The Tattvasangraha [with commentary]

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

This page describes verse 348 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:

आगमार्थविरोधे तु पराक्रान्तं महात्मभिः ।
नास्तिक्यप्रतिषेधाय चित्रा वाचो दयावतः ॥ ३४८ ॥

āgamārthavirodhe tu parākrāntaṃ mahātmabhiḥ |
nāstikyapratiṣedhāya citrā vāco dayāvataḥ || 348 ||

Great men have successfully explained all those cases where there is conflict between ‘scripture’ and the real state of things. in fact the diverse teachings of the merciful one are for the purpose of rebutting ‘unbelief’ (nāstikya).—(348)


Kamalaśīla’s commentary (tattvasaṃgrahapañjikā):

Says the Jaina:—“If it is so, and if the Pudgala dbes not exist at all,—then how is it that the Blessed Lord (Buddha) when asked—as to whether the Living Entity is this and the Body is that,—the Living Entity being different from the Body,—said ‘this has not been explained’?—Why did he not say straight away that there is no stick thing as the Living Entity (Soul)?”

This is answered in the following—[see verse 348 above]

If there were such an object as the ‘Pudgala’, then alone could it have deserved an explanation as to whether it is different or non-different (like other things); as a matter of fact, however, the object itself has not been proved; how then could its character be explained î An absolute non-entity, as the ‘Hare’s horn’ can have no sharpness or other properties, which could be explained. Hence while propounding the notion that the Pudgala has only an ideal (imaginary) existence, the Blessed Lord said ‘it has not been ex“plained’.

He did not declare straight away that ‘it does not exist’, because the question had not been asked about the nature of the object itself [the question having been only about its difference or non-difference from the Body].

Or it may be that, even though the tiring had a merely ‘ideal’ existence, He wished to avoid the extreme view that ‘it does not exist’;—in consideration of the welfare of such disciples as were not yet ñt for receving the extreme Doctrine of the ‘Void’ (Nihilism), He did not say that ‘the Soul or Pudgala does not exist.’—It has been thus declared:—‘Noting the difference between the Tusker and the Tusk, and the destruction of Actions, the Jinas propound the Dharma,—on the analogy of the Tigress’ Cub (?).’—In this way have Vasubandhu and other teachers succeeded in disclosing the real import of the teachings in such works as the Kośaparamārthasaptati and the rest; hence it should be learnt from those works. In the present context the details are not written down for fear of becoming too prolix.

“If that is so”—says the opponent—“how do you construe the assertion that ‘there is existence which proves it’?”

The answer is—‘For the purpose of rebutting unbelief etc, etc.’—There are divine teachings of the Merciful One which speak of ‘sattva’ and ‘astitva’ (Existence),—which are not incompatible (with the Buddhist doctrine);—this has to be taken as understood. The ‘mental series’ in which the ‘idea of existence’ appears,—it is with reference to the non-cessation (continuity) of that series, that the Blessed Lord has said ‘there is existence’, If he had not done so, then there would be an idea that even those ‘Impressions’ do not exist in the cause-effect-chain of whose ‘moments’ there has been no break,—which would mean that things of the ‘other world’ do not exist,—and this would demolish the whole idea of the ‘other world’, and the disciples would become inclined to ‘unbelief’, [The form ‘Nāstikya’ here is used in the old sense of the idea that there is no such thing as the ‘Soul’ or the ‘other world.’]—(348)