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Indian Pluralism

Chapter XXVII - A General Review of the Philosophy of Madhva


The philosophy of Madhva admits the categories, viz.,

  • substance (dravya),
  • quality (guṇa),
  • action (karma),
  • class-character (sāmānya),
  • particularity (viśeṣa),
  • qualified (viśiṣṭa)
  • whole (aṃśī),
  • power (śakti),
  • similarity (sādṛśya)
  • and negation (abhāva)[1].

Dravya is defined as the material cause (upādāna-kāraṇa)[2]. A dravya is a material cause with reference to evolutionary changes (pariṇāma) and manifestation (abhivyakti) or to both. Thus the world is subject to evolutionary changes, whereas God or souls can only be manifested or made known, but cannot undergo any evolutionary change; again, ignorance (avidyā) may be said to undergo evolutionary changes and to be the object of manifestation as well.

The substances are said to be twenty, viz.,

  • the highest self or God (paramātman),
  • Lakṣmī,
  • souls (jīva),
  • unmanifested vacuity (avyākṛtākāśa),
  • prakṛti,
  • the three guṇas,
  • mahat,
  • ahaṃkāra,
  • buddhi,
  • manas,
  • the senses (indriya),
  • the elements (bhūta),
  • the element-potentials (mātra),
  • ignorance (avidyā),
  • speech-sounds (varṇa),
  • darkness (andha-kāra),
  • root-impressions (or tendencies) (vāsanā),
  • time (kāla),
  • reflection (pratibimba).

The qualities of Madhva are of the same nature as those of the Vaiśeṣika; but the inclusion of mental qualities, such as

  • self-control (śama),
  • mercy (kṛpā),
  • endurance (titikṣā),
  • strength (bala),
  • fear (bhaya),
  • shame (lajjā),
  • sagacity (gāmbhīrya),
  • beauty (saundarya),
  • heroism (śaurya),
  • liberality (audārya), etc.,

is considered indispensable, and so the qualities include not only the twenty-four qualities of the syncretist Vaiśeṣika, but many more.

Actions (karma) are those which directly or indirectly lead to merit (puṇya) or demerit (pāpa). There are no actions which are morally absolutely indifferent; even upward motion and the like —which may be considered as indifferent (udāsīna) karmas —are indirectly the causes of merit or demerit. Karmas are generally divided into three classes, as vihita, i.e., enjoined by the śāstra, niṣiddha, prohibited by it, and udāsīna, not contemplated by it or indifferent. The latter is of the nature of vibration (pariṣpanda), and this is not of five kinds alone, as the Vaiśeṣika supposes, but of many other kinds[3]. Actions of creation, destruction, etc., in God are eternal in Him and form His essence (svarūpa-bhūtāḥ); the contradictory actions of creation and destruction may abide in Him, provided that, when one is in the actual form, the other is in the potential form[4]. Actions in non-eternal things are non-eternal and can be directly perceived by the senses.

The next question is regarding jāti, or universals, which are considered by the Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika as one and immutable. These are considered in the Madhva school as eternal only in eternal substances like the jīvas, whereas in non-eternal substances they are considered to be destructible and limited specifically to the individuals where they occur. There are in destructible individuals no such universals, which last even when the individuals are destroyed. An objection is raised that, if the existence of permanent universals is not agreed to, then the difficulty of comprehending concomitance (vyāpti) would be insurmountable, and hence inference would be impossible. The answer that is given on the side of Madhva is that inference is possible on the basis of similarity (sādṛśya), and that the acceptance of immutable universals is not necessary for that purpose; and this also applies to the comprehension of the meaning of words: when certain objects are pointed out as having any particular name, that name can be extended to other individuals which are extremely similar to the previous objects which were originally associated with that name[5]. A difference is also drawn between jāti (“universal”) and upādhi (“limiting condition”) in this, that the latter is said to be that which depends for its comprehension upon the comprehension of some other primary notion, while the former is that whose comprehension is direct and does not depend upon the comprehension of some other notion[6]. Thus the universal of cow (gotva) is known immediately and directly, whereas the notion of the universal of “cognizability” (prameyatva) can only be known through the previous knowledge of those things which are objects of knowledge. So the universal of cognizability is said to be upādhi, and the former jāti. It is further objected that, if objections are taken against an immutable universal existing in all individuals of a class at one and the same time, then the same objection may be taken against the acceptance of similarity, which must be supposed to exist at one time in a number of individuals. The answer to this is that the relation of similarity between two or three individuals is viewed in Madhva philosophy as existing uniformly between the number of individuals so related, but not completely in any one of them. When two or three terms which are said to be similar exist, the relation of similarity is like a dyadic or triadic relation subsisting between the terms in mutual dependence[7]; the relation of similarity existing between a number of terms is therefore not one, but many, according as the relation is noted from the point of view of one or the other of the terms. The similarity of A to B is different from the similarity of B to A, and so forth (bhinnābhinnaṃ sādṛśyam iti siddham).

We next come to the doctrine of specific particulars (viśeṣa) in the Madhva school. It supposes that every substance is made up of an infinite number of particulars associated with each and every quality that it may be supposed to possess. Thus, when the question arises regarding the relation of qualities to their substances (e.g., the relation of colour, etc., to a jug) if any quality was identical with the substance, then the destruction of it would mean destruction of the substance, and the words denoting the substance and the quality would mutually mean each other; but that is not so, and this difficulty can be solved only on the supposition that there are specific particulars corresponding as the basis to each one of the qualities. As to the exact relation of these to their substance there are divergences of view, some holding that they are identical with the substance (abheda), others that they are different (bheda), and others that they are both identical and different (bhedābheda). Whatever view regarding the relation of the qualities to the substance is accepted, the doctrine of specific particulars (viśeṣa) has to be accepted, to escape the contradiction. Thus viśeṣas in each substance are numberless, corresponding to the view-points or qualities intended to be explained; but there are no further viśeṣas for each viśeṣa, as that would lead to an infinite regress. For a satisfactory explanation of the diverse external qualities of God it is necessary to admit eternal viśeṣas in Him. In order to explain the possibility of a connection of the continuous eternal space or vacuity (ākāśa) with finite objects like jug, etc. it is necessary to admit the existence of viśeṣas in ākāśa[8].

It will be seen from the above that the acceptance of viśeṣas becomes necessary only in those cases where the unity and difference of two entities, such as the substance and the qualities or the like, cannot otherwise be satisfactorily explained. For these cases the doctrine of viśeṣas introduces some supposed particulars, or parts, to which the association of the quality could be referred, without referring to the whole substance for such association. But this does not apply to the existence of viśeṣa in the atoms; for the atoms can very well be admitted to have parts, and the contact with other atoms can thus be very easily explained without the assumption of any viśeṣa. An atom may be admitted to be the smallest unit in comparison with everything else: but that is no reason why it should not be admitted to be bigger than its own parts. If the atoms had not parts, they could not be held to combine on all their ten sides[9]. So the Vaiśeṣika view, admitting viśeṣas in atoms, has to be rejected. It is well worth remembering here that the Vaiśeṣikas held that there were among the atoms of even the same bhūta, and also among the souls, such specific differences that these could be distinguished from one another by the yogins. These final differences, existing in the atoms themselves, are called viśeṣas by the Kaṇāda school of thinkers. This conception of viśeṣa and its utility is different from the conception of viśeṣa in the Madhva school[10].

Samavāya, or the relation of inherence accepted in the Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika school, is discarded in the system of Madhva on almost the same grounds as in Śaṅkara’s Bhāṣya on the Brahma-sūtras. The view is that the appearance of the cause in the effect and of the qualities in the substance is manifestly of the nature of a relation and, as this relation is not contact (saṃyoga), it must be a separate relation, viz., the relation of inherence (samavāya). But in the same way samavāya (e.g., in the sentence iha tantuṣu pata-samavāyaḥ) itself may have the appearance of existing in something else in some relation, and hence may be in need of further relations to relate it. If without any such series of relations a relation of inherence can be related in the manner of a quality and a substance, then that sort of relatedness or qualifiedness (viśiṣṭatā) may serve all the purposes of samavāya. This brings us to the acceptance of “related” or “qualified” as a category separate and distinct from the categories of quality (guṇa) and substance (dravya) and the relation involved between the two[11]. So also the whole (aṃśī) is not either the relations or the parts or both, but a separate category by itself.

Power (śakti), as a separate category, exists in four forms:

  1. as mysterious—acintya-śakti—as in God,
  2. causal power (kāraṇa-śakti or sahaja-śakti), which naturally exists in things and by virtue of which they can produce all sorts of changes,
  3. a power brought about by a new operation in a thing called the ādheya-śakti, as in an idol through the ritual operations of the installation ceremony (pratiṣṭhā), and
  4. the significant power of words (pada-śakti).

Negation is said to be of three kinds:

  1. the negation preceding a production (prāg-abhāva),
  2. that following destruction (dhvaṃsābhāva),
  3. as otherness (anyonyabhāva), e.g., there is the negation of a jug in a pot and of a pot in a jug: this is therefore the same as differences, which are considered as the essence of all things[12].

