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Re:dreams - thanks and a request

From: Venkat Nagarajan (NAGARAVE_at_fin.gov.on.ca)
Date: Tue Apr 18 2000 - 09:35:59 PDT

Dear Sri. Kasturi/ Bhagavatas,

I agree that the returns from the discussion on dreams are diminishing. 
However, I do not think it is fair to end it abruptly; ie., without explicating
the reason for the diminishing returns and establishing the strength of the
Vis'istAdvaitic stand on the issue.  So I will end my postings with this
note. 

[If you disagree with my reason for writing the post, please ignore what
follows.]


Dear Sri. Chandrasekaran,

Before addressing your comments, I would like to explicate a few
important points.  In matters that are not entirely within the realm of the
senses, logic cannot yield conclusive results; that is, it is theoretically
possible for many mutually exclusive theories to coexist.  Thus, the
choice of one will ultimately have to be based on belief.  However, the
theory chosen should not contain statements that contradict common
experience.  

If S'Astra has something to say about a matter that is not entirely within
the realm of sense organs, then the statements must be developed,
using logic, to formulate a theory.  This is how the Vedanta paradigm
approaches the issue.  If one approaches the issue from another
paradigm, or in general, without any paradigm as a basis, then the
conclusions will be different.  I like orthodoxy; that is, I prefer to follow a
paradigm in its entirety.  A fruitful discussion can take place only if both
parties prescribe to the same paradigm in an orthodox fashion.  The
theory of propounded by Vis'istAdvaita interpretation is rational. (An
argument is valid as long as it is impossible for the premises to be true
and the conclusion false.) Given this, it is not clear what your objective
is?  As I already stated, it is theoretically possible for many mutually
exclusive theories to coexist; thus, the choice of one will ultimately have
to be based on belief.

Addressing your specific comments: 

Sri. Chandrasekaran Wrote:

We show heat to wax; it melts and drops into a warp and a doll is made;
Here in this example I would equate heat => rope-snake;  molten wax =>
cognition;doll => fear. Do you agree the sequence?

Response:

When direct contact takes place between an object and sense organs,
cognition is triggered, cognition in turn produces output in the form of
feeling.

So in terms of your metaphor; I would equate object with candle, heat
with sense organs, and melting with effect.  This interpretation of the
metaphor differs from yours because it has been interpreted in
accordance with Vis'istAdvaita theory.

Given this characterization let us analyze the metaphor.  Candle by itself
cannot produce the effect.  When candle comes in contact with heat, the
effect is produced.  So the cause of the effect is the heated candle,
which is different from plain candle.  The heated candle is like the object
of cognition.  In other words, an object by itself is not capable of
producing an effect, only an object of cognition can produce an effect.  

There is no scope for a material cause (in respect to this issue.)  If a
material cause is at the root of the effect, it should hold true in all cases. 
The following example (already provided in previous post) dismisses the
notion of a material cause. 
 
Example:

For example, suppose one shuts off all his sense organs; some time
after that, an object is placed before that individual.   Can the object act
as a catalyst?  No.  

Sri. Chandrasekaran Wrote:

Here is how I would like to re-present the question:" cognition is always
real and experience is always real. no question about these aspects. It is
the objects that are real and unreal. question is if unreal objects can
induce experience at all". Note that cognition is internal and is not part of
the question.

  
Response:

This has already been addressed. There is no scope for a material
cause.  If a material cause is at the root of the effect, it should hold true
in all cases. (Refer to counter example in the response to the previous
statement.)

Sri. Chandrasekaran Wrote:

Yes, as you said, it's a real object that leads to experience in the case of

rope-snake since rope is real. But I think the essence of the argument
may not be
Referring to the object as a mere physical entity. 

Response:

You did not read the response carefully.  

I said when one is confronted with a rope-snake, either a rope-snake
cognition, which is different from a real snake cognition, arises, or a
rope-snake cognition, which is the same as a real-snake cognition,
arises.  In either case, it is a real object that leads to a real effect.  

In conclusion, I would like to reiterate the following.  In matters that are
not entirely within the realm of the senses, logic cannot yield conclusive
results; that is, it is theoretically possible for many mutually exclusive
theories to coexist.  Thus, the choice of one will ultimately have to be
based on belief.   

Ramanuja dasan,
Venkat


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