Dignaga established the doctrine of self-awareness of knowledge (svasamvedana) on the assumption that remembrance has for its objects the object which was perceived before and its perception itself which occurred before. The masters of the Pratyabhijña school, Utpaladeva and Abhinavagupta, criticize this assumption in their works, the Isvarapratyabhijñakarika and the Isvarapratyabhijñavimarsini. According to this school, granted that there appears the former perception of an object in remembrance, it does not appear there as an object. If it did, there would occur contradiction with the doctrine of self-awareness of knowledge. For, theoretically speaking, perception cannot be cognized by another cognition.
According to the Pratyabhijña school, however, in remembrance the former perception appears in the form of ‘I perceived’ (aham anvabhuvam). This indicates that in remembrance the former perception appears as resting on the self (atman) which is self-luminous (svaprakasa), that is, as not separate from the self. Thus, for the Pratyabhijña school, the doctrine of self-awareness of knowledge should be founded on the theory that any knowledge is never separated from the self which is self-luminous. In the view of this school, Buddhist epistemologists, who hold the doctrine of non-self, could not introduce remembrance as evidence in order to sufficiently establish the doctrine of self-awareness of knowledge.