Brahmasrii Dr K C Varadachari
The Purva-mimamsa is concerned with transcendental satisfactions of desire and in respect of the fruits to be achieved from the performance of yajna or yaga it is postulated that the result is apurva, not existent priorly in the yajna or yaga but has to be granted (automatically or mechanically or as prasada by the Gods) – and as such is a new product. This shews that parinama-vada is not accepted by them by only arambha-vada or asat-karya-vada. This is of course a limited application of the principle of non-identity between cause and effect. The whole problem
of identity of cause and effect should not be restricted to material-efficient causes but to the whole of reality. But this cannot be done in experiences of such wide difference as the sensory, and the practical and the spiritual.
What does Sankara do with these ideas so divergent as these. It is possible to say that all these are wrong views but the fact remains that all these appear to be right in parts and in a critical valuation one should put them in their right places within which they will not only appear to be right but be right.
Dividing Reality into two as noumenal and as phenomenal, (para-marthika and vyavaharika satta) Advaita of Sankara accepts the Samkhyan sat-karya-vada phenomenally but refutes it in the paramarthika for the paramarthika is entirely different from the vyavahara world and is no cause of this and does not posses this even in a subtle form. It accepts the asat-karya-vada of Nyaya-Vaisesika but in a modified sense. The vyavaharika reality is the illusory manifestation of the paramarthika and is in every way a new thing, characterized by contradictory attributes of the
paramarthika word or being or anubhava. This it calls the vivarta-vada.
Phenomenally the Advaita accepts akhyati-vada (non-observation) of the Samkhya as the cause of avidya or result of avidya, whichever is the cause, but transcendentally it accepts the anyathakhyati of the Vaisesikas which is the perverse perception due to karma, avidya and so on the evolutes of maya, and calls its own species as anirvacaniya-because the perverse perception is indeed a fact of the phenomenal order. It is real, but since it is dissolved or dissipated (badhita) when the real experience occur it is asat (non-existence): thus being both sat and asat it is incapable of being defined as existent or non-existent. The pramana is claimed to be svatahpramana needing no other pramana to prove its reality for it can be logically shown to be consistent or inconsistent but actually like the Naiyavikas the extraneous test of another pramana is utilized to prove a thing’s reality and truth by its concept of abadhita-jnana (uncontradicted testimony).
Phenomenally it accepts the karma-kanda of the Purva-mimamsa as helpful to the purification of the
body or the soul but transcendentally it rejects its value, because karma and jnana are said to be opposites or contradictories. How jnana can come out of karma and karma out of jnana is a problem of deepest concern and by refusing to solve it the Advaita relegates it as a dichotomy in its attempt to arrive at Identity or Unity. In fact maya is all solution but it cannot solve itself except by a fiat of transcendental anubhava.
The Advaita accepts the value of pratyaksa, anumana, upamana, arthapatti and anupalabdhi (a species of abhava) along with all other systems by taking all of them as valid within vyavahara experience. But all of them have no value for the ultimate reality depends on those Monistic texts alone which teach what these cannot and do not teach, and as such true sabda, paramartha. These texts alone are the means to transcendental experience – aparoksanubhuti – mystic revelation that once for abolishes the vyavahara world as a dream and influence of maya that deludes and makes one ignorant and creates all diversities that cause suffering and blindness.
KARMA AND REBIRTH
Assuming that karma produces rebirth we have to ask ourselves how karma is the cause of rebirth, and in what way rebirth is connected with it as effect. If karma potentially contains rebirth then it manifests it after one dies and moves towards getting the conditions that make rebirth of the soul, who does the karma or act. This would mean that rebirth is already present in the cause namely karma. If rebirth is considered to be a misery and wisemen would avoid it, then karma has also to be abjured. Therefore there have been serious students of liberation or moksa who have counselled absolute renunciation of all action (karma-sannyasa). This means that these thinkers hold that cause contains the effect potentially, a doctrine known as sat-karya-vada.
