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

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his activities, and thus keep him in a continuous process of
suffering and enjoyment. The karma matter thus accumulated
in the soul produces a kind of coloration called _les'ya_, such as
white, black, etc., which marks the character of the soul. The

74

idea of the s'ukla and k@r@s@na karmas of the Yoga system was probably
suggested by the Jaina view. But when a man is free from
passions, and acts in strict compliance with the rules of conduct,
his actions produce karma which lasts but for a moment and is
then annihilated. Every karma that the sage has previously
earned has its predestined limits within which it must take effect
and be purged away. But when by contemplation and the strict
adherence to the five great vows, no new karma is generated, and
when all the karmas are exhausted the worldly existence of the
person rapidly draws towards its end. Thus in the last stage of
contemplation, all karma being annihilated, and all activities
having ceased, the soul leaves the body and goes up to the top
of the universe, where the liberated souls stay for ever.

Buddhism also contributes some new traits to the karma
theory which however being intimately connected with their
metaphysics will be treated later on.

2. _The Doctrine of Mukti_.

Not only do the Indian systems agree as to the cause of the
inequalities in the share of sufferings and enjoyments in the case
of different persons, and the manner in which the cycle of births
and rebirths has been kept going from beginningless time, on the
basis of the mysterious connection of one's actions with the
happenings of the world, but they also agree in believing that
this beginningless chain of karma and its fruits, of births and rebirths,
this running on from beginningless time has somewhere
its end. This end was not to be attained at some distant time or
in some distant kingdom, but was to be sought within us. Karma
leads us to this endless cycle, and if we could divest ourselves of
all such emotions, ideas or desires as lead us to action we should
find within us the actionless self which neither suffers nor enjoys,
neither works nor undergoes rebirth. When the Indians, wearied
by the endless bustle and turmoil of worldly events, sought for and
believed that somewhere a peaceful goal could be found, they
generally hit upon the self of man. The belief that the soul could
be realized in some stage as being permanently divested of all
action, feelings or ideas, led logically to the conclusion that the
connection of the soul with these worldly elements was extraneous,
artificial or even illusory. In its true nature the soul is untouched
by the impurities of our ordinary life, and it is through ignorance

75

and passion as inherited from the cycle of karma from beginningless
time that we connect it with these. The realization of this
transcendent state is the goal and final achievement of this endless
cycle of births and rebirths through karma. The Buddhists did
not admit the existence of soul, but recognized that the final
realization of the process of karma is to be found in the ultimate
dissolution called Nirva@na, the nature of which we shall discuss
later on.

3. _The Doctrine of Soul_.

All the Indian systems except Buddhism admit the existence
of a permanent entity variously called atman, puru@sa or jiva.
As to the exact nature of this soul there are indeed divergences
of view. Thus while the Nyaya calls it absolutely
qualityless and characterless, indeterminate unconscious entity,
Sa@mkhya describes it as being of the nature of pure consciousness,
the Vedanta says that it is that fundamental point of unity
implied in pure consciousness (_cit_), pure bliss (_ananda_), and pure
being (_sat_). But all agree in holding that it is pure and unsullied
in its nature and that all impurities of action or passion do not
form a real part of it. The _summum bonum_ of life is attained
when all impurities are removed and the pure nature of the self
is thoroughly and permanently apprehended and all other extraneous
connections with it are absolutely dissociated.

The Pessimistic Attitude towards the World and the
Optimistic Faith in the end.

Though the belief that the world is full of sorrow has not been
equally prominently emphasized in all systems, yet it may be
considered as being shared by all of them. It finds its strongest
utterance in Sa@mkhya, Yoga, and Buddhism. This interminable
chain of pleasurable and painful experiences was looked upon as
nearing no peaceful end but embroiling and entangling us in the
meshes of karma, rebirth, and sorrow. What appear as pleasures
are but a mere appearance for the attempt to keep them steady is
painful, there is pain when we lose the pleasures or when we are
anxious to have them. When the pleasures are so much associated
with pains they are but pains themselves. We are but duped
when we seek pleasures, for they are sure to lead us to pain. All
our experiences are essentially sorrowful and ultimately sorrow-begetting.
Sorrow is the ultimate truth of this process of the

76

world. That which to an ordinary person seems pleasurable
appears to a wise person or to a yogin who has a clearer vision as
painful. The greater the knowledge the higher is the sensitiveness
to sorrow and dissatisfaction with world experiences. The yogin
is like the pupil of the eye to which even the smallest grain of
disturbance is unbearable. This sorrow of worldly experiences cannot
be removed by bringing in remedies for each sorrow as it comes,
for the moment it is remedied another sorrow comes in. It cannot
also be avoided by mere inaction or suicide, for we are continually
being forced to action by our nature, and suicide will but lead to
another life of sorrow and rebirth. The only way to get rid of
it is by the culmination of moral greatness and true knowledge
which uproot sorrow once for all. It is our ignorance that the self
is intimately connected with the experiences of life or its pleasures,
that leads us to action and arouses passion in us for the enjoyment
of pleasures and other emotions and activities. Through
the highest moral elevation a man may attain absolute dispassion
towards world-experiences and retire in body, mind, and speech
from all worldly concerns. When the mind is so purified, the self
shines in its true light, and its true nature is rightly conceived.
When this is once done the self can never again be associated
with passion or ignorance. It becomes at this stage ultimately
dissociated from _citta_ which contains within it the root of all
emotions, ideas, and actions. Thus emancipated the self for ever
conquers all sorrow. It is important, however, to note in this
connection that emancipation is not based on a general aversion
to intercourse with the world or on such feelings as a disappointed
person may have, but on the appreciation of the state of mukti
as the supremely blessed one. The details of the pessimistic
creed of each system have developed from the logical necessity
peculiar to each system. There was never the slightest tendency
to shirk the duties of this life, but to rise above them through
right performance and right understanding. It is only when a
man rises to the highest pinnacle of moral glory that he is fit for
aspiring to that realization of selfhood in comparison with which
all worldly things or even the joys of Heaven would not only
shrink into insignificance, but appear in their true character as
sorrowful and loathsome. It is when his mind has thus turned from
all ordinary joys that he can strive towards his ideal of salvation.
In fact it seems to me that a sincere religious craving after some

77

ideal blessedness and quiet of self-realization is indeed the fundamental
fact from which not only her philosophy but many of the
complex phenomena of the civilization of India can be logically
deduced. The sorrow around us has no fear for us if we remember
that we are naturally sorrowless and blessed in ourselves. The
pessimistic view loses all terror as it closes in absolute optimistic
confidence in one's own self and the ultimate destiny and goal of
emancipation.

Unity in Indian Sadhana (philosophical, religious
and ethical endeavours).

As might be expected the Indian systems are all agreed upon
the general principles of ethical conduct which must be followed
for the attainment of salvation. That all passions are to be controlled,
no injury to life in any form should be done, and that all
desire for pleasures should be checked, are principles which are
almost universally acknowledged. When a man attains a very
high degree of moral greatness he has to strengthen and prepare
his mind for further purifying and steadying it for the attainment
of his ideal; and most of the Indian systems are unanimous with
regard to the means to be employed for the purpose. There are
indeed divergences in certain details or technical names, but the
means to be adopted for purification are almost everywhere essentially
the same as those advocated by the Yoga system. It is only
in later times that devotion (_bhakti_) is seen to occupy a more
prominent place specially in Vai@s@nava schools of thought. Thus
it was that though there were many differences among the various
systems, yet their goal of life, their attitude towards the world and
the means fur the attainment of the goal (_sadhana_) being fundamentally
the same, there was a unique unity in the practical sadhana
of almost all the Indian systems. The religious craving has been
universal in India and this uniformity of sadhana has therefore
secured for India a unity in all her aspirations and strivings.

78

CHAPTER V

BUDDHIST PHILOSOPHY

Many scholars are of opinion that the Sa@mkhya and the Yoga
represent the earliest systematic speculations of India. It is also
suggested that Buddhism drew much of its inspiration from them.
It may be that there is some truth in such a view, but the
systematic Sa@mkhya and Yoga treatises as we have them had
decidedly been written after Buddhism. Moreover it is well-known
to every student of Hindu philosophy that a conflict with the
Buddhists has largely stimulated philosophic enquiry in most of
the systems of Hindu thought. A knowledge of Buddhism is
therefore indispensable for a right understanding of the different
systems in their mutual relation and opposition to Buddhism. It
seems desirable therefore that I should begin with Buddhism
first.

The State of Philosophy in India before the Buddha.

It is indeed difficult to give a short sketch of the different
philosophical speculations that were prevalent in India before
Buddhism. The doctrines of the Upani@sads are well known, and
these have already been briefly described. But these were not the
only ones. Even in the Upani@sads we find references to diverse
atheistical creeds [Footnote ref 1]. We find there that the origin of the
world and its processes were sometimes discussed, and some thought
that "time" was the ultimate cause of all, others that all these
had sprung forth by their own nature (_svabhava_), others that
everything had come forth in accordance with an inexorable
destiny or a fortuitous concourse of accidental happenings, or
through matter combinations in general. References to diverse
kinds of heresies are found in Buddhist literature also, but no
detailed accounts of these views are known. Of the Upani@sad
type of materialists the two schools of Carvakas (Dhurtta
and Sus'ik@sita) are referred to in later literature,
though the time in which these flourished cannot rightly
be discovered [Footnote ref 2]. But it seems

____________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: S'vetas'vatara, I. 2, _kala@h svabhabo niyatiryad@rccha
bhutani yoni@h puru@sa iti cintyam._]

[Footnote 2: Lokayata (literally, that which is found among people in
general) seems to have been the name by which all carvaka doctrines
were generally known. See Gu@naratna on the Lokayatas.]

79

probable however that the allusion to the materialists contained
in the Upani@sads refers to these or to similar schools. The
Carvakas did not believe in the authority of the Vedas or any
other holy scripture. According to them there was no soul. Life
and consciousness were the products of the combination of matter,
just as red colour was the result of mixing up white with
yellow or as the power of intoxication was generated in molasses
(_madas'akti_). There is no after-life, and no reward of actions, as
there is neither virtue nor vice. Life is only for enjoyment. So
long as it lasts it is needless to think of anything else, as everything
will end with death, for when at death the body is burnt
to ashes there cannot be any rebirth. They do not believe in
the validity of inference. Nothing is trustworthy but what can
be directly perceived, for it is impossible to determine that the
distribution of the middle term (_hetu_) has not depended upon
some extraneous condition, the absence of which might destroy
the validity of any particular piece of inference. If in any case
any inference comes to be true, it is only an accidental fact and
there is no certitude about it. They were called Carvaka because
they would only eat but would not accept any other religious or
moral responsibility. The word comes from _carv_ to eat. The
Dhurtta Carvakas held that there was nothing but the four
elements of earth, water, air and fire, and that the body was but the
result of atomic combination. There was no self or soul, no
virtue or vice. The Sus'ik@sita Carvakas held that there was
a soul apart from the body but that it also was destroyed with
the destruction of the body. The original work of the Carvakas
was written in sutras probably by B@rhaspati. Jayanta and Gu@naratna
quote two sutras from it. Short accounts of this school may be
found in Jayanta's _Nyayamanjari_, Madhava's _Sarvadars'anasa@mgraha_
and Gu@naratna's _Tarkarahasyadipika_. _Mahabharata_ gives
an account of a man called Carvaka meeting Yudhi@s@thira.

