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

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THE NYAYA-VAIS'E@SIKA PHILOSOPHY

Criticism of Buddhism and Sa@mkhya from the
Nyaya standpoint.

The Buddhists had upset all common sense convictions of
substance and attribute, cause and effect, and permanence of
things, on the ground that all collocations are momentary;
each group of collocations exhausts itself in giving rise to
another group and that to another and so on. But if a collocation
representing milk generates the collocation of curd
it is said to be due to a joint action of the elements forming
the cause-collocation and the _modus operandi_ is unintelligible;
the elements composing the cause-collocation cannot separately
generate the elements composing the effect-collocation, for on
such a supposition it becomes hard to maintain the doctrine
of momentariness as the individual and separate exercise of influence
on the part of the cause-elements and their coordination
and manifestation as effect cannot but take more than one moment.
The supposition that the whole of the effect-collocation is the
result of the joint action of the elements of cause-collocation is
against our universal uncontradicted experience that specific
elements constituting the cause (e.g. the whiteness of milk) are
the cause of other corresponding elements of the effect (e.g. the
whiteness of the curd); and we could not say that the hardness,
blackness, and other properties of the atoms of iron in a lump
state should not be regarded as the cause of similar qualities in
the iron ball, for this is against the testimony of experience.
Moreover there would be no difference between material (_upadana_,
e.g. clay of the jug), instrumental and concomitant causes (_nimitta_
and _sahakari_, such as the potter, and the wheel, the stick etc. in
forming the jug), for the causes jointly produce the effect, and
there was no room for distinguishing the material and the instrumental
causes, as such.

Again at the very moment in which a cause-collocation is
brought into being, it cannot exert its influence to produce its

275

effect-collocation. Thus after coming into being it would take the
cause-collocation at least another moment to exercise its influence
to produce the effect. How can the thing which is destroyed the
moment after it is born produce any effect? The truth is that
causal elements remain and when they are properly collocated
the effect is produced. Ordinary experience also shows that we
perceive things as existing from a past time. The past time is
perceived by us as past, the present as present and the future as
future and things are perceived as existing from a past time onwards.

The Sa@mkhya assumption that effects are but the actualized
states of the potential cause, and that the causal entity holds
within it all the future series of effects, and that thus the effect is
already existent even before the causal movement for the production
of the effect, is also baseless. Sa@mkhya says that the
oil was already existent in the sesamum and not in the stone, and
that it is thus that oil can be got from sesamum and not from the
stone. The action of the instrumental cause with them consists
only in actualizing or manifesting what was already existent in
a potential form in the cause. This is all nonsense. A lump of
clay is called the cause and the jug the effect; of what good is it
to say that the jug exists in the clay since with clay we can never
carry water? A jug is made out of clay, but clay is not a jug.
What is meant by saying that the jug was unmanifested or was
in a potential state before, and that it has now become manifest
or actual? What does potential state mean? The potential state
of the jug is not the same as its actual state; thus the actual state
of the jug must be admitted as non-existent before. If it is
meant that the jug is made up of the same parts (the atoms) of
which the clay is made up, of course we admit it, but this does
not mean that the jug was existent in the atoms of the lump
of clay. The potency inherent in the clay by virtue of which it
can expose itself to the influence of other agents, such as the
potter, for being transformed into a jug is not the same as the
effect, the jug. Had it been so, then we should rather have said
that the jug came out of the jug. The assumption of Sa@mkhya
that the substance and attribute have the same reality is also
against all experience, for we all perceive that movement and
attribute belong to substance and not to attribute. Again
Sa@mkhya holds a preposterous doctrine that buddhi is different

276

from intelligence. It is absolutely unmeaning to call buddhi
non-intelligent. Again what is the good of all this fictitious fuss
that the qualities of buddhi are reflected on puru@sa and then again on
buddhi. Evidently in all our experience we find that the soul
(_atman_) knows, feels and wills, and it is difficult to understand why
Sa@mkhya does not accept this patent fact and declare that knowledge,
feeling, and willing, all belonged to buddhi. Then again in
order to explain experience it brought forth a theory of double
reflection. Again Sa@mkhya prak@rti is non-intelligent, and where
is the guarantee that she (prak@rti) will not bind the wise again
and will emancipate him once for all? Why did the puru@sa become
bound down? Prak@rti is being utilized for enjoyment by
the infinite number of puru@sas, and she is no delicate girl (as
Sa@mkhya supposes) who will leave the presence of the puru@sa
ashamed as soon as her real nature is discovered. Again pleasure
(_sukha_), sorrow (_du@hkha_) and a blinding feeling through ignorance
(_moha_) are but the feeling-experiences of the soul, and with what
impudence could Sa@mkhya think of these as material substances?
Again their cosmology of a mahat, aha@mkara, the tanmatras,
is all a series of assumptions never testified by experience nor
by reason. They are all a series of hopeless and foolish blunders.
The phenomena of experience thus call for a new careful reconstruction
in the light of reason and experience such as cannot be found in other
systems. (See _Nyayamanjari,_ pp. 452-466 and 490-496.)

Nyaya and Vais'e@sika sutras.

It is very probable that the earliest beginnings of Nyaya are
to be found in the disputations and debates amongst scholars
trying to find out the right meanings of the Vedic texts for use
in sacrifices and also in those disputations which took place between
the adherents of different schools of thought trying to
defeat one another. I suppose that such disputations occurred in
the days of the Upani@sads, and the art of disputation was regarded
even then as a subject of study, and it probably passed then by
the name _vakovakya_. Mr Bodas has pointed out that Apastamba
who according to Buehler lived before the third century B.C. used the
word Nyaya in the sense of Mima@msa [Footnote ref 1]. The word Nyaya
derived

___________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1 _Apastamba,_ trans. by Buehler, Introduction, p. XXVII., and
Bodas's article on the _Historical Survey of Indian Logic_ in the Bombay
Branch of J.R.A.S., vol. XIX.]

277

from the root _ni_ is sometimes explained as that by which sentences
and words could be interpreted as having one particular meaning
and not another, and on the strength of this even Vedic accents of
words (which indicate the meaning of compound words by pointing
out the particular kind of compound in which the words entered
into combination) were called Nyaya [Footnote ref 1]. Prof. Jacobi on the
strength of Kau@tilya's enumeration of the _vidya_ (sciences) as Anvik@siki
(the science of testing the perceptual and scriptural knowledge
by further scrutiny), _trayi_ (the three Vedas), _vartta_ (the sciences
of agriculture, cattle keeping etc.), and _da@n@daniti_ (polity), and the
enumeration of the philosophies as Sa@mkhya, Yoga, Lokayata
and Anvik@siki, supposes that the _Nyaya sutra_ was not in existence
in Kau@tilya's time 300 B.C.) [Footnote ref 2]. Kau@tilya's reference to
Nyaya as Anvik@siki only suggests that the word Nyaya was not a familiar
name for Anvik@siki in Kau@tilya's time. He seems to misunderstand
Vatsyayana in thinking that Vatsyayana distinguishes Nyaya
from the Anvik@siki in holding that while the latter only means
the science of logic the former means logic as well as metaphysics.
What appears from Vatsyayana's statement in _Nyaya sutra_ I.i. 1
is this that he points out that the science which was known in his
time as Nyaya was the same as was referred to as Anvik@siki by
Kau@tilya. He distinctly identifies Nyayavidya with Anvik@siki,
but justifies the separate enumeration of certain logical categories
such as _sa@ms'aya_ (doubt) etc., though these were already contained
within the first two terms _prama@na_ (means of cognition) and
_prameya_ (objects of cognition), by holding that unless these its
special and separate branches (_p@rthakprasthana_) were treated,
Nyayavidya would simply become metaphysics (_adhyatmavidya_)
like the Upani@sads. The old meaning of Nyaya as the means of determining
the right meaning or the right thing is also agreed upon
by Vatsyayana and is sanctioned by Vacaspati in his
_Nyayavarttikatatparya@tika_ I.i. 1). He compares the meaning of the
word Nyaya (_prama@nairarthaparik@sa@nam_--to scrutinize an object by
means of logical proof) with the etymological meaning of the word
anvik@siki (to scrutinize anything after it has been known by perception
and scriptures). Vatsyayana of course points out that so far as
this logical side of Nyaya is concerned it has the widest scope for

___________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: Kalidasa's _Kumarasambhava "Udghato pra@navayasam
nyayaistribhirudira@nam_," also Mallinatha's gloss on it.]

[Footnote 2: Prof. Jacobi's "_The early history of Indian Philosophy,"
Indian Antiquary_, 1918.]

278

itself as it includes all beings, all their actions, and all the sciences
[Footnote ref 1]. He quotes Kau@tilya to show that in this capacity Nyaya
is like light illumining all sciences and is the means of all works. In its
capacity as dealing with the truths of metaphysics it may show the
way to salvation. I do not dispute Prof. Jacobi's main point that
the metaphysical portion of the work was a later addition, for this
seems to me to be a very probable view. In fact Vatsyayana himself
designates the logical portion as a p@rthakprasthana (separate
branch). But I do not find that any statement of Vatsyayana or
Kau@tilya can justify us in concluding that this addition was made
after Kau@tilya. Vatsyayana has no doubt put more stress on the
importance of the logical side of the work, but the reason of that
seems to be quite obvious, for the importance of metaphysics or
_adhyatmavidya_ was acknowledged by all. But the importance of
the mere logical side would not appeal to most people. None of
the dharmas'astras (religious scriptures) or the Vedas would lend
any support to it, and Vatsyayana had to seek the support of
Kau@tilya in the matter as the last resource. The fact that Kau@tilya
was not satisfied by counting Anvik@siki as one of the four
vidyas but also named it as one of the philosophies side by side
with Sa@mkhya seems to lead to the presumption that probably
even in Kau@tilya's time Nyaya was composed of two branches,
one as adhyatmavidya and another as a science of logic or rather
of debate. This combination is on the face of it loose and external,
and it is not improbable that the metaphysical portion was added
to increase the popularity of the logical part, which by itself might
not attract sufficient attention. Mahamahopadhyaya Haraprasada
S'astri in an article in the _Journal of the Bengal Asiatic Society_
1905 says that as Vacaspati made two attempts to collect the
_Nyaya sutras_, one as _Nyayasuci_ and the other as _Nyayasutroddhara_,
it seems that even in Vacaspati's time he was not certain as to
the authenticity of many of the _Nyaya sutras_. He further points
out that there are unmistakable signs that many of the sutras
were interpolated, and relates the Buddhist tradition from China
and Japan that Mirok mingled Nyaya and Yoga. He also

___________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: _Yena prayukta@h pravarttate tat prayojanam_ (that by which
one is led to act is called _prayojanam_); _yamartham abhipsan jihasan
va karma arabhate tenanena sarve pra@nina@h sarva@ni karma@ni sarvas'ca
vidya@h vyapta@h tadas'rayas'ca nyaya@h pravarttate_ (all those which
one tries to have or to fly from are called prayojana, therefore all
beings, all their actions, and all sciences, are included within prayojana,
and all these depend on Nyaya). _Vatsyayana bhas'ya_, I.i. 1.]

279

thinks that the sutras underwent two additions, one at the hands
of some Buddhists and another at the hands of some Hindu who
put in Hindu arguments against the Buddhist ones. These
suggestions of this learned scholar seem to be very probable, but
we have no clue by which we can ascertain the time when such
additions were made. The fact that there are unmistakable proofs
of the interpolation of many of the sutras makes the fixing of
the date of the original part of the _Nyaya sutras_ still more difficult,
for the Buddhist references can hardly be of any help, and
Prof. Jacobi's attempt to fix the date of the _Nyaya sutras_ on the
basis of references to S'unyavada naturally loses its value, except
on the supposition that all references to S'unyavada must be later
than Nagarjuna, which is not correct, since the _Mahayana sutras_
written before Nagarjuna also held the S'unyavada doctrine.

