Baladeva Vidyabhusana Sri Vedanta Syamantaka

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Sri Vedanfa-syamanfaka -The Syamanfaka ]eweI of Vedanfa- by SriIa BaIadeva Vidyabhusana Prafhamah Kiranah-Firsf Ray of Lighf Pramana-nirnayah-Evidence for fhe Trufh 1 May ilc wondcilul moon ol Loid Caiianya, a moon ilai icvcals ilc cicinal loim ol ilc Supicmc Pcisonaliiy ol Godlcad, a moon ilai cicaics gicai wavcs in ilc llooding occan ol iiansccndcnial bliss, a moon ilai iaugli ilc iiuil io Rupa Gosvami and Sanaiana Gosvami, a moon ilai icmovcs ilc dailncss, iisc in oui lcaiis. 2 Lvidc
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  SriVedanta-syamantaka -TheSyamantakaJewelofVedanta-bySrilaBaladevaVidyabhusana PrathamahKiranah-FirstRayofLightPramana-nirnayah-EvidencefortheTruth 1MaythewonderfulmoonofLordCaitanya,amoonthatrevealstheeternalformoftheSupremePersonalityofGodhead,amoonthatcreatesgreatwavesinthefloodingoceanoftranscendentalbliss,amoonthattaughtthetruthtoRupaGosvamiandSanatanaGosvami,amoonthatremovesthedarkness,riseinourhearts.2Evidenceisneededtounderstandthetruth.ThephilosopherCarvakaacceptsonlytheevidenceofdirectsenseperception (pratyaksa). The Vaisesika philosophyacceptsbothsenseperceptionandlogic (anumana). Patanjaliandpseudo-Kapilaacceptsense-perception,logic,wordsandanalogies (upamana).The mimamsakasacceptsenseperception,logic,words,analogiesandalsoinference (arthapatti) andtheimpossibilityofnonexistence (anupalabdhi). ThefollowersofthePuranasacceptsenseperception,logic,words,analogies,inferenceandtheimpossibilityofnoneexistenceandtradition(aihitya)andequivalence (sambhava) aswell.Weseealltheseasevidenceforthetruth.Inthiswaythereareeightkindsofevidencetofindthetruth:senseperception,logic,words,analogies,inference,theimpossibilityofnonexistence,traditionandequivalence.3Insenseperception,whichisthelowestkindofevidence,onesays,'Iseeitwithmyowneyes.Thenthereislogic.Onemayseesmokerisingfromamountaintop.Eventhoughonecannotseeanyfire,bylogiconeknowsafireexists.Nowwewillconsiderwords.Wordsmaybeordinary,suchasthestatement'Fivetreesgrowontheriverbank',orwordsmayalsobethewordsoftheVedas,likethestatementTheywhowishtogotoSvargalokashouldperformagnistoma-yajna.'Onemayalsoseehowonethingislikeanother.Thatiscalledanalogy.Anexampleofthatisthestatement'Anoxissomethinglikeacow'.Onemayalsoinferonethingfromanother.Hearingthewords,'ChubbyDevadattapassedthewholedaywithouteating',onemayinferthatperhapsheeats  atnight.Intheimpossibilityofnonexistence,onemayunderstand,'Inthissituationitisnotpossibleapotisnotpresent.'Inthiswayonesurmisesthepot'sexistence.Inequivalenceonemaythink,Tenisautomaticallyincludedwithinahundred.Therefore,ifahundredarepresent,thentenarealsopresentwithinit.'Traditionisacommonunderstanding.Anexampleisacommonlyacceptedstatement,likethestatement,'A yaksa livesunderthatbanyantree.'Anotherexampleistheraisingoftenfingerstosignifytenpotsorotherobjects.Inthiswaytherearevariouskindsofevidence.4Amongthesedifferentkindsofphilosophers,Carvaka,whoacceptsonlydirectperceptionasevidence,says,'Abewilderedfoolwhoisfullofdoubtscannotunderstandthetruth.Thereforeoneshouldnotaccepttheopinionsofothers,fortheymayonlybebewilderedfoolswhoarefullofdoubtsandwhocannotunderstandthetruesituationevenwhentheyseeitwiththeirownfaultyeyes. If suchpersonstrytotalkaboutthingsbeyondthematerialworld,intelligentpersonswillnotbelieveanythingtheysay. 