A thread on quotes from Sri BNK Sharma's magnum opus - "The Philosophy of Sri Madhvacharya".

Available for free reading at http://michaelsudduth.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Philosophy-of-Sri-Madhvacharya.pdf
"Only an all-embracing explanation of life, consistent with experience, would satisfy the requirements of reason, man's highest instrument for regulation of life"
On Philosophy:

"It must deal with problems which force themselves on our thought and press for a solution viz., what man is, why he is conditioned as he is, what his goal is and how he is to attain it"
"The question is not, therefore, merely one of philosophy or
no philosophy; but one of a good philosophy or a bad one. Every rational being, then, has a philosophy of his own, whether he knows it or not"
On the purpose of Shastras:

" It is the business of an earnest aspirant to go through the entire process of thought under proper spiritual guidance and find a solution of the problems which vex him. The Sastras are there to guide him on right lines"
On the Supreme Purusha:

"The independent principle is that which does not depend on any other for its own nature and existence, self-awareness or for becoming an object of knowledge to the selves and for the free and unfettered exercise of its own powers"
On knowledge:
"The fact of knowledge is indisputable. And as there can be
no knowledge without a knower, a known or knowable object; the reality of the knower and the objects of knowledge must be accepted"
On reality:
"The fact of knowledge, again, establishes the presence of many more things and persons besides ourselves. Reality is not apprehended as one but as many and there is no reason to reject the apprehension of the many as an 'appearance' only"
On truth-determination:
"In the body of any Siddhanta, then, there is a good deal of critical analysis and exposition of the principles of epistemology, logic and metaphysics of one's own school, together with a reasoned examination of those of other schools"
"Criticism is the life-breath of Indian philosophical systems, as philosophic life, like biological, is governed by the same law of strife and survival of the fittest. Each of the older systems of thought should thus have contributed something to Madhva thought also.."
"...at least negatively, by way of material for criticism. It is not as if his system alone grew up in vacuo, without reference to anything that went before"
On Sri Madhwa's approach:

"Often in his criticisms, he rescued and rehabilitated ideas of permanent significance from the ill-balanced views of earlier and contemporary schools and realigned them to better advantage"
On Charvaka:

"The Carvaka is condemned, unreservedly, for his hedonism, for his atheism and for his materialism (Dehatmavada) but not for his bold stand for the supremacy of Pratyaksa Pramana"
On purpose of Vedas:

"The vedas enjoin the performance of sacrifices with set rewards, not from the highest point of view, but only in a limited sense. Karma-phala, attractive as it is, is not the ultimate intention or message of the Scripture..." /1
On purpose of Vedas (contd):

"It is only an inducement to effort of the right kind with a view to raising the spiritual standard of man higher and higher and taking him on the upward march, by stages. Karma is only a step in the ladder though a necessary one"
On purpose of Vedas (contd):

"While accepting the Mimamsaka doctrine of Svatahpramanya of Sabda, Madhva emphasised that the highest subject-matter of the Veda is God and not merely a round of duties or acts or sacrifice"
"But, though open to the ideas of the older systems and their thought-patterns, Madhva has made many striking contributions of his own, in many important respects. It is these that entitle him to a place of honor in Indian philosophy"
"...neither the term dualism nor its Sanskrit equivalent 'dvaita' is commensurate with the highest metaphysical ideology of Madhva's thought. which consists in the acceptance of One Independent Transcendent-cum-Immanent Being as the source and explanation of all finite existence"
"One distinguishing mark of the Vedanta in all its forms is the fundamental belief that everything in the universe has to be traced to an absolute principle which is the ultimate source and explanation, both logical and ontological"
"Nothing in the world is self-explained or self explicable. Brahman is the only self-explained reference of all"
On the world:
"In his view, the world of matter and souls has come out and exists only as a result of an act of Will of God, which is its nimittakarana. It cannot exist without His sufferance...But the existence of matter and souls is, in the last analysis, immaterial to God"
"The entire universe is thus an expression of the Divine will. It is in His absolute power. He can make and unmake it all at will. His power over it is absolutely unrestricted"
On Bheda-Shrutis:

"The Bheda-Srutis bearing testimony to the reality of the world of matter and souls speak the truth from the point of view of factual existence and dependence of all finite reality on God"
On Abheda-Shrutis:

"The Abheda-Srutis speak the truth from the point of view of the utter transcendent majesty and independence of the one Supreme Principle"
On Vedas possessing both types of Shrutis:

"There is no essential contradiction in accepting the equal reality of both these truths"
On TRUE reality:

