A History of Indian Philosophy Part 42

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The fact that the [email protected] begins with a promise to describe dharma and after describing the nature of substances, qualities and actions and also the [email protected]@[email protected]_ (unknown virtue) due to dharma (merit accruing from the performance of Vedic deeds) by which many of our unexplained experiences may be explained, ends his book by saying that those Vedic works which are not seen to produce any direct effect, will produce prosperity through adrsta, shows that [email protected]'s method of explaining dharma has been by showing that physical phenomena involving substances, qualities, and actions can only be explained up to a certain extent while a good number cannot be explained at all except on the a.s.sumption of [email protected]@[email protected] (unseen virtue) produced by dharma. The


[Footnote 1: S'vetas'vatara I.i.2]

[Footnote 2: I remember a verse quoted in an old commentary of the _Kalapa [email protected]_, in which it is said that the description of the six categories by [email protected] in his [email protected] sutras_, after having proposed to describe the nature of dharma, is as irrelevant as to proceed towards the sea while intending to go to the mountain Himavat (Himalaya).

"[email protected] vyakhyatukamasya @[email protected]@[email protected] Himavadgantukamasya sagaragamanopamam_."]

[Footnote 3: The sutra "_Tadvacanad amnayasya [email protected]_ (I.i.3 and X.ii.9) has been explained by _Upaskara_ as meaning "The Veda being the word of is'vara (G.o.d) must be regarded as valid," but since there is no mention of is'vara anywhere in the text this is simply reading the later Nyaya ideas into the [email protected] Sutra X.ii.8 is only a repet.i.tion of VI.ii.1.]


description of the categories of substance is not irrelevant, but is the means of proving that our ordinary experience of these cannot explain many facts which are only to be explained on the supposition of [email protected]@[email protected] proceeding out of the performance of Vedic deeds. In V.i. 15 the movement of needles towards magnets, in V. ii. 7 the circulation of water in plant bodies, V. ii. 13 and IV. ii. 7 the upward motion of fire, the side motion of air, the combining movement of atoms (by which all combinations have taken place), and the original movement of the mind are said to be due to [email protected]@[email protected] In V. ii. 17 the movement of the soul after death, its taking hold of other bodies, the a.s.similation of food and drink and other kinds of contact (the movement and development of the foetus as enumerated in _Upaskara_) are said to be due to [email protected]@[email protected] Salvation (moksa) is said to be produced by the annihilation of [email protected]@[email protected] leading to the annihilation of all contacts and non production of rebirths Vais'esika marks the distinction between the drsta (experienced) and the [email protected]@[email protected] All the categories that he describes are founded on drsta (experience) and those unexplained by known experience are due to [email protected]@[email protected] These are the acts on which depend all life-process of animals and plants, the continuation of atoms or the construction of the worlds, natural motion of fire and air, death and rebirth (VI. ii. 15) and even the physical phenomena by which our fortunes are affected in some way or other (V. ii. 2), in fact all with which we are vitally interested in philosophy.

[email protected]'s philosophy gives only some facts of experience regarding substances, qualities and actions, leaving all the graver issues of metaphysics to [email protected]@[email protected] But what leads to [email protected]@[email protected]? In answer to this, [email protected] does not speak of good or bad or virtuous or sinful deeds, but of Vedic works, such as holy ablutions (_snana_), fasting, holy student life (_brahmacarya_), remaining at the house of the teacher (_gurukulavasa_), retired forest life (_vanaprastha_), sacrifice (_yajna_), gifts (_dana_), certain kinds of sacrificial sprinkling and rules of performing sacrificial works according to the prescribed time of the stars, the prescribed hymns (mantras) (VI. ii. 2).

He described what is pure and what is impure food, pure food being that which is sacrificially purified (VI. ii. 5) the contrary being impure, and he says that the taking of pure food leads to prosperity through [email protected]@[email protected] He also described how


feelings of attachment to things are also generated by [email protected]@[email protected]

Throughout almost the whole of VI. i [email protected] is busy in showing the special conditions of making gifts and receiving them. A reference to our chapter on [email protected] will show that the later [email protected] writers agreed with the [email protected] doctrines in most of their views regarding substance, qualities, etc. Some of the main points in which [email protected] differs from [email protected] are (1) self-validity of the Vedas, (2) the eternality of the Vedas, (3) disbelief in any creator or G.o.d, (4) eternality of sound (s'abda), (5) (according to k.u.marila) direct perception of self in the notion of the ego.

Of these the first and the second points do not form any subject of discussion in the [email protected] But as no is'vara is mentioned, and as all [email protected]@[email protected] depends upon the authority of the Vedas, we may a.s.sume that [email protected] had no dispute with [email protected] The fact that there is no reference to any dissension is probably due to the fact that really none had taken place at the time of the [email protected] sutras._ It is probable that [email protected] believed that the Vedas were written by some persons superior to us (II. i. 18, VI. i.