The late Dr S.C. Vidyabhu@sa@na in _J.R.A.S._ 1918 thinks
that the earlier part of Nyaya was written by Gautama about
550 B.C. whereas the _Nyaya sutras_ of Ak@sapada were written
about 150 A.D. and says that the use of the word Nyaya in the
sense of logic in _Mahabharata_ I.I. 67, I. 70. 42-51, must be
regarded as interpolations. He, however, does not give any
reasons in support of his assumption. It appears from his treatment
of the subject that the fixing of the date of Ak@sapada was made
to fit in somehow with his idea that Ak@sapada wrote his _Nyaya
sutras_ under the influence of Aristotle--a supposition which does
not require serious refutation, at least so far as Dr Vidyabhu@sa@na
has proved it. Thus after all this discussion we have not advanced
a step towards the ascertainment of the date of the original part
of the Nyaya. Goldstuecker says that both Patanjali (140 B.C.)
and Katyayana (fourth century B.C.) knew the _Nyaya sutras_ [Footnote ref
1]. We know that Kau@tilya knew the Nyaya in some form as Anvik@siki
in 300 B.C., and on the strength of this we may venture to say
that the Nyaya existed in some form as early as the fourth
century B.C. But there are other reasons which lead me to think
that at least some of the present sutras were written some time
in the second century A.D. Bodas points out that Badaraya@na's
sutras make allusions to the Vais'e@sika doctrines and not to Nyaya.
On this ground he thinks that _Vais'e@sika sutras_ were written before
Badarayana's _Brahma-sutras_, whereas the Nyaya sutras were
written later. Candrakanta Tarkala@mkara also contends in his

____________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: Goldstuecker's _Pa@nini_, p. 157.]

280

edition of Vais'e@sika that the _Vais'e@sika sutras_ were earlier than the
Nyaya. It seems to me to be perfectly certain that the _Vais'e@sika
sutras_ were written before Caraka (80 A.D.); for he not only quotes
one of the _Vais'e@sika sutras_, but the whole foundation of his medical
physics is based on the Vais`e@sika physics [Footnote ref 1]. The
_La@nkavatara sutra_ (which as it was quoted by As'vagho@sa is earlier
than 80 A.D.) also makes allusions to the atomic doctrine. There are
other weightier grounds, as we shall see later on, for supposing
that the _Vais'e@sika sutras_ are probably pre-Buddhistic [Footnote ref 2].

It is certain that even the logical part of the present _Nyaya
sutras_ was preceded by previous speculations on the subject by
thinkers of other schools. Thus in commenting on I.i. 32 in which
the sutra states that a syllogism consists of five premisses (_avayava_)
Vatsyayana says that this sutra was written to refute the views
of those who held that there should be ten premisses [Footnote ref 3]. The
_Vais'e@sika sutras_ also give us some of the earliest types of inference,
which do not show any acquaintance with the technic of the Nyaya
doctrine of inference [Footnote ref 4].

Does Vais'e@sika represent an Old School of Mima@msa?

The Vais'e@sika is so much associated with Nyaya by tradition
that it seems at first sight quite unlikely that it could be supposed
to represent an old school of Mima@msa, older than that represented
in the _Mima@msa sutras._ But a closer inspection of the _Vais'e@sika
sutras_ seems to confirm such a supposition in a very remarkable
way. We have seen in the previous section that Caraka quotes
a _Vais'e@sika sutra._ An examination of Caraka's _Sutrasthana_ (I.35-38)
leaves us convinced that the writer of the verses had some
compendium of Vais'e@sika such as that of the _Bha@sapariccheda_
before him. _Caraka sutra_ or _karika_ (I.i. 36) says that the gu@nas
are those which have been enumerated such as heaviness, etc.,
cognition, and those which begin with the gu@na "_para_" (universality)
and end with "_prayatna_" (effort) together with the sense-qualities
(_sartha_). It seems that this is a reference to some well-known
enumeration. But this enumeration is not to be found
in the _Vais'e@sika sutra_ (I.i. 6) which leaves out the six gu@nas,

___________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: _Caraka, S'arira_, 39.]

[Footnote 2: See the next section.]

[Footnote 3: Vatsyayana's Bha@sya on the _Nyaya sutras,_ I.i.32. This is
undoubtedly a reference to the Jaina view as found in
_Das'avaikalikaniryukti_ as noted before.]

[Footnote 4: _Nyaya sutra_ I.i. 5, and _Vais'e@sika sutras_ IX. ii. 1-2,
4-5, and III. i. 8-17.]

281

heaviness (_gurutva_), liquidity (_dravatva_), oiliness(_sneha_),
elasticity (_sa@mskara_), merit (_dharma_) and demerit (_adharma_);
in one part of the sutra the enumeration begins with "para"
(universality) and ends in "prayatna," but buddhi (cognition)
comes within the enumeration beginning from para and ending in
prayatna, whereas in Caraka buddhi does not form part of the list
and is separately enumerated. This leads me to suppose that Caraka's
sutra was written at a time when the six gu@nas left out in the
Vais'e@sika enumeration had come to be counted as gu@nas, and
compendiums had been made in which these were enumerated.
_Bha@sapariccheda_ (a later Vais'e@sika compendium), is a compilation
from some very old karikas which are referred to by Vis'vanatha
as being collected from "_atisa@mk@siptacirantanoktibhi@h_"--(from
very ancient aphorisms [Footnote ref 1]); Caraka's definition of samanya
and vis'e@sa shows that they had not then been counted as separate
categories as in later Nyaya-Vais'e@sika doctrines; but though
slightly different it is quite in keeping with the sort of definition
one finds in the _Vais'e@sika sutra_ that samanya (generality) and
vi'se@sa are relative to each other [Footnote ref 2]. Caraka's sutras were
therefore probably written at a time when the Vais'e@sika doctrines were
undergoing changes, and well-known compendiums were beginning
to be written on them.

The _Vais'e@sika sutras_ seem to be ignorant of the Buddhist
doctrines. In their discussions on the existence of soul, there is
no reference to any view as to non-existence of soul, but the
argument turned on the point as to whether the self is to be an
object of inference or revealed to us by our notion of "I." There
is also no other reference to any other systems except to some
Mima@msa doctrines and occasionally to Sa@mkhya. There is no
reason to suppose that the Mima@msa doctrines referred to allude
to the _Mima@msa sutras_ of Jaimini. The manner in which the
nature of inference has been treated shows that the Nyaya
phraseology of "_purvavat_" and "_s'e@savat_" was not known. _Vais'e@sika
sutras_ in more than one place refer to time as the ultimate
cause [Footnote ref 3]. We know that the S'vetas'vatara Upani@sad refers to
those who regard time as the cause of all things, but in none of the

__________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: Professor Vanamali Vedantatirtha's article in _J.A.S.B._,
1908.]

[Footnote 2: Caraka (I.i. 33) says that samanya is that which produces
unity and vis'e@sa is that which separates. V.S. II. ii. 7. Samanya and
vis'e@sa depend upon our mode of thinking (as united or as separate).]

[Footnote 3: _Vais'e@sika sutra_ (II. ii. 9 and V. ii. 26).]

282

systems that we have can we trace any upholding of this ancient
view [Footnote ref 1]. These considerations as well as the general style of
the work and the methods of discussion lead me to think that these
sutras are probably the oldest that we have and in all probability
are pre-Buddhistic.

The _Vais'e@sika sutra_ begins with the statement that its object
is to explain virtue, "dharma" This is we know the manifest duty
of Mima@msa and we know that unlike any other system Jaimini
begins his _Mima@msa sutras_ by defining "dharma". This at first
seems irrelevant to the main purpose of Vais'e@sika, viz, the description
of the nature of padartha [Footnote ref 2]. He then defines dharma as
that which gives prosperity and ultimate good (_nihsreyasa_) and
says that the Veda must be regarded as valid, since it can dictate
this. He ends his book with the remarks that those injunctions
(of Vedic deeds) which are performed for ordinary human motives
bestow prosperity even though their efficacy is not known to us
through our ordinary experience, and in this matter the Veda must
be regarded as the authority which dictates those acts [Footnote ref 3].
The fact that the Vais'e@sika begins with a promise to describe dharma
and after describing the nature of substances, qualities and actions
and also the _ad@r@s@ta_ (unknown virtue) due to dharma (merit
accruing from the performance of Vedic deeds) by which many
of our unexplained experiences may be explained, ends his book
by saying that those Vedic works which are not seen to produce
any direct effect, will produce prosperity through adrsta, shows
that Ka@nada's method of explaining dharma has been by showing
that physical phenomena involving substances, qualities, and
actions can only be explained up to a certain extent while a
good number cannot be explained at all except on the assumption
of ad@r@s@ta (unseen virtue) produced by dharma. The

___________________________________________________________________

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

[Footnote 2: I remember a verse quoted in an old commentary of the _Kalapa
Vyakara@na_, in which it is said that the description of the six categories
by Ka@nada in his _Vais'e@sika sutras_, after having proposed to describe
the nature of dharma, is as irrelevant as to proceed towards the sea while
intending to go to the mountain Himavat (Himalaya).

"_Dnarma@m vyakhyatukamasya @sa@tpadarthopavar@nana@m Himavadgantukamasya
sagaragamanopamam_."]

[Footnote 3: The sutra "_Tadvacanad amnayasya prama@nyam_ (I.i.3 and
X.ii.9) has been explained by _Upaskara_ as meaning "The Veda being the
word of Is'vara (God) must be regarded as valid," but since there is no
mention of Is'vara anywhere in the text this is simply reading the later
Nyaya ideas into the Vais'e@sika. Sutra X.ii.8 is only a repetition of
VI.ii.1.]

283

description of the categories of substance is not irrelevant, but
is the means of proving that our ordinary experience of these
cannot explain many facts which are only to be explained on
the supposition of ad@r@s@ta proceeding out of the performance
of Vedic deeds. In V.i. 15 the movement of needles towards
magnets, in V. ii. 7 the circulation of water in plant bodies,
V. ii. 13 and IV. ii. 7 the upward motion of fire, the side motion
of air, the combining movement of atoms (by which all combinations
have taken place), and the original movement of the
mind are said to be due to ad@r@s@ta. In V. ii. 17 the movement
of the soul after death, its taking hold of other bodies, the
assimilation of food and drink and other kinds of contact (the
movement and development of the foetus as enumerated in
_Upaskara_) are said to be due to ad@r@s@ta. Salvation (moksa) is
said to be produced by the annihilation of ad@r@s@ta leading to the
annihilation of all contacts and non production of rebirths
Vais'esika marks the distinction between the drsta (experienced)
and the ad@r@s@ta. All the categories that he describes are founded
on drsta (experience) and those unexplained by known experience
are due to ad@r@s@ta These are the acts on which depend all
life-process of animals and plants, the continuation of atoms or
the construction of the worlds, natural motion of fire and air,
death and rebirth (VI. ii. 15) and even the physical phenomena
by which our fortunes are affected in some way or other (V. ii. 2),
in fact all with which we are vitally interested in philosophy.
Ka@nada's philosophy gives only some facts of experience regarding
substances, qualities and actions, leaving all the graver issues of
metaphysics to ad@r@s@ta But what leads to ad@r@s@ta? In answer to
this, Ka@nada does not speak of good or bad or virtuous or
sinful deeds, but of Vedic works, such as holy ablutions (_snana_),
fasting, holy student life (_brahmacarya_), remaining at the house
of the teacher (_gurukulavasa_), retired forest life (_vanaprastha_),
sacrifice (_yajna_), gifts (_dana_), certain kinds of sacrificial
sprinkling and rules of performing sacrificial works according to the
prescribed time of the stars, the prescribed hymns (mantras)
(VI. ii. 2).

