Science of the Absolute Chapter 7 - Epilogue

  
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AN INTEGRATED SCIENCE OF THE ABSOLUTE

 

7. AWARENESS

 

EPILOGUE

Salvation is the goal of wisdom. The truth must make one free. This way of viewing pure reason, the very stuff of wisdom, is the peculiarity of Indian thought in general. In the East every philosophy states clearly in advance what its overall purpose is. This purpose is referred to as having a negative aspect of avoiding error and suffering, and a positive content of pointing out a way of release or emancipation. Even the duality between ends and means and positive and negative aspects are here to be absorbed and cancelled out into the unity of the normalized value of the Absolute.


At least in Vedanta, correctly understood, and also with Sankara when he is in accord with the Upanishads, any idea suggesting unilateral salvation is to be ruled out in advance. When the contents of this chapter are considered and the way such contents should be treated as pertaining to Vedantic wisdom, the reciprocity between the counterparts of the Self and the non-Self is to be never lost sight of. The overall equation implied in each of the mahavakyas (great dicta) should also be kept in mind. This rule will be seen also to be true of Ramanuja and Madhva although they are considered dualists. While a devotional and theological imagery dominates their philosophic outlook it does not essentially change its basic presuppositions. Another common feature distinguishing the Indian attitude to pure reason is that it is always to be thought of in terms of the Self and the non-Self. Devotion is itself always in any Vedanta a contemplation of the Self as a Highest Value. Pure reason is still a function, however thin or mathematical it might be when divested of its actual or operational implications which might linger on to give significant content to it from the side of the ontology in which it is necessarily rooted. This causes both gross and subtle errors through Maya. There is no way of scientifically distinguishing the factor called pure reason, except in terms of a function. The operator and function are terms that even the science of pure mathematics cannot altogether dispense with.



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One goes in vain through Kant´s "Critique of Pure Reason" looking for a clear definition of the term "reason" itself. In the name of criticism stemming out of its genetic scepticism Kant avoids as far as possible any direct reference to a theological God or to any absolute Self. The history of thought in the West amply justifies such an attitude and Kant´s epoch-making contribution to Western Philosophy is not to be minimized or discredited. A complete philosophy cannot, however, omit a truly absolutist notion and, as all reason has necessarily to be grounded in the Self, it is in these terms of the Self that pure reason is to be understood. Even in terms of the Self it is hard to understand the operations and functions of pure reason because a specific character belonging to an entity cannot itself be placed inside the same entity. It has to be treated as an attribute, however intimate the connection between substance and attribute might be. The blueness of a lotus and the red heat of an iron ball imply the concepts at least of blueness and heat. Specificity has to depend on such a distinctio, whether we finally accept the duality or not. We need not subscribe to the principle of "esse est percipi", but at least for the purposes of discourse the distinction has to remain even when we take a fully non-dual attitude. The equation of the Self and the non-Self of this chapter, both in their horizontalized and verticalized implications, gives it a fourfold correction for purposes of neutralization or normalization. We have already referred to the fourfold error of judgement analyzed by Narayana Guru in the "Advaita Dipika" (see p. 969 above).



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To recognize the functional togetherness of the reasoning Self which seeks the certitude of absolutist awareness is thus of the very nature of, the subject-matter of this chapter. It is a continuation of the fifth chapter with only one intervening chapter separating it. This is evidently intended to reveal the operational aspects of the purer functions of reasoning. Instrumentalism gives place to a more balanced parity between the pure functional activity persisting here between two aspects of the Self. Action becomes more sublimated but it does not lose its character as a function altogether.

 

1. THE ELEMENTS OF AWARENESS

In this chapter the white glow of pure reason is comparable to a subtle form of interaction between two aspects of the same Self, where the agency of the instrument as a means and the end attained by thought come together more intimately. The resultant white glow of pure reason, having a tint of redness in the context of the interaction of counterparts of the previous chapter, now points the way to more and more intense forms of interaction between the Self and the non-Self. This duality is retained only for purposes of discourse. The Self-contemplation of the next chapter, the union of the Self with the non-Self in Chapter 9, and finally the merging together by total cancellation of counterparts mark further intimacy or intensity of the participation of the two aspects of the same Self where ends and means reside with different degrees of duality admitted only for purposes of clear exposition. Scientific certitude can result only when the two limbs of an equation are brought together into unity by the inquiring mind.

 

Viewed in this manner, this chapter pertaining to jnana or awareness occupies a unique and important position in the whole series of visions. Science and reasoning are the same; while philosophy is a more speculative form of reason. Both are expected to yield certitude. For this reason alone it is legitimate that we find in Verse 3 a promise of full immortality. This chapter refers to the world of logical or rational discourse. Reason by itself is often looked upon as sufficient for salvation when it refers to the wisdom of the Absolute. A knower of the Absolute becomes the Absolute. This is the repeated promise of the Upanishads.



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Although the normalized notion of the Absolute falls naturally within the scope of this chapter the further positive stages of the intensification of the same understanding are marked by the succeeding chapters in a graded order. They are more contemplatively spiritual in their content but the wisdom quality implied in them does not suffer a change, even when intensification might reveal another spectral shift, as it were, ranging between an infra-red and an ultra-violet. All the chapters of this second half of the work give up their precise meanings in each verse only when we remember that it is always the positive side, leaving ontology behind and pointing to a more intense form of contemplative self-identity, that now underlies the plan. The complementarity, reciprocity or cancellability of counterparts implied in each verse have to be clearly noted.
 
 
Furthermore, the careful student has to keep in mind the implications of the word vritti (function) which has a series of organically graded meanings ranging from the horizontal interaction of the instrument and the object of thought to the most subtle of verticalized functions between cancelable mathematical counterparts. This technical term runs like a relational thread stringing together all verses and is finally abolished in the last two verses.
 
There is also the term upadhi (conditioning) which is not a vertical relationship but rather refers to a horizontal form of relationship with some interest or object not strictly within the scope of the contemplative life.



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Man's interests vary from moment to moment and between individual and individual. Such is the fecund cause of error from which all reasoning or logic must find its starting point, at least for purposes of systematic discourse.
 
What is called logic in India is really a discipline examining the locus of error in the total context of reasoning. Indian logic is not interested in individual judgments or predications as is the case in Western logic. We have already referred to the khyativada or theory of the locus of error. There we find the problem of locating the origin of error, which is the enemy of reason, in the various structural zones of reality, truth or value found in contemplative life. Some, like the upholders of the atmakhyativada (locating error in Self) and the Buddhist upholders of vijnanavada (idealism), place the origin of error inside. Others prefer to be realists, like the Vaiseshikas and Visishtadvaitins like Ramanuja, who go so far as to say that the silver imagined in the mother-of-pearl means the presence of real silver as essentially present everywhere in the universe. Other forms of realism based on first principles are to be found where error and its possibility are located.

