The Buddhist Philosophy of Universal Flux

by Satkari Mookerjee | 1935 | 152,014 words | ISBN-10: 8120807375

A systematic and clear presentation of the philosophy of critical Realism as expounded by Dignaga and his school. The work is divided into two parts arranged into 26 chapters. Part I discusses the Nature of Existence, Logical Difficulties, Theory of Causation, Universals, Doctrine of Apoha, Theory of Soul and Problem of After-life. Part II deals wi...

Chapter VII - The Doctrine of Apoha or the Import of Words

The Realists of the Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika school and the Mīmāṃsakas maintain that words have direct reference to objective realities and as words relate to universals in the first instance, these universals should be looked upon as stern realities existing in their own right and not subjective constructions, as the Buddhists would have it. The subject and the predicate in a proposition are equivalent with real facts and affirmation or negation, whatever the case may be, really connotes a factual relation subsisting between real objective facts. The factual foundation of our linguistic usage is daily and hourly attested by our practical experience inasmuch as in all normal cases word and fact are found to be congruent. This congruence would otherwise become unaccountable except on the supposition of an actual objective basis. Now there is a wide divergence of opinion in relation to the question as to what is the direct and exact connotation of a word—whether it is the universal or the particular or both. In the last alternative again there is room for controversy as to the relation between the universal and the particular, as to whether it is the universal as qualified and determined by the particular or the particular as the substantive with the universal annexed as an adjunct. But this will be treated of more fully in the following pages.

The Buddhist, however, roundly denies the fundamental assumption of the realist that words contain an objective reference, in all its aspects and bearings. The Buddhist maintains that words have no reference to reality in any sense. Words in their opinion deal with concepts and these concepts are purely subjective constructions. We have proved in the previous chapter that universals are intellectual fictions and their pragmatic value is due to their remote extraction from objective facts, which however are uncompromising particulars, discrete and distinct and without any continuity or nexus between one and the other. The best way to prove our contention will be by examining the actual and probable theories of the rival thinkers and to see how far these theories are tenable. Now a word cannot denote the self-contained, unique particular which is alone real, as has been proved by us. And these particulars are momentary entities and so do not continue up to the time that conventional relation is apprehended. Apart from the question of its momentariness, particulars are self-contained facts and even if the word-relation is supposed to relate to these distinct entities, it will be of no avail with regard to other particulars, which were not taken into account when the verbal convention was cognised. So the word ‘cow’ would mean only a particular cow and not any other. But this will serve no purpose. And it is humanly impossible that a man should apprehend this conventional relation with regard to all the individual cows that are and have been and will be in existence. If it is supposed that all the individuals are conceptually apprehended and labelled by a common name, then it should be admitted that the conventional relation is apprehended with regard to a conceptual construction and not real individual facts, distinct and discrete that they are. It may not be out of place to observe in this connexion that the theory of transcendental contact with all the possible and actual individuals in and through the medium of the universal in question (sāmānyalakṣaṇasannikarṣa), which has been propounded by the latter-day Naiyāyikas, equally fails to explain the factual incidence of the verbal convention, for which it was postulated.[1]

We have hitherto contended that verbal relation is not comprehensible with regard to particulars, either collectively or individually, because of their infinite number and the suggestion was not unlikely that the relation could be apprehended individual by individual. But this also is impossible. The conventional relation can be apprehended only after the name-relation is remembered and the name-relation is remembered after the individual has been perceived, but the individual being momentary will have passed out of existence when the conventional relation can be apprehended. Nor can it te apprehended with reference to the facsimile-individual that comes into existence in the individual-continuum, because the conventional relation that is recalled had reference to the first moment and not to the later moments. It may be contended that the moments being closely similar and homogeneous in structure and appearance, they can be conceived to give rise to a concept of identity and the name-relation is apprehended with reference to this conceptual identity. But in this view, also, the name cannot relate to the self-identical individual moment, but to a conceptual construction. If words had reference to objective entities, then we could expect the self-same full-blooded apprehension as in sense-perception. Take for instance the case of fire; the wore does not express the full individuality of fire with all its heat and light that is revealed in perceptual knowledge. What is expressed by the name is only a bloodless concept. And as regards configuration (ākṛti), it is nothing but a case of conjunction of component parts and conjunction as distinct from the componental factors is only an intellectual fiction. So this too cannot be the objective of word-relation. As regards the universal or its relation, neither can be the connotation of a word, as universals have been proved in the preceding chapter to be hollow abstractions and relation has no existence apart and distinct from the relata. So the contention of the Naiyāyika that universal (jāti), individual (vyakti) and configuration (ākṛti) are the connotation of words falls to the ground, because these conceptual vagaries are unsubstantial fictions, pure and simple. Equally indefensible is the position of those who think that words have reference to the conceptual image, in other words, the ideal content, because the ideal content is a self-contained particular like the objective facts and so does neither continue in other concepts nor relate to objective reality. Moreover, these ideal contents are purely subjective facts existing inside the mind of the subject and as such cannot have the pragmatic efficiency that is possessed by real objective entities. So this too cannot be supposed to function as the connotation of words, much less as the subject-matter of verbal convention.[2]

There are some theorists who hold that the essential meaning of all words is undefined and unspecified ‘existence’ (astyartha) and not any specific determination. When the word ‘cow’ is heard, it simply connotes that something exists to which the name ‘cow’ is affixed and no form or determination enters as a content into this purely existential reference. The determinate content of this reference is purely a matter of belief or pre-conception of the subject in question. So even words which have a reference to visible and perceptible objects are on the same level with words which refer to unknown and unverifiable objects. Thus, for instance, such expressions as ‘heaven,’ ‘merit’ or ‘demerit’ do not bring home to the understanding any specific content, but only convey a vague existential reference and our ordinary work-a-day expressions too do not connote anything more than this. But this view too does not make any improvement upon the previous theories. If words do not present any definite meaning but only a vague reference to mere existence, then linguistic usage would become absolutely abortive, as there will be no variation in meaning and the content. The word ‘cow’ and the word ‘horse’ would mean the same thing, if they mean nothing more than ‘existence, pure and simple.’ But if they are supposed to contain a reference to an objective individual, unique and distinctive, or to some concrete universal or to an ideal representation, then the theory will make itself open to all the charges levelled against the previous theories. It may be contended that the connotation of the word ‘cow’ is not unqualified existence, but existence as determined by the particular word ‘cow’ and the universal of ‘cowhood,’ and because the specific attributes and individual characteristics are not understood in this reference, it is held that words are existential in their import. The word ‘cow’ connotes ‘that something exists,’ but this something is not an indefinite concept, but has in it the cow-universal and the cow-exprsssion as its content determining it. But even this interpretation does not make it more sound and intelligible. It only restates the position of the Naiyāyika who holds that words have a reference to the universal-in-the-individual, the individual as defined and determined by the universal. But universals have been proved to be unreal intellectual fictions and so this theory shares in the absurdity of the Nyāya theory in toto.