When things are destroyed, their differences are also destroyed. But the five differences between God and souls, between souls themselves, between inanimate objects themselves, between them and God, and between them and the souls, are all eternal; for the differences in eternal things are eternal and in noneternal things non-eternal[13]. The fourth kind of negation, atyantā-bhāva, is the non-existence belonging to impossible entities like the hare’s horn.

God, or Paramātman, is in this system considered as the fullness of infinite qualities. He is the author of creation, maintenance, destruction, control, knowledge, bondage, salvation, and hiding (āvṛti). He is omniscient, and all words in their most pervading and primary sense refer to Him. He is different from all material objects, souls and prakṛti, and has for His body knowledge and bliss, and is wholly independent and one, though He may have diverse forms (as in Vāsudeva, Pradyumna, etc.); all such forms of Him are the full manifestation of all His qualities.

The souls (jīva) are naturally tainted with defects of ignorance, sorrow, fear, etc., and they are subject to cycles of transformation. They are infinite in number. They are of three kinds, viz., those who are fit for emancipation (mukti-yogya), e.g., gods such as Brahmā, Vāyu, etc., or sages, like Nārada, etc., or like the ancestors (pitṛ), or kings like Ambaiīśa, or advanced men; these advanced souls think of God as being, bliss, knowledge and ātman. It is only the second class of souls that are subject to transmigration and suffer the pleasures of Heaven and the sufferings of Earth and Hell. There is a third class of beings, the demons, ghosts and the like. Each one of these souls is different from every other soul, and even in emancipation the souls differ from one another in their respective merits, qualifications, desires, etc.

Next comes the consideration of unmanifested space (avyākṛta ākāśo dig-rūpaḥ), which remains the same in creation and destruction. This is, of course, different from ākāśa as element, otherwise called bhūtākāśa, which is a product of the tāmasa ego and is limited. Ākāśa as space is vacuity and eternal[14].

Prakṛti also is accepted in the Madhva system as the material cause of the material world[15]. Time is a direct product of it, and all else is produced through the series of changes which it undergoes through the categories of mahat, etc. Prakṛti is accepted here as a substance (dravya)[16] and is recognized in the Madhva system as what is called māyā, a consort of God, though it is called impure (doṣa-yukta) and material (jaḍa), evolving (pariṇāminī), though under the full control of God, and may thus be regarded almost as His will or strength (Harer icchāthavā balam). This prakṛti is to the world the cause of all bondage (jagabhandhātmikā)[17].

The subtle bodies (liṅga-śarīra) of all living beings are formed out of the stuff of this prakṛti. It is also the source of the three guṇas (guṇa-trayādy-upādāna-bhūta). It is held that during the time of the great creation prakṛti alone existed and nothing else. At that time God out of His creative desire produced from prakṛti in three masses sattva, rajas and tamas[18]. It is said that rajas is double of tamas and sattva is double of rajas. Sattva exists by itself in its pure form: rajas and tamas are always mixed with each other and with sattva. Thus sattva exists not only in this pure form, but also as an element in the mixed rajas variety and tamas variety. In the mixed rajas there are for each part of rajas a hundred parts of sattva and one hundredth part of tamas. In the tamas mixture there are for each part of tamas ten parts of sattva and one-tenth part of rajas. At the time of the world-dissolution (vilaya) ten parts return to sattva and one part to rajas with one part in tamas. The evolution of the mahat-tattva takes place immediately after the production of the three guṇas, when the entire amount of the produced rajas becomes mixed with tamas ; the mahat-tattva is constituted of three parts of rajas and one part of tamas. With reference to the later derivatives this mahat-tattva is called sattva[19].

In the category ahaṃkāra (that which is derived immediately after mahat) there is for every ten parts of sattva one part of rajas and a tenth part of tamas. From the sattva of the tamas part of it the manas, etc., are produced, out of the rajas part of it the senses are produced, and out of the tamas the elements are produced. They are at first manifested as tan-mātras, or the powers inherent in and manifested in the elements. As ahaṃkāra contains within it the materials for a threefold development, it is called vaikārika, taijasa and tāmasa accordingly. In the Tattva-saṃkhyāna buddhi-tattva and manas-tattva are said to be two categories evolving in succession from ahaṃkāra. The twenty-four categories counted from mahat are in this enumeration mahat, ahaṃkāra, buddhi, manas, the ten indriyas (senses), the five tan-mātras and the five bhūtas[20]. As buddhi is of two kinds, viz., buddhi as category and buddhi as knowledge, so manas is also regarded as being of two kinds, manas as category and manas as sense-organ. As sense-organ, it is both eternal and noneternal; it is eternal in God, Lakṣmī, Brahmā and all other souls, as their own essence (svarūpa-bhūtam) or self.

The non-eternal manas, as belonging to God, brahma, individual souls, etc., is of five kinds;

  1. manas,
  2. buddhi,
  3. ahaṃkāra,
  4. citta
  5. and cetana,

which may also be regarded as the vṛttis or functions of manas. Of these manas is said to be that to which is due imagination (saṃkalpa) and doubt (vikalpa); buddhi is that to which is due the function of coming to any decision (niścayātmikā buddhi); ahaṃkāra is that through the functioning of which the unreal is thought of as real (asvarūpe svarūpa-matiḥ), and the cause of memory is citta. The senses are twelve, including five cognitive, five conative, manas and the sākṣīndriya, as buddhi is included within manas. The senses are considered from two points of view, viz., from the point of view of their predominantly tejas materials, and as being sense-organs. In their aspects as certain sorts produced in course of the evolution of their materials they are destructible; but as sense-organs they are eternal in God and in all living beings. As regards the bodily seats of these organs, these are destructible in the case of .all destructible beings. The internal sense of intuition (sākṣī) can directly perceive pleasure and pain, ignorance, time and space. The sense-data of sounds, colours, etc., appearing through their respective sense-organs, are directly perceived by this sense of intuition. All things that transcend the domain of the senses are intuited by the sense of intuition (sākṣī), either as known or unknown. To consider the sākṣi-jñāna as a special source of intuitive knowledge, indispensable particularly for the perception of time and space, is indeed one of the important special features of Madhva’s system. In Śaṅkara Vedānta sākṣī stands as the inextinguishable brahma- light, which can be veiled by ajñāna, though ajñāna itself is manifested in its true nature, ignorance, by the sākṣī[21]. Madhva holds that it is through the intuitive sense of sākṣī that an individual observes the validity of his sense-knowledge and of his own self as the ego (aham). Our perception of self, on this view, is not due to the activity of mind or to mental perception (manonubhavd) ; for, had it been so, one might as a result of mind activity or mental functioning have doubted his own self; but this never happens, and so it has to be admitted that the perception of self is due to some other intuitive sense called sākṣī. Sākṣī thus always leads us to unerring and certain truths, whereas, wherever in knowledge there is a discriminating process and a chance of error, it is said to be due to mental perception[22].

The tan-mātras are accepted in Madhvaism as the subtler materials of the five grosser elements (bhūtas). It must be noted that the categories of ahaṃkāra and buddhi are considered as being a kind of subtle material stuff, capable of being understood as quantities having definite quantitative measurements (parimāṇa)[23].

Ignorance (avidyā) is a negative substance (dravya), which by God’s will veils the natural intelligence of us all[24]. But there is no one common avidyā which appears in different individuals; the avidyā of one individual is altogether different from the avidyā of another individual. As such, it seems to denote our individual ignorance and not a generalized entity such as is found in most of the Indian systems; thus each person has a specific (prātisviki) avidyā of his own.

Time (kāla) is coexistent with all-pervading space (avyākṛta ākāśa), and it is made directly from prakṛti stuff having a more primeval existence than any of the derived kinds[25]. It exists in itself (sva-gata) and is, like space, the vehicle (ādhāra) of everything else, and it is also the common cause of the production of all objects.

Darkness (andhakāra) is also considered as a separate substance and not as mere negation of light. A new conception of pratibimba (“reflection”) is introduced to denote the jīvas, who cannot have any existence apart from the existence of God and who cannot behave in any way independent of His will, and, being conscious entities, having wilL and feeling, are essentially similar to him; though reflections, they are not destructible like ordinary reflections in mirrors, but are eternal (pratibimbas tu bimbāvinābhūta-sat-sadrśaḥ)[26].

The system of Madhva admits the qualities (guṇa) more or less in the same way as the Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika does; the points of difference are hardly ever of any philosophical importance. Those which deserve to be mentioned will be referred to in the succeeding sections.


Pramānas (ways of valid knowledge).

Pramāṇa is defined as that which makes an object of knowledge cognizable as it is in itself (yathārthaṃ pramāṇam)[27]. The function of pramāṇa consists both in making an entity object of knowledge through the production of knowledge (jñāna-jananad vāva jñeyatā-saṃpādakatvena), either directly (sākṣāt) or indirectly (asākṣāt)[28].

There are two functions in a pramāṇa, viz.

  1. to render an entity an object of knowledge (jñeya-viṣayīkaraṇa) and
  2. to make it cognizable (jñeyatā-saṃpādana)[28].