 

Causes and effects are similarly subjected to treatment as an organic reciprocal whole giving primacy to effect or cause or both, according to the systems concerned. When thinking of the simple existence of things the Nyaya school has brought into the picture the valuable notion of abhava (nothingness). Even Western philosophers like Kant and Hegel have use for this negative notion helping to make their speculation valid. Vedanta has adopted for its own purposes the four kinds of abhavas clinging together in a total context of reason, while looking down on the Nyaya school as defective.



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Thus Indian thought tacitly recognizes a structural basis for locating error taken together and in visualizing in a nutshell propositional reciprocities. Here we refer to such organic clusters of elements in reasoning to show that the Indian logical tradition has its own tacit structural presuppositions which have always to be kept in mind. This type of logic is in reality more than logic and often includes organic clusters or categories without which it cannot operate. It has been the task of Vedanta to take over and complete the formal implications of Indian logic as it accumulated in the world of philosophical inquiry, Sankara is always seen as saying in his commentary on the "Brahma Sutras" that he is of the Vedanta school, as distinct from other schools such as the Purva Mimamsa of Jaimini or the Samkhya philosophy of Kapila. What distinguishes Vedanta from all other schools is the single feature that ultimate reality is never an effect built upwards from causes by the mind and treated as real. The Absolute of Vedanta is neither cause nor effect. Its locus is the Self of man as an unconditioned pure entity independent of causes and effects. Narayana Guru's own commentary to Verse 3 also makes this point explicit. There is no ambiguity or incertitude here although in locating the cause of error, Vedanta admits the principle of maya in order to eliminate fully its negative drag through pure reason which is a normalizing positivist function. The contributions of heterodox schools such as the Jainas have been of great value in formulating Vedantic logic. Vedanta approaches logic from both sides instead of treating it unilaterally.
 
Sankara's "Drig-Drisya-Viveka" (Discrimination between the Seer and the Seen) correctly puts together the counterparts. This two-sided approach is already presented to him in works of the Purva Mimamsa school like the "Manameyodaya".



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Even the syadvada (may be, maybe not) principle of the Jainas (sometimes referred to in disparaging terms by over-enthusiastic Vedantins) nonetheless reveals the same structural aspects of reason as the Vedanta's anirvachaniya (unpredictability) position, giving due place to the same ambiguity found at the basis of the notion of Maya.

 

Before examining the Syadvada, we have to note that Narayana Guru in his treatment respects a certain global and unitive concept of awareness in the context of the Absolute. In the first and last verses, he refers to absolute unconditioned awareness, marking the limits of this chapter enclosed, as it were, within the brackets of an upper and a lower limit. We also find Narayana Guru treating the functions and conditioning which distinguish various forms of awareness in a certain symmetrical and epistemological order with positive, negative, and neutral implications. The Syadvada of the Jainas need not be discarded, because it analyzes for us the elements of probability and possibility entering into an organic and reciprocal relational whole, wherein all problems cluster together to be solved by the pure light of reason. Concerning this epistemological device, we read in "The Elements of Indian Logic":

The Jaina philosophers have pointed out seven chief points of view (naya) or aspects (antas) under which we know objects. A statement made from one point of view (naya) should not be confused with a statement made from another point of view. Every statement is true from its own standpoint. In comprehensive knowledge about any object all points of view must be represented. That is, we should know the object, in order to know it fully, from all the points of view. Unfortunately we rarely do so. The seven points of view emphasized by the Jaina logicians are:
  1. The naigama naya is the standpoint in which the generic and the particular characteristics of objects are not abstracted from each other.
  2. Sangraha naya is the point of view of the common aspects of objects.
  3. The Vyavahara naya is the standpoint of the specific or individual characteristics of objects, neglecting their generic or common aspects.
  4. The Rijusutra naya is the standpoint of the present moment. It is the view of objects as they are at the present moment; not caring as to what they have been in the past or what they may be in the future.
  5. Sabda naya is the literal point of view. It is the standpoint of Grammar and confines itself to the gender, number and tense, etc. exclusively, neglecting the meaning of the words.
  6. Samabhirudha naya is the standpoint of the etymologist who always tries to use the terms in their etymological sense.
  7. Svambhuta naya is the point of view of the actual function that any object performs. From this standpoint every thing is defined in terms of what it actually does.
These are the seven most prominent nayas (standpoints), as they are ultimately infinite in number. From this naya-vada (doctrine of standpoints) logically follows the doctrine of syadvada, which is analyzed into seven most general and formal predicates, called saptabhangi naya. They are:
  1. "Syat asti" (syadasti) - "It may be so". E.g., this water may be hot for somebody.
  2. "Syat nasti" (syannasti) - "It may not be so". E.g., this water may not be hot, for some other body.
  3. "Syat asti nasti" (syadastinasti) - "It may be so and it may not be so". E.g., this water may be hot to some body and may not be hot to another body; or to the same person, it may be hot at one time and may not be hot at another time.
  4. "Syat avaktavyam" (syadavaktavyam) - "It may be indescribable" in either of the ways. E,g., this water may be indescribable as hot or cold, for it is neither hot nor cold to some person.
  5. "Syat asti avaktavyam" (syadastyavaktavyam) - "It may be so and also may be indescribable". E.g., this water may be cold to some body; neither cold nor hot to another body, i.e., indescribable either as cold or as hot.
  6. "Syat nasti avaktavyam" (syannastyavaktavyam) - "It may not be so and may also be indescribable". E.g., this water may not be hot to some body and neither hot nor cold to another body.
  7. "Syat asti nasti avaktavyam" (syadastinastyavaktavyam) – "it may be so, may not be so and also may be indescribable". E.g. this water may be hot to some, not hot to another, neither hot nor cold to still another; or all to the same person at different times.
The structural manner of speaking of all possibilities or probabilities together is seen in its most rudimentarily basic form in this total way of logic.



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2. FROM UNCERTAINTY TO CERTITUDE

The Jaina enumeration of the possibilities and probabilities where correct reasoning lives and moves leads us to a consideration of certitude (nigama) from the doubt of mere curiosity (vicikitsa). Between certitude and curiosity there are semblances, (pratiti) emerging to view from the dull background of consciousness. The active function of reason as a whole is called vritti where reason moves through the duality of conditionings. Any extraneous factor obstructing the freedom of reason is called upadhi, having a horizontal reference, while vritti is its purest functional form in a positive vertical function.

Each kind of reasoning process moves between its own two dialectical counterparts called lingas. The principle uniting the lingas in pairs is vyapti or mutual participation in the ground of reason. When two lingas have a tautology implied between them, it is referred to as a dosha or vitiating factor, called ativyapti or excessive participation and overlapping. When there is not sufficient participation between lingas there is the contrary case of avyapti or non-participation between the two factors. This takes the place of the excluded middle of Western logic and tends to logic in which contradiction is not avoided.



