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A History of Indian Philosophy, Vol. 1 by Surendranath Dasgupta

Part 10 out of 13

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is not an object of knowledge; we cannot therefore know of any
case where there was no object of knowledge (_prameyatva_) and
no name (_vacyatva_); the vyapti here has therefore to be based
necessarily on cases of agreement--wherever there is prameyatva
or an object of knowledge, there is vacyatva or name.
The third form of kevalavyatireki is that where positive instances
in agreement cannot be found, such as in the case of the
inference that earth differs from other elements in possessing
the specific quality of smell, since all that does not differ from
other elements is not earth, such as water; here it is evident
that there cannot be any positive instance of agreement and the
concomitance has to be taken from negative instances. There
is only one instance, which is exactly the proposition of our
inference--earth differs from other elements, since it has the
special qualities of earth. This inference could be of use only in
those cases where we had to infer anything by reason of such
special traits of it as was possessed by it and it alone.

Upamana and S'abda.

The third prama@na, which is admitted by Nyaya and not by
Vais'e@sika, is _upamana_, and consists in associating a thing unknown
before with its name by virtue of its similarity with some
other known thing. Thus a man of the city who has never
seen a wild ox (_gavaya_) goes to the forest, asks a forester--"what
is gavaya?" and the forester replies--"oh, you do not
know it, it is just like a cow"; after hearing this from the
forester he travels on, and on seeing a gavaya and finding it to
be similar to a cow he forms the opinion that this is a gavaya.
This knowing an hitherto unknown thing by virtue of its
similarity to a known thing is called _upamana_. If some forester
had pointed out a gavaya to a man of the city and had told him
that it was called a gavaya, then also the man would have
known the animal by the name gavaya, but then this would
have been due to testimony (_s'abda-prama@na). The knowledge is
said to be generated by the upamana process when the association
of the unknown animal with its name is made by the observer

355

on the strength of the experience of the similarity of the unknown
animal to a known one. The naiyayikas are thorough
realists, and as such they do not regard the observation of
similarity as being due to any subjective process of the mind.
Similarity is indeed perceived by the visual sense but yet the
association of the name in accordance with the perception of
similarity and the instruction received is a separate act and is
called _upamana_ [Footnote ref 1].

S'abda-prama@na or testimony is the right knowledge which
we derive from the utterances of infallible and absolutely truthful
persons. All knowledge derived from the Vedas is valid, for the
Vedas were uttered by Is'vara himself. The Vedas give us
right knowledge not of itself, but because they came out as the
utterances of the infallible Is'vara. The Vais'e@sikas did not admit
s'abda as a separate prama@na, but they sought to establish the
validity of testimony (_s'abda_) on the strength of inference (_anumiti_)
on the ground of its being the utterance of an infallible
person. But as I have said before, this explanation is hardly
corroborated by the Vais'e@sika sutras, which tacitly admit the
validity of the scriptures on its own authority. But anyhow this
was how Vais'e@sika was interpreted in later times.

Negation in Nyaya-Vais'e@sika.

The problem of negation or non-existence (_abhava_) is of great interest
in Indian philosophy. In this section we can describe its nature only
from the point of view of perceptibility. Kumarila [Footnote ref 2]

____________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: See _Nyayamanjari_ on upamana. The oldest Nyaya view was that
the instruction given by the forester by virtue of which the association
of the name "wild ox" to the strange animal was possible was itself
"upamana." When Pras'astapada held that upamana should be treated as a
case of testimony (_aptavacana_), he had probably this interpretation
in view. But Udyotakara and Vacaspati hold that it was not by the
instruction alone of the forester that the association of the name
"wild ox" was made, but there was the perception of similarity, and
the memory of the instruction of the forester too. So it is the
perception of similarity with the other two factors as accessories
that lead us to this association called upamana. What Vatsyaya@na
meant is not very clear, but Di@nnaga supposes that according to
him the result of upamana was the knowledge of similarity or the
knowledge of a thing having similarity. Vacaspati of course holds that
he has correctly interpreted Vatsyaya@na's intention. It is however
definite that upamana means the associating of a name to a new object
(_samakhyasambandhapratipattirupamanartha@h_, Vatsyaya@na). Jayanta
points out that it is the preception of similarity which directly
leads to the association of the name and hence the instruction of
the forester cannot be regarded as the direct cause and consequently
it cannot be classed under testimony (_s'abda_). See Pras'astapada
and _Nyayakandali,_ pp. 220-22, Vatsyaya@na, Udyotakara, Vacaspati and
Jayanta on _Upamana_.]

[Footnote 2: See Kumarila's treatment of abhava in the _S'lokavarttika_,
pp. 473-492.]

356

and his followers, whose philosophy we shall deal with in the
next chapter, hold that negation (_abhava_) appears as an intuition
(_manam_) with reference to the object negated where there are no
means of ordinary cognition (_prama@na_) leading to prove the existence
(_satparicchedakam_) of that thing. They held that the notion
"it is not existent" cannot be due to perception, for there is no
contact here with sense and object. It is true indeed that when
we turn our eyes (e.g. in the case of the perception of the non-existence
of a jug) to the ground, we see both the ground and
the non-existence of a jug, and when we shut them we can see
neither the jug nor the ground, and therefore it could be urged
that if we called the ground visually perceptible, we could say
the same with regard to the non-existence of the jug. But even
then since in the case of the perception of the jug there is sense-contact,
which is absent in the other case, we could never say
that both are grasped by perception. We see the ground and
remember the jug (which is absent) and thus in the mind rises
the notion of non-existence which has no reference at all to visual
perception. A man may be sitting in a place where there were
no tigers, but he might not then be aware of their non-existence
at the time, since he did not think of them, but when later on he
is asked in the evening if there were any tigers at the place where
he was sitting in the morning, he then thinks and becomes aware
of the non-existence of tigers there in the morning, even
without perceiving the place and without any operation of the
memory of the non-existence of tigers. There is no question of
there being any inference in the rise of our notion of non-existence,
for it is not preceded by any notion of concomitance of any kind,
and neither the ground nor the non-perception of the jug could
be regarded as a reason (_li@nga_), for the non-perception of the jug
is related to the jug and not to the negation of the jug, and no
concomitance is known between the non-perception of the jug and
its non-existence, and when the question of the concomitance of
non-perception with non-existence is brought in, the same difficulty
about the notion of non-existence (_abhava_) which was sought
to be explained will recur again. Negation is therefore to be
admitted as cognized by a separate and independent process
of knowledge. Nyaya however says that the perception of
non-existence (e.g. there is no jug here) is a unitary perception
of one whole, just as any perception of positive existence (e.g.

357

there is a jug on the ground) is. Both the knowledge of the
ground as well as the knowledge of the non-existence of the jug
arise there by the same kind of action of the visual organ, and
there is therefore no reason why the knowledge of the ground
should be said to be due to perception, whereas the knowledge of
the negation of the jug on the ground should be said to be due
to a separate process of knowledge. The non-existence of the jug
is taken in the same act as the ground is perceived. The principle
that in order to perceive a thing one should have sense-contact
with it, applies only to positive existents and not to negation or
non-existence. Negation or non-existence can be cognized even
without any sense-contact. Non-existence is not a positive substance,
and hence there cannot be any question here of sense-contact.
It may be urged that if no sense-contact is required
in apprehending negation, one could as well apprehend negation
or non-existence of other places which are far away from him.
To this the reply is that to apprehend negation it is necessary
that the place where it exists must be perceived. We know a
thing and its quality to be different, and yet the quality can only
be taken in association with the thing and it is so in this case as
well. We can apprehend non-existence only through the apprehension
of its locus. In the case when non-existence is said to
be apprehended later on it is really no later apprehension of non-existence
but a memory of non-existence (e.g. of jug) perceived
before along with the perception of the locus of non-existence
(e.g. ground). Negation or non-existence (_abhava_) can thus, according
to Nyaya, generate its cognition just as any positive
existence can do. Negation is not mere negativity or mere
vacuous absence, but is what generates the cognition "is not,"
as position (_bhava_) is what generates the cognition "it is."

The Buddhists deny the existence of negation. They hold
that when a negation is apprehended, it is apprehended with
specific time and space conditions (e.g. this is not here now);
but in spite of such an apprehension, we could never think
that negation could thus be associated with them in any
relation. There is also no relation between the negation and its
_pratiyogi_ (thing negated--e.g. jug in the negation of jug), for
when there is the pratiyogi there is no negation, and when there
is the negation there is no pratiyogi. There is not even the
relation of opposition (_virodha_), for we could have admitted it, if

358

the negation of the jug existed before and opposed the jug,
for how can the negation of the jug oppose the jug, without
effecting anything at all? Again, it may be asked whether negation
is to be regarded as a positive being or becoming or of the
nature of not becoming or non-being. In the first alternative it
will be like any other positive existents, and in the second case it
will be permanent and eternal, and it cannot be related to this or
that particular negation. There are however many kinds of non-perception,
e.g. (1) svabhavanupalabdhi (natural non-perception--there
is no jug because none is perceived); (2) kara@nanupalabdhi
(non-perception of cause--there is no smoke here, since there is
no fire); (3) vyapakanupalabdhi (non-perception of the species--there
is no pine here, since there is no tree); (4) karyanupalabdhi
(non-perception of effects--there are not the causes of smoke here,
since there is no smoke); (5) svabhavaviruddhopalabdhi (perception
of contradictory natures--there is no cold touch here because
of fire); (6) viruddhakaryopalabdhi (perception of contradictory
effects--there is no cold touch here because of smoke); (7)
virudhavyaptopalabdhi (opposite concomitance--past is not of necessity
destructible, since it depends on other causes); (8) karyyaviruddhopalabdhi
(opposition of effects--there is not here the causes
which can give cold since there is fire); (9) vyapakaviruddhopalabdhi
(opposite concomitants--there is no touch of snow here,
because of fire); (10) kara@naviruddhopalabdhi (opposite causes--there
is no shivering through cold here, since he is near the fire);
(11) kara@naviruddhakaryyopalabdhi (effects of opposite causes--this
place is not occupied by men of shivering sensations for it
is full of smoke [Footnote ref 1]).

There is no doubt that in the above ways we speak of negation,
but that does not prove that there is any reason for the
cognition of negation (_heturnabhavasamvida@h_). All that we can
say is this that there are certain situations which justify the use
(_yogyata_) of negative appellations. But this situation or yogyata
is positive in character. What we all speak of in ordinary usage
as non-perception is of the nature of perception of some sort.
Perception of negation thus does not prove the existence of
negation, but only shows that there are certain positive perceptions
which are only interpreted in that way. It is the positive
perception of the ground where the visible jug is absent that

_________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: See _Nyayabindu_, p. 11, and _Nyayamanjari_, pp. 53-7.]

359

leads us to speak of having perceived the negation of the jug
(_anupalambha@h abhava@m vyavaharayati_) [Footnote ref 1].