So far as the function of making an entity an object of knowledge is concerned, all pramāṇas directly perform it; it is only with reference to the second function that there is the distinction between the two kinds of pramāṇas, kevala and anu, such that it is only the former that performs it directly and only the latter that performs it indirectly (paraṃparā-krama)[29]. These two functions also distinguish a pramāṇa from the pramātā (“subject”) and the prameya (“object”), since neither the subject nor the object can be called the instrumental causes of knowledge, though they may in some sense be admitted as causes, and they do not cause an entity to be an object of knowledge either. Our knowledge does not in any way modify an object of knowledge, but an entity becomes known when knowledge of it is produced. Truth, by which is understood exact agreement of knowledge with its object, belongs properly to knowledge alone (jñānasyaiva mukhyato yāthārthyam). The instruments of knowledge can be called true (yathārtha) only in an indirect manner, on the ground of their producing true knowledge (yathārtha-jñāna-janaka yathārtha)[30].

But yet the definition properly applies to the instruments as well, since they are also yathārtha in the sense that they are also directed to the object, just as knowledge of it is. So far as they are directed towards the right object of which we have right knowledge, their scope of activity is in agreement with the scope or extent of the object of knowledge. So it is clear that pramāṇa is twofold: pramāṇa as true knowledge (kevala pramāṇa) and pramāṇa as instrument (sādhana) of knowledge (anu pramāṇa). This kevala pramāṇa is again twofold, as consciousness (caitanya) and as states (vṛtti). This consciousness is described by Jaya-tīrtha as superior, middling and inferior (uttama-madhyamādhama), as right, mixed, and wrong; the vṛtti is also threefold, as perception, inference, and scriptures (āgama). The anu pramāṇa also is threefold, as perception, inference and scriptures. A question arises, whether the term pramāṇa could be applied to any right knowledge which happens to be right only by accident (kākatālīya) and not attained by the proper process of right knowledge. Thus, for example, by a mere guess one might say that there are five shillings in one’s friend’s pocket, and this knowledge might really agree with the fact that one’s friend has five shillings in his pocket; but, though this knowledge is right, it cannot be called pramāṇa ; for this is not due to the speaker’s own certain knowledge, since he had only guessed, which is only a form of doubt (vaktur jñānasya saṃśayatvena aprasaṅgāt)[31]. This also applies to the case where one makes an inference on the basis of a misperceived hetu, e.g., the inference of fire from steam or vapour mistaken for smoke.

The value of this definition of pramāṇa as agreement with objects of knowledge (yathārtha) is to be found in the fact that it includes memory (smṛti) of previous valid experience as valid, whereas most of the other systems of Indian philosophy are disposed so to form their definition as purposely to exclude the right of memory to be counted as pramāṇa[32]. Śālikaṇātha’s argument, as given in his Prakaraṇa-pañcikā, on the rejection of memory from the definition of pramāṇa is based on the fact that memory is knowledge produced only by the impressions of previous knowledge (pūrva-vijñāna-saṃskāra-mātrajaṃ jñānam); as such, it depends only on previous knowledge and necessarily refers to past experience, and cannot therefore refer independently to the ascertainment of the nature of objects[33]. He excludes recognition (pratya-bhijñā) from memory, as recognition includes in its data of origin direct sense contact; and he also excludes the case of a series of perceptions of the same object (dhārā-vāhika jñāna); for though it involves memory, it also involves direct sense contact, but the exclusion of memory from the definition of pramāṇa applies only to pure memory, unasseciated with sense contact. The idea is that that which depends on or is produced only by previous knowledge does not directly contribute to our knowledge and is hence not pramāṇa.

The reason why Jaya-tīrtha urges the inclusion of memory is that memory may also agree with an object of knowledge and hence may rightly be called pramāṇa. It may be that, while I am remembering an object, it may not still be there or it may have ceased to exist, but that does not affect the validity of memory as pramāṇa, since the object did exist at the time of previous experience referred to by memory, though it may not be existing at the time when the memory is produced. If it is argued that, since the object is not in the same condition at the time of memory as it was at the time of experience, memory is not valid, in that case all knowledge about past and future by inference or scriptures would be invalid, since the past and future events inferred might not exist at the time of experience. If it is argued that the object of previous knowledge changes its state and so cannot in its entirety be referred to as the object of memory, then that destroys the validity of all pramāṇas ; for nothing can be made an object of all the pramāṇas in its entirety. Also it cannot be objected that, if the thing does not change its state, then memory should grasp it as an entity which has not changed its state. This is not valid either; for memory does not grasp an object as if it had not changed its state, but as “it was so at that time” (tadāsan tadṛśa iti). Memory is absolutely indifferent with regard to the question whether an object has changed its state or not. Since memory agrees with real objective facts it has to be considered valid, and it is the special feature of the present definition that it includes memory as a valid definition, which is not done in other systems. The validity of memory as a pramāṇa is proved by the fact that people resort to it as valid knowledge in all their dealings, and only right knowledge is referred to by men (loka-vyavahāra). There is no way of establishing the validity of the pramāṇas of perception, etc., except the ultimate testimony of universal human experience[34].

Moreover, even the validity of the sacred writings of Manu is based on the remembered purport of the Vedas, and thence they are called smṛti[35]. Again, the argument that memory has no validity because it does not bring us any fruit (niṣphalā) is not right; for the validity depends on correctness of correspondence and not on fruitfulness. Want of validity (aprāmāṇya) is made evident through the defect of the organs or the resulting contradiction (bādhakapratyaya). It may also be noted that memory is not absolutely fruitless; thus the memory of happy things is pleasant and strengthens the root impressions also (saṃskāra-patand). Again, it is argued that that alone could be called pramāṇa which involves the knowledge of something new, and that therefore memory, which does not involve new knowledge, cannot be counted as pramāṇa. If it is required that an object of knowledge should be pramāṇa, then the eternal entities about which there cannot be any new knowledge cannot be the objects of pramāṇa. If the requirement of new knowledge is not considered to refer to objects of knowledge, but only to the method or process of knowledge, then the knowledge involved in continuous perception of an object (dhārāvāhika jñāna) could not be considered as pramāṇa. The Buddhists might, of course, answer that each new moment a new object is produced which is perceived; the Sāṃkhya might hold that at each new moment all objects suffer a new change or pariṇāma ; but what would the Mīmāṃsaka say? With him the object (e.g., the jug) remains the same at all successive moments. If it is argued that in the knowledge of an object abiding in and through successive moments we have at each particular moment a new element of time involved in it and this may constitute a newness of knowledge in spite of the fact that the object of knowledge has been abiding all through the moments, the same may be argued in favour of memory; for it manifests objects in the present and has reference to the experience as having happened in the past (smṛtir api vartamāna-tat-kālatayā anubhūtam artham atīta-kālatayā avagāhate). Jaya-tīrtha maintains that it is not possible to show any necessary connection between prāmāṇya (validity), and the requirement that the object should be previously unacquired (anadhigatārtha) either through association (sāhacārya), or through that and the want of any contradictory instance; for on the first ground many other things associated with prāmāṇya would have to be claimed to be anadhigata, which they are not, and the second ground does not apply at least in the case of continuous knowledge (dhārā-vāhika jñāna). For in the case of continuous knowledge successive moments are regarded as pramāṇa in spite of there being in them no new knowledge.

If it is objected “how could it be the function of pramāṇa to make an already-known object known to us” (adhigatam evārtham adhigamayatā pramāṇena piṣṭaṃ piṣṭaṃ syāt), what does the objection really mean? It cannot mean that in regard to a known object no further cognition can arise; for neither is knowledge opposed to knowledge, nor is want of knowledge a part of the conditions which produce knowledge. The objection to the rise of a second knowledge of a known object on the ground of fruitlessness has already been answered. Nor can it be said that a pramāṇa should not be dependent on anything else or on any other knowledge; for that objection would also apply to inference, which is admitted by all to be a pramāṇa. So pramāṇa should be so defined that memory may be included within it. Chaḷari-śeṣācārya quotes an unidentified scriptural text in support of the inclusion of memory in pramāṇa[36]. Jaya-tīrtha, in a brief statement of the positive considerations which according to him support the inclusion of memory in pramāṇa, says that memory is true (yathārtha). When an object appears in consciousness to have a definite character in a particular time and at a particular place and has actually that character at that time and at that place, then this knowledge is true or yathārtha. Now memory gives us exactly this sort of knowledge; “it was so there at that time.” It is not the fact that at that time it was not so. Memory is directly produced by the manas, and the impressions (saṃskāra) represent its mode of contact with the object. It is through the impressions that mind comes in contact with specific objects (saṃskāras tu manasas tad-artha-sannikarṣa-rūpa eva). It may be objected that, the object referred to by memory having undergone many changes and ceased in the interval to exist in its old state, the present memory cannot take hold of its object; the answer is that the objection would have some force if manas, unaided by any other instrument, were expected to do it; but this is not so. Just as the sense-organs, which are operative only in the present, may yet perform the operation of recognition through the help of the impressions (saṃskāra), so the manas also may be admitted to refer by the help of the impressions to an object which has changed its previous state[37].

The conception of pramāṇa is considered a subject of great importance in Indian philosophy. The word pramāṇa is used principally in two different senses,

  1. as a valid mental act, as distinguished from the invalid or illusory cognitions;
  2. as the instruments or the collocations of circumstances which produce knowledge.