If on the other hand one follows the counter-doctrine or alternative doctrine that cause does not
contain the effect, but it is a new product created by the efficient cause, then the efficient cause has to be inspected as to whether it can be the cause of the rebirth - this is revealed by all to be desire, kama, trsna, conscious or unconscious, voluntary in a sense. But when extended to cover all living which is said to be the 'will to live', then the abjuring of all desire would be the cause of non-birth. This means a niskama karma will not produce the conditions for rebirth or in any way stick to a man. The renunciation of desire is the dharma that has to guide the performance of all duties, not the renunciation of all karma. Karma then would be the upadana karana, whereas kama would be the nimitta karana of rebirth: and consequently niskama would lead to non-birth.
There are three kinds of karma which the ancient Indian thinkers have propounded, the nitya (permanent or daily) performance, the naimittika (occasional for one's spiritual advancement and for paying one's debts to one's ancestors, and gods on prescribed occasions), and lastly the kamya (rightful desires which are for progeny, for success in one's undertaking). One is expected normally to perform all karmas with a sense of
detachment in respect of fruits even. Desires for wealth, power, glory and knowledge are desires; even desires for emancipation and spiritual advancement are desires; and there are legitimate as well as illegitimate desires as well as means adopted to gain these goals. These could be the cause of pleasure or pain, success or defeat. There are desires to take further lives to ensure the fulfillment of one's desires or for taking vengeance.
We have to take note of karma which is not linked up with rebirth or even in any way restricting or binding the soul which does its duty by its knowledge of God's all-pervasiveness or presence and in the light of its own nature determined by this vision. Such action is capable of making one cross over death. As the Isa. Up. says, Na karma lipyate nare, and avidyaya mrtyum tirtva, the Lord in the Bhagavad Gita also says kartavyam karma has to be performed and the kartavyam karma are nitya-permanent and daily duty – such as the observance of self-discipline, yama which includes satya, ahimsa, aparigraha, asteya and brahmacarya which have to be followed as also the niyamas of Sauca and Isvara pranidhana. These duties
performed with dedication of their results to God or without any attachment lead to svarupa avadharanam. It makes one know oneself as a spirit seeking liberation from the cycle of births and deaths. The nitya works are described in the Agamas as pancakala duties – so that one develops the conditions of God-mindedness (maccitta) or (man-mana) of the Gita which helps one to cross over all obstacles (sarva-durgani) through the grace of God (mat-prasadat). This shows that karma-yoga shows the way to realisation of moksa through performance of works through dispassion and dedication.
The naimittika duties are for higher evolution, for sublime happiness. One should aspire for the attainment of the divine nature. Here desire is sublimated and made to help the realization of the divine nature. This occasions the undertaking of tapas (austerity), dana (charity) and yajna (sacrifice). Svargakama which is certainly a higher sublimated experience and at one time considered to be the highest that one could aspire for, a world of light and bliss fulfilled only through sacrifice (yajna). Of course Brahma-yajna is very important, so too devayajna, pitr-
yajna and atithi-yajna and lastly bhuta-yajna reveal the highest aspiration for the unity of the triple worlds, bhuh, bhuvah and svar. In a modern conception this is for higher evolution and births in higher worlds. Unless one goes to the highest one is said to return to lower worlds – the earth itself. One is said to return – punaravrtti. If one reaches the highest Brahman one does not return--na punaravrtti. The attainment of the Purusottama is said to secure this state of non-return. All yajna is for higher results. If we consider the kamya-karma these procure results even now and here such as progeny, kingdoms which have been lost, or attainment of world mastery or sovereignty. Yagas help these – these are called istis secured by offering yaga to the gods who could give or work for them directly. Here the results are not permanent and one may, because of sacrificial killing suffer also, though there is difference of opinion on this matter. It is only Buddha and Sankhya that hold yaga to be a violation of the rule of ahimsa. In any case it is kamya-karma that is capable of landing one in misery of rebirth. The fear of rebirth is therefore very evident in this conception.