1-2). But the fact that there is no reference to any conflict with [email protected] suggests that the doctrine that the Vedas were never written by anyone was formulated at a later period, whereas in the days of the [email protected] sutras,_ the view was probably what is represented in the [email protected] sutras._ As there is no reference to is'vara and as [email protected]@[email protected] proceeding out of the performance of actions in accordance with Vedic injunctions is made the cause of all atomic movements, we can very well a.s.sume that [email protected] was as atheistic or non-theistic as the later [email protected] philosophers.

As regards the eternality of sound, which in later days was one of the main points of quarrel between the [email protected] and the [email protected], we find that in II. ii. 25-32, [email protected] gives reasons in favour of the non-eternality of sound, but after that from II. ii. 33 till the end of the chapter he closes the argument in favour of the eternality of sound, which is the distinctive [email protected] view as we know from the later [email protected] writers [Footnote ref 1]. Next comes the question of the proof of the existence of self. The traditional Nyaya view is


[Footnote 1: The last two concluding sutras II. ii. 36 and 37 are in my opinion wrongly interpreted by [email protected] Mis'ra in his _Upaskara_ (II. ii.

36 by adding an "_api_" to the sutra and thereby changing the issue, and II. ii. 37 by misreading the phonetic combination "samkhyabhava" as [email protected] and bhava instead of [email protected] and abhava, which in my opinion is the right combination here) in favour of the non-eternality of sound as we find in the later Nyaya [email protected] view.]


that the self is supposed to exist because it must be inferred as the seat of the qualities of pleasure, pain, cognition, etc. Traditionally this is regarded as the [email protected] view as well. But in [email protected] III. ii. 4 the existence of soul is first inferred by reason of its activity and the existence of pleasure, pain, etc., in III. ii. 6-7 this inference is challenged by saying that we do not perceive that the activity, etc. belongs to the soul and not to the body and so no certainty can be arrived at by inference, and in III. ii. 8 it is suggested that therefore the existence of soul is to be accepted on the authority of the scriptures (_agama_). To this the final [email protected] conclusion is given that we can directly perceive the self in our feeling as "I" (_aham_), and we have therefore not to depend on the scriptures for the proof of the existence of the self, and thus the inference of the existence of the self is only an additional proof of what we already find in perception as "I" (_aham_) (III. ii.

10-18, also IX. i. 11).

These considerations lead me to think that the [email protected] represented a school of [email protected] thought which supplemented a metaphysics to strengthen the grounds of the Vedas.

Philosophy in the [email protected] sutras.

The [email protected] sutras_ begin with the ostensible purpose of explaining virtue (_dharma_) (I.i. 1) and dharma according to it is that by which prosperity (_abhyudaya_) and salvation ([email protected]'reyasa_) are attained. Then it goes on to say that the validity of the Vedas depends on the fact that it leads us to prosperity and salvation. Then it turns back to the second sutra and says that salvation comes as the result of real knowledge, produced by special excellence of dharma, of the characteristic features of the categories of substance (_dravya_), quality ([email protected]_), cla.s.s concept (_samdanya_), particularity ([email protected]_), and inherence (_samavayay_) [Footnote ref 1].

The dravyas are earth, water, fire, air, ether, time, s.p.a.ce, soul, and mind. The [email protected] are colour, taste, odour, touch, number, measure, separations, contact, disjoining, quality of belonging to high genus or to species [Footnote ref 2]. Action (_karma_) means upward movement


[Footnote 1: _Upaskara_ notes that [email protected] here refers to the ultimate differences of things and not to species. A special doctrine of this system is this, that each of the indivisible atoms of even the same element has specific features of difference.]

[Footnote 2: Here the well known qualities of heaviness (_gurutva_), liquidity (_dravatva_), oiliness (_sneha_), elasticity ([email protected]_), merit (_dharma_), and demerit (_adharma_) have been altogether omitted.

These are all counted in later [email protected] commentaries and compendiums.

It must be noted that "[email protected]_" in [email protected] means qualities and not subtle reals or substances as in [email protected] Yoga. [email protected] in [email protected] would be akin to what Yoga would call _dharma_.]


downward movement, contraction, expansion and horizontal movement. The three common qualities of dravya, [email protected] and karma are that they are existent, non-eternal, substantive, effect, cause, and possess generality and particularity. Dravya produces other dravyas and the [email protected] other [email protected] But karma is not necessarily produced by karma. Dravya does not destroy either its cause or its effect but the [email protected] are destroyed both by the cause and by the effect. Karma is destroyed by karma. Dravya possesses karma and [email protected] and is regarded as the material (_samavayi_) cause.

[email protected] inhere in dravya, cannot possess further [email protected], and are not by themselves the cause of contact or disjoining. Karma is devoid of [email protected], cannot remain at one time in more than one object, inheres in dravya alone, and is an independent cause of contact or disjoining. Dravya is the material cause (samavayi) of (derivative) dravyas, [email protected], and karma, [email protected] is also the non-material cause (_asamavayi_) of dravya, [email protected] and karma. Karma is the general cause of contact, disjoining, and inertia in motion (_vega_). Karma is not the cause of dravya. For dravya may be produced even without karma [Footnote ref 1]. Dravya is the general effect of dravya. Karma is dissimilar to [email protected]

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A History of Indian Philosophy Part 42 summary

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