Some account of pramāṇa in the latter sense has already been given in Vol. 1, pp. 330-2. The conflicting opinions regarding the interpretation of pramāṇa as instruments of knowledge is due to the fact that diverse systems of philosophy hold different views regarding the nature and origin of knowledge. Thus the Nyāya defines pramāṇa as the collocation of causes which produces knowledge (upalabdhi or pramā). The causes of memory are excluded from pramāṇa simply on verbal grounds, namely that people use the word smṛti (memory) to denote knowledge produced merely from impressions (saṃskāra-mātra-janmanaḥ) and distinguish it from pramā, or right knowledge, which agrees with its objects[38].

The Jains, however, consider the indication of the object as revealed to us (arthopadarśakatva) as pramā, and in this they differ from the Buddhist view which defines pramā as the actual getting of the object (artha-prāpakatva). The Jains hold that the actual getting of the object is a result of pramtti, or effort to get it, and not of pramāṇa[39]. Though through an effort undertaken at the time of the occurrence of knowledge and in accordance with it one may attain the object, yet the function of jñāna consists only in the indication of the object as revealed by it[40]. Pramā is therefore according to the Jains equivalent to svārtha-paricchitti, or the outlining of the object, and the immediate instrument of it, or pramāṇa, is the subjective inner flash of knowledge, leading to such objective artha-paricchitti, or determination of objects[41]. Of course svārtha-paricchitti appears to be only a function of jñāna and thus in a sense identical with it, and in that way pramāṇa is identical with jñāna. But it is because the objective reference is considered here to be the essence of pramā, that jñāna, or the inner revelation of knowledge, is regarded as its instrument or pramāṇa and the external physical instruments or accessories to the production of knowledge noted by the Nyāya are discarded. It is the selfrevelation of knowledge that leads immediately to the objective reference and objective determination, and the collocation of other accessories (sākalya or sāmagrī) can lead to it only through knowledge[42]. Knowledge alone can therefore be regarded as the most direct and immediately preceding instrument (sādhakatama). For similar reasons the Jains reject the Sāṃkhya view of pramāṇa as the functioning of the senses (aindriya-vṛtti) and the Prabhākara view of pramāṇa as the operation of the knower in the knowing process beneath the conscious level[43].

It is interesting to note in this connection that the Buddhist view on this point, as explained by Dharmottara, came nearer the Jain view by identifying pramāṇa and pramāṇa-phala in jñāna (“knowledge”). Thus by pramāṇa Dharmottara understands the similarity of the idea to the object, arising out of the latter’s influence, and the idea or jñāna is called the pramāṇa-phala, though the similarity of the idea to the object giving rise to it is not different from the idea itself[44]. The similarity is called here pramāna, because it is by virtue of this similarity that the reference to the particular object of experience is possible; the knowledge of blue is possibly only by virtue of the similarity of the idea to the blue.

The Madhva definition of pramāṇa as yathārthaṃ pramāṇam means that by which an object is made known as it is. The instrument which produces it may be external sense-contact and the like, called here the anupramāṇa corresponding to the sāmagrī of the Nyāya, and the exercise of the intuitive function of the intuitive sense (kevala pramāṇa) of sākṣī, which is identical with self. Thus it combines in a way the subjective view of Prabhākara and the Jains and the objective view of the Nyāya.


Svataḥ-prāmāṇya (self-validity of knowledge).

In the system of Madhva the doctrine of self-validity (svataḥ-prāmāṇya) means the consideration of any knowledge as valid by the intuitive agent (sākṣī) which experiences that knowledge without being hindered by any defects or any other sources of obstruction[45]. The sākṣī is an intelligent and conscious perceiver which can intuitively perceive space and distance, and when the distance is such as to create a suspicion that its defect may have affected the nature of perception, the intelligent intuitive agent suspends its judgment for fear of error, and we have then what is called doubt (saṃsaya)[46]. Vyāsa Yati, in his Tarka-tāṇḍava, expresses the idea in the language of the commentator of the Tattva-nirṇaya by saying that it is the sākṣī that is capable of comprehending both the knowledge and its validity, and even when obstmcted it still retains its power, but does not exercise it[47]. When there is an illusion of validity (prāmāṇya-bhrama), the sākṣī remains inactive and the manas, being affected by its passions of attachment, etc., makes a mis-perception, and the result is an illusory perception. The operation of the sākṣī comprehending the validity of its knowledge is only possible when there is no obstruction through which its operation may be interfered with by the illusory perceptions of manas. Thus, though there may be doubts and illusions, yet it is impossible that the sākṣī, experiencing knowledge, should not at the same time observe its validity also, in all its normal operations when there are no defects; otherwise there would be no certainty anywhere. So the disturbing influence, wherever that may be, affects the natural power (sahaja śakti) of the sākṣī, and the doubts and illusory perceptions are created in that case by the manas. But, wherever there are no distracting influences at work, the sākṣī comprehends knowledge and also its validity[48].

The problem of self-validity of knowledge in Mīmāṃsā and Vedānta has already been briefly discussed in the first volume of the present work[49]. A distinction is made between the way in which the notion that any knowledge is valid arises in us or is cognized by us (svataḥ-prāmāṇya-jñapti) and we become aware of the validity of our awareness, and the way in which such validity arises by itself from considerations of the nature of objective grounds (svataḥ-prāmāṇyotpatti). The former relates to the subjective and spontaneous intuitive belief that our perceptions or inferences are true; the latter relates to the theory which objectively upholds the view that the conditions which have given rise to knowledge also by its very production certify its truth. The word prāmāṇya in svataḥ-prāmāṇya is used in the sense of pramātva or true certainty.

According to the difference of epistemological position the nature of the subjective apperception of the validity of our knowledge differs. Thus, the followers of Prabhākara regard knowledge as self-luminous, meaning thereby that any moment of the revelation of knowledge involves with it the revelation of the object and the subject of knowledge. Any form of awareness (jñāna-grāhaka), such as “I am aware of the jug,” would according to this view carry with it also the certainty that such awareness is also true, independent of anything else (jñāna-grāhakātiriktānapekṣatvam). The followers of Kumārila, however, regard knowledge (jñāna) as something transcendent and non-sensible (atīndriya) which can only be inferred by a mental state of cognition (jñātatā), such as “I am aware of the jug,” and on this view, since the mental state is the only thing cognized, knowledge is inferred from it and the validity attaching to it can be known only as a result of such inference. Since there is a particular form of awareness (jñātatā) there must be valid knowledge. The validity attaching to knowledge can only be apparent, when there is an inference; it is, therefore, dependent on an inference made by reason of the awareness (jñātatā) of the particular form (yāvat-svāśrayānumiti-grāhyatvam).

The analysis of the situation produced when we know an object as it appears consists on this view in this, that it distinguishes knowledge as a permanent unit which in association with the proper sense-contact, etc., produces the particular kinds of awareness involving specific and individual objectivity (viṣayatā or karmatā), such as “I know a jug.” In this view objectivity, being the product of knowledge, cannot be identified with knowledge. It should be noted that, objectivity (viṣayatā) remaining the same (e.g., “a jug on the ground” is not the same as “ground on the jug,” though the objectivity of the connected jug and ground is the same), there may be important differences in the nature of such objectivity through a difference of relations. In such cases the view held is that objectivity is different from knowledge; knowledge is the invariant (nitya) entity; objectivity remaining the same, a difference of relations (prakāratā) may give rise to a difference in the nature of awareness (jñātatā); each jñātatā or awareness means therefore each specific objectivity with its specific relations; it is only this jñātatā that is directly and immediately perceived. Knowledge is therefore a transcendent entity which cannot be intuited (atīndriya), but can only be inferred as a factor conditioning the awareness. The rise of an awareness gives rise to the notion of its validity and the validity of knowledge (jñāna) which has conditioned it[50]. The necessity of admitting a transcendent existence of jñāna, apart from the varying states of awareness, is due probably to the desire to provide a permanent subjective force, jñāna, which, remaining identical with itself, may ultimately determine all states of awareness. Another important Mīmāṃsā exponent, Murāri Miśra, thinks that the objective knowledge (e.g., knowledge of a jug) is followed by the subjective self-consciousness, associating the knowledge of the object with the self (anuvyavasāya), and it is this anuvyavasāya which determines the final form of knowledge resulting in the intuition of its own validity[51]. A general definition to cover all these three types of svataḥ-prāmāṇya of Prabhākara, Kumārila bhaṭṭa and Murāri Miśra is given by Gaṅgeśa in his Tattva-cintāmaṇi as follows: the validity of any knowledge (except in the case where a knowledge is known to be false, e.g., this knowledge of silver is false) is communicated by the entire system of collocations giving rise to that knowledge and by that alone[52].

Vyāsa-tīrtha, in discussing the value of this definition, points out several defects in its wording and criticizes it by saying that the condition imposed, that the knowledge should be communicated by the same system of collocating circumstances that produces the validity, is defective in defining the svataḥ-prāmāṇya position, since the condition is fulfilled even on the parataḥ-prāmāṇya theory; for there also the conditioning circumstances which communicate to us the validity of any knowledge are the same which make the rise of knowledge possible[53]. The definition of self-validity proposed by Vyāsa-tīrtha agrees with the second alternative definition given by Gaṅgeśa in his Tattva-cintāmaṇi: it dispenses with the necessity of admitting the collocating circumstances or conditions as producing knowledge; it defines self-validity of knowledge as that characteristic of it which is not grasped by any knowledge having for its object the matter of which the validity is grasped, i.e., the same knowledge which grasps an object does in the same act, without entering into any further mediate process, grasp its validity as well[54]. It will be seen that such a view is different from that of the Bhātta and Miśra views of self-validity; for on the Bhātta view selfvalidity is affirmed of knowledge which can be inferred only and not directly taken with a specific awareness (as “I know this jug”), and in the Miśra view self-validity is affirmed only as a result of anuvyavasāya, associating the cognition with the self (as “I know”)[55].

