A History of Indian Philosophy Part 39

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[Footnote 1: As the contact of the buddhi with the external objects takes place through the senses, the sense data of colours, etc., are modified by the senses if they are defective. The spatial qualities of things are however perceived by the senses directly, but the time-order is a scheme of the citta or the buddhi. Generally speaking Yoga holds that the external objects are faithfully copied by the buddhi in which they are reflected, like trees in a lake

"_tasmims'ca darpane sphare samasta vastudrstayah imastah pratibimbanti sarasiva tatadrumah_" _Yogavarttika_, I. 4.

The buddhi a.s.sumes the form of the object which is reflected on it by the senses, or rather the mind flows out through the senses to the external objects and a.s.sumes their forms: "_indriyanyeva pra.n.a.lika cittasancaranamargah taih samyujya tadgola kadvara bahyavastusuparaktasya cittasyendryasahityenaivarthakarah parinamo bhavati_" _Yogavarttika_, I.

VI. 7. Contrast _Tattvakaumudi_, 27 and 30.]


Apart from the perceptions and the life-functions, buddhi, or rather citta as Yoga describes it, contains within it the root impressions ([email protected]_) and the tastes and instincts or tendencies of all past lives (_vasana_) [Footnote ref 1]. These [email protected] are revived under suitable a.s.sociations. Every man had had infinite numbers of births in their past lives as man and as some animal. In all these lives the same citta was always following him. The citta has thus collected within itself the instincts and tendencies of all those different animal lives. It is knotted with these vasanas like a net. If a man pa.s.ses into a dog life by rebirth, the vasanas of a dog life, which the man must have had in some of his previous infinite number of births, are revived, and the man's tendencies become like those of a dog. He forgets the experiences of his previous life and becomes attached to enjoyment in the manner of a dog. It is by the revival of the vasana suitable to each particular birth that there cannot be any collision such as might have occurred if the instincts and tendencies of a previous dog-life were active when any one was born as man.

The [email protected] represent the root impressions by which any habit of life that man has lived through, or any pleasure in which he took delight for some time, or any pa.s.sions which were


[Footnote 1: The word [email protected] is used by [email protected] who probably preceded Buddha in three different senses (1) improving a thing as distinguished from generating a new quality (_Sata [email protected]@m [email protected]@h_, Kas'ila on [email protected], VI. ii. 16), (2) conglomeration or aggregation, and (3) adornment ([email protected], VI. i. 137, 138). In the [email protected] the word [email protected] is used in various senses such as constructing, preparing, perfecting, embellishing, aggregation, matter, karma, the skandhas (collected by Childers). In fact [email protected] stands for almost anything of which impermanence could be predicated. But in spite of so many diversities of meaning I venture to suggest that the meaning of aggregation (_samavaya_ of [email protected]) is prominent. The word [email protected]_ is used in [email protected], II. 6, Chandogya IV. xvi. 2, 3, 4, viii. 8, 5, and [email protected]@nyaka, VI. iii. 1, in the sense of improving. I have not yet come across any literary use of the second meaning in Sanskrit. The meaning of [email protected] in Hindu philosophy is altogether different. It means the impressions (which exist subconsciously in the mind) of the objects experienced. All our experiences whether cognitive, emotional or conative exist in subconscious states and may under suitable conditions be reproduced as memory ([email protected]). The word vasana (_Yoga sutra_, IV. 24) seems to be a later word. The earlier [email protected] do not mention it and so far as I know it is not mentioned in the Pali [email protected]

_Abhidhanappadipika_ of Moggallana mentions it, and it occurs in the Muktika [email protected] It comes from the root "_vas_" to stay. It is often loosely used in the sense of [email protected], and in [email protected]_ they are identified in IV. 9. But vasana generally refers to the tendencies of past lives most of which lie dormant in the mind. Only those appear which can find scope in this life. But [email protected] are the sub-conscious states which are being constantly generated by experience. Vasanas are innate [email protected] not acquired in this life. See [email protected], Tattvavais'aradi_ and _Yogavarttika_, II. 13.]


engrossing to him, tend to be revived, for though these might not now be experienced, yet the fact that they were experienced before has so moulded and given shape to the citta that the citta will try to reproduce them by its own nature even without any such effort on our part. To safeguard against the revival of any undesirable idea or tendency it is therefore necessary that its roots as already left in the citta in the form of [email protected] should be eradicated completely by the formation of the habit of a contrary tendency, which if made sufficiently strong will by its own [email protected] naturally stop the revival of the previous undesirable [email protected]

Apart from these the citta possesses volitional activity ([email protected]@ta) by which the conative senses are brought into relation to their objects. There is also the reserved potent power (s'akti) of citta, by which it can restrain itself and change its courses or continue to persist in any one direction. These characteristics are involved in the very essence of citta, and form the groundwork of the Yoga method of practice, which consists in steadying a particular state of mind to the exclusion of others.