It is a very fundamental question whether rebirth is not something that is not desirable. Though transmigration to lower types of bodies, such as that of asuras, animals etc is to be avoided the birth in higher types of bodies such as devas or of nitya-suris, rsis is something very much desired for, firstly because such beings are of the purest type, without a taint of sin or bondage, suddha sattva, ever apakrta, divya. Many seek to prolong their happy existence even on this planet and wish to be reborn again and again to be of service to God, or enjoy bliss even in this body. Some do not desire even Vaikuntha for service of the Godhead here seems to them to be preferable. But some others even though they express such sentiments seek to attain the state of Brahman or His world (paramapada) and as Sri Krsna stated that which determines one’s next birth is the antyakalasmarana – the remembrance at the last moment. This has therefore to be carefully watched. Since by the axiom that which we desire, that we become, rebirth is caused by the strongest desire at the last moment or during last days of a man’s life, for he would have rejected many
things, learnt also what not to desire and what to desire, and finally would be remembering his sins and transgressions for which he had to perform prayascitta, expiations and pray for being saved. This is the place for saranagati, self-surrender which helps him to cross over the birth into lower kinds of wombs. He is said to become quickly a good soul, a soul which has decided to help himself or uplift himself, kalyanakrt.
If unending births with unlimited joys – whatever these may be ‘is desirable’, then all that is needed is the performance of such actions which bring forth these results. Proper selection of actions for the attainment of these ends is important. Thus the Vedic seers knew of karma – divya-karma which led to results that grant joys or delight. The knowledge that one might have to return to mortal birth after exhaustion of the fruits of actions was also an incentive to (i) continuous performance of such karma (yajna) or kratu, and (ii) to discover that sacrifice which leads to non-return. The second was the self surrender – and bhakti into which it developed.
It is possible at this point to consider whether rebirth consciousness does not entail the remembrance
(smarana or smrti) of past lives or not. One of the arguments against rebirth is that we do not remember the past life. There are cases of such remembrances. Swami Vivekananda himself has declared that he remembers them after performing samyama on that matter. A yogin can remember his past lives. For others it is a necessity not to remember not only one’s own past lives but also others as well. Indeed forgetfulness or the necessity to forget is one of the great incentives to take one’s life or suicide. Apoha or loss of memory is a great psychological or psychoanalytical fact about which Freud has written.
If there is conscious desire or volition to be born again there is also a conscious volition to forget one’s past. Perhaps it is remembrance that makes saints speak about their sinfulness through lives. Therefore it is the belief in this power of will or desire (trsna) that is expressed as the most powerful force towards realizations of both the good and the bad.
Sri Aurobindo has in his brilliant work on Rebirth mentioned that continuous or serial births is one way by which immortality of the soul is being demonstrated.
The soul is the transmigrator, it is that which has been moving up the ladder of: evolution through several kinds of births in the several levels of consciousness from the elemental molecules or matter to the level of man by their appetitions and later desires and volitions.
Other seers also have spoken about their previous lives and despite the incredulity of modern materialists it is clear that one can realize his own past lives though this realization is bound to be of personal interest alone. This should not be a reason for dismissing the remembrance of past lives and rebirth therefore as sheer moonshine or imagination. Our hatreds and lives are verily based on prior life-histories as Kalidasa himself states. Sri Krsna himself mentions about his own previous lives all of which he remembers, whereas Arjuna is one who has forgotten them: janma karma ca me divyam: bahuni me vyatitani janmani tava carjuna, tani aham veda sarvani na tvam vettha Parantapa (4.5). In the Bhagavata he reminds his mother about his previous births in her womb in her previous births.
Hinduism always believed in this cycle of rebirths
and births-divine as well as human and sub-human of the soul. Karma is the cause of these, either as propelled by a divine desire and divine work, or by undivine desire and undivine work, as of the asuras and the human beings and sub-humans. To deny the rebirths is therefore to go against all facts.