Vyāsa-tīrtha emphasizes the view that in the absence of faults and doubts (doṣa-śaṅkādinā anāskanditaḥ) the subjective realization of an objective fact carries validity with it. He points out that it is not correct to say that sense-contact with a larger surface of the object can be regarded as the cause why the knowledge so produced is considered as valid; for it is well known that in spite of such sense-contact there may be error, if there are the defects (doṣa) which render mal-observation possible. So it is better to hold that the validity of knowledge arises from the datum of knowledge (jñāna-sāmagrī) itself. Sense-contact is useful only when there are doubts and other obstructions in the production of knowledge; but it does not by itself produce validity of knowledge[56]. Even the absence of defects is not the cause of the validity of knowledge; for the absence of defects is only a negative factor, which is no doubt necessary, but is not by any means the constitutive element of the positive realization of self-validity, which proceeds immediately and directly from the datum of knowledge[57]. Even in spite of the presence of defects there might by chance be true knowledge[58]. All illusory knowledge, however, is due to the presence of defects (doṣa); for in that case the object of which a knowledge is produced is not before us, and there is no actual sense contact with it. So the followers of Madhva hold the theory of parataḥ-aprāmāṇya, which in their view means that all cases of invalid knowledge are due to sources (namely doṣas or defects) other than the datum of knowledge[59]. Vādirāja points out in this connection in his Yukti-mallikā that the absence of defect, being a qualifying characteristic of the datum of knowledge, cannot by itself be regarded as an independent cause of right knowledge. In most cases of perception under normal conditions we have right knowledge, and it is only in special circumstances that there comes doubt and the necessity of scrutiny is realized. If in every step of knowledge there were doubt regarding its validity, then there would be an infinite regress (anavasthā), and hence we could never feel the validity and certainty of any knowledge[60]. Vyāsa-tīrtha also emphasizes the infinite regress on any view like that of the Nyāya, where the validity of knowledge has to be determined by subsequent tests from without (paratastvā-numāna). He points out that the realization of the validity of our knowledge leads us to action (prāmāṇya-niścayasya pravartakatvam)[61]. But, if the validity of each knowledge has to be tested by another, we have naturally an infinite regress[62]. The selfconscious self (sākṣī), however, knows its states, its pleasures and pains directly and immediately, and there is no possibility of doubt in such cases of undoubted self-validity of knowledge.


Illusion and Doubt.

The above discussion of self-validity of knowledge naturally leads us to enquire concerning the Madhva theory of illusion and the way in which it refutes the other theories of illusion accepted by other schools of Indian Philosophy. Illusion is in Madhva's system of Philosophy knowing of an object in a manner different from what it is (anyathā-vijñānam eva bhrāntiḥ), and the contradiction (bādha) of illusion consists in the knowing of the illusory form as false through the rise of the right knowledge (samyag-jñāna). What this means is that this illusion is a knowledge in which one entity appears as another; that which is non-existent appears as existent, and that which is existent appears as non-existent[63]. The illusions are produced by the senses affected by the defects. The defects do not only obstruct; they can also cause a wrong representation of the object, so they are not only responsible for non-observation, but also for mal-observation. Now the point arises that that alone can be an object of knowledge which can in some way affect its production; in an illusory knowledge of silver in respect of conch-shell, the silver, being non-existent, cannot have any part in producing the knowledge and therefore cannot be an object of knowledge. To this Jaya-tīrtha replies that even a nonexistent entity may be an object of knowledge; we all infer past events and refer things to persons who have long ceased to exist. In such cases the non-existent entities may be said not to have produced the knowledge, but to have determined (nirūpaka) it[64].

Such determination, it may be held, does not presuppose the immediate existence of that entity, since it may well be considered as limited to the idea, concept or knowledge produced, without having reference to the presence or existence of any corresponding objective entity. It may be objected that in the case of the visual perception of an object, it is definite that it is produced by the object through sense-contact; but in the case of illusion of silver in the conch-shell the silver is really absent, and therefore it cannot have any sense-contact, and consequently no visual perception of it is possible. The answer given to this objection is that it is the affected visual organ that, being in contact with conch-shell, causes the rise of a cognition representing it as a piece of silver which did not exist at all[65]. It ought not to be argued, says Jaya-tīrtha, that, if there can be knowledge without an object, then no knowledge can be trustworthy; for as a rule knowledge is self-valid (autsargikaṃ jñānānāṃ prāmāṇyam). The self-conscious agent (sākṣī) perceives and certifies to itself the validity of the mental states without the mediation of any other process or agent. This direct certitude or “belief as true,” realized by ourselves in our capacities as conscious perceivers in every case where the knowledge produced is not affected or influenced by defects which cause mal-observation and non-observation, is what is understood as the self-validity of knowledge[66]. In the case of an illusory perception (e.g., of a piece of conch-shell as silver) there is an appearance of one thing as another, and that this is so is directly perceived or felt (anubhava); had it not been that a piece of conch-shell was perceived as silver, why should a man who sought silver stoop to pick up the conch-shell? The illusory perception of silver does not differ in appearance from a case of a real perception of silver.

Jaya-tīrtha, in arguing against the Mīmāṃsā view of illusion of conch-shell-silver as consisting of the memory of silver and the perception of conch-shell and the inability to distinguish between them, says that the appearance of silver in such cases has none of the characteristics of memory, and the activity generated by this false belief cannot be explained merely by the supposition of a non-distinction of difference between a memory-image and a visual percept. A mere negation involving the non-distinction of two entities cannot lead anyone to any definite choice. Moreover, if one is conscious of the memory-image as what it is and of the percept as what it is, then how is it that their difference is not realized?

Against the explanation of illusion by the Śaṅkara school Jaya-tīrtha urges that the view that conch-shell-silver is indescribable or indefinite (anirvācya) is also not correct, for such an indescribable character would mean that it is neither existent, nor non-existent, nor neither existent-nor-existent. Of these the first and the last alternatives are accepted on the Madhva view also. The second view cannot be correct; for it cannot be denied that even the non-existent silver did appear to us as being before us. It can be replied that such an appearance was due to the presence of the defect; for that which was non-existent could not be the object of knowledge, and, as the followers of Śaṅkara think that the knowledge of the locus (adhiṣṭhāna), the “this,” is a true mental state, how can any defect interfere?[67] If it is indescribable, why should conch-shell-silver appear as existent at the time of perception and non-existent later on, and why should it not appear as indescribable at any time? Moreover, the Śaṅkarite will find it immensely difficult to explain what non-existence is.

Vādirāja points out in his Yukti-mallikā that in ordinary perception the eye comes into contact with an entity, the “this” before it, which may be regarded as the substantive (viśeṣya), and by grasping the substantive, the entity, its character as “jug” is also grasped, because the one is associated in a relation of identity with the other. But in illusory perception the character “silver” is not associated with the substantive “this,” and hence through sense-contact with the “this,” the conch-shell, the silver cannot be known; and hence such illusory knowledge can only be explained by supposing it to be due to the presence of defects. So the data of knowledge (jñāna-sāmagrī) in the case of right knowledge and illusory knowledge are different; in the case of the former we have the ordinary datum of knowledge, whereas in the case of the latter we have an extraneous influence, namely that of doṣa. And absence of doṣa, being but the natural characteristic of any datum of knowledge, cannot be regarded as an extraneous cause of right knowledge[68].

Right knowledge, it should be observed, is distinguished from two other kinds of knowledge, namely illusory knowledge (viparyaya) and doubt (saṃśaya), by virtue of the fact that it alone can lead to a definite and settled action[69]. Some say that doubt may be considered to be of five kinds[70]. The first is due to the observation of common characteristics of two objects; thus, finding an object at some distance to be as high as a man, one might be led to remember both the stump of a tree and a man, and, not being able to distinguish the' special features of each, viz., the holes, the rough and hard surface, etc. (in the case of the tree) and the movement of the head, hands and feet (in the case of a man), one would naturally doubt “is it the stump of a tree, or a man?” Again, seeing that the special characteristic (asādhāraṇo dharma) of ākāśa is sound, one might doubt if sound (śabda) is eternal as sound. Again, seeing that followers of Sāṃkhya and Vaiśeṣika quarrel (vipratipatti) regarding the physical nature (bhautikatva) of the senses, there may be doubt whether the senses are physical or not. Again, when after digging a well we find (upalabdhi) water, there may be a doubt whether the water was already there and only manifested by the digging operation, or whether it was non-existent but produced by the digging operation. Again there maybe a rumour that a ghost resides in a certain tree, but, when we go to it and do not see (anupalabdhi) it, there may be a doubt whether the ghost really was there and was not seen by reason of its power of rendering itself invisible, or whether it did not exist at all in the tree. Others, however, include the fourth and the fifth views, those of finding and not finding (upalabdhi and anupalabdhi), within the first type, viz., that of the perception of common characteristics (sādhāraṇa dharma), and thus hold that there are only three kinds of doubt[71].

