MEGHANĀDĀRISŪRI’S DOCTRINE OF THE JĪVA AS THE SUBJECT OF KNOWING: A CONCEPTUALLY CRITICAL REFLECTION ON THE TRADITIONAL TEACHING

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Abstract



In the Sanskrit tradition of the Rāmānuja School, Meghanādārisūri, an older contemporary of Veṅkaṭanātha, is one of the few authors of the past whose philosophical doctrine is known not only through isolated citations but in the form of a fully preserved text: Nayadyumaṇi. It was first printed in 1956 in Madras (1), and consists of twelve treatises devoted to individual problems, which were possibly already summarized by the author under this title, and which allow a relatively good picture of his teaching. It is noteworthy that Meghanādārisūri evidently belongs to a different tradition of teachers from that in which Veṅkaṭanātha stands. According to tradition, Meghanādārisūri is one of those who goes back to Śrīrāmamiśra (2), to which he also seems to refer in the introductory verses to Nayaprakāśikā (3), his commentary on Rāmānuja’s Śrībhāṣyam. His doctrine of the sentient subject Meghanādārisūri unfolds in the Prameyanirūpaṇam, the last of the texts contained in Nayadyumaṇi, in which, following Yāmunamuni (4), he makes the I-object (ahaṃartha) as the Ātman the subject of his analysis, first by rejecting false teachings, especially of the Lokāyata. His actual investigation of the doctrine of the nature of the jīva follows then in the NDy p. 238, 25-248, 23, subsequent to the conceptual characterisations of his definition of the jīva, with which he had initiated his investigation: “The jīva is the eternal and real subject of cognition (jñātā), whose essence is cognition, which is of the atomic smallness, and the body of Brahman” (5). It is remarkable that Meghanādārisūri calls this subject of cognition (jñātā) jīva, both in its definition and in the remark concluding the discussion “Therefore it is established that the jīva is as we have said” (6) while he only speaks of the Ātman in the inquiry itself, except in the places where he exposes his own doctrine. One wonders what the reason for this is. Obviously both concepts are not identical in their meaning and the concept of the Ātman, except in the polemics, serves for the explanation of the jīva, so that one may suppose the term “jīva” means the Ātman, as it actually is its reality in the living entity, while the Ātman designates the “I”-object as such without, however, consisting only of its definite reality. It is also noticeable in the definition that the last determination of the jīva, namely that it is the “body” of Brahman (brahmaśarīrabhūtaḥ) is not mentioned anymore in the investigation itself, even though Meghanādārisūri gives even the reason for mentioning the concept in the definition (7) and the body-definition of Rāmānuja, to which he dedicated a separate, albeit short treatise in the Nayadyumaṇi (8). Therefore it may not be farfetched to presume that Meghanādārisūri did not want to explicitly discuss this ultimately theological problem in his philosophical Prameyanirūpaṇam, which deals with the categorial objects of cognition. But if one wants to understand his doctrine of the spiritual subject of the living being as such, Meghanādārisūri's understanding of Rāmānuja's body-definition and thus his statement that the jīva is the body of the Brahman, is indispensable for its evaluation; in spite of the jīva being an independent category as a substance, it is this what actually justifies the ontological relational unity of the sentient subject with the divine Paramātman, which is fundamental to the school. Rāmānuja had clearly defined the body by means of his definition (9), thus making it suitable for a conceptual reflection in theology. The conceptual reception of the definition by Meghanādārisūri three hundred years later is therefore not only significant to the thinker himself, but it is also a valuable testimony as to how the body concept of Rāmānuja was received and evaluated aside from the teaching tradition of Veṅkaṭanātha, in the face of how sparse the surviving literature of the early school is. Thus, possibly for the first time, Meghanādārisūri poses the question of the logical value of this definition, questioning it with a certain historical detachment. In the treatise Śarīralakṣaṇanirūpaṇam mentioned above, he wonders if Rāmānuja's body-definition is not too narrow and therefore flawed. For plants are also bodies of living beings, but have neither a life breath (prāṇa) nor activity (kriyā). “But also in [animals such as] cattle, etc., a gradation of sentience [‘Geistigkeit’] is observed, and the word ‘body’ also does not express a specific form of appearance (ākṛtī), because in insects, etc., no common (ananuvṛtta-) form of appearance is observed; it is also revealed that the [individual] Ātman is the ‘body’ of the [Paramātman]” (10). The objection is a serious one. Not only does Rāmānuja's definition seem not to apply to some bodies (avyāpti), nor is there any common or similar form of appearance (ananuvṛttākṛtā), which in Viśiṣṭādvaita replaces the Vaiśeṣika category of the universal generic (sāmānya). And in the case of the individual Ātman being the “body” of the Paramātman it is not there in any case, due to its invisibility. Meghanādārisūri solves this difficulty with the help of a short remark: “Therefore, the use (pravṛtti) of the word [‘body’] is [justified] - as in the case of eternity - because it is an upādhi” (11). This very short statement reveals the change in Meghanādārisūri’s understanding of Rāmānuja’s body-definition by bringing into focus the conceptual value of the defined object: The object of the definition is not the physical body as such, but a concept, and this concept is an upādhi. The eternity mentioned by Meghanādārisūri as an example of an upādhi refers to a passage in his Nayaprakāśikā, which shows what is meant by the concept of upādhi in the case of the eternity of time. There he responds to the objection of an adversary that time has been handed down in the tradition as eternal and therefore as an independent reality: “[This] is not so, because the thought and language use of ‘time’ has as the cause only the place having the ‘connection with the light of the sun’, etc. as an upādhi and the linguistic usage of the ‘eternity’ is possible because it has no destruction without continuation” (12). The argument of Meghanādārisūri becomes comprehensible, if one understands what is meant by the concept of upādhi. Taking into account his analysis of time and the example of the eternity, one would like to understand the term, as it is used here, as a concept, which was obtained by the interaction of objectively given circumstances and by its content, which makes circumstantial conditions appear as a new, self-contained reality. In this sense the body which Rāmānuja defines, in the understanding of Meghanādārisūri, is not the concrete, physical body of a particular living being, but that which makes the physical reality of a being appear as a body: the three-fold relationality defining the nature of the body, and in the case of each and every respective body is understood by Meghanādārisūri as an upādhi. Thus, Meghanādārisūri does not question the body-concept of Rāmānuja when he analyses the concept, in accordance with the formal-conceptual requirements of contemporary discourse of his times, and defines it as an upādhi but conceptualizes it more sharply, and thereby obtains a grasp of the term that is also valuable for the theological reflection of the school. For although the “body” of the jīva in the saṃsāra is the circumstance-condition of the Ātman, which disappears at the time of death, for the Ātman as the “body” of the Paramātman it has, in its meaning, a totally different modality [Befindlichkeit], even if Meghanādārisūri does not address it in the present context. Although it remains a circumstance-conditioned modality [Befindlichkeit] of the Ātman, yet it neither has a beginning, nor an end. The Ātman is, as an eternal substance, never given otherwise than as the “body” of the Paramātman (apṛthaksiddha) and therefore is - as it were - “being wanted” [verfügt] by the Paramātman as its “body”. How this can be assumed is explained by Meghanādārisūri in another passage when he discusses how the omnipresent Paramātman can come into contact (saṃyoga) with the shapeless (aparichinna), individual Ātman: The contact (saṃyoga) of the highest [Ātman] with the thought of the jīva (jīvadhiyā) takes the form of an immediate permeating (vyāpararūpa), as in the case of wood and fire. Therefore the śruti [says]: ‘By permeating everything Nārāyaṇa is present’. This penetrating from the inside (antarvyāpti) of an atomic (aṇu-) substance is possible, because of his infinite subtleness. Therefore the śruti says: ‘he is subtler than an atom’, because permeating is easy for him. For when permeating from within, the subtleness of the permeating one is necessary. Being permeated (vyāpyatvam) results from the fact of being