The Nyaya reply against this is that the perception of positive
existents is as much a fact as the perception of negation, and we
have no right to say that the former alone is valid. It is said
that the non-perception of jug on the ground is but the perception
of the ground without the jug. But is this being without
the jug identical with the ground or different? If identical then
it is the same as the ground, and we shall expect to have it even
when the jug is there. If different then the quarrel is only over
the name, for whatever you may call it, it is admitted to be a
distinct category. If some difference is noted between the ground
with the jug, and the ground without it, then call it "ground,
without the jugness" or "the negation of jug," it does not matter
much, for a distinct category has anyhow been admitted. Negation
is apprehended by perception as much as any positive
existent is; the nature of the objects of perception only are different;
just as even in the perception of positive sense-objects
there are such diversities as colour, taste, etc. The relation of
negation with space and time with which it appears associated is
the relation that subsists between the qualified and the quality
(_vis'e@sya vis'e@sa@na_). The relation between the negation and its
pratiyogi is one of opposition, in the sense that where the one is
the other is not. The _Vais'e@sika sutra_ (IX. i. 6) seems to take abhava
in a similar way as Kumarila the Mima@msist does, though the
commentators have tried to explain it away [Footnote ref 2]. In Vais'e@sika
the four kinds of negation are enumerated as (1) _pragabhava_ (the
negation preceding the production of an object--e.g. of the jug
before it is made by the potter); (2) _dhva@msabhava_ (the negation
following the destruction of an object--as of the jug after it is
destroyed by the stroke of a stick); (3) _anyonyabhava_ (mutual
negation--e.g. in the cow there is the negation of the horse and

___________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: See _Nyayabindu@tika_, pp. 34 ff., and also _Nyayamanjari_,
pp. 48-63.]

[Footnote 2 Pras'astapada says that as the production of an effect is the
sign of the existence of the cause, so the non-production of it is the sign
of its non-existence, S'ridbara in commenting upon it says that the
non-preception of a sensible object is the sign (_li@nga_) of its
non-existence. But evidently he is not satisfied with the view for
he says that non-existence is also directly perceived by the senses
(_bhavavad abhavo'pindriyagraha@nayogyah_) and that there is an actual
sense-contact with non-existence which is the collocating cause of the
preception of non-existence (_abhavendriyasannikar@so'pi
abhavagraha@nasamagri_), Nyayakandali_, pp. 225-30.]

360

in the horse that of the cow); (4) _atyantabhava_ (a negation which
always exists--e.g. even when there is a jug here, its negation in
other places is not destroyed) [Footnote ref 1].

The necessity of the Acquirement of debating devices
for the seeker of Salvation.

It is probable that the Nyaya philosophy arose in an atmosphere
of continued disputes and debates; as a consequence
of this we find here many terms related to debates which we do
not notice in any other system of Indian philosophy. These are
_tarka_, _nir@naya_, _vada_, _jalpa_, _vita@n@da_, _hetvabhasa_, _chala_,
_jati_ and _nigrahasthana_.

Tarka means deliberation on an unknown thing to discern
its real nature; it thus consists of seeking reasons in favour of
some supposition to the exclusion of other suppositions; it is not
inference, but merely an oscillation of the mind to come to a right
conclusion. When there is doubt (_sa@ms'aya_) about the specific
nature of anything we have to take to tarka. Nir@naya means the
conclusion to which we arrive as a result of tarka. When two
opposite parties dispute over their respective theses, such as the
doctrines that there is or is not an atman, in which each of them
tries to prove his own thesis with reasons, each of the theses is
called a _vada_. Jalpa means a dispute in which the disputants
give wrangling rejoinders in order to defeat their respective opponents.
A jalpa is called a _vita@n@da_ when it is only a destructive
criticism which seeks to refute the opponent's doctrine without
seeking to establish or formulate any new doctrine. Hetvabhasas
are those which appear as hetus but are really not so. _Nyaya_
sutras enumerate five fallacies (_hetvabhasas_) of the middle (hetu):
_savyabhicara_ (erratic), _viruddha_ (contradictory), _prakara@nasama_
(tautology), _saddhyasama_ (unproved reason) and _kalatita _(inopportune).
Savyabhicara is that where the same reason may prove
opposite conclusions (e.g. sound is eternal because it is intangible
like the atoms which are eternal, and sound is non-eternal because
it is intangible like cognitions which are non-eternal); viruddha
is that where the reason opposes the premiss to be proved (e.g. a
jug is eternal, because it is produced); prakara@nasama is that

___________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: The doctrine of negation, its function and value with
reference to diverse logical problems, have many diverse aspects,
and it is impossible to do them justice in a small section like this.]

361

where the reason repeats the thesis to be proved in another form
(e.g. sound is non-eternal because it has not the quality of
eternality); sadhyasama is that where the reason itself requires
to be proved (e.g. shadow is a substance because it has motion,
but it remains to be proved whether shadows have motion or not);
kalatita is a false analogy where the reason fails because it does not
tally with the example in point of time. Thus one may argue that
sound is eternal because it is the result of contact (stick and the
drum) like colour which is also a result of contact of light and
the object and is eternal. Here the fallacy lies in this, that colour
is simultaneous with the contact of light which shows what was
already there and only manifested by the light, whereas in the
case of sound it is produced immediately after the contact of the
stick and drum and is hence a product and hence non-eternal.
The later Nyaya works divide savyabhicara into three classes,
(1) sadhara@na or common (e.g. the mountain is fiery because it is
an object of knowledge, but even a lake which is opposed to fire
is also an object of knowledge), (2) asadhara@na or too restricted
(e.g. sound is eternal because it has the nature of sound; this
cannot be a reason for the nature of sound exists only in the
sound and nowhere else), and (3) anupasa@mharin or unsubsuming
(e.g. everything is non-eternal, because they are all objects of
knowledge; here the fallacy lies in this, that no instance can be
found which is not an object of knowledge and an opposite conclusion
may also be drawn). The fallacy _satpratipak@sa_ is that in
which there is a contrary reason which may prove the opposite
conclusion (e.g. sound is eternal because it is audible, sound is
non-eternal because it is an effect). The fallacy _asiddha_ (unreal)
is of three kinds (i) _as'rayasiddha_ (the lotus of the sky is fragrant
because it is like other lotuses; now there cannot be any lotus in
the sky), (2) _svarupasiddha_ (sound is a quality because it is
visible; but sound has no visibility), (3) _vyapyatvasiddha_ is that
where the concomitance between the middle and the consequence
is not invariable and inevitable; there is smoke in the hill because
there is fire; but there may be fire without the smoke as in a red
hot iron ball, it is only green-wood fire that is invariably associated
with smoke. The fallacy _badhita_ is that which pretends to prove
a thesis which is against direct experience, e.g. fire is not hot
because it is a substance. We have already enumerated the
fallacies counted by Vais'e@sika. Contrary to Nyaya practice

362

Pras'astapada counts the fallacies of the example. Di@nnaga also
counted fallacies of example (e.g. sound is eternal, because it is
incorporeal, that which is incorporeal is eternal as the atoms;
but atoms are not incorporeal) and Dharmakirtti counted also the
fallacies of the pak@sa (minor); but Nyaya rightly considers that
the fallacies of the middle if avoided will completely safeguard
inference and that these are mere repetitions. Chala means the
intentional misinterpretation of the opponent's arguments for the
purpose of defeating him. Jati consists in the drawing of contradictory
conclusions, the raising of false issues or the like with
the deliberate intention of defeating an opponent. Nigrahasthana
means the exposure of the opponent's argument as involving
self-contradiction, inconsistency or the like, by which his defeat is
conclusively proved before the people to the glory of the victorious
opponent. As to the utility of the description of so many debating
tricks by which an opponent might be defeated in a metaphysical
work, the aim of which ought to be to direct the ways that lead to
emancipation, it is said by Jayanta in his _Nyayamanjari_ that these
had to be resorted to as a protective measure against arrogant
disputants who often tried to humiliate a teacher before his pupils.
If the teacher could not silence the opponent, the faith of the
pupils in him would be shaken and great disorder would follow,
and it was therefore deemed necessary that he who was plodding
onward for the attainment of mok@sa should acquire these devices
for the protection of his own faith and that of his pupils. A knowledge
of these has therefore been enjoined in the Nyaya sutra as
being necessary for the attainment of salvation [Footnote ref l].

The doctrine of Soul.

Dhurtta Carvakas denied the existence of soul and regarded
consciousness and life as products of bodily changes; there were
other Carvakas called Sus'ik@sita Carvakas who admitted the
existence of soul but thought that it was destroyed at death.
The Buddhists also denied the existence of any permanent self.
The naiyayikas ascertained all the categories of metaphysics
mainly by such inference as was corroborated by experience.
They argued that since consciousness, pleasures, pains, willing,
etc. could not belong to our body or the senses, there must be

__________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: See _Nyayamanjari_, pp. 586-659, and _Tarkikarak@sa_ of
Varadaraja and _Niska@n@taka_ of Mallinatha, pp. 185 ff.]

363

some entity to which they belonged; the existence of the self
is not proved according to Nyaya merely by the notion of our
self-consciousness, as in the case of Mima@msa, for Nyaya holds
that we cannot depend upon such a perception, for it may
be erroneous. It often happens that I say that I am white or
I am black, but it is evident that such a perception cannot
be relied upon, for the self cannot have any colour. So we
cannot safely depend on our self-consciousness as upon the
inference that the self has to be admitted as that entity to
which consciousness, emotion, etc. adhere when they are produced
as a result of collocations. Never has the production of
atman been experienced, nor has it been found to suffer any
destruction like the body, so the soul must be eternal. It is not
located in any part of the body, but is all-pervading, i.e. exists at
the same time in all places (_vibhu_), and does not travel with
the body but exists everywhere at the same time. But though
atman is thus disconnected from the body, yet its actions are
seen in the body because it is with the help of the collocation
of bodily limbs, etc. that action in the self can be manifested
or produced. It is unconscious in itself and acquires consciousness
as a result of suitable collocations [Footnote ref l].

Even at birth children show signs of pleasure by their different
facial features, and this could not be due to anything else than
the memory of the past experiences in past lives of pleasures and
pains. Moreover the inequalities in the distribution of pleasures
and pains and of successes and failures prove that these must be
due to the different kinds of good and bad action that men performed
in their past lives. Since the inequality of the world
must have some reasons behind it, it is better to admit karma as
the determining factor than to leave it to irresponsible chance.

Is'vara and Salvation.

Nyaya seeks to establish the existence of Is'vara on the basis of
inference. We know that the Jains, the Sa@mkhya and the Buddhists did
not believe in the existence of Is'vara and offered many antitheistic
arguments. Nyaya wanted to refute these and prove the existence
of Is'vara by an inference of the samanyato-d@r@s@ta type.

___________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1:_Jnanasamavayanibandhanamevatmanas'cetayit@rtvam_, &c. See
_Nyayamanjari_, pp. 432 ff.]