Side by side with the doctrine of the Carvaka materialists we
are reminded of the Ajivakas of which Makkhali Gosala, probably
a renegade disciple of the Jain saint Mahavira and a contemporary
of Buddha and Mahavira, was the leader. This was a thorough-going
determinism denying the free will of man and his moral
responsibility for any so-called good or evil. The essence of
Makkhali's system is this, that "there is no cause, either proximate
or remote, for the depravity of beings or for their purity. They

80

become so without any cause. Nothing depends either on one's
own efforts or on the efforts of others, in short nothing depends
on any human effort, for there is no such thing as power or energy,
or human exertion. The varying conditions at any time are due
to fate, to their environment and their own nature [Footnote ref 1]."

Another sophistical school led by Ajita Kesakambali taught
that there was no fruit or result of good or evil deeds; there is no
other world, nor was this one real; nor had parents nor any
former lives any efficacy with respect to this life. Nothing that
we can do prevents any of us alike from being wholly brought to
an end at death [Footnote ref 2].

There were thus at least three currents of thought: firstly the
sacrificial Karma by the force of the magical rites of which any
person could attain anything he desired; secondly the Upani@sad
teaching that the Brahman, the self, is the ultimate reality and
being, and all else but name and form which pass away but do
not abide. That which permanently abides without change is the
real and true, and this is self. Thirdly the nihilistic conceptions
that there is no law, no abiding reality, that everything comes
into being by a fortuitous concourse of circumstances or by some
unknown fate. In each of these schools, philosophy had probably
come to a deadlock. There were the Yoga practices prevalent in
the country and these were accepted partly on the strength of
traditional custom among certain sections, and partly by virtue
of the great spiritual, intellectual and physical power which they
gave to those who performed them. But these had no rational
basis behind them on which they could lean for support. These
were probably then just tending towards being affiliated to the
nebulous Sa@mkhya doctrines which had grown up among certain
sections. It was at this juncture that we find Buddha erecting
a new superstructure of thought on altogether original lines which
thenceforth opened up a new avenue of philosophy for all posterity
to come. If the Being of the Upani@sads, the superlatively motionless,
was the only real, how could it offer scope for further new
speculations, as it had already discarded all other matters of
interest? If everything was due to a reasonless fortuitous concourse
of circumstances, reason could not proceed further in the
direction to create any philosophy of the unreason. The magical

___________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: _Samannaphala-sutta_, _Digha_, II. 20. Hoernle's article on
the Ajivakas, E.R.E.]

[Footnote 2: _Samannaphala-sutta_, II. 23.]

81

force of the hocus-pocus of sorcery or sacrifice had but little that
was inviting for philosophy to proceed on. If we thus take into
account the state of Indian philosophic culture before Buddha,
we shall be better able to understand the value of the Buddhistic
contribution to philosophy.

Buddha: his Life.

Gautama the Buddha was born in or about the year 560 B.C.
in the Lumbini Grove near the ancient town of Kapilavastu in
the now dense terai region of Nepal. His father was Suddhodana,
a prince of the Sakya clan, and his mother Queen Mahamaya.
According to the legends it was foretold of him that he would
enter upon the ascetic life when he should see "A decrepit old
man, a diseased man, a dead man, and a monk." His father tried
his best to keep him away from these by marrying him and
surrounding him with luxuries. But on successive occasions,
issuing from the palace, he was confronted by those four
things, which filled him with amazement and distress, and
realizing the impermanence of all earthly things determined to
forsake his home and try if he could to discover some means to
immortality to remove the sufferings of men. He made his "Great
Renunciation" when he was twenty-nine years old. He travelled
on foot to Rajag@rha (Rajgir) and thence to Uruvela, where in
company with other five ascetics he entered upon a course of
extreme self-discipline, carrying his austerities to such a length
that his body became utterly emaciated and he fell down senseless
and was believed to be dead. After six years of this great
struggle he was convinced that the truth was not to be won by
the way of extreme asceticism, and resuming an ordinary course
of life at last attained absolute and supreme enlightenment. Thereafter
the Buddha spent a life prolonged over forty-five years in
travelling from place to place and preaching the doctrine to
all who would listen. At the age of over eighty years Buddha
realized that the time drew near for him to die. He then entered
into Dhyana and passing through its successive stages attained
nirvana [Footnote ref 1]. The vast developments which the system of this
great teacher underwent in the succeeding centuries in India and in
other countries have not been thoroughly studied, and it will
probably take yet many years more before even the materials for

__________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: _Mahaparinibbanasuttanta_, _Digha_, XVI. 6, 8, 9.]

82

such a study can be collected. But from what we now possess
it is proved incontestably that it is one of the most wonderful and
subtle productions of human wisdom. It is impossible to overestimate
the debt that the philosophy, culture and civilization
of India owe to it in all her developments for many succeeding
centuries.

Early Buddhist Literature.

The Buddhist Pali Scriptures contain three different collections:
the Sutta (relating to the doctrines), the Vinaya (relating to the
discipline of the monks) and the Abhidhamma (relating generally
to the same subjects as the suttas but dealing with them in a
scholastic and technical manner). Scholars of Buddhistic religious
history of modern times have failed as yet to fix any definite dates
for the collection or composition of the different parts of the
aforesaid canonical literature of the Buddhists. The suttas were
however composed before the Abhidhamma and it is very
probable that almost the whole of the canonical works were
completed before 241 B.C., the date of the third council during
the reign of King Asoka. The suttas mainly deal with the doctrine
(Dhamma) of the Buddhistic faith whereas the Vinaya deals
only with the regulations concerning the discipline of the monks.
The subject of the Abhidhamma is mostly the same as that
of the suttas, namely, the interpretation of the Dhamma.
Buddhaghos@a in his introduction to _Atthasalini_, the commentary
on the _Dhammasa@nga@ni_, says that the Abhidhamma is so called
(_abhi_ and _dhamma_) because it describes the same Dhammas as are
related in the suttas in a more intensified (_dhammatireka_) and
specialized (_dhammavisesatthena_) manner. The Abhidhammas
do not give any new doctrines that are not in the suttas, but
they deal somewhat elaborately with those that are already found
in the suttas. Buddhagho@sa in distinguishing the special features
of the suttas from the Abhidhammas says that the acquirement
of the former leads one to attain meditation (_samadhi_) whereas
the latter leads one to attain wisdom (_pannasampadam_). The force
of this statement probably lies in this, that the dialogues of the
suttas leave a chastening effect on the mind, the like of which is
not to be found in the Abhidhammas, which busy themselves in
enumerating the Buddhistic doctrines and defining them in a
technical manner, which is more fitted to produce a reasoned

85

insight into the doctrines than directly to generate a craving
for following the path of meditation for the extinction of sorrow.
The Abhidhamma known as the _Kathavatthu_ differs from the
other Abhidhammas in this, that it attempts to reduce the views
of the heterodox schools to absurdity. The discussions proceed
in the form of questions and answers, and the answers of the
opponents are often shown to be based on contradictory
assumptions.

The suttas contain five groups of collections called the Nikayas.
These are (1) _Digha Nikaya_, called so on account of the length
of the suttas contained in it; (2) _Majjhima Nikaya_ (middling
Nikaya), called so on account of the middling extent of the
suttas contained in it; (3) _Sa@myutta Nikaya_ (Nikayas relating
to special meetings), called sa@myutta on account of their being
delivered owing to the meetings (_sa@myoga_) of special persons which
were the occasions for them; (4) _A@nguttara Nikaya_, so called because
in each succeeding book of this work the topics of discussion
increase by one [Footnote ref 1]; (5) _Khuddaka Nikaya_ containing
_Khuddaka pa@tha, Dhammapada, Udana, Itivuttaka, Sutta Nipata,
Vimana-vatthu, Petavatthu, Theragatha, Therigatha, Jataka, Niddesa,
Pa@tisambhidamagga, Apadana, Buddhava@msa, Caryapi@taka._

The Abhidhammas are _Pa@t@thana, Dhammasa@nga@ni, Dhatukatha,
Puggalapannatti, Vibha@nga, Yamaka_ and _Kathavatthu_.
There exists also a large commentary literature on diverse parts
of the above works known as atthakatha. The work known as
_Milinda Panha_ (questions of King Milinda), of uncertain date, is
of considerable philosophical value.

The doctrines and views incorporated in the above literature
is generally now known as Sthaviravada or Theravada. On the
origin of the name Theravada (the doctrine of the elders)
_Dipava@msa_ says that since the Theras (elders) met (at the first council)
and collected the doctrines it was known as the Thera Vada [Footnote ref
2]. It does not appear that Buddhism as it appears in this Pali literature
developed much since the time of Buddhagho@sa (4OO A.D.), the
writer of _Visuddhimagga_ (a compendium of theravada doctrines)
and the commentator of _Dighanikaya, Dhammasa@nga@ni_, etc.

Hindu philosophy in later times seems to have been influenced
by the later offshoots of the different schools of Buddhism, but
it does not appear that Pali Buddhism had any share in it. I

_________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: See Buddhagho@sa's _Atthasalini_, p. 25.]

[Footnote 2: Oldenberg's _Dipava@msa_, p. 31.]

84

have not been able to discover any old Hindu writer who could
be considered as being acquainted with Pali.

The Doctrine of Causal Connection of early Buddhism [Footnote ref 1].

The word Dhamma in the Buddhist scriptures is used generally
in four senses: (1) Scriptural texts, (2) quality (_gu@na_), (3) cause
(_hetu_) and (4) unsubstantial and soulless (_nissatta nijjiva_ [Footnote
ref 2]). Of these it is the last meaning which is particularly important,
from the point of view of Buddhist philosophy. The early Buddhist
philosophy did not accept any fixed entity as determining all
reality; the only things with it were the unsubstantial phenomena
and these were called dhammas. The question arises that
if there is no substance or reality how are we to account for the
phenomena? But the phenomena are happening and passing
away and the main point of interest with the Buddha was to find
out "What being what else is," "What happening what else
happens" and "What not being what else is not." The phenomena
are happening in a series and we see that there being
certain phenomena there become some others; by the happening
of some events others also are produced. This is called
(_pa@ticca-samuppada_) dependent origination. But it is difficult to
understand what is the exact nature of this dependence. The question as
_Sa@myutta Nikaya_ (II. 5) has it with which the Buddha started
before attaining Buddhahood was this: in what miserable condition
are the people! they are born, they decay, they die, pass away
and are born again; and they do not know the path of escape
from this decay, death and misery.

How to know the Way to escape from this misery of decay
and death. Then it occurred to him what being there, are decay
and death, depending on what do they come? As he thought
deeply into the root of the matter, it occurred to him that decay
and death can only occur when there is birth (_jati_), so they depend

_____________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: There are some differences of opinion as to whether one could
take the doctrine of the twelve links of causes as we find it in the
_Sa@myutta Nikaya_ as the earliest Buddhist view, as Sa@myutta does not
represent the oldest part of the suttas. But as this doctrine of the
twelve causes became regarded as a fundamental Buddhist doctrine and
as it gives us a start in philosophy I have not thought it fit to enter
into conjectural discussions as to the earliest form. Dr E.J. Thomas drew
my attention to this fact.]

[Footnote 2: _Atthasatini_, p. 38. There are also other senses in which
the word is used, as _dhamma-desana_ where it means religious teaching.
The _La@nkavatara_ described Dharmma as _gu@nadravyapurvaka dharmma_, i.e.
Dharmmas are those which are associated as attributes and substances.]