Others again hold that words denote ‘an undefined group or totality’ without any reference whatsoever either to the individuals comprising it, or to the specific attributes constituting the class-concept. They connote a group or a totality without any emphasis, either on its distributive or its collective character. But this ‘group’ or ‘totality’ is nothing but the well-known ‘universal’ of the realists masquerading under a different verbal expression and as such is liable to all the objections attaching to the universal. There are some other thinkers who maintain that the connotation of words is but a complex of word and an objective fact coalesced together and this is evidenced by the fact that all our reference to an objective fact is carried on by the machinery of words. Word and fact are always found to be associated in the relation of identity and this is the connotation of word. But the Buddhist thinks that this view is based on a confusion of a subjective idea with an objective fact, which is absurd on the face of it. If any objective reality, either individual or universal, were denoted by a word, then there could be a remote possibility for a confusion of a word and a fact. Besides, the verbal reference, out of which capital is sought to be made, is purely a subjective idea and has absolutely nothing to do with an objective reality. So this view does not make any advance on the theory of those who hold the subjective ideal content to be the meaning of words. But the latter view has been thoroughly demolished, as an idea is not anything different from consciousness and being momentary alike, it fails to synthesise the different individuals, supposed to be denoted by a word.

There is another theory which holds that word has a reference to the subjective content, the idea or mental image, which is occasioned by an external object and this idea or image is believed to be the external reality itself by being superimposed upon it. So long as the idea is believed to be a subjective fact, which it is in reality, it does not and cannot lead to any activity, as subjective fictions are not actionable. So the idea is impinged upon the reality which causes it and this complex identity of idea and object is the import of words. This theory may be easily confounded with the Buddhist theory of Apoha, but there is a fundamental difference between the two. The Buddhist too believes that the import of words is a subjective idea hypostatised as an objective fact, but this objectivity is a purely intellectual construction and is an ungrounded illusion, because it is neither subjective nor objective, but a fiction, pure and simple. The present theory, on the other hand, holds that the idea is a correct measure of the reality and is actually superimposed upon an objective datum to which it refers. If the external objective reference is believed to be a projection of the conscious principle, absolutely ungrounded in an objective reality and the synthetic class-concept is thought to be an ideal construction, engendered by the exclusion of opposite entities, shared in common by a set of individuals, then and then alone can this theory be equated with the Buddhist theory of Apoha. The Buddhist denies that words possess a factual meaning, be it subjective or objective. Now what is the import of a word? It is certainly what is presented in a determinative verbal cognition. But this determinate presentation is not of & subjective idea, but of an external objective fact possessed of practical efficiency. And this objective fact referred to is not an actual reality, as it lacks the distinctive features of a living reality, which is unique and self-identical and as it is not confined to one individual, but comprises in its reference all the possible individuals. Nor can it be a universal, since a universal has been proved to be a conceptual fiction. So the import of a word is neither a subjective idea nor an objective fact and ultimately transpires to be an illusory projection. And when we refer to the denotation of a word, we mean this illusory projection and nothing else.

There is still another theory which holds that words do not signify any real object at all, nor do they convey any determinate idea. Words are but symbolic values and stand on the same level with signs and gestures. They produce an indeterminate and contentless intuition (pratibhā), which comes to be associated with objective facts by repeated usage. They are destitute of definite presentative content and are only vaguely suggestive of facts and actions, as is seen in the case of children and animals. And even this suggestion has no direct bearing on definite objective data. Had it been directly grounded in an objective reality, there would have been no occasion for the conflicting interpretations of texts or contradictory expositions; and fictions and stories could not have been possible.[3] Now the implications of this theory have got to be thoroughly threshed out. If this suggestion (pratibhā) is supposed to have reference to an objective fact, then how can a particular word give rise to various suggestions in various minds, when the objective reality is uniform in character? And if the verbal suggestion of intuition have absolutely no bearing on an objective datum, then also they would be unmeaning nonsense and as such could not lead to any volitional activity, which is however the actual fact. If it is supposed that the subjective suggestion is erroneously believed to be an objective fact, then the import of words would be an illusory fiction and the ideation and volitional activity would be a case of unmitigated subjective illusion. But this illusion must have a raison d’etre, otherwise an uncaused illusion can emerge always and everywhere and no case for its limitation can be made out. If however the illusion is traced to the peculiar distinctive nature of individual entities, which sharply distinguishes it from entities of contradictory nature and which thus cumulatively gives rise to the idea of a generic universal, then this theory of suggestion will have nothing to differentiate it from the Buddhist theory of Apoha.

There are some other theorists, again, who maintain that the subjective idea and the objective fact are structurally and qualitatively close analogues like two twin brothers; and though the objective reality is not the significate of a word, still the subjective idea leads to the objective fact by reason of its close analogy. But this theory fails to explain the invariable objective reference of verbal cognition. The analogy of twin brothers does not help the issue. It is not a fact that one twin will be invariably confused with the other. The real person intended may be understood and so the subjective image may not be invariably confounded with the objective fact and sometimes may be correctly apprehended as subjective and in that case the activity bearing on the objective fact will be impossible of explanation.[4]

All these different theories can be summarily dismissed by this dialectic: Is the import of words a reality or not? If it be a reality, is it fluxional or permanent? If the former, it cannot have the synthetic reference, and if the latter, then the emergence of successive ideas would be unaccountable. And so the theory of the Vaibhāṣikas who postulate the existence of a word-entity (nāmakāya) and of an objective generic character (nimitta) existing as part of the reality signified by a word is equally indefensible. If the word-category and the meaning-category be something momentary or non-momentary, then they would be absolutely unavailing.[5]

We have seen that words have no objective reference. Neither the individual nor the universal can be actually signified by a word, because the individual is self-contained and has nothing to do with any other individual, similar or dissimilar and as such cannot be the subject of verbal convention (samaya); and the universal is a chimerical abstraction and a subjective fiction, pure and simple. Now the question is relevant that if words do not signify any real object, then what is its signification? Words certainly have got a meaning and an objective external reference too and this cannot be accounted for if words are supposed to signify a subjective idea existing internally within the mind. A subjective idea cannot be reconciled with an extra-subjective reference. The Buddhist however rejoins that what is signified by a word is neither a subjective idea nor an objective reality, but something fictitious and unreal, which is neither here nor there. The fact of the matter is that both the speaker and the hearer apprehend in fact and reality a mental image, a subjective content and not any objective fact; but the speaker thinks that he presents an objective fact to the hearer and the hearer too is deluded into thinking that the presented meaning is not a mental image, but an objective verity. The speaker and the hearer are both labouring under a common delusion like two ophthalmic patients who see two moons and communicate their experience to each other. So the connotation of words is but a subjective idea, a mental image, which however is hypostatised as an objective reality existing in its own right independently of the thinking mind.[6] And as this mental image is found to have a distinctive character of its own which marks it out from other such mental representations and thus to contain a negative implication, we characterise it by a negative expression, viz., ‘negation of another’ (anyāpoha). The connotation of a word therefore is a subjective notion, a mental image in the first instance, which is a positive idea no doubt. But as it has an exclusive reference by implication and as this negative implication gives the verbal import its distinguishing character, its real significance and force, the connotation of a word is rightly looked upon and designated as a fundamental negation. The negative characterisation has a four-fold raison d’etre; in the first place, because the mental content, the ideal representation, which is occasioned by a word and which as such should be regarded as its meaning and import, has a distinctive individuality and this individuality will have no meaning if it does not negate and exclude other such ideal contents. That it is a definite idea means that it is not any other and this definite individuality cannot have a meaning and a raison d’etre unless it negates what it is not. So negation constitutes its fundamental individuality; negation is its very life and soul, without which it will be an empty nonsense. Secondly, because the verbal idea leads to the attainment of a real individual entity, which has a self-identity peculiarly its own. The real is something which is detached and severed from all other individuals, similar or dissimilar. So the reality from which word and its meaning derive their significance and utility being something essentially negative in character, the word-meaning should be looked upon as essentially negative in function. Thirdly, because the ideal representation is directly caused by a self-identical real, which is exclusive of other individuals. Lastly, because vulgar people regard the ideal concept, the verbal import, as identical with the self-contained reality, which possesses an exclusive identity. So the negative character of a verbal import has a twofold meaning and justification, one essential and the other incidental, according as it is grounded in its essential individuality, as well as from its source of origin and ultimate reference.