The immortality of the germ-plasm and its continuity does not spell out rebirth idea. Rebirth in one sense is to speak about the continuous ascent of life. But it could well be just a cycle of birth and death at every level as such. We cannot directly affirm or deny the principle of karma-rebirth relation in biology. All that we could affirm is that lower organisms which are wholes become parts of larger wholes whilst yet keeping up their wholeness. This holistic nisus towards larger and more intelligent and conscious organisms in a polyphasic manifestation is about the most significant factor of organic evolution. But karma and rebirth are not of relevance at the level of the germ-plasm. It is the inveterate habit of some thinkers to seek to make Vedanta or any other scientific study by utilizing phraseology which they hardly perhaps understand as inapplicable at the lower levels.
All such identifications are bound to be firstly first look analogies which fail to satisfy under scrutiny. Karma is something deliberately chosen and not all kinds of acts. As a matter of fact karma has been dealt with in three forms: 1. Karma-action which is done and it may be either dharma (righteous) or adharma (unrighteous). If former, according to Buddhism it severs the chain of rebirth-cycle; according to Mimamsa it is that which procures svarga: 2. Karma means not knowledge and therefore akarma means knowledge. Actions which lead to purification of the citta removing its vrttis is the preparation for non-birth. Thus avidya means karma and vidya means knowledge. Isa says that by avidya one conquers or goes beyond or crosses death, whereas vidya leads to immortality or non-death. The third is called vikarma which is wrong activity. It is this wrong activity that constitutes the principle of fall (patana). Asuric activities, transgressions of divine law, egoism and so on are the causes of misery, death, rebirth into lower wombs. Adam’s fall is due to transgression of Divine counsel or command. So all transgressions involve death as well as birth into lower wombs, wombs suitable for the qualities of wickedness
and so on with their resultant miseries and further falls. There is a hierarchy in the fall as there is a hierarchy in the ascent. The spiritual evolution is not like the biological evolution by which the individual soul is made to traverse the whole downward path through a search for pleasure or enjoyment of nature but slowly discovering that Nature can only give insecure and paradoxical pleasures and enjoyments attended by the misery (duhkha of three kinds adhibhautika, adhyatmika and adhidaivika) he gains wisdom through these anubhavas and seeks to liberate himself from Nature by withdrawal of Nature from him and or he from her. Science in this field is a little different and the laws of the higher level could only be by distortion applied to the lower levels like the biological life. Spirit has different aims and laws, perhaps remotely correspondential not directly. Swami Ishwaranandaji’s paper confuses the two evolutions. The samskaras of pumsavana and simantham at the fifth and ninth months or thereabouts speak about the special process of entry of the soul into the growing uterus. How far this is justifiable from our present or current knowledge it is difficult to say.
Further the transmigration occurs through the subtle body comprising the ten sense-organs, mind and the tanmatras and the Buddhi and the Purusa, in an infinitesimal state. The lingasarira is that which enters the body and groups together the gross elements according to the attractions of the subtle elements and with all the defects earned in the previous life. An alternative account is given by Plato in his Republic regarding how the soul selects its next body.
There is every evidence to hold that there are cases of the subtle or astral body moving about for a foothold again in some body in some womb. Some inexplicable cases of monstrous births are results of such wandering souls which yearn for a body. For the physical body is the only means by which they could expiate their past or redeem their future. The hereditary principle which tries to question the rebirth-karma principle is not conclusive. The divine determines the birth of each soul, according to a complex set of circumstances like the parents karma, the individual's karma, the conditions under which both karmas or other karmas as well would work out. Fate there is but it is conditioned by the principle of grace and the principle of
ascent through aspiration or yearning after liberation and renunciation of the pleasure principle without hugging the pain principle.