85

on birth. What being there, is there birth, on what does birth
depend? Then it occurred to him that birth could only be if
there were previous existence (_bhava_) [Footnote ref 1]. But on what does
this existence depend, or what being there is there _bhava_. Then it
occurred to him that there could not be existence unless there
were holding fast (_upadana_) [Footnote ref 2]. But on what did upadana
depend? It occurred to him that it was desire (_ta@nha_) on which upadana
depended. There can be upadana if there is desire (_tanha_) [Footnote ref
3]. But what being there, can there be desire? To this question it
occurred to him that there must be feeling (_vedana_) in order that
there may be desire. But on what does vedana depend, or rather
what must be there, that there may be feeling (_vedana_)? To this
it occurred to him that there must be a sense-contact (_phassa_)
in order that there may be feeling [Footnote ref 4]. If there should be no
sense-contact there would be no feeling. But on what does sense-contact
depend? It occurred to him that as there are six sense-contacts,
there are the six fields of contact (_ayatana_) [Footnote ref 5]. But on
what do the six ayatanas depend? It occurred to him that
there must be the mind and body (_namarupa_) in order that there
may be the six fields of contact [Footnote ref 6]; but on what does
namarupa depend? It occurred to him that without consciousness
(_vinnana_) there could be no namarupa [Footnote ref 8].
But what being there would there

___________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: This word bhava is interpreted by Candrakirtti in his
_Madhyamika v@rtti,_ p. 565 (La Vallee Poussin's edition) as the deed
which brought about rebirth (_punarbhavajanaka@m karma samutthapayali
kayena vaca manasa ca_).]

[Footnote 2: _Atthasalini_, p. 385, upadanantida@lhagaha@na@m. Candrakirtti
in explaining upadana says that whatever thing a man desires he holds fast
to the materials necessary for attaining it (_yatra vastuni
sat@r@s@nastasya vastuno 'rjanaya vi@dhapanaya upadanamupadatte tatra
tatra prarthayate_). _Madhyamika v@rtti_, p. 565.]

[Footnote 3: Candrakirtti describes t@r@s@na as
_asvadanabhinandanadhyavasanasthanadatmapriyarupairviyogo ma bhut,
nityamaparityago bhavediti, yeyam prarthana_--the desire that there
may not ever be any separation from those pleasures, etc., which
are dear to us. _Ibid._ 565.]

[Footnote 4: We read also of phassayatana and phassakaya. _M. N._ II. 261,
III. 280, etc. Candrakirtti says that _@sa@dbhirayatanadvarai@h
k@rtyaprak@riya@h pravarttante prajnayante. tannamarupapratyaya@m
@sa@dayatanamucyate. sa@dbhyas`cayatanebhya@h @sa@tspars`akaya@h
pravarttante. M.V._ 565.]

[Footnote 5: Ayatana means the six senses together with their objects.
Ayatana literally is "Field of operation." Sa@layatana means six senses
as six fields of operation. Candrakirtti has _ayatanadvarai@h_.]

[Footnote 6: I have followed the translation of Aung in rendering namarupa
as mind and body, _Compendium_, p. 271. This seems to me to be fairly
correct. The four skandhas are called nama in each birth. These together
with rupa (matter) give us namarupa (mind and body) which being developed
render the activities through the six sense-gates possible so that there
may be knowledge. Cf. _M. V._ 564. Govindananda, the commentator on
S'a@nkara's bhasya on the _Brahma sutras_ (II. ii. 19), gives a different
interpretation of Namarupa which may probably refer to the Vijnanavada
view though we have no means at hand to verify it. He says--To think
the momentary as the permanent is Avidya; from there come the samskaras
of attachment, antipathy or anger, and infatuation; from there the first
vijnana or thought of the foetus is produced, from that alayavijnana,
and the four elements (which are objects of name and are hence called nama)
are produced, and from those are produced the white and black, semen
and blood called rupa. Both Vacaspati and Amalananda agree with
Govindananda in holding that nama signifies the semen and the ovum
while rupa means the visible physical body built out of them. Vijnana
entered the womb and on account of it namarupa were produced through
the association of previous karma. See _Vedantakalpataru_, pp 274,
275. On the doctrine of the entrance of vijnana into the womb compare
_D N_ II. 63.]

86

be vinnana. Here it occurred to him that in order that there
might be vinnana there must be the conformations (_sa@nkhara_) [Footnote
ref 1]. But what being there are there the sa@nkharas? Here it occurred
to him that the sa@nkharas can only be if there is ignorance
(_avijja_). If avijja could be stopped then the sa@nkharas will be
stopped, and if the sa@nkharas could be stopped vinnana could be
stopped and so on [Footnote ref 2].

It is indeed difficult to be definite as to what the Buddha
actually wished to mean by this cycle of dependence of existence
sometimes called Bhavacakra (wheel of existence). Decay and
death (_jaramarana_) could not have happened if there was no
birth [Footnote ref 3]. This seems to be clear. But at this point the
difficulty begins. We must remember that the theory of rebirth was

_____________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: It is difficult to say what is the exact sense of the word
here. The Buddha was one of the first few earliest thinkers to introduce
proper philosophical terms and phraseology with a distinct philosophical
method and he had often to use the same word in more or less different
senses. Some of the philosophical terms at least are therefore rather
elastic when compared with the terms of precise and definite meaning
which we find in later Sanskrit thought. Thus in _S N_ III. p. 87,
"_Sankhata@m abdisa@nkharonta_," sa@nkhara means that which synthesises
the complexes. In the _Compendium_ it is translated as will, action.
Mr. Aung thinks that it means the same as karma; it is here used
in a different sense from what we find in the word sa@nkhata khandha
(viz mental states). We get a list of 51 mental states forming sa@nkhata
khandha in _Dhamma Sangam_, p 18, and another different set of 40 mental
states in _Dharmasamgraha_, p. 6. In addition to these forty
_cittasamprayuktasa@mskara_, it also counts thirteen
_cittaviprayuktasa@mskara_. Candrakirtti interprets it as meaning
attachment, antipathy and infatuation, p 563. Govindananda, the
commentator on S'a@nkara's _Brahma sutra_ (II. ii. 19), also interprets
the word in connection with the doctrine of _Pratityasamutpada_ as
attachment, antipathy and infatuation.]

[Footnote 2: _Samyutta Nikaya_, II. 7-8.]

[Footnote 3: Jara and marana bring in s'oka (grief), paridevana
(lamentation), duhkha (suffering), daurmanasya (feeling of wretchedness
and miserableness) and upayasa (feeling of extreme destitution) at
the prospect of one's death or the death of other dear ones. All
these make up suffering and are the results of jati (birth). _M. V._
(B.T.S.p. 208). S'a@nkara in his bhasya counted all the terms from
jara, separately. The whole series is to be taken as representing
the entirety of duhkhaskandha.]

87

enunciated in the Upani@sads. The B@rhadara@nyaka says that just
as an insect going to the end of a leaf of grass by a new effort
collects itself in another so does the soul coming to the end of
this life collect itself in another. This life thus presupposes
another existence. So far as I remember there has seldom been
before or after Buddha any serious attempt to prove or disprove
the doctrine of rebirth [Footnote ref 1]. All schools of philosophy
except the Carvakas believed in it and so little is known to us of
the Carvaka sutras that it is difficult to say what they did to
refute this doctrine. The Buddha also accepts it as a fact and does
not criticize it. This life therefore comes only as one which had an
infinite number of lives before, and which except in the case of
a few emancipated ones would have an infinite number of them
in the future. It was strongly believed by all people, and the
Buddha also, when he came to think to what our present birth
might be due, had to fall back upon another existence (_bhava_).
If bhava means karma which brings rebirth as Candrakirtti takes
it to mean, then it would mean that the present birth could only
take place on account of the works of a previous existence which
determined it. Here also we are reminded of the Upani@sad note
"as a man does so will he be born" (_Yat karma kurute tadabhisampadyate_,
Brh IV. iv. 5). Candrakirtti's interpretation of "bhava"
as Karma (_punarbhavajanakam karma_) seems to me to suit
better than "existence." The word was probably used rather
loosely for _kammabhava_. The word bhava is not found in the
earlier Upani@sads and was used in the Pali scriptures for the
first time as a philosophical term. But on what does this
bhava depend? There could not have been a previous existence
if people had not betaken themselves to things or works they
desired. This betaking oneself to actions or things in accordance
with desire is called upadana. In the Upani@sads we read,
"whatever one betakes himself to, so does he work" (_Yatkraturbhavati
tatkarmma kurute_, B@rh. IV. iv. 5). As this betaking to
the thing depends upon desire {_t@r@s@na_}, it is said that in order
that there may be upadana there must be tanha. In the Upani@sads
also we read "Whatever one desires so does he betake
himself to" (_sa yathakamo bhavati tatkraturbhavati_). Neither
the word upadana nor t@rs@na (the Sanskrit word corresponding

______________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: The attempts to prove the doctrine of rebirth in the Hindu
philosophical works such as the Nyaya, etc., are slight and inadequate.]

88

to ta@nha) is found in the earlier Upani@sads, but the ideas contained
in them are similar to the words "_kratu_" and "_kama_." Desire
(ta@nha) is then said to depend on feeling or sense-contact.
Sense-contact presupposes the six senses as fields of operation [Footnote
ref 1]. These six senses or operating fields would again presuppose the
whole psychosis of the man (the body and the mind together)
called namarupa. We are familiar with this word in the Upani@sads
but there it is used in the sense of determinate forms and
names as distinguished from the indeterminate indefinable
reality [Footnote ref 2]. Buddhagho@sa in the _Visuddhimagga_ says that by
"Name" are meant the three groups beginning with sensation
(i.e. sensation, perception and the predisposition); by "Form"
the four elements and form derivative from the four elements [Footnote
ref 3]. He further says that name by itself can produce physical
changes, such as eating, drinking, making movements or the like. So
form also cannot produce any of those changes by itself. But like
the cripple and the blind they mutually help one another and
effectuate the changes [Footnote ref 4]. But there exists no heap or
collection of material for the production of Name and Form; "but just
as when a lute is played upon, there is no previous store of sound;
and when the sound comes into existence it does not come from
any such store; and when it ceases, it does not go to any of the
cardinal or intermediate points of the compass;...in exactly the
same way all the elements of being both those with form and
those without, come into existence after having previously been
non-existent and having come into existence pass away [Footnote ref 5]."
Namarupa taken in this sense will not mean the whole of mind and
body, but only the sense functions and the body which are found
to operate in the six doors of sense (_sa@layatana_). If we take
namarupa in this sense, we can see that it may be said to depend
upon the vinnana (consciousness). Consciousness has been compared
in the _Milinda Panha_ with a watchman at the middle of

_____________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: The word ayatana is found in many places in the earlier
Upani@sads in the sense of "field or place," Cha. I. 5, B@rh. III. 9.
10, but @sa@dayatana does not occur.]

[Footnote 2: Candrakirtti interprets nama as _Vedanadayo'
rupi@nas'catvara@h skandhastatra tatra bhave namayantili nama. saha
rupaskandhena ca nama rupam ceti namarupamucyate._ The four skandhas
in each specific birth act as name. These together with rupa make
namarupa. _M. V._ 564.]

[Footnote 3: Warren's _Buddhism in Translations_, p. 184.]