364

The Jains and other atheists held that though things in the
world have production and decay, the world as a whole was never
produced, and it was never therefore an effect. In contrast to
this view the Nyaya holds that the world as a whole is also an
effect like any other effect. Many geological changes and landslips
occur, and from these destructive operations proceeding in
nature it may be assumed that this world is not eternal but a
result of production. But even if this is not admitted by the
atheists they can in no way deny the arrangement and order of
the universe. But they would argue that there was certainly a
difference between the order and arrangement of human productions
(e.g. a jug) and the order and arrangement of the universe;
and therefore from the order and arrangement(_sannives'a-vis'i@s@tata_)
of the universe it could not be argued that the universe was
produced by a creator; for, it is from the sort of order and
arrangement that is found in human productions that a creator
or producer could be inferred. To this, Nyaya answers that the
concomitance is to be taken between the "order and arrangement"
in a general sense and "the existence of a creator" and not with
specific cases of "order and arrangement," for each specific case
may have some such peculiarity in which it differs from similar
other specific cases; thus the fire in the kitchen is not the same
kind of fire as we find in a forest fire, but yet we are to disregard
the specific individual peculiarities of fire in each case and consider
the concomitance of fire in general with smoke in general.
So here, we have to consider the concomitance of "order and
arrangement" in general with "the existence of a creator," and
thus though the order and arrangement of the world may be
different from the order and arrangement of things produced by
man, yet an inference from it for the existence of a creator would
not be inadmissible. The objection that even now we see many
effects (e.g. trees) which are daily shooting forth from the ground
without any creator being found to produce them, does not hold,
for it can never be proved that the plants are not actually created
by a creator. The inference therefore stands that the world has
a creator, since it is an effect and has order and arrangement in
its construction. Everything that is an effect and has an order
and arrangement has a creator, like the jug. The world is an
effect and has order and arrangement and has therefore a creator.
Just as the potter knows all the purposes of the jug that he makes,

365

so Is'vara knows all the purposes of this wide universe and is thus
omniscient. He knows all things always and therefore does not
require memory; all things are perceived by him directly without
any intervention of any internal sense such as manas, etc. He is
always happy. His will is eternal, and in accordance with the
karma of men the same will produces dissolution, creates, or
protects the world, in the order by which each man reaps the
results of his own deeds. As our self which is in itself bodiless
can by its will produce changes in our body and through it in
the external world, so Is'vara also can by his will create the
universe though he has no body. Some, however, say that if any
association of body with Is'vara is indispensable for our conception
of him, the atoms may as well be regarded as his body,
so that just as by the will of our self changes and movement of
our body take place, so also by his will changes and movements
are produced in the atoms [Footnote ref l].

The naiyayikas in common with most other systems of Indian
philosophy believed that the world was full of sorrow and that
the small bits of pleasure only served to intensify the force of
sorrow. To a wise person therefore everything is sorrow (_sarva@m
du@hkha@m vivekina@h_); the wise therefore is never attached to the
so-called pleasures of life which only lead us to further sorrows.

The bondage of the world is due to false knowledge (_mithyajnana_)
which consists in thinking as my own self that which
is not my self, namely body, senses, manas, feelings and knowledge;
when once the true knowledge of the six padarthas and
as Nyaya says, of the proofs (_prama@na_), the objects of knowledge
(_prameya_), and of the other logical categories of inference is
attained, false knowledge is destroyed. False knowledge can
be removed by constant thinking of its opposite (_pratipak@sabhavana_),
namely the true estimates of things. Thus when any
pleasure attracts us, we are to think that this is in reality but
pain, and thus the right knowledge about it will dawn and it
will never attract us again. Thus it is that with the destruction
of false knowledge our attachment or antipathy to things and
ignorance about them (collectively called do@sa, cf. the kles'a of
Patanjali) are also destroyed.

With the destruction of attachment actions (_prav@rtti_) for the

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[Footnote:1: See _Nyayamanjari_, pp. 190-204,_ Is'varanumana_ of Raghunatha
S'iro@ma@ni and Udayana's _Kusumanjali_.]

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fulfilment of desires cease and with it rebirth ceases and with
it sorrow ceases. Without false knowledge and attachment,
actions cannot produce the bondage of karma that leads to the
production of body and its experiences. With the cessation of
sorrow there is emancipation in which the self is divested of all
its qualities (consciousness, feeling, willing, etc.) and remains
in its own inert state. The state of mukti according to Nyaya-Vais'e@sika
is neither a state of pure knowledge nor of bliss but a
state of perfect qualitilessness, in which the self remains in itself in
its own purity. It is the negative state of absolute painlessness
in mukti that is sometimes spoken of as being a state of absolute
happiness (_ananda_), though really speaking the state of mukti
can never be a state of happiness. It is a passive state of self in
its original and natural purity unassociated with pleasure, pain,
knowledge, willing, etc. [Footnote ref 1].

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[Footnote 1: _Nyayamanjari_, pp. 499-533.]

CHAPTER IX

MIMA@MSA PHILOSOPHY [Footnote ref 1]

A Comparative Review.

The Nyaya-Vais'e@sika philosophy looked at experience from
a purely common sense point of view and did not work with any
such monistic tendency that the ultimate conceptions of our
common sense experience should be considered as coming out of
an original universal (e.g. prak@rti of the Sam@khya). Space, time,
the four elements, soul, etc. convey the impression that they are
substantive entities or substances. What is perceived of the material
things as qualities such as colour, taste, etc. is regarded as so many
entities which have distinct and separate existence but which
manifest themselves in connection with the substances. So also
karma or action is supposed to be a separate entity, and even
the class notions are perceived as separate entities inhering in
substances. Knowledge (_jnana_) which illuminates all things is
regarded only as a quality belonging to soul, just as there are
other qualities of material objects. Causation is viewed merely
as the collocation of conditions. The genesis of knowledge is
also viewed as similar in nature to the production of any other
physical event. Thus just as by the collocation of certain physical
circumstances a jug and its qualities are produced, so by the
combination and respective contacts of the soul, mind, sense, and
the objects of sense, knowledge (_jnana_) is produced. Soul with
Nyaya is an inert unconscious entity in which knowledge, etc.
inhere. The relation between a substance and its quality, action,
class notion, etc. has also to be admitted as a separate entity, as
without it the different entities being without any principle of
relation would naturally fail to give us a philosophic construction.

Sa@mkhya had conceived of a principle which consisted of an
infinite number of reals of three different types, which by their
combination were conceived to be able to produce all substances,
qualities, actions, etc. No difference was acknowledged to exist
between substances, qualities and actions, and it was conceived

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[Footnote 1: On the meanirg of the word Mima@msa see Chapter IV.]

368

that these were but so many aspects of a combination of the three
types of reals in different proportions. The reals contained within
them the rudiments of all developments of matter, knowledge,
willing, feelings, etc. As combinations of reals changed incessantly
and new phenomena of matter and mind were manifested, collocations
did not bring about any new thing but brought about a
phenomenon which was already there in its causes in another
form. What we call knowledge or thought ordinarily, is with them
merely a form of subtle illuminating matter stuff. Sa@mkhya holds
however that there is a transcendent entity as pure consciousness
and that by some kind of transcendent reflection or contact
this pure consciousness transforms the bare translucent thought-matter
into conscious thought or experience of a person.

But this hypothesis of a pure self, as essentially distinct and
separate from knowledge as ordinarily understood, can hardly
be demonstrated in our common sense experience; and this has
been pointed out by the Nyaya school in a very strong and
emphatic manner. Even Sa@mkhya did not try to prove that the
existence of its transcendent puru@sa could be demonstrated in
experience, and it had to attempt to support its hypothesis of the
existence of a transcendent self on the ground of the need of
a permanent entity as a fixed object, to which the passing states
of knowledge could cling, and on grounds of moral struggle
towards virtue and emancipation. Sa@mkhya had first supposed
knowledge to be merely a combination of changing reals, and
then had as a matter of necessity to admit a fixed principle as
puru@sa (pure transcendent consciousness). The self is thus here
in some sense an object of inference to fill up the gap left by
the inadequate analysis of consciousness (_buddhi_) as being
non-intelligent and incessantly changing.

Nyaya fared no better, for it also had to demonstrate self
on the ground that since knowledge existed it was a quality,
and therefore must inhere in some substance. This hypothesis
is again based upon another uncritical assumption that substances
and attributes were entirely separate, and that it was the nature
of the latter to inhere in the former, and also that knowledge was
a quality requiring (similarly with other attributes) a substance
in which to inhere. None of them could take their stand upon
the self-conscious nature of our ordinary thought and draw their
conclusions on the strength of the direct evidence of this self-conscious

369

thought. Of course it is true that Sa@mkhya had approached
nearer to this view than Nyaya, but it had separated
the content of knowledge and its essence so irrevocably that it
threatened to break the integrity of thought in a manner quite
unwarranted by common sense experience, which does not seem
to reveal this dual element in thought. Anyhow the unification
of the content of thought and its essence had to be made, and this
could not be done except by what may be regarded as a makeshift--a
transcendent illusion running on from beginningless
time. These difficulties occurred because Sa@mkhya soared to a
region which was not directly illuminated by the light of common
sense experience. The Nyaya position is of course much worse
as a metaphysical solution, for it did not indeed try to solve anything,
but only gave us a schedule of inferential results which could
not be tested by experience, and which were based ultimately on
a one-sided and uncritical assumption. It is an uncritical common
sense experience that substances are different from qualities and
actions, and that the latter inhere in the former. To base the
whole of metaphysics on such a tender and fragile experience is,
to say the least, building on a weak foundation. It was necessary
that the importance of the self-revealing thought must be brought
to the forefront, its evidence should be collected and trusted, and
an account of experience should be given according to its verdict.
No construction of metaphysics can ever satisfy us which ignores
the direct immediate convictions of self-conscious thought. It is
a relief to find that a movement of philosophy in this direction
is ushered in by the Mima@msa system. The _Mima@msa sutras_
were written by Jaimini and the commentary (_bha@sya_) on it was
written by S'abara. But the systematic elaboration of it was made
by Kumarila, who preceded the great S'a@nkaracarya, and a disciple
of Kumarila, Prabhakara.

The Mima@msa Literature.

