world-knowledge was false and had no validity, because there was the avidya-do@sa, and in the ordinary sphere also that knowledge was valid in which there was no do@sa. Validity (prama@nya) with Mima@msa meant the capacity that knowledge has to goad us to practical action in accordance with it, but with Vedanta it meant correctness to facts and want of contradiction. The absence of do@sa being guaranteed there is nothing which can vitiate the correctness of knowledge [Footnote ref 1].

Vedanta Theory of Illusion.

We have already seen that the Mima@msists had asserted that all knowledge was true simply because it was knowledge (_yathartha@h sarve vivadaspadibhuta@h pratyaya@h pratyayatvat_). Even illusions were explained by them as being non-perception of the distinction between

the thing perceived (e.g. the conch-shell), and the thing remembered (e.g. silver). But Vedanta objects to this, and asks how there can be non-distinction between a thing which is clearly perceived and a thing which is remembered? If it is said that it is merely a non-perception of the non-association (i.e. non-perception of the fact that this is not connected with silver), then also it cannot be, for then it is on either side mere negation, and negation with Mima@msa is nothing but the bare presence of the locus of negation (e.g. negation of jug on the ground is nothing but the bare presence of the ground), or in other words non-perception of the non-association of "silver" and "this" means barely and merely the "silver" and "this." Even admitting for argument's sake that the distinction between two things or two ideas is not perceived, yet merely from such a negative aspect no one could be tempted to move forward to action (such as stooping down to pick up a piece of illusory silver). It is positive


[Footnote 1: See _Vedantaparibha@sa, S'ikhama@ni, Ma@niprabha_ and Citsukha on svata@hprama@nya.]


conviction or perception that can lead a man to actual practical movement. If again it is said that it is the general and imperfect perception of a thing (which has not been properly differentiated and comprehended) before me, which by the memory of silver appears to be like true silver before me and this generates the movement for picking it up, then this also is objectionable. For the appearance of the similarity with real silver cannot lead us to behave with the thing before me as if it were real silver. Thus I may perceive that gavaya

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