Questions on Indian idealism

Satya Upadhya satya_upadhya at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Dec 20 22:50:40 UTC 2000

>I am sincerely impressed by the amount of materials you must have read
>and carefully studied, no doubt in their original language, or in the
>Asian language in which they are preserved (Tibetan in the case of the
>PramANasamuccaya and commentary, as well as in the case of
>VinItadeva's commentary on NB) - as anyone dealing with this
>particular school of Indian thought would no doubt do.

--> i have read the original works neither in the original Sanskrit, neither
have i read the whole of them in translation. I have only read parts of them
in translation, and also the criticism of these books by more modern modern

>The "sahopalambha-niyama"-argument essentially
>says that images such as blue and their perceptual cognitions are
>because they are necessarily cognized together. First of all, this
>argument does not entail the non-existence of external

--> you keep saying that the Yogacara does not deny external material
objects/external reality. Could you give some sources for this (modern
sources i mean)? [ kindly do not give me online sources as i have found that
many of them are not reliable.] My understanding of the argument is that
according to this law "we never know an object as distinct from the
sensations or ideas. Whatever is known is known as identical with the
ideas." (See pg 80 of Chattopadhyaya's What is living and what is dead in
Indian Philosophy.) Dharmakirti himself says the following (as quoted in
Madhva's "Sarvadarsanasangraha"): "The object known as blue and the
knowledge thereof are identical, because of the law of their being
invariably known as inseparable."

>- the images within cognitions may well derive from external
>entities. Secondly, the sahopalambhaniyama-argument is rather complex
>and was used for a variety of purposes within the Buddhist
>epistemological tradition (see Takashi Iwata's introduction to his
>seminal study on the sahopalambhaniyama-inference).

--> i am not interested in how other Budhists used this argument for now;
let us concentrate, for now, on how Dharmakirti used this argument.

>-->> Lastly, i will say that eminent scholars like S.N. Dasgupta,
>SU> S.Radhakrishnan, D.P. Chattopadhyaya,Stcherbatsky and others view the
>SU> Yogacara position to be an idealistic one.
>Eminent scholars they may well be, but the study of especially
>Buddhist epistemology has advanced considerably since those scholars
>published their works, because new materials have been made available
>and because new methods of interpretation have gained currency.

--> i had mentioned these by name because they are fairly renowned and it is
not so easy to dismiss away their claims (as would be in the case of some
modern scholar of whom few have heard about).

If you are seriously
>interested in this issue, however, I would recommend updating your

Here is a more modern souce: "Kumarila Bhatta's refutation of the dreaming
argument" by John A. Taber (in Studies in Mimansa (ed. R.C. Dwivedi) Motilal
Banarsidas Publishers.  New Delhi, 1994). In this article, Kumarila's
refutation of Vasubandhu's views (as recorded in the "Vimsatika"), is
presented by Taber.


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