It is difficult to say how the sacrificial system of worship grew
in India in the Brahma@nas. This system once set up gradually
began to develop into a net-work of elaborate rituals, the details
of which were probably taken note of by the priests. As some
generations passed and the sacrifices spread over larger tracts of
India and grew up into more and more elaborate details, the old
rules and regulations began to be collected probably as tradition

370

had it, and this it seems gave rise to the sm@rti literature. Discussions
and doubts became more common about the many
intricacies of the sacrificial rituals, and regular rational enquiries
into them were begun in different circles by different scholars and
priests. These represent the beginnings of Mima@msa (lit. attempts
at rational enquiry), and it is probable that there were
different schools of this thought. That Jaimini's _Mima@msa sutras_
(which are with us the foundations of Mima@msa) are only a comprehensive
and systematic compilation of one school is evident from
the references he gives to the views in different matters of other
preceding writers who dealt with the subject. These works are not
available now, and we cannot say how much of what Jaimini has
written is his original work and how much of it borrowed. But it
may be said with some degree of confidence that it was deemed so
masterly a work at least of one school that it has survived all other
attempts that were made before him. Jaimini's _Mima@msa sutras_
were probably written about 200 B.C. and are now the ground work
of the Mima@msa system. Commentaries were written on it by
various persons such as Bhart@rmitra (alluded to in _Nyayaratnakara_
verse 10 of _S'lokavarttika_), Bhavadasa {_Pratijnasutra_ 63}, Hari and
Upavar@sa (mentioned in _S'astradipika_). It is probable that at least
some of these preceded S'abara, the writer of the famous commentary
known as the _S'abara-bha@sya_. It is difficult to say anything
about the time in which he flourished. Dr Ga@nganatha
Jha would have him about 57 B.C. on the evidence of a current
verse which speaks of King Vikramaditya as being the son
of S'abarasvamin by a K@sattriya wife. This bha@sya of S'abara
is the basis of the later Mima@msa works. It was commented
upon by an unknown person alluded to as Varttikakara by
Prabhakara and merely referred to as "yathahu@h" (as they say)
by Kumarila. Dr Ga@nganatha Jha says that Prabhakara's commentary
_B@rhati_ on the _S'abara-bha@sya_ was based upon the work
of this Varttikakara. This _B@rhati_ of Prabhakara had another
commentary on it--_@Rjuvimala_ by S'alikanatha Mis'ra, who also
wrote a compendium on the Prabhakara interpretation of Mima@msa
called _Prakara@napancika_. Tradition says that Prabhakara
(often referred to as Nibandhakara), whose views are
often alluded to as "gurumata," was a pupil of Kumarila. Kumarila
Bha@t@ta, who is traditionally believed to be the senior contemporary
of S'a@nkara (788 A.D.), wrote his celebrated independent

371

exposition of S'abara's bha@sya in three parts known as _S'lokavarttika_
(dealing only with the philosophical portion of S'abara's
work as contained in the first chapter of the first book known as
Tarkapada), _Tantravarttika_ (dealing with the remaining three
chapters of the first book, the second and the third book) and
_@Tup@tika_ (containing brief notes on the remaining nine books)
[Footnote ref 1]. Kumarila is referred to by his later followers
as Bha@t@ta, Bha@t@tapada, and Varttikakara. The next great Mima@msa
scholar and follower of Kumarila was Ma@n@dana Mis'ra, the author of
_Vidhiviveka, Mima@msanukrama@ni_ and the commentator of _Tantravarttika,_
who became later on converted by S'a@nkara to Vedantism. Parthasarathi
Mis'ra (about ninth century A.D.) wrote his _S'astradipika,
Tantraratna,_ and _Nyayaratnamala_ following the footprints
of Kumarila. Amongst the numerous other followers of Kumarila,
the names of Sucarita Mis'ra the author of _Kas'ika_ and Somes'vara
the author of _Nyayasudha_ deserve special notice. Ramak@r@s@na
Bha@t@ta wrote an excellent commentary on the _Tarkapada_ of
_S'astradipika_ called the _Yuktisnehapura@ni-siddhanta-candrika_ and
Somanatha wrote his _Mayukhamalika_ on the remaining chapters
of _S'astradipika_. Other important current Mima@msa works which
deserve notice are such as _Nyayamalavistara_ of Madhava, _Subodhini,
Mima@msabalaprakas'a_ of S'a@nkara Bha@t@ta, _Nyayaka@nika_ of
Vacaspati Mis'ra, _Mima@msaparibha@sa_ by K@r@s@nayajvan,
_Mima@msanyayaprakas'a_ by Anantadeva, Gaga Bha@t@ta's
_Bha@t@tacintama@ni,_ etc. Most of the books mentioned here have been
consulted in the writing of this chapter. The importance of the
Mima@msa literature for a Hindu is indeed great. For not only are all
Vedic duties to be performed according to its maxims, but even the
sm@rti literatures which regulate the daily duties, ceremonials and rituals
of Hindus even at the present day are all guided and explained
by them. The legal side of the sm@rtis consisting of inheritance,
proprietory rights, adoption, etc. which guide Hindu civil life even
under the British administration is explained according to the
Mima@msa maxims. Its relations to the Vedanta philosophy will
be briefly indicated in the next chapter. Its relations with
Nyaya-Vais'e@sika have also been pointed out in various places of this
chapter. The views of the two schools of Mima@msa as propounded
by Prabhakara and Kumarila on all the important topics have

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[Footnote 1: Mahamahopadhyaya Haraprasada S'astri says, in his
introduction to _Six Buddhist Nyaya Tracts_, that "Kumarila preceded
Sa@nkara by two generations."]

372

also been pointed out. Prabhakara's views however could not
win many followers in later times, but while living it is said that
he was regarded by Kumarila as a very strong rival [Footnote ref 1]. Hardly
any new contribution has been made to the Mima@msa philosophy
after Kumarila and Prabhakara. The _Mima@msa sutras_ deal mostly
with the principles of the interpretation of the Vedic texts in
connection with sacrifices, and very little of philosophy can be
gleaned out of them. S'abara's contributions are also slight and
vague. Varttikakara's views also can only be gathered from the
references to them by Kumarila and Prabhakara. What we know
of Mima@msa philosophy consists of their views and theirs alone.
It did not develop any further after them. Works written on the
subject in later times were but of a purely expository nature. I do
not know of any work on Mima@msa written in English except
the excellent one by Dr Ga@nganatha Jha on the Prabhakara
Mima@msa to which I have frequently referred.

The Parata@h-prama@nya doctrine of Nyaya and the
Svata@h-prama@nya doctrine of Mima@msa.

The doctrine of the self-validity of knowledge
(_svata@h-prama@nya_) forms the cornerstone on which the whole structure
of the Mima@msa philosophy is based. Validity means the certitude
of truth. The Mima@msa philosophy asserts that all knowledge
excepting the action of remembering (_sm@rti_) or memory is
valid in itself, for it itself certifies its own truth, and neither
depends on any other extraneous condition nor on any other
knowledge for its validity. But Nyaya holds that this self-validity
of knowledge is a question which requires an explanation.
It is true that under certain conditions a piece of knowledge
is produced in us, but what is meant by saying that this
knowledge is a proof of its own truth? When we perceive
anything as blue, it is the direct result of visual contact, and this
visual contact cannot certify that the knowledge generated is
true, as the visual contact is not in any touch with the knowledge

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[Footnote 1: There is a story that Kumarila, not being able to convert
Prabhakara, his own pupil, to his views, attempted a trick and pretended
that he was dead. His disciples then asked Prabhakara whether his burial
rites should be performed according to Kumarila's views or Prabhakara's.
Prabhakara said that his own views were erroneous, but these were held by
him only to rouse up Kumarila's pointed attacks, whereas Kumarila's views
were the right ones. Kumarila then rose up and said that Prabhakara
was defeated, but the latter said he was not defeated so long as he was
alive. But this has of course no historic value.]

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it has conditioned. Moreover, knowledge is a mental affair and
how can it certify the objective truth of its representation? In
other words, how can my perception "a blue thing" guarantee
that what is subjectively perceived as blue is really so objectively
as well? After my perception of anything as blue we do not
have any such perception that what I have perceived as blue
is really so. So this so-called self-validity of knowledge cannot
be testified or justified by any perception. We can only be certain
that knowledge has been produced by the perceptual act, but
there is nothing in this knowledge or its revelation of its object
from which we can infer that the perception is also objectively
valid or true. If the production of any knowledge should certify
its validity then there would be no invalidity, no illusory knowledge,
and following our perception of even a mirage we should
never come to grief. But we are disappointed often in our perceptions,
and this proves that when we practically follow the
directions of our perception we are undecided as to its validity,
which can only be ascertained by the correspondence of the perception
with what we find later on in practical experience. Again,
every piece of knowledge is the result of certain causal collocations,
and as such depends upon them for its production, and
hence cannot be said to rise without depending on anything else.
It is meaningless to speak of the validity of knowledge, for
validity always refers to objective realization of our desires and
attempts proceeding in accordance with our knowledge. People
only declare their knowledge invalid when proceeding practically
in accordance with it they are disappointed. The perception of
a mirage is called invalid when proceeding in accordance with
our perception we do not find anything that can serve the purposes
of water (e.g. drinking, bathing). The validity or truth of
knowledge is thus the attainment by practical experience of the
object and the fulfilment of all our purposes from it (_arthakriyajnana_
or _phalajnana_) just as perception or knowledge represented
them to the perceiver. There is thus no self-validity of
knowledge (_svata@h-prama@nya_), but validity is ascertained by
_sa@mvada_ or agreement with the objective facts of experience [Footnote
ref l].

It is easy to see that this Nyaya objection is based on the
supposition that knowledge is generated by certain objective
collocations of conditions, and that knowledge so produced can

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[Footnote 1: See _Nyayamanjari_, pp. 160-173.]

374

only be tested by its agreement with objective facts. But this
theory of knowledge is merely an hypothesis; for it can never be
experienced that knowledge is the product of any collocations;
we have a perception and immediately we become aware of certain
objective things; knowledge reveals to us the facts of the
objective world and this is experienced by us always. But that
the objective world generates knowledge in us is only an hypothesis
which can hardly be demonstrated by experience. It is the supreme
prerogative of knowledge that it reveals all other things. It is not a
phenomenon like any other phenomenon of the world. When we
say that knowledge has been produced in us by the external
collocations, we just take a perverse point of view which is unwarranted
by experience; knowledge only photographs the
objective phenomena for us; but there is nothing to show that
knowledge has been generated by these phenomena. This is
only a theory which applies the ordinary conceptions of causation
to knowledge and this is evidently unwarrantable. Knowledge is
not like any other phenomena for it stands above them and
interprets or illumines them all. There can be no validity in
things, for truth applies to knowledge and knowledge alone. What
we call agreement with facts by practical experience is but the
agreement of previous knowledge with later knowledge; for objective
facts never come to us directly, they are always taken
on the evidence of knowledge, and they have no other certainty
than what is bestowed on them by knowledge. There arise indeed
different kinds of knowledge revealing different things, but
these latter do not on that account generate the former, for this
is never experienced; we are never aware of any objective fact
before it is revealed by knowledge. Why knowledge makes
different kinds of revelations is indeed more than we can say, for
experience only shows that knowledge reveals objective facts and
not why it does so. The rise of knowledge is never perceived by
us to be dependent on any objective fact, for all objective facts
are dependent on it for its revelation or illumination. This is
what is said to be the self-validity (_svata@h-prama@ya_) of knowledge
in its production (_utpatti_). As soon as knowledge is produced,
objects are revealed to us; there is no intermediate link
between the rise of knowledge and the revelation of objects on
which knowledge depends for producing its action of revealing
or illuminating them. Thus knowledge is not only independent

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of anything else in its own rise but in its own action as well
(_svakaryakara@ne svata@h prama@nya@m jnanasya_). Whenever there
is any knowledge it carries with it the impression that it is
certain and valid, and we are naturally thus prompted to work
(_prav@rtti_} according to its direction. There is no indecision in
our mind at the time of the rise of knowledge as to the correctness
of knowledge; but just as knowledge rises, it carries with
it the certainty of its revelation, presence, or action. But in cases
of illusory perception other perceptions or cognitions dawn which
carry with them the notion that our original knowledge was not
valid. Thus though the invalidity of any knowledge may appear
to us by later experience, and in accordance with which we
reject our former knowledge, yet when the knowledge first revealed
itself to us it carried with it the conviction of certainty which
goaded us on to work according to its indication. Whenever a man
works according to his knowledge, he does so with the conviction
that his knowledge is valid, and not in a passive or uncertain temper
of mind. This is what Mima@msa means when it says that the
validity of knowledge appears immediately with its rise, though
its invalidity may be derived from later experience or some other
data (_jnanasya pra@ma@nyam svata@h aprama@nya@m parata@h_). Knowledge
attained is proved invalid when later on a contradictory
experience (_badhakajnana_) comes in or when our organs etc. are
known to be faulty and defective (_kara@nado@sajnana). It is from
these that knowledge appearing as valid is invalidated; when
we take all necessary care to look for these and yet find them
not, we must think that they do not exist. Thus the validity of
knowledge certified at the moment of its production need not
be doubted unnecessarily when even after enquiry we do not find
any defect in sense or any contradiction in later experience. All
knowledge except memory is thus regarded as valid independently
by itself as a general rule, unless it is invalidated later on. Memory
is excluded because the phenomenon of memory depends upon
a previous experience, and its existing latent impressions, and
cannot thus be regarded as arising independently by itself.