Jaya-tīrtha, however, thinks that the other two varieties, that of the special characteristics (asadhāraṇa dharma) and that of conflicting views (vipratipatti) may also be included in the first type; for a special characteristic cannot by itself lead to the remembering of two objects leading to doubt. To know that sound is the special characteristic of ākāśa is not to remember any two objects between which there may be doubt, and doubt must be preceded by the remembering of two objects. Common characteristics may either be positive or negative. Thus space (ākāśa) has a set of characteristics which are not to be found in eternal things and a set of characteristics which are not to be found in non-eternal things (nitya-vyāvṛttatva-viśiṣṭam ākāśa-guṇatvam and anitya-vyāvṛttatva-viśiṣṭam ākāśa-guṇatvam). There may be doubt whether sound, which is a special characteristic of ākāśa, is one of those qualities which the ākāśa has in common with eternal things or with non-eternal things. Thus, this doubt also is to be classed with doubts of the first type, viz., that of the perception of common features. The followers of Madhva, by virtue of their theory of specific particulars (viśeṣa), can agree to the existence of two opposite sets of qualities in a thing. So, in the case of conflicting views (vipratipatti) also, the doubt may be said to rise through perception of the common qualities in physical and non-physical objects, so that one might very well doubt whether the senses, on account of certain qualities which they have in common with physical objects, are physical or whether, on account of the other qualities which they have in common with non-physical objects, are non-physical.

So on Madhva’s system doubt is of one kind only. Jaya-tīrtha says that the followers of the Vaiśeṣika think that apart from doubt and illusion (viparyaya) there are two kinds of false knowledge, viz., uncertainty (anadhya-vasāya) and dreams. Uncertainty is different from doubt; for it is not an oscillation between two entities, but between an infinite number of possibilities, e.g., what is this tree called? Jaya-tīrtha says that uncertainty in such cases cannot be called knowledge at all; it is a mere enquiry (saṃjñā-viṣayaṃ jijñāsā-mātraṃ) : thus, though I know that this tree is different from many other trees which I know, I still do not know its name and enquire about it. Most dreams are due to sub-conscious memory impressions and so far as these are there they are not false; the error consists in our conceiving these, which are mere memory images, as actually existing objectively at the time; and this part is therefore to be considered as illusion (viparyaya). Probability (saṃbhāvanā, also called ūha) is also to be considered as a kind of doubt, in which the chance of one of the entities is greater than that of the other (e.g., “it is very probable that that is the man who was standing outside the house”)[72].

It is evident from the above that doubt is here considered only as a mental state of oscillation; its importance in stimulating philosophical enquiry and investigation, its relations to scepticism and criticism are wholly missed. The classifications of Vātsyāyana, Uddyotakara and Kaṇāda are of hardly any philosophical importance. This being so, it is much better to take doubt in the way in which Jaya-tīrtha has done.


Defence of Pluralism (Bheda).[73]

The difference between God and the individual (jīva) is perceived on our side by us and on God’s side by Him. We know we are different from Him, and He knows that He is different from us; for, even though we may not perceive God, we may perceive our difference in relation to Him; the perception of difference does not necessarily mean that that from which the difference is perceived should also be perceived; thus even without perceiving a ghost one can say that he knows that a pillar is not a ghost.[74]

Again, the difference of the individuals from Brahman can also be argued by inference, on the ground that the individuals are objects of sorrow and suffering, which the Brahman is not[75]. And, since the Brahman and the individuals are permanent eternal entities, their mutual difference from each other is also eternal and real. It is argued that the suffering of sorrow belongs to the limited soul and not to the pure consciousness; it is this pure consciousness which is the individual (jīva), and, since the suffering exists only so long as there is limitation, the difference ultimately vanishes when the limitation vanishes, and cannot therefore be real. But the Madhvas do not consider such individuals, limited in nature, to be false, and hence the difference depending on their nature is also not false. There being an eternal and real difference between the nature of the individuals and that of God, namely that the former suffer pain while the latter does not, the two can never be identical. The individual souls are but instances of the class-concept “soulhood,” which is again a sub-concept of substance, and that of being. Though the souls have not the qualities of substances, such as colour, etc., yet they have at least the numerical qualities of one, two, three, etc. If this is once established, then that would at once differentiate this view from the Śaṅkara view of self as pure self-shining consciousness, leading to differenceless monism. The self as a class-concept would imply similarity between the different selves which are the instances or constituents of the concept, as well as difference among them (insomuch as each particular self is a separate individual numerically different from all other selves and also from God).

The supposition of the adherents of the Śaṅkara school is that there is no intrinsic difference among the selves, and that the apparent difference is due to the limitations of the immediately influencing entity, the minds or antahkaraṇas, which is reflected in the selves and produces a seeming difference in the nature of the selves, though no such difference really exists; but Vyāsa-tīrtha urges that the truth is the other way, and it is the differences of the selves that really distinguish the minds and bodies associated with them. It is because of the intrinsic difference that exists between two individual selves that their bodies and minds are distinguished from each other. The Upaniṣads also are in favour of the view that God is different from the individual souls, and the attempt to prove a monistic purport of the Upaniṣad texts, Vyāsa-tīrtha tries to demonstrate, may well be proved a failure[76].

This defence of difference appears, however, to be weak when compared with the refutations of difference by Citsukha in his Tattva-pradīpikā, Nṛsimhāśrama muni in his Bheda-dhikkāra, and others. Citsukha goes directly into the concept of difference and all the different possible ways of conceiving it: difference as the nature of things (svarūpa), difference as mutual negation (anyonyā-bhāva, e.g., the jug is not cloth, the cloth is not a jug), difference as distinctness (pṛthaktva), difference as separateness of qualities (vaidharmya), and difference as manifested in the variety of categories, each of which has its own separate definition (bhinna-lakṣaṇa-yogitva-bheda); but Vyāsa-tīrtha does not make any attempt squarely to meet these arguments. A typical example of how the notion of difference is refuted by these writers has already been given in the first volume of the present work[77].

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- Footnotes:


In the Tattva-saṃkhyāna (p. 10) it is said that reality (tattva) is twofold, independent (svatantra) and dependent (asvatantra), and elsewhere in the Bhāṣya it is said that there are four categories (padārtha), viz., God, prakṛti, soul (jīva) and matter (jaḍa):

iśvaraḥ prakṛtir jīvo jaḍaṃ ceti catuṣṭayaṃ
padārthānāṃ sannidhānāt tatreśo viṣṇurucyate.

But the present division of Madhva’s philosophy, as admitting of ten categories, is made in view of similar kinds of division and classification used by the Vaiśeṣika and others.


There is another definition of dravya, when it is defined as the object of a competitive race in the second canto of Bhāgavata-tātparya, also referred to in the Madhva-siddhānta-sāra. Thus it is said:

dravyaṃ tu dravaṇa-prāpyaṃ dvayor vivadamānayoḥ pūrvaṃ vegābhisambandhādākāśas tu, pradeśataḥ.

But this does not seem to have been further elaborated. It is hardly justifiable to seek any philosophical sense in this fanciful etymological meaning.


The syncretistic Vaiśeṣika view, that action is of five kinds, is described here; for it is held that the Vaiśeṣika view that by simple rectilineal motion (gamana), circular motion (bhramaṇa) or other kinds of motion could be got, is strongly objected to, because circular motion is not a species of rectilinear motion; and hence the Vaiśeṣika classification of karma into five classes is also held to be inadequate.


sṛṣṭi-kāle sṛṣṭi-kriyā vyakty-ātmanā vartate, anyadā tu śakty-ātmanā, evaṃ saṃhāra-kriyāpi.
p. 4.


anugata-dharmaṃ vināpi sādṛśyena sarvatra vyāpty-ādi-graha-sambhavāt, ayaṃ dhūmaḥ etat-sadṛśaś ca vahni-vyāpya ity evaṃ-krameṇa vyāpti-grahah,

“even without the basis of the existence of identical characteristics, comprehension of vyāpti is possible on the basis of similarity, e.g., ‘This is smoke and entities similar to these are associated with fire, etc.’”

Madhva-siddhānta-sāra, p. 6.


itara-nirūpaṇādhīna-nirūpaṇakatvam upadhi-lakṣaṇam
and anya-nirupaṇā-dhīna-nirūpaṇatvaṃ jātitvam.
p. 7.


eka-nirūpitāparādhikaraṇa-vṛttitvena tri-vikrama-nyāyena tat-svīkārāt, pratiyogitvānuyogitvādivat.
. p. 6.


ato gaganādi-vibhu-dravyasya ghaṭādinā saṃyoga-tadabhāvobhaya-nirvāhako viśeṣo’nanya-gatyā svīkaraṇīyaḥ.
p. 9.


anyāpekṣayā paramāṇutve’pi svāvayavāpekṣayā mahattvopapatteḥ:...kiṃ ca paramāṇor avayavānaṅgīkāre tasya daśadikṣv abhisaṃbandho na syāt.
p. 10.


asmad-viśiṣṭānāṃ yogināṃ nityeṣu tulyākṛti-guṇa-kriyeṣu paramāṇuṣu muktātmasu ca anya-nimittāsaṃbhavād yebhyo nimittebhyaḥ pratyādhāraṃ vilakṣaṇo’yaṃ vilakṣaṇo’yam iti pratyaya-vyāvṛittiḥ, deśa-kāla-viprakarṣe ca paramāṇau sa evāyam iti pratyabhijñānaṃ ca bhavati te antyā viśeṣāḥ.
pp. 321-2.


viśiṣṭaṃ viśeṣaṇa-viśeṣya-tatsambandhātiriktam avaśyam aṅgīkartavyam.
p. 11.


bhedas tu sarva-vastūnāṃ svarūpaṃ naijam avyayam.
p. 20.


