The Tattvasangraha [with commentary]

by Ganganatha Jha | 1937 | ISBN-10: 8120800583 | ISBN-13: 9788120800588

This page describes verse 28 of the Tattvasangraha (English translation) by Shantarakshita (8th century), including the commentary (Panjika) by Kamalashila: both dealing with philosophy from a Buddhist and non-Buddhist perspective. The Tattva-sangraha (aka Tattvasamgraha) consists of 3646 verses.

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration and English translation by Ganganath Jha:

त्रैगुण्यस्याविभेदेऽपि न सर्वं सर्वकारकम् ।
यद्वत्तद्वदसत्वेऽपि न सर्वं सर्वकारकम् ॥ २८ ॥

traiguṇyasyāvibhede'pi na sarvaṃ sarvakārakam |
yadvattadvadasatve'pi na sarvaṃ sarvakārakam || 28 ||

Just as (under the sāṃkhya theory),—even though, on the ground of all things being constituted by the Three Attributes, there is no differentiation among them, and yet everything (Cause) does not produce everything (Effect),—in the same manner, even though the Effect is non-existent (before the Causal Operation), everything cannot produce everything.—(28)


Kamalaśīla’s commentary (tattvasaṃgrahapañjikā):

Having thus refuted the doctrine of the ‘Effect being existent (even prior to the operation of its Cause),’ the Author proceeds to refute the objections likely to be urged against the doctrine that ‘the Effect is nonexistent (prior to the operation of its Cause)’:—[see verse 28 above]

The very denial of the theory of the ‘Existent Effect’ has, by implication, proved that the Effect is ‘non-existent’; as ‘existent’ ‘and non-existent’ are contradictory terms; and hence no third alternative is possible. Even so, the Author now proceeds to show the futility of the objections that the Opponent has urged (against the Buddhist theory of the ‘non-existent Effect

The objection has been urged (by the Sāṃkhya, under Text 8, above) that “if the Effect were non-existent, it could not be produced, bemuse it would have no form at all”,

Now this Reason is fallacious, beset with the fallacy of being ‘Unknown’ (not admitted); because the theory is that it is the nature or character itself (of the Effect) that is produced (by the Cause), and this nature or character of the thing is not ‘known’ (admitted) to be ‘formless’,—It might be urged that “before its production, it is certainly characterless”.—Not so, we reply; as it is not possible for it to be ‘characterless it cannot be right to regard the character itself as characterless; because when something is said to be ‘characterless’ what is meant is that U has no character; and this certainly is not there, even before the production of the thing; in fact, (under the argument of the Opponent) that itself would come to be characterless by which the Effect is produced.—If the Reason ‘because it would have no form’ be held to have been put forward with reference to the ‘formless entity’ in the shape of the ‘negation of the thing’,—then the reasoning would be futile (proving what is already proved or admitted); as the ‘negation of the thing’ has not been regarded by any one as ‘something produced’,—Further, the Reason is invalid also as being ‘Inconclusive’; as no reason has been put forward for sublating the contrary; inasmuch as the potency of the Gause is always restricted, it is only some non-existent thing that is produced,—only that for the production of which the Cause is there; that thing, for producing which there is no Cause—such for instance as the ‘Sky-lotus’,—is never, produced. Hence the Reason put forward (by the Sāṅkhya) is ‘too wide, Inconclusive’, Everything cannot be regarded as the Cause of everything; nor is any such universal proposition accepted as that ‘whatever is non-existent must be produced’; what is accepted is the proposition that ‘whatever is produced was non-existent before its production’.

The following might be urged (by the Sāṃkhya)—“All Causes being equally productive of what has been non-existent, why is it that all Causes are not productive of all non-existent effects?”

This criticism can be urged with equal force against you also: All Causes being equally productive of what has been existent, how is it that all Causes are not productive of all effects? According to your view, there is nothing that is non-existent, which, on account of its non-existence, could not be produced.

“It is because the potency of Causes is restricted that, though things like the Hare’s Horn are existent, they are not produced.”

The same is equally true for the other theory also.

Then again, just as for you, even though all things are equally constituted by the Three Attributes, yet everything is not productive of everything, because the potency (of things) is restricted;—the compound ‘Sarvakāraka’ may be explained as ‘productive of everything’ or as ‘that which has everything for its producer’;—in the same manner (under our view also), even though all things (Effects) are equally non-existent, yet everything will not be productive of everything.

In fact, what has been asserted in the Text—‘As in your case, so in mine also’—has been said after having admitted the Opponent’s contention, for the sake of argument; in reality, there is no ‘equality’ between the two theories. Because (under our view) even though there is diversity among things, yet, some one effect is produced by some one Cause only; there being no incongruity in the idea that the efficiency of the Cause is always restricted by the diversity of character involved in the ‘series of causes’ (Wheel of Causation) bearing upon a certain Effect. If, on the other hand, there is ‘non-differentiation’ (between Cause and Effect),—how could it be possible to conceive of such an incongruity as that involved in one and the same thing being both ‘cause’ and ‘non-cause’ at the same time? Specially as distinction (differentiation) among things is always based upon contrary properties being attributed to them. This has been thus declared—‘For all differentiation there must be some ground or basis in the nature of the things concerned; if there were non-differentiation, then, all being one and the same, its activity as well as inactivity would both be rendered impossible’,—(28)