[Footnote 4: _Ibid._ p. 185, _Visuddhimagga_, Ch. XVII.]

[Footnote 5: _Ibid._ pp. 185-186, _Visuddhimagga_, Ch. XVII.]

89

the cross-roads beholding all that come from any direction [Footnote ref
1]. Buddhagho@sa in the _Atthasalini_ also says that consciousness means
that which thinks its object. If we are to define its characteristics
we must say that it knows (_vijanana_), goes in advance (_pubba@ngama_),
connects (_sandhana_), and stands on namarupa (_namarupapada@t@thanam_).
When the consciousness gets a door, at a place the objects of sense
are discerned (_arammana-vibhavana@t@thane_) and it goes first as the
precursor. When a visual object is seen by the eye it is known only
by the consciousness, and when the dhammas are made the objects of
(mind) mano, it is known only by the consciousness [Footnote ref 2].
Buddhagho@sa also refers here to the passage in the _Milinda Panha_
we have just referred to. He further goes on to say that when states
of consciousness rise one after another, they leave no gap between
the previous state and the later and consciousness therefore appears
as connected. When there are the aggregates of the five khandhas it
is lost; but there are the four aggregates as namarupa, it stands on
nama and therefore it is said that it stands on namarupa. He further
asks, Is this consciousness the same as the previous consciousness or
different from it? He answers that it is the same. Just so, the sun shows
itself with all its colours, etc., but he is not different from those
in truth; and it is said that just when the sun rises, its collected
heat and yellow colour also rise then, but it does not mean that
the sun is different from these. So the citta or consciousness
takes the phenomena of contact, etc., and cognizes them. So
though it is the same as they are yet in a sense it is different
from them [Footnote ref 3].

To go back to the chain of twelve causes, we find that jati (birth)
is the cause of decay and death, _jaramara@na_, etc. Jati is the
appearance of the body or the totality of the five skandhas [Footnote
ref 4]. Coming to bhava which determines jati, I cannot think of any
better rational explanation of bhava, than that I have already

________________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: Warren's _Buddhism in Translations_, p. 182, _Milinda Panha_
(628).]

[Footnote 2: _Atthasalini_, p. 112...]

[Footnote 3: _Ibid._ p. 113, _Yatha hi rupadini upadaya pannatta
suriyadayo na atthato rupadihi anne honti ten' eva yasmin samaye
suriyo udeti tasmin samaye tassa teja-sa@nkhatam rupa@m piti eva@m
vuccamane pi na rupadihi anno suriyo nama atthi. Tatha cittam
phassadayo dhamme upadaya pannapiyati. Atthato pan' ettha tehi
annam eva. Tena yasmin samaye cittam uppanna@m hoti eka@msen eva
tasmin samaye phassadihi atthato annad eva hoti ti_.]

[Footnote 4: "_Jatirdehajanma pancaskandhasamudaya@h,_" Govindananda's
_Ratnaprabha_ on S'a@nkara's bha@sya, II. ii. 19.]

90

suggested, namely, the works (_karma_) which produce the birth [Footnote
ref 1]. Upadana is an advanced t@r@s@na leading to positive clinging
[Footnote ref 2]. It is produced by t@r@s@na (desire) which again is
the result of vedana (pleasure and pain). But this vedana is of course
vedana with ignorance (_avidya_), for an Arhat may have also vedana
but as he has no avidya, the vedana cannot produce t@r@s@na in turn. On
its development it immediately passes into upadana. Vedana means
pleasurable, painful or indifferent feeling. On the one side it leads
to t@r@s@na (desire) and on the other it is produced by sense-contact
(_spars'a_). Prof. De la Vallee Poussin says that S'rilabha distinguishes
three processes in the production of vedana. Thus first there is the
contact between the sense and the object; then there is the knowledge
of the object, and then there is the vedana. Depending on _Majjhima
Nikaya_, iii. 242, Poussin gives the other opinion that just as in
the case of two sticks heat takes place simultaneously with rubbing,
so here also vedana takes place simultaneously with spars'a for they
are "produits par un meme complexe de causes (_samagri_) [Footnote
ref 3]."

Spars'a is produced by @sa@dayatana, @sa@dayatana by namarupa,
and namarupa by vijnana, and is said to descend in the womb
of the mother and produce the five skandhas as namarupa, out
of which the six senses are specialized.

Vijnana in this connection probably means the principle or
germ of consciousness in the womb of the mother upholding the
five elements of the new body there. It is the product of the
past karmas (_sa@nkhara_) of the dying man and of his past
consciousness too.

We sometimes find that the Buddhists believed that the last
thoughts of the dying man determined the nature of his next

_______________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: Govindananda in his _Ratnaprabha_ on S'a@nkara's bha@sya, II.
ii. 19, explains "bhava" as that from which anything becomes, as merit
and demerit (_dharmadi_). See also _Vibhanga_, p. 137 and Warren's
_Buddhism in Translations_, p. 201. Mr Aung says in
_Abhidhammatthasa@ngaha_, p. 189, that bhavo includes kammabhavo (the
active side of an existence) and upapattibhavo (the passive side).
And the commentators say that bhava is a contraction of "_kammabhava_"
or Karma-becoming i.e. karmic activity.]

[Footnote 2: Prof. De la Vallee Poussin in his _Theoric des Douze Causes_,
p. 26, says that _S'alistambhasutra_ explains the word "upadana" as
"t@r@s@navaipulya" or hyper-t@r@s@na and Candrakirtti also gives the
same meaning, _M. V._ (B.T.S.p. 210). Govmdananda explains "upadana"
as prav@rtti (movement) generated by t@r@s@na (desire), i.e. the active
tendency in pursuance of desire. But if upadana means "support" it would
denote all the five skandhas. Thus _Madhyamaka v@rtti_ says _upadanam
pancaskandhalak@sa@nam...pancopadanaskandhakhyam upadanam. M.V._ XXVII. 6.]

[Footnote 3: Poussin's _Theorie des Douze Causes_, p. 23.

91

birth [Footnote ref 1]. The manner in which the vijnana produced in the
womb is determined by the past vijnana of the previous existence is
according to some authorities of the nature of a reflected image,
like the transmission of learning from the teacher to the disciple,
like the lighting of a lamp from another lamp or like the impress
of a stamp on wax. As all the skandhas are changing in life,
so death also is but a similar change; there is no great break,
but the same uniform sort of destruction and coming into being.
New skandhas are produced as simultaneously as the two scale
pans of a balance rise up and fall, in the same manner as a lamp
is lighted or an image is reflected. At the death of the man the
vijnana resulting from his previous karmas and vijnanas enters
into the womb of that mother (animal, man or the gods) in which
the next skandhas are to be matured. This vijnana thus forms
the principle of the new life. It is in this vijnana that name
(_nama_) and form (_rupa_) become associated.

The vijnana is indeed a direct product of the sa@mskaras and
the sort of birth in which vijnana should bring down (_namayati_)
the new existence (_upapatti_) is determined by the sa@mskaras [Footnote
ref 2], for in reality the happening of death (_mara@nabhava_) and the
instillation of the vijnana as the beginning of the new life
(_upapattibhava_) cannot be simultaneous, but the latter succeeds just
at the next moment, and it is to signify this close succession that
they are said to be simultaneous. If the vijnana had not entered
the womb then no namarupa could have appeared [Footnote ref 3].

This chain of twelve causes extends over three lives. Thus
avidya and sa@mskara of the past life produce the vijnana, namarupa,

_____________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: The deities of the gardens, the woods, the trees and the
plants, finding the master of the house, Citta, ill said "make your
resolution, 'May I be a cakravartti king in a next existence,'"
_Sa@myutta_, IV. 303.]

[Footnote 2: "_sa cedanandavijnana@m matu@hkuk@sim navakrameta, na tat
kalalam kalalatvaya sannivartteta_," _M. V._ 552. Compare _Caraka,
S'arira_, III. 5-8, where he speaks of a "upapiduka sattva" which
connects the soul with body and by the absence of which the character
is changed, the senses become affected and life ceases, when it is
in a pure condition one can remember even the previous births;
character, purity, antipathy, memory, fear, energy, all mental
qualities are produced out of it. Just as a chariot is made by the
combination of many elements, so is the foetus.]

[Footnote 3: _Madhyamaka v@riti_ (B.T.S. 202-203). Poussin quotes from
_Digha_, II. 63, "si le vijnana ne descendait pas dans le sein maternel
la namarupa s'y constituerait-il?" Govindananda on S'a@nkara's commentary
on the _Brahma-sutras_ (II. ii. 19) says that the first consciousness
(vijnana) of the foetus is produced by the sa@mskaras of the previous
birth, and from that the four elements (which he calls nama) and from that
the white and red, semen and ovum, and the first stage of the foetus
(_kalala-budbudavastha_} is produced.]

92

@sa@dayatana, spars'a, vedana, t@r@s@na, upadana and the bhava
(leading to another life) of the present actual life. This bhava
produces the jati and jaramara@na of the next life [Footnote ref l].

It is interesting to note that these twelve links in the chain
extending in three sections over three lives are all but the
manifestations of sorrow to the bringing in of which they naturally
determine one another. Thus _Abhidhammatthasa@ngaha_
says "each of these twelve terms is a factor. For the composite
term 'sorrow,' etc. is only meant to show incidental consequences
of birth. Again when 'ignorance' and 'the actions of the
mind' have been taken into account, craving (_t@r@s@na_), grasping
(_upadana_) and (_karma_) becoming (_bhava_) are implicitly accounted
for also. In the same manner when craving, grasping
and (_karma_) becoming have been taken into account, ignorance
and the actions of the mind are (implicitly) accounted for, also;
and when birth, decay, and death are taken into account, even
the fivefold fruit, to wit (rebirth), consciousness, and the rest are
accounted for. And thus:

Five causes in the Past and Now a fivefold 'fruit.'

Five causes Now and yet to come a fivefold 'fruit' make up
the Twenty Modes, the Three Connections (1. sa@nkhara and
vinnana, 2. vedana and tanha, 3. bhava and jati) and the four
groups (one causal group in the Past, one resultant group in the
Present, one causal group in the Present and one resultant
group in the Future, each group consisting of five modes) [Footnote ref
2]."

These twelve interdependent links (_dvadas'a@nga_) represent
the pa@ticcasamuppada (_pratatyasamutpada_) doctrines (dependent
origination) [Footnote ref 3] which are themselves but sorrow and lead to
cycles of sorrow. The term pa@ticcasamuppada or pratityasamutpada has
been differently interpreted in later Buddhist literature [Footnote ref
4].

___________________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: This explanation probably cannot be found in the early Pali
texts; but Buddhagho@sa mentions it in _Suma@ngalavilasini_ on _Mahanidana
suttanta_. We find it also in _Abhidhammatthasa@ngaha_, VIII. 3. Ignorance
and the actions of the mind belong to the past; "birth," "decay and death"
to the future; the intermediate eight to the present. It is styled as
tri@ka@n@daka (having three branches) in _Abhidkarmakos'a_, III. 20-24.
Two in the past branch, two in the future and eight in the middle "_sa
pratityasamutpado dvadas'a@ngastrika@n@daka@h purvaparantayordve dve
madhye@s@tau_."]

[Footnote 2: Aung and Mrs Rhys Davids' translation of
_Abhidhammatthasa@ngaha_, pp. 189-190.]