"In his Bhagavata Tatparya, rising to the highest peak of transcendentalism, Madhva distinguishes the highest reality from mere existence. What is truly real is what has being in itself and for itself. Such reality is possessed only by Brahman"
on DEPENDENT reality:

"The others, especially Prakrti and Purusas, in so far as they depend for their very existence and activity on the Supreme, merely exist from eternity. They cannot lay claim to any independent reality"
On Brahman vs Rest:
"Though Brahman can do very well without Prakruti or Purusas, it prefers, in its infinite glory and inexorable will, to do with them. Such dependence of Brahman on things which are in themselves dependent on It, is no mark of inferiority or limitation"
"He has shown that if we are to avoid playing tricks with evidence, the only satisfactory synthesis of conflicts b/w the Dvaita & Advaita Sruti in the Upanisads would be in the adoption of the idea of the one Independent Transcendent-cum Immanent Reference of all finite reality"
Next: Madhva's Contribution to Indian Thought
"Madhva is generally allergic to over-elaboration of details and picturesque Prakriyas in the establishment of his theories. A robust commonsense and a rigid adherence to the tests of truth characterise his logic and epistemology"
Sri Madhva's top level classification:

"Madhva is original in his ontological theory of Svatantra and Paratantra which is the keynote of his philosophy and in his philosophical ideology of a Svatantra Advitiya Brahman, to which it leads"
" His conception of Saksi as the ultimate criterion of all knowledge and its validity is essentially built on Vedantic foundations. He is concerned more with the philosophical status of the world and the selves than with any qualitative or quantitative analysis of phenomena"
"By applying the doctrine of Savisesabheda to Brahman, Madhva preserved its complete homogeneity without sacrificing the infinite richness of its qualitative content thereby introducing a more dynamic colourful conception of Brahman through the doctrine of identity-in-difference"
On the unique theory of Visesas:

"His theory of Visesas is the life-breath of the doctrine of identity-in-difference. Without it, it would be impossible to conceive of an identity-in-difference, in any school of thought ancient or modern...."
"Since no other school has accepted 'Visesas', the credit for the philosophical conception of 'identity-in-difference' should also go to Madhva. This theory of Visesas is his most outstanding contribution to the stock of philosophical ideas in Indian thought"
On epistemology:

"His comprehensive definition of 'Pramana' and its clear distinction into 'Kevala' and 'Anu' and, above all, his conception of Saksi as the ultimate criterion of all knowledge and validity are front-rank contributions to epistemology"
On relation between God and Jivas:

"Similarly, his thesis Bimba-pratibimba-bhava between God and soul is a new conception that goes beyond all contemporary attempts to solve the problem of the relation between God and the finite selves"
His approach to philosophy:

"Madhva for his part would argue that the business of philosophy is to tell the truth, whether it pleases or irritates, and not simply to indulge in pious platitudes and pleasant imaginings"
Sri Madhwa's on Karma:

"If inequalities of life are to be explained satisfactorily, the theory of Karma, which is supposed to explain such inequalities in equipment and opportunities, must .....take its stand on certain basic differences in the nature of the souls themselves"
"The plurality of selves which is experienced by us will have to be grounded in something that is more fundamental than Prakritic vestures and influences including Karma. If that something is not there, the law of Karma itself would be a cruel joke on humanity"
"Madhva has shown great boldness of spirit in detecting the weak point in conventional theory of Karma as generally advanced in Hindu philosophy and rectifying the deficiency by filling the gap in the theory with his doctrine of Svarupabheda, Taratamya and Traividhya among souls"
"Madhva's emphasis on Svarupabheda of souls as the determining factor in the differentiation of their karmas from time immemorial would be seen to put the whole theory of karma in a better and more intelligible light, for the first time in Indian thought"
Sri Madhva's Ontological Theory.
On criterion of reality:

"The criterion of reality according to Madhva is that it should be unsuperimposed and given as an object to valid knowledge, as existing at some point of time and in some place"
"While existence in space and time is thus reality and is possessed by the world of matter and souls, there must be something more than mere existence, having metaphysical independence or substantiality in its own right which we may agree to designate as the highest real"
"Without presupposing such a basic and transcendental reality that would have to be immanent in the world, there would be chaos and disorder in the universe, Madva makes a strong plea for recognising such a principle"
"The insentient (jada) is so because it cannot act of its own accord. Inasmuch as the human souls are not independent existents, knowers and agents, in a philosophical sense, they are regarded by Madhva as so many 'Reflections', Images, or 'Abhasas' of the Supreme Reality"
"It is the nature of the non-eternal to be destroyed sooner or later. In the same way, even where an eternal substance is 'determined' by another, there is no fear of its losing its eternality and becoming non-eternal by the caprice of the determining principle"
On the existence of eternal but dependent substances:

"There is, therefore, nothing illogical or inconceivable in maintaining that eternal Padarthas (entities) also are dependent on God just like the non-eternal or impermanent entities"
Sri Madhwa's Ontological Scheme:
"Brahman as the only Independent Real is the highest ontological principle of Madhva's philosophy. It is Infinite, of perfect bliss, the Real of reals, the Eternal of eternals, the Sentient of all sentients, the source of all reality, consciousness and activity in the finite"
"Dependent reality consists of Cetana and Acetana"
"The special place is given there to Sritattva as the presiding deity (principle) over the entire domain of Jada-Prakrti. Sri or Laksmi is for this reason, designated as Chetana-Prakrit"
"Similar presiding principles (Abhimani-Devatas) are accepted for other material principles like Mahat, Ahamkara, Bhutas, Indriyas, etc. on the clear authority of the Upanisads, Brahmasutra (ii.1.6) and the Pancaratras"
"The rest of the Cetana-varga, is subject to the bondage of Prakrti and is further subdivided into 'released' and 'unreleased'"
"Unlike Ramanuja, Madhva accepts an innate distinction among (released) souls into Deva, Rsi and Naras. The Devas are Sarva-prakasa (fit to realise god as pervasive), the Sages are Antahprakasa and the rest Bahihprakasa"
"The non-released are again classified as salvable (mukti-yogya), ever-transmigrating (nityasamsarin) and the damnable (tamoyoga). This tripartite classification of Souls is unique to Madhva theology"
"The Acetana section falls into two categories of positive (bhava) and negative (abhava)"
"In the domain of positive reals, we have both the eternal and the non-eternal"
"Space, time, the Vedas, the subtle apects of the elements, senses, Ahamkarika Prana, Mahat, Ahamkara and the qualities of Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas, are deemed to be eternal. The grosser developments of these are non-eternal"
The Concept of Visesas.
"The relation between substance and attributes is one of the intriguing problems of philosophy. It has well-nigh taxed the ingenuity and resources of philosophers in the East and in the West. Madhva's contribution to the solution of this problem is both original and significant"
"He has actually contributed a new idea – the concept of Visesas – to the treatment of this philosophical problem. It is an outstanding discovery of his"
"Visesa also is of two kinds as pertaining to a Cetana. Some of these are 'produced' and some are 'eternal'. Though the Visesa as constituting the nature of a sentient person is eternal, it is spoken of as being 'produced' by reason of its becoming manifested at times....."
"Though Visesas co-exist with the substance, as partaking of its nature, still a distinction can be made of them"
On permanent Visesas:
"To illustrate, in the statement 'the nature of the sentient being is', the Visesas such as sentiency, thingness and 'having a nature' are always manifested"
On non-permanent Visesas:
"In an example like 'The sentient person is doing this' or is engaged in eating, going, etc., 'the eating', 'the doing' and such other Visesas are subject to manifestation and
non-manifestation (as actions)"
Permanent Visesas in insentient:

"In the statement 'the mango fruit is', the traits of mango-ness, fruit-ness, etc., are co-eval with the substance and are, therefore, entirely identical with it"
On different Visesas in insentient:

"In the statement 'The mango is yellow or ripe', the traits of ripeness and yellowness are transitory and are, therefore, to be regarded as being both identical with the substance in one sense and different from it, in another"
"The conception of the relation between substance and attributes is a very difficult one.....If they are related internally by Samavaya this relation itself has to be related to the terms and so on ad infinitum"
"It will be wiser, more economical and expedient, to invest the substance itself with such an intrinsic capacity of integrating its attributes into a homogeneous whole, with itself, without prejudice to their distinction of references according to exigencies..."
"This intrinsic, capacity of substances is proposed to be called Visesas – a very appropriate name so far as any one could see and one which could not be improved upon. We have here in the Visesas of Madhva a remarkable anticipation of the Hegelian doctrine of internal relations"
"Visesa is thus the peculiar characteristic or potency of things which makes description and talk of difference possible, where as a matter of fact only identity exists"
"There are only three possible ways in which the relation of substance & attributes can be conceived, viz. (1) that they are entirely different from each other (atyantabhinna), (2) absolutely identical with each other (abhinna), or (3) both identical and different (bhinnabhinna)"
"Thus three views have been put forward by the Naiyayikas, the Advaitins and the Bhattas respectively. Madhva shows by argument, that everyone of these views has ultimately to fall back on Visesas"
"He, therefore examines and rejects them all, in favour of a fourth view of Savisesabheda (identity based on Visesas) as the only acceptable view, free from the difficulties incidental to the other three"
"Visesa is, thus, a category of thought or a power of things inherent in them which, by definition, is intended to justify and rationalise this lay and scientific acceptance of 'difference in identity'"
"It cannot, therefore be universally substituted in all cases of actual difference in the world as between man and a horse and difference as such and as a category of thought banished from the world of experience, or dismissed as not being 'ultimate'"
"'Bheda' and 'Visesa' may, therefore, be described as the two facets of Madhva's ontology"
Sri Madhva's Doctrine of Difference
"Difference is not merely a component part of reality, but constitutes its very essence. so much so, that to know a thing is to know it as distinct from all others, in a general way and from some in a particular way"
"A substance, according to Madhva, is not a bare substratum of qualities, or an abstraction, but a synthetic unity, capable of inner distinction of parts and aspects, in speech and thought, according to exigencies under the aegis of Visesas"
"We have seen that God, matter and souls constitute the three major realities of Madhva's system. The number of souls is unlimited and the modifications of matter are numerous, in various states. These three are conceived as distinct entities"
"differences are generally classified under these heads: (1) Sajatiya or difference of one thing from others of its own kind, (2) Vijatiya or difference from those of another kind, and (3) Svagata or internal distinctions within an organic whole"
"In the sphere of the other two differences he has adumbrated a scheme of 'five-fold Difference' (Pancabheda).....This fivefold difference is collectively spoken of by Madhva as 'Pra-panca'"
"Madhva meets the logical objections to the reality of difference, positively also. The so-called difficulties of interdependence etc., are no bar to the validity of the experience of difference"
"The 'thing-in-itself' is a metaphysical abstraction. A thing is what it is, just because of and not in spite of its difference from others. In perception, the essence of a thing is the sum total of its distinction from others"
"Difference being thus dharmisvarupa, the so-called perception of the object is nothing but the perception of its difference–in other words, the perception of an object is the same as the perception of its difference from all others in a general and from some in a specific way"
Visishta, Amshi and Sakti
"We may now turn to a few other categories of Dvaita ontology which have a bearing of Madhva's theology and cosmology also. These are (1) the group of three represented by Visesana, Visesya and Visista, (2) the pair represented by Amsa and Amsi and (3) Sakti"
"Visista includes the Visesana and Visesya. Visista means the composite whole. Visesana means the component or the qualifying element or adjunct and Visesya or Suddha the substance to which the qualifying element is attached"
"His view of Visista is akin to the conception of whole and part in Hegalian philosphy. according to which the whole is something more than the sum of its parts though dependent on them for their existence in the physical world"
"AMSA AND AMSI These two terms may be taken roughly to correspond to the idea of fraction and unit understood metaphorically. They are also sometimes used for part and whole respectively. Madhva applies the idea of amsa and amsi to sentient beings also"
"the Avataras of God are His Svarupamsas. The Jivas are Bhinnamsas. The Devas also have their amsas (cf. Indra and Arjuna). The theory figures on Madhva's theology to a great extent"
"Sakti is supersensuous (atindriya). Sahajasakti is recognised to exist in God as well as other Cetanas, in insentient things and substances like fire and in qualities also"
"As indicated by their names, Sahajasakti is intrinsic and Adheyasakti is induced by external factors, such as consecration in an image (pratima)"