The soul can exist in a disembodied state, that is to say, without a karma – body, or a body filled by karma as the Jainas say. To give up the body is to give up bondage. Such a condition is one of pure spirit. Such a soul is freed from all kinds of prarabdha, sancita and agami karmas, and lives a spirit. Such a soul it is stated can get a divine body and also could freely operate in all the worlds of God without any taint of karma or rebirth. The divine karma of avataras to which reference was made earlier in this paper reveals that when the Divine work takes place also the angels or rsis and liberated souls would be taking bodies to assist the avatara. Ramayana mentions this as also the Mahabharata. So is it with the disciples and workers who also come with their leaders. So too their opponents are said to come into the world to oppose the Divine, even as Zoroaster posited. The purpose of these divine births – of those who remember their previous lives – is to protect the good, to punish the wicked and to restore the reign of justice or law
(dharma) in the world. They may suffer much but it is taken as a consequence of their past misconduct or papa, but as an expiation for other’s wrongs and sins, or as preparing for the punishment of the wicked through giving opportunities for doing evil or desisting from it before it is too late for pardon.
We can also refer to the two lines of karma – the descending one determined by desire for low pleasures of the body, and the other the higher line of karma which seeks higher and divine births through purest aspiration for the divine life.
In the higher lines of birth we have a series of births spoken of as the twice born, the thrice born, the quadruple born and so on. The dvija is one who had the initiatory sacrament called the upanayana – which in a sense prepares him for study of the scriptures and also to worship the Divine Sun and Gayatri in order to go upwards to the next birth – namely of sarana or self surrender and self offering. The individual is then fit for higher births beyond the terrestrial world. This is what is intimated in the Isavasyopanisad – sambhutim ca vinasam ca yastad vedobhayam saha, vinasena
mrtyum tirtva, sambhutya amrtam asnute.
Such births are invaluable steps which lead to that condition of being without a body, akayam, avranam, asnaviram etc. These are very important in order to show that one has to distinguish between karmas that take one down, because such karmas are pleasure-seeking motivated. There are karmas which lead to higher evolution because one seeks to transcend all sorrow through knowledge and devotion. These are important for evolution and liberation. There are karmas which are divine and do not produce any births. The divine personalities take births in order to liberate man. Karma does not condition birth but birth conditions karmas. These later do not come down to be subject to laws of karma-rebirth sequence at all. They may not elect to do any actions also-either divine or human. They can be perfect contemplatives-jnanins enjoying their samatva.
Their descent can only be through love – for to emancipate souls in suffering from their suffering. Such loving karma partakes of the divine nature, and can produce only happiness – sukha, because it is done
with a prayer for the welfare of all – lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu. It is a blessing.
The Bhagavata-dharma also speaks of kainkarya or service of waiting on God as the most perfect expression of karma dedicated to the Ultimate seeking no return but love of God as an end in itself. Even the desire for liberation is surrendered because at that level one beholds God as the only object and Him in all. Na va are patyuh kamaya patih priyo bhavati Atmanastu kamaya patih priyo bhavati – Not for the sake of the husband is the husband dear but for the sake of the Self is the husband dear.
Such transfiguration happens when one seizes the inward divinity of dedicated activity of the higher lines.
Concluding, it can be said that biological conceptions are yet in their infancy in these matters of heredity and evolution. Spiritual truths have been discerned through revelation and sruti and not by reasoning or laboratory statements or even by dogmatic Christian or Islamic theologians who have not seriously
weighed the testimony of the mystics. Perhaps there are hierarchical levels to which the denominational mystics belong who had kept certain realities of their experiences closed. An open mind can throw more light on the relationship between karma and rebirth, both higher and lower. It is an axiom of spiritual experience. It is a moral principle of responsibility. It does not abrogate at the human level the freedom of choice to do sacramental acts, or knowledge acts or evil acts at all, with the responsibility of getting their deserts. But this is an integral conception also and it is in this sense that one should conceive of it. To deny its operation on the ground that it belongs to realm of maya also is not to abolish it. Karma or dharma can transcend maya also if not make use of it for liberation itself when one interiorises it or turns it on itself or upward even like the Kundalini-kriya.