[Footnote 3: The twelve links are not always constant. Thus in the list
given in the _Dialogues of the Buddha_, II. 23 f., avijja and sa@nkhara
have been omitted and the start has been made with consciousness, and it
has been said that "Cognition turns back from name and form; it goes
not beyond."]

[Footnote 4: _M. V._ p. 5 f.]

93

Samutpada means appearance or arising (_pradurbhdava_) and pratitya
means after getting (_prati+i+ya_); combining the two we
find, arising after getting (something). The elements, depending
on which there is some kind of arising, are called hetu (cause) and
paccaya (ground). These two words however are often used in
the same sense and are interchangeable. But paccaya is also
used in a specific sense. Thus when it is said that avijja is the
paccaya of sa@nkhara it is meant that avijja is the ground (_@thiti_)
of the origin of the sa@nkharas, is the ground of their movement,
of the instrument through which they stand (_nimitta@t@thiti_), of
their ayuhana (conglomeration), of their interconnection, of their
intelligibility, of their conjoint arising, of their function as cause
and of their function as the ground with reference to those which
are determined by them. Avijja in all these nine ways is
the ground of sa@nkhara both in the past and also in the future,
though avijja itself is determined in its turn by other grounds [Footnote
ref 1]. When we take the betu aspect of the causal chain, we cannot
think of anything else but succession, but when we take the
paccaya aspect we can have a better vision into the nature of the
cause as ground. Thus when avijja is said to be the ground
of the sa@nkharas in the nine ways mentioned above, it seems
reasonable to think that the sa@nkharas were in some sense
regarded as special manifestations of avijja [Footnote ref 2]. But as this
point was not further developed in the early Buddhist texts it would
be unwise to proceed further with it.

The Khandhas.

The word khandha (Skr. skandha) means the trunk of a tree
and is generally used to mean group or aggregate [Footnote ref 3]. We
have seen that Buddha said that there was no atman (soul). He said
that when people held that they found the much spoken of soul,
they really only found the five khandhas together or any one of
them. The khandhas are aggregates of bodily and psychical
states which are immediate with us and are divided into five

________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: See _Pa@tisambhidamagga_, vol. I.p. 50; see also _Majjhima
Nikaya_, I. 67, _sa@nkhara...avijjanidana avijjasamudaya avijjajatika
avijjapabhava_.]

[Footnote 2: In the Yoga derivation of asmita (egoism), raga (attachment),
dve@sa (antipathy) and abhinives'a (self love) from avidya we find also
that all the five are regarded as the five special stages of the growth
of avidya (_pancaparvi avidya_).]

[Footnote 3: The word skandha is used in Chandogya, II. 23 (_trayo
dharmaskandha@h yajna@h adhyayanam danam_) in the sense of branches
and in almost the same sense in Maitri, VII. II.]

94

classes: (1) rupa (four elements, the body, the senses), sense
data, etc., (2) vedana (feeling--pleasurable, painful and indifferent),
(3) sanna (conceptual knowledge), (4) sa@nkhara (synthetic
mental states and the synthetic functioning of compound
sense-affections, compound feelings and compound concepts),
(5) vinnana (consciousness) [Footnote ref 1].

All these states rise depending one upon the other (_pa@ticcasamuppanna_)
and when a man says that he perceives the self he only deludes himself,
for he only perceives one or more of these. The word rupa in rupakhandha
stands for matter and material qualities, the senses, and the sense
data [Footnote ref 2]. But "rupa" is also used in the sense of pure
organic affections or states of mind as we find in the _Khandha Yamaka_,
I.p. 16, and also in _Sa@myutta Nikaya_, III. 86. Rupaskandha according
to _Dharmasa@mgraha_ means the aggregate of five senses, the five
sensations, and the implicatory communications associated in sense
perceptions _vijnapti_).

The elaborate discussion of _Dhammasa@nga@ni_ begins by defining
rupa as "_cattaro ca mahabhuta catunnanca mahabhntanam
upadaya rupam_" (the four mahabhutas or elements and that
proceeding from the grasping of that is called rupa) [Footnote ref 3].
Buddhagho@sa explains it by saying that rupa means the four mahabhutas
and those which arise depending (_nissaya_) on them as
a modification of them. In the rupa the six senses including
their affections are also included. In explaining why the four
elements are called mahabhutas, Buddhagho@sa says: "Just as a
magician (_mayakara_) makes the water which is not hard appear
as hard, makes the stone which is not gold appear as gold;
just as he himself though not a ghost nor a bird makes himself
appear as a ghost or a bird, so these elements though not themselves
blue make themselves appear as blue (_nilam upada rupam_),
not yellow, red, or white make themselves appear as yellow, red
or white (odatam upadarupam), so on account of their similarity
to the appearances created by the magician they are called
mahabhuta [Footnote ref 4]."

In the _Sa@myutta Nikaya_ we find that the Buddha says, "O
Bhikkhus it is called rupam because it manifests (_rupyati_); how

___________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: _Sa@myutta Nikaya_, III. 86, etc.]

[Footnote 2: _Abhidhammatthasangaha_, J.P.T.S. 1884, p. 27 ff.]

[Footnote 3: _Dhammasa@nga@ni_, pp. 124-179.]

[Footnote 4: _Atthasalini_, p. 299.]

95

does it manifest? It manifests as cold, and as heat, as hunger and
as thirst, it manifests as the touch of gnats, mosquitos, wind, the
sun and the snake; it manifests, therefore it is called rupa
[Footnote ref 1]."

If we take the somewhat conflicting passages referred to above
for our consideration and try to combine them so as to understand
what is meant by rupa, I think we find that that which manifested
itself to the senses and organs was called rupa. No distinction
seems to have been made between the sense-data as colours, smells,
etc., as existing in the physical world and their appearance as
sensations. They were only numerically different and the appearance
of the sensations was dependent upon the sense-data and the senses
but the sense-data and the sensations were "rupa." Under certain
conditions the sense-data were followed by the sensations. Buddhism
did not probably start with the same kind of division of matter and
mind as we now do. And it may not be out of place to mention that
such an opposition and duality were found neither in the Upani@sads
nor in the Sa@mkhya system which is regarded by some as pre-Buddhistic.
The four elements manifested themselves in certain forms and
were therefore called rupa; the forms of affection that appeared
were also called rupa; many other mental states or features
which appeared with them were also called rupa [Footnote ref 2]. The
ayatanas or the senses were also called rupa [Footnote ref 3]. The
mahabhutas or four elements were themselves but changing manifestations,
and they together with all that appeared in association with them were
called rupa and formed the rupa khandha (the classes of sense-materials,
sense-data, senses and sensations).

In _Sa@myutta Nikaya_ (III. 101) it is said that "the four
mahabhutas were the hetu and the paccaya for the communication
of the rupakkhandha (_rupakkhandhassa pannapanaya_). Contact
(sense-contact, phassa) is the cause of the communication of
feelings (_vedana_); sense-contact was also the hetu and paccaya
for the communication of the sannakkhandha; sense-contact is
also the hetu and paccaya for the communication of the
sa@nkharakkhandha. But namarupa is the hetu and the paccaya for
the communication of the vinnanakkhandha." Thus not only feelings
arise on account of the sense-contact but sanna and sa@nkhara
also arise therefrom. Sanna is that where specific knowing or

_________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: _Sa@myutta Nikaya_, III. 86.]

[Footnote 2: _Khandhayamaka_.]

[Footnote 3: _Dhammasanga@ni_, p. 124 ff.]

96

conceiving takes place. This is the stage where the specific distinctive
knowledge as the yellow or the red takes place.

Mrs. Rhys Davids writing on sanna says: "In editing the
second book of the Abhidhamma pi@taka I found a classification
distinguishing between sanna as cognitive assimilation on occasion
of sense, and sanna as cognitive assimilation of ideas by way of
naming. The former is called perception of resistance, or opposition
(_patigha-sanna_). This, writes Buddhagho@sa, is perception on
occasion of sight, hearing, etc., when consciousness is aware of the
impact of impressions; of external things as different, we might
say. The latter is called perception of the equivalent word or
name (_adhivachana-sanna_) and is exercised by the _sensus communis_
(mano), when e.g. 'one is seated...and asks another who
is thoughtful: "What are you thinking of?" one perceives through
his speech.' Thus there are two stages of sanna-consciousness,
1. contemplating sense-impressions, 2. ability to know what they
are by naming [Footnote ref 1]."

About sa@nkhara we read in _Sa@myutta Nikaya_ (III. 87) that it
is called sa@nkhara because it synthesises (_abhisa@nkharonti_), it is
that which conglomerated rupa as rupa, conglomerated sanna
as sanna, sa@nkhara as sa@nkhara and consciousness (_vinnana_)
as consciousness. It is called sa@nkhara because it synthesises
the conglomerated (_sa@nkhatam abhisa@nkharonti_). It is thus a
synthetic function which synthesises the passive rupa, sanna,
sa@nkhara and vinnana elements. The fact that we hear of 52
sa@nkhara states and also that the sa@nkhara exercises its synthetic
activity on the conglomerated elements in it, goes to show
that probably the word sa@nkhara is used in two senses, as mental
states and as synthetic activity.

Vinnana or consciousness meant according to Buddhagho@sa,
as we have already seen in the previous section, both the stage
at which the intellectual process started and also the final
resulting consciousness.

Buddhagho@sa in explaining the process of Buddhist psychology
says that "consciousness(_citta_)first comes into touch (_phassa_) with
its object (_aramma@na_) and thereafter feeling, conception (_sanna_)
and volition (_cetana_) come in. This contact is like the pillars of
a palace, and the rest are but the superstructure built upon it
(_dabbasambharasadisa_). But it should not be thought that contact

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[Footnote 1: _Buddhist Psychology_, pp. 49, 50.]

97

is the beginning of the psychological processes, for in one whole
consciousness (_ekacittasmi@m_) it cannot be said that this comes
first and that comes after, so we can take contact in association
with feeling (_vedana_), conceiving (_sanna_) or volition (_cetana_);
it is itself an immaterial state but yet since it comprehends
objects it is called contact." "There is no impinging on one side
of the object (as in physical contact), nevertheless contact causes
consciousness and object to be in collision, as visible object and
visual organs, sound and hearing; thus impact is its _function_; or
it has impact as its _essential property_ in the sense of attainment,
owing to the impact of the physical basis with the mental object.
For it is said in the Commentary:--"contact in the four planes of
existence is never without the characteristic of touch with the
object; but the function of impact takes place in the five doors.
For to sense, or five-door contact, is given the name 'having the
characteristic of touch' as well as 'having the function of impact.'
But to contact in the mind-door there is only the characteristic
of touch, but not the function of impact. And then this Sutta is
quoted 'As if, sire, two rams were to fight, one ram to represent
the eye, the second the visible object, and their collision contact.
And as if, sire, two cymbals were to strike against each other, or
two hands were to clap against each other; one hand would
represent the eye, the second the visible object and their collision
contact. Thus contact has the characteristic of touch and the
function of impact [Footnote ref 1]'. Contact is the manifestation of the
union of the three (the object, the consciousness and the sense) and its
effect is feeling (_vedana_); though it is generated by the objects
it is felt in the consciousness and its chief feature is experiencing
(_anubhava_) the taste of the object. As regards enjoying the taste
of an object, the remaining associated states enjoy it only
partially. Of contact there is (the function of) the mere touching,
of perception the mere noting or perceiving, of volition the mere
coordinating, of consciousness the mere cognizing. But feeling
alone, through governance, proficiency, mastery, enjoys the taste
of an object. For feeling is like the king, the remaining states
are like the cook. As the cook, when he has prepared food of
diverse tastes, puts it in a basket, seals it, takes it to the king,
breaks the seal, opens the basket, takes the best of all the soup
and curries, puts them in a dish, swallows (a portion) to find out

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[Footnote 1: _Atthasalini_, p. 108; translation, pp. 143-144.]

