Author Topic: Inferred  (Read 411 times)

Dr. Sadananda

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« on: February 22, 2015, 09:45:41 AM »


      Earlier, the process of inference was explained as involving four aspects - the 'locus' of the discussion, the 'conclusion' that will be reached, a 'basis' for the argument and an 'analogy'. The example used was ' whenever there is smoke, there is fire'. (The full form used for the analysis was '(we infer that) there is a fire on the mountain because we can see smoke, just as in a kitchen there is always fire when we see smoke'). Shankara's analysis of adhyaasa can be put into the first form by saying that 'wherever there is transaction, there is adhyaasa'.

      He uses the example of using grass to catch a cow. The cow comes to the grass because, believing itself to be the body, it has notions such as 'I am hungry and the grass will remove the hunger, giving satisfaction'. It is the mistaken belief or adhyaasa 'I am the body' that causes the cow to come to the grass, 'going after things conducive to happiness'. Conversely, if instead of holding out grass, we take a stick to the cow, the cow senses danger and moves off, 'going away from things causing unhappiness'.This is again caused by the mistaken idea 'I am the body'. In fact, in this latter case, it is the belief that 'I am this physical body' (as opposed to the subtle body, which cannot be harmed by the stick).

      This provides the 'analogy' for the inference. Man goes after things he likes and avoids those that he dislikes, just as the cow comes to the grass and runs away from the stick. The full form of the inference then becomes: '(We infer that) all human activities are based on error, because all activities can be considered as either coming towards or going away, just as in the example of the cow with the grass or stick'. "Human activity" is the 'locus'; "that it is based on adhyaasa" is the 'conclusion; "all activities are either coming towards or going away" is the 'basis'; the example of the cow, grass and stick is the 'analogy'.