And this negation has a twofold aspect according as it is relative or absolute. An absolute negation is an unqualified pure negation and has no positive reference, remote or direct. For example, ‘the cow is not not-cow’ is a negative judgment, pure and simple. A relative negation on the other hand has primarily a positive reference and its negative value is only indirect and implied inasmuch as it comes into relief only in reference to an other. It is an affirmation in and by itself and only in relation to an other it becomes negative in force. For instance, the concept ‘cow’ is in and by itself a positive fact, but in relation to a horse, it is a negative concept. And this relative negation may be again twofold, viz., a concept and a fact. The import of words is a relatively negative concept and is neither a fact nor an absolute negation. It is not an absolute negation inasmuch as it is a conceptual construction positive in character, but it is not regarded as a true measure of reality, because it carries a factual objective reference, though it does not possess any objectivity in itself. As a concept it is a purely subjective phenomenon and is true and real quâ subjective; but it has an objective external reference and that constitutes its falsity. But though false and unreal it is only a concept that is generated by a word and it is this concept which is regarded as the meaning of that word. So the denotative relation of word and meaning is at bottom a relation of causality between a fact (word) and a concept, or to be precise, between one concept and another concept. But this concept is not a pure negation and is as much positive as anything. But though positive in appearance, it has a negative implication, as negation is its determinant and formative principle, as set forth above. So when Dignāga declared that word imports a negation and neither an objective universal nor a particular, he only emphasised this negative implication of verbal import. He did not mean that negation was the primary and apparent connotation. But Uddyotakara and Kumārila misunderstood the real significance of Dignāga’s doctrine and raised objections which were uncalled for and irrelevant. All their objections and criticism proceed upon the assumption that Dignāga regarded pure negation as the connotation of words and when they say that pure negation without a positive basis is unintelligible nonsense, this does not affect the central position of the master and only fights with a shadow of their own creation.

The connotation of a word is a positive concept and when Dignāga characterised it as a negation, he only emphasised its essential negative implication which makes the verbal import significant and meaningful. Uddyotakara argues,

“Is this ‘negation of the opposite’ itself the expressible meaning of the word ‘negation’? If it is the expressed meaning, then the position should be surrendered that negation is the signification of words. At any rate, the expression ‘negation of the opposite’ signifies something which is not a negation of an other. If it were so, there would arise a regressus ad infinitum, because the negated other, ‘the non-negation’ would require another negation and so on. And if negation is not its signification, then something else should be assigned as its meaning and that being non-negation would transpire to be something positive. And if ‘negation’ itself be the signification of the expression ‘ apoha’ (negation) and not ‘negation of an other,’ then the proposition that ‘a word signifies its meaning by negating the meaning of other words’ would come to mean ‘that a word signifies an other without signifying it’—which is a case of plain contradiction.”[7]

But this argument of Uddyotakara, apart from its sophistry, is based upon a misconception. Uddyotakara has been carried away by the prima facie meaning of the position. We have observed before that the relation of denotation is a relation of causality. When a word is said to denote an object, it does not do anything more than this: the word only generates in the subject’s mind a conceptual image, which is distinct and different from other concepts and this conceptual image is believed to be an external reality existing ahead and independently of the thinking mind. And denotation of meaning by a word is nothing but the production of this conceptual image by a word. The negation is not directly connoted but is only understood by implication. The word ‘cow’ only engenders a conceptual image of the reality ‘cow,’but as this conceptual image has a self-identity distinct from that of other concepts, its distinctive character is felt and distinction means negation of what it is not. So the criticism of Bhāmaha—that if the connotation of the word ‘cow’ be contingent on ‘not-cow,’ then some other word would be in request to signify the positive cow—does not affect our position, as the word does not connote the negative idea in the first instance. As the proposition ‘Devadatta is fat but does not dine at day’ conveys a negative meaning in the first instance, but has a positive implication, ‘He certainly takes a hearty meal at night, otherwise how could he be fat?’ and as these two positive and negative judgments conveyed by a self-identical proposition do not offend against the law of contradiction, exactly so a word can occasion a positive and a negative concept, one by its denotative power and the other by implication. So the objection of Bhāmaha does not arise at all, as we, Buddhists, do not hold that a word denotes the negative idea first. The word has a meaning in the positive concept and the negative import is a resultant cognition.[8]

And this conceptual form is regarded as the universal informing and underlying all the individual members, because it is conceived to be the common factor of all perceived individuals. But this universal is but a conceptual construction and though not an objective entity it is regarded as such owing to the influence of nescience inherent in every conscious subject. And this conceptual form is variously designated as ‘negation of the opposite’ (anyāpoha) by the Buddhist and as an objective universal by the Realist. This universal is nothing but a conceptual construction and has no existence outside the subjective consciousness. And though it has no existence outside consciousness, it is fondly hypostatised as an objective category by the inherent illusory tendencies of the subject. But it is not an unfounded illusion for that, as the idea is remotely derived from an objective datum. The conceptual forms however are regarded as unreal fictions, because they are not objective facts with which they are supposed to be identical and so far as their objectivity is concerned, they are regarded as illusory fictions.

Now a question is raised,

‘Well, if there is no objective universal and all reals are self-enclosed and self-contained particulars, each distinct and different from the other, then how is it that they should give rise to a conceptual image, which is not particularistic in its reference but comprises all the discrete and distinct individuals in its fold? And how again a common name is affixed to all the individuals and it should denote not this or that individual, but all the individuals, possible and actual? If an objective universal is postulated over and above the individuals, then such ideas and such verbal usage become intelligible and not otherwise.’

But the Buddhist answers that our ideas are not exact copies of external reality and it has been proved in the chapter on universals that ideas need not be contingent on corresponding objective realities at all. There is no impossibility in the fact that individuals, though discrete and distinct, should give rise to an identical concept. It is a matter of experience that some individuals, though distinct and different from one another, discharge an identical action and this uniform causal efficiency is the ground and raison d’etre of common appellation and common concept. The individual jars are each distinct and different, but they are labelled with a common name ‘jar,’ because they possess a uniform causal efficiency with regard to drawing of water and the like. In the preceding chapter we have mentioned the case of medicinal herbs and minerals, as an instance in point as to how they are referred to by the common name of ‘purgative,’ though they have nothing in common.