"The creative energy of Brahman is, for instance, identical with Brahman; but it can be distinguished by the play of Visesas. The Saktis themselves have two aspects : Saktita (latent state) and Vyaktita (manifested state), also regulated by the play of Visesas"
Sadrsya vs The Universal
"He believes in the distinctiveness, nay, uniqueness of each individual and particular. He could ill afford, then, to recognise a single universal class essence running through a number of particulars, which will surreptitiously open the door to monism in the end"
"Similarity is not a perfectly symmetrical relation. There is some difference between the similarity of A to B and that of B to A, as Visesas are relative to the point of view from which they are examined"
Space and Time according to Sri Madhwa
"Space and Time must ex hypothesi be infinite. If we deny this, there will be the great logical difficulty of conceiving a boundary to finite space and time. We shall have to recognise more space and more time beyond them and this will lead to a regress"
"The concept of Space as Avyakrtakasa in Madhva's philosophy must be recognised to be a remarkable advance in Vedantic thought"
"He, therefore, holds that Space and Time are distinct entities, intuited by Saksi and that they are not merely 'forms of intuition' as in Kantian thought. Otherwise, they could not be intuited"
"Space is termed "Avyakrtakasa" by Madhva as distinguished from ether (bhutakasa). The former is eternal and uncreated and the latter is a product of matter. This twofold classification of Akasa is a special feature of Madhva's philosophy"
"Madhva says that we cannot understand movement as such without being already conscious of space. Movement does not explain space. Space explains movement"
"He, therefore, suggests that space must be accepted as a reality given by direct perception, not of the ordinary senses, but of Saksi, which is specially fitted to sense the supersensuous"
"He holds that space and time are infinitely divisible, into further spaces and further parts of time, each such part being held to be a 'natural' part of it and not merely conditioned by Upadhis"
"He explains the references to actual creation of Akasa, in Upanisadic cosmology, as referring only to Bhutakasa and this is the reason why he has admitted to two kinds of Akasa, in his system"
"Time, in Dvaita Vedanta, is the essential constituent of all experience.....But it is not, as in Advaita, apprehended by the ordinary sense of perception.5 It is held to be perceived by the Saksi"
"It should be regarded, says he, as a fundamental ontological category that conditions all our being and becoming. No experience is possible without it. It is experienced along with the experience itself"
"The organ by which the intuiting Self becomes aware of time, is termed the Saksi or Svarupendriyam which is no other than the Saksi itself turning its own inner searchlight, so to say, upon itself"
"Madhva does not hold that time is an undifferenced and indivisible whole (akhanda). It is infinite and infinitely divisible. It is an infinite stream of duration without beginning or end. Each duration is pervasive"
"Madhva posits that it is eternal and uncreated in the sense of base empty time (anadi) and non-eternal (divisible). Both are intuited by Saksi. This is how he reconciles the Vedic, Upanisadic and Puranic texts which speak of time in both the ways"
Theory of Causation.
"The Madhva theory of causation cannot be understood without relation to its doctrine of Visista, already referred to"
"Madhva's doctrine of Bhedabheda between Visista and Visesya (or Suddha) in respect of changing attributes and relations of things, leads to the corollary of
'Sadasatkaryavada' of causation, which is his general theory of causation"
"Causation implies a change, a beginning and end"
"change is not merely something new appearing, but it presupposes a substratum that changes, in form or state. Ex nihilo nihil fit. Causation would be impossible and meaningless, without the assumption of continuity of the cause in and through the changes it has undergone"
"The Buddhist doctrine of causation as an ever-changing, constant, ceaseless flux, each moment (ksana) of existence being but a 'specious present' with no duration, is sharply criticised by Madhva and Jayatirtha"
"We cannot think of a 'change' without a changing thing at the back. There must be a 'something' that is not contained in the succession which carries on each vanishing point of the succession and adds it to the next"
"Such a link would be missing in the Buddhist doctrine of Ksanikatva, as a ksana is, according to the Buddhist view, indivisible like a mathematical point (and nirvisesa at that)"
"There would be no split-second interval between any two vanishing points of moments at which the cause and effect could have met and 'causation' taken place by the transference of 'Samskaras'"
"For, mere sequence or succession (in time) is not causation. Madhva holds, therefore, that the effect is partially non-existent in its definite form and shape, while being existent in the form of the cause"
"NEGATION, as a fact of experience, is a Prameya. It is an important ontological category. As a thought-category it lies at the root of many other philosophical conceptions like Bhavarupajnana, Mithyatva, Bheda and Causation"
"The positive and the negative represent the two aspects of reality. The Madhva philosophers agree with the Naiyayikas in accepting the negative as a separate category of experience"
"Madhva defines negation as....what is presented in the primary act of perception as involving the significant negation or denial of a 'something' "