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The third dosha or vitiating factor is asambhava or impossibility. This impedes reason in its proper function. There are also the notions of anavastha or infinite regression and its complementary aspect, infinite possibility of progression. These are objectionable factors to be avoided when trying to arrive at certitude.

The method of agreement and disagreement (i.e. double correction) (anvaya-vyatireka) has already been discussed (see page 684 above), where the interaction between two aspects of unconsciousness is involved. In this chapter such interaction is on more intimate grounds referring to the positive conceptual aspects of pure reason, rather than backwards to negative ontological factors.

 
Certitude can refer to individual items of practical interest in everyday life. Utilitarian values and factors have their type of reasoning found in John Stuart Mill, Alexander Baine, and others, where each item of the logical process is studied as a form of judgement referring to something practical to be accomplished in the world of activity. Contemplative logic, on the other hand, fits into a more general context. All reasoning processes hang here, as it were, by the same peg instead of each having a disjunct importance of its own as individual ratiocinative functions with distinguishable subjects or predicates. The logic of pure reason is thus a global and two-sided one. The overall structure of reasoning proper to the Science of the Absolute presupposes further a common homogeneous matrix, where reasoning can freely move as awareness within its own external and internal active or passive limiting attributes. Substance and thought are always involved. The former has a horizontal and the latter has a vertical reference. When paradoxes and vicious-circle arguments are avoided or resolved one attains easily to the Absolute, which is the overall aim of pure reason.



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The ramifications of the science of reasoning as understood in India are perhaps as complicated as in the West. The pramana sastra (science of ways of knowing) is where the various schools of Indian philosophy vie with each other. Here is found much subtlety of reason and we need not enter into its intricacies here. We have already seen how textbooks such as the "Tarka Sangraha" are referred to again and again by Indian logicians. Some terms are more favoured than others by particular schools for developing their logical theories, yet there are still many terms like vyapti, linga, pramana (measure), prameya (measured), pramatri (measuring subject), prama (element of certitude), etc., which are common to all of them and could be adopted for a complete science of reason.

 

Indian logic also varies according to religious or philosophical interests. The religious schools include values such as apurva, the unseen result of a well-reasoned life beyond the unseen principle of adrishta and free from all memory factors as a supreme effect or karya. When such spiritual ends are kept in mind the required pramanas become more numerous and sometimes attain to the limit of ten items in a graded ascending order beginning with perception or pratyaksha. Religious-minded people want to believe, while philosophers prefer to be critical and sceptical. This is true both in the East and West. A Science of the Absolute has to take an inclusive position in respect of these two attitudes. The total architectonic of Reason and the matrix where reasoning solves problems are what interest students of the Science of the Absolute. When rid of mere localized cultural or traditional aspects of value the certitude arrived at is a simplified series of norms of thought covering all human values. For example the Vedic word can extend its authority to the agamas (secondary texts), the puranas or epic and heroic tales, as well as to the itihasas or legendary lore.



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Religious willingness to believe can also include even mere stories within the scope of strict articles of faith, while those who prefer to strictly preserve the purity of philosophic thought will avoid getting involved in mere theological or figurative speculation. Reasoning in India thus starts with the Materialists or Charvakas who are said to have their reasoning based only on the given data of the senses. Yet a close examination of the logical position they developed reveals that they cannot be called simply crude materialists. Their scale of values alone shows their one, two or three dimensional insight. (1) There are those among them who are able to give the datum of what is objectively seen a more or less dignified epistemological status.

The numerous schools of Buddhism like the Vijnanavadins, Vaibhasikas, Sautrantikas, Yogacaras, Madhyamikas, etc., are all despised by Vedic orthodoxy yet we find, even in Sankara's commentary on the "Brahma Sutras", a methodology showing how much in debt he was to the older Buddhist philosophical schools, particularly the Madhyamikas. How far his indebtedness goes is hard to determine with precision, but there is no mistaking the resemblance between his way of reasoning and that of the Buddhists.

 

Instead of having prameya as an objective measurable end-result or effect of reasoning, the accent is transferred by Sankara to the pramata (the reasoning subject) in terms of absolute Self-knowledge. An effected Absolute thus becomes distinct from an Absolute having its cause in the Self of man. The first is called the lower brahman and the other the higher brahman.

 

We have already pointed out how the battles which take place in polemical textbooks like the "Brahma Sutras" over the primacy of these two Absolutes results in no final certitude. Such is the logical predicament we have to keep in mind while studying the verses of Narayana Guru where he applied his razor mercilessly to trim the unnecessary extraneous overlappings coming from one-sided or distorted scepticism or belief. He is seen to respect the total structure of the world of logical discourse, placing himself on a homogeneous and flexible matrix or ground. The simple scientific position taken by him is most evident in the fifth verse. The main classes of logical propositions are also fully respected by Narayana Guru and in Verse 8 his desire to keep figurative language strictly within the scope of analogy is made clear. This verse touches the teleological limit of the scope of logic. On the extreme side of ontology, Narayana Guru's love of fact does not exclude a certain basic willingness to believe as seen from his equal treatment of pratyaksha (perception) and aparoksha (the non-transcendental aspect), giving them an equal epistemological status within the total unitive scope of pure reasoning. Such an attitude is still in accord with the true spirit of. Indian logic.

 

3. FROM THE PSYCHOLOGICAL TO THE LOGICAL

Each man has a coat that fits him. So, too, each kind of reasoning has to fit its purpose or its logical context. Both have the Self as a double correlating factor. What the reasoning process is finally meant to accomplish is to reveal the truth of an equation between the Self and the non-Self. The last verse of this chapter contains such an all-important equation giving us the key that unites the various kinds of reasoning which the chapter includes. We shall presently explain the position of this chapter, but let us first point out that in the previous chapter there was already reference to an "I'' standing as it were on the top of a rock called kutasta.



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Instrumentalism was the psychological functioning of an organon or antah-karana (inner instrument) linking this higher placed Self with its own psychological counterpart. The resulting contemplative effect was the red glow of mysticism where Maya and its function were less intimately operative.

 

In this chapter the negativity of Maya and its horizontal implications of activity have been left behind. As we have said, the red glow of mysticism gives place to the white glow of reason resulting more directly and intimately from the interaction of the psychological Self with the logical Self. The syllable Aum in the last verse is unmistakably the Logos of neo-Platonism. The Logos concerns itself with logic and thus with the universe of discourse, especially in the contemplative context of absolutism. The ontological implications of the Nous, on the other hand, can be safely forgotten here, because the gap to be filled by the present darsana or vision is concerned with logical distinctness although the resulting awareness is still conceivable in functional terms.