to-be-supported and to-be-directed, as well as from the fact of being the rest (śeṣatva), because [in the śruti] is revealed that the Supreme is the Ātman of all, and because it is revealed that other than him is his body. Because being-the-body and being-the-Ātman correspond to being supported, etc., or being the one who supports, etc. In the immediate permeating, however, it is [understandable] that it is another being, because it is cognized by [another] means of cognition (13). This text is important for Meghanādārisūri’s understanding of the body-concept of Rāmānuja, because it shows how he specifically conceived this determination as an upādhi: a particular being, whether sentient or non-sentient, is not a “body” due to its being, but due to being permeated by a spiritual being “from within” (antarvyāpti) and is thus “supported” and “directed” by the latter and is the “rest” to him, just as if it were taken possession of, forming with it a relational unity. That this happens since the concept of the body is an upādhi, is the conceptual-formal expression of the fact that the spiritual being, which makes it to be a body, is its enlivening principle. This is certainly the case with the body of the individual Ātman. In the individual Ātman as the body of the Paramātman, however, a problem arises. Given that the latter is eternal and sentient as a categorial being, one wonders what can be the enlivening principle, when it makes it into its (i.e. Paramātman’s) body. Even though the fact of being the body of the Paramātman could be the a priori condition for the individual Ātman as a categorial being, there is no statement of Meghanādārisūri in this regard. It is rather that being the life-giving principle of making the respective substance the body happens in such a way, that also the individual Ātman, as the body of the Paramātman, is permeated within by him (antarvyāpti) and thus forms with him a relational unity, on which its ontological dependence on the Paramātman is founded, and to which the individual Ātman a posteriori must correspond ethically and spiritually, in categorial action (14). In the Prameyanirūpanam Meghanādārisūri begins the actual study of the jīva after refuting the teachings of those who deny that the Ātman is an independent being. He starts with an extensive pūrvapakṣa of the Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika which is for him the least acceptable doctrine of the Ātman: The Ātman had neither knowledge as its nature (jñānasvarūpa) nor is it an eternal subject of knowing (jñātā), because in [the stage of] a deep sleep etc., neither the Ātman nor its knowledge appears. But if [both] do not appear, one cannot say that the Ātman is like that. For the nature of the knowing subject is always to be the substratum of knowing. But then it is not possible for knowing to arise because of the contact of the senses with the objects. Nor is knowing in sleep based on experiencing the thought of well-being (sukha) and of oneself at the time of sleep when one [thinks] on awakening: ‘I slept well’, because it conflicts with the psychic situation of the lack of knowledge in your sleep when you say ‘I did not know anything’. Rather, the [thought] ‘I have slept well’ is the subsequent well-being caused by sleep [by] actually [thinking]: ‘I have slept in my sleep as well as I feel now’. That is why the Śruti [says]: “In truth, I do not recognize myself [thinking] now ‘I am this one’ (15)’ and ‘having passed away there is no consciousness anymore’” (16), they teach that both in deep sleep and in emancipation there is no cognition. If the [Ātman] were in its nature cognition and the subject of cognition then it should be omniscient and independent from the senses, because it is all-present and in contact with all things. The assumption that the Ātman is atom-small and moves there is not right, because it is more complicated (gauratva). [...] In the case when the body alone is moving, this is easier. Since one perceives the enjoyer [of the adṛṣṭa] in a distant place, the connection with the [omnipresent] Ātman, like the adṛṣṭa, is there. Namely, this is rooted by the adṛṣṭa and does not have the adṛṣṭa as a cause that is elsewhere. [...] Therefore the Ātman is omnipresent, dull (jāḍaḥ) and possesses the sentience only accidentally (17). The text is a concise summary of the opponent’s doctrine of the Ātman, which Meghanādārisūri, in his survey at the beginning of the analysis of the jīva (18) has mentioned as the first of the doctrines