It is true that for one who is concerned only with liberation and jivanmukti the results of karma and rebirth do not hold any terrors. It is not to be construed that the fear of rebirth is a great incentive to seeking liberation from all birth. It is perfectly clear that as Silenus the Satyr said to King Midas that the first best is
not to be born, and the second best is to die at once. The significant meaning is that every one should seek to avoid rebirth by knowing the Ultimate nature of Oneself. The second best is to be understood as the renunciation of all and become a nothing (akincana) or a zero, and avadhuta who has thrown away all that make one deem himself to be living in the worldly sense of the term. Dying to possessions and even rights and duties, (sarvadharman parityajya of the Gita) is to die at once and this will prevent the formation of the next life itself. This is done by Saranagati, as the great Sathakopa did show, and earned for himself the name of one who has destroyed and was the enemy of future births or the potency that makes for it (satha). Swami Ishwarananda's standpoint of not trouble oneself with karma or rebirth but to attain the ultimate state is understandable, but not the support he tries to get from biology or the science and physiology of life.
Upanisads that deal with rebirth & birth. Isa, etc.
Sri Aurobindo: Problem of Rebirth, Karma and rebirth – higher lines of karma. Life Divine.
Annie Besant: Reincarnation
Wincent Lutoslavski: Pre-existence and Reincarnation
VISION IN INDIAN PHILOSOPHY
Indian philosophers had a long tradition of searching for the Infinite Reality. Their first attempts have been fundamental research in many directions. Broadly speaking they probed the extensive regions of man’s terrestrial globes to find out the basic substance out of which all elements in Nature have come into being. They sought for that one substance which constitutes the inward psychic being in one and all. They also sought to discover the One God who might be considered to be Maker, the Original Being, who had become the deities of the several areas of Nature, man and activities of the entire worlds above, here, and below. The devotion needed for this enterprise was of a rare and arduous quality.
The reasons for these attempts are obviously manifold. Some have sought to know in order to master Nature, man and deities. But it was necessary to know. The story of these enterprises at knowing the
reality about Nature revealed a great amount of particular knowledges which pointed towards that one substance out of which all were produced. The problems of knowing were indeed many. The needed appropriate knowledge organs or instruments of knowledge or knowing for knowing the diverse and manifold world. Science grew out of this study of Nature. The attempt to study the knower who tries to know or seeks this knowledge of Nature led to the study of the knower as knower as a psychic being. The knower and known in relation to one another had been an interesting study of cognitive psychology. But the psychic being or knower has other attributes in addition to knowing even as the known or Nature has other attributes that being known, therefore the extension of psychology and science into fields beyond the knowing or knowledge. The nature of knowing had itself pointed out that the principle that is known to be at the back of Nature and the Knower is a higher luminous personality ordering the commerce between these two. This was the Deva or deity that one had to perceive in order to know fully or adequately. In fact the possibility of true
knowledge or integral knowledge is on account of the guidance of the deity.
The ancients therefore had instructed that for all veridical knowledge there are three ingredients necessary. In actual practice of knowing they instructed that one should know the seer, who is the Rsi the world that one sees through the seer-vision, the deva or deity who is the presiding power determining that world, and lastly the energy that is pervading that world. The last is the additional fact necessary for the work that could be done with the help of that force.
The Vedic seers (Rsis) provided for the fourfold instruments or powers by which knowledge that is real, integral, and bliss-productive can be had. These are known as Rsis, Lokas, Devas and Chandas. Every one of these has a correspondence or in the human body they are each given a particular location. Thus:
Atri Bhub Agni Gayatri
Bhrgu Bhuvah Vyau Usnih
Kutsa Svar Arka Anustubh
Vasista Mahar Vagisa Brhati
Gautama Jana Varuna Pankti
Kasyapa Tapas Indra Tristubh
Angirasa Satya Visvedevas Jagati
They are integrated and interrelated within the system. Later thinkers had further referred these places to the six psychic cakras (wheels), such as the Muladhara, Svadhisthana, Manipuraka, Anahata, Visuddha, Ajna and Sahasrara. Which are effective centres of the different powers of the one Kundalini – the power that is secret and occult within the system, the awakening of which is deemed necessary for the realization of Union with the Ultimate Reality.