"Madhva recognise three types of Negation : antecedent (pragabhava) subsequent (pradhvamsabhava) and absolute (sadabhava). The first has an upper limit; the second a lower and the last is unlimited"
"The Anyonyabhava of the Nyaya school is equated by Madhva with 'difference' which has already been treated at length"
Epistemology of Sri Madhwacharya's Siddhanta
The Theory of Pramanas
"The ascertainment of truth being the first and foremost aim of philosophy, it is incumbent on it to define truth and error in clear terms and indicate the instruments or channels of their ascertainment"
"Man is essentially an epistemological animal. His irrepressible thirst for knowledge is itself a thesis about knowledge"
"The term pramana is used in two senses : (1) true knowledge and (2) the means or instruments by which it is engendered"
"Madhva has done a distinct service to epistemology in distinguishing these two senses and usages of the term and coining two separate terms "Kevala" and "Anu" pramana, to denote them, without ambiguity"
"'Pramana' in the first sense (of valid knowledge) refers to the capacity of true knowledge to reveal the nature of an object as it really is"
"As applied to Anu-Pramanas like Perception. Inference and Sabda, it signifies the means (sadhana) by which such correct knowledge of objects is obtained"
"Kevala-Pramana is divided into four types, in the descending order of merit as Isvara-jnana, Laksmi-jnana, Yogijnana and Ayogi-jnana, on the basis of intrinsic
differences in quality, luminosity and range"
"The first two are in the nature of Svarupa-jnana alone while the other two include Vrtti-jnana (sensory knowledge) also. The classification though partly theological, is not without mystic, epistemological and psychological significance"
Ishvara Jnana:
"according to Madhva, all comprehensive, always veridical, eternal and independent and part of the divine nature itself and extremly luminous"
"Laksmi-Jnana is next only to God's, in these respects and dependent on God"
Yogi and Ayogi Jnana:
"The ramifications of Yogi-Jnana include those of Rju, Tattvika and Atattvika souls and of the last, into those of Muktiyogas and others"
"Kevala-pramana has two aspects : knowledge consisting of the essence of selfhood and that arising from mental processes. These are graded in regard to validity as regards both, into uttama, madhyama and adhama"
Perception, Inference and Verbal Testimony.
"Sense-perception is defined by Madhva as ... knowledge produced by the right type of contact between flawless sense organs and their appropriate objects"
"The flawlessness of the senses and their contact etc., is to be borne out by the truthfulness of knowledge, within the meaning of "yathartha" already given, which is itself ascertained by the Saksi"
"Absolute flawlessness of indriya is possible only in respect of the knowledge of God, Lakshmi and the released"
"The Svarupa-jnana of Uttamajivas is always true while the Vrtti-jnana (sensory knowledge) of all the three classes of un-released souls, is subject to error, as the senses in their case are material"
"The contents of individual experiences are proverbially fragmentary. Even of the reality of which I take note, I can never perceive more than just those aspects that attract my attention for the time being or have relevance to my interests"
"The Saksi intuits its own self (Atman) and its characteristics of bliss, conciousness etc., as well as the mind and its modifications (vrtti) Avidya, knowledge arising from the external senses, the feelings of pleasure and pain, time, space and God"
"The mind comprehends external reality through the sense organs and acts as the independent instrument of memory, aided by the Samskaras providing the contact"
"According to Madhva, inference consists in the knowledge of the mark of inference as pervaded by the Sadhya and invariably connected with it, leading to the ascetainment of the Sadhya"
"The errors is reasoning are classified into formal and material. The most important of these are Virodha and Asangati in which are subsumed all the defects of reasoning including the fallacies and Nigrahasthanas"
"Madhva makes out a strong case for according verbal testimony an independent status as a Pramana"
"Sabdapramana is divided into Pauruseya and Apauruseya"
"Madhva is the only Vedantin after the Mimamsakas to have given the question of the infallibility and the Apauruseyatva of the Vedas serious attention. He has taken special pains to establish the doctrine with some new and original arguments of his own"
"Madhva introduces a new line of argument which is indeed thought-provoking in that it goes to the very crux of the problem – the raison d'etre of any Apauruseyavakya in the domain of Pramanas"
"The ultimate sanction for all religion, ethics and morality and for the acceptance of all supersensuous values like dharma and adharma will have to be founded on some textual authority which is not the composition of any particular individual...."
"Unless our ideas of dharma and adharma are grounded in such impersonal authority, it would be impossible to establish the very existence of values and concepts on any satisfactory basis"
"Nor can such a philosopher claim that his system would, by the negation of dharma, adharma and other supersesuous values, confer a real benefit on humanity by ridding society of its superstitious belief in them"
"Madhva points out that far from benefiting humanity, such teaching undermining the faith of the people in dharma, adharma etc., would let loose violence and disorder everywhere by lending support to the policy of 'might is