In other words, we are here in the domain of axiomatic thinking where ascending and descending dialectics is the next and more positive form of reason directly derived from the previous forms of Chapters V and VI. The process here does not have to depend on actualities or actions. All normal forms of reasoning like inference and analogy come under the scope of this chapter fulfilling all the requirements of Narayana Guru for his purpose of developing his subject here in an integrated and unitive manner. The apodictic self-identity of truth as a pure function of the understanding has not been omitted to be given a legitimate central position. When this apodicity is applied to the Self where the effected Self abides in full relation with the non-effected Self which is its own counterpart, the resulting awareness is underlined as the same as what is given to the highest wisdom.



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It is thus a subtle equation that is established here between the logical Self in a neutral position at the point of origin in the vertical axis and its own counterpart of the non-Self which has been openly degraded as a supposition, but nonetheless still retains an axiomatic status in the "I"-sense at the top of a series of possible conceivable Selves.

 

The gap between concepts and percepts has to be bridged by a reference to known and valid reasoning processes belonging generally to the domain of logical thought of Indian philosophy. Inference and direct perception are two forms of elementary reasoning. Direct perception is what even animals sometimes exercise better than the most learned of philosophers. A cow running away from a man with an upraised stick is, in its own way, using inference without analyzing its logical implications. However, the very innateness and simplicity of these operations within consciousness have caused confusion in the minds of philosophers like Locke who have tried to separate primary and secondary qualities of empirical entities. Hume gave to the ground of logical inference a merely phenomenological status almost amounting to nothingness. Rationalism passed through different forms of axiomatic or dialectical thinking between the periods of Descartes, Leibniz and Spinoza. The credit of having fully established the claims of the innate a priori synthetic operation or function of pure reason, however goes to Kant.

 

In a corresponding manner in India, it is Buddhist logic that entered minutely even into the presuppositions of such apparently simple items of awareness as objects actually visualized or brought within consciousness. Whether reason is dialectical, experimental or axiomatic, the simplest form of impression made by a visible thing presupposes the same total and absolute consciousness having a homogeneity of content.



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In the same way as numbers represent things there are also numbers representing numbers ad infinitum. Such are the possibilities of the human mind where memory and imagination, as well as the immanent and transcendent, can meet and coexist without contradiction or conflict, making subtler processes of reasoning ascend or descend in a vertical scale uniting axioms with facts. This is the domain proper to general ideas within which reason or awareness can function. There are general notions of validity functioning from the side of instinct as well as intelligence. A philosopher might need "cogito ergo sum" and a theological God to effect the linking of the subtle counterparts of general ideas. Narayana Guru prefers to treat the link as passing from the psychological to the logical through successive levels of the abstract "I'' sense. Between these limits, however numerous, might be the points of view proper and possible to different schools of logic, it is the same verticalized ground that is meant to be covered, when the pure reason of this chapter functions both ways as awareness or certitude.

 


It is necessary also to point out that contemplation is a subject that cannot be submitted to scientific treatment in any narrow or restricted sense. As soon as one admits the God of any religion or presupposes even a vestige of the duality found between such a God and the Self, whether in prayer or contemplation, the strict scientific validity or normality of reasoning tends to be compromised. On the other hand we have here to deal with human values that are real. Mathematical thinking on its own might leave us with at best only a frame of reference without any essential value content. Moral, aesthetic, religious and contemplative values are made of the stuff of essences to be understood in terms of numinous states of the Self. An axiology in terms of the Self and its happiness is involved here. Narayana Guru respects the requirements of the mathematical framework in logical thought in bridging the gap between axioms and subtle values originating in the real Self.



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We can have a Self of all selves or a Value of all values, as easily as a Thought of all thoughts and an Idea of all ideas. Instead of being in a world of either-or and neither-nor, we enter here into the domain of both-together. Ratiocination as such is thrown away as a weak instrument. An apodictic and dialectical certitude is preferred. The axiom itself has its central place in the form of Self-identity, making for the highest of contemplative values. It is by the extreme application of Occam's Razor that Narayana Guru in this chapter and the chapters to follow gives a scientific character to his discussion. The scientific character is also conferred by the clarity and simplicity of the approach to this otherwise highly speculative domain which through its verbosity has become repugnant to the modern scientific mind. The three terms called the Absolute, the "I'' sense and the high value factor called ananda or bliss make up the summum bonum, whether in God or in humanity, these terms being used interchangeably by Narayana Guru. This extreme simplification makes these verses fully scientific.

 

The unconditioned pure reason of the first verse corresponds to the word "that" or tat in the formula, aum-tat-sat. The word tat of the last verse refers to teleological reality and is directly related to the ontological sat. Although all items are thus covered by Narayana Guru within these verses, it will be profitable for us to examine the usual items as enumerated and defined by various philosophical schools of India. This is in order to avoid the usual textbook errors and prejudices growing round each item of valid reasoning.



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The following analysis of the types of valid reasoning favoured by various schools of Indian thought gives us a bird's eye view of the ground to be covered, although their strict compartmentalization as distinguishing separate schools need not directly interest us.
The number of pramanas (means or instruments of knowledge) found in Indian philosophy is ten. Very few schools use all ten, but instead try to incorporate those they have not used into the pramanas accepted as valid.

 

The ten pramanas are:
  1. pratyaksha (perception);
  2. anumana (inference);
  3. sabda (verbal testimony);
  4. upamana (analogy by reason);
  5. arthapatti (postulation);
  6. anupalabdhi (impossibility);
  7. aitihya (knowledge based solely on tradition);
  8. ceshta (figurative gesture);
  9. parisesha (elimination of the extraneous)
  10. sambhava (possibility).
The Charvaka or Materialist philosophy recognizes only perception.
 
The Vaiseshikas Jainas and Buddhists recognize both perception and inference.
 
The Samkhya and Yoga school of Patanjali recognizes these as well as verbal testimony.
 
The Nyaya school includes analogy by reason along with the above three.
 
Certain Mimamsakas, followers of Prabhakara, recognize these four and include arthapatti (postulation).
 
The other Mimamsakas who follow Kumarila Bhatta, as well as Advaita Vedantins include arthapatti (postulation) and anupalabdhi (impossibility).
 
The followers of the puranas accept these six and add two others: knowledge based solely on tradition or aitihya and figurative gesture or ceshta.

Students of the Tantra add parisesha or elimination of the extraneous.

Finally, certain thinkers include all ten pramanas, inclusive of the last item which refers to pure and simple possibility (sambhava).