The Vedic seers had provided that there are of course four ways of knowing, such as pratyaksa, anumana, upamana and sabda (amnaya). But each one of them in order to be true has its application to the respective level of experience. The proper method of knowing and working at a particular level of experience is to utilize the seer, and the deva and the energy necessary for knowing properly or as it is in itself. Though this method was adopted by the seers themselves, the most important use of the fourfold nature of knowing was in the realm of institution. Thus before one ever undertook to do any work of real-cognition or intuition one offered the proper prayer
which is the dedicated preparation for knowing-feeling or experience of intuition in all its forms. This appears like a ritual preparation or sacerdotal method, but it was found to be useful and effective in stimulating the Intuitive Way of Knowing.
We have also to consider the difference between the ordinary perceptive way and the intuitive way. In ancient usage there are two roots i) drs & ii) prc: to bring into contact with, join, unite. In usage pasya in the present tense is changed in dadarsa in the past. The transference from one root to the other requires more than a grammatical idiom-explanation. If we consider that seeing is later transformed into darsana or knowing through seeing and an element of memory and former experience goes into the making of a seeing when it becomes knowing through seeing – from nirvikalpaka jnana to savikalpaka-jnana to use the language of later thinkers, then we might be able to explain somewhat the process of grammatical substitution of dars in the place of pasya.
This takes us to another important aspect, of the levels of knowing. From perception we move towards
inferential knowledge based on perceptions. We yet depend on our analogical inferences on perceptions. Therefore the passage from pasya to darsana is not unnatural. The past tense-use of the latter root is explained by revealing the latter root to apply only to explanatory of the fact that darsana means anything like an ordinary inferential knowledge based on the perception of the senses.
Darsana seems to have indicated direct Vision without the medium of the sense-organs and even the mind (intellect dependent on the senses).1 It has the reference to the internal intuitive knowing. In fact one passes from the objective knowledge of an object to the subjective knowledge of the same object2, in order to have an integral knowledge. The transition from seeing to knowing as darsana is therefore a movement of thought from its outer consideration to the inner consideration. Here again the transition should not be considered to be the subject’s (knowers) reaction to the
1 All knowing is of the mirroring of reality through the senses and mind.
2 Knowledge of an object as it is for itself (subjective) and as it is for others (objective).
object as subject but a knower’s knowledge of the object from the subjective point of the object itself in addition.
The Intuitive or revelatory view of Reality steps beyond the sense-organs and the intellect or manas. It is the pure psychic way and it is through this way the several realisations known as Vidyas had been recorded. It is not exclusively the knowledge of Brahman or the Ultimate One Reality that is the province of intuitive or revelatory knowledge. The great discoveries and inventions of ancient times in the realms of art and architecture, of religious and secular processes of union with the Ultimate or which grant infinite meaning to the particular and finite seem to have been developed with this intuitive knowledge of Nature as well as of man and animal.
The approach to the study of Indian darsanas had in previous medieval periods been from the point of view of sensory seeing and intellectual reason based on these precepts and system-building, and therefore they have done less than justice to the intuitive approach of the darsanas.
Undoubtedly due to the approach undertaken by Gautama Buddha the philosophical method was more or less intellectual in so far as the discovery of the causes of suffering was concerned. The means adopted for overcoming this suffering or for abolishing the causes of suffering were far from intellectual reasoning or dialectics. It was by a dedication of meditation (dhyana) which led to the experience of the state of Nirvana which was equated with non-suffering, bliss, enlightenment, that was of the nature of intuition or vision. The refusal to accept the vedic pramana was more in respect of the means adopted to get rid of human suffering, namely, the yajnas, sacrifices that involved avoidable suffering to other creatures who are not involved in one’s own suffering or one’s own release. Vicarious sacrifices are unfruitful in securing liberation.
The materialistic view denied the reign of intuition or the validity of the Veda or scripture and was devoted to the perceptual deliverances in regard to matters of every day. The materialist did not think that perception was insufficient for man, nor did he require
intuition in respect of perceived things and human activities. It is not however possible to rule out all intuition even by them especially when such intuition becomes vision-stimulating perception.
Om Tat Sat