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Re: Post 3b) Classification of reals cont'd

From: Venkat Nagarajan (
Date: Wed May 05 1999 - 11:49:30 PDT

Dear Bhagavatas,

Post 3a) was a bit terse and abstract.   I want to augment
the material in post 3a) with two or three posts consisting
of examples and discussion.  This post consists of a
single concocted example and a brief write-up on the 
difference between definition and axiom.  To gain a better 
understanding try to pick several reals and try classify them. 


1.  A monitor Screen is a substance (dravya.)  
- Just like clay, the monitor screen is subject to change;
these changes are perceived by our sense of sight.
[I am making use of definition 1 here to classify a real
as a substance.]
- When we see the screen, we always see it as either
a off-screen, or a screen-saver screen and so on.  Thus, 
we cognise the substratum (remember the name screen 
applies to the substratum) as qualified by an attribute (the 
state the screen is in; off, screen-saver, and so on.) 
[Axioms like 1a) and 1b), draw support from pratyaksa 
PramAna (Perception as a valid means of acquiring 

Distinction Between Definition and Axiom:

The difference between definitions and axioms is
important to note.  I am not sure if the original Sanskrit
texts explicate this distinction, but it is definitely implicit
in the English commentaries.  

A definition outlines certain properties and specifies a 
label to be assigned to the reals (substances and non 
substances) that satisfy these properties.

An axiom is a declaration of a statement of fact that must
be accepted as such without proof.  The statement
of fact is based on support from one or more of the sources
of valid information outlined earlier.  If an axiom is based solely
on perception, it cannot be disputed without a valid counter 

1.  The material in this posting is not based on any external 
2.  Always keep in mind that which is infinite can only be 
described in a most perfect (not perfect) manner in the finite
3.  Knowledge is independent of the body and mind, it is self 
manifesting.  It reveals itself to the knower the jiva.  An 
individual can have a great store of knowledge without the 
ability to express this knowledge.  Whereas, another can have 
a sharp mind with which he or she can process information 
obtained through the senses (when in contact with objects, 
for instance books), but has a very contracted store of 
knowledge.) These postings do not represent knowledge 
but rather objects that may act as a catalyst for the 
self-manifesting knowledge.  I have a dearth of knowledge;
that  is why I need to make use of this body and mind to try
to stimulate that self-manifesting knowledge.
4.  We will discuss knowledge in detail later, but I needed to
make explicit the point above.