The Tattvasangraha [with commentary]

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

This page contains verse 3275-3276 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 3275-3276.

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

अत एव न दृश्योऽयं सर्वज्ञस्ते प्रसिद्ध्यति ।
तद्दृश्यत्वे हि सार्वज्ञ्यं तवैव स्यादयत्नतः ॥ ३२७५ ॥
सर्वार्थविषयं ज्ञानं यस्य दृश्यः स ते कथम् ।
सर्वार्थविषयं ज्ञानं तवापि यदि नो भवेत् ॥ ३२७६ ॥

ata eva na dṛśyo'yaṃ sarvajñaste prasiddhyati |
taddṛśyatve hi sārvajñyaṃ tavaiva syādayatnataḥ || 3275 ||
sarvārthaviṣayaṃ jñānaṃ yasya dṛśyaḥ sa te katham |
sarvārthaviṣayaṃ jñānaṃ tavāpi yadi no bhavet || 3276 ||

For these reasons, the omniscient person cannot be one ‘capable of being perceived’; if he were capable of being perceived, then that alone would establish his omniscience, without any effort on our part. in fact, how can that person be perceptible to you who has knowledge of all things,—unless you also had the knowledge of all things?—(3275-3276)

 

Kamalaśīla’s commentary (tattvasaṃgrahapañjikā):

Thus it has been shown that mere Non-apprehension, without a qualification, does not deserve to be put forward as proving the non-existence of the Omniscient Person. Nor will it be right to put forward ‘Non-apprehension’ as qualified by the phrase ‘of what fulfills the conditions of apprehensibility’, as the reason for denying the existence of that Person.—Because when such ‘Non-apprehension’ is put forward, it could be put forward, (a) either directly by itself,—for instance, as the argument ‘the Jar does not exist, because while conditions of being apprehended are present, it is not apprehended’, so also would be the argument proving the non-existence of the Omniscient Person;—or (b) indirectly, by other words, by pointing out the absence of something which is the Pervader of its cause and which is apprehensible; e.g. when it is said ‘There can be no Smoke here because there is no Fire’, or ‘The particular tree Śiṃśapā cannot be here, as there is no Tree at all It has been already explained that the absence of one thing does not necessarily mean the absence of another, except when they are invariable concomitants or when one is the ‘Cause’ or the ‘Pervader’ of the other. For if it did, there would be incongruities. Nor does mere absence of the ‘Cause’ and the ‘Pervader’ prove the absence of the thing the absence of whose ‘Cause’ and ‘Pervader’ has not been definitely ascertained. So here also it would be necessary to add the qualifying phrase that ‘it should fulfill the conditions of apprehensibility’. This same principle would apply to the case of the Omniscient Person also.

Or, the negation of a thing can follow only from the affirmation of something else which is directly or indirectly contrary to the former,—not if this is not so contrary; as in the latter case, it would, be possible for both to co-exist. For instance, when it is said that ‘there can be no coolness of touch here as there is Fire’, we have the affirmation of Fire which is directly contrary to coolness, from which affirmation follows the negation of coolness; the same should be the case with the negation of the Omniscient Person also. Similarly, the negation of the Omniscient Person could follow only from the affirmation of something indirectly contrary to Him, or of something contrary to its Pervader; e.g. coolness is the ‘pervader’ of the Icy-touch,—the contrary of Coolness is Fire,—and when there is affirmation of this Fire, there follows the negation of the Icy-touch.—The said negation of a thing would follow also from the affirmation of something contrary to the cause of that thing; e.g. when there is affirmation of Fire, which is contrary to coolness which is the cause of thrilling chill, there follows the negation of the said chill which is the effect of coolness.—Or, the negation of a thing would follow also from the affirmation of an effect contrary to that thing; e.g. when there is affirmation in regard to a certain place, of the Smoke which is an effect of Fire which is contrary to coolness, there follows the negation of the coolness of touch.—Or the negation of a thing can follow from the apprehension of an effect contrary to the cause of that thing; e.g. when there is perception of Smoke which is the effect of Fire which is contrary to coolness which is the cause of thrilling chill,—there follows the negation of this chill; the argument being—‘This place cannot contain a person who has caught the chill? because we find here Smoke’.—Or again the negation of a thing may follow from the affirmation of something invariably concomitant with the contrary of that thing; e.g. when there is affirmation of dependence which is invariably concomitant with impermanence which is contrary to Permanence, there follows the negation of Permanence.

How none of these arguments for negation is applicable to the proving of the non-existence of the Omniscient Person; because the Omniscient Person is always inapprehensible, while ail the conditions described are cases of negation of things that are apprehensible.

This is what is pointed out in the following—[see verses 3275-3276 above]

For the reasons explained above, for fear of incurring self-contradiction, you cannot regard the Omniscient Person as ‘apprehensible’ by yourself. As in that case it would mean that you are yourself omniscient.

“Why?”

Answer:—‘How can that Person, etc. etc.’—If your own. knowledge comprehended all things, then alone could the Omniscient Person be apprehensible to yourself,—not otherwise; because the Omniscient Person can never foe apprehended by one who is not himself omniscient.—(3275-3276)

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