Merit or demerit ([email protected], papa_) also is imbedded in the citta as its tendencies, regulating the mode of its movements, and giving pleasures and pains in accordance with it.

Sorrow and its Dissolution [Footnote ref 1].

[email protected] and the Yoga, like the Buddhists, hold that all experience is sorrowful. Tamas, we know, represents the pain substance. As tamas must be present in some degree in all combinations, all intellectual operations are fraught with some degree of painful feeling. Moreover even in states of temporary pleasure, we had sorrow at the previous moment when we had solicited it, and we have sorrow even when we enjoy it, for we have the fear that we may lose it. The sum total of sorrows is thus much greater than the pleasures, and the pleasures only strengthen the keenness of the sorrow. The wiser the man the greater is his capacity of realizing that the world and our experiences are all full of sorrow. For unless a man is convinced of this great truth that all is sorrow, and that temporary pleasures, whether generated by ordinary worldly experience or by enjoying heavenly experiences through the performance of Vedic sacrifices, are quite unable to

[Footnote 1: Tattavais'aradi and Yogavarttika, II. 15, and Tattvakaumudi, I.]


eradicate the roots of sorrow, he will not be anxious for mukti or the final uprooting of pains. A man must feel that all pleasures lead to sorrow, and that the ordinary ways of removing sorrows by seeking enjoyment cannot remove them ultimately; he must turn his back on the pleasures of the world and on the pleasures of paradise. The performances of sacrifices according to the Vedic rites may indeed give happiness, but as these involve the sacrifice of animals they must involve some sins and hence also some pains. Thus the performance of these cannot be regarded as desirable. It is when a man ceases from seeking pleasures that he thinks how best he can eradicate the roots of sorrow.

Philosophy shows how extensive is sorrow, why sorrow comes, what is the way to uproot it, and what is the state when it is uprooted. The man who has resolved to uproot sorrow turns to philosophy to find out the means of doing it.

The way of eradicating the root of sorrow is thus the practical enquiry of the [email protected] philosophy [Footnote ref 1]. All experiences are sorrow. Therefore some means must be discovered by which all experiences may be shut out for ever. Death cannot bring it, for after death we shall have rebirth. So long as citta (mind) and [email protected] are a.s.sociated with each other, the sufferings will continue.

Citta must be dissociated from [email protected] Citta or buddhi, [email protected] says, is a.s.sociated with [email protected] because of the non-distinction of itself from buddhi [Footnote ref 2]. It is necessary therefore that in buddhi we should be able to generate the true conception of the nature of [email protected]; when this true conception of [email protected] arises in the buddhi it feels itself to be different, and distinct, from and quite unrelated to [email protected], and thus ignorance is destroyed. As a result of that, buddhi turns its back on [email protected] and can no longer bind it to its experiences, which are all irrevocably connected with sorrow, and thus the [email protected] remains in its true form. This according to [email protected] philosophy is alone adequate to being about the liberation of the [email protected] [email protected] which was leading us through cycles of experiences from birth to birth, fulfils its final purpose when this true knowledge arises differentiating

[Footnote 1: Yoga puts it in a slightly modified form. Its object is the cessation of the rebirth-process which is so much a.s.sociated with sorrow [email protected]@h [email protected] [email protected]_).]

[Footnote 2: The word _citta_ is a Yoga term. It is so called because it is the repository of all sub-conscious states. Samkhyn generally uses, the word buddhi. Both the words mean the same substance, the mind, but they emphasize its two different functions. Buddhi means intellection.]


[email protected] from [email protected] This final purpose being attained the [email protected] can never again bind the purusa with reference to whom this right knowledge was generated; for other [email protected] however the bondage remains as before, and they continue their experiences from one birth to another in an endless cycle.

Yoga, however, thinks that mere philosophy is not sufficient.

In order to bring about liberation it is not enough that a true knowledge differentiating [email protected] and buddhi should arise, but it is necessary that all the old habits of experience of buddhi, all its samskaras should be once for all destroyed never to be revived again. At this stage the buddhi is transformed into its purest state, reflecting steadily the true nature of the [email protected] This is the _kevala_ (oneness) state of existence after which (all [email protected], all avidya being altogether uprooted) the citta is impotent any longer to hold on to the [email protected], and like a stone hurled from a mountain top, gravitates back into the [email protected] [Footnote ref 1]. To destroy the old [email protected], knowledge alone not being sufficient, a graduated course of practice is necessary. This graduated practice should be so arranged that by generating the practice of living higher and better modes of life, and steadying the mind on its subtler states, the habits of ordinary life may be removed. As the yogin advances he has to give up what he had adopted as good and try for that which is still better. Continuing thus he reaches the state when the buddhi is in its ultimate perfection and purity.