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

284

feelings of attachment to things are also generated by ad@r@s@ta.
Throughout almost the whole of VI. i Ka@nada is busy in showing
the special conditions of making gifts and receiving them. A reference
to our chapter on Mima@msa will show that the later Mima@msa
writers agreed with the Nyaya-Vais`e@sika doctrines in most of their
views regarding substance, qualities, etc. Some of the main points
in which Mima@msa differs from Nyaya-Vais`e@sika are (1) self-validity
of the Vedas, (2) the eternality of the Vedas, (3) disbelief
in any creator or god, (4) eternality of sound (s'abda), (5) (according
to Kumarila) direct perception of self in the notion of the ego.
Of these the first and the second points do not form any subject
of discussion in the Vais'e@sika. But as no Is'vara is mentioned,
and as all ad@r@s@ta depends upon the authority of the Vedas, we
may assume that Vais'e@sika had no dispute with Mima@msa. The
fact that there is no reference to any dissension is probably due
to the fact that really none had taken place at the time of the
_Vais`e@sika sutras._ It is probable that Ka@nada believed that the
Vedas were written by some persons superior to us (II. i. 18, VI. i.
1-2). But the fact that there is no reference to any conflict with
Mima@msa suggests that the doctrine that the Vedas were never
written by anyone was formulated at a later period, whereas in
the days of the _Vais'e@sika sutras,_ the view was probably what is
represented in the _Vais'e@sika sutras._ As there is no reference to
Is`vara and as ad@r@s@ta proceeding out of the performance of actions
in accordance with Vedic injunctions is made the cause of all
atomic movements, we can very well assume that Vais'e@sika was
as atheistic or non-theistic as the later Mima@msa philosophers.
As regards the eternality of sound, which in later days was one
of the main points of quarrel between the Nyaya-Vais'e@sika and
the Mima@msa, we find that in II. ii. 25-32, Ka@nada gives reasons
in favour of the non-eternality of sound, but after that from II. ii. 33
till the end of the chapter he closes the argument in favour of the
eternality of sound, which is the distinctive Mima@msa view as we know
from the later Mima@msa writers [Footnote ref 1]. Next comes the question
of the proof of the existence of self. The traditional Nyaya view is

___________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: The last two concluding sutras II. ii. 36 and 37 are in my
opinion wrongly interpreted by S'a@nkara Mis'ra in his _Upaskara_ (II. ii.
36 by adding an "_api_" to the sutra and thereby changing the issue, and
II. ii. 37 by misreading the phonetic combination "samkhyabhava" as
sa@mkhya and bhava instead of sa@mkhya and abhava, which in my opinion
is the right combination here) in favour of the non-eternality of sound
as we find in the later Nyaya Vais'e@sika view.]

285

that the self is supposed to exist because it must be inferred as the
seat of the qualities of pleasure, pain, cognition, etc. Traditionally
this is regarded as the Vais'e@sika view as well. But in Vais'e@sika
III. ii. 4 the existence of soul is first inferred by reason of its
activity and the existence of pleasure, pain, etc., in III. ii. 6-7 this
inference is challenged by saying that we do not perceive that the
activity, etc. belongs to the soul and not to the body and so no
certainty can be arrived at by inference, and in III. ii. 8 it is
suggested that therefore the existence of soul is to be accepted
on the authority of the scriptures (_agama_). To this the final
Vais'e@sika conclusion is given that we can directly perceive the self
in our feeling as "I" (_aham_), and we have therefore not to depend
on the scriptures for the proof of the existence of the self, and thus
the inference of the existence of the self is only an additional
proof of what we already find in perception as "I" (_aham_) (III. ii.
10-18, also IX. i. 11).

These considerations lead me to think that the Vais'e@sika
represented a school of Mima@msa thought which supplemented
a metaphysics to strengthen the grounds of the Vedas.

Philosophy in the Vais'e@sika sutras.

The _Vais'e@sika sutras_ begin with the ostensible purpose of explaining
virtue (_dharma_) (I.i. 1) and dharma according to it is
that by which prosperity (_abhyudaya_) and salvation (_ni@hs'reyasa_)
are attained. Then it goes on to say that the validity of the
Vedas depends on the fact that it leads us to prosperity and
salvation. Then it turns back to the second sutra and says that
salvation comes as the result of real knowledge, produced by special
excellence of dharma, of the characteristic features of the categories of
substance (_dravya_), quality (_gu@na_), class concept (_samdanya_),
particularity (_vis'e@sa_), and inherence (_samavayay_) [Footnote ref 1].
The dravyas are earth, water, fire, air, ether, time, space, soul, and
mind. The gu@nas are colour, taste, odour, touch, number, measure,
separations, contact, disjoining, quality of belonging to high genus or to
species [Footnote ref 2]. Action (_karma_) means upward movement

___________________________________________________________________

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

[Footnote 2: Here the well known qualities of heaviness (_gurutva_),
liquidity (_dravatva_), oiliness (_sneha_), elasticity (_sa@mskara_),
merit (_dharma_), and demerit (_adharma_) have been altogether omitted.
These are all counted in later Vais'e@sika commentaries and compendiums.
It must be noted that "_gu@na_" in Vas'e@sika means qualities and not
subtle reals or substances as in Sa@mkhya Yoga. Gu@na in Vas'e@sika would
be akin to what Yoga would call _dharma_.]

286

downward movement, contraction, expansion and horizontal
movement. The three common qualities of dravya, gu@na and karma
are that they are existent, non-eternal, substantive, effect, cause,
and possess generality and particularity. Dravya produces other
dravyas and the gu@nas other gu@nas. But karma is not necessarily
produced by karma. Dravya does not destroy either its cause or
its effect but the gu@nas are destroyed both by the cause and by
the effect. Karma is destroyed by karma. Dravya possesses
karma and gu@na and is regarded as the material (_samavayi_) cause.
Gu@nas inhere in dravya, cannot possess further gu@nas, and are
not by themselves the cause of contact or disjoining. Karma is
devoid of gu@na, cannot remain at one time in more than one
object, inheres in dravya alone, and is an independent cause of
contact or disjoining. Dravya is the material cause (samavayi)
of (derivative) dravyas, gu@na, and karma, gu@na is also the non-material
cause (_asamavayi_) of dravya, gu@na and karma. Karma
is the general cause of contact, disjoining, and inertia in motion
(_vega_). Karma is not the cause of dravya. For dravya may be
produced even without karma [Footnote ref 1]. Dravya is the general effect
of dravya. Karma is dissimilar to gu@na in this that it does not produce
karma. The numbers two, three, etc, separateness, contact
and disjoining are effected by more than one dravya. Each karma
not being connected with more than one thing is not produced
by more than one thing [Footnote ref 2]. A dravya is the result of many
contacts (of the atoms). One colour may be the result of many
colours. Upward movement is the result of heaviness, effort and
contact. Contact and disjoining are also the result of karma. In
denying the causality of karma it is meant that karma is not the
cause of dravya and karma [Footnote ref 3].

In the second chapter of the first book Ka@nada first says that
if there is no cause, there is no effect, but there may be the cause
even though there may not be the effect. He next says that
genus (_samanya_) and species (_visesa_) are relative to the understanding;

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[Footnote 1: It is only when the karya ceases that dravya is produced. See
_Upaskara_ I.i. 22.]

[Footnote 2: If karma is related to more than one thing, then with the
movement of one we should have felt that two or more things were moving.]

[Footnote 3: It must be noted that karma in this sense is quite different
from the more extensive use of karma as meritorious or vicious action
which is the cause of rebirth.]

287

being (_bhava_) indicates continuity only and is hence
only a genus. The universals of substance, quality and action
maybe both genus and species, but visesa as constituting the ultimate
differences (of atoms) exists (independent of any percipient).
In connection with this he says that the ultimate genus is being
(_satta_) in virtue of which things appear as existent, all other
genera may only relatively be regarded as relative genera or
species. Being must be regarded as a separate category, since it
is different from dravya, gu@na and karma, and yet exists in them,
and has no genus or species. It gives us the notion that something
is and must be regarded as a category existing as one
identical entity in all dravya, gu@na, and karma, for in its universal
nature as being it has no special characteristics in the
different objects in which it inheres. The specific universals of
thingness (_dravyatva_) qualitiness (_gu@natva_) or actionness (_karmatva_)
are also categories which are separate from universal being
(_bhava_ or _satta_) for they also have no separate genus or species
and yet may be distinguished from one another, but bhava or
being was the same in all.

In the first chapter of the second book Ka@nada deals with
substances. Earth possesses colour, taste, smell, and touch, water,
colour, taste, touch, liquidity, and smoothness (_snigdha_), fire,
colour and touch, air, touch, but none of these qualities can be
found in ether (_akas'a_). Liquidity is a special quality of water
because butter, lac, wax, lead, iron, silver, gold, become liquids
only when they are heated, while water is naturally liquid itself [Footnote
ref 1]. Though air cannot be seen, yet its existence can be inferred by
touch, just as the existence of the genus of cows may be inferred
from the characteristics of horns, tails, etc. Since this thing inferred
from touch possesses motion and quality, and does not
itself inhere in any other substance, it is a substance (dravya)
and is eternal [Footnote ref 2]. The inference of air is of the type of
inference of imperceptible things from certain known characteristics
called _samanyato d@r@s@ta_. The name of air "_vayu_" is derived
from the scriptures. The existence of others different from us
has (_asmadvis'i@s@tana@m_) to be admitted for accounting for the

___________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: It should be noted that mercury is not mentioned. This is
important for mercury was known at a time later than Caraka.]

[Footnote 2: Substance is that which possesses quality and motion. It
should be noted that the word "_adravyatvena_" in II. i. 13 has been
interpreted by me as "_adravyavattvena_."]

288

giving of names to things (_sa@mjnakarma_). Because we find
that the giving of names is already in usage (and not invented
by us) [Footnote ref 1]. On account of the fact that movements rest only in
one thing, the phenomenon that a thing can enter into any unoccupied
space, would not lead us to infer the existence of akas'a
(ether). Akas'a has to be admitted as the hypothetical substance
in which the quality of sound inheres, because, since sound (a
quality) is not the characteristic of things which can be touched,
there must be some substance of which it is a quality. And this
substance is akas'a. It is a substance and eternal like air. As
being is one so akas'a is one [Footnote ref 2].

In the second chapter of the second book Ka@nada tries to
prove that smell is a special characteristic of earth, heat of fire,
and coldness of water. Time is defined as that which gives the
notion of youth in the young, simultaneity, and quickness. It is
one like being. Time is the cause of all non-eternal things, because
the notion of time is absent in eternal things. Space
supplies the notion that this is so far away from this or so much
nearer to this. Like being it is one. One space appears to have
diverse inter-space relations in connection with the motion of the
sun. As a preliminary to discussing the problem whether sound
is eternal or not, he discusses the notion of doubt, which arises
when a thing is seen in a general way, but the particular features
coming under it are not seen, either when these are only remembered,
or when some such attribute is seen which resembles some
other attribute seen before, or when a thing is seen in one way
but appears in another, or when what is seen is not definitely
grasped, whether rightly seen or not. He then discusses the question
whether sound is eternal or non-eternal and gives his reasons
to show that it is non-eternal, but concludes the discussion with
a number of other reasons proving that it is eternal.

The first chapter of the third book is entirely devoted to the
inference of the existence of soul from the fact that there must
be some substance in which knowledge produced by the contact
of the senses and their object inheres.

The knowledge of sense-objects (_indriyartha_) is the reason by

__________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: I have differed from _Upaskara_ in interpreting
"_sa@mjnakarma_" in II. i. 18, 19 as a genitive compound while
_Upaskara_ makes it a _dvandva_ compound. Upaskara's interpretation
seems to be far-fetched. He wants to twist it into an argument for
the existence of God.]