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4. THE IMPORTANCE OF VERSE FIVE

Before entering into a scrutiny of the main items helping to arrive at true awareness, let us first fix our attention on the implications found in the most central of the verses. Verse 5 puts its finger on a basic ontological or epistemological problem. There is here a clear line of demarcation between the dialectic and the apodictic. Even the most subtle of logicians cannot overlook this simple middle limit of certitude in the world of logical discourse. This refers to a schematic line separating the perceptual and conceptual aspects, so as to yield a central normalized certitude participating in both percepts and concepts. Causes and effects, names and forms, the a priori and the a posteriori, reality and appearance, and other conjugate pairs belong together as dialectical counterparts, cutting across the principle of contradiction represented by the horizontal line of reference separating concepts from percepts within the totality of the Absolute.

 

A favourite and classical example of Vedanta refers to this basic paradox at the core of the absolute truth to be found by pure consciousness, in the example of the appearance of the supposed snake on the basic reality of the rope. The rope is the ontological verity and the snake is the superposed apparent notion. To give unilateral primacy to one or the other is an inadequate way of solving this basic paradox or error according to Narayana Guru. All troubles in philosophy arise from such one-sided accentuation. Absolute truth is neither on one side nor the other, but at the point where the plus and minus aspects neutralize each other. The Buddhist dialectician. Dharmakirti also makes this unmistakably clear in the following way:

"The object cognized by sense-perception is the particular essence of that object. No interpreter´s skill in the world can do away with the obvious fact that the real fire is the fire that burns and cooks, and the ideal fire which I have in my head can of course 'completely determine' the particular fire, but it cannot burn and cook." (2)



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The above quotation amply clarifies that in scientific certitude the mechanism of awareness does not depend on choosing one truth in preference to another. Certitude is the result of a double-sided correction of error whether it is a function of the senses that is producing it or is of a deeper origin in consciousness. Verse 5 of this chapter gives full recognition to a form of direct ontological certitude without abolishing the claims of appearances however dignified. Hence its importance in this Science.

 

5. CERTITUDE BY GENERAL AWARENESS

The Charvakas or Materialist philosophers have questioned the validity of even simple inference. There is the story of the wife of a Charvaka philosopher who believed there was a wolf at the front door during the night because she saw its footprints in the morning. Her husband laughed and told her that he made the prints on purpose in order to show her how inference is not valid. Error is possible even in a one-hundred-percent probability when all contingencies are admitted. This is what the Charvaka was trying to establish. The Absolute alone is without either probability or possibility of error.

 

Belief can be exaggerated or miscarried and when depending upon out-of-the-way texts it can even become highly questionable. The Charvakas answer an exaggerated belief in suffering by pointing out that even though the husk on a kernel of rice is not edible, the intelligent man throws away the husk and cooks the rice. He also points out in connection with making food offerings to deities, that if a man is sitting on the roof of a house and you place a plate of rice on the ground he will have to come down to eat it.



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Logicians who exaggerate their methods have also been caricatured in the dramas of Kalidasa. There is the humorous story of two logicians disputing on the road after an elephant has passed them. They did not see the elephant pass because they were engrossed in another argument, but later they tried to convince themselves by argument that it was really an elephant that passed because of the footprints on the ground. There is also the favourite tale of the blind men and the elephant. This is meant to show that it is the totality that counts and not just one item of preference. The buttons have to be pushed carefully to accord with the total mechanism of reasoning so as to produce the degree of certitude that each type of reasoning can yield.

 

Perception can also be subjected to an analysis based on a double correction of the general kind as seen from the above quotation from Dharmakirti. Believers can be non-scientific and sceptics can be nearer to a belief in the Absolute. Harmony of matter and method yields a normal healthy awareness from the side of ontology as well as logic. It is in Buddhist logic that the subtlest dialectical analysis of logical problems is found. There are two sets of double corrections involved in all judgments. One is horizontal and the other is vertical, each with two poles.



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If we keep this in mind when reading some of the Buddhist quotations to follow, we shall be able to appreciate how Narayana Guru has given to items of logical reasoning their proper positions belonging to the total structural content of the Absolute. As for the use of our terms vertical and horizontal, we find Th. Shcherbatsky himself using them in connection with Dharmakirti, who says in the "Pramana Vartika":

"Experience, positive and negative, says Dharmakirti, can never produce (a knowledge) of the strict necessity of inseparable connection. This always reposes either on the law of Causality or on the law of Identity" (3)
 

Shcherbatsky remarks about this:

"The understanding, besides constructing the concepts, arranges them so as to give them order and systematical unity. It arranges them, so to speak, either along a vertical line in depth or along a horizontal line in breadth" (4)
 

In the "Mula-Madhyamika-Karika-Vritti", Chandrakirti admirably sums up the dialectical methodology of the Madhyamika philosophy:

"Simple humanity imagines (i.e. constructs dialectically) and dichotomizes Matter and (Mind, etc.), without going to the bottom (of the dichotomy)....But all such (imagined dialectical) concepts form an inveterate Habit of Thought, coeval with the beginningless world-process.

They arise in a process of Dispersion-into-Manifold (of the original Unity of the Universe). Thus are created (in couples the dialectical) concepts of cognition and cognized; the object (expressed) and the subject (expressing it); agent and action; cause and effect; a jar and a cloth; a diadem and a vehicle; woman and man; profit and loss; pleasure and pain; fame and infamy; blame and praise; etc. etc. All this worldly Manifold disappears without leaving any trace in the Void (of Relativity), as soon as the essence of all separate existence is perceived to be relative (and ultimately unreal)." (5)

 

Dharmottara, in the "Nyayabindu-tika", says this about perception and ontological certitude in general:

"We apply the term "ultimately real" to anything that can be tested by its force to produce an effect .... This indeed is the reason why purposive actions are realized in regard of objects directly perceived, not in regard of objects constructed (by imagination) .... A really perceived object, on the other hand, produces purposive action. Consequently real is only the particular (i.e., the unique point of efficiency, the thing-in-itself), not the constructed (empirical) object." (6)



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Regarding Ultimate Reality, Dharmottara says in the "Nyayabindu-tika":

"Affirmation (viz., that affirmation which is the contrary of negation) is the thing, and the thing is the synonym of ultimate reality, ultimate reality is in its turn the ultimate particular." (7)
 
We next come to Jinendrabuddhi, who treats of pratyaksha (perception, empirical awareness) and aparoksha (non-transcendental awareness) together in a unitive manner and then shows how the empirical point of view can also make mistakes:

"From the standpoint of Thisness i.e., Absolute Reality) there is no difference at all! But hampered as we are by a Transcendental Illusion (we perceive only a refraction of reality) all that we know is exclusively its indirect appearance as differentiated by the construction of a difference between subject and object. Therefore the differentiation into cognition and its object is made from the empirical point of view, not from the point of view of Absolute Reality." (8)

 
Next, we find Dharmakirti relating perception with inference:

"Sensation does not convince anybody. If it cognizes something, it does it in the way of a passive reflex, not in the way of judgment. In that part in which sensation has the power to engender the following right judgment, in that part only does it assume (the dignity) of a right knowledge. But in that part in which it is powerless to do it, owing to causes of error, another source of knowledge begins to operate. It brushes away all wrong imagination and thus we have another source (viz. inference) which then comes to the front." (9)



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Dignaga, in the "Pramana-Samuccaya", now presents a verticalized view of inference:
 
"Knowledge derived from words does not differ (in principle) from Inference. Indeed the name can express its own meaning only by repudiating the opposite meaning, as for instance the words 'to have an origin' (designate their own meaning only through a contrast with things having no origin or eternal). (10)

 
Our final quotation is from Santiraksita, who says double negation is both logical and ontological:

"Negation is double, says he, it is either special or simple. The special contains an affirmation of the contrary. In its turn it also is double, it either is logical or ontological.

