Martin Gansten mgansten at SBBS.SE
Thu Feb 18 12:27:06 UTC 1999

Dear Mr. Hebbar,

Thank you again for referring me to Ramanuja's critique of Yogacara in SBh
2.2.27. I would like to know if you agree with me that his two main points are:
        1. that the fact that everyone *experiences* consciousness as
revealing objects proves the existence of these objects;
        2. that the phenomenon of simultaneous perception (sahopalambha) of
object and cognition presupposes a differentiation between the two.

If I may continue to play the devil's advocate just a little longer, point
#1 strikes me as apparently rather naive, and begging the question, *unless*
prompted by an underlying 'esse = percipi' idea, which again would bring us
back to some sort of idealism. And indeed Ramanuja's oft-quoted phrase
'yathaartham sarvavijnaanam' could be interpreted in that light.

On the whole, I find that Ramanuja seems to attack the *unreality* of
objects as fluctuations of 'mere consciousness' (jnaanamaatra), rather than
their *dependence* on consciousness as such. In other words, what is
rejected is not idealism, but rather the illusionism with which it is often
associated. And perhaps a wholesale rejection of idealism would be difficult
for any essentially monist system of thought.

Martin Gansten

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