[Footnote 2: This interpretation is according to S'a@nkara Mis'ra's
_Upaskara._]

289

which we can infer the existence of something different from the
senses and the objects which appear in connection with them. The
types of inferences referred to are (1) inference of non-existence of
some things from the existence of some things, (2) of the existence
of some things from the non-existence of some things, (3) of the
existence of some things from the existence of others. In all
these cases inference is possible only when the two are known to
be connected with each other (_prasiddhipurvakatvat apades'asya_) [Footnote
ref 1]. When such a connection does not exist or is doubtful, we have
_anapades'a_ (fallacious middle) and _sandigdha_ (doubtful middle);
thus, it is a horse because it has a horn, or it is a cow because it
has a horn are examples of fallacious reason. The inference of
soul from the cognition produced by the contact of soul, senses
and objects is not fallacious in the above way. The inference of
the existence of the soul in others may be made in a similar way
in which the existence of one's own soul is inferred [Footnote ref 2], i.e.
by virtue of the existence of movement and cessation of movement. In
the second chapter it is said that the fact that there is cognition only
when there is contact between the self, the senses and the objects
proves that there is manas (mind), and this manas is a substance
and eternal, and this can be proved because there is no simultaneity
of production of efforts and various kinds of cognition; it
may also be inferred that this manas is one (with each person).

The soul may be inferred from inhalation, exhalation, twinkling
of the eye, life, the movement of the mind, the sense-affections
pleasure, pain, will, antipathy, and effort. That it is a substance
and eternal can be proved after the manner of vayu. An objector
is supposed to say that since when I see a man I do not see his
soul, the inference of the soul is of the type of _samanyatod@r@s@ta_
inference, i.e., from the perceived signs of pleasure, pain, cognition
to infer an unknown entity to which they belong, but
that this was the self could not be affirmed. So the existence of
soul has to be admitted on the strength of the scriptures. But
the Vais'e@sika reply is that since there is nothing else but self to
which the expression "I" may be applied, there is no need of
falling back on the scriptures for the existence of the soul. But

_________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: In connection with this there is a short reference to the
methods of fallacy in which Gautama's terminology does not appear.
There is no generalised statement, but specific types of inference
are only pointed out as the basis.]

[Footnote 2: The forms of inference used show that Ka@nada was probably not
aware of Gautama's terminology.]

290

then it is said that if the self is directly perceived in such experiences
as "I am Yajnadatta" or "I am Devadatta," what is the
good of turning to inference? The reply to this is that inference
lending its aid to the same existence only strengthens the conviction.
When we say that Devadatta goes or Yajnadatta goes,
there comes the doubt whether by Devadatta or Yajnadatta the
body alone is meant; but the doubt is removed when we think
that the notion of "I" refers to the self and not to anything else.
As there is no difference regarding the production of pleasure,
pain, and cognition, the soul is one in all. But yet it is many
by special limitations as individuals and this is also proved on
the strength of the scriptures [Footnote ref 1].

In the first chapter of the fourth book it is said that that
which is existent, but yet has no cause, should be considered
eternal (_nitya_). It can be inferred by its effect, for the effect can
only take place because of the cause. When we speak of anything
as non-eternal, it is only a negation of the eternal, so that
also proves that there is something eternal. The non-eternal
is ignorance (_avidya_) [Footnote ref 2]. Colour is visible in a thing
which is great (_mahat_) and compounded. Air (_vayu_) is not perceived to
have colour, though it is great and made up of parts, because it has not
the actuality of colour (_rupasamskara_--i.e. in air there is only
colour in its unmanifested form) in it. Colour is thus visible only
when there is colour with special qualifications and conditions [Footnote
ref 3]. In this way the cognition of taste, smell, and touch is also
explained. Number, measure, separateness, contact, and disjoining, the
quality of belonging to a higher or lower class, action, all these as they
abide in things possessing colour are visible to the eye. The
number etc. of those which have no colour are not perceived by the
eye. But the notion of being and also of genus of quality (gunatva)

___________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: I have differed here from the meaning given in _Upaskara_. I
think the three sutras "_Sukhaduhkhajnananispattyavis'esadekatmyam,"
"vyavasthato nana,"_ and _"vastrasamarthyat ca"_ originally meant that
the self was one, though for the sake of many limitations, and also
because of the need of the performance of acts enjoined by the scriptures,
they are regarded as many.]

[Footnote 2: I have differed here also in my meaning from the _Upaskara,_
which regards this sutra "_avidya_" to mean that we do not know of any
reasons which lead to the non-eternality of the atoms.]

[Footnote 3: This is what is meant in the later distinctions of
_udbhutarupavattva_ and _anudbhutarupavattva_. The word _samskara_ in
Vais'e@sika has many senses. It means inertia, elasticity, collection
(_samavaya_), production (_udbhava_) and not being overcome
(_anabhibhava_). For the last three senses see _Upaskara_ IV. i. 7.]

291

are perceived by all the senses (just as colour, taste, smell, touch,
and sound are perceived by one sense, cognition, pleasure, pain,
etc. by the manas and number etc. by the visual and the tactile
sense) [Footnote ref 1].

In the second chapter of the fourth book it is said that the
earth, etc. exist in three forms, body, sense, and objects. There
cannot be any compounding of the five elements or even of the
three, but the atoms of different elements may combine when one
of them acts as the central radicle (_upa@s@tambhaka_). Bodies are of
two kinds, those produced from ovaries and those which are otherwise
produced by the combination of the atoms in accordance
with special kinds of dharma. All combinations of atoms are due
to special kinds of dharmas. Such super-mundane bodies are to
be admitted for explaining the fact that things must have been
given names by beings having such super-mundane bodies, and
also on account of the authority of the Vedas.

In the first chapter of the fifth book action (_karma_) is discussed.
Taking the example of threshing the corn, it is said
that the movement of the hand is due to its contact with the
soul in a state of effort, and the movement of the flail is due
to its contact with the hand. But in the case of the uprising of
the flail in the threshing pot due to impact the movement is
not due to contact with the hands, and so the uplifting of the
hand in touch with the flail is not due to its contact with the
soul; for it is due to the impact of the flail. On account of
heaviness (_gurutva_) the flail will fall when not held by the hand.
Things may have an upward or side motion by specially directed
motions (_nodanavis'e@sa_) which are generated by special kinds of
efforts. Even without effort the body may move during sleep.
The movement of needles towards magnets is due to an unknown
cause (_adr@s@takaranaka_). The arrow first acquires motion by
specially directed movement, and then on account of its inertia
(_vegasamskara_) keeps on moving and when that ceases it falls
down through heaviness.

The second chapter abounds with extremely crude explanations

__________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: This portion has been taken from the _Upaskara_ of S'ankara
Mis'ra on the _Vais'e@sika sutras_ of Ka@nada. It must be noted here
that the notion of number according to Vais'e@sika is due to mental
relativity or oscillation (_apeksabuddhijanya_). But this mental
relativity can only start when the thing having number is either seen or
touched; and it is in this sense that notion of number is said to depend
on the visual or the tactual sense.]

292

of certain physical phenomena which have no philosophical
importance. All the special phenomena of nature are explained
as being due to unknown cause (_ad@r@s@takaritam_) and no explanation
is given as to the nature of this unknown (_ad@r@s@ta_).
It is however said that with the absence of _ad@r@s@ta_ there is no contact
of body with soul, and thus there is no rebirth, and therefore
mok@sa (salvation); pleasure and pain are due to contact of the
self, manas, senses and objects. Yoga is that in which the mind
is in contact with the self alone, by which the former becomes
steady and there is no pain in the body. Time, space, akas'a are
regarded as inactive.

The whole of the sixth book is devoted to showing that gifts
are made to proper persons not through sympathy but on account
of the injunction of the scriptures, the enumeration of certain
Vedic performances, which brings in ad@r@s@ta, purification and impurities
of things, how passions are often generated by ad@r@s@ta,
how dharma and adharma lead to birth and death and how mok@sa
takes place as a result of the work of the soul.

In the seventh book it is said that the qualities in eternal
things are eternal and in non-eternal things non-eternal. The
change of qualities produced by heat in earth has its beginning
in the cause (the atoms). Atomic size is invisible while great size
is visible. Visibility is due to a thing's being made up of many
causes [Footnote ref 1], but the atom is therefore different from those
that have great size. The same thing may be called great and small
relatively at the same time. In accordance with a@nutva (atomic) and
mahattva (great) there are also the notions of small and big. The
eternal size of _parima@n@dala_ (round) belongs to the atoms. Akas'a
and atman are called _mahan_ or _paramamahan_ (the supremely
great or all-pervasive); since manas is not of the great measure
it is of atomic size. Space and time are also considered as being
of the measure "supremely great" (paramamahat), Atomic size
(parima@n@dala) belonging to the atoms and the mind (manas) and
the supremely great size belonging to space, time, soul and ether
(akas'a) are regarded as eternal.

In the second chapter of the seventh book it is said that unity
and separateness are to be admitted as entities distinct from
other qualities. There is no number in movement and quality;
the appearance of number in them is false. Cause and effect are

_________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: I have differed from the _Upaskara_ in the interpretation of
this sutra.]

293

neither one, nor have they distinctive separateness (_ekap@rthaktva_).
The notion of unity is the cause of the notion of duality, etc.
Contact may be due to the action of one or two things, or the
effect of another contact and so is disjoining. There is neither
contact nor disjoining in cause and effect since they do not exist
independently (_yutasiddhyabhavat_). In the eighth book it is said
that soul and manas are not perceptible, and that in the apprehension
of qualities, action, generality, and particularity
perception is due to their contact with the thing. Earth is the
cause of perception of smell, and water, fire, and air are the
cause of taste, colour and touch[Footnote ref 1]. In the ninth book
negation is described; non-existence (_asat_) is defined as that to
which neither action nor quality can be attributed. Even existent things
may become non-existent and that which is existent in one
way may be non-existent in another; but there is another kind
of non-existence which is different from the above kinds of
existence and non-existence [Footnote ref 2]. All negation can be directly
perceived through the help of the memory which keeps before the
mind the thing to which the negation applies. Allusion is also
made in this connection to the special perceptual powers of the
yogins (sages attaining mystical powers through Yoga practices).

In the second chapter the nature of hetu (reason) or the
middle term is described. It is said that anything connected
with any other thing, as effect, cause, as in contact, or as contrary
or as inseparably connected, will serve as li@nga (reason).
The main point is the notion "this is associated with this," or
"these two are related as cause and effect," and since this may
also be produced through premisses, there may be a formal syllogism
from propositions fulfilling the above condition. Verbal
cognition comes without inference. False knowledge (_avidya_) is
due to the defect of the senses or non-observation and mal-observation
due to wrong expectant impressions. The opposite
of this is true knowledge (_vidya_). In the tenth it is said that
pleasure and pain are not cognitions, since they are not related to
doubt and certainty.

____________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: _Upaskara_ here explains that it is intended that the senses
are produced by those specific elements, but this cannot be found in the
sutras.]

[Footnote 2: In the previous three kinds of non-existence, _pragabhava_
(negation before production), _dhvamsabhava_ (negation after destruction),
and _anyonyabhava_ (mutual negation of each other in each other), have
been described. The fourth one is _samanyabhava_ (general negation).]

294

A dravya may be caused by the inhering of the effect in it, for
because of its contact with another thing the effect is produced.
Karma (motion) is also a cause since it inheres in the cause. Contact
is also a cause since it inheres in the cause. A contact which
inheres in the cause of the cause and thereby helps the production
of the effect is also a cause. The special quality of the heat of
fire is also a cause.

Works according to the injunctions of the scriptures since they
have no visible effect are the cause of prosperity, and because the
Vedas direct them, they have validity.

Philosophy in the Nyaya sutras [Footnote ref 1].

The _Nyaya sutras_ begin with an enumeration of the sixteen
subjects, viz. means of right knowledge (_prama@na_), object of right
knowledge (_prameya_), doubt (_sa@ms'aya_), purpose (_prayojana_),
illustrative instances (_d@r@s@tanta_), accepted conclusions (_siddhanta_),
premisses (_avayava_), argumentation (_tarka_), ascertainment (_nir@naya_),
debates (_vada_), disputations (_jalpa_), destructive criticisms
(_vita@n@da_), fallacy (_hetvabhasa_), quibble (_chala_), refutations
(_jati_), points of opponent's defeat (_nigrahasthana_), and hold that
by a thorough knowledge of these the highest good (_nihs'reyasa_), is
attained. In the second sutra it is said that salvation (_apavarga_)
is attained by the successive disappearance of false knowledge
(_mithyajnana_), defects (_do@sa_), endeavours (_prav@rtti_, birth
(_janma_), and ultimately of sorrow. Then the means of proof are said
to be of four kinds, perception (_pratyak@sa_), inference (_anumana_),
analogy (_upamana_), and testimony (_s'abda_). Perception is defined
as uncontradicted determinate knowledge unassociated with names
proceeding out of sense contact with objects. Inference is of three
kinds, from cause to effect (_purvavat_), effect to cause (_s'e@savat_),
and inference from common characteristics (_samanyato d@r@s@ta_).
Upamana is the knowing of anything by similarity with any well-known
thing.

