When my wife points out that I am leaving books on every surface and turning the sitting room table into a desk I respond:
- It's not a desk, I know that, it's a table with desk-like features.
Is this upamana at work? I think so. Moreover, rather than being restricted to the gavaya (bos gaurus) of the standard example and its configuration which seduces us into trying to devise congruent examples; we are in fact using the pramana all the time in various ways. The usage in translation of 'means of knowledge' may be a misdirection. We are inclined then to think of some sort of device that we utilise whereas upamana as a capacity that only exists as it is being used, mysterious as that sounds, may be closer to its reality. My resistance is to a Lockean abstractionist view which sees the the tabula rasa as the primitive condition.