The place of sense organs in perception.

We have just said that knowledge arises by itself and that it
could not have been generated by sense-contact. If this be so,
the diversity of perceptions is however left unexplained. But in

376

face of the Nyaya philosophy explaining all perceptions on the
ground of diverse sense-contact the Mima@msa probably could not
afford to remain silent on such an important point. It therefore
accepted the Nyaya view of sense-contact as a condition of knowledge
with slight modifications, and yet held their doctrine of
svata@h-prama@nya. It does not appear to have been conscious of
a conflict between these two different principles of the production
of knowledge. Evidently the point of view from which it looked
at it was that the fact that there were the senses and contacts
of them with the objects, or such special capacities in them by
virtue of which the things could be perceived, was with us a
matter of inference. Their actions in producing the knowledge
are never experienced at the time of the rise of knowledge, but
when the knowledge arises we argue that such and such senses
must have acted. The only case where knowledge is found to
be dependent on anything else seems to be the case where one
knowledge is found to depend on a previous experience or knowledge
as in the case of memory. In other cases the dependence
of the rise of knowledge on anything else cannot be felt, for the
physical collocations conditioning knowledge are not felt to be
operating before the rise of knowledge, and these are only inferred
later on in accordance with the nature and characteristic
of knowledge. We always have our first start in knowledge
which is directly experienced from which we may proceed later
on to the operation and nature of objective facts in relation to it.
Thus it is that though contact of the senses with the objects
may later on be imagined to be the conditioning factor, yet the
rise of knowledge as well as our notion of its validity strikes us
as original, underived, immediate, and first-hand.

Prabhakara gives us a sketch as to how the existence of
the senses may be inferred. Thus our cognitions of objects are
phenomena which are not all the same, and do not happen always
in the same manner, for these vary differently at different moments;
the cognitions of course take place in the soul which may thus
be regarded as the material cause (_samavayikara@na_); but there
must be some such movements or other specific associations
(_asamavayikara@na_) which render the production of this or
that specific cognition possible. The immaterial causes subsist
either in the cause of the material cause (e.g. in the case of the
colouring of a white piece of cloth, the colour of the yarns which

377

is the cause of the colour in the cloth subsists in the yarns which
form the material cause of the cloth) or in the material cause itself
(e.g. in the case of a new form of smell being produced in a
substance by fire-contact, this contact, which is the immaterial
cause of the smell, subsists in that substance itself which is put
in the fire and in which the smell is produced). The soul is
eternal and has no other cause, and it has to be assumed that
the immaterial cause required for the rise of a cognition must
inhere in the soul, and hence must be a quality. Then again
accepting the Nyaya conclusions we know that the rise of qualities
in an eternal thing can only take place by contact with some
other substances. Now cognition being a quality which the soul
acquires would naturally require the contact of such substances.
Since there is nothing to show that such substances inhere in
other substances they are also to be taken as eternal. There are
three eternal substances, time, space, and atoms. But time and
space being all-pervasive the soul is always in contact with them.
Contact with these therefore cannot explain the occasional rise
of different cognitions. This contact must then be of some kind
of atom which resides in the body ensouled by the cognizing soul.
This atom may be called _manas_ (mind). This manas alone by
itself brings about cognitions, pleasure, pain, desire, aversion,
effort, etc. The manas however by itself is found to be devoid
of any such qualities as colour, smell, etc., and as such cannot
lead the soul to experience or cognize these qualities; hence
it stands in need of such other organs as may be characterized
by these qualities; for the cognition of colour, the mind will
need the aid of an organ of which colour is the characteristic
quality; for the cognition of smell, an organ having the odorous
characteristic and so on with touch, taste, vision. Now we know
that the organ which has colour for its distinctive feature must
be one composed of tejas or light, as colour is a feature of light,
and this proves the existence of the organ, the eye--for the cognition
of colour; in a similar manner the existence of the earthly
organ (organ of smell), the aqueous organ (organ of taste), the
akas'ic organ (organ of sound) and the airy organ (organ of
touch) may be demonstrated. But without manas none of these
organs is found to be effective. Four necessary contacts have
to be admitted, (1) of the sense organs with the object, (2) of the
sense organs with the qualities of the object, (3) of the manas

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with the sense organs, and (4) of the manas with the soul. The
objects of perception are of three kinds,(1) substances, (2) qualities,
(3) jati or class. The material substances are tangible objects of
earth, fire, water, air in large dimensions (for in their fine atomic
states they cannot be perceived). The qualities are colour, taste,
smell, touch, number, dimension, separateness, conjunction, disjunction,
priority, posteriority, pleasure, pain, desire, aversion, and
effort [Footnote ref l].

It may not be out of place here to mention in conclusion that
Kumarila Bha@t@ta was rather undecided as to the nature of the
senses or of their contact with the objects. Thus he says that
the senses may be conceived either as certain functions or
activities, or as entities having the capacity of revealing things
without coming into actual contact with them, or that they might
be entities which actually come in contact with their objects [Footnote ref
2], and he prefers this last view as being more satisfactory.

Indeterminate and determinate perception.

There are two kinds of perception in two stages, the first
stage is called _nirvikalpa_ (indeterminate) and the second _savikalpa_
(determinate). The nirvikalpa perception of a thing is its perception
at the first moment of the association of the senses and
their objects. Thus Kumarila says that the cognition that appears
first is a mere _alocana_ or simple perception, called non-determinate
pertaining to the object itself pure and simple, and resembling
the cognitions that the new-born infant has of things around
himself. In this cognition neither the genus nor the differentia is
presented to consciousness; all that is present there is the
individual wherein these two subsist. This view of indeterminate
perception may seem in some sense to resemble the Buddhist
view which defines it as being merely the specific individuality
(_svalak@sa@na_} and regards it as being the only valid element in
perception, whereas all the rest are conceived as being imaginary

___________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: See _Prakara@napancika_, pp. 53 etc., and Dr Ga@nganatha Jha's
_Prabhakaramima@msa_, pp. 35 etc.]

[Footnote 2: _S'lokavarttika_, see _Pratyak@sasutra_, 40 etc., and
_Nyayaratnakara_ on it. It may be noted in this connection that
Sa@mkhya-Yoga did not think like Nyaya that the senses actually went
out to meet the objects (_prapyakaritva_) but held that there was
a special kind of functioning (_v@rtti_) by virtue of which the
senses could grasp even such distant objects as the sun and the stars.
It is the functioning of the sense that reached the objects. The nature
of the v@rtti is not further clearly explained and Parthasarathi objects
to it as being almost a different category (_tattvantara_).]

379

impositions. But both Kumarila and Prabhakara think that both
the genus and the differentia are perceived in the indeterminate
stage, but these do not manifest themselves to us only because
we do not remember the other things in relation to which, or in
contrast to which, the percept has to show its character as genus or
differentia; a thing can be cognized as an "individual" only in
comparison with other things from which it differs in certain well-defined
characters; and it can be apprehended as belonging to a
class only when it is found to possess certain characteristic features
in common with some other things; so we see that as other things
are not presented to consciousness through memory, the percept
at the indeterminate stage cannot be fully apprehended as an
individual belonging to a class, though the data constituting the
characteristic of the thing as a genus and its differentia are perceived
at the indeterminate stage [Footnote ref 1]. So long as other things are
not remembered these data cannot manifest themselves properly, and
hence the perception of the thing remains indeterminate at the first
stage of perception. At the second stage the self by its past impressions
brings the present perception in relation to past ones
and realizes its character as involving universal and particular. It
is thus apparent that the difference between the indeterminate
and the determinate perception is this, that in the latter case
memory of other things creeps in, but this association of memory
in the determinate perception refers to those other objects of
memory and not to the percept. It is also held that though the
determinate perception is based upon the indeterminate one, yet
since the former also apprehends certain such factors as did not
enter into the indeterminate perception, it is to be regarded as
a valid cognition. Kumarila also agrees with Prabhakara in
holding both the indeterminate and the determinate perception
valid [Footnote ref 2].

Some Ontological Problems connected with the
Doctrine of Perception.

The perception of the class (_jati_) of a percept in relation to
other things may thus be regarded in the main as a difference
between determinate and indeterminate perceptions. The problems
of jati and avayavavayavi (part and whole notion) were

____________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: Compare this with the Vais'e@sika view as interpreted by
S'ridhara.]

[Footnote 2: See _Prakara@napancika_ and _S'astradipika_.]

380

the subjects of hot dispute in Indian philosophy. Before entering
into discussion about jati, Prabhakara first introduced the
problem of _avayava_ (part) and _avayavi_ (whole). He argues as
an exponent of svata@h-prama@nyavada that the proof of the true
existence of anything must ultimately rest on our own consciousness,
and what is distinctly recognized in consciousness
must be admitted to have its existence established. Following
this canon Prabhakara says that gross objects as a whole exist,
since they are so perceived. The subtle atoms are the material
cause and their connection (_sa@myoga_) is the immaterial cause
(_asamavayikara@na_), and it is the latter which renders the whole
altogether different from the parts of which it is composed; and
it is not necessary that all the parts should be perceived before the
whole is perceived. Kumarila holds that it is due to the point of
view from which we look at a thing that we call it a separate
whole or only a conglomeration of parts. In reality they are identical,
but when we lay stress on the notion of parts, the thing
appears to be a conglomeration of them, and when we look at it
from the point of view of the unity appearing as a whole, the thing
appears to be a whole of which there are parts (see _S'lokavarttika,
Vanavada_) [Footnote ref 1].

