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Question about anumAna

From: Venkat Nagarajan (NAGARAVE_at_fin.gov.on.ca)
Date: Thu May 25 2000 - 11:59:45 PDT

Dear Sri. Anand/Sri. Hari/Bhagavatas

I am writing in regards to a gap in my understanding about PramAnas
(valid sources of acquiring knowledge), maily anumAna (inference.)  I 
would greatly appreciate some help from bhagavatas.  The sources I
have are the section on PramAnas in Fundamentals, Advaita and
Vis'istAdvaita, and Tarka Samgraha.

For the Vedantin Inference is the means by which to establish invariable
concomitance between reason and conclusion.   In a footnote in his book
Fundamentals of Vis'istAdvaita, Sri. Chari states that Sri. Vedanta Desika
does not recognize tarka as distinct from anumAna.  Going by the broad
definition for inference, it follows that all valid arguments are inferential in
nature (mathematical or philosophical); this is probably the reason why 
Sri. Vedanta Desika does not recognize tarka as distinct from 
anumAna(Sri. Vedanta Desika asserts that tarka is a type of anumAna.)

Given the background above I will outline the gap in my knowledge:

The discussion on anumAna in Fundamentals as well as in the Tarka
Samgraha states that perception is the basis for establishing the
invariable concomitance between reason and conclusion.  

Now does this mean inference is limited to the sensory world?

The manas is also recognized as a sense organ by Vedantins.  The
manas is the source of information about objects that are within the
realm of common experience, but not within the realm of perception (5
sense organs)

With manas added to the five sense organs, can one say that inference
is limited to the realm of common experience and not just the sensory
world?

-This would be consistent with the notion that tarka is a type of
anumAna. That is, tarka is anumAna relating to arguments where both
reason and conclusion are within the realm of common experience but
beyond the realm of the 5 sense organs (excluding manas.)

I would greatly appreciate any feedback-may want to use private mail as
the topic may not be of general interest.  

Thanking You,
ramanuja dasan,
Venkat

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