The logical variety of qualified Negation is the mental image which we cognize in our perceptual judgments (as an Universal) which have one and the same form pervasive (through many objects).

The ontological variety of qualified Negation represents pure reality, when every thing unreal (i.e. every ideality) has been brushed away from it, (It is the Thing-in-Itself)." (11)

Thus some valuable structural sidelight on pure reason is shed even by Buddhist logic which we can see can be put into service for a Scientific study of Reason.



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6. THE TELEOLOGICAL POLE OF LOGIC

The above considerations have made it a amply clear that logical incertitude lurks behind even so-called facts and sense data. When direct inference can be questioned, how much more should it be possible that far-fetched conclusions about the ultimate Good raise difficulties for any scientific speculation? Here it is axiomatic thinking that is the saving factor. There is no lack of certitude in the truth behind the axiom.



This does not mean that axiomatic truth is factual. Its certitude belongs to the logical order. If fact-truth refers to the horizontal actuality of percepts, then logic-truth refers to its conceptual counterpart. Logic refers to thinner and thinner concepts representing thoughts, until concepts begin to have a purely nominalistic value where one name is as good as another. Thoughts can be piled on thoughts making for a Thought of all thoughts. The thinker belonging to thought has his own dialectical counterpart from the side of "cogito ergo sum". He can be abstracted as the Thinker of all thoughts and by descending into his own essential nature become the Self of all possible Selfs.


Teleological logic is the region where the neutral Self contemplates true logical verities with the help of concepts or mathematical names. Such a Self was reached at the end of Chapter 5. It is in this sense that one hears of the delight of pure mathematics and in modern scientific language it is even possible to find a mystical content within its scope. Pure reason has its rewarding delights to the speculator or the calculator when it follows a verticalized parameter of truth having value. When we swerve from the path of true delight, we know by axiomatic thinking and pure reason that a certain position is impossible or untenable.

 

Generally it is the authority of a sacred text that religious believers turn to when faced with incertitude. Their favourite arguments are seen to be mainly based on the principle of possibility or impossibility. We find this raised in the "Brahma Sutras" in the form of a negative principle of sufficient reason. The next best argument put forward by the religious- minded is to appeal to some obscure text and claim validity for something because "it says so in the text."



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This is done by Sankara and Badarayana in the "Brahma Sutras". The ontological argument is often referred to in a light-hearted fashion by Sankara and examples taken from somewhat dubious walks of life such as the worlds of dreams, omens, magic, etc. are employed. Meditation on holy objects is also treated as capable of giving the devotee entrance into a world of the Gods.

 

In this chapter we note the glaring omission of all these methods demanding a high degree of willingness to be an orthodox believer in a particular body of Vedic texts. Dogmatism and scientific certitude cannot go together. Impossibility is a good argument and in the field of general ideas it is sufficiently warranted. But to ask a person to believe every word of a text without any kind of scrutiny savours of superstition and blind belief. The regulative factor to be applied here belongs to the Cartesian method of systematic doubt.

 

Auguste Comte's own rules of positive philosophizing also have a healthy influence here, though all he laid down is not respected by us. His love of scientific laws in thought and insistence on avoiding mythology has a good effect on speculation. From a strictly scientific point of view all myth must be ultimately dispensed with. To attain to Kantian critical standards is another regulative principle of importance in the world of general ideas.

It is only correct dialectics that spells certitude. Such dialectical reasoning employs counterparts such as found in the methodology of the Madhyamika philosopher, Chandrakirti, quoted above. Whatever conjugate pair we think of, the dialectical process is independent of the operator and operand. The function of dialectics remains the same.



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It always implies a vertical equation between the reasoning Self and the non-Self which is reasoned about. Such delight is a high value and as an emergent factor is the stuff of emancipation. In the present series of verses, we are able to recognize a mathematical equation implied in the last verse where the term aum-tat-sat (aum, that is existent) is found. This term has received various logistic, rhetorical, dialectical and semantic treatments by Vedantic speculators. The word brahman (the Absolute) is called in Sankara's commentary on the "Brahma Sutras", svata-eva-arthavan-eva (by itself meaningful). This is pure nominalism and someone like Abelard in the West might fully approve of it.

 

A further examination in a less nominalistic spirit is taken up by Sankara when he gives three attributes to the Absolute. They are satyam (the ontological real), jnanam (wisdom) and anantam (eternal). He analyzes the semantic and logical implications of three attributes, which he says successively limit the scope of each to reveal a pure and neutral Absolute.

 

Exegetics admits not only the rules of rhetoric but of pure semantics. Common usage understood as pertaining to the basic pragmatics of language is also resorted to by Sankara to reveal the nature of the unconditioned pure and neutral Absolute. The mahavakya or great dictum tat-tvam-asi (Thou art That) offers Sankara opportunities to show his own expert knowledge of arthavada or exegetics, with as much ability as the Purva Mimamsa philosophers and logicians. He sometimes even excels them in crediting fully all semantic polyvalences. We have referred to these matters elsewhere. We shall now only mention in passing the broad distinctions to be made.



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  1. vacyartha (direct or literal meaning) and lakshanartha (indirect or figurative meaning).
  2. jahalakshana (inclusion of metaphorical implications) and ajahalakshana (exclusion of metaphorical implications). Both of these can be referred to the single method of or elimination of the extraneous.
  3. anvayavyatireka (combined agreement and difference) presupposes the fourfold semantic polyvalence in arriving at certitude where the mahavakyas are concerned.
Later Vedantic speculation became specialized to such a degree that much of it comes to us in the form of vain punditry.

Like sophistic and eristic reasoning and the misuse of the dialectical method, which have been overdone in Western scholastics, the similarities between Eastern and Western historical developments run almost on parallel lines. The spirit of science defeats itself when these extreme luxuries of speculative thought are permitted without any check.