to be refuted, and the refutation of which forms a structure for his own teaching. After clarifying the Śruti quotations (19) uttered by the opponent as an argument for his doctrine, he picks up on the main argument of the adversary that the Ātman in deep sleep has no knowledge and therefore the not-knowing as the nature: Even if the activity of appropriation is lacking, because there is no object to be known, the Ātman is, in its essence, cognition (jñānasvarūpa), since the ‘I-object’ (ahaṃartha) shines as ‘I’. The knowing is independent from another one shining. On the other hand lamps etc. are not self-luminous, because they require the cognition. The thought and language use of ‘shining’ in their case is only a co-cause of knowing, therefore [your] thesis is refuted because also at another time, when the appropriation does not happen, the luminosity of the [apperceiving] consciousness of the testimony of the Ātman is there (20). In order to refute the opponent’s argument, Meghanādārisūri distinguishes here two independent aspects in the human cognizing: on the one hand the apperceiving recognition of the I-object (ahaṃartha), and, on the other hand, the ‘knowing’ which is grasping of the object, which becomes a conscious realization due to the fact that the jīva is the subject of knowing. The apperceiving knowing of the subject, which for Meghanādārisūri is the nature of the I-object (the ahaṃartha) is ultimately the knowing consciousness of the Ātman, which therefore also makes the subject aware of the object grasped in the act of cognition, and thus makes the act of acquiring become knowledge, which act of acquiring knowledge could not do (21). This knowing, which belongs to the nature of the I-object, is independent from the act of knowing, and therefore eternal (22). Thus Meghanādārisūri can show how the subject itself can experience his well-being even in deep sleep without such an act: In this way, even though there is no activity of the external or internal psychic apparatus, [also for the knowledge] ‘I have slept well’, due to the fact that it is the property-bearer of the well-being and [this] is an experience of the I-object ( ahaṃartha), on the basis of a [superior] representation that is [the I-object], by its very nature it is the cognizing subject of [this] knowledge (23). This distinction of ‘knowing’ as substance-like, independent phenomenon, and of the Ātman as its apperceiving subject (ātmasākṣika) makes one first think of the Sāṃkhya but it is basically different from its epistemology. While in the Sāṃkhya of the classical time the Puruṣa is an eternal inaffectible principle of sentience (cetana), that exists for itself in emancipation (see kaivalya), the Ātman, the object of the self-referential word ‘I’ (ahamarthaḥ), is a dynamic relational subject, which by its nature is not only cognition, but also the subject who actively recognizes the object grasped by cognition. Meghanādārisūri speaks in another quotation of the fact of “being the knower of knowledge” (jñānajñātṛtva). He returns, in another passage, to this “being the knower of knowledge”, and makes it clear as such, by justifying it: Nor is it that the Ātman, in order to know an object, requires another [faculty] of cognition, if he, according to its nature shines as knowing. Because it is the I-object, which is by its nature inwardly turned. Since [this] is in the space of the heart, objects appear in its light because of [its] atomic smallness, because of the contact [of ‘knowing’] with the objects such as pots etc., for the sake of the supporting substratum. [And] the appearance of the knowing subject, [when cognising] ‘I have slept well’ belongs to the apperceiving knowledge of the Ātman (ātmasākṣika). ‘Knowing’ has no subject, there is no luminosity solely on the basis of [its] self, even if being the subject of knowing is the proper nature [of knowing]. Also this belongs to the apperceiving knowing [of the ātman]. Even if one gets the knowledge ‘I know’, the ‘knowing’, different from the I-object, which is the supporting substratum, is only for the sake of this substratum of ‘knowing’, as in the case of [the knowledge] ‘he does’, the fact of being active and of being the subject (24). This text is important. However, if one wants to understand the idea of Meghanādārisūri in its implications, the explanation of this text must go further. Already the very concept of the atomic smallness (aṇutvam) is not immediately obvious. How should one think of the sentient Ātman as