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A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume 1

Vedanta Ethics and Vedanta Emancipation


style="text-align: justify;">before my senses, and I attribute the quality of one to the other by illusion (e.g. the illusion that the crystal is red), then the illusion is of the form of anyathakhyati; but if one of the things is not present before my senses and the other is, then the illusion is not of the anyathakhyati type, but of the anirvacaniyakhyati type. Vedanta could not avoid the former type of illusion, for it believed that all appearance of reality in the world-appearance was really derived from the reality of Brahman, which was self-luminous in all our experiences. The world appearance is an illusory creation, but the sense of reality that it carries with it is a misattribution (_anyathakhyati_) of the characteristic of the Brahman to it, for Brahman alone is the true and the real, which manifests itself as the reality of all our illusory world-experience, just as it is the reality of s'ukti that gives to the appearance of silver its reality.

Vedanta Ethics and Vedanta Emancipation.

Vedanta says that when a duly qualified man takes to the study of Vedanta and is instructed by the preceptor--"Thou art that (Brahman)," he attains the emancipating knowledge, and the world-appearance becomes for him false and illusory. The qualifications necessary for the study of Vedanta are (1) that the person having studied all the Vedas with the proper accessories, such as grammar,

lexicon etc. is in full possession of the knowledge of the Vedas, (2) that either in this life or in another, he must have performed only the obligatory Vedic duties (such as daily prayer, etc. called _nitya-karma_) and occasionally obligatory duty (such as the birth ceremony at the birth of a son, called _naimittika-karma_) and must have avoided all actions for the fulfilment of selfish desires (_kamya-karmas_, such as the performance of sacrifices for going to Heaven) and all prohibited actions (e.g. murder, etc. _ni@siddha-karma_) in such a way that his mind is purged of all good and bad actions (no karma is generated by the _nitya_ and _naimittika-karma_, and as he has not performed the _kamya_ and prohibited karmas, he has acquired no new karma). When he has thus properly purified his mind and is in possession of the four virtues or means of fitting the mind for Vedanta instruction (called _sadhana_) he can regard himself as properly qualified for the Vedanta instruction. These virtues are (1) knowledge of what is eternal


and what is transient, (2) disinclination to enjoyments of this life and of the heavenly life after death, (3) extreme distaste for all enjoyments, and anxiety for attaining the means of right knowledge, (4) control over the senses by which these are restrained from everything but that which aids the attainment of right knowledge (_dama_), (a) having restrained them, the attainment of such power that these senses may not again be tempted towards worldly enjoyments (_uparati_), (b)

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