5However,inspeakingthesewordsCarvaka,eventhoughunwillingly,usesthetoolsoflogic.Thereforehebecomestheobjectoflaughter.'0Carvakawhoacceptsonlydirectsenseperceptionasevidence,whydoyousadlysighasyoususpectyourwifeispregnantfromherparamour?'Apersonwhoneveracceptsthewordofothers,thinkingothersunreliablefools,andwhoneveracceptstheprocessoflogic,ofdeducingonethingfromanother,must,becausehehasabandonedallothersourcesofknowledge,neverthelessacceptthestatementsofothersastruth.6Words (sabda) andanalogies (upamana) aretwodifferentkindsofevidence.The vaisesika philosophersacceptanalogiesasevidence.Analogiesaredifferentfromlogic.Thiswewillexplainlater.Directperception,logic,andwordsarethefirstkindsofevidence.Analogiesandtheotherkindsofevidenceareinadifferentcategory.histhe vaisesika philosopherssay.7Inanalogyanoxmaybecomparedtoacow.Thewords'Anoxislikeacow'usethetoolsoflogic.Anintelligentpersonmustconsiderhowanoxandacowaresimilar.Thisuseslogic.Also,thispersonmusthavewithhiseyesseenhowanoxandacowaresimilar.Thisusesdirectperception.Thereforeananalogycannotbeconsideredinacategoryseparatefromlogicanddirectperception.8(Nowinferencewillbeconsidered).Apersonwhodoesnoteatduringthedaytimewillnotremainchubbyifhedoesnoteatatnight.Thereforethethought'Hischubbinessisevidencethatheeatsatnight'usesthetoolsoflogic.Becausethispersonischubby,onethinks,'Hemusteatatnight. If hedoesnoteatatnight,andagainhefastsduringtheday,thenhecannotremainchubby.'Apersonwhofastsbothdayandnightcannotremainchubby.Thereforeinferencealsousesthetoolsoflogic.  9Theimpossibilityofnonexistenceisalsonotaseparatekindofevidence.Toassumethatitisimpossiblethatapotorotherobjectnotbepresentimpliesthatonehaswithone'seyesseenthesituationthatdemandsthepot'spresence.Thereforetheevidencecalled'impossibilityofnonexistence'isnotdifferentfromdirectperception.Equivalence,whereonesays,'Tenisautomaticallyincludedwithinahundred',makesuseofthetoolsoflogic.Traditiondoesnotbecomeasourceofevidenceiffaithinthespeakerisabsent.Thereforetraditionisalsoincludedwithintheevidenceofscripture.Ultimatelythereareonlythreekindsofevidence:directperception,logicandscripture.Personswhowishtofindthepuretruthacceptthesethreeasthetruekindsofevidence.10Senseperceptioncanperceiveonlywhatisnearbyandgross.Itcannotperceivethingsverynearorveryfaraway.Forexample,theeyeshaveonlylimitedpowertoseeabirdflyinginthesky.Neithercantheeyesseethemascarawithwhichtheyaredecorated.Evengrossthings,whentheyarepresentinthemind,cannotbeseenwiththeexternalsenses.Thereforeonemaysay,'WithmyeyesIcannotseethethoughtsofmymind'.Senseperceptioncannotperceivethingsthatarehiddenoreclipsedoroverpoweredbyotherthings,orinvisible,ortheoriginalingredientsofablend.Inthiswaywiththeeyesonecannotseethestarsinthedaytimefortheyareoverpoweredbythesunshine.Norcanoneseemilk'spotentialtobecomeyoghurt.Norcanoneseethecloudsrainingonthemiddleoftheocean.Noronecanseetheatom.11Thesensessometimesfailtoseeevenwhatisveryclose.Forexample,itmaybesaid,'WithhisunaidedeyesYajnadattacannotseethathisheadwasshavedbythetrickofamagicianwithmysticpowers.'Evenwhenitcannotbeseendirectlybythesenses,thetruthcanoftenbeinferredfromcertainsymptoms.Thisistheuseoflogic.Inthiswaywhenoneseessmokeonamountainonemayinfertheexistenceofafire,andwhenthatsmokeisfollowedbyarainfall,onemayinferthattherainextinguishedthefire.12Whensenseperceptionandlogicbothfail,othertoolsmaybeusedtoknowthetruth.Insomesituationthenatureofthewordsthemselvesrevealsthetruth.ThusthemountainsnamedHimalayarevealbytheirnamethatsnow(hima)ispresentonthem.Also,theword'ratnalaya'(storehouseofjewels)impliesthatjewelsarepresentatsuchaplace.Also,thejewelSuryakantatellsusbyitsnamethatitburstsintoflameswhenexposedtosunlight.Theevidencethatsoundgivesinthiswayisindependentofbothsenseperceptionandlogic.Thatevidenceisnotestablishedbysenseperceptionorlogicnorisitrefutedbythem.Soundisthusourkindfriendandcounsellor.Withitshelpwecanseewhatotherwisewouldbeinvisibletous.l3Thusinacertainsituationonemaybetold'Youarethetenthperson.'Thehearerthenknows,'Iamthetenthperson.'Inthiswaysoundisasourceofknowledgeindependentofeithersenseperceptionorlogic.Inthiswaysoundcandispelillusionandestablishtruth.  14Amantraphysicianmaychantthemantra'sarpa-dastetvayivisamnasti'(Althoughyouwerebittenbyasnake,thereisnopoisoninyou),orthemantra 'vahni-taptamangamvahni-tapenasamyati' (Thelimbhurtbyfireisnowsoothed),orthe mantra'sauvarnam-bhasitamsnigdham' (Nowyouareeffulgentlikegold),orthe mantra'ehamevausadhamtri-dosa-ghnam' (Thediseaseiscuredbythismedicine).Theeffectivenessofthesemantrasismanifestbythemantrasthemselves.Thateffectivenessisnotrefutedbysenseperceptionorlogic.Itisbyhearingthatonelearns'Fireisthemedicineforcoldweather.'Itisbyhearingthatonelearnsthepropertiesofdiamonds.Onecannotunderstandthosepropertiesbyordinarysenseperceptionsimplybylookingatthem.Byordinarylogiconemaythink,'Diamondsarestonesthatcomefromtheearth.Stonesarecutbyiron.Thereforediamondsmaybecutbyiron.'Inthiswaybymerelogicalsoonecannotknowthetruthofdiamonds.Itisbyhearingfromaknowledgeablepersonthatoneunderstands,'Diamondscutiron'.Asfarastheyareable,senseperceptionandlogicmaybethehelpfulfriendsoftheevidencethatcomesfromhearing.Apersonwhoseheadhasbeenshavedbythetrickofamagicianwithmysticpowersmaynotbeawareofthatfact,butademigodintheskymaycalldowntohim,'Itisso.'Inthesamewayonemayhearfromaknowledgeableperson,'Ironmaycutordinarystones,butitdoesnotcutdiamond',or'firesoothesthesufferingbroughtbycoldweather',oronemaybelievethewordsofapersonwhosaysThesmokeyousawonthemountainwasindeedafire,andthatfirewasindeedextinguishedbytherain.Idirectlysawitallmyself'.Whenonehasnopowertoseedirectly,thenitisbesttohearadescriptionfromareliableperson.Inthisway,forexample,fromalearnedastrologeronehearsofone'sastrologicalchart,oroffuturesolareclipses,orofotherlikethings.15Saintlypersonsacceptthathearingthestatementsofscriptureisthebestwaytoattainknowledge.Inthe Sruti-sastra itissaid: IaskabouttheSupremePersonalityofGodhead,whoisdescribedinthe Upanisads. IpersonwhodoesnotknowtheteachingoftheVedascannotunderstandHim. Whenphilosophersmeetanddiscussphilosophytheywillnevercometoaconclusionthatwillanswertheirquestion,aconclusiontheywillallaccept.ForthisreasononeshouldknowthatthosequestionsareansweredonlyintheeternalVedicscriptures.IntheSruti-sastraitissaid: Therealtruthisdescribedbythewordsoftheglorious,eternal Vedas. Inthe Smrti-sastra itissaid: ThewordsspokenbythedemigodBrahmainthebeginningofcreationarethewordsoftheVedas.Thosewordshaveneitherbeginningnorend.Thosewordsaregloriousandspiritual.Fromthosewordsalltherulesofreligionhavecome.'Becausetheyarefreefromthefourdefectsofmistakes,cheating,illusion,andimperfectsenses,thewordsoftheVedasareperfectandfaultless. DvitiyahKiranah-SecondRayof Light
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