It is therefore consoling to find Narayana Guru depending on upamiti (analogy) as an item by itself sufficient to cover the whole ground of all the sub-varieties of speculation employed by the best Vedantic philosophers and logicians. Analogy is inevitable as an overall means of certitude and falls under one category. Inference or anumiti is its counterpart on the ontological side of the total knowledge-situation. Analogy occupies a similar symmetrical position on the side of teleology where speculation lives and moves among the thin strands of pure reason.

It should also be noted that it is not the form of upamiti that is important for the purposes of explaining this instrument of certitude as intended by Narayana Guru.



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This form of certitude has two opposite references: the first is teleological, and the second ontological. An actual cow is ontological but "cowness" is teleological as an abstraction. A person who has heard from another authoritative person of a new kind of animal having the specific attributes of "cowness" gets confirmatory evidence when actually seeing such an animal. Such an animal need not represent an actuality at all, but an inner experience of an abstract notion of the Absolute is all that is needed. The Absolute is first described and when the inner experience tallies with the description there is a subtle form of conviction known as anumiti-jnana (knowledge by analogy), pertaining to the context of samvit (awareness). This is what makes certitude about the Absolute possible at all.

Such implications must not be overlooked by the careful reader when he studies this chapter where this special event in consciousness is described. Ordinary logicians might put the accent of certitude on the side of ontology rather than on teleology. Such an error is disastrous for the purposes of this chapter. The usual definitions make this mistake: it should be avoided.

 

Class or jati is an abstraction and should not be mixed up with an actual example. The four castes of India are meant to be jatis in this stricter sense, but the grave error of casteism is due to the interference of the notions of an actual brahmin to be distinguished as a bahir-brahmana (outer or objective member of a caste). This is a representation of an abstract class having the attributes of brahmin-hood to be gleaned from the sastras (textbooks). To speak of an actual brahmin in the former sense is an absurdity that has been pointed out in Narayana Guru's "Jati Mimamsa" (Critique of Caste) in the very first verse:

"Man's humanity marks out the human kind,
Even as bovinity proclaims the cow.
Brahminhood and such are not thuswise.
None do see this truth, alas!"



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Analogy thus covers all speculative processes of pure reason where the certitude about a concept or its name is in question. The term nirdishtam (indicated by words) reveals this abstract and semantic state of pure reasoning used in establishing the unity between the cosmological Absolute and the ontological Self. Here the proof is fully axiomatic.

 

7. CONCLUDING REMARKS

Pure reason as treated in this chapter is a unitive and almost nominalistic entity fully representing the absolute value called Truth. In itself it is unconditioned and exists beyond the reach of an actively functioning subjective consciousness. Before this nominalistic entity can be thought of, pragmatism and operationalism have to attain the purest of mathematical functions. Such an entity is so highly axiomatic in its status that its existence is its own proof. The formula giving content to its reality is stated in the last verse of this chapter. Pure reason is thus enclosed between the brackets indicating the top and bottom limits of a logical vertical parameter of reference.

 

The great dictum aum-tat-sat (aum, that is existent) touches the different levels of existence-subsistence-value (i.e. sat-cit-ananda), placed between the ontological and the high value limits comprised within the amplitude of this chapter. The structure of logic revealed throughout the verses is what is meant to give these verses a scientific status. This is especially true of Verse 9 where the several items referred to are meant to reveal the inner structure of thought-functions as they belong together in the context of pure reason.



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We now conclude with a review of the verses: 
 
Verse 1. This verse underlines the purely unconditioned and non-functional character of absolute reason to be treated as a single nominalistic reality or value. The term hi (indeed) stresses the utmost purity of reason as an absolute thing-in-itself. As existing beyond the reach of all functionings of the human mind, reason should really be called awareness instead of a form of active reasoning. It is not possible to bring it within the requirements of scientific descriptions when its absolute nature is fully credited. Description is possible only when the knower and the known are together implied as distinguishable factors. Languages must communicate and necessarily have their dual counterparts of the Self and the non-Self. This is true whether one is talking to oneself or to someone outside of oneself. The other person spoken of is thought of as a generalized and abstracted entity, existing, at least in principle, on the plus side of the vertical axis. This is necessary for communication in discourse. Such duality does not detract from the absolute status of pure awareness.

The second half of this verse steps down, as it were, to a position where communication becomes more admissible. The ontological Self is what is able to exercise its reason however pure it might be. When thought is conditioned by such an ontological subjectivity other inevitable conditionings belonging to the side of reality have necessarily to limit the scope and purity of any active reasoning. This ontological Self is therefore the first all-inclusive conditioning factor referring to pure awareness. The "I" sense of egoism (ahankara) conditions pure awareness. This permits us to exercise the further implications of pure reason in the context of absolute wisdom. The first verse is thus meant to give absolute awareness its full two-sided yet discussing other aspects in a graded sequence respecting the organic togetherness of reasoning.



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Verse 2. This verse views awareness from a perspective admitting of a fundamental interplay of elements involved in general awareness belonging to the dual context of the Self and the non-Self. This gives us the double frame of reference helpful in the analytical discourse of this chapter. Already in Chapter 5 the ontological foundations of the present chapter were laid. The duality of subject and object so pronounced in their interaction in Chapter 5 are now seen subdued under a purer or a rational form of consciousness. Here the interaction is present in principle but refers to the purest of notions of reason. The subjective implications fade in favour of a more positive one.

The conditioning to which self-awareness is subject is that of the Self as indicated by the word adhyasa (superimposition) and the vritti (operation or function) refers to interaction of the two Selfs, one psycho-physical and the other logical or teleological, treated as two wholes pertaining to the Self and the non-Self respectively. The use of the word bhana (consciousness) takes us back to realism of the fifth chapter. This chapter is a continuation of Chapter V, with only instrumentalist reasoning intervening and is emancipated from physics to a further degree.



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Verse 3. The term atmajnana (Self-knowledge) is defined by its reference to what is not rather than to what is. Like the nominalistic pure reason of the plus side, absolute reason abiding in the Self eludes description. Here one has to adopt the law of negative specification.

 All negativity is specificatory, as when a sculptor eliminates chips of marble to reveal his conceived reality. What remains after elimination is a pure absolute witness (sakshi) having a noumenal rather than phenomenal Status.


Narayana Guru underlines here the nature of the Self-realization of the absolute witness as consisting of immortality (amritam). This view is fully supported in the Upanishads where we find expressions like brahmavit brahma-eva-bhavati, "the knower of the Absolute becomes even the Absolute".


Verse 4. Here the reference is to the multiple world of effects (karyam). If the witnessing Self has its unitive place in a vertical axis linked with the nominalistic Absolute as its transcendental counterpart, the non-Self has its participating locus at some point beyond the origin in the same vertical axis. Instead of being a unitive factor, the non-Self tends to disperse itself into the plurality and multiplicity of rival values. This is detrimental to the contemplation of the Absolute. Nominalistic specification of the unique absolute has to be attained again by negation.

Practical and utilitarian philosophies still retain a degree of pluralism in the name of human progress, William James, John Dewey and C.S.Pierce stand for pluralism in the same way the Vaiseshikas do. Pluralism refers to the world of horizontal values having as important a reference as the vertical. While a philosopher recognizes its presence, he prefers not to disperse his interests into the endless absurdities into which it leads him. A man who does not see unity is not a philosopher, and "wends from death to death", as it says in Upanishads.

For purposes of discourse it is important to recognize this pluralistic reference and to retain it. One might not like to live in the climate of the equator but this does not mean the equator has no validity as a geographical reference. The knowledge of the non-Self has therefore the knowledge of the Self as its meaning.



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Verse 5. In this verse as already pointed out the object is to reveal the nature of the thing-in-itself or all things-in-themselves. Reason has to avoid the four errors of actuality, virtuality, immanence and transcendence. It has to fix facts, truths and values at the central apodictic position of certitude. This is where the last vestiges of superimposition of the non-Self on the Self can be eliminated. There are two definitions of awareness: the first is called true and the second is called false. Both are defined at one stroke in the same verse. Truth and falsehood participate at right angles at their point of origin. Kant's ding-an-sich is no other than this absolute awareness.


Verse 6. Here Narayana Guru enters into the individual items in the context of valid reasoning known to Indian logic but equally present in Western logic. Empirical sense data are treated as the source of the most generalized and publicly known means of certitude. The evidence of the senses is not treated as questionable. The absolute existence of things outside the self when viewed in a more fully philosophical context needs as much proof as the proof needed in axiomatic reasoning.

Inferences based on analogies are still more questionable. There are various kinds of certitudes because of the structure of logic. A conceptual flame will not burn anybody, but a perceptual one proves its existence by its burning. This distinction is quite valid when guiding one intelligently in practical life where disobedience to laws of nature might be detrimental to happiness.

Awareness of objects given to the senses is treated by Narayana Guru as having the same epistemological status in consciousness as the non-transcendental or immanent aspect of awareness. Perception (pratyaksha) and the immanent aspect (aparoksha) belong to the same context referring to a common certitude. This certitude still conceptually understood can be placed just below the centre of the vertical axis. In this chapter we are concerned with the conceptual version of all perceptual elements.



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Verse 7. Here inference (anumiti), perhaps the most generalized function of reasoning, is defined. A simple inference may appear to need no special explanation. We see smoke and infer fire. It is when we think of the importance of this inference in the general context of wisdom that its true function reveals itself. It is not for simple utilitarian practical life that inference is an important instrument. Induction from simple associations of causes with effects can be carried by extrapolation into the domains of hypothetical constructions. Sometimes scientific theories surpass the observed aspects of events or facts to such a degree that they attain a fully absolutist status. This is true of the universal theory of gravitation.

Causes and effects or even means and ends could be linked by a necessary inner connection called upadana (material or basic). This means pots have to depend on clay. There is an eternally necessary link between cause and effect, when vertically viewed. This permits the making of valid inferences even though the most far-reaching of extrapolations might be involved.

As Narayana Guru explains in his commentary on this verse, it is quite legitimate to infer the presence of fire on a mountainside from the observed smoke. By the simple familiar association of smoke with fire in the context of the kitchen, inference becomes an important possibility and aid to certitude. There are many sub-divisions of inference known to syllogistic and logical reasonings which are not so important. They are too numerous to be included by Narayana Guru and are of secondary value.



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Verse 8. Certitude or analogy (anumiti) is now treated by Narayana Guru. The scope and importance of this type of reasoning has already been explained by us. We have also pointed out the common error which is like looking through the wrong side of the telescope. This item of awareness is meant by Narayana Guru to cover many other items of reasoning generally included in Indian logic such as sabda (verbal testimony), arthapatti (postulation), anupalabdhi (impossibility), aitihya (knowledge based solely on tradition), ceshta (figurative gesture), parisesha (elimination of the extraneous) and sambhava (possibility).

Verbal testimony or sabda is covered by the axiomatic and a priori, while arthapatti (postulation) is but a form of guesswork. In the third item, anupalabdhii (impossibility), we have argument by impossibility which depends on a general idea with total consensus of opinion. The ritualism of the Purva Mimamsa and Tantric contexts are implied in ceshta (figurative gesture), which has a structural validity all its own. Seeking the essential from the irrelevant is natural to reasoning and is covered by parisesha (elimination of the extraneous). Sambhava (possibility) is also a general item to be taken for granted. All these could be adequately treated as covered by upamiti (analogy).

Whatever the certitude, the essence of a comparison is always implied; whether the item compared is familiar through experiment or by other forms of common knowledge. A cow is a familiar animal but the specific universal quality of cowness found in a strange animal is established by the type of awareness in consciousness which strictly comes under analogy.



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Verse 9. This Verse is meant to reveal the actuality of the vertical and horizontal references kept together for the purposes of unitive reasoning. The terms "mind" and "I" refer to the living Self and are vertical. The terms "all this" and "that" refer to external objects and are horizontal. Both belong together to the world of logical discourse.


Verse 10. The elaborate commentary on this verse by Narayana Guru refers to all the important implications. The conditioned nature of reasoning adopted in the intermediate verses for purposes of discourse is fully abandoned here. Instead, axiomatic thinking is resorted to in equating the Self and the non-Self. A vertical or dialectical way of certitude is what is here implied: the Absolute can be called by any name as all propositions prove themselves. Such is the assumption here resulting from awareness of the Absolute.

 

The scanning of the import of the verses of this chapter will reveal its perfect epistemological sequence and gradation. together with the symmetry of one-one status implied between the second and fourth with the ninth, eighth, and seventh in inverse structural order. Teleology and ontology have their neutral apodictic turning point in the fifth verse; and in the first and final verses we can recognize limiting verities like two brackets enclosing all possible varieties of certitude in reason or awareness. We descend here by a thin thread from conditioned awareness to the heart of ontological actuality which marks the negative limit of the pure absolute Awareness, the content of this chapter.



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FOOTNOTES

 

 

[1] See Madhavacharya, "Sarva-Darsana Samgraha".

 

[2] Shcherbatsky, Vol.1, pp.189 and 455, resp,

 

[3] Shcherbatsky, Vol.1, p.260

 

[4] Shcherbatsky, Vol.1, p.260

 

[5] Shcherbatsky, Vol.1, pp.478-479

 

[6] Shcherbatsky, Vol.1, p.192

 

[7] Shcherbatsky, Vol.1, p.192

 

[8] Shcherbatsky, Vol.1, pp 512-513

 

[9] Shcherbatsky, Vol.1, p. 241

 

[10] Shcherbatsky, Vol.1, p.459

 

[11] Shcherbatsky, Vol.1, p.472