Jati, though incorporating the idea of having many units within one, is
different from the conception of whole in this, that it resides in its
entirety in each individual constituting that jati (_vyas'ajyav@rtti_),

___________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: According to Sa@mkhya-Yoga a thing is regarded as the unity
of the universal and the particular (_samanyavis'esasamudayo dravyam,
Vyasabhasya_, III. 44), for there is no other separate entity which is
different from them both in which they would inhere as Nyaya holds.
Conglomerations can be of two kinds, namely those in which the parts
exist at a distance from one another (e.g. a forest), and those in which
they exist close together (_mrantara hi tadavayavah_), and it is this
latter combination (_ayutasiddhavayava_) which is called a dravya, but
here also there is no separate whole distinct from the parts; it is the
parts connected in a particular way and having no perceptible space
between them that is called a thing or a whole. The Buddhists as
Panditas'oka has shown did not believe in any whole (_avayavi_), it
is the atoms which in connection with one another appeared as a whole
occupying space (_paramanava eva hi pararupades'apariharenotpannah
parasparasahita avabhasamana desavitanavanto bhavanti_). The whole
is thus a mere appearance and not a reality (see _Avayavinirakarana, Six
Buddhist Nyaya Tracts_). Nyaya however held that the atoms were partless
_(niravayava}_ and hence it would be wrong to say that when we see an
object we see the atoms. The existence of a whole as different from the
parts which belong to it is directly experienced and there is no valid
reason against it:

"_adustakaranodbhutamanavirbhutabadhakam
asandigdanca vijnanam katham mithyeti kathyate._"

_Nyayamanjari_, pp. 550 ff.]

381

but the establishment of the existence of wholes refutes the
argument that jati should be denied, because it involves the conception
of a whole (class) consisting of many parts (individuals). The
class character or jati exists because it is distinctly perceived by
us in the individuals included in any particular class. It is eternal
in the sense that it continues to exist in other individuals, even
when one of the individuals ceases to exist. When a new individual
of that class (e g. cow class) comes into being, a new
relation of inherence is generated by which the individual is
brought into relation with the class-character existing in other
individuals, for inherence (_samavaya_) according to Prabhakara
is not an eternal entity but an entity which is both produced
and not produced according as the thing in which it exists is
non-eternal or eternal, and it is not regarded as one as Nyaya
holds, but as many, according as there is the infinite number of
things in which it exists. When any individual is destroyed, the
class-character does not go elsewhere, nor subsist in that individual,
nor is itself destroyed, but it is only the inherence of
class-character with that individual that ceases to exist. With
the destruction of an individual or its production it is a new
relation of inherence that is destroyed or produced. But the
class-character or jati has no separate existence apart from the
individuals as Nyaya supposes. Apprehension of jati is essentially
the apprehension of the class-character of a thing in relation to
other similar things of that class by the perception of the common
characteristics. But Prabhakara would not admit the existence of
a highest genus satta (being) as acknowledged by Nyaya. He
argues that the existence of class-character is apprehended because
we find that the individuals of a class possess some common
characteristic possessed by all the heterogeneous and disparate
things of the world as can give rise to the conception of a separate
jati as satta, as demanded by the naiyayikas. That all things are
said to be _sat_ (existing) is more or less a word or a name without
the corresponding apprehension of a common quality. Our experience
always gives us concrete existing individuals, but we
can never experience such a highest genus as pure existence or
being, as it has no concrete form which may be perceived. When
we speak of a thing as _sat_, we do not mean that it is possessed
of any such class-characters as satta (being); what we mean
is simply that the individual has its specific existence or svarupasatta.

382

Thus the Nyaya view of perception as taking only the
thing in its pure being apart from qualities, etc, (_sanmatra-vi@sayam
pratyak@sa@m_) is made untenable by Prabhakara, as according to
him the thing is perceived direct with all its qualities. According
to Kumarila however jati is not something different from the
individuals comprehended by it and it is directly perceived.
Kumarila's view of jati is thus similar to that held by Sa@mkhya,
namely that when we look at an individual from one point of
view (jati as identical with the individual), it is the individual that
lays its stress upon our consciousness and the notion of jati becomes
latent, but when we look at it from another point of view
(the individual as identical with jati) it is the jati which presents
itself to consciousness, and the aspect as individual becomes latent.
The apprehension as jati or as individual is thus only a matter
of different points of view or angles of vision from which we look
at a thing. Quite in harmony with the conception of jati, Kumarila
holds that the relation of inherence is not anything which is distinct
from the things themselves in which it is supposed to exist,
but only a particular aspect or phase of the things themselves
(_S'lokavarttika, Pratyak@sasutra_, 149, 150, _abhedat samavayo'stu
svarupam dharmadharmi@no@h_), Kumarila agrees with Prabhakara
that jati is perceived by the senses (_tatraikabuddhinirgrahya
jatirindriyagocara_).

It is not out of place to mention that on the evidence of
Prabhakara we find that the category of vis'e@sa admitted by the
Ka@nada school is not accepted as a separate category by the
Mima@msa on the ground that the differentiation of eternal
things from one another, for which the category of vis'e@sa is
admitted, may very well be effected on the basis of the ordinary
qualities of these things. The quality of p@rthaktva or specific
differences in atoms, as inferred by the difference of things they
constitute, can very well serve the purposes of vis'e@sa.

The nature of knowledge.

All knowledge involves the knower, the known object, and the
knowledge at the same identical moment. All knowledge whether
perceptual, inferential or of any other kind must necessarily reveal
the self or the knower directly. Thus as in all knowledge the self
is directly and immediately perceived, all knowledge may be regarded
as perception from the point of view of self. The division

383

of the prama@nas as pratyak@sa (perception), anumana (inference),
etc. is from the point of view of the objects of knowledge with
reference to the varying modes in which they are brought within
the purview of knowledge. The self itself however has no illumining
or revealing powers, for then even in deep sleep we could have
knowledge, for the self is present even then, as is proved by the
remembrance of dreams. It is knowledge (_sa@mvid_) that reveals
by its very appearance both the self, the knower, and the objects.
It is generally argued against the self-illuminative character of
knowledge that all cognitions are of the forms of the objects they
are said to reveal; and if they have the same form we may rather
say that they have the same identical reality too. The Mima@msa
answer to these objections is this, that if the cognition and the
cognized were not different from one another, they could not
have been felt as such, and we could not have felt that it is
by cognition that we apprehend the cognized objects. The
cognition (_sa@mvedana_) of a person simply means that such a
special kind of quality (_dharma_) has been manifested in the
self by virtue of which his active operation with reference to
a certain object is favoured or determined, and the object of cognition
is that with reference to which the active operation of the
self has been induced. Cognitions are not indeed absolutely formless,
for they have the cognitional character by which things are
illumined and manifested. Cognition has no other character than
this, that it illumines and reveals objects. The things only are
believed to have forms and only such forms as knowledge reveal
to us about them. Even the dream cognition is with reference to
objects that were perceived previously, and of which the impressions
were left in the mind and were aroused by the unseen agency
(_ad@r@s@ta_). Dream cognition is thus only a kind of remembrance
of that which was previously experienced. Only such of the impressions
of cognized objects are roused in dreams as can beget just that
amount of pleasurable or painful experience, in accordance with the
operation of ad@r@s@ta, as the person deserves to have in accordance
with his previous merit or demerit.

The Prabhakara Mima@msa, in refuting the arguments of those
who hold that our cognitions of objects are themselves cognized
by some other cognition, says that this is not possible, since we
do not experience any such double cognition and also because it
would lead us to a _regressus ad infinitum,_ for if a second cognition

384

is necessary to interpret the first, then that would require a third
and so on. If a cognition could be the object of another cognition,
then it could not be self-valid. The cognition is not of course unknown
to us, but that is of course because it is self-cognized, and
reveals itself to us the moment it reveals its objects. From the
illumination of objects also we can infer the presence of this
self-cognizing knowledge. But it is only its presence that is inferred
and not the cognition itself, for inference can only indicate the
presence of an object and not in the form in which it can be
apprehended by perception (_pratyak@sa_). Prabhakara draws a
subtle distinction between perceptuality (_sa@mvedyatva_) and being
object of knowledge (_prameyatva_). A thing can only be apprehended
(_sa@mvedyate_) by perception, whereas inference can only
indicate the presence of an object without apprehending the
object itself. Our cognition cannot be apprehended by any other
cognition. Inference can only indicate the presence or existence
of knowledge but cannot apprehend the cognition itself [Footnote ref 1].

Kumarila also agrees with Prabhakara in holding that perception
is never the object of another perception and that it ends
in the direct apprehensibility of the object of perception. But he
says that every perception involves a relationship between the
perceiver and the perceived, wherein the perceiver behaves as
the agent whose activity in grasping the object is known as cognition.
This is indeed different from the Prabhakara view, that
in one manifestation of knowledge the knower, the known, and
the knowledge, are simultaneously illuminated (the doctrine of
_tripu@tipratyak@sa_) [Footnote ref 2].

The Psychology of Illusion.

The question however arises that if all apprehensions are
valid, how are we to account for illusory perceptions which cannot
be regarded as valid? The problem of illusory perception and
its psychology is a very favourite topic of discussion in Indian
philosophy. Omitting the theory of illusion of the Jains called
_satkhyati_ which we have described before, and of the Vedantists,
which we shall describe in the next chapter, there are three
different theories of illusion, viz. (1) _atmakhyati_, (2) _viparitakhyati_
or _anyathakhyati_, and (3) _akhyati_ of the Mima@msa school. The

____________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: See _Prabhakaramima@msa,_ by Dr Ga@nganatha Jha.]

[Footnote 2: _loc. cit._ pp. 26-28.]

385

viparitakhyati or anyathakhyati theory of illusion is accepted by
the Nyaya, Vais'e@sika and the Yoga, the akhyati theory by
Mima@msa and Sa@mkhya and the atmakhyati by the Buddhists.

The commonest example of illusion in Indian philosophy is
the illusory appearance of a piece of broken conch-shell as a piece
of silver. That such an illusion occurs is a fact which is experienced
by all and agreed to by all. The differences of view are with regard
to its cause or its psychology. The idealistic Buddhists who deny
the existence of the external world and think that there are only
the forms of knowledge, generated by the accumulated karma of
past lives, hold that just as in the case of a correct perception, so
also in the case of illusory perception it is the flow of knowledge
which must be held responsible. The flow of knowledge on account
of the peculiarities of its own collocating conditions generates
sometimes what we call right perception and sometimes wrong
perception or illusion. On this view nothing depends upon the so-called
external data. For they do not exist, and even if they did
exist, why should the same data sometimes bring about the right
perception and sometimes the illusion? The flow of knowledge
creates both the percept and the perceiver and unites them. This
is true both in the case of correct perception and illusory perception.
Nyaya objects to the above view, and says that, if
knowledge irrespective of any external condition imposes upon
itself the knower and the illusory percept, then the perception
ought to be of the form "I am silver" and not "this is silver."
Moreover this theory stands refuted, as it is based upon a false
hypothesis that it is the inner knowledge which appears as coming
from outside and that the external as such does not exist.

The viparitakhyati or the anyathakhyati theory supposes that
the illusion takes place because on account of malobservation we
do not note the peculiar traits of the conch-shell as distinguished
from the silver, and at the same time by the glow etc. of the
conch-shell unconsciously the silver which I had seen elsewhere
is remembered and the object before me is taken as silver. In
illusion the object before us with which our eye is associated is
not conch-shell, for the traits peculiar to it not being grasped, it
is merely an object. The silver is not utterly non-existent, for it
exists elsewhere and it is the memory of it as experienced before
that creates confusion and leads us to think of the conch-shell as
silver. This school agrees with the akhyati school that the fact

386

that I remember silver is not taken note of at the time of
illusion. But it holds that the mere non-distinction is not enough
to account for the phenomenon of illusion, for there is a definite
positive aspect associated with it, viz. the false identification of
silver (seen elsewhere) with the conch-shell before us.

