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From: A. Bharat (
Date: Thu Jul 08 1999 - 13:35:12 PDT

Re: the following query of Sri Venu Manohar-
An example from the Nyaya Sutras:
"There is no reality in a web seperated from its threads."
However, while the web 'exists', isnt its 'existence' different from
the 'existence' of the thread?

This is exactly the example chosen by BhAshyakArar in 
SrIBhAshya to illustrate our basic premise of 

If a web consists of threads of three colors,the colors
exist only where that thread in the web runs.It doesn't
influence the other colors:thus the three threads are
existing mutually exclusively and also as constituents of
the web.And the Web also exists as a specific entity.
Thus Prakriti,whose nature is constant physical change,
and Jiva whose nature is shrinking and expansion of
knowledge,and Brahman who is unchanging,exist together
in every object of creation as One Entity,without
losing their individual existences.

As regards the defn of "existence":

according to Sankara,only that which is unchanging
in absolute terms "exists"; that is,only Brahman.

according to ViSishTAdvaita,anything which gives
raise to a reaction,exists.Thus if you encounter
a tiger in your dream,your mental and physical
reactions are exactly the same as you'd be having
if you have the misfortune to do so in the waking
state.So the existence of the tiger in its own
space and time conditions cannot be denied.
If you see water in a mirage,you DO see it
even if you can't drink it.So you can't say
it doesn't exist.As to why these things occur
reasons are given in the Upanishads and UDaiyavar
explains each phenomenon plainstakingly in
the BhAshya.

<yathArtham sarva-vijnAnam ity vEdavidAm matam>

EmberumAnAr TiruvaDigaLE SaraNam!