atomic small? Does a spiritual being have a spatial size at all? Meghanādārisūri is well aware of the problem and solves it elsewhere, possibly for the first time and with concepts which are available for him: The supporting substratum (āśraya) [of the knowing of a particular thing] is, according to the śruti ‘this atomic small (aṇuḥ) Ātman one should recognize by the mind’ (25). This designation does not arise because of its connection with the manas, but because of a metaphorical usage (lakṣaṇāpatteḥ). Because the object of the [word] ‘I’ (ahaṃ iti arthasya) appears (prakāśa) only within the body, not elsewhere, it is proven that it is limited (paricchinnatvam). [But] even though it is limited, it is not of the extension of the body, because [only] the openness (vikāsādivikārāpatteḥ) of [‘knowing’], etc., is changed, when it enters the gross [material] body. Therefore, it is ‘atom-small’. [But even if] it is also atom-small, a painful sensation in the feet, etc., is possible by means of ‘knowing’ (26). Meghanādārisūri expresses himself strangely concise and indirect. Why? We do not know it: probably not because he was not sure of his ideas. They seem to be consistent on closer inspection. but possibly the adequate concepts are missing. This could indicate that he formulates these ideas here for the first time and could not rely on any corresponding tradition. At any rate, we are only dependent on our interpretation without having an explicit statement from his side. In order to show the metaphorical character of the word anutvam, he begins with clear facts, namely that the self-referring word ‘I’ (ahamityarthaḥ) is the knowing subject (dharmibhūtajñānam), and that it appears only in the sphere of one's own body, and not elsewhere. From this it follows that it is “limited” (paricchinna-). But what does the paricchinatvam mean here? To clarify this, he adds: “it is, though limited, not of the extension of the body” (27), which he explains with the words “because a change of the openness (of ‘knowing’, etc.) occurs when entering the gross [material] body” (28). But this makes no real sense. Unless one understands this additional sentence in the sense that only when entering into the material body, there occurs a change in the openness of knowing and the circumstances that condition it, and therefore the Ātman already before and independently of this should be limited, and therefore ‘atom-small’ (29). The argument is then logically reasonable, but does not explain how this limitation of a sentient being is to be thought out of itself. If, however, another passage of Meghanādārisūri is included in the interpretation, with which he justifies, in the first passage quoted here, why the I-object (ahaṃartha) whose essence is knowing, needs further act of cognition in order to cognize an object, it becomes possible to understand the concept of being limited according to its content. As a reason for this, Meghanādārisūri mentions there that the I-object is turned inward in accordance with its being, (30) thus equating factually the pratyaktvam with the paricchinnatvam. Thus, “limitedness” is not defined as being limited by something else, but as an inward-turned, self-centered being of the respective I-object, which establishes the relational individuality of its own self. Thus, the word aṇutvam gains its metaphorical meaning, namely that the I-object as a spiritual reality has no spatial extension, and therefore is shapeless (amūrta-), but that through its individual inwardness can still be localised in space; when it is in the saṃsāra, in the physical area of the heart (31). This analysis of what is meant by the word aṇutvam goes far beyond a clarification of a linguistic expression. It brings, through its meaning we have put forward, in the close relationship to the concept of individuality, if it is not really identical with this concept. This “being-oneself”, which results from the self-limitation of the “inner space” as I-relatedness, gives it its value as a relational partner of the Paramātman, making it the sole subject of acting, and makes it the “place”, where the Paramātman can immediately encounter it. How this is to be substantiated, Meghanādārisūri sums up at the end of a longer argumentation by saying: [This] shapelessness, by virtue of being atom-small, is revealed in [the statements] of the śruti... Does it not then appear that the Ātman, when it is shapeless, cannot get in contact with the distant object of pleasure which has the adṛṣṭa as its