But a difficulty has been raised in this connexion:

‘Well, there can be no identical causal efficiency in different individuals. The drawing of water and the like which is discharged by the individual jars is not identical, but varies from individual to individual and the cognition of each such individual and of its action too is variable in each case. So the identical efficiency, on which you would base the conceptual thought, is an unfounded assumption.’

Yes, we reply. The activity of individuals is variant in each case, nay, in each moment and its cognitions too are not identical. But still they possess the capacity for generating an idea of an identity. It may be argued that this efficiency for identical conception too is not anything distinct from the individual entities and so the conceptual thought should also be variable in each case. And then there would be no ground for this identical concept and nomenclature. Yes, we admit the justice of these objections; but we do not base our position on the identity of the actions or of the cognitions. The actions and the cognitions are no doubt variant and have no nexus or identity between them. We do not rely on any such identity. We only speak of the identical reference. The cognitions of individual jars, though different per se in each and every case, still the determinate judgment, which follows in its trail, contains an invariable reference to an identity, though this identity is only an illusory construction from discrete particulars.[9]

Jayanta Bhaṭṭa, however, has put forward an elaborate contention against this interpretation of conceptual knowledge.

Jayanta contends,

“Well, it is a dogmatic assertion that the conceptual judgment (vikalpa), which arises in the trail of perceptual knowledge, should cognise only that negative aspect of the reality, which distinguishes it from dissimilar things and not the other side which distinguishes it from similars too. It may be contended that if the full individuality, exclusive of similar and dissimilar entities, is supposed to be cognised in the conceptual knowledge too, then there would be nothing left to distinguish it from the original perceptual experience and so the conceptual knowledge will be reduced to an effete and ineffectual repetition of the perceptual experience.”

But Jayanta says that this contingency is not to be avoided by the Realists, who think that the conceptual knowledge has a definite objective in the universal. And even if it be regarded as a useless repetition of the perceptual experience, that need not be a deterrant barrier against this possibility. Because there is nothing repugnant in the fact that two cognitions should cognise one and the same thing. Our cognitions do not proceed with a view to necessity and they require no justification by utilitarian considerations. And this repetition should not be treated as a peg to hang this theory on. A man whose thirst has been satisfied may not have any use for a glass of ice-water, but that is no excuse that he should regard it as a piece of silver for that. We cannot be persuaded to believe that conceptual knowledge proceeds by halves, that it should take note of one aspect and not of the other. The negative side of the individual is not anything different from the individual itself and negation of similars is as much a part of its essence as negation of dissimilars. Then why should there be any bias in favour of the latter aspect and the former should be ignored with contempt? If however the full negativity is apprehended in the conceptual knowledge, all our knowledge will be knowledge of particulars, but this will sound the death-knell of linguistic usage and inferential knowledge, which proceed on the knowledge of universals. And if the negation of opposites, from which the Buddhist works out the knowledge of universals, be an objective fact, it will only reinstate the universal under another name. If the negation be traced to a subjective memory-impression (vāsanā), then also the objective universal has got to be postulated, as memory is not an ultimate fact but presupposes an original experience, which must have an objective datum as its cause So the novel interpretation of apoha of the later Buddhists, which sought to save the doctrine of Dignāga from the onslaughts of Kumārila, has not succeeded in finding for it a haven of peace and security.”[10]

Jayanta further contends that the reference to an identity, on which the Buddhist has sought to base the synthetic conceptual knowledge is an ungrounded assumption. It may be contended that the content of conceptual knowledge which follows upon the perception of a black cow is not different from the content of another conceptual knowledge which follows upon the perception of a yellow cow and this identity of content of all conceptual cognitions is the ground of synthesis of distinct cognitions and of the particular individual objects referred to by it. But this argument of the Buddhist is more ingenious than convincing. The conceptual cognitions are distinct and separate one from the other, being momentary like the principle of consciousness from which it is not anywise distinct. As regards the contents of such conceptual cognitions, which are regarded as non-distinct in all such cognitions, we ask, is the content distinct from the cognitions or not? If it is distinct, it is an objective universal with only a different name affixed to it, there being no reason to regard it as an unreal fiction. If however the content is not anywise distinct from the conceptual cognition, it should be different with different cognitions and so cannot be supposed to be identical, on the strength of which you would explain the synthetic reference of such cognitions.[11]

These objections of Jayanta have been boldly and squarely faced by Ratnakīrti in bis ‘Apohasiddhi’ and they have been effectively refuted by him. The power of generating the idea of one universal, which is the content of conceptual cognitions, is certainly not distinct from the cognitions themselves and so an objective universal has no logical justification to be posited apart from and independent of the subjective ideation. The generative efficiency is non-distinct from the individual cognitions and as such cannot but vary with varying individual cognitions. But that does not detract from its invariable identical reference. If one thing is equally efficient with another thing, what is there to find fault with? And what about your universals ? Does not one universal generate the self-same synthetic concept as another universal does, though they arc distinct from one another and have no other universal underlying and synthesising them ? So our individuals, though particular and discrete, can with equal cogency be supposed to generate a selfsame concept without any gratuitous aid from an external universal, existing in and outside of them. The universals are all labelled by a common name, viz., as universal and because they lack another universal, they are on the. same level with particularistic individuals, as universals in relation to one another are no less particularistic than individuals. And if in spite of their particularistic character, there is no difficulty in the matter of their competency with regard to an identical concept and nomenclature, what earthly reason is there that a ghost of doubt should be raised with regard to particulars? If lack of a uuivcrsal underlying and informing the distinctive individuals be regarded as a condemnation, then the realistic universals should be equally condemned.[12] And the other objection of Jayanta,—that conceptual knowledge should take cognisance of the full individuality, with its twofold negative implication and not alone the negation of dissimilars as negation of similars, too, is as much an integral part of the reality as the other negation, namely, of dissimilars,—is an objection which is neither fair nor worthwhile. The objection can be raised against the Naiyāyika too. It can be equally legitimately asked why should not the primal indeterminate cognition take note of the universal and if it is supposed to cognise the universal, then, why should it not be explicit like the determinate conceptual judgment? If it is supposed that the explicit relational reference is due to the remembrance of name-relation, the Buddhist too can have recourse to the self-same explanation. The conceptual judgment is regarded as distinct from the perceptual experience not from any fear of repetition or lack of utilitarian value, but from the variation of contents. So Jayanta’s censure and logical sermonisings are equally uncalled for. It may be asked, why this preference for one aspect of truth to the exclusion of the other? Why this playing by halves? Our answer is that there is no favouritism in our theory and if it savours of undeserved preference, it is the fault of human psychology and not of our theory. The idea of the universal does not arise in the primal sense-expericncc, because the conditions are lacking in it. When the primal sense-experience is reinforced by a memory of the previous experience of another individual, then and then alone the concept of the universal arises in the mind. But this universal is a hollow subjective creation and is not an objective reality, as supposed by the Realist.[13] We have thoroughly proved the worthlessness of the claims of these universals to being regarded as objective categories and the arguments need not be repeated here.