Jaya-tīrtha, however, in his Nyāya-sudhā, I. 4. 6 (adhikaraṇa, p. 222), holds that differences (whether in eternal or in non-eternal things) are always eternal:

na ca kadāpi padārthānām anyonya-tādātmyam asti iti anityānām api bhedo nitya eva ity āhuḥ.

Padmanābha-tīrtha also in his San-nyāya-ratnāvalī or Anuvyākhyāna holds exactly the same view on the same topic (I. 4. 6):

vināśino’pi ghaṭāder dharma-rūpo bhedaḥ para-vādy-abhyupagataghaṭatvādi-jātivan nityo’bhyupagantavyaḥ.


bhūtākāśātiriktāyā deśa-kāla-paricchinnāyās tārkikādy-abhimata-diśā evā-smākam avyākṛtākāśatvāt.
II. 3. 1 (p. 932).
      Also Nyāya-sudhā, II. 3. 1.


sākṣāt paramparayā vā viśvopādānaṃ prakṛtiḥ.


Nyāya-sudhā and San-nyāya-ratnāvali on the Anuvyākhyāna, II. 1. 6 (p. 21).


Bhāgavata-tātparya, III. 10. 9 (p. 29).


Madhva-siddhānta-sāra, p. 36


Bhāgavata-tātparya, III. 14, by Madhvācārya. In this passage the original sattva is spoken of as being the deity Śrī, the original rajas as Bhū, and the original tamas as Durgā, and the deity which has for her root all the three is called Mahā-lakṣmī. The Lord Janārdana is beyond the guṇas and their roots.


There seems to be a divergence of opinion regardingthe place of the evolution of buddhi-tattva. The view just given is found in the Tattva-saṃkhyāna (p. 41):

asaṃsṛṣṭam mahān ahaṃ buddhir manaḥ khāni daśa mātra-bhūtāni pañca ca,

and supported in its commentary by Satyadharma Yatī. This is also in consonance with Katha, I. 3. 10. But in the passage quoted from Madhva’s Bhāṣya in the Madhva-siddhānta-sāra it is said that the vijñāna-tattva (probably the same as buddhi-tattva) arises from the mahat-tattva, that from it again there is manas, and from manas the senses, etc.:

vijñāna-tattvaṃ mahataḥ samutpannaṃ caturmukhāt,
vijñāna-tattvāc ca mono manās-tattvācca khādikam.

The way in which Padmanābha Sūri tries to solve the difficulty in his Padārtha-saṃgraha is that the buddhi-tattva springs directly from the mahat-tattva, but that it grows in association with taijasa ahaṃkāra (taijasāhaṃkāreṇa upacita). This explains the precedence of aharnkāra as given in the Tattva-saṃkhyāna. Buddhi, of course, is of two kinds, as knowledge (jñāna-rūpa) and as category (tattva).


yat-prasādād avidyādi sphuraty eva divā-niśam tam apy
apahnute’vidyā nājñānasyāsti duṣkaram.
p. 312.

As this work also notices, there are in Śaṅkara Vedānta four views on the status of sākṣī. Thus the Tattva-śuddhi holds that it is the light of Brahman, appearing as if it were in th e jīva; the Tattva-pradīpikā holds that it is Īśvara manifesting Himself in all individual souls; the Vedānta-kaumudī holds that it is but a form of Īśvara, a neutral entity which remains the same in all operations of the jīva and is of direct and immediate perception, but is also the nescience (avidyā) which veils it. The Kūṭastha-dīpa considers it to be an unchangeable light of pure intelligence in jīva, which remains the same under all conditions and is hence called sākṣī.


yat kvacid vyabhicāri syāt darśanaṃ mānasaṃ hi tat. Anuvyākhyana.
evaṃ sa ḍevaḍatto gauro na vā paramāṇuḥ gurutvāḍhikaraṇam na vā iti saṃśayo mānasaḥ.
Maḍhva-siḍḍhānta-sāra, p. 44.


Manu-bṛhaspaty-āḍayas tu ahaṃkārāt parimāṇato hīnena buḍdki-tattvena svocita-parimāṇena parimita-ḍeśa-paryantam avasthitam viṣṇuṃ paśyanti soma-sūryaṃ tu buddhi-tattvāt parimāṇato hīnena manas-tatvena parimita-ḍeśa-paryantaṃ avasthitam viṣṇuṃ paśyataḥ varuṇādayas tu ākāśa-vāyv-āḍi-bhūtaiḥ krameṇa parimāṇato daśāhīnaiḥ parimita-deśa-paryantam avasthitaṃ viṣṇuṃ yogyatānusāreṇa paśyanti.
and Maḍhva-sidḍhānta-sāra, p. 49.


ataḥ parameśvara eva sattvāḍi-guṇamay-āvidyāvirodhitvena avidyayā svādhīnayā prakṛtyā acintyādbhutayā svaśaktyā jīvasya sva-prakāśam api svarūpa-caitanyam apy ācchādayati.
on the topic of jijñāsā.


The objection that, if time is made out of prakṛti stuff, from whence would mahat, etc., be evolved, is not valid; for it is only from some parts of prakṛti that time is evolved, while it is from other parts that the categories are evolved:

sarvatra vyāptānām katipaya-prakṛti-sūkṣmāṇāṃ kālopādānatvam, katipayānāṃ mahad-āḍy-upāḍānatvaṃ katipayānāṃ ca mūla-rūpeṇa avasthānam.
p. 64.


Padārtha-saṃgraha, 193.


Madhva’s definition of pramāṇa in his Pramāṇa-lakṣaṇa is elaborated by Jaya-tīrtha in his Pramāṇa-paddhati as jñeyam anatikramya vartamānaṃ yathā-vasthitam eva jñeyaṃ yad viṣayīkaroti nānyathā tat pramāṇam (p. 8).


Jaya-tīrtha-vijaya-ṭippaṇī on the Pramāṇa-paddhati by Janārdana.


Ibid. Also kevalaṃ viṣayasya jñeyatvaṃ jñānam upādhitayā karaṇaṃ tu tajjanakatayā saṃpādayanti ity etāvantaṃ viśeṣam āśritya kevalānu-pramāṇa-bhedaḥ samarthitaḥ.
II. 1. 2 (p. 249).




Ibid. p. 260


Here Jaya-tīrtha refers to the definitions of the Mīmāṃsā as anadhigatārtha-gantṛ pramāṇam and as anubhūtiḥ pramāṇam. The first refers to Kiimārila’s definition and the second to that of Prabhākara. Kumārila defines pramāṇa (as found in the Codanā-sūtra 80, Śloka-vārttika) as firm knowledge (dṛḍhaṃ vijñānam) produced (utpannam) and unassociated with other knowledge (nāpi jñānāntareṇa saṃvādam ṛcchati). The second definition is that of Prabhākara as quoted in Śālikanāṭha’s Prakaraṇa-pañcikā, p. 42: pramāṇam anubhūtiḥ.


smṛtir hi tad-ity-upajāyamānā prācīṃ pratītim anur(?)dhyamānā na svātantryeṇa arthaṃ paricchinatti iti na pramāṇam.
p. 42.


na hy asti pratyakṣādi-prāmāṇya-sādhakam anyad loka-vyavaḥārāt.
II. 1. 2 adhikaraṇa, p. 251.


te hi śrutyādinānubhūtārthaṃ smṛtvā tat-pratipādakaṃ grantham āracayati.
p. 252.


smṛtiḥ pratyakṣam aitihyam anumānacatuṣṭayam
praṃāṇam iti vijñeyaṃ dharmādy-arthe mumukṣubhiḥ.
p. 4.


saṃskāra-sahakṛtam manaḥ ananubhūtām api nivṛtta-pūrvāvasthāṃ viṣayī-kurvat smaraṇam janayet iti ko doṣaḥ; vartamāna-viṣayāṇi api indriyāṇi sahakāri-sāmarthyāt kālāntara-sambandhitām api gocarayanti; yathā saṃskāra-sahakṛtāni soyam ity atīta-vartamānatva-viśiṣṭaviṣayapratyabhijñā-sādhanāni prākṛtendri-yāṇi mano-vṛtti-jñānam janayanti.
p. 24.


pramā-sādhanaṃ hi pramāṇam na ca smṛtiḥ pramā lokādhīnāvadhāraṇo hi śabdārtha-sambandhaḥ. lokaś ca saṃskāra-mātra-janmanaḥ smṛter anyām upalabdhim arthāvyābhicāriṇīṃ pramām ācaṣṭe tasmāt tad-dhetuḥ pramāṇam iti na smṛti-hetu-prasaṅgaḥ.
p. 14.


pravṛtti-mūlā tūpādeyārtha-prāptir na pramāṇādhīnā tasyāḥ puruṣecchā-dhīna-pravṛtti-prabhavatvāt.
p. 7.


yady apy anekasmāṭ jñāna-kṣaṇāt pravṛttau artha-prāptiṣ tathāpi paryā-locyamānam artha-pradarśakatvam eva jñānasya prāpakatvaṃ nānyat.