98

whether they are faulty or not and afterwards offers the food of
various excellent tastes to the king, and the king, being lord,
expert, and master, eats whatever he likes, even so the mere tasting
of the food by the cook is like the partial enjoyment of the object
by the remaining states, and as the cook tastes a portion of the
food, so the remaining states enjoy a portion of the object, and
as the king, being lord, expert and master, eats the meal according
to his pleasure so feeling being lord expert, and master, enjoys
the taste of the object and therefore it is said that enjoyment or
experience is its function [Footnote ref 1]."

The special feature of sanna is said to be the recognizing
(_paccabhinna_) by means of a sign (_abhinnanena_). According to
another explanation, a recognition takes place by the inclusion
of the totality (of aspects)--_sabbasa@ngahikavasena_. The work of
volition (_cetana_) is said to be coordination or binding together
(_abhisandahana_). "Volition is exceedingly energetic and makes
a double effort, a double exertion. Hence the Ancients said
'Volition is like the nature of a landowner, a cultivator who taking
fifty-five strong men, went down to the fields to reap. He was
exceedingly energetic and exceedingly strenuous; he doubled his
strength and said "Take your sickles" and so forth, pointed out
the portion to be reaped, offered them drink, food, scent, flowers,
etc., and took an equal share of the work.' The simile should be
thus applied: volition is like the cultivator, the fifty-five moral
states which arise as factors of consciousness are like the fifty-five
strong men; like the time of doubling strength, doubling effort
by the cultivator is the doubled strength, doubled effort of
volition as regards activity in moral and immoral acts [Footnote ref 2]."
It seems that probably the active side operating in sa@nkhara was
separately designated as cetana (volition).

"When one says 'I,' what he does is that he refers either to
all the khandhas combined or any one of them and deludes himself
that that was 'I.' Just as one could not say that the
fragrance of the lotus belonged to the petals, the colour or the
pollen, so one could not say that the rupa was 'I' or that the
vedana was 'I' or any of the other khandhas was 'I.' There is
nowhere to be found in the khandhas 'I am [Footnote ref 3]'."

___________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: _Atthasalini_, pp. 109-110; translation, pp. 145-146.]

[Footnote 2: _Ibid._ p. 111; translation, pp. 147-148.]

[Footnote 3: _Samyutta Nikaya_, III. 130.]

99

Avijja and Asava.

As to the question how the avijja (ignorance) first started
there can be no answer, for we could never say that either
ignorance or desire for existence ever has any beginning [Footnote ref 1].
Its fruition is seen in the cycle of existence and the sorrow that comes
in its train, and it comes and goes with them all. Thus as we
can never say that it has any beginning, it determines the elements
which bring about cycles of existence and is itself determined by
certain others. This mutual determination can only take place
in and through the changing series of dependent phenomena, for
there is nothing which can be said to have any absolute priority
in time or stability. It is said that it is through the coming into
being of the asavas or depravities that the avijja came into
being, and that through the destruction of the depravities (_asava_)
the avijja was destroyed [Footnote ref 2]. These asavas are classified in
the _Dhammasa@nga@ni_ as kamasava, bhavasava, di@t@thasava and avijjasava.
Kamasava means desire, attachment, pleasure, and thirst
after the qualities associated with the senses; bhavasava means
desire, attachment and will for existence or birth; di@t@thasava
means the holding of heretical views, such as, the world is eternal
or non-eternal, or that the world will come to an end or will not
come to an end, or that the body and the soul are one or are
different; avijjasava means the ignorance of sorrow, its cause, its
extinction and its means of extinction. _Dhammasa@nga@ni_ adds
four more supplementary ones, viz. ignorance about the nature of
anterior mental khandhas, posterior mental khandhas, anterior
and posterior together, and their mutual dependence [Footnote ref 3].
Kamasava and bhavasava can as Buddhagho@sa says be counted as one, for
they are both but depravities due to attachment [Footnote ref 4].

________________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: Warren's _Buddhism in Translations_ (_Visuddhimagga_, chap.
XVII.), p. 175.]

[Footnote 2: _M. N._ I.p. 54. Childers translates "asava" as "depravities"
and Mrs Rhys Davids as "intoxicants." The word "asava" in Skr. means
"old wine." It is derived from "su" to produce by Buddhagho@sa and the
meaning that he gives to it is "_cira parivasika@t@thena_" (on account
of its being stored up for a long time like wine). They work through the
eye and the mind and continue to produce all beings up to Indra.
As those wines which are kept long are called "asavas" so these are also
called asavas for remaining a long time. The other alternative that
Buddhagho@sa gives is that they are called asava on account of their
producing sa@msaradukkha (sorrows of the world), _Atthasalini_, p. 48.
Contrast it with Jaina asrava (flowing in of karma matter). Finding it
difficult to translate it in one word after Buddhagho@sa, I have
translated it as "depravities," after Childers.]

[Footnote 3: See _Dhammasa@nga@ni_, p. 195.]

[Footnote 4: Buddhagho@sa's _Atthasalini_, p. 371.]

100

The di@t@thasavas by clouding the mind with false metaphysical
views stand in the way of one's adopting the true Buddhistic doctrines.
The kamasavas stand in the way of one's entering into
the way of Nirva@na (_anagamimagga_) and the bhavasavas and
avijjasavas stand in the way of one's attaining arha or final
emancipation. When the _Majjhima Nikaya_ says that from the
rise of the asavas avijja rises, it evidently counts avijja there as
in some sense separate from the other asavas, such as those of
attachment and desire of existence which veil the true knowledge
about sorrow.

The afflictions (_kilesas_) do not differ much from the asavas
for they are but the specific passions in forms ordinarily familiar
to us, such as covetousness (_lobha_), anger or hatred (_dosa_),
infatuation (_moha_), arrogance, pride or vanity (_mana_), heresy
(_di@t@thi_), doubt or uncertainty (_vicikiccha_), idleness (_thina_),
boastfulness (_udhacca_), shamelessness (_ahirika_) and hardness of heart
_anottapa_); these kilesas proceed directly as a result of the asavas.
In spite of these varieties they are often counted as three (lobha,
dosa, moha) and these together are called kilesa. They are
associated with the vedanakkhandha, sannakkhandha, sa@nkharakkhandha
and vinnanakkhandha. From these arise the three kinds
of actions, of speech, of body, and of mind [Footnote ref 1].

Sila and Samadhi.

We are intertwined all through outside and inside by the
tangles of desire (_ta@nha ja@ta_), and the only way by which these
may be loosened is by the practice of right discipline (_sila_),
concentration (_samadhi_) and wisdom (_panna_). Sila briefly means
the desisting from committing all sinful deeds (_sabbapapassa
akara@nam_). With sila therefore the first start has to be made,
for by it one ceases to do all actions prompted by bad desires
and thereby removes the inrush of dangers and disturbances.
This serves to remove the kilesas, and therefore the proper performance
of the sila would lead one to the first two successive
stages of sainthood, viz. the sotapannabhava (the stage in which
one is put in the right current) and the sakadagamibhava (the
stage when one has only one more birth to undergo). Samadhi
is a more advanced effort, for by it all the old roots of the old
kilesas are destroyed and the ta@nha or desire is removed and

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[Footnote 1: _Dhammasa@nga@ni,_ p. 180.]

101

by it one is led to the more advanced states of a saint. It
directly brings in panna (true wisdom) and by panna the saint
achieves final emancipation and becomes what is called an
arhat [Footnote ref 1]. Wisdom (_panna_) is right knowledge about the
four ariya saccas, viz. sorrow, its cause, its destruction and its cause
of destruction.

Sila means those particular volitions and mental states, etc.
by which a man who desists from committing sinful actions
maintains himself on the right path. Sila thus means 1. right
volition (_cetana_), 2. the associated mental states (_cetasika_),
3. mental control (_sa@mvara_) and 4. the actual non-transgression
(in body and speech) of the course of conduct already in the mind
by the preceding three silas called avitikkama. Sa@mvara is
spoken of as being of five kinds, 1. Pa@timokkhasa@mvara (the
control which saves him who abides by it), 2. Satisa@mvara (the
control of mindfulness), 3. Nanasa@mvara (the control of knowledge),
4. Khantisa@mvara (the control of patience), 5. Viriyasa@mvara
(the control of active self-restraint). Pa@timokkhasa@mvara
means all self-control in general. Satisa@mvara means
the mindfulness by which one can bring in the right and good
associations when using one's cognitive senses. Even when
looking at any tempting object he will by virtue of his mindfulness
(_sati_) control himself from being tempted by avoiding to
think of its tempting side and by thinking on such aspects of it
as may lead in the right direction. Khantisa@mvara is that by
which one can remain unperturbed in heat and cold. By the
proper adherence to sila all our bodily, mental and vocal activities
(_kamma_) are duly systematized, organized, stabilized (_samadhanam,
upadhara@na@m, pati@t@tha_) [Footnote ref 2].

The sage who adopts the full course should also follow a
number of healthy monastic rules with reference to dress, sitting,
dining, etc., which are called the dhuta@ngas or pure disciplinary
parts [Footnote ref 3]. The practice of sila and the dhutangas help the
sage to adopt the course of samadhi. Samadhi as we have seen means
the concentration of the mind bent on right endeavours (_kusalacittekaggata
samadhi@h_) together with its states upon one particular
object (_ekaramma@na_) so that they may completely cease to
shift and change (_samma ca avikkhipamana_) [Footnote ref 4].

_______________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: _Visuddhimagga Nidanadikatha_.]

[Footnote 2: _Visuddhimagga-silaniddeso_, pp. 7 and 8.]

[Footnote 3: _Visuddhimagga_, II.]

[Footnote 4: _Visuddhimagga_, pp. 84-85.]

102

The man who has practised sila must train his mind first
in particular ways, so that it may be possible for him to acquire
the chief concentration of meditation called jhana (fixed and
steady meditation). These preliminary endeavours of the mind
for the acquirement of jhanasamadhi eventually lead to it
and are called upacara samadhi (preliminary samadhi) as distinguished
from the jhanasamadhi called the appanasamadhi (achieved samadhi)
[Footnote ref 1]. Thus as a preparatory measure, firstly he
has to train his mind continually to view with disgust the appetitive
desires for eating and drinking (_ahare pa@tikkulasanna_) by
emphasizing in the mind the various troubles that are associated
in seeking food and drink and their ultimate loathsome transformations
as various nauseating bodily elements. When a man
continually habituates himself to emphasize the disgusting
associations of food and drink, he ceases to have any attachment
to them and simply takes them as an unavoidable evil,
only awaiting the day when the final dissolution of all sorrows
will come [Footnote ref 2]. Secondly he has to habituate his mind to the
idea that all the parts of our body are made up of the four elements,
k@siti (earth), ap (water), tejas (fire) and wind (air), like the carcase
of a cow at the butcher's shop. This is technically called
catudhatuvavatthanabhavana (the meditation of the body as being
made up of the four elements) [Footnote ref 3]. Thirdly he has to
habituate his mind to think again and again (_anussati_) about the
virtues or greatness of the Buddha, the sa@ngha (the monks following
the Buddha), the gods and the law (_dhamma_) of the Buddha, about
the good effects of sila, and the making of gifts (_caganussati_),
about the nature of death (_mara@nanussati_) and about
the deep nature and qualities of the final extinction
of all phenomena (_upasamanussati_) [Footnote ref 4].