Jayanta has contended that if the negation of opposites be traced to a memory-imprcssion, it would end in proving the existence of objective universals, as memory presupposes an original experience and experience is impossible without an objective datum. But this is only an assumption based on analogy. The memory-impressions of universals etc., have an infinite past history and they cannot be assigned a definite beginning. So the objection does not touch our central position that universals are ideal constructions and not facts. And when we speak of words as denotative of universals, we mean nothing more than their efficiency for generating a conceptual image with its implicit negation of dissimilar entities and concepts.[14] The conceptual contents are erroneously believed to be objective facts and this objective reference has proved a veritable snare for the Realists, who mistake the false appearance for a reality. If however a word really denoted a living fact, then, all predication would be unaccountable. The Realist holds that the subject and the predicate in a proposition are equated with objective facts, but this is opposed to reason. If the word ‘cow’ really denoted an actually living cow, no predication about it would be justifiable. In the proposition‘the cow exists,’ the predication of ‘existence’ is redundant if it relates to a living cow actually in existence. Neither can ‘non-existence’ be predicated, as that would involve a contradiction in terms, if the ‘cow’ is supposed to refer to a cow not in existence, that too does not improve the situation, as affirmation of existence with reference to a nonexistent cow would be a case of self-contradiction and denial of existence would involve a useless tautology. So the very fact of subject-predicate relation proves that words stand for conceptual fictions and not objective entities.[15] All reals are momentary point-instants, exclusive of all similar or dissimilar entities and there can be no relation between them. Nor can there be any split of the integer of reality into a quality and a substance. But linguistic usage proceeds on the assumption of such relations of synthesis and analysis, integration and division, which are not possible between two real objective facts. For instance, the word

‘forest’ denotes a number of trees integrated into one whole, but in reality, the trees, individual by individual, are absolutely detached from one another and have no objective nexus between one and the other. Again when we speak of a ‘blue flower,’ the two things ‘blue’ quality and the ‘flower’ substance are understood to be distinct entities brought together. But in reality, the flower and the blue are one and the same thing, the division is only a conceptual construction without any factual basis.[16] Let alone the function of words in the role of subject and predicate, which proceeds on conceptual integration and division, even the direct import of words should be regarded as conceptual in character. Sometimes these concepts have a remote bearing on objective reality being derived from it, but there are others which refer to a fiction or they are such as to relate to a fact and a fiction in the same fashion. Thus, the word. ‘blue,’ connotes a real fact, the word ‘rabbit’s horn’ refers, to a fiction and such, expressions as ‘amorphous’ are indefinite, being referable to a fact, viz., ‘consciousness’ and a fiction, e.g.,.‘a rabbit’s horn.’ So the content of words should be regarded as conceptual constructions conjured up from the store of subconscious impressions deposited from beginningless time.[17]

The Realists have found a crux in this situation and have not been able to give a satisfactory explanation of this phenomenon consistently with their theory. Vācaspati and Jayanta Bhaṭṭa hold that the connotation of a word is neither exclusively a universal nor exclusively a particular, but a particular as determined and qualified by a universal. But when pressed with the question, how can there be any predication of either existence or non-existence with reference to such concrete facts, which are supposed to be living objective facts, Vācaspati gives up his original position and adopts another view that words denote universals and, though eternal by nature, they are amenable to affirmation, or negation, being subsistent in an infinite number of individuals widely distributed in infinite space and time. So when existence is predicated, it means that the universal is related to a present individual and negation of existence only emphasises that the universal is related to a past or a future individual as opposed to a present, living individual.[18] Jayanta too observes that as a word primarily denotes. exclusively a universal without any reference to its existence or non-existence, the fact of existence or non-existence is predicated of it to satisfy an intellectual demand and to emphasise its definitive existence. It may savour of repetition, but this repetition is necessary for the sake of emphasis. For instance, when we make a statement like this—‘The jar is a jar and not a cloth,’ there is a repetition no doubt, but this repetition only emphasises the exclusive identity of the subject and so is not unjustified.[19]

Ratnakīrti observes that Vācaspati here contradicts himself and apart from contradiction or surrender of his position, which is more or less a question of personal aberration, he has been forced to concede that a word cannot denote an ‘individual’ and also that predication is not competent to an individual and this is evident when he throws the entire weight upon the ‘universal.’ And as these universals are conceptual fictions, he practically accepts the Buddhist position and even if they be regarded as objective entities, predication of existence or non-existence is equally untenable with reference to these universals. When he says that the predication of existence means the relation of universal to a living individual, he only seeks to avoid the logical absurdity by a subterfuge. Existence or non-existence always relates to an individual, because individuals are alone possessed of practical efficiency and as such are alone amenable to predication. We can quote Jayanta Bhaṭṭa in this connexion to expose the fallacy of Vācaspati’s position. Jayanta observes that a universal is neither an agent, nor possesses differences of sex, nor is it amenable to numerical variation, but these are invariably the connotation of words and suffixes. So the universal cannot be supposed to be the denoted meaning of a word.[20] And the view, which takes the universal-in-individual to be the denotation of a word, is fully exposed to the objections advanced against the individual. If the individual be the meaning of a word, no matter whether qualified by a universal or not, the objections lying against the ‘individual’ will apply with full force against the theory.

We have seen that the import of a word is primarily and naturally a conceptual construction and not an objective fact, whether individual or universal. This conceptual construction is however hypostatised as an objective reality by an inherent subjective illusion and this becomes the intended import of a word. It is affirmative in character and reference, but is characterised by the Buddhist philosopher in terms of negation on the ground of its logical negative implication. But the negation is only a logical pre-supposition and is not psychologically felt in the first presentation. Dignāga seems to be the first philosopher who promulgated this theory. Words have a synthetic and comprehensive import, but as particulars are alone real in Dignāga’s school of thought, and as particulars are absolutely distinct and discrete without any connecting link or nexus, the universal of the Realist was equated with a negative concept and words were held to denote this negative concept and not any positive fact. There are indications which warrant us to suppose that Dignāga put forward the theory of apoha as a pure negation without any positive reference and so his theory came in for ruthless animadversion first in the hands of Uddyotakara and then of Kumārila.[21] Kumārila dealt sledge-hammer blows and demolished the theory in toto. Later Buddhists, notably Śāntarakṣita, gave altogether a new orientation to the theory and we find this position again attacked by Vācaspati and Jayanta Bhaṭṭa. Ratnakīrti came after Vācaspati Miśra and refuted the objections advanced by. Vācaspati and others and veered round to the old position of Dignāga. From the historical point of view, we may be justified in surmising three distinctive landmarks in the eventful career of the doctrine of apoha. (1) In the first place, apoha or anyāpoha, as formulated by Dignāga, had its natural meaning of pure negation, so far at least as its comprehensive reference was concerned. It had no positive content or reference. (2) In the second place, ‘apoha’ was given altogether a new interpretation. Apoha was supposed to stand for a positive conceptual construction, a purely subjective idea, fondly objectified by the realistic bias of our psychological constitution. This realistic reference was traced' to the working of previous sub-conscious impressions lying embedded in the subliminal region of consciousness from a beginningless time. But still it had a negative implication and this negative aspect, though not psychologically felt, was regarded to be the fundamental keynote of verbal import. The universal of the Realist was demolished by a powerful dialectic and the subjective concept was ushered into existence to do duty for the objective universal. The negative character, though dethroned from the psychological sphere, was installed with all the pomp and paraphernalia of regal majesty in the domain of logic with all its sovereign rights restored. (3) In the third place, we find Ratnakīrti entering the arena with his subtle dialectic and forceful diction. He does not subscribe to the position of Śāntarakṣita, who held that word conveyed a positive meaning in the first instance and a negative import by logical implication. There were some other Buddhist thinkers, we guess from the words of Ratnakīrti, who thought negation to be the primary meaning and the positive aspect of negation was supposed to be understood by a logical construction.[22]