"In the long run, the people will curse the philosopher whose teachings would expose them to such misery"
"Other Pramanas like Arthapatti are not given an independent position by Madhva"
"Similarly, Upamana also, as a means of establishing similarity between two things, may be brought under inference, perception or verbal testimony, according to the conditions of each case"
"Anupalabdhi also, in the same way, could be brought under any of the three according to the nature and conditions of the experience"
"The well-known "Tatparya-lingas" like "Upakrama", "Upasamhara" and Sruti, linga, vakya, prakarana, etc. are also similarly to be brought under the purview of inference"
The Status of Memory
"THE contribution of memory to knowledge is quite considerable and important. The question of its status and title to be admitted as a Pramana or source of valid knowledge has engaged the attention of philosophers in the East and in the West"
"The Mimamsakas and the Naiyayikas have deliberately defined Pramana in such a way as to exclude memory from its scope. The Advaitins generally follow the Mimamsaka view. The followers of Ramanuja seem to be divided in their opinion"
"As a realist Madhva stakes his all on the validity of memory and supports its claim to be admitted as a Pramana or source of valid knowledge....He brings Memory under Pratyaksa and considers it as a direct perception by the mind"
"Madhva holds that Samskaras (former impressions) provide the necessary contact (sannikarsa) of the mind with the past"
"If I lose my memory, I cannot by any written or other records reconstruct my past experience for myself. Others with their memories intact may be able to do so. But that will hardly help me or have any binding force so far as I am concerned"
"The existence of an object in the same former condition whenever it is known is not essential for the validity of knowledge"
"What is required is that the particular state or condition, in which knowledge apprehended a given object with reference to a particular space-time setting, should really belong to it in that space-time setting"
"Madhva {formulates} a new theory that our memory experiences are not purely and simply the reflections of Samskaras, impressions, feelings or beliefs. They are direct apprehensions of the mind penetrating into the past"
"Another minor objection to the right of memory to be admitted as a 'Pramana' is its alleged inability to serve any useful purpose (nisphalatvam), as a source of knowledge. This is pointless, says Madhva. In the first place, validity is a matter of fact and hardly one of utility"
"He argues that we experience the past by means of Manasapratyaksa aided by Samskaras. The experience of memory is valid insofar as it is uncontradicted. Thus, it is not barred by definition"
"It comprehends events, or objects qua past i.e., as qualified by the special attribute of “being past" whereas, the first experience of them would, naturally, have conceived of them qua present!"
The Doctrine of Validity
"The Samkhyas have held that both validity and invalidity are innate to knowledge. This means that the same factors which produce knowledge make for the validity pertaining to it, and similarly in the case of invalidity"
"According to the Nyaya school, both the genesis and apprehesion of validity and invalidity are extrinsic to knowledge, caused by factors other than those which give rise to or make known the knowledge"
"The Buddhists, on the other hand, regard validity as extraneous and invalidity intrinsic to knowledge, as all ordinary knowledge according to them is discursive and hence based on mental construction"
"The Bhattas accept validity to be innate and invalidity to be extrinsic"
"The Prabhakaras regard knowledge as self-luminous and therefore capable of manifesting its own validity in the same act. But they do not accept any invalid knowledge as such"
"Madhva disagrees with all these theories. According to him, the sense organs themselves are capable of producing correct knowledge by proper contact etc"
"As knowledge, by itself, is insentient as a modification of the antahkarana and therefore incapable of self-revelation, we have to admit some other principle by which the knowledge itself and its validity could be intuited. Such a principle is the Saksi or Svarupendriya"
"The theory of Pratyaksa being vitiated by fontal flaws (dosajanyatvam) cannot be put forward until the unreality of experience is otherwise established and that cannot be done until the Dosajanyatva of Pratyaksa is proved"
"Madhva's position is that the conflict of Pramanas must be resolved by resorting to some objective epistemological criterion and not on the basis of purely sentimental respect for one set of Srutis as against the other or on that of personal predilections"
"The Upajivya is the logical and ontological ground or starting point of all further predications about a subject. The nature of this ground or starting point as it is ex hypothesi determined furnishes the basis of all subsequent thought and predication"
"An Upajivaka must, in all cases, be subservient to the Upajivya and cannot overrule it.....It is clear that in the event of a conflict between the Upajivya and Upajivaka, both could not be held to be valid"
On Upajivya being different for different knowledge:
"Madhva holds that the authority of the Sruti is absolute and unqualified only in matters which fall exclusively within its province such as the nature and attributes of God, His Personality and the esoteric truths of theology"
"But in matters which fall within the legitimate sphere of valid perception and Saksyanubhava, such as the reality of the world and the self's own experiences of the joys and sorrows of life.... the verdict of such Pratyaksa and Saksyanubhava will hold the field as Upajivya"