___________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: As it is not possible for me to enter into details, I follow
what appears to me to be the main line of division showing the
interconnection of jhana (Skr. _dhyana_) with its accessory stages
called parikammas (_Visuddhimagga,_ pp. 85 f.).]

[Footnote 2: _Visuddhimagga_, pp. 341-347; mark the intense pessimistic
attitude, "_Iman ca pana ahare pa@tikulasanna@m anuyuttassa bhikkhu@no
rasata@nhaya cittam pa@tiliyati, pa@tiku@t@tati, pa@tiva@t@tati; so,
kantaranitthara@na@t@thiko viya puttama@msa@m vigatamado ahara@m ahareti
yavad eva dukkhassa ni@t@thara@natthaya_," p. 347. The mind of him who
inspires himself with this supreme disgust to all food, becomes free from
all desires for palatable tastes, and turns its back to them and flies off
from them. As a means of getting rid of all sorrow he takes his food
without any attachment as one would eat the flesh of his own son to
sustain himself in crossing a forest.]

[Footnote 3: _Visuddhimagga_, pp. 347-370.]

[Footnote 4: _Visuddhimagga_, pp. 197-294.]

103

Advancing further from the preliminary meditations or preparations
called the upacara samadhi we come to those other
sources of concentration and meditation called the appanasamadhi
which directly lead to the achievement of the highest samadhi.
The processes of purification and strengthening of the mind
continue in this stage also, but these represent the last attempts
which lead the mind to its final goal Nibbana. In the first part
of this stage the sage has to go to the cremation grounds and
notice the diverse horrifying changes of the human carcases and
think how nauseating, loathsome, unsightly and impure they are,
and from this he will turn his mind to the living human bodies
and convince himself that they being in essence the same as the
dead carcases are as loathsome as they [Footnote ref.1] This is called
asubhakamma@t@thana or the endeavour to perceive the impurity of our
bodies. He should think of the anatomical parts and constituents of the
body as well as their processes, and this will help him to enter
into the first jhana by leading his mind away from his body.
This is called the kayagatasati or the continual mindfulness
about the nature of the body [Footnote ref 2]. As an aid to concentration
the sage should sit in a quiet place and fix his mind on the inhaling
(_passasa_) and the exhaling (_assasa_) of his breath, so that instead
of breathing in a more or less unconscious manner he may be
aware whether he is breathing quickly or slowly; he ought to
mark it definitely by counting numbers, so that by fixing his
mind on the numbers counted he may fix his mind on the whole
process of inhalation and exhalation in all stages of its course.
This is called the anapanasati or the mindfulness of inhalation
and exhalation [Footnote ref 3]

Next to this we come to Brahmavihara, the fourfold meditation
of metta (universal friendship), karu@na (universal pity),
mudita (happiness in the prosperity and happiness of all) and
upekkha (indifference to any kind of preferment of oneself, his
friend, enemy or a third party). In order to habituate oneself to
the meditation on universal friendship, one should start with thinking
how he should himself like to root out all misery and become
happy, how he should himself like to avoid death and live cheerfully,
and then pass over to the idea that other beings would also
have the same desires. He should thus habituate himself to think
that his friends, his enemies, and all those with whom he is not

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[Footnote 1: _Visuddhimagga,_ VI.]

[Footnote 2: _Ibid._ pp. 239-266.]

[Footnote 3: _Ibid._ pp. 266-292.]

104

connected might all live and become happy. He should fix himself
to such an extent in this meditation that he would not find any
difference between the happiness or safety of himself and of others.
He should never become angry with any person. Should he at any
time feel himself offended on account of the injuries inflicted on
him by his enemies, he should think of the futility of doubling
his sadness by becoming sorry or vexed on that account. He
should think that if he should allow himself to be affected by
anger, he would spoil all his sila which he was so carefully practising.
If anyone has done a vile action by inflicting injury,
should he himself also do the same by being angry at it? If he
were finding fault with others for being angry, could he himself
indulge in anger? Moreover he should think that all the dhammas
are momentary (_kha@nikatta_); that there no longer existed the
khandhas which had inflicted the injury, and moreover the infliction
of any injury being only a joint product, the man who was
injured was himself an indispensable element in the production
of the infliction as much as the man who inflicted the injury, and
there could not thus be any special reason for making him responsible
and of being angry with him. If even after thinking
in this way the anger does not subside, he should think that by
indulging in anger he could only bring mischief on himself through
his bad deeds, and he should further think that the other man
by being angry was only producing mischief to himself but not
to him. By thinking in these ways the sage would be able to
free his mind from anger against his enemies and establish himself
in an attitude of universal friendship [Footnote ref 1]. This is called
the metta-bhavana. In the meditation of universal pity (_karu@na_)
also one should sympathize with the sorrows of his friends and
foes alike. The sage being more keen-sighted will feel pity for
those who are apparently leading a happy life, but are neither
acquiring merits nor endeavouring to proceed on the way to
Nibbana, for they are to suffer innumerable lives of sorrow [Footnote
ref 2].

We next come to the jhanas with the help of material things
as objects of concentration called the Kasi@nam. These objects of
concentration may either be earth, water, fire, wind, blue colour,
yellow colour, red colour, white colour, light or limited space
(_paricchinnakasa_). Thus the sage may take a brown ball of earth
and concentrate his mind upon it as an earth ball, sometimes

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[Footnote 1: _Visuddhimagga_, pp. 295-314.]

[Footnote 2: _Ibid._ pp. 314-315.]

105

with eyes open and sometimes with eyes shut. When he finds
that even in shutting his eyes he can visualize the object in his
mind, he may leave off the object and retire to another place to
concentrate upon the image of the earth ball in his mind.

In the first stages of the first meditation (_pathamam jhanam_)
the mind is concentrated on the object in the way of understanding
it with its form and name and of comprehending it with its diverse
relations. This state of concentration is called vitakka (discursive
meditation). The next stage of the first meditation is that in
which the mind does not move in the object in relational terms
but becomes fixed and settled in it and penetrates into it without
any quivering. This state is called vicara (steadily moving). The
first stage vitakka has been compared in Buddhagho@sa's _Visuddhimagga_
to the flying of a kite with its wings flapping, whereas
the second stage is compared to its flying in a sweep without the
least quiver of its wings. These two stages are associated with
a buoyant exaltation (_piti_) and a steady inward bliss called sukha
[Footnote ref 1] instilling the mind. The formation of this first
jhana roots out five ties of avijja, kamacchando (dallying with
desires), vyapado (hatred), thinamiddham (sloth and torpor),
uddhaccakukkuccam (pride and restlessness), and vicikiccha (doubt).
The five elements of which this jhana is constituted are vitakka,
vicara, plti, sukham and ekaggata (one pointedness).

When the sage masters the first jhana he finds it defective
and wants to enter into the second meditation (_dutiyam jhanam_),
where there is neither any vitakka nor vicara of the first jhana,
but the mind is in one unruffled state (_ekodibhavam_). It is a
much steadier state and does not possess the movement which
characterized the vitakka and the vicara stages of the first jhana
and is therefore a very placid state (_vitakka-vicarakkhobha-virahe@na
ativiya acalata suppasannata ca_). It is however associated
with piti, sukha and ekaggata as the first jhana was.

When the second jhana is mastered the sage becomes disinclined
towards the enjoyment of the piti of that stage and becomes
indifferent to them (_upekkhako_). A sage in this stage sees the
objects but is neither pleased nor displeased. At this stage all
the asavas of the sage become loosened (khi@nasava). The
enjoyment of sukha however still remains in the stage and the

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[Footnote 1: Where there is piti there is sukha, but where there is sukha
there may not necessarily be piti. _Visuddhimagga_, p. 145.]

106

mind if not properly and carefully watched would like sometimes
to turn back to the enjoyment of piti again. The two characteristics
of this jhana are sukha and ekaggata. It should however
be noted that though there is the feeling of highest sukha here,
the mind is not only not attached to it but is indifferent to it
(_atimadhhurasukhe sukhaparamippatte pi tatiyajjhane upekkhako,
na tattha sukhabhisangena aka@d@dhiyati_) [Footnote ref 1]. The earth
ball (_pa@thavi_) is however still the object of the jhana.

In the fourth or the last jhana both the sukha (happiness) and
the dukkha (misery) vanish away and all the roots of attachment
and antipathies are destroyed. This state is characterized by
supreme and absolute indifference (_upekkha_) which was slowly
growing in all the various stages of the jhanas. The characteristics
of this jhana are therefore upekkha and ekaggata. With the
mastery of this jhana comes final perfection and total extinction
of the citta called cetovimutti, and the sage becomes thereby an
arhat [Footnote ref 2]. There is no further production of the khandhas,
no rebirth, and there is the absolute cessation of all sorrows and
sufferings--Nibbana.

Kamma.

In the Katha (II. 6) Yama says that "a fool who is blinded
with the infatuation of riches does not believe in a future life; he
thinks that only this life exists and not any other, and thus he
comes again and again within my grasp." In the Digha Nikaya
also we read how Payasi was trying to give his reasons in support
of his belief that "Neither is there any other world, nor are there
beings, reborn otherwise than from parents, nor is there fruit or
result of deeds well done or ill done [Footnote ref 3]." Some of his
arguments were that neither the vicious nor the virtuous return to tell
us that they suffered or enjoyed happiness in the other world, that
if the virtuous had a better life in store, and if they believed
in it, they would certainly commit suicide in order to get it at
the earliest opportunity, that in spite of taking the best precautions
we do not find at the time of the death of any person that
his soul goes out, or that his body weighs less on account of
the departure of his soul, and so on. Kassapa refutes his arguments
with apt illustrations. But in spite of a few agnostics of

_______________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: _Visuddhimagga_, p. 163.]

[Footnote 2: _Majjhima Nikaya_, I.p. 296, and _Visuddhimagga_, pp.
167-168.]

[Footnote 3: _Dialogues of the Buddha_, II. p. 349; _D. N._ II. pp. 317
ff.]

107

Payasi's type, we have every reason to believe that the doctrine
of rebirth in other worlds and in this was often spoken of in the
Upani@sads and taken as an accepted fact by the Buddha. In
the _Milinda Panha_, we find Nagasena saying "it is through a
difference in their karma that men are not all alike, but some
long lived, some short lived, some healthy and some sickly, some
handsome and some ugly, some powerful and some weak, some
rich and some poor, some of high degree and some of low degree,
some wise and some foolish [Footnote ref 1]." We have seen in
the third chapter that the same soil of views was enunciated by the
Upani@sad sages.