cause, and thus does not attain it? [No!] The getting in contact of the Supreme with the thinking of the jīva penetrates [it] from the outside and from the inside, as in the case of the wood being penetrated by the fire. Therefore the śruti says: ‘having permeated everything, Nārāyaṇa is present’. And this penetrating of the atom-size substance is [possible] because of its exceeding, great fineness. ... For, permeating from within requires the exceeding fineness of the permeating one (32). This penetrating is ultimately the relationality of the Paramātman with the jīva, which makes the jīva the body of the Paramātman. Eventually, it also is this individual inwardness that makes it possible to show the respective acting and thus the individual destiny of the I-object as one’s own (33). If one returns to the text in which Meghanādārisūri argues for the necessity of a further independent principle of knowing, it appears striking that it is due to the atomic smallness of the I-object (anutva of the ahaṃartha), because this one (ahaṃartha), by virtue of the subject-related-inwardness (pratyaktvam), requires a mediating principle in order to bridge the distance to the external object, yet in spite of the duality, the reality of knowing should be one alone. Meghanādārisūri is aware of this problem. Already as substances, “knowing” and the I-object (ahaṃartha) form a unity. Although they are each independent eternal substances, they do not unite with the other by contact (saṃyoga), but by the fact that they never occur independent of each other (apṛthaksthitatvāt), and form a unity of the supporting substratum and the one being supported (āśrayāśrayībhāva): Even though the Paramātman and its ‘knowing’ are omnipresent, they are both a relational oneness of a supporter and being supported, because they never occur separately (apriddhaksiddhatvād). In their activity (sphūrtiḥ), on the other hand, there is no dependence [of the two] on another means of cognition, insofar as it occurs only on its own due to the self-luminosity. There is no difference between ‘knowing’ and the Ātman. The illuminating of another object, however, [in the knowledge] results from the ‘knowing’ which is a property [of the Ātman] (svadharmabhūtajñānam). Its [knowing] luminosity happens on its own, but not for itself (svasmai) though it is knowing, but it occurs by its nature only as a consequence of its being for its supporting substratum [the Ātman]. Due to its being, the Ātman is not dependent on being grasped by means of cognition, because it is, due to its being the I-object (ahaṃarthaḥ), established as real (siddhaḥ). Regarding the knowledge of its properties such as atomic smallness etc., there exists such a dependence, also with regard to another Ātman, insofar as it is a property-bearer, because such one cannot be grasped through the I-consciousness of the other. The ‘knowing’ which is a property (dharmabhūtajñānam), though it is cognition, is perceived as luminous in its being for [its] substratum (34). This passage is the oldest textual proof of the school's Sanskrit tradition known to me, in which one seeks to explain conceptually why the substantial ‘knowing’ grasps its object out of itself (svataḥ), yet does not do so ‘for itself’ (svasmai) but for the I-object, the jīva, which is its supporting substratum (āśrayam) (35). In contrast to the luminosity (prakāśa) of the ‘knowing’, as Meghanādārisūri says, svaniṣṭhaḥ, (36) “the self-knowledge of the jīva is in relation to itself”. One is tempted to translate: “being at oneself”; this corresponds to what he means by pratyaktvam, “turned inward”, that is, ultimately “self-aware”; because the jīva, by his limited individuality (aṇutva) cannot go out of itself, but “in itself” remains. This cognition is independent of cognitive means because it is siddhaḥ, “being certain” due to its I-awareness. The term siddhaḥ cannot mean ‘proven’, it must mean an aspect of the jīva itself, because it is independent of any other act of knowing, that is, it can only be aware of itself as such, or, as Meghanādārisūri says in the latter place (37), be ātmasākṣikaḥ, the one that testifies to oneself. One first thinks of the witnessing of the sāṃkhyist Puruṣa. However, this is not possible because of its ontological relationality to the Paramātman as its ‘body’, and the relatedness to the own body as a body-having. The term svaniṣṭhaḥ, or the self-testifying ‘inwardness’, can only mean the jīva insofar as it is in consciously apperceiving awareness of