"In certain cases Agama is the Upajivya of Pratyaksa while in some others Saksipratyaksa is the Upajivya of Agama"
"Madhva has thus shown himself to be a very balanced thinker in fixing the boundaries of the different Pramanas"
"Vyasatirtha has taken special care to observe that what makes for prabalya or superior strength of the upajiva is that it has been well tested"
"The right way of understanding its description sometimes as not-existing is that it is always under Brahman's control & hence non-existent in its own right..just a way of speaking even as a son who is dependent on his father for all practical purposes treated as of no account"
The Doctrine of Sakshi
"Knowledge carries and must carry its own proof. If the truth of a cognition should depend upon its agreement with some other factor, such agreement, again, will have to be similarly demonstrated on the basis of further agreement and so on ad infinitum"
"Jayatirtha points out in the course of a penetrating analysis of the problem of validity, that there are only six possible ways in which validity can be ascertained"
"(1) by reason of its being caused by flawless senses; or (2) the certainty of its not being generated by defective sense-organs; or (3) on the basis of practical or pragmatic efficiency; or....."
"....(4) agreement with another knowledge; or (5) at least absence of disagreement with another; or else (6) lastly, in its own right"
"Madhva finds such an ultimate and absolute principle of knowledge and validation in the inner sense- (organ) of the self of man- his “Svarupendriyam” which he calls “Saksi” and which is “Jnanagrahaka” (intuitor of knowledge) and of its validity too (jnanapramanyagrahaka)"
"It may be identified as the ‘Apperceiver’ of all our conscious states and their validity where such validity is present and is desired to be grasped"
"The raison d’etre of attributing to Saksipratyaksa absolute infallibility and self-validation, which is denied in respect of ordinary perceptions of the mind and the senses, is that the mind is liable to err and is open to doubts, albeit rarely...."
".....whereas, the judgements of the Saksi cannot be doubted and have never been shown to have been in the wrong and invalidated at any time in life"
"The best proof of the unerring precesion and infallibility of Saksi is furnished, says Madhva, by the most intimate and poignant experiences of life (of pleasure and pain) of which none of us has occasion to entertain the least doubt in his life"
"While all other adherents of the Svatahpramanya view have been content with assuming that knowledge itself carries with it its own validity, Madhva has been the only one among Indian philosophers to insist upon a further analysis...."
"...and to probe the problem and go a step further and demonstrate that only the verdict of the Saksi can be the true terminus of validation. This marking off of the spheres of Vrtti-jnana and Saksi-jnana constitutes a remarkable advance of Madhva in Indian epistemology"
"As Jayatirtha explains 'The Saksi, is the ultimate criterion of all knowledge and its validation. Being however accustomed to truth and error in respect of sensory, inferential and verbal knowledge, the Saksi is not able to come to a decision straightway......"
"....about the validity of particular items of knowledge placed before it, when faced with doubts or the possiblity of invalidity. However, it is the mind and not the Saksi which is open to doubts"
"Knowledge, then, receives its true and highest validation by the verdict of the Saksi and no theory of the self-validity of knowledge will be complete without the acceptance of such a final principle of validation. Such is the position of Madhva's epistemology"
Sakshi as the Ultimate Criterion of Truth
"THE Madhva theory of knowledge distinguishes between ordinary knowledge through sensory channels termed 'Vrttijnana' and intuitive perception by the self called Saksijnana"
"The epistemological necessity for such an ultimate principle of knowledge and its validation is accepted by the Advaitin also...Bhamathi 2-2-28"
"This is why Madhva places the Saksi above all doubts and vacillations and makes it an absolute principle of infallibilty. It is untouched by any breath of uncertainty. Its credentials are never dubious"
"Saksi is no other than the self. It is also its Caitanya-indriya (essential sense organ partaking of the nature of consciousness). Its distinction into self and its organ is one of reference and not of essence. Their relation is one of Savisesabheda in Madhva's terminology"
"Madhva draws a special distinction between Pratyaksa by the sense organs (including the mind) and perception by the Saksi, and, speaks of seven types of Pratyaksa, arising through the five sense-organs, the mind and the Saksi"
"Generally speaking, perception is the criterion of truth. In some cases, it is also inference. With regard to things presented only on the evidence of Scripture, the position of being the criterion belongs only to it"
"Is the only means of intuitive perception of certain supersensuous categories like Time, Space, the nature of the self and its attributes, the mind and its modes, all knowledge of pleasure and pain etc. These experiences are regarded by Madhva as immediate experiences"
"The distinction of Saksi into Svarupa and Indriya (self and organ) is only one of reference and not of essence. Such a distinction is rationalised by the play of 'Visesas' (already dealt with).We cannot go beyond the verdict of the Saksi"
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