But karma could produce its effect in this life or any
other life only when there were covetousness, antipathy and infatuation.
But "when a man's deeds are performed without covetousness, arise
without covetousness and are occasioned without covetousness, then
inasmuch as covetousness is gone these deeds are abandoned, uprooted,
pulled out of the ground like a palmyra tree and become non-existent
and not liable to spring up again in the future [Footnote ref 2]."
Karma by itself without craving (_ta@nha_) is incapable of bearing good
or bad fruits. Thus we read in the _Mahasatipa@t@thana sutta_, "even
this craving, potent for rebirth, that is accompanied by lust and
self-indulgence, seeking satisfaction now here, now there, to wit,
the craving for the life of sense, the craving for becoming (renewed
life) and the craving for not becoming (for no new rebirth) [Footnote
ref 3]." "Craving for things visible, craving for things audible,
craving for things that may be smelt, tasted, touched, for things in
memory recalled. These are the things in this world that are dear,
that are pleasant. There does craving take its rise, there does it
dwell [Footnote ref 4]." Pre-occupation and deliberation of sensual
gratification giving rise to craving is the reason why sorrow comes.
And this is the first arya satya (noble truth).

The cessation of sorrow can only happen with "the utter
cessation of and disenchantment about that very craving, giving
it up, renouncing it and emancipation from it [Footnote ref 5]."

When the desire or craving (_ta@nha_) has once ceased the
sage becomes an arhat, and the deeds that he may do after
that will bear no fruit. An arhat cannot have any good or bad

_________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: Warren's _Buddhism in Translations_, p. 215.]

[Footnote 2: _Ibid._ pp. 216-217.]

[Footnote 3: _Dialogues of the Buddha_, II. p. 340.]

[Footnote 4: _Ibid._ p. 341.]

[Footnote 5: _Ibid._ p. 341.]

108

fruits of whatever he does. For it is through desire that karma
finds its scope of giving fruit. With the cessation of desire all
ignorance, antipathy and grasping cease and consequently there
is nothing which can determine rebirth. An arhat may suffer the
effects of the deeds done by him in some previous birth just as
Moggallana did, but in spite of the remnants of his past karma
an arhat was an emancipated man on account of the cessation of
his desire [Footnote ref 1].

Kammas are said to be of three kinds, of body, speech and
mind (_kayika_, _vacika_ and _manasika_). The root of this kamma
is however volition (_cetana_) and the states associated with it
[Footnote ref 2]. If a man wishing to kill animals goes out into
the forest in search of them, but cannot get any of them there
even after a long search, his misconduct is not a bodily one, for
he could not actually commit the deed with his body. So if he gives
an order for committing a similar misdeed, and if it is not actually
carried out with the body, it would be a misdeed by speech (_vacika_)
and not by the body. But the merest bad thought or ill will alone whether
carried into effect or not would be a kamma of the mind (_manasika_)
[Footnote ref 3]. But the mental kamma must be present as the root of
all bodily and vocal kammas, for if this is absent, as in the case
of an arhat, there cannot be any kammas at all for him.

Kammas are divided from the point of view of effects into
four classes, viz. (1) those which are bad and produce impurity,
(2) those which are good and productive of purity, (3) those
which are partly good and partly bad and thus productive of
both purity and impurity, (4) those which are neither good nor
bad and productive neither of purity nor of impurity, but which
contribute to the destruction of kammas [Footnote ref 4].

Final extinction of sorrow (_nibbana_) takes place as the natural
result of the destruction of desires. Scholars of Buddhism have
tried to discover the meaning of this ultimate happening, and
various interpretations have been offered. Professor De la Vallee
Poussin has pointed out that in the Pali texts Nibbana has
sometimes been represented as a happy state, as pure annihilation,
as an inconceivable existence or as a changeless state [Footnote ref 5].

__________________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: See _Kathavatthu_ and Warren's _Buddhism in Translations_, pp,
221 ff.]

[Footnote 2: _Atthasalini_, p. 88.]

[Footnote 3: See _Atthasalini_, p. 90.]

[Footnote 4: See _Atthasalini_, p. 89.]

[Footnote 5: Prof. De la Vallae Poussin's article in the _E. R.E._ on
Nirva@na. See also _Cullavagga_, IX. i. 4; Mrs Rhys Davids's _Psalms
of the early Buddhists_, I. and II., Introduction, p. xxxvii; _Digha_,
II. 15; _Udana_, VIII.; _Sa@myutta_, III. 109.]

109

Mr Schrader, in discussing Nibbana in _Pali Text Society Journal_,
1905, says that the Buddha held that those who sought to become
identified after death with the soul of the world as infinite space
(_akasa_) or consciousness (_vinnana_) attained to a state in which
they had a corresponding feeling of infiniteness without having
really lost their individuality. This latter interpretation of
Nibbana seems to me to be very new and quite against the spirit
of the Buddhistic texts. It seems to me to be a hopeless task
to explain Nibbana in terms of worldly experience, and there
is no way in which we can better indicate it than by saying that
it is a cessation of all sorrow; the stage at which all worldly
experiences have ceased can hardly be described either as positive
or negative. Whether we exist in some form eternally or do not
exist is not a proper Buddhistic question, for it is a heresy to
think of a Tathagata as existing eternally (_s'as'vata_) or not-existing
(_as'as'vata_) or whether he is existing as well as not
existing or whether he is neither existing nor non-existing. Any
one who seeks to discuss whether Nibbana is either a positive
and eternal state or a mere state of non-existence or annihilation,
takes a view which has been discarded in Buddhism as heretical.
It is true that we in modern times are not satisfied with it, for
we want to know what it all means. But it is not possible to
give any answer since Buddhism regarded all these questions as
illegitimate.

Later Buddhistic writers like Nagarjuna and Candrakirtti
took advantage of this attitude of early Buddhism and interpreted
it as meaning the non-essential character of all existence.
Nothing existed, and therefore any question regarding the existence
or non-existence of anything would be meaningless. There
is no difference between the worldly stage (_sa@msara_) and Nibbana,
for as all appearances are non-essential, they never existed during
the sa@msara so that they could not be annihilated in Nibbana.

Upani@sads and Buddhism.

The Upani@sads had discovered that the true self was ananda
(bliss) [Footnote ref 1]. We could suppose that early Buddhism tacitly
presupposes some such idea. It was probably thought that if there was
the self (_atta_) it must be bliss. The Upani@sads had asserted that
the self(_atman_) was indestructible and eternal [Footnote ref 2]. If we
are allowed

__________________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: Tait, II.5.]

[Footnote 2: B@rh. IV. 5. 14. Ka@tha V. 13.]

110

to make explicit what was implicit in early Buddhism we could
conceive it as holding that if there was the self it must be bliss,
because it was eternal. This causal connection has not indeed
been anywhere definitely pronounced in the Upani@sads, but he
who carefully reads the Upani@sads cannot but think that the
reason why the Upani@sads speak of the self as bliss is that it is
eternal. But the converse statement that what was not eternal
was sorrow does not appear to be emphasized clearly in the
Upani@sads. The important postulate of the Buddha is that that
which is changing is sorrow, and whatever is sorrow is not self
[Footnote ref 1]. The point at which Buddhism parted from the
Upani@sads lies in the experiences of the self. The Upani@sads
doubtless considered that there were many experiences which we often
identify with self, but which are impermanent. But the belief is
found in the Upani@sads that there was associated with these a
permanent part as well, and that it was this permanent essence
which was the true and unchangeable self, the blissful. They considered
that this permanent self as pure bliss could not be defined
as this, but could only be indicated as not this, not this (_neti
neti_) [Footnote ref 2]. But the early Pali scriptures hold that we could
nowhere find out such a permanent essence, any constant self, in our
changing experiences. All were but changing phenomena and
therefore sorrow and therefore non-self, and what was non-self
was not mine, neither I belonged to it, nor did it belong to me
as my self [Footnote ref 3].

The true self was with the Upani@sads a matter of transcendental
experience as it were, for they said that it could not
be described in terms of anything, but could only be pointed out
as "there," behind all the changing mental categories. The
Buddha looked into the mind and saw that it did not exist. But
how was it that the existence of this self was so widely spoken
of as demonstrated in experience? To this the reply of the
Buddha was that what people perceived there when they said
that they perceived the self was but the mental experiences
either individually or together. The ignorant ordinary man did
not know the noble truths and was not trained in the way of wise
men, and considered himself to be endowed with form (_rupa_)
or found the forms in his self or the self in the forms. He

________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: _Sa@myutta Nikuya_, III. pp. 44-45 ff.]

[Footnote 2: See B@rh. IV. iv. Chandogya, VIII. 7-12.]

[Footnote 3: _Sa@myutta Nikaya_, III 45.]

111

experienced the thought (of the moment) as it were the self or
experienced himself as being endowed with thought, or the thought
in the self or the self in the thought. It is these kinds of
experiences that he considered as the perception of the self
[Footnote ref 1].

The Upani@sads did not try to establish any school of discipline
or systematic thought. They revealed throughout the dawn of an
experience of an immutable Reality as the self of man, as the only
abiding truth behind all changes. But Buddhism holds that this
immutable self of man is a delusion and a false knowledge.
The first postulate of the system is that impermanence is sorrow.
Ignorance about sorrow, ignorance about the way it originates,
ignorance about the nature of the extinction of sorrow, and ignorance
about the means of bringing about this extinction represent
the fourfold ignorance (_avijja_) [Footnote ref 2]. The avidya, which
is equivalent to the Pali word avijja, occurs in the Upani@sads also,
but there it means ignorance about the atman doctrine, and it is
sometimes contrasted with vidya or true knowledge about the self
(_atman_) [Footnote ref 3]. With the Upani@sads the highest truth
was the permanent self, the bliss, but with the Buddha there was
nothing permanent; and all was change; and all change and impermanence
was sorrow [Footnote ref 4]. This is, then, the cardinal truth of
Buddhism, and ignorance concerning it in the above fourfold ways
represented the fourfold ignorance which stood in the way of the
right comprehension of the fourfold cardinal truths (_ariya
sacca_)--sorrow, cause of the origination of sorrow, extinction of
sorrow, and the means thereto.

There is no Brahman or supreme permanent reality and no
self, and this ignorance does not belong to any ego or self as we
may ordinarily be led to suppose.

Thus it is said in the _Visuddhimagga_ "inasmuch however
as ignorance is empty of stability from being subject to a coming
into existence and a disappearing from existence...and is empty
of a self-determining Ego from being subject to dependence,--...or
in other words inasmuch as ignorance is not an Ego, and
similarly with reference to Karma and the rest--therefore is it
to be understood of the wheel of existence that it is empty with
a twelvefold emptiness [Footnote ref 5]."

___________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: _Samyutta Nikaya_, II. 46.]

[Footnote 2: _Majjhima Nikaya_, I.p. 54.]

[Footnote 3: Cha. I.i. 10. B@rh. IV. 3.20. There are some passages where
vidya and avidya have been used in a different and rather obscure sense,
I's'a 9-11.]

[Footnote 4: _A@ng. Nikaya_, III. 85.]

[Footnote 5 Warren's _Buddhism in Translations_ (_Visuddhimagga_, chap.
XVII.), p. 175.]

112

The Schools of Theravada Buddhism.

There is reason to believe that the oral instructions of the
Buddha were not collected until a few centuries after his death.
Serious quarrels arose amongst his disciples or rather amongst
the successive generations of the disciples of his disciples about
his doctrines and other monastic rules which he had enjoined
upon his followers. Thus we find that when the council of Vesali
decided against the V@rjin monks, called also the Vajjiputtakas,
they in their turn held another great meeting (Mahasa@ngha) and
came to their own decisions about certain monastic rules and thus
came to be called as the Mahasa@nghikas [Footnote ref 1]. According to
Vasumitra as translated by Vassilief, the Mahasa@nghikas seceded in

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