Ratnakīrti differs from the latter theory also. He maintains like the Naiyāyikas that the connotation of a word is a complex, being a conceptual image as qualified by a negation of the opposite entities. The meaning of a word is therefore neither purely positive nor purely negative with contrary logical implication, but even psychologically a distinctive concept with the element of distinction or negation as a part of the felt content. The word ‘cow’ is conventionally affixed to the distinctive cow-concept felt, as divorced from not-cows. Though the negative element is not distinctly articulated in words it is there as a felt content none the less. Just as the concept of ‘blue-lotus,’ to which the word ‘indīvara’ is affixed by convention, is a complex of blue and lotus and the ‘blue’ is felt as much as the ‘lotus’ in one sweep, so in the case of such expression as ‘cow,’ which gives rise to a complex concept of ‘cow-as-distinct-from-non-cow.’ Here the non-cow is felt as much as the cow—the negative and the positive factor being present alike. Ratnakīrti refuses to believe that the negation is. understood by logical implication from the positive content or that the positive reference is a deduction from primary negation. If the negative aspect is not comprehended as a part and parcel of the verbal concept, we cannot explain the selective and exclusive character of the volitional activity following upon it. Why does the subject avoid the horse and address himself to the cow ‘when he is directed to tether a cow?’ This exclusion of non-cow and adoption of the cow is proof positive that the negative aspect of the concept is comprehended as much as the existential reference in the first conceptual knowledge generated by a verbal expression.[23] Ratnakīrti thus restored ‘ apoha’ (negation) to its pristine position of psychologically felt content and rescued it from the logical domain, to which it was relegated by Śāntarakṣita.

The attacks of Kumārila were therefore avoided and not returned, as the primary presentation was materially altered. But the fundamental position—that words do not convey any reference to an objective reality, particular or universal alike, and their pragmatic value is only vicarious and derivative—was neither abandoned nor abated by any Buddhist philosopher. The meaning of a word is a positive concept, which though subjective is hypostatised as an objective fact. And affirmative or negative predication does not really appertain to the concept, because the concept being a part of subjective consciousness is attested by self-intuition and as such cannot be negated. Moreover, it is not a subjective concept that is understood to be meant by a word, but something objective. But no predication again is competent to the objective reality, as the objective reality is not presented in the verbal cognition at all. What then does the predication relate to? It does not of a certainty relate to the concept either logically or psychologically and the objective reality, too, logically speaking, is untouched by it. The answer is that all predication, affirmative or negative alike, refers to the concept psychologically felt as an objective fact—in other words, to the hypostatised concept. When the cow is said to exist, it only affirms this objectivity of the concept and the ‘negative predication’ only denies this supposed objectivity. In reality, however, a word has no meaning, but only a false meaning.[24]

Now a difficulty has been raised by Vācaspati Misra that if the external reality is not presented in the conceptual knowledge, then, how could such knowledge lead to the actual attainment of the reality by creating a volitional urge towards it? Even the determinate conceptual knowledge, which follows upon sense-perception directly cognisant of the particular real, is not conversant with the real because the real can be cognised by a non-relational experience alone. It may be supposed for the sake of argument that being immediately preceded by the primal simple experience the conceptual knowledge seems to take cognisance of the reality as it is and hence the volitional urge follows upon it. But this supposition, too, is precluded in the case of verbal knowledge because it does not necessarily follow upon a perceptual cognition. It cannot be supposed that the conceptual image is not felt to be distinct from an objective reality and so comes to be regarded as identical with it and the volitional activity therefore follows as a matter of course. The fact is that mere non-cognition of distinction cannot originate a confusion of identity, far less a volitional urge. The conceptual image is not felt as distinct not only from the objective reality relevant to it, but from the whole world of reality as well. So if non-apprehension of distinction be supposed to have a bearing upon volitional activity, then the activity need not be selective and exclusive in character. It could lead to activity in any direction and towards any object. If however conceptual knowledge, whether following upon perceptual experience or not, be supposed to take note of the objective reality as it is, then there is no room for confusion of activity or for inactivity, which is inevitable in the Buddhist theory.[25]

Ratnakīrti accepts the challenge of Vācaspati and assures us that there is no difficulty whatsoever in the Buddhist theory of conceptual knowledge (adhyavasāya). Though the objective reality is not presented as a datum in the conceptual knowledge, still it is a reality which is conceived and this conception of reality means that the volitional activity is directed towards it. Well, the crux of the problem lies in this, how can there be any volitional urge towards an object not directly felt in experience ? Even if it is conceded that the conceptual image is not differentiated from the objective reality, this non-differentiation cannot be the cause of any activity, it being purely privative in character,. It could inspire activity only if the concept and the reality were identified, but this false identification even is possible only if the two factors are present; and if the reality is actually felt in the conceptual knowledge, then this identification need not be postulated, as the felt reality can inspire the activity and identification would be useless. So the explanation of Dharmakīrti that activity is inspired by a false identification of a concept with a fact falls to the ground, even if identification is interpreted as non-cognition of difference.[26] Ratnakīrti however argues that though the objective reality, which is aimed at by the volitional activity, is not presented to the conceptual knowledge, the mere fact of non-presentation does not put it on a level with the whole world of unpresented data. There is this distinction—that one is aimed at by a volitional activity and others are ignored. There is no room for confusion even, because a conceptual thought has a distinctive structure and a distinctive capacity, being generated by a definitive collocation of causes and conditions and so the concept of water inspires activity towards water alone and not to horse and the like, though both arc equally unpresented data. The concept of water has a bearing upon water alone just as smoke has a bearing upon fire. You cannot question, why should it be so and not otherwise? Nature does not permit of any such curiosity and keeps her ultimate secrets hidden from the limited understanding of man. Whom would you reprove that fire only burns and not the sky? We do not say that there is any identification between a. concept and a fact on the ground of their similarity and so the rebuke does not touch us. How does then the volitional activity arise regarding an external fact, though not presented to the mind? The answer is that the relevant memory-impression, when it is fully matured and stimulated, springs up as a conceptual image and this conceptual image inspires activity towards the outer object by virtue of an inherent power, though there is no factual relation between the two. It is an illusory relation, but it has a remote bearing upon the objective fact, being conditioned by it at some stage of experience. Conceptual knowledge, though false quâ its objective reference, leads to the actual attainment of the object and in respect of pragmatic value it can be equated with such ‘working errors’ as perception of the jewel’s light misconstrued as the perception of the jewel itself. In verbal knowledge too what is immediately present to the subjective consciousness is but a conceptual image, but this is misjudged to be the objective reality. If pragmatic satisfaction be regarded as the adequate measure of truth, verbal concepts can be taken to be true. But as the test of truth is not pragmatic satisfaction alone, but correspondence and consistency of fact and knowledge and as pragmatic success is only symptomatic of such truth, conceptual knowledge is regarded as false knowledge as it lacks the said correspondence and consistency.[27]