At this stage the buddhi a.s.sumes the form of the [email protected], and final liberation takes place.

Karmas in Yoga are divided into four cla.s.ses: (1) _s'ukla_ or white ([email protected]_, those that produce happiness), (2) [email protected]@[email protected]_ or black (_papa_, those that produce sorrow), (3) [email protected]@[email protected]_ ([email protected]_, most of our ordinary actions are partly virtuous and partly vicious as they involve, if not anything else, at least the death of many insects), (4) [email protected]@[email protected]_ (those inner acts of self-abnegation, and meditation which are devoid of any fruits as pleasures or pains).

All external actions involve some sins, for it is difficult to work in the world and avoid taking the lives of insects [Footnote ref 2]. All karmas


[Footnote 1: Both [email protected] and Yoga speak of this emanc.i.p.ated state a _Kaivalya_ (alone-ness), the former because all sorrows have been absolutely uprooted, never to grow up again and the latter because at this state [email protected] remains for ever alone without any a.s.sociation with buddhi, see [email protected] karika_, 68 and _Yoga sutras_, IV. 34.]

[Footnote 2: [email protected]_ and _Tattvavais'aradi_, IV. 7.]


proceed from the five-fold afflictions (_kles'as_), namely _avidya, asmita, raga, [email protected]_ and _abhinives'a_.

We have already noticed what was meant by avidya. It consists generally in ascribing intelligence to buddhi, in thinking it as permanent and leading to happiness. This false knowledge while remaining in this form further manifests itself in the other four forms of asmita, etc. Asmita means the thinking of worldly objects and our experiences as really belonging to us--the sense of "mine" or "I" to things that really are the qualities or transformations of the [email protected] Raga means the consequent attachment to pleasures and things. [email protected] means aversion or antipathy to unpleasant things. Abhinives'a is the desire for life or love of life--the will to be. We proceed to work because we think our experiences to be our own, our body to be our own, our family to be our own, our possessions to be our own; because we are attached to these; because we feel great antipathy against any mischief that might befall them, and also because we love our life and always try to preserve it against any mischief. These all proceed, as is easy to see, from their root avidya, which consists in the false identification of buddhi with [email protected] These five, avidya, asmita, raga, [email protected] and abhinives'a, permeate our buddhi, and lead us to perform karma and to suffer. These together with the performed karmas which lie inherent in the buddhi as a particular mode of it transmigrate with the buddhi from birth to birth, and it is hard to get rid of them [Footnote ref 1]. The karma in the aspect in which it lies in the buddhi as a mode or modification of it is called _karmas'aya_. (the bed of karma for the [email protected] to lie in).

We perform a karma actuated by the vicious tendencies (_kles'a_) of the buddhi. The karma when thus performed leaves its stain or modification on the buddhi, and it is so ordained according to the teleology of the [email protected] and the removal of obstacles in the course of its evolution in accordance with it by the permanent will of is'vara that each vicious action brings sufferance and a virtuous one pleasure.

The karmas performed in the present life will generally acc.u.mulate, and when the time for giving their fruits comes, such a life is ordained for the person, such a body is made ready for him according to the evolution of [email protected] as shall make it possible for him to suffer or enjoy the fruits thereof. The karma of the


[Footnote 1: [email protected]_ and _Tattvavais'aradi_, II. 3-9.]


present life thus determines the particular kind of future birth (as this or that animal or man), the period of life ([email protected]_) and the painful or pleasurable experiences (_bhoga_) destined for that life.

Exceedingly good actions and extremely bad actions often produce their effects in this life. It may also happen that a man has done certain bad actions, for the realization of the fruits of which he requires a dog-life and good actions for the fruits of which he requires a man-life. In such cases the good action may remain in abeyance and the man may suffer the pains of a dog-life first and then be born again as a man to enjoy the fruits of his good actions. But if we can remove ignorance and the other afflictions, all his previous unfulfilled karmas are for ever lost and cannot again be revived. He has of course to suffer the fruits of those karmas which have already ripened. This is the _jivanmukti_ stage, when the sage has attained true knowledge and is yet suffering mundane life in order to experience the karmas that have already ripened ([email protected]@thati [email protected]'at [email protected][email protected]_).


The word Yoga which was formerly used in Vedic literature in the sense of the restraint of the senses is used by Patanjali in his _Yoga sutra_ in the sense of the partial or full restraint or steadying of the states of citta. Some sort of concentration may be brought about by violent pa.s.sions, as when fighting against a mortal enemy, or even by an ignorant attachment or instinct.

The citta which has the concentration of the former type is called [email protected]_ (wild) and of the latter type [email protected]

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A History of Indian Philosophy Part 39 summary

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