S'abda is defined as the testimony of reliable authority (apta)
[Footnote ref 2].

___________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: This is a brief summary of the doctrines found in _Nyaya
sutras_, supplemented here and there with the views of Vatsyayana, the
commentator. This follows the order of the sutras, and tries to present
their ideas with as little additions from those of later day Nyaya as
possible. The general treatment of Nyaya-Vais'e@sika expounds the two
systems in the light of later writers and commentators.]

[Footnote 2: It is curious to notice that Vatsyayana says that an arya, a
@r@si or a mleccha (foreigner), may be an apta (reliable authority).]

295

Such a testimony may tell us about things which may be experienced
and which are beyond experience. Objects of knowledge
are said to be self (_atman_), body, senses, sense-objects,
understanding (_buddhi_), mind (_manas_}, endeavour (prav@rtti), rebirths,
enjoyment of pleasure and suffering of pain, sorrow and
salvation. Desire, antipathy, effort (_prayatna_), pleasure, pain, and
knowledge indicate the existence of the self. Body is that which
upholds movement, the senses and the rise of pleasure and pain
as arising out of the contact of sense with sense-objects [Footnote ref l];
the five senses are derived from the five elements, such as prthivi, ap,
tejas, vayu and akas'a; smell, taste, colour, touch, and sound are
the qualities of the above five elements, and these are also the
objects of the senses. The fact that many cognitions cannot
occur at any one moment indicates the existence of mind (_manas_).
Endeavour means what is done by speech, understanding, and
body. Do@sas (attachment, antipathy, etc) are those which lead
men to virtue and vice. Pain is that which causes suffering [Footnote ref
2]. Ultimate cessation from pain is called _apavarga_ [Footnote ref 3].
Doubt arises when through confusion of similar qualities or conflicting
opinions etc., one wants to settle one of the two alternatives. That
for attaining which, or for giving up which one sets himself to work
is called _prayojana_.

Illustrative example (_d@r@s@tanta_) is that on which both the
common man and the expert (_parik@saka_) hold the same opinion.
Established texts or conclusions (_siddhanta_) are of four kinds,
viz (1) those which are accepted by all schools of thought called
the _sarvatantrasiddhanta_; (2) those which are held by one school
or similar schools but opposed by others called the _pratitantrasiddhanta_;
(3) those which being accepted other conclusions will also naturally
follow called _adhikara@nasiddhanta_; (4) those of the opponent's views
which are uncritically granted by a debater, who proceeds then to refute
the consequences that follow and thereby show his own special skill and
bring the opponent's intellect to disrepute (_abhyupagamasiddhanta_)
[Footnote ref 4]. The premisses are five:

__________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: Here I have followed Vatsyayana's meaning.]

[Footnote 2: Vatsyayana comments here that when one finds all things full
of misery, he wishes to avoid misery, and finding birth to be associated
with pain becomes unattached and thus is emancipated.]

[Footnote 3: Vatsyayana wants to emphasise that there is no bliss in
salvation, but only cessation from pain.]

[Footnote 4: I have followed Vatsyayana's interpretation here.]

296

(1) _pratijna_ (the first enunciation of the thing to be proved);
(2) _hetu_ (the reason which establishes the conclusion on the
strength of the similarity of the case in hand with known examples
or negative instances); (3) _udahara@na_ (positive or negative
illustrative instances); (4) _upanaya_ (corroboration by the instance);
(5) _nigamana_ (to reach the conclusion which has been proved).
Then come the definitions of tarka, nir@naya, vada, jalpa, vita@n@da,
the fallacies (hetvabhasa), chala, jati, and nigrahasthana, which
have been enumerated in the first sutra.

The second book deals with the refutations of objections
against the means of right knowledge (pramana). In refutation
of certain objections against the possibility of the happening
of doubt, which held that doubt could not happen, since there
was always a difference between the two things regarding which
doubt arose, it is held that doubt arises when the special differentiating
characteristics between the two things are not noted.
Certain objectors, probably the Buddhists, are supposed to object
to the validity of the prama@na in general and particularly of
perceptions on the ground that if they were generated before
the sense-object contact, they could not be due to the latter,
and if they are produced after the sense-object contact, they
could not establish the nature of the objects, and if the two
happened together then there would be no notion of succession
in our cognitions. To this the Nyaya reply is that if there were
no means of right knowledge, then there would be no means of
knowledge by means of which the objector would refute all
means of right knowledge; if the objector presumes to have any
means of valid knowledge then he cannot say that there are no
means of valid knowledge at all. Just as from the diverse kinds
of sounds of different musical instruments, one can infer the previous
existence of those different kinds of musical instruments,
so from our knowledge of objects we can infer the previous existence
of those objects of knowledge [Footnote ref 1].

The same things (e.g. the senses, etc.) which are regarded as
instruments of right knowledge with reference to the right cognition
of other things may themselves be the objects of right

____________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: _Yathapas'catsiddhena s'abdena purvasiddham atodyamanumiyate
sadhyam ca atodyam sadhanam ca s'abda@h antarhite hyatodye svanata@h
anumanam bhavatiti, vi@na vadyate ve@nu@h puryyate iti svanavis'e@se@na
atodyavis'e@sam pratipadyate tatha purvasiddham upalabdhivi@sayam
pas'catsiddhena upalabdhihetuna pratipadyate. Vatsyayana bha@sya,_ II.
i. 15.]

297

knowledge. There are no hard and fast limits that those which
are instruments of knowledge should always be treated as mere
instruments, for they themselves may be objects of right knowledge.
The means of right knowledge (prama@na) do not require
other sets of means for revealing them, for they like the light of
a lamp in revealing the objects of right knowledge reveal themselves
as well.

Coming to the question of the correctness of the definition
of perception, it is held that the definition includes the contact
of the soul with the mind [Footnote ref 1]. Then it is said that though we
perceive only parts of things, yet since there is a whole, the perception
of the part will naturally refer to the whole. Since we
can pull and draw things wholes exist, and the whole is not
merely the parts collected together, for were it so one could
say that we perceived the ultimate parts or the atoms [Footnote ref 2].
Some objectors hold that since there may be a plurality of causes it is
wrong to infer particular causes from particular effects. To this
the Nyaya answer is that there is always such a difference in the
specific nature of each effect that if properly observed each particular
effect will lead us to a correct inference of its own particular
cause [Footnote ref 3]. In refuting those who object to the existence of
time on the ground of relativity, it is said that if the present time
did not exist, then no perception of it would have been possible.
The past and future also exist, for otherwise we should not have
perceived things as being done in the past or as going to be
done in the future. The validity of analogy (upamana) as a
means of knowledge and the validity of the Vedas is then proved.
The four prama@nas of perception, inference, analogy, and scripture

_________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: Here the sutras, II. i. 20-28, are probably later
interpolations to answer criticisms, not against the Nyaya doctrine
of perception, but against the wording of the definition
of perception as given in the,_Nyaya sutra_, II. i. 4.]

[Footnote 2: This is a refutation of the doctrines of the Buddhists, who
rejected the existence of wholes (avayavi). On this subject a later
Buddhist monograph by Pandita As'oka (9th century A.D.),
_Avayavinirakara@na_ in _Six Buddhist Nyaya Tracts_, may be referred
to.]

[Footnote 3: _Purvodakavis'i@s@tam khalu var@sodakan s'ighrataram srotasa
bahutaraphenaphalapar@nakas@thadivahanancopalabhamana@h pur@natvena,
nadya upari v@r@sto deva ityanuminoti nodakab@rddhimatre@na. V@atsyayana
bha@sya_, II. i. 38. The inference that there has been rain up the river
is not made merely from seeing the rise of water, but from the rainwater
augmenting the previous water of the river and carrying with its current
large quantities of foam, fruits, leaves, wood, etc. These characteristics,
associated with the rise of water, mark it as a special kind of rise of
water, which can only be due to the happening of rain up the river].

298

are quite sufficient and it is needless to accept arthapatti (implication),
aitihya (tradition), sambhava (when a thing is understood
in terms of higher measure the lower measure contained in it is
also understood--if we know that there is a bushel of corn anywhere
we understand that the same contains eight gallons of
corn as well) and abhava (non-existence) as separate prama@nas
for the tradition is included in verbal testimony and arthapatti,
sambhava and abhava are included within inference.

The validity of these as prama@nas is recognized, but they are
said to be included in the four prama@nas mentioned before. The
theory of the eternity of sound is then refuted and the non-eternity
proved in great detail. The meaning of words is said to
refer to class-notions (_jati_), individuals (_vyakti_), and the specific
position of the limbs (_ak@rti_), by which the class notion is manifested.
Class (_jati_} is defined as that which produces the notion
of sameness (_samanaprasavatmika jati@h_).

The third book begins with the proofs for the existence of
the self or atman. It is said that each of the senses is associated
with its own specific object, but there must exist some other entity
in us which gathered together the different sense-cognitions and
produced the perception of the total object as distinguished from
the separate sense-perceptions. If there were no self then there
would be no sin in injuring the bodies of men: again if there
were no permanent self, no one would be able to recognize
things as having seen them before; the two images produced by
the eyes in visual perception could not also have been united
together as one visual perception of the things [Footnote ref 1]; moreover
if there were no permanent cognizer then by the sight of a sour
fruit one could not be reminded of its sour taste. If consciousness
belonged to the senses only, then there would be no recognition,
for the experience of one could not be recognized by another.
If it is said that the unity of sensations could as well be effected
by manas (mind), then the manas would serve the same purpose
as self and it would only be a quarrel over a name, for this
entity the knower would require some instrument by which it
would co-ordinate the sensations and cognize; unless manas is
admitted as a separate instrument of the soul, then though the
sense perceptions could be explained as being the work of the

__________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: According to Vatsyayana, in the two eyes we have two different
senses. Udyotakara, however, thinks that there is one visual sense which
works in both eyes.]

299

senses, yet imagining, thinking, etc., could not be explained.
Another argument for the admission of soul is this, that infants
show signs of pleasure and pain in quite early stages of infancy
and this could not be due to anything but similar experiences in
previous lives. Moreover every creature is born with some desires,
and no one is seen to be born without desires. All attachments
and desires are due to previous experiences, and therefore it is
argued that desires in infants are due to their experience in
previous existences.

The body is made up of the k@siti element. The visual sense
is material and so also are all other senses [Footnote ref l]. Incidentally
the view held by some that the skin is the only organ of sensation
is also refuted. The earth possesses four qualities, water three,
fire two, air one, and ether one, but the sense of smell, taste, eye,
and touch which are made respectively by the four elements of
earth, etc., can only grasp the distinctive features of the elements
of which they are made. Thus though the organ of smell is made
by earth which contains four qualities, it can only grasp the distinctive
quality of earth, viz. smell.

Against the Sa@mkhya distinction of _buddhi_ (cognition) and
_cit_ (pure intelligence) it is said that there is no difference between
the _buddhi_ and _cit_. We do not find in our consciousness two
elements of a phenomenal and a non-phenomenal consciousness,
but only one, by whichever name it may be called. The Sa@mkhya
epistemology that the anta@hkara@na assumes diverse forms in
cognitive acts is also denied, and these are explained on the supposition
of contacts of manas with the senses, atman and external
objects. The Buddhist objection against the Sa@mkhya explanation
that the anta@hkara@nas catch reflection from the external
world just as a crystal does from the coloured objects that may
lie near it, that there were really momentary productions of
crystals and no permanent crystal catching different reflections at
different times is refuted by Nyaya; for it says that it cannot be
said that all creations are momentary, but it can only be agreed to
in those cases where momentariness was actually experienced.
In the case of the transformation of milk into curd there is no
coming in of new qualities and disappearance of old ones, but

___________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: It is well to remember that Sa@mkhya did not believe that the
senses were constituted of the gross elements. But the Sa@mkhya-Yoga view
represented in _Atreya-sa@mhita_ (Caraka) regarded the senses as bhautika
or constituted of the gross elements.]