The akhyati theory of Mima@msa holds that since the special
peculiarities of the conch-shell are not noticed, it is erroneous
to say that we identify or cognize positively the conch-shell as
the silver (perceived elsewhere), for the conch-shell is not cognized
at all. What happens here is simply this, that only the
features common to conch-shell and silver being noticed, the perceiver
fails to apprehend the difference between these two things,
and this gives rise to the cognition of silver. Owing to a certain
weakness of the mind the remembrance of silver roused by the
common features of the conch-shell and silver is not apprehended,
and the fact that it is only a memory of silver seen in some past
time that has appeared before him is not perceived; and it is as
a result of this non-apprehension of the difference between the
silver remembered and the present conch-shell that the illusion
takes place. Thus, though the illusory perception partakes of a
dual character of remembrance and apprehension, and as such is
different from the ordinary valid perception (which is wholly a
matter of direct apprehension) of real silver before us, yet as the
difference between the remembrance of silver and the sight of
the present object is not apprehended, the illusory perception
appears at the moment of its production to be as valid as a real
valid perception. Both give rise to the same kind of activity on
the part of the agent, for in illusory perception the perceiver
would be as eager to stoop and pick up the thing as in the case
of a real perception. Kumarila agrees with this view as expounded
by Prabhakara, and further says that the illusory judgment is as
valid to the cognizor at the time that he has the cognition as any
real judgment could be. If subsequent experience rejects it, that
does not matter, for it is admitted in Mima@msa that when later
experience finds out the defects of any perception it can invalidate
the original perception which was self-valid at the time of its
production [Footnote Ref. 1]. It is easy to see that the Mima@msa had to
adopt this view of illusion to maintain the doctrine that all cognition
at the moment of its production is valid. The akhyati theory

___________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: See _Prakara@napancika, S'astradipika_, and _S'lokavarttika_,
sutra 2.]

387

tries to establish the view that the illusion is not due to any
positive wrong knowledge, but to a mere negative factor of non-apprehension
due to certain weakness of mind. So it is that
though illusion is the result, yet the cognition so far as it is cognition,
is made up of two elements, the present perception and
memory, both of which are true so far as they are individually
present to us, and the cognition itself has all the characteristics of
any other valid knowledge, for the mark of the validity of a cognition
is its power to prompt us to action. In doubtful cognitions also,
as in the case "Is this a post or a man?" what is actually perceived
is some tall object and thus far it is valid too. But when this
perception gives rise to two different kinds of remembrance (of
the pillar and the man), doubt comes in. So the element of apprehension
involved in doubtful cognitions should be regarded
as self-valid as any other cognition.

Inference.

S'abara says that when a certain fixed or permanent relation
has been known to exist between two things, we can have the
idea of one thing when the other one is perceived, and this kind
of knowledge is called inference. Kumarila on the basis of this
tries to show that inference is only possible when we notice
that in a large number of cases two things (e.g. smoke and fire)
subsist together in a third thing (e.g. kitchen, etc.) in some independent
relation, i.e. when their coexistence does not depend
upon any other eliminable condition or factor. It is also necessary
that the two things (smoke and fire) coexisting in a third
thing should be so experienced that all cases of the existence of
one thing should also be cases involving the existence of the
other, but the cases of the existence of one thing (e.g. fire),
though including all the cases of the existence of the other
(smoke), may have yet a more extensive sphere where the latter
(smoke) may not exist. When once a permanent relation, whether
it be a case of coexistence (as in the case of the contiguity of
the constellation of K@rttika with Rohi@ni, where, by the rise of the
former the early rise of the latter may be inferred), or a case of
identity (as in the relation between a genus and its species), or
a case of cause and effect or otherwise between two things and
a third thing which had been apprehended in a large number of
cases, is perceived, they fuse together in the mind as forming

388

one whole, and as a result of that when the existence of the
one (e.g. smoke) in a thing (hill) is noticed, we can infer the
existence of the thing (hill) with its counterpart (fire). In all
such cases the thing (e.g. fire) which has a sphere extending
beyond that in which the other (e.g. smoke) can exist is called
_gamya_ or _vyapaka_ and the other (e.g. smoke) _vyapya_ or _gamaka_
and it is only by the presence of gamaka in a thing (e.g. hill,
the pak@sa) that the other counterpart the gamya (fire) may be
inferred. The general proposition, universal coexistence of the
gamaka with the gamya (e.g. wherever there is smoke there is
fire) cannot be the cause of inference, for it is itself a case
of inference. Inference involves the memory of a permanent
relation subsisting between two things (e.g. smoke and fire) in a
third thing (e g. kitchen); but the third thing is remembered only
in a general way that the coexisting things must have a place
where they are found associated. It is by virtue of such a memory
that the direct perception of a basis (e.g. hill) with the gamaka
thing (e.g. smoke) in it would naturally bring to my mind that
the same basis (hill) must contain the gamya (i.e. fire) also.
Every case of inference thus proceeds directly from a perception
and not from any universal general proposition. Kumarila holds
that the inference gives us the minor as associated with the major
and not of the major alone, i.e. of the fiery mountain and not of
fire. Thus inference gives us a new knowledge, for though it was
known in a general way that the possessor of smoke is the possessor
of fire, yet the case of the mountain was not anticipated
and the inference of the fiery mountain is thus a distinctly new
knowledge (_des'akaladhikyadyuktamag@rhitagrahitvam anumanasya,
Nyayaratnakara_, p. 363) [Footnote ref 1]. It should also be noted that in
forming the notion of the permanent relation between two things,
a third thing in which these two subsist is always remembered
and for the conception of this permanent relation it is enough
that in the large number of cases where the concomitance was
noted there was no knowledge of any case where the concomitance
failed, and it is not indispensable that the negative instances
in which the absence of the gamya or vyapaka was marked by an

____________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: It is important to note that it is not unlikely that Kumarila
was indebted to Di@nnaga for this; for Di@nnaga's main contention is that
"it is not fire, nor the connection between it and the hill, but it is
the fiery hill that is inferred" for otherwise inference would give us
no new knowledge see Vidyabhu@sa@na's _Indian Logic_, p. 87 and
_Tatparya@tika_, p. 120.]

389

absence of the gamaka or vyapya, should also be noted, for a
knowledge of such a negative relation is not indispensable for
the forming of the notion of the permanent relation [Footnote ref 1]. The
experience of a large number of particular cases in which any two
things were found to coexist together in another thing in some
relation associated with the non-perception of any case of failure
creates an expectancy in us of inferring the presence of the
gamya in that thing in which the gamaka is perceived to exist
in exactly the same relation [Footnote ref 2]. In those cases where the
circle of the existence of the gamya coincides with the circle of the
existence of the gamaka, each of them becomes a gamaka for the other.
It is clear that this form of inference not only includes all cases
of cause and effect, of genus and species but also all cases of
coexistence as well.

The question arises that if no inference is possible without
a memory of the permanent relation, is not the self-validity
of inference destroyed on that account, for memory is not regarded
as self-valid. To this Kumarila's answer is that memory
is not invalid, but it has not the status of pramana, as it does
not bring to us a new knowledge. But inference involves the
acquirement of a new knowledge in this, that though the coexistence
of two things in another was known in a number of cases,
yet in the present case a new case of the existence of the gamya
in a thing is known from the perception of the existence of the
gamaka and this knowledge is gained by a means which is not
perception, for it is only the gamaka that is seen and not the
gamya. If the gamya is also seen it is no inference at all.

As regards the number of propositions necessary for the explicit
statement of the process of inference for convincing others
(_pararthanumana_) both Kumarila and Prabhakara hold that three
premisses are quite sufficient for inference. Thus the first three
premisses pratijna, hetu and d@rstanta may quite serve the purpose
of an anumana.

There are two kinds of anumana according to Kumarila
viz. pratyak@satod@rstasambandha and samanyatod@r@s@tasambandha.
The former is that kind of inference where the permanent

___________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: Kumarila strongly opposes a Buddhist view that concomitance
(_vyapti_) is ascertained only by the negative instances and not by the
positive ones.]

[Footnote 2: "_tasmadanavagate'pi sarvatranvaye sarvatas'ca vyatireke
bahus'ah sahityavagamamatradeva
vyabhicaradars'anasanathadanumanotpattira@ngikartavya@h._"
_Nyayaratnakara_, p. 288.]

390

relation between two concrete things, as in the case of smoke and
fire, has been noticed. The latter is that kind of inference where
the permanent relation is observed not between two concrete
things but between two general notions, as in the case of movement
and change of place, e.g. the perceived cases where there is
change of place there is also motion involved with it; so from the
change of place of the sun its motion is inferred and it is held
that this general notion is directly perceived like all universals
[Footnote ref 1].

Prabhakara recognizes the need of forming the notion of the
permanent relation, but he does not lay any stress on the fact
that this permanent relation between two things (fire and smoke)
is taken in connection with a third thing in which they both
subsist. He says that the notion of the permanent relation between
two things is the main point, whereas in all other associations
of time and place the things in which these two subsist
together are taken only as adjuncts to qualify the two things
(e.g. fire and smoke). It is also necessary to recognize the fact that
though the concomitance of smoke in fire is only conditional, the
concomitance of the fire in smoke is unconditional and absolute [Footnote
ref 2]. When such a conviction is firmly rooted in the mind that
the concept of the presence of smoke involves the concept of the
presence of fire, the inference of fire is made as soon as any
smoke is seen. Prabhakara counts separately the fallacies of the
minor (_pak@sabhasa_), of the enunciation (_pratijnabhasa_) and of
the example (_d@r@s@tantabhasa_) along with the fallacies of the middle
and this seems to indicate that the Mima@msa logic was not altogether
free from Buddhist influence. The cognition of smoke
includes within itself the cognition of fire also, and thus there
would be nothing left unknown to be cognized by the inferential
cognition. But this objection has little force with Prabhakara,
for he does not admit that a prama@na should necessarily bring
us any new knowledge, for prama@na is simply defined as "apprehension."
So though the inferential cognition always pertains to
things already known it is yet regarded by him as a prama@na,
since it is in any case no doubt an apprehension.

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[Footnote 1: See _S'lokavarttika, Nyayaratnakara, S'astradipika,
Yuktisnehapura@ni, Siddhantacandrika_ on anumana.]

[Footnote 2: On the subject of the means of assuring oneself that there is
no condition (_upadhi_) which may vitiate the inference, Prabhakara has
nothing new to tell us. He says that where even after careful enquiry in
a large number of cases the condition cannot be discovered we must say
that it does not exist (_prayatnenanvi@syama@ne aupadhikatvanavagamat_,
see _Prakara@napancika_, p. 71).]

391

Upamana, Arthapatti.

