The Tattvasangraha [with commentary]

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

This page contains verse 128 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 128.

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

नाशोत्पादासमालीढं ब्रह्म शब्दमयं परम् ।
यत्तस्य परिणामोऽयं भावग्रामः प्रतीयते ॥ १२८ ॥

nāśotpādāsamālīḍhaṃ brahma śabdamayaṃ param |
yattasya pariṇāmo'yaṃ bhāvagrāmaḥ pratīyate || 128 ||

“The whole lot of things is recognised as evolved out of that brahman which is of the essence of word-sound, the highest,—unaffected by destruction and origination.”—(128)


Kamalaśīla’s commentary (tattvasaṃgrahapañjikā):

The upholders of ‘Word-Sound’ as ‘Brahman’ assert their view in the following words:—

“Free from such distinctions as ‘prior’ and ‘posterior’,—unborn,—imperishable,—such is the Brahman consisting of ‘Word-Sound’; and from this Brahman there evolve the whole lot of Things,—such as Colour and the like;—this fact is clearly recognised. This has been thus declared—‘Without beginning and end, Brahman, of the essence of SOUND,—in the form of Letter-Sounds, evolves in the form of Things; whence proceeds the entire world-process—The term ‘ādi’, ‘beginning’, here stands for production;—‘nidhana’, ‘end’, stands for destruction; that which is free from these two is ‘without beginning and end’;—‘in the form of the Letter-Sounds’;—as it is the Letters ‘a’ and the rest which are the means (of the expressing of Word-Sound);—this indicates the evolution in the form of the ‘word’, the ‘name’;—the evolution in the form of the ‘thing denoted’ is indicated by the phrase ‘in the form of things’;—the term ‘process’ stands for the diverse things;—the term ‘Brahman’ mentions the name.”

What has been asserted in the verse just quoted is reiterated in the following Text:—[see verse 128 above]

‘Destruction’ and ‘Origination’ have been mentioned only by way of illustration; what should be understood to be meant is that it is entirely free from all such distinctions as priority and posteriority of Place; this includes freedom from distinctions of ‘priority’ and ‘posteriority’ of Time also.

Of the essence of Word-Sound’;—of the nature of Word-Sound; it is this fact of Word-Sound forming its essence that makes it spoken of as ‘of the essence of Word-Sound’; what is meant is that Word-Sound is its inseparable form.

Highest’,—in the form of the syllable ‘om’; this syllable ‘om’ is the essence of all words and names and also of all things; and it constitutes the Veda. This Word-Sound existing in the form of Letters and Words constitutes the Veda; which is the means of comprehending the syllable, of which it stands as the replica.—Tins Highest Brahman is perceived only by such persons as have their minds thoroughly imbued with Merit conducive to the fulfilment of Prosperity and the Highest Good.

In support of this view, they set forth the following reason:—“When a set of things is always associated with the form of a certain thing, the former are modifications (evolutes) of that thing; e.g. the Jar, the Saucer and the Cup are evolutes of Clay, being always associated with the form of Clay; and are hence known to be of the essence of Clay;——all Things are found to be associated with some form of Sound in the shape of Names; this reason being based upon the very nature of things; as it is a clearly perceptible fact that all things are associated with some form of sound (in the shape of Name); for instance, when a cognition of the Name-Sound is produced in regard to things, the cognition of thesengs appears always associated with that Name-Sound. This is what has been thus declared (in Vākyapadīya)—‘There is no cognition in the World -which is not associated with word-sounds; in fact, all cognition is always interfused with words’,—The knowledge of the nature of things also is always dependent upon the form of their cognition (which is associated with words). From this it follows that all things are always associated with Name-Sounds; and tins being established, it follows as a matter of course that they have their essence in these Sounds; as having their essence in Sound means nothing more than being always associated with Name-Sound.—(128)

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