300

the old milk is destroyed and the curd originates anew. The
contact of manas with soul (_atman_) takes place within the body
and not in that part of atman which is outside the body; knowledge
belongs to the self and not to the senses or the object for
even when they are destroyed knowledge remains. New cognitions
destroy the old ones. No two recollections can be simultaneous.
Desire and antipathy also belong to the soul. None of
these can belong either to the body or to the mind (manas).
Manas cannot be conscious for it is dependent upon self. Again
if it was conscious then the actions done by it would have to be
borne by the self and one cannot reap the fruits of the actions of
another. The causes of recollection on the part of self are given
as follows: (1) attention, (2) context, (3) repetition, (4) sign,
(5) association, (6) likeness, (7) association of the possessor
and the possessed or master and servant, or things which
are generally seen to follow each other, (8) separation (as of
husband and wife), (9) simpler employment, (10) opposition,
(11) excess, (12) that from which anything can be got, (13) cover
and covered, (14) pleasure and pain causing memory of that
which caused them, (15) fear, (16) entreaty, (17) action such
as that of the chariot reminding the charioteer, (18) affection,
(19) merit and demerit [Footnote ref 1]. It is said that knowledge does
not belong to body, and then the question of the production of the body
as due to ad@r@s@ta is described. Salvation (_apavarga_) is effected by
the manas being permanently separated from the soul (atman)
through the destruction of karma.

In the fourth book in course of the examination of do@sa
(defects), it is said that moha (ignorance), is at the root of all
other defects such as raga (attachment) and dve@sa (antipathy).
As against the Buddhist view that a thing could be produced by
destruction, it is said that destruction is only a stage in the
process of origination. Is'vara is regarded as the cause of the
production of effects of deeds performed by men's efforts, for
man is not always found to attain success according to his efforts.
A reference is made to the doctrine of those who say that all
things have come into being by no-cause (_animitta_), for then
no-cause would be the cause, which is impossible.

The doctrine of some that all things are eternal is next refuted
on the ground that we always see things produced and destroyed.

__________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: _Nyaya sutra_ III. ii. 44.]

301

The doctrine of the nihilistic Buddhists (s'unyavadin Bauddhas)
that all things are what they are by virtue of their relations to
other things, and that of other Buddhists who hold that there are
merely the qualities and parts but no substances or wholes, are
then refuted. The fruits of karmas are regarded as being like
the fruits of trees which take some time before they can ripen.
Even though there may be pleasures here and there, birth means
sorrow for men, for even the man who enjoys pleasure is tormented
by many sorrows, and sometimes one mistakes pains for
pleasures. As there is no sorrow in the man who is in deep dreamless
sleep, so there is no affliction (_kles'a_) in the man who attains
apavarga (salvation) [Footnote ref 1]. When once this state is attained all
efforts (_prav@rtti_) cease for ever, for though efforts were beginningless
with us they were all due to attachment, antipathy, etc. Then
there are short discussions regarding the way in which egoism
(_aha@mkara_) ceases with the knowledge of the true causes of defects
(_do@sa_); about the nature of whole and parts and about the
nature of atoms (_a@nus_) which cannot further be divided. A discussion
is then introduced against the doctrine of the Vijnanavadins
that nothing can be regarded as having any reality when
separated from thoughts. Incidentally Yoga is mentioned as
leading to right knowledge.

The whole of the fifth book which seems to be a later addition
is devoted to the enumeration of different kinds of refutations
(_nigrahasthana_) and futilities (_jati_).

Caraka, Nyaya sutras and Vais'e@sika sutras.

When we compare the _Nyaya sutras_ with the _Vais'e@sika sutras_
we find that in the former two or three differentstreams of purposes
have met, whereas the latter is much more homogeneous. The large
amount of materials relating to debates treated as a practical art
for defeating an opponent would lead one to suppose that it was
probably originally compiled from some other existing treatises
which were used by Hindus and Buddhists alike for rendering
themselves fit to hold their own in debates with their
opponents [Footnote ref 2]. This assumption is justified when

____________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: Vatsyayana notes that this is the salvation of him who has
known Brahman, IV. i. 63.]

[Footnote 2: A reference to the _Suvar@naprabhasa sutra_ shows that the
Buddhist missionaries used to get certain preparations for improving
their voice in order to be able to argue with force, and they took to
the worship of Sarasvati (goddess of learning), who they supposed would
help them in bringing readily before their mind all the information
and ideas of which they stood so much in need at the time of debates.]

302

we compare the futilities (jati) quibbles (chala), etc., relating to
disputations as found in the _Nyaya sutra_ with those that are
found in the medical work of Caraka (78 A.D.), III. viii. There
are no other works in early Sanskrit literature, excepting the
_Nyaya sutra_ and _Caraka-sa@mhita_ which have treated of these
matters. Caraka's description of some of the categories (e.g.
d@r@s@tanta, prayojana, pratijna and vita@n@da) follows very closely
the definitions given of those in the _Nyaya sutras_. There are
others such as the definitions of jalpa, chala, nigrahasthana, etc.,
where the definitions of two authorities differ more. There are
some other logical categories mentioned in Caraka (e.g. _prati@s@thapana,
jijnasa, vyavasaya, vakyado@sa, vakyapras'a@msa, upalambha,
parihara, abhyanujna_, etc.) which are not found in the
_Nyaya sutra_ [Footnote ref 1]. Again, the various types of futilities
(jati) and points of opponent's refutation (nigrahasthana) mentioned in
the _Nyaya sutra_ are not found in _Caraka_. There are some terms which
are found in slightly variant forms in the two works, e.g. _aupamya_ in
_Caraka, upamana_ in _Nyaya sutra, arthapatti_ in _Nyaya sutra_ and
_arthaprapti_ in _Caraka_. Caraka does not seem to know anything
about the Nyaya work on this subject, and it is plain that the
treatment of these terms of disputations in the _Caraka_ is much
simpler and less technical than what we find in the _Nyaya sutras_.
If we leave out the varieties of jati and nigrahasthana of the
fifth book, there is on the whole a great agreement between the
treatment of Caraka and that of the _Nyaya sutras_. It seems therefore
in a high degree probable that both Caraka and the _Nyaya
sutras_ were indebted for their treatment of these terms of disputation
to some other earlier work. Of these, Caraka's compilation
was earlier, whereas the compilation of the _Nyaya sutras_ represents
a later work when a hotter atmosphere of disputations had
necessitated the use of more technical terms which are embodied
in this work, but which were not contained in the earlier work.
It does not seem therefore that this part of the work could have
been earlier than the second century A.D. Another stream flowing
through the _Nyaya sutras_ is that of a polemic against the doctrines
which could be attributed to the Sautrantika Buddhists, the
Vijnanavada Buddhists, the nihilists, the Sa@mkhya, the Carvaka,
and some other unknown schools of thought to which we find no

___________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: Like Vais'e@sika, Caraka does not know the threefold division
of inference (_anumana_) as _purvavat, s'e@savat and samanyatod@r@s@ta_.]

303

further allusion elsewhere. The _Vais'e@sika sutras_ as we have already
seen had argued only against the Mima@msa, and ultimately agreed
with them on most points. The dispute with Mima@msa in the
_Nyaya sutras_ is the same as in the Vais'e@sika over the question
of the doctrine of the eternality of sound. The question of the
self-validity of knowledge (_svata@h prama@nyavada_)and the akhyati
doctrine of illusion of the Mima@msists, which form the two chief
points of discussion between later Mima@msa and later Nyaya,
are never alluded to in the _Nyaya sutras_. The advocacy of Yoga
methods (_Nyaya sutras_, IV.ii.38-42 and 46) seems also to be
an alien element; these are not found in Vais'e@sika and are not in
keeping with the general tendency of the _Nyaya sutras_, and the
Japanese tradition that Mirok added them later on as Mahamahopadhyaya
Haraprasada S'astri has pointed out [Footnote ref l] is not improbable.

The _Vais'e@sika sutras_, III.i.18 and III.ii.1, describe perceptional
knowledge as produced by the close proximity of the
self (atman), the senses and the objects of sense, and they
also adhere to the doctrine, that colour can only be perceived
under special conditions of sa@mskara (conglomeration etc.).
The reason for inferring the existence of manas from the non-simultaneity
(_ayaugapadya_) of knowledge and efforts is almost
the same with Vais'e@sika as with Nyaya. The _Nyaya sutras_
give a more technical definition of perception, but do not bring
in the questions of sa@mskara or udbhutarupavattva which Vais'e@sika
does. On the question of inference Nyaya gives three
classifications as purvavat, s'e@savat and samanyatod@r@s@ta, but no
definition. The _Vais'e@sika sutras_ do not know of these classifications,
and give only particular types or instances of inference
(V.S. III. i. 7-17, IX. ii. 1-2, 4-5). Inference is said to be made
when a thing is in contact with another, or when it is in a relation
of inherence in it, or when it inheres in a third thing; one kind
of effect may lead to the inference of another kind of effect, and
so on. These are but mere collections of specific instances of inference
without reaching a general theory. The doctrine of vyapti
(concomitance of _hetu_ (reason) and _sadhya_ (probandum)) which became
so important in later Nyaya has never been properly formulated
either in the _Nyaya sutras_ or in the Vais'e@sika. _Vais'e@sika
sutra_, III. i. 24, no doubt assumes the knowledge of concomitance
between hetu and sadhya (_prasiddhipurvakatvat apades'asya_),

___________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: _J.A.S.B._ 1905.]

304

but the technical vyapti is not known, and the connotation of
the term _prasiddhipurvakatva_ of Vais'e@sika seems to be more
loose than the term _vyapti_ as we know it in the later Nyaya. The
_Vais'e@sika sutras_ do not count scriptures (_s'abda_) as a separate
prama@na, but they tacitly admit the great validity of the Vedas.
With _Nyaya sutras_ s'abda as a prama@na applies not only to the
Vedas, but to the testimony of any trustworthy person, and
Vatsyayana says that trustworthy persons may be of three
kinds _@r@si, arya_ and _mleccha_ (foreigners). Upamana which is
regarded as a means of right cognition in Nyaya is not even
referred to in the _Vais'e@sika sutras_. The _Nyaya sutras_ know of
other prama@nas, such as _arthapatti, sambhava_ and _aitihya_, but
include them within the prama@nas admitted by them, but the
_Vais'e@sika sutras_ do not seem to know them at all [Footnote ref 1]. The
_Vais'e@sika sutras_ believe in the perception of negation (abhava) through
the perception of the locus to which such negation refers (IX. i.
1-10). The _Nyaya sutras_ (II. ii. 1, 2, 7-12) consider that abhava as
non-existence or negation can be perceived; when one asks another
to "bring the clothes which are not marked," he finds that marks
are absent in some clothes and brings them; so it is argued that
absence or non-existence can be directly perceived [Footnote ref 2]. Though
there is thus an agreement between the Nyaya and the _Vais'e@sika
sutras_ about the acceptance of abhava as being due to perception,
yet their method of handling the matter is different. The _Nyaya
sutras_ say nothing about the categories of _dravya, gu@na, karma,
vis'e@sa_ and _samavaya_ which form the main subjects of Vais'e@ska
discussions [Footnote ref 3]. The _Nyaya sutras_ take much pains to prove
the materiality of the senses. But this question does not seem to have
been important with Vais'e@sika. The slight reference to this
question in VIII. ii. 5-6 can hardly be regarded as sufficient.
The _Vais'e@sika sutras_ do not mention the name of "Is'vara," whereas
the _Nyaya sutras_ try to prove his existence on eschatological
grounds. The reasons given in support of the existence of self
in the _Nyaya sutras_ are mainly on the ground of the unity of
sense-cognitions and the phenomenon of recognition, whereas the

____________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: The only old authority which knows these prama@nas is Caraka.
But he also gives an interpretation of sambhava which is different from
Nyaya and calls _arthapatti arthaprapti_ (_Caraka_ III. viii.).]

