Odd examples: Swallowing lamps and not hearing drums in temples

kellner at ue.ipc.hiroshima-u.ac.jp kellner at ue.ipc.hiroshima-u.ac.jp
Mon Jul 31 19:54:21 UTC 1995

In Jn.aanas.riimitra's Anupalabdhirahasya and Sarvas.abdaabhaavacarcaa, I
came across two odd examples which, apart from entertaining everybody around
and giving rise to funny speculations about their actual meaning, remained
mysterious to me so far. 

(1) [Reference: Thakur's edition of JNA, 184.1f., 196.12ff.]
Context: Discussion of "non-cognition" (anupalabdhi), where the cognition of
x equals the non-cognition of y. Dharmakiirti devised the criterion of the
"equal capacity (of the two objects to be cognized)" (tulyayogyataa), which
means that both objects can be jointly perceived (ekajj.aanasam.sargitva) -
given that both are existent, it is impossible that only one is cognized.
Therefore, if you cognize only the one you can safely infer the absence of
the other. 
While discussing this criterion of tulyayogyataa, Jn.aanas.rii applies a
neat catus.kot.i as to whether  the two respective objects fulfill the
condition of "reachability" (praapyakaaritva) upon being perceived. He
argues that only if both objects are perceptible through a
praapyakaari-perception, the presence of the one equals the absence of the
other. Example: touch and taste are O.K., but visual and auditory perception
are not, likewise touch and smell. 
The example for the "sound" case is: Somebody, who swallowed a lamp
(pradiipa), infers the absence of taste from the presence of touch. I was
wondering whether anybody can produce an attested other meaning for
"pradiipa" which makes this example sound less odd. 

(2) [Reference: JNA 184.8ff.]
In roughly the same context, Jn.aanas.rii produces the following example:
When a temple (devakula) is clearly visible (paridr.s.yamaana), the
establishment of the absence of the sound of a kettle-drum (bheriis.abda)
does not necessarily depend on the presence of another sound
(s.abdaantarapratiitisaapeks.aa). I skip the implications of this example,
but can make sense out of it insofar it would be odd to say that only when
another instrument is played can you conclude that nobody plays a drum.
Again, I was wondering whether anybody is aware of similarly structured

Any references would be greatly appreciated. 

Birgit Kellner
Institute for Indian Philosophy
University of Hiroshima


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