We have seen that the exact connotation of a word is not grounded in an objective reality. A word only generates a conceptual image in the mind of the subject and this conceptual image is hypostatised as an external fact. But as a concept even is possessed of a definitive content, it is naturally demarcated from other concepts and this negative aspect is regarded as constitutive of its individuality and significance. Though opinions differ about the exact position of the negative content as to whether it is a part of the felt content or a deduction from the positive meaning, there is no difference whatsoever about the fact that the connotation of a word is a concept, subjective in fact though objective in reference. Though Dignāga did not expressly declare that by the negative import of words he meant only subjective concepts and though he expressly denied that word had a positive meaning,[28] and Uddyotakara was acquainted only with this theory of pure negation as verbal import, the theory was revised at not a distant date and the conceptual character of the word-import with negative implication was emphasised. Kumārila refers to this conceptual image being regarded by certain thinkers as the verbal connotation and Kamalaṣīla expressly states that the view in question was of some other thinkers.[29] Whatever may be the case, later Buddhists have invariably declared that the verbal import is a conceptual construction and not an objective fact. Now the question arises, if the meaning be only a subjective concept, then how could it be communicable to one another? The concept of one is not the concept of another and so cannot be known by any two persons, simply because concepts and ideas are not amenable to perception by a different subject. How could then verbal convention be apprehended with regard to these concepts, simply because no two persons can have the same concept and even if it be possible, there is no means of knowing that the concept of one is possessed by another? Śāntarakṣita replies that the difficulty would have been actually in urmountable if the conceptual image was confined within its limits and had not extra-subjective reference. Though in reality the speaker and the hearer are conversant with what is their private possession, both of them think that they understand the objective reality, and the cause of illusion being similar in both, there is no difficulty in intercommunication, just as two persons suffering from ophthalmia see two moons and when one communicates his experience to the other, his word is believed to refer to an actual fact. Language is therefore a convenient instrument for communication of concepts, which however are fictitious representatives of reality.[30]



  1. Tattvasaṅgraha and Pañjikā, pp. 274-366, śls. 867-1212.
  2. Apohasiddhi—Six Buddhist Nyāya Tracts,  pp. 1-19.
  3. Nyāyavārttika, pp 320-331.
  4. Tātparyaṭīka, pp. 478-491.
  5. Śloka-Vārttika-Apohavāda, pp. 566-614.
  6. Nyāyamañjarī, pp. 302-317.
  7. Vākyapadīya, Ch. II, śls. 118-154, pp. 131-143.

Footnotes and references:


na hy adṛṣṭeṣv atītānāgatabhedabhinneṣv ananteṣu bhedeṣu samayaḥ sambhavaty atiprasaṅgāt. vikalpabuddhyā vyāhṛtya teṣu pratipadyata. eve’ti cet. evaṃ tarhi vikalpasamāropitārthaviṣaya eva śabdasanniveśanam, na paramārthato bhedeṣv iti prāptam.
      T. S. P., p. 278.


vācyaṃ svalakṣaṇam upādhir upādhiyogaḥ |
sopādhir astu yadi vā”k kṛtir aslu buddheḥ |
ādyantayor na samayaḥ phalaśaktihāner |
madhye’py upādhivirahāt tritaye na yuktaḥ |
      Apohasiddhi, p. 18.

Vide T. S., śls. 869-84, and the Pañjikā thereunder.


yathai’va hy aṅkuśābhighātādayo hastyādīnām arthapratipattau pratibhāhetavo bhavanti, tathā sarve’rthavat-sammatā vṛkṣādayaḥ śabdā yathābhyāsaṃ pratibhāmātropasaṃhārahetavo bhavanti, na tv arthaṃ sākṣāt pratipādayanti. anyathā hi kathaṃ parasparaparāhatāḥ pravacanabhedā utpādyakathāprabandhāś ca svavikalpoparacitapadārthabhedadyotakāḥ syur iti.
      T. S. P., p. 286.
      Vā. P., II, 119;
      T. S., śls. 892, 902-905.


atha mataṃ yo vivakṣāviparivartī rūpādir artho yaś ca bāhyas tayoḥ sārūpyam asty ataḥ sārūpyād acodite bāhye pravṛttir bhaviṣyati yamalakavad ity ata āha—sārūpyāc ca śruter vṛttiḥ kathaṃ vā’śabdacohite | sārūpyād yamalakavat | (śl. 908).
      T. S. P., p. 289.

N.B. Most of these theories have been alluded to in the Vākyapadīya of Bhartṛhari and the T. S. and the Pañjikā have taken them from that work. Of course the criticism is entirely original.

Vide Vā. Pa., Ch. II, śls. 118-184.


Vide, The Central Conception of Buddhism, p. 106.

Cf. yo’pi Vaibhāṣikaḥ śabdaviṣayaṃ nāmākhyaṃ nimittākhyaṃ cā’rthacihnarūpaṃ viprayuktaṃ saṃskāram icchati, tad apy etenai’va dūṣitaṃ draṣṭavyam, tathā hi tan nāmādi yadi kṣaṇikaṃ tadā anvayāyogaḥ, akṣaṇikatve kramijñānānupapattiḥ.
      T. S. P., p. 290.


tasmād eṣa vikalpaviṣayo na jñānākāro nā’pi bāhya ity alīka evā-“stheyaḥ, yathā” ha Dharmottaraḥ, “buddhyā kalpikayā viviktam aparair yad rāpam ullikhyate | buddhir no na bahir” iti.
      Tāt. ṭī., p. 485.


N. V., pp, 328-29, Tāt. ṭī, p. 492.


bāhyārthādhyavasāyena pravṛttaṃ pratibimbakam |
utpādayati yene’yaṃ tenā’he’ty apadiśyate |
tasya ca pratibimbasya gatāv evā’nugamyate |
sāmarthyād anyaviśleṣo..........
divābhojanavākyāder ivā’syā’pi phaladvayam |
sākṣāt sāmarthyato yasmān nā’nvayo vyatirekavān |
      T.S., śls. 1017, 1019, 1020.


T.S., Śls. 1034, 1036-37.

Cf. yo’sau pratyavamarśapratyayas tasyā’pi svalakṣaṇabhedena bhidyamānatvād ekatvam asiddham. tataś ca tasyā’py ekatvasiddhaye param ekākārapratyavamarṣakāryam anusarato’navasthā syāt. tataś cā’navasthitaikakāryatayā na kvacid ekaśrutiniveśaḥ siddhyet. nai’tad asti, na hi pratyavamarśapratyayasyai’kakāryatayai’katvam ucyate. kiṃ tarhi? ekārthādhyavasāyitayā, tena nā’navasthā bhaviṣyati.
      T. S. P., p. 325.