[Footnote 2: The details of this example are taken from Vatsyayana's
commentary.]

[Footnote 3: The _Nyaya sutra_ no doubt incidentally gives a definition of
jati as "_samanaprasavatmika jati@h_" (II. ii. 71).]

305

Vaisesika lays its main emphasis on self-consciousness as a fact
of knowledge. Both the Nyaya and the _Vais'e@sika sutras_ admit
the existence of atoms, but all the details of the doctrine of
atomic structure in later Nyaya-Vais'e@sika are absent there. The
Vai'se@sika calls salvation _ni@hs'reyasa_ or _mok@sa_ and the Nyaya
_apavarga_. Mok@sa with Vais'e@sika is the permanent cessation of
connection with body; the apavarga with Nyaya is cessation of
pain [Footnote ref l]. In later times the main points of difference between
the Vais'e@sika and Nyaya are said to lie with regard to theory of the
notion of number, changes of colour in the molecules by heat, etc.
Thus the former admitted a special procedure of the mind by which
cognitions of number arose in the mind (e.g. at the first moment
there is the sense contact with an object, then the notion of oneness,
then from a sense of relativeness--apek@sabuddhi--notion
of two, then a notion of two-ness, and then the notion of two
things); again, the doctrine of pilupaka (changes of qualities by
heat are produced in atoms and not in molecules as Nyaya held)
was held by Vais'e@sika, which the Naiyayikas did not admit [Footnote ref
2]. But as the _Nyaya sutras_ are silent on these points, it is not
possible to say that such were really the differences between early
Nyaya and early Vaise@sika. These differences may be said to hold between
the later interpreters of Vais'e@sika and the later interpreters of
Nyaya. The Vais'e@sika as we find it in the commentary of
Pras'astapada (probably sixth century A.D.), and the Nyaya from
the time of Udyotakara have come to be treated as almost
the same system with slight variations only. I have therefore
preferred to treat them together. The main presentation of the
Nyaya-Vais'e@sika philosophy in this chapter is that which is found
from the sixth century onwards.

The Vais'e@sika and Nyaya Literature.

It is difficult to ascertain definitely the date of the _Vais'e@sika
sutras_ by Ka@nada, also called Aulukya the son of Uluka, though
there is every reason to suppose it to be pre-Buddhistic. It

____________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: Professor Vanamali Vedantatirtha quotes a passage from
_Sa@mk@sepas'a@nkarajaya_, XVI. 68-69 in _J.A.S.B._, 1905, and another
passage from a Nyaya writer Bhasarvajna, pp. 39-41, in _J.A.S.B._, 1914,
to show that the old Naiyayikas considered that there was an element
of happiness (_sukha_) in the state of mukti (salvation) which the
Vais'e@sikas denied. No evidence in support of this opinion is found
in the Nyaya or the _Vais'e@sika sutras_, unless the cessation of pain
with Nyaya is interpreted as meaning the resence of some sort of bliss
or happiness.]

[Footnote 2: See Madhava's _Sarvadars'anasa@mgraha-Aulukyadars'ana_.]

306

appears from the _Vayu purana_ that he was born in Prabhasa near
Dvaraka, and was the disciple of Somas'arma. The time of
Pras'astapada who wrote a bha@sya (commentary) of the _Vais'e@sika
sutras_ cannot also unfortunately be ascertained. The peculiarity
of Pras'astapada's bha@sya is this that unlike other bha@syas
(which first give brief explanations of the text of the sutras and
then continue to elaborate independent explanations by explaining
the first brief comments), it does not follow the sutras but
is an independent dissertation based on their main contents [Footnote
ref 1]. There were two other bha@syas on the _Vais'e@sika sutras_,
namely _Rava@na-bha@sya_ and _Bharadvaja-v@rtti_, but these are now
probably lost. References to the former are found in
_Kira@navalibhaskara_ of Padmanabha Mis'ra and also in _Ratnaprabha_
2. 2. II. Four commentaries were written on this bha@sya, namely
_Vyomavati_ by Vyomas'ekharacarya, _Nyayakandali_ by S'ridhara,
_Kira@navali_ by Udayana (984 A.D.) and _Lilavati_ S'rivatsacarya.
In addition to these Jagadis'a Bha@t@tacarya of Navadvipa and S'a@nkara
Mis'ra wrote two other commentaries on the _Pras'astapada-bhasya_,
namely _Bhasyasukti_ and _Ka@nada-rahasya_. S'a@nkara Mis'ra (1425
A.D.) also wrote a commentary on the _Vais'e@sika sutras_ called the
_Upaskara_. Of these _Nyaya-kandali_ of S'ridhara on account of its
simplicity of style and elaborate nature of exposition is probably
the best for a modern student of Vais'e@sika. Its author was a
native of the village of Bhuris@r@s@ti in Bengal (Ra@dha). His father's
name was Baladeva and mother's name was Acchoka and he
wrote his work in 913 S'aka era (990 A.D.) as he himself writes
at the end of his work.

The _Nyaya sutra_ was written by Ak@sapada or Gautama, and
the earliest commentary on it written by Vatsyayana is known
as the _Vatsyayana-bha@sya_. The date of Vatsyayana has not

____________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: The bha@sya of Pras'astapada can hardly he called a
bha@sya (elaborate commentary). He himself makes no such claim and
calls his work a compendium of the properties of the categories
(_Padarthadharmasa@mgraha_). He takes the categories of _dravya,
gu@na, karma, samanya, vis'e@sa_ and _samavaya_ in order and without
raising any discussions plainly narrates what he has got to say on
them. Some of the doctrines which are important in later
Nyaya-Vais'e@sika discussions, such as the doctrine of creation and
dissolution, doctrine of number, the theory that the number of atoms
contributes to the atomic measure of the molecules, the doctrine of
pilupaka in connection with the transformation of colours by heat
occur in his narration for the first time as the _Vais'e@sika sutras_
are silent on these points. It is difficult to ascertain his date
definitely; he is the earliest writer on Vais'e@sika available to us
after Ka@nada and it is not improbable that he lived in the 5th or 6th
century A.D.]

307

been definitely settled, but there is reason to believe that he
lived some time in the beginning of the fourth century A.D. Jacobi
places him in 300 A.D. Udyotakara (about 635 A.D.) wrote a
_Varttika_ on Vatsyayana's bha@sya to establish the Nyaya views
and to refute the criticisms of the Buddhist logician Di@nnaga
(about 500 A.D.) in his _Prama@nasamuccaya_. Vacaspatimis'ra
(840 A.D.) wrote a sub-commentary on the _Nyayavarttika_ of
Udyotakara called _Nyayavarttikatatparya@tika_ in order to make
clear the right meanings of Udyotakara's _Varttika_ which was sinking
in the mud as it were through numerous other bad writings
(_dustarakunibandhapa@nkamagnanam_). Udayana (984 A.D.) wrote
a sub-commentary on the _Tatparya@tika_ called
_Tatparya@tikaparis'uddhi_. Varddhamana (1225 A.D.) wrote a
sub-commentary on that called the _Nyayanibandhaprakas'a_. Padmanabha
wrote a sub-commentary on that called _Varddhamanendu_ and S'a@nkara
Mis'ra (1425 A.D.) wrote a sub-commentary on that called the
_Nyayatatparyama@n@dana_. In the seventeenth century Vis'vanatha
wrote an independent short commentary known as _Vis'vanathav@rtti_,
on the _Nyaya sutra_, and Radhamohana wrote a separate
commentary on the _Nyaya sutras_ known as _Nyayasutravivara@na_.
In addition to these works on the _Nyaya sutras_ many other
independent works of great philosophical value have been written
on the Nyaya system. The most important of these in medieval
times is the _Nyayamanjari_ of Jayanta (880 A.D.), who flourished
shortly after Vacaspatimis'ra. Jayanta chooses some of the _Nyaya
sutras_ for interpretation, but he discusses the Nyaya views quite
independently, and criticizes the views of other systems of Indian
thought of his time. It is far more comprehensive than Vacaspati's
_Tatparya@tika_, and its style is most delightfully lucid. Another
important work is Udayana's _Kusumanjali_ in which he tries to
prove the existence of Is'vara (God). This work ought to be read
with its commentary _Prakas'a_ by Varddhamana (1225 A.D.) and its
sub-commentary _Makaranda_ by Rucidatta (1275 A.D.). Udayana's
_Atmatattvaviveka_ is a polemical work against the Buddhists, in
which he tries to establish the Nyaya doctrine of soul. In addition
to these we have a number of useful works on Nyaya in later
times. Of these the following deserve special mention in connection
with the present work. _Bha@sapariccheda_ by Vis'vanatha with
its commentaries _Muktavali, Dinakari_ and _Ramarudri, Tarkasamgraha_
with _Nyayanir@naya, Tarkabka@sa_ of Kes'ava Mis'ra with

308

the commentary _Nyayapradipa, Saptapadarthi_ of S'ivaditya,
_Tarkikarak@sa_ of Varadaraja with the commentary _Ni@ska@n@taka_
of Mallinatha, _Nyayasara_ of Madhava Deva of the city of Dhara and
_Nyayasiddhantamanjari_ of Janakinatha Bha@t@tacarya with the
_Nyayamanjarisara_ by Yadavacarya, and _Nyayasiddhantadipa_ of
S'a@sadhara with _Prabha_ by S'e@sanantacarya.

The new school of Nyaya philosophy known as Navya-Nyaya
began with Ga@nges'a Upadhyaya of Mithila, about
1200 A.D. Ga@nges'a wrote only on the four prama@nas admitted by the
Nyaya, viz. pratyak@sa, anumana, upamana, and s'abda, and not on any of
the topics of Nyaya metaphysics. But it so happened that his
discussions on anumana (inference) attracted unusually great attention
in Navadvipa (Bengal), and large numbers of commentaries and
commentaries of commentaries were written on the anumana
portion of his work _Tattvacintama@ni, and many independent
treatises on sabda and anumana were also written by the scholars
of Bengal, which became thenceforth for some centuries the home
of Nyaya studies. The commentaries of Raghunatha S'iroma@ni
(1500 A.D.), Mathura Bha@t@tacarya (1580 A.D.), Gadadhara Bha@t@tacarya
(1650 A.D.) and Jagadisa Bha@t@tacarya (1590 A.D.), commentaries
on S'iroma@ni's commentary on _Tattvacintamani, had been
very widely read in Bengal. The new school of Nyaya became the
most important study in Navadvipa and there appeared a series
of thinkers who produced an extensive literature on the subject
[Footnote ref l].The contribution was not in the direction of
metaphysics, theology, ethics, or religion, but consisted mainly
in developing a system of linguistic notations to specify accurately
and precisely any concept or its relation with other concepts [Footnote
ref 2]. Thus for example when they wished to define precisely the
nature of the concomitance of one concept with another (e.g. smoke
and fire), they would so specify the relation that the exact nature
of the concomitance should be clearly expressed, and that there
should be no confusion or ambiguity. Close subtle analytic
thinking and the development of a system of highly technical

___________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: From the latter half of the twelfth century to the third
quarter of the sixteenth century the new school of Nyaya was started
in Mithila (Behar); but from the fifteenth to the seventeenth century
Bengal became pre-eminently the home of Nyaya studies. See Mr
Cakravartti's paper, _J. A.S.B._ 1915. I am indebted to it for some
of the dates mentioned in this section.]

[Footnote 2: _Is'varanumana_ of Raghunatha as well as his
_Padarthatattvanirupa@na_ are, however, notable exceptions.]

