Self-luminosity of knowledge: The viśiṣṭādvaitin’s view
Dr. S Usha
Knowledge is the fundamental cause behind all practical activities. It is this that distinguishes the self (आत्मन्) from the not-self (अनात्मन्). It is knowledge that illumines all objects to the self, its substratum. From all these, the importance of knowledge in all conceptual, functional, and practical aspects is evident. Philosophy too has epistemology as a distinct branch to study exclusively knowledge and all other aspects directly related to it.While dealing with the nature of knowledge, the question as to whether it is self-luminous (svayaṁprakāśa) or not was considered elaborately by different schools of Indian philosophy like Sāṁkhya, Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika, Mīmāṁsā, Vedānta, and others. The present article seeks to consolidate the view of Viśiṣṭādvaita-Vedānta on the basis of scriptural statements, logical arguments and refutation of the views of other schools of thought, as presented by Veṅkaṭanātha in his Nyāya-Siddhāñajana.