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Svasamvedana-pratyaksha -- Reflexive Awareness Direct Perception



In Buddhist Pranama (epistemology), there are two generally accepted categories of valid cognition: (1) direct perception and (2) inference.

Within direct perception (Sanskrit: pratyaksa) there are four sub-categories: sensory direct perception, mental direct perception, yogic direct perception and reflexive-awareness direct perception.

Svasamvedana-pratyaksha is the Sanskrit term for Reflexive Awareness Direct Perception, and is defined as a mode of perceiving in which the explicit object of the perception is (in alignment with a Dzogchen view) an unconditioned “ultimate, unbounded wholeness." Such an "ultimate, unbounded wholeness" is not actually an “object” in the usual dualistic sense, but rather is the very nature which IS that reflexive awareness. In other words, the perceiving process, via Svasamvedana-pratyaksha, is utterly nondual; and -- rather than being a means for authenticating something else -- is instead self-authenticating, i.e. is in-and-of-itself none other than "authenticity."

Note: This can be contrasted with, but should not be confused with the Cittamatra view's “open reflexive awareness” -- whose object is a conditioned "consciousness."

Unlike sensory direct perception or mental direct perception -- which all ordinary beings have access to, and which are only conventionally valid -- Svasamvedana-pratyaksha is ultimately valid, i.e. is a form of cognition through which one is able to realize the true nature of phenomena.


See Also: The Three Natures

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