The Tattvasangraha [with commentary]

by Ganganatha Jha | 1937 | 699,812 words | ISBN-10: 8120800583 | ISBN-13: 9788120800588

This page contains verse 31 of the 8th-century Tattvasangraha (English translation) by Shantarakshita, including the commentary (Panjika) by Kamalashila: dealing with Indian philosophy from a Buddhist and non-Buddhist perspective. The Tattvasangraha (Tattvasamgraha) consists of 3646 Sanskrit verses; this is verse 31.

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

न नाम रूपं वस्तूनां विकल्पा वाचकाश्च यत् ।
विश्वकल्पाः प्रवर्त्तन्ते यथाऽभ्यासमभेदिनि ॥ ३१ ॥

na nāma rūpaṃ vastūnāṃ vikalpā vācakāśca yat |
viśvakalpāḥ pravarttante yathāऽbhyāsamabhedini || 31 ||

The name of things is not their ‘essence’ (nature, form); because all kinds of ‘conception’ and ‘verbal expression’ proceed through habit, with reference to the undifferentiated (immaculate) entity.—(31)


Kamalaśīla’s commentary (tattvasaṃgrahapañjikā):

The Sāṃkhya may urge the following—“Where, with regard to anything, there is absolute cessation of all verbal and conceptual content—there the very nature of the thing must cease

The answer to this is as follows:—[see verse 31 above]

The ‘Nature’ of a thing is what has the widest extension (range); it is only when that is excluded that it sets aside its less extensive concomitants,—be it Cause or Effect,—because there is invariable concomitance between the two (the more extensive ‘Nature’ and the less extensive Cause or Effect); nothing else sets aside this; for if it did, it would lead to absurdity. Such ‘verbal expression’ as that ‘Milk has the potency to produce Curd’,—does not constitute the ‘Essence’—Nature—of things; if it were so, then alone could ‘the verbal expression’, on being excluded, exclude the relevant thing also.

‘Verbal Expression’ is mentioned only by way of illustration; ‘Conception’ (Fanciful Assumption) also as related to the Thing in question is meant to be included.

Essence’ also is mentioned only by way of illustration; it includes the ‘Cause’ also; so that the ‘Name’ of a thing is not its ‘Cause’; because the thing can be produced without the Name.

The Author states the reason for the assertion just made—Because all kinds ofConception’, etc. etc. Because,—inasmuch as,—all ‘Conceptions’, which are connected with Names,—as also all ‘Verbal Expressions’—expressive words,—both of which are of all kinds—of various kinds,—proceed, become applicable,—through habit,—with reference to the undifferentiated (Immaculate) Entity—i.e. the Entity which has no component parts and which is of one constant uniform nature. That is to say, there is a single Entity, in the shape of ‘Word-Sound’ for instance, which, being constant, is ‘conceived’ and ‘spoken of’ by speakers existing at varying times. It is only when these ‘Word-conceptions’ become identified with, and have for their objective, the said constant Entity, that this latter becomes diversified; or (conversely), like the Essence of the Entity itself, the Conceptions themselves become unified in essence; in no case can it be right that any single thing should be diverse in its essence; any such idea would lead to absurdity.—Hence what happens is that the potency of the Cause being restricted, it is only some non-existent thing that is produced, not all.

Thus the Reason (put forward by the Sāṃkhya, under Text 8, above)—‘because it would have no form at all’ is Inconclusive.

For the same reasons, the other reasons also (propounded by the Sāṃkhya in support of the ‘Existence of the Effect’ under Sāṃkhyakārikā, 9)—such as ‘because the particular Cause is secured’, and the rest,—become invalid. Because, what is said regarding the ‘Securing of the particular Cause’ would be true if the said ‘Securing of the particular Cause’ were found anywhere to have been due to the presence (therein) of the Effect; specially as it is quite possible for the said securing of the particular Cause to be due to the restricted character of the Potency of the Cause itself.

That ‘everything cannot be produced from everything’ is also due to the restricted character of the Causal Potency itself; as it is impossible for everything to be, by its very nature, capable of producing allngs.

As for the argument set forth (by the Sāṃkhya) above, under Text 12—“that to which no peculiarity can be attributed, which is formless and unmodifiable,—how could such a thing be produced by Causes?”—that also has been urged without understanding the real sense of our theory. We do not say that a Non-entity is produced; if we had said that then alone could it be urged against us that any modification of it would involve loss of its very essence. We have however already explained that what is produced is a Thing itself (not a mere non-entity); all that we say is that the thing was non-existent before its production,—a conclusion deduced from the fact that (prior to production) it is not found to fulfil the conditions of Cognisability and that which is already a full-fledged entity cannot be an Effect, something to be produced; and that it is spoken of as ‘produced’ by that Cause on whose mere proximity it springs into existence. Nothing is produced by the entering into it of any operations (of the Cause), because all things are, by their very nature, devoid of operative activity. Then again, there is nothing that can be called a ‘non-entity’, which could be modified (as urged by the Sāṃkhya); nor can ‘non-existence’ constitute the ‘Essence’ of anything; because ‘non-existence’ is a mere negation.—Then again, if it be asserted that “What is non-existent cannot, be produced, because no peculiarities of the product could be attributed to it”,—then how could the Existent also be produced, since its essential features are already accomplished, and no further peculiarities could be attributed to it?—For these reasons, the reasoning that “Because what is efficient can produce only that which can be produced by it” is invalid.

Further, inasmuch as under the theory of the ‘Non-existent Effect’, it is possible for things to be ‘Causes’, the final (Sāṃkhya) argument also—“Because the Effect is of the essence of the Cause”—is invalid, ‘too wide and Inconclusive’,—Or, inasmuch as the fact of the Existentng being an ‘Effect’ has been already shown to be impossible,—and as all the facts that have been urged, in the shape of the arguments (in Sāṃkhyakārikā, 9)—“because the particular Cause is secured” and so forth,—are explicable only under the theory of the Effect being non-existent,—all these four arguments are ‘contradictory’ (as urged in support of the Sāṃkhya doctrine of the ‘Existent Effect’,, because they actually prove what is contrary to the conclusion desired (by the Sāṃkhya)—(31)

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