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Tirumala Tirupati

Welcome to Adiyen Sri Ramanuja Dasan !

" Srimathe Ramanujaya Namaha !"

The “Doctrine Special” of Visishtadvaita

92. What is an authority (Pramana)?

An authority is something from which we learn truths. We consider the Vedas, as the basic authority We also use logic and arguments to arrive at the truths, in addition to learning from the Vedas.

Such things from which we learn the truths or arrive at the truths, are called authority (pramana).

93. What are the authorities or sources (pramana) for understanding things?

These are three in number, and are as follows:-

1. What we understand directly by our senses, like what we see with our eyes or what we hear with our ears. This is called Pratyaksha.

2. Inference or logic (Anumana) - That is, by seeing or understanding a thing, we logically infer something else, although it is not actually seen by us. For example, if we see smoke coming, we infer there is fire. So this is called one of the sources of knowledge (anumana).

3. Sabda (or sound). We accept the Vedas, Smritis, Itihasas, Puranas as authority (So long as they do not contradict the Vedas).

It is from these that generally the various systems of philosophy are developed by logical deductions and arguments.

Talking of the first source, i.e. perception by senses, we have to be careful that our perception is correct and it is not wrong. For example, seeing is correct and it is not wrong. For example, seeing a rope from a distance, we may mistake it for a serpent. This is wrong perception. Similarly, in hot summer, on a tar road, seeing from a distance, you may think that there is water. This again is wrong perception. We have to guard against such wrong perceptions.

94) In talking of perception by senses, what are the senses?

The senses or Indriyas are of two kinds: the senses of knowledge (Jnana Indriyas) and the senses of Action (Karma Indriyas).

95) What are the senses of knowledge (Jnana Indriyas)?

Theses are five in number: 1.Eye 2.Ear 3.Nose 4.Mouth and 5.Skin (on the body)

96) What are the second set of senses or Indriyas?

These are called the five senses of action or Karma (Karma Indriyas)

97) What are they?

These are: 1. Tongue 2. Hand 3. Leg 4. Anus and 5. The Organ reproduction.

So, we have to be careful that what is understood through the senses of knowledge is correct.

We should also remember at a later time what we had seen or heard earlier. This is also accepted as an authority, since it is only remembering of an authority, which was understood through our senses earlier.

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\|/ Adiyen Ramanuja Dasan \|/ Jai Srimannaryana ! \|/

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