every mediated knowledge. With this, Meghanādārisūri has fundamentally set the keystone to his outline of the onto-theology of the human subject. The unity of the cognition of the subject is not only de facto presupposed as eternal, separated, non-occurring independently (apṛthaksthitatva) but structurally grounded in itself and therefore understandable. Only the I-object is in the possession of its being, so that it can be the apperceiving principle of knowledge and thus its supporting substratum (āśraya). It alone is a consciously acting subject, for whom the ‘knowing’ grasps the object and thus assumes the function of the senses, etc. The senses no longer have a mediating function, but are merely openings through which ‘knowing’ can emerge. Meghanādārisūri discusses this in a brief excursus, summarizing the aspects of ‘cognition’ (dharmabhūtajñāna) important to him in the context of his doctrine of the human subject: it is the ‘cognition’ that, by virtue of its ontological uniting relation of the ‘supporter and being supported’ (āśrayāśrayibhāva) with the I-object, is the reason of its openness (vikāśa) for everything (38). However, this ‘knowing’ is limited to the cognition by means of the sensory organs, due to the karman when entering the saṃsāra: “Therefore, because the object, to be illumined [in the knowledge], depends on ‘knowing’, this [‘knowing’] requires contact with the latter, and it is narrowed by the karman in the saṃsāra, the organs of senses such as the eye, etc., are the gates of going out of the body” (39). Thus, Meghanādārisūri seems to have denied the senses their cognitive function and assigned it to cognition, even though one should not imagine the sensory organs as empty openings, but rather as a kind of filter that influences and differentiates the modality of the outward cognition. Meghanādārisūri is also aware of this when, in spite of his remark that the sensory organs are, as it were, gates through which cognition can go out of the body, on the occasion of the double form of appearing of the one fire-substance mentioned by him as analogy, for instance as the glitter of the gems and as a flaming fire, he says: In the same way, in the case of knowing and its supporting substratum (āśrayaḥ), we also [assume] a twofold form of cognition [of these], although it is only one single knowing, insofar as it has passed through one [of the sense organs], is not perceived as omnipresent and as not eternal but in the state of being-returned is correctly proved to be such, and has therefore, because of the different co-cause, only one fixed object (40). But what was the inner logic that had led Meghanādārisūri to assume that this cognition grasps its object not for itself (svasmai) but for its supporting substratum (āśrayaḥ): the I-object? Apparently, the ontological unity of the I-object and the cognition, which, in spite of the fact that this ‘cognition’ can only be a substance, can be thought of only as an analogy with a quality, because of the fact of never existing separately (apṛthaksthitatva) of the two (41). As cognition, it could grasp its object, as a quality which, as such, existed only because of its substratum; it could only be activated by its substratum, according to its intention, and therefore it is functioning only ‘for this’, and not ‘for itself’ (svasmai), should not two subjects arise (42). This ontologically complex unity becomes understandable in its functional unity, when Meghanādārisūri refutes the opponent’s objection to the idea of the self-referential cognition of the I-object as ‘I’, that the I-object (ahamartha), just as the fine atoms cannot be perceived because of its “atomic fineness” (aṇutva). Cognition, as the property of the ahamartha (dharmabhūtajñānam) shines out of itself for the latter (atmānam pratisvaprakāśatā), since it is associated with it through the relation of the “supporter and being supported” (āśrayāśrayaibhāvaḥ), while the ahamartha, in turn, becomes conscious as a subject of knowing oneself as grasped in cognition (43). Abbreviations ĀS ātmasiddhi BĀU Bṛhadāraṇyakopaniṣad ChU Chandogyopaniṣad MaṇḍU Maṇḍukyopaniṣad NDy Nayadyumaṇi NPra Nayaprakāśika ŚrīBh Śrībhāṣya

Gerhard Oberhammer

Institute of Oriental Studies, Uniwersytet Jagielloński

Email: halina.marlewicz@uj.edu.pl
Al. Mickiewicza, 3, 31-120 Kraków, Poland

Halina Marlewicz

Uniwersytet Jagielloński

Email: halina.marlewicz@uj.edu.pl
Al. Mickiewicza, 3, 31-120 Kraków, Poland

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