The reflection made here against the Buddhists is hardly fair; for by pravart-takatva they also mean pradarśakatva, though they think that the series of activities meant by pramāṇa-vyāpāra is finally concluded when the object is actually got. The idea or vijñāna only shows the object, and, when the object is shown, the effort is initiated and the object is got. The actual getting of the object is important only in this sense, that it finally determines whether the idea is correct or not; for when the object which corresponds exactly to the idea is got the idea can be said to be correct.
      Nyāya-bindu-ṭīkā, pp. 3, 4.


anya-nirapekṣatayā svārtha-paricchittisādhakatamatvād jñānam eva pramāṇam.
, p. 5.


For other Jain arguments in refutation of the sāmagrī theory of pramāṇa in the Nyāya see Prarneya-kamala-mārtaṇḍa, pp. 2-4.


etenendriya-vṛttiḥ pramāṇam ity abhidadḥānaḥ sāṃkhyaḥ pratyākḥyātaḥ... etena Prabhākaro’py artha-tathātva-prakāśako jñātṛ-vyāpāro’jñāna-rūpo’pipramāṇam iti pratipādayan prativyūḍhaḥ patipattavyaḥ.
p. 6.


yadi tarhi jāñam pramiti-rūpatvāt pramāṇa-phalam kiṃ tarhi pramāṇam ity āha; arthena saha yat sārupyam sādṛśyam asya jñānasya tat pramāṇam iha... nanu ca jñānād avyatiriktaṃ sādṛśyam: tathā ca sati tad eva jñānaṃ pramāṇam tad eva pramāṇa-phalam.
, p. 18.


doṣādy-apratiruddhena jñāna-grāhaka-sākṣiṇā
svatastvaṃ jñānamānatvanirṇīti-niyamo hi naḥ.

I. 311.


yato dūratva-doṣeṇa sva-gṛhītena kuṇṭhitaḥ,
na niścinoti prāmāṇyaṃ tatra jñāna-grahe’pi sva ḍeśa-stha-viprakarśo hi dūratvaṃ
sa ca sākṣiṇāvagra hītuṃ śakyate yasmāḍ ākāśavyākṛto hyasau.
I. 313, 314.


sākṣyeṇa jñānaṃ tat-prāmāṇyaṃ ca viṣayīkartuṃ kṣamaḥ, kintu pratibaddho jñānamātraṃ gṛhītvā tat-prāmāṇya-grahaṇāya na kramate.
p. 7.

Rāghavendra-tīrtha, in commenting on this, writes:

prāmāṇyasya sahaja-śakti-viṣayatvaṃ pratibandha-sthale yogyatā asti.



manasā kvacid apramāyām api prāmāṇya-graheṇa sarvatra tenaiva prāmāṇya-grahaṇe asvarasa-prasaṅgena pramā-rūpeṣu gṛhīta-tat-tat-prāmāṇye asvarasya niyamena yathārthasya prāmāṇya-grāhakasya sākṣiṇo avaśyam apekṣitatvāt.
p. 50 (by Surottama-tīrtha on Yukti-mallikā).


A History of Indian Philosophy, Vol. I, pp. 268 n., 372-5, 484.


Bhāṭṭa-cintāmaṇi, by Gāgā bhaṭṭa, pp. 16-18. The inference, however, as Mathurānātha points out in his commentary on the Tattva-cintāmaṇi on prāmāṇya-vāda (p. 144), is not of the form, as

iyaṃ jñātatāghaṭatvavatighaṭatva-prakāraka-jñāna-janyā ghaṭatvavati ghaṭatva-prakāraka-jñātatātvāt,

but as ahaṃ jñānavān jñātatāvattvāt.


jñānasyātīndriyatayā pratyakṣā-saṃbhavenasva-janya-jñātatā-liṅgakānumiti-sāmagrī sva-niṣṭha-prāmāṇya-niścayitā iti Bhāṭṭāḥ; jñātatā ca jñāta iti pratīti-siddho jñāno(?)ajanya-viṣaya-samavetaḥ prākaṭyāparanāmā atirikta-padārthaviśeṣaḥ.
Mathurānātha on Pramāṇa-vāda-rahasya of the Tattva-cintāmaṇi, p. 126 (Asiatic Society’s edition).


p. 122.

The jñāna-grāhaka-sāmagrī is, however, different with the three Mīmāṃsā views, viz., self-luminous knowledge in the case of Prabhākara, inference in the case of Bhāṭas and self-consciousness as anuvyavasāya in the case of Murāri Miśra.


tatḥā ca yāvati prāmāṇyaviṣayikā sāmagrī tad-grāhyatvaṃ svatastvam ity uktaṃ syat; tathā ca etādṛśasvatastvasya paratastvapakṣayā sattvāt siddha-sādhanam.
p. 12.


taj-jñāna-viṣayaka-jñānājanya-jñāna-viṣayatvam eva svatastvam.
p. 15,
      and Tattva-cintāmaṇi, p. 122.


The above definition of svataḥ-prāmāṇya, agreed to by Vyāsa-tīrtha, has been given in the Tattva-cintāmaṇi as a definition in which there is a general agreement in the views of the three schools of Mīmāṃsā (mata-traya-sādhāraṇa); it involves a special interpretation of the word jñāna-viṣaya in taj-jñāna-viṣayaka as jñānānubandhi-viṣayatāśraya (see Mathurānātha’s commentary, p. 144).


Tarka-tāṇḍava, pp. 83-90.


doṣābhāvasyāpekṣitatve’ pi pramā-janana-śaktiḥ sahāyā.
p. 88.


uktaṃ hi Viṣṇu-tattva-nirṇaya-ṭikāyāṃ doṣābḥāvo’pi na prāmāṇya-kāraṇam,
yādṛccḥika-saṃvādādiṣu saty api doṣe pramā-jñānodayāt.
p. 89.


Ibid. p. 98. Also Viṣṇu-tattva-nirṇaya, p. 2.


Yukti-mallikā, śl. 343-70 and Bhāva-vilāsinī of Surottama-tīrtha on the same.


Tarka-tāṇḍava, pp. 41-6.


Ibid. pp. 46-50.


Nyāya-sudhā, p. 46.


Ibid. p. 48.


śuktikā-sannikṛṣṭaṃ duṣṭam indriyaṃ tam eva atyantāsadrajatātmena avagrāhamānam jñānaṃ janayati.
p. 48.


Ibid. p. 48.


māyā-vādi-mate adhiṣṭḥāna-jñānasya antaḥkaraṇa-vṛttitvena satyatvān na doṣa-janyatvam.
p. 55.


Yukti-mallikā, Guṇa-saurabha, ślokas 460-500.


avadhāraṇatvaṃ ca niṣkampa-pravṛtti-janana-yogyatvam.
      Janārdana’s Jaya-tīrtha-vijaya (a commentary on the Pramāṇa-paddhati), p. 10.


Vātsyāyana, in interpreting Nyāya-sūtra, I. 1. 23, thinks that doubt is of five kinds, viz., through

  1. samāna-dharma,
  2. aneka-dharma,
  3. vipratipatti,
  4. upalabdhi
  5. and anupalabdhi,

the first two being objective occurrences of common and uncommon features, and the last two subjective conditions of presence and absence of knowledge. The examples as given by him are the same as have been given below.

Uddyotakara, however, interprets the above rule to refer only to the first three types of doubt, viz.,

  1. samāna-dharmopapatti,
  2. aneka-dharmopapatti and
  3. vipratipatti (Nyāya-vārttika, pp. 87, 96-9).

Kaṇāda, in his Vaiśeṣika-sūtras, (II. 11. 17, 18, 19, 20) speaks of doubt as being of two kinds, internal (e.g., when anyone doubts whether the predictions of the astrologer, which were found true in some cases and false in others, are likely to be correct in any particular case) and external (e.g., when one doubts whether a stump before him is a tree or a man). External doubt is again of two kinds,

  1. when the object is seen in totality, and
  2. when a part of it only is seen.

Nyāya-kandalī, pp. 175-6.


Pramāṇa-paddhati, pp. 10-13; also Jaya-tīrtha-vijaya thereon.

72. 73.

The materials of this section are taken from Vyāsa-tīrtha’s Bhedojjīvana and the Vyākhyā-śarkarā of Śrīnivāsa.


sapratiyogika-padārtḥa-pratyakṣe na pratiyogi-pratyakṣaṃ tantram... stambhaḥ piśāco na ity ādau vyabhicārāt.
p. 13.


jīvo brahma-pratiyogika-dharmi-sattā-samāna-sattāka-bhedādhikaraṇaṃ brahmaṇyanusaṃhita-duḥkhānusaṃdhātṛtvād vyatirekeṇa brahmavat.
p. 15.


He refers to the Upaniṣad text dvā suparṇā, etc.


A History of Indian Philosophy, Vol. I, p. 462.

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