Analogy (_upamana_) is accepted by Mima@msa in a sense which
is different from that in which Nyaya took it. The man who
has seen a cow (_go_) goes to the forest and sees a wild ox
(_gavaya_), and apprehends the similarity of the gavaya with
the _go,_ and then cognizes the similarity of the _go_ (which is not
within the limits of his perception then) with the _gavaya._ The
cognition of this similarity of the _gavaya_ in the _go,_ as it follows
directly from the perception of the similarity of the _go_ in the
_gavaya,_ is called upamana (analogy). It is regarded as a separate
prama@na, because by it we can apprehend the similarity
existing in a thing which is not perceived at the moment. It is
not mere remembrance, for at the time the _go_ was seen the
_gavaya_ was not seen, and hence the similarity also was not seen,
and what was not seen could not be remembered. The difference
of Prabhakara and Kumarila on this point is that while the
latter regards similarity as only a quality consisting in the fact
of more than one object having the same set of qualities, the
former regards it as a distinct category.

_Arthapatti_ (implication) is a new prama@na which is admitted
by the Mima@msa. Thus when we know that a person Devadatta
is alive and perceive that he is not in the house, we cannot reconcile
these two facts, viz. his remaining alive and his not being
in the house without presuming his existence somewhere outside
the house, and this method of cognizing the existence of Devadatta
outside the house is called _arthapatti_ (presumption or
implication).

The exact psychological analysis of the mind in this arthapatti
cognition is a matter on which Prabhakara and Kumarila
disagree. Prabhakara holds that when a man knows that Devadatta
habitually resides in his house but yet does not find him
there, his knowledge that Devadatta is living (though acquired
previously by some other means of proof) is made doubtful, and
the cause of this doubt is that he does not find Devadatta at his
house. The absence of Devadatta from the house is not the cause
of implication, but it throws into doubt the very existence of Devadatta,
and thus forces us to imagine that Devadatta must remain
somewhere outside. That can only be found by implication,
without the hypothesis of which the doubt cannot be removed.
The mere absence of Devadatta from the house is not enough for

392

making the presumption that he is outside the house, for he
might also be dead. But I know that Devadatta was living and
also that he was not at home; this perception of his absence from
home creates a doubt as regards my first knowledge that he is
living, and it is for the removal of this doubt that there creeps in
the presumption that he must be living somewhere else. The
perception of the absence of Devadatta through the intermediate
link of a doubt passes into the notion of a presumption that he
must then remain somewhere else. In inference there is no element
of doubt, for it is only when the smoke is perceived to exist
beyond the least element of doubt that the inference of the fire
is possible, but in presumption the perceived non-existence in the
house leads to the presumption of an external existence only
when it has thrown the fact of the man's being alive into doubt
and uncertainty [Footnote ref 1].

Kumarila however objects to this explanation of Prabhakara,
and says that if the fact that Devadatta is living is made doubtful
by the absence of Devadatta at his house, then the doubt
may as well be removed by the supposition that Devadatta is
dead, for it does not follow that the doubt with regard to the life
of Devadatta should necessarily be resolved by the supposition
of his being outside the house. Doubt can only be removed
when the cause or the root of doubt is removed, and it does not
follow that because Devadatta is not in the house therefore he is
living. If it was already known that Devadatta was living and his
absence from the house creates the doubt, how then can the very
fact which created the doubt remove the doubt? The cause of
doubt cannot be the cause of its removal too. The real procedure
of the presumption is quite the other way. The doubt about
the life of Devadatta being removed by previous knowledge or
by some other means, we may presume that he must be outside
the house when he is found absent from the house. So there cannot
be any doubt about the life of Devadatta. It is the certainty
of his life associated with the perception of his absence from the
house that leads us to the presumption of his external existence.
There is an opposition between the life of Devadatta and his
absence from the house, and the mind cannot come to rest without
the presumption of his external existence. The mind oscillates
between two contradictory poles both of which it accepts but

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[Footnote 1: See _Prakara@napancika_, pp. 113-115.]

393

cannot reconcile, and as a result of that finds an outlet and a
reconciliation in the presumption that the existence of Devadatta
must be found outside the house.

Well then, if that be so, inference may as well be interpreted
as presumption. For if we say that we know that wherever there
is smoke there is fire, and then perceive that there is smoke
in the hill, but no fire, then the existence of the smoke becomes
irreconcilable, or the universal proposition of the concomitance
of smoke with fire becomes false, and hence the presumption
that there is fire in the hill. This would have been all right if
the universal concomitance of smoke with fire could be known
otherwise than by inference. But this is not so, for the concomitance
was seen only in individual cases, and from that came the
inference that wherever there is smoke there is fire. It cannot
be said that the concomitance perceived in individual cases suffered
any contradiction without the presumption of the universal
proposition (wherever there is smoke there is fire); thus arthapatti
is of no avail here and inference has to be accepted. Now
when it is proved that there are cases where the purpose of inference
cannot be served by arthapatti, the validity of inference
as a means of proof becomes established. That being done we
admit that the knowledge of the fire in the hill may come to us
either by inference or by arthapatti.

So inference also cannot serve the purpose of arthapatti, for
in inference also it is the hetu (reason) which is known first, and
later on from that the sadhya (what is to be proved); both of
them however cannot be apprehended at the same moment, and
it is exactly this that distinguishes arthapatti from anumana.
For arthapatti takes place where, without the presumption of
Devadatta's external existence, the absence from the house of
Devadatta who is living cannot be comprehended. If Devadatta is
living he must exist inside or outside the house. The mind cannot
swallow a contradiction, and hence without presuming the external
existence of Devadatta even the perceived non-existence cannot
be comprehended. It is thus that the contradiction is resolved by
presuming his existence outside the house. Arthapatti is thus
the result of arthanupapatti or the contradiction of the present
perception with a previously acquired certain knowledge.

It is by this arthapattiprama@na that we have to admit that
there is a special potency in seeds by which they produce the

394

shoots, and that a special potency is believed to exist in sacrifices
by which these can lead the sacrificer to Heaven or some such
beneficent state of existence.

S'abda prama@na.

S'abda or word is regarded as a separate means of proof by
most of the recognized Indian systems of thought excepting the
Jaina, Buddhist, Carvaka and Vais`e@sika. A discussion on this
topic however has but little philosophical value and I have therefore
omitted to give any attention to it in connection with the
Nyaya, and the Sa@mkhya-Yoga systems. The validity and authority
of the Vedas were acknowledged by all Hindu writers and
they had wordy battles over it with the Buddhists who denied
it. Some sought to establish this authority on the supposition
that they were the word of God, while others, particularly the
Mima@msists strove to prove that they were not written by anyone,
and had no beginning in time nor end and were eternal.
Their authority was not derived from the authority of any
trustworthy person or God. Their words are valid in themselves.
Evidently a discussion on these matters has but little value with
us, though it was a very favourite theme of debate in the old
days of India. It was in fact the most important subject for
Mima@msa, for the _Mima@msa sutras_ were written for the purpose
of laying down canons for a right interpretation of the Vedas.
The slight extent to which it has dealt with its own epistemological
doctrines has been due solely to their laying the foundation
of its structure of interpretative maxims, and not to
writing philosophy for its own sake. It does not dwell so much
upon salvation as other systems do, but seeks to serve as a
rational compendium of maxims with the help of which the
Vedas may be rightly understood and the sacrifices rightly performed.
But a brief examination of the doctrine of word (_s'abda_)
as a means of proof cannot be dispensed with in connection with
Mima@msa as it is its very soul.

S'abda (word) as a prama@na means the knowledge that we
get about things (not within the purview of our perception) from
relevant sentences by understanding the meaning of the words of
which they are made up. These sentences may be of two kinds,
viz. those uttered by men and those which belong to the Vedas.
The first becomes a valid means of knowledge when it is not

395

uttered by untrustworthy persons and the second is valid in
itself. The meanings of words are of course known to us
before, and cannot therefore be counted as a means of proof;
but the meanings of sentences involving a knowledge of the
relations of words cannot be known by any other acknowledged
means of proof, and it is for this that we have to accept s`abda
as a separate means of proof. Even if it is admitted that the
validity of any sentence may be inferred on the ground of its
being uttered by a trustworthy person, yet that would not
explain how we understand the meanings of sentences, for when
even the name or person of a writer or speaker is not known,
we have no difficulty in understanding the meaning of any
sentence.

Prabhakara thinks that all sounds are in the form of letters,
or are understandable as combinations of letters. The constituent
letters of a word however cannot yield any meaning, and are
thus to be regarded as elements of auditory perception which
serve as a means for understanding the meaning of a word. The
reason of our apprehension of the meaning of any word is to be
found in a separate potency existing in the letters by which the
denotation of the word may be comprehended. The perception
of each letter-sound vanishes the moment it is uttered, but
leaves behind an impression which combines with the impressions
of the successively dying perceptions of letters, and this brings
about the whole word which contains the potency of bringing
about the comprehension of a certain meaning. If even on hearing
a word the meaning cannot be comprehended, it has to be admitted
that the hearer lacks certain auxiliaries necessary for the
purpose. As the potency of the word originates from the separate
potencies of the letters, it has to be admitted that the latter is
the direct cause of verbal cognition. Both Prabhakara and
Kumarila agree on this point.

Another peculiar doctrine expounded here is that all words
have natural denotative powers by which they themselves out of
their own nature refer to certain objects irrespective of their
comprehension or non-comprehension by the hearer. The hearer will
not understand the meaning unless it is known to him that the
word in question is expressive of such and such a meaning,
but the word was all along competent to denote that meaning
and it is the hearer's knowledge of that fact that helps him to

396

understand the meaning of a word. Mimamsa does not think
that the association of a particular meaning with a word is due
to conventions among people who introduce and give meanings
to the words [Footnote ref 1]. Words are thus acknowledged to be denotative
of themselves. It is only about proper names that convention
is admitted to be the cause of denotation. It is easy to see
the bearing of this doctrine on the self-validity of the Vedic
commandments, by the performance of which such results would
arise as could not have been predicted by any other person.
Again all words are believed to be eternally existent; but though
they are ever present some manifestive agency is required by
which they are manifested to us. This manifestive agency consists
of the effort put forth by the man who pronounces the
word. Nyaya thinks that this effort of pronouncing is the cause
that produces the word while Mimam@sa thinks that it only manifests
to the hearer the ever-existing word.

The process by which according to Prabhakara the meanings
of words are acquired maybe exemplified thus: a senior commands
a junior to bring a cow and to bind a horse, and the
child on noticing the action of the junior in obedience to the
senior's commands comes to understand the meaning of "cow"
and "horse." Thus according to him the meanings of words can
only be known from words occurring in injunctive sentences; he
deduces from this the conclusion that words must denote things
only as related to the other factors of the injunction (_anvitabhidhana
vada_), and no word can be comprehended as having any
denotation when taken apart from such a sentence. This doctrine
holds that each word yields its meaning only as being generally
related to other factors or only as a part of an injunctive sentence,
thus the word _gam_ accusative case of _go_ (cow) means that it is
intended that something is to be done with the cow or the bovine
genus, and it appears only as connected with a specific kind of
action, viz. bringing in the sentence _gam anaya_--bring the cow.
Kumarila however thinks that words independently express
separate meanings which are subsequently combined into a sentence
expressing one connected idea (_abhihitanvayavada_). Thus
in _gam anaya_, according to Kumarila, _gam_ means the bovine
class in the accusative character and _anaya_ independently means

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