309

expressions mark the development of this literature. The technical
expressions invented by this school were thus generally accepted
even by other systems of thought, wherever the need of accurate
and subtle thinking was felt. But from the time that Sanskrit
ceased to be the vehicle of philosophical thinking in India the
importance of this literature has gradually lost ground, and it
can hardly be hoped that it will ever regain its old position by
attracting enthusiastic students in large numbers.

I cannot close this chapter without mentioning the fact that
so far as the logical portion of the Nyaya system is concerned,
though Ak@sapada was the first to write a comprehensive account
of it, the Jains and Buddhists in medieval times had independently
worked at this subject and had criticized the Nyaya account
of logic and made valuable contributions. In Jaina logic
_Das'avaikalikaniryukti_ of Bhadrabahu (357 B.C.), Umasvati's
_Tattvarthadhigama sutra_, _Nyayavatara_ of Siddhasena Divakara
(533 A.D.) Ma@nikya Nandi's (800 A.D.) _Parik@samukha sutra_, and
_Prama@nanayatattvalokala@mkara_ of Deva Suri (1159 A.D.) and
_Prameyakamalamarta@n@da_ of Prabhacandra deserve special notice.
_Prama@nasamuccaya_ and _Nyayapraves'a_ of Di@nnaga (500 A.D.),
_Prama@nayarttika karika_ and _Nyayabindu_ of Dharmakirtti
(650 A.D.) with the commentary of Dharmottara are the most
interesting of the Buddhist works on systematic logic [Footnote ref l].
The diverse points of difference between the Hindu, Jain and
Buddhist logic require to be dealt with in a separate work on
Indian logic and can hardly be treated within the compass of the
present volume.

It is interesting to notice that between the _Vatsyayana
bha@sya_ and the Udyotakara's _Varttika_ no Hindu work on logic
of importance seems to have been written: it appears that the
science of logic in this period was in the hands of the Jains and
the Buddhists; and it was Di@nnaga's criticism of Hindu Nyaya
that roused Udyotakara to write the _Varttika_. The Buddhist and
the Jain method of treating logic separately from metaphysics
as an independent study was not accepted by the Hindus till we
come to Ga@nges'a, and there is probably only one Hindu work of
importance on Nyaya in the Buddhist style namely _Nyayasara_
of Bhasarvajna. Other older Hindu works generally treated of

____________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: See _Indian Logic Medieval School_, by Dr S.C. Vidyabhu@sa@na,
for a bibliography of Jain and Buddhist Logic.]

310

inference only along with metaphysical and other points of Nyaya
interest [Footnote ref 1].

The main doctrine of the Nyaya-Vais'e@sika Philosophy [Footnote ref 2].

The Nyaya-Vais'e@sika having dismissed the doctrine of momentariness
took a common-sense view of things, and held that
things remain permanent until suitable collocations so arrange
themselves that the thing can be destroyed. Thus the jug continues
to remain a jug unless or until it is broken to pieces by
the stroke of a stick. Things exist not because they can produce
an impression on us, or serve my purposes either directly or
through knowledge, as the Buddhists suppose, but because existence
is one of their characteristics. If I or you or any other perceiver
did not exist, the things would continue to exist all the same.
Whether they produce any effect on us or on their surrounding
environments is immaterial. Existence is the most general
characteristic of things, and it is on account of this that things
are testified by experience to be existing.

As the Nyaya-Vais'e@sikas depended solely on experience and
on valid reasons, they dismissed the Sa@mkhya cosmology, but
accepted the atomic doctrine of the four elements (_bhutas_), earth
(_k@siti_), water (_ap_), fire (_tejas_), and air (_marut_). These atoms
are eternal; the fifth substance (_akas'a_) is all pervasive and eternal.
It is regarded as the cause of propagating sound; though all-pervading
and thus in touch with the ears of all persons, it manifests
sound only in the ear-drum, as it is only there that it shows
itself as a sense-organ and manifests such sounds as the man deserves
to hear by reason of his merit and demerit. Thus a deaf
man though he has the akas'a as his sense of hearing, cannot hear
on account of his demerit which impedes the faculty of that sense
organ [Footnote ref 3]. In addition to these they admitted the existence
of time (_kala_) as extending from the past through the present to the

__________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: Almost all the books on Nyaya and Vais'e@sika referred to
have been consulted in the writing of this chapter. Those who want to be
acquainted with a fuller bibliography of the new school of logic should
refer to the paper called "The History of Navya Nyaya in Bengal," by Mr.
Cakravartti in _J.A.S.B._ 1915.]

[Footnote 2: I have treated Nyaya and Vais'e@sika as the same system.
Whatever may have been their original differences, they are regarded
since about 600 A.D. as being in complete agreement except in some
minor points. The views of one system are often supplemented by those
of the other. The original character of the two systems has already
been treated.]

[Footnote 3: See _Nyayakandali_, pp. 59-64.]

311

endless futurity before us. Had there been no time we could
have no knowledge of it and there would be nothing to account
for our time-notions associated with all changes. The Sa@mkhya
did not admit the existence of any real time; to them the unit
of kala is regarded as the time taken by an atom to traverse its
own unit of space. It has no existence separate from the atoms
and their movements. The appearance of kala as a separate entity
is a creation of our buddhi _(buddhinirma@na) as it represents the
order or mode in which the buddhi records its perceptions. But
kala in Nyaya-Vais'e@sika is regarded as a substance existing by
itself. In accordance with the changes of things it reveals itself
as past, present, and future. Sa@mkhya regarded it as past, present,
and future, as being the modes of the constitution of the things
in its different manifesting stages of evolution _(adhvan)_. The
astronomers regarded it as being clue to the motion of the planets.
These must all be contrasted with the Nyaya-Vais'e@sika conception
of kala which is regarded as an all-pervading, partless
substance which appears as many in association with the changes
related to it [Footnote ref l].

The seventh substance is relative space _(dik)_. It is that substance
by virtue of which things are perceived as being on the
right, left, east, west, upwards and downwards; kala like dik is
also one. But yet tradition has given us varieties of it in the eight
directions and in the upper and lower [Footnote ref 2]. The eighth
substance is the soul _(atman)_ which is all-pervading. There are
separate atmans for each person; the qualities of knowledge, feelings
of pleasure and pain, desire, etc. belong to _atman_. Manas (mind) is
the ninth substance. It is atomic in size and the vehicle of memory;
all affections of the soul such as knowing, feeling, and willing, are
generated by the connection of manas with soul, the senses and the
objects. It is the intermediate link which connects the soul with
the senses, and thereby produces the affections of knowledge, feeling,
or willing. With each single connection of soul with manas we have
a separate affection of the soul, and thus our intellectual experience
is conducted in a series, one coming after another and not
simultaneously. Over and above all these we have Isvara. The definition

___________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: See _Nyayakandali,_ pp. 64-66, and _Nyayamanjari_, pp.
136-139. The _Vais'e@sika sutras_ regarded time as the cause of things
which suffer change but denied it of things which are eternal.]

[Footnote 2: See _Nyayakandali,_ pp. 66-69, and _Nyayamanjari_, p. 140.]

312

of substance consists in this, that it is independent by itself, whereas
the other things such as quality (_gu@na_), action (_karma_), sameness
or generality (_samanya_), speciality or specific individuality
(_vis'e@sa_) and the relation of inherence (_samavaya_) cannot show
themselves without the help of substance (_dravya_). Dravya is thus the
place of rest (_as'raya_) on which all the others depend (_as'@rta_).
Dravya, gu@na, karma, samanya, vis'e@sa, and samavaya are the six original
entities of which all things in the world are made up [Footnote ref 1].
When a man through some special merit, by the cultivation of reason and
a thorough knowledge of the fallacies and pitfalls in the way
of right thinking, comes to know the respective characteristics
and differences of the above entities, he ceases to have any
passions and to work in accordance with their promptings and
attains a conviction of the nature of self, and is liberated [Footnote ref
2]. The Nyaya-Vais'e@sika is a pluralistic system which neither tries to
reduce the diversity of experience to any universal principle, nor
dismisses patent facts of experience on the strength of the demands
of the logical coherence of mere abstract thought. The
entities it admits are taken directly from experience. The underlying
principle is that at the root of each kind of perception there
must be something to which the perception is due. It classified the
percepts and concepts of experience into several ultimate types
or categories (_padartha_), and held that the notion of each type
was due to the presence of that entity. These types are six in
number--dravya, gu@na, etc. If we take a percept "I see a red
book," the book appears to be an independent entity on which
rests the concept of "redness" and "oneness," and we thus call the
book a substance (_dravya_); dravya is thus defined as that which
has the characteristic of a dravya (_dravyatva_). So also gu@na and
karma. In the subdivision of different kinds of dravya also the
same principle of classification is followed. In contrasting it with
Sa@mkhya or Buddhism we see that for each unit of sensation (say

__________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: _Abhava_ (negation) as dependent on bhava (position) is
mentioned in the _Vais'e@sika sutras_. Later Nyaya writers such as
Udayana include _abhava_ as a separate category, but S'ridhara a
contemporary of Udayana rightly remarks that abhava was not
counted by Pras'astapada as it was dependent on bhava--"_abhavasya
prthaganupades'a@h bhavaparatantryat na tvabhavat_." _Nyayakandali_,
p. 6, and _Lak@sa@navali_, p. 2.]

[Footnote 2: "_Tattvato jnate@su bahyadhyatmike@su vi@saye@su
do@sadars'anat viraktasya samihaniv@rttau atmajnasya tadarthani
karmanyakurvatah tatparityagasadhanani s'rutism@rtyuditani
asa@nkalpitaphalani upadadanasya atmajnanamabhyasyata@h
prak@r@s@tanivarttakadharmopacaye sati
paripakvatmajnanasyatyantikas'ariraviyogasya bhavat._" _Ibid._ p. 7.]

313

whiteness) the latter would admit a corresponding real, but
Nyaya-Vais'e@sika would collect "all whiteness" under the name
of "the quality of white colour" which the atom possessed [Footnote ref l].
They only regarded as a separate entity what represented an ultimate
mode of thought. They did not enquire whether such notions
could be regarded as the modification of some other notion or
not; but whenever they found that there were some experiences
which were similar and universal, they classed them as separate
entities or categories.

The six Padarthas: Dravya, Gu@na, Karma, Samanya,
Vis'e@sa, Samavaya.

Of the six classes of entities or categories (_padartha_) we have
already given some account of dravya [Footnote ref 2]. Let us now turn to
the others. Of the qualities (_gu@na_) the first one called _rupa_
(colour) is that which can be apprehended by the eye alone
and not by any other sense. The colours are white, blue,
yellow, red, green, brown and variegated (_citra_). Colours are
found only in k@siti, ap and tejas. The colours of ap and tejas are
permanent (_nitya_}, but the colour of k@siti changes when heat
is applied, and this, S'ridhara holds, is due to the fact that
heat changes the atomic structure of k@siti (earth) and thus the
old constitution of the substance being destroyed, its old colour
is also destroyed, and a new one is generated. Rupa is the general
name for the specific individual colours. There is the genus _rupatva_
(colourness), and the rupa gu@na (quality) is that on which
rests this genus; rupa is not itself a genus and can be apprehended
by the eye.

The second is _rasa_ (taste), that quality of things which can be
apprehended only by the tongue; these are sweet, sour, pungent
(_ka@tu_), astringent (ka@saya) and bitter (tikta). Only k@siti and ap
have taste. The natural taste of ap is sweetness. Rasa like
rupa also denotes the genus rasatva, and rasa as quality must
be distinguished from rasa as genus, though both of them are
apprehended by the tongue.

The third is _gandha_ (odour), that quality which can be
apprehended by the nose alone. It belongs to k@siti alone. Water

___________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: The reference is to Sautrantika Buddhism, "yo yo
vruddhadhyasavan nasaveka@h." See Pa@n@ditas'oka's _Avayavinirakarana,
Six Buddhist Nyaya tracts_.

[Footnote 2: The word "padartha" literally means denotations of words.]

314

or air is apprehended as having odour on account of the presence

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