N.M., pp. 316-17.


vikalpollikbyamānākārabbedānavagamād vikalpānām aikyam yādṛśam evai’kaśābaleyādisvalakṣaṇadarśanānantarabbuvā’pi vikalpeno ’llikhita ākāro gaur iti tādṛśam eva gopiṇḍāntaradarśanānantarajanmanā’pi’ti viṣayābhedāt tadaikyam ucyate tad etad api na hṛdayaṅgamam abhidhīyate. vikalpas tāvad vijñānakṣaṇasvabhāvatvād anyonyam bhinnā eva bhavanti—yas tu vikalpollikhita ākāro’nupalabhyamānabhedas tebhyo vyatirikto’vyatirikto vā. vyatiriktaś cet syāt sāmānyam eve’dam nāmāntareṇo’ktaṃ bhavati. avāstavatvakṛto viśeṣa iti cen na, avāstavatve yuktyabhāvāt. avyatiriktaś cet sa ākāras tarhi vikalpasvarūpavad bhidyata eve’ti kathaṃ tadaikyam kathaṃ vā tadaikye bhinnānām api darśanānāṃ miśrīkaraṇam avakalpate?
      N. M., pp. 314-15.


nanu sāmānyapratyayajananasāmarthyaṃ yady ekasmāt piṇḍād abhinnam. tadā vijātīyavyāvṛttaṃ piṇḍāntaram asamartham. atha bhinnam, tadā tad eva sāmānyam, nāmni paraṃ vivāda iti cet? abhinnai’va sā śaktiḥ prativastu. yathā tv ekaḥ śaktasvabhāvo bhāvas tathā’nyo’pi bhavan kīdṛśaṃ doṣam āvahati? yathā bhavatāṃ jātir ekā’pi samānadhvaniprasavahetur anyā’pi svarūpeṇai’va jātyantaranirapekṣā, tathā’smākaṃ vyaktir api jātinirapekṣā svarūpeṇai’va bhinnā hetuḥ.
      A. S., p. 13.


yatpunaḥ sāmānyābhāve sāmānyapratyayasyā’kasmikatvam uktam, tad ayuktam. yataḥ pūrvapiṇḍadarśanasmaraṇasahakāriṇā’tiricyamānā viśeṣapra(?)yayajanikā sāmagrī nirviṣayaṃ sāmānyavikalpam utpādayati.
      A. S., p. 12.


tatra sāmānyavacanā uktāḥ śabdā ghaṭādayaḥ |
vijātīyavyavacchinnapratibimbaikahetavaḥ |
      T. S., śl. 1038.


kiñ ca svalakṣaṇātmani vastuni vācye sarvātmanā pratipatteḥ, vidhiniṣedhayor ayogaḥ. tasya hi sadbhāve’stī’ti vyartham, nā’stī’ty asamartham. asadbhave nāstī’ti vyartham. astī’ty asamartham. asti cā’styādipadaprayogaḥ. A. S., pp. 7-8.


saṃsṛjyante na bhidyante svato’rthāḥ pāramārthikāḥ |
rāpam ekam anekaṃ ca teṣu buddher upaplavaḥ | 
      T. S. P., p. 228 under 1049.


anādivāsanodbhūtavikalpapariniṣṭhitaḥ | śabdārthas trividho dharmī bhāvābhāvobhayāśrayaḥ | bhāvāśrayo yathā nīlam iti, abhāvāśrayo yathā śaśaviṣāṇam iti, ubhayāśrayo yathā amūrtam iti, amūrtaṃ hi bhavati vijñānaṃ bhavati ca śaśaviṣāṇam.
      Tāt. ṭī., p. 497.

Cf. tasmāc chabdapratibhāsasya bāhyārthabhāvābhāvasādhāraṇyaṃ na tadviṣayatāṃ kṣamate.
      A. S., p. 8


tasmāj jātimatyo vyaktayo vikalpānāṃ śabdānāṃ ca gocaraḥ...... na ca śabdārthasya bhāvābhāvasādhāraṇyaṃ no’papadyate. sā hi svarūpato nityā’pi deśakālaviprakīrṇānantavyaktyāśrayatayā bhāvābhāvasādhāraṇī bhavaty astināstisambandhayogyā, vartamānavyaktisambandhitā hi jāter astitā, atītānāgatavyaktisambandhitā ca nāstitā.
      Tāt. ṭi., p. 487, A. S., p. 8.


sarvasya gaur ityādiśabdajanitasya jñānasyā’tītatvādy anapekṣya sāmānyamātraviṣayatvād ākāṅkṣānirākaraṇāyā’sti nastī’ti padāntaraṃ prayujyamānaṃ sambadhyate. niyatārūpitāniścitanijarūpe vastuni vastvantarasya vyavacchedabandhanam iṣyata eva ghaṭo ghaṭa eva na paṭa iti.
      N. M., p. 317.


.........kārakaṃ liṅgaṃ saṅkhyā ca, na cai’tat tritayaṃ prātipadikārthe jātāv anveti, na jātiḥ kārakaṃ, na ca jāteḥ strīpuṃnapuṃsakavibhāgo, na cā ‘sya dvitvādiyoga iti.
      Ibid, p. 322.


Vide the footnote 1, p. 138.


Yat tu goḥ pratītau ‘na tadātmā parātme’ti’sāmarthyāt
(Cf. prasajyapratiṣedho’pi sāmarthyena pratīyate | na tadātmā parātme’ti, T.S.; 1013-14)

apohaḥ paścān niścīyata iti vidhivādināṃ matam, anyāpohapratītau vā sāmarthyād anyāpodho’vadhāryata iti pratiṣedhavādināṃ matam.
      A. S., p. 3.


Ibid, pp. 3-4.

‘anyathā yadi śabdād arthapratipattikāle kalito na parāpohaḥ, katham anyaparihāreṇa pravṛttiḥ. tato gām badhāne’ti codito’śvādīn api badhnīyat.’


Ibid, p. 18.


Tāt. ṭi., pp. 488-90, N. M., p. 317.


idaṃ tad ekīkaraṇam āhur dṛyśavikalpayor bhedo yan na gṛhyate, na punar bhinnayor’abhedādbyavasāya ekīkaraṇam iṣyate. dṛśyakalpāvibhagajño loko bāhyaṃ tu manyate.
      N. M., p. 308.
      T. S., 61. 1078.


pratibhāṣaś ca śabdārtha ity āhus tattvacintakāḥ |
tattvataś ca na śabdānāṃ vācyam asti’ti sādhitam |
      T. S., śl. 1078-79.


Kamalaśīla raises the doubt that if word had a positive meaning then, why did the author (Dignāga) deny this positive connotation in the Hetumukha? Śāntarakṣita saves the situation by declaring that the Master denied positive import on the ground that word had not, from the logical standpoint, any reference to an objective reality and not that he meant negation to be the direct import.

‘kathaṃ tarhi Hetumukhe lakṣaṇakāreṇa ‘asambhavo vidher’ ity uktam?...... ‘asambhavo vidher uktaḥ sāmānyader asambhavāt | śabdānāṃ ca vikalpānāṃ vastuto ’viṣayatvataḥ’ |
      T. S., śl. 1097.
      Pañj., p. 389.


ye tv āhur vikalpapratibimbakam eva sarvaśabdānām arthas tad eva cā’bhidhīyate vyavacchidayata iti co’cyata iti tān pratī’dam āha’ jñānākāraniṣedhāc ca nā’ntarārtho’bhidhīyate.’
      T. S. P., p. 313.
      S, V., p. 605, śl. 145.


T. S., Śls. 1210-11, and the Pañj. thereunder.

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