The Tattvasangraha [with commentary]

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

This page contains verse 870 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 870.

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

यस्य यस्य हि शब्दस्य यो यो विषय उच्यते ।
स स (संविद्य)ते नैव वस्तूनां सा हि धर्मता ॥ ८७० ॥

yasya yasya hi śabdasya yo yo viṣaya ucyate |
sa sa (saṃvidya)te naiva vastūnāṃ sā hi dharmatā || 870 ||

Whatever is said to be the object of a verbal expression is never really cognised; such is the very essence of entities.—(870).


Kamalaśīla’s commentary (tattvasaṃgrahapañjikā):

Whatever’,—i.e. ‘Specific Individuality’, 'Universal’ and the like.

Such is the very essence of things’;—this character, of being beyond the reach of words, forms the very essence of things. This has been thus declared—‘By whatever name a thing is spoken of, that thing is not really cognised there; such is the very essence of things’.

Question:—“What is the proof for Verbal Cognition being wrong and baseless?”

Answer:—The proof has already been asserted by us to the effect that, inasmuch as Verbal Cognitions impose non-difference upon things that are different, they are all wrong. For instance, when one thing is cognised as what it is not, that cognition is wrong; e.g. the cognition of Water in the Mirage;—Verbal Cognition consists in the imposing of non-difference on what is different;—hence this is a natural reason (for regarding it as wrong). There is no real entity in the shape of the ‘Universal5 which could be the object of Verbal Cognition—by virtue of which the Reason might be regarded as ‘Unproven Because the ‘Universal’ has been already discarded in great detail.—Even granting that there is such a thing as the ‘Universal’;—even so, if that Universal is held to be something different from the particular things, the cognition would still be one of non-difference where there is difference; and hence wrong. Because a set of things cannot be the same as others when they are held to contain these. If, on the other hand, the Universal be held to be non-different from the particular things,—the entire Universe would really form the single object of the ‘Universal’; and hence the cognition of it as ‘Universal’ must be wrong, because the notion of the ‘Universal’ does not appertain to a single thing; as the cognition of the ‘Universal’ is always preceded by the perception of diversity.

When Verbal Cognition is thus proved to be wrong, it must also be objectless, baseless; because the object productive of the cognition having surrendered its form, there can he nothing left which could be the basis of the cognition.

Or, we may prove the objectlessness of Verbal Cognitions in another manner: That alone can form the import of words whereto they have been applied by Convention; nothing else can form their import; as if it did then that would lead to absurdities. And there is no object wherein the application of any words has been fixed by Convention. Hence all Verbal Cognitions and Expressions must be entirely baseless.

The argument may be formulated as follows:—When words have not been fixed by Convention at their very inception, upon certain things, they do not really denote these things;—e.g. the word ‘Horse’ which has not been applied by convention to animals with the Dewlap (i.e. the Cow) does not denote the cow;—all words have not been applied by Convention, at the very inception to anyngs; hence the wider conception is never apprehended; that is, Denotativeness is invariably concomitant with being fixed by Coyivention, and this latter is absent in the case of words.—(870)

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