A History of Indian Philosophy Volume 2

by Surendranath Dasgupta | 1932 | 241,887 words | ISBN-13: 9788120804081

This page describes the philosophy of thought and its object in buddhism and in vedanta: a concept having historical value dating from ancient India. This is the second part in the series called the “the shankara school of vedanta (continued)”, originally composed by Surendranath Dasgupta in the early 20th century.

Part 2 - Thought and its Object in Buddhism and in Vedānta

The Vedānta takes a twofold view of things; the first view refers to ultimate reality and the second to appearance. This ultimate reality is pure intelligence, as identical with pure bliss and pure being. This is called ultimately real in the sense that it is regarded as changeless. By pure intelligence the Vedānta does not mean the ordinary cognitional states; for these have a subjective and an objective content which are extraneous to them. This pure intelligence is pure immediacy, identical with the fact of revelation found in all our conscious states. Our apprehensions of objects are in some sense events involving both a subjective and an objective content; but their special feature in every case is a revelatory inwardness or immediacy which is non-temporal and changeless.

The fact that we see, hear, feel, touch, think, remember is equivalent to saying that there are various kinds of cognizings. But what is the nature of this cognizing? Is it an act or a fact? When I see a blue colour, there is a blue object, there is a peculiar revelation of an appearance as blue and a revelation of the “I” as perceiver. The revelation is such that it is both a revelation of a certain character as blue and of a certain thing called the blue object. When a revelation occurs in perception, it is one and it reveals both the object and its appearance in a certain character as blue. The revelation is not the product of a certain relation which happens to subsist at any time between the character-appearance and the object; for both the character-appearance as blue and the object are given in revelation. The revelation is self-evident and stands unique by itself. Whether I see, or hear, or feel, or change, the fact remains that there is some sort of an awareness which does not change.

Awareness is ever present by itself and does not undergo the changes that its contents undergo. I may remember that I had seen a blue object five minutes previously; but, when I do this, what I perceive is the image of a blue object, with certain temporal and spatial relations, which arises or becomes revealed; but the revelation itself cannot be revealed again. I may be conscious, but I cannot be conscious of consciousness. For consciousness as such, though ever present in its immediacy, cannot become an object of any other consciousness. There cannot be any such thing as the awareness of an awareness or the awareness of the awareness of an awareness, though we may multiply such phrases in language at our pleasure. When I remember that I have been to Trinity College this morning, that only means that I have an image of the way across the commons, through Church Street and Trinity Street; my movements through them are temporally pushed backward, but all this is a revelation as image at the present moment and not a revelation of a past revelation.

I cannot say that this present image in any way reveals that particular image as the object of the present revelation. But the former revelation could not be held to be distinct from the present one; for distinction is always based on content and not on revelation. Revelation as such is identical and, since this is so, one revelation cannot be the object of another. It is incorrect to say that “A is A” means that one A becomes itself over again. It is owing to the limitations of grammatical terminology that identity is thus described. Identity thus understood is different from what we understand by identity as a relation. Identity understood as a relation presupposes some difference or otherness and thus is not self-contained. And it is because it is not self-contained that it can be called a relation. When it is said that A is identical with A , it means that on all the various occasions or contents in which A appeared it always signified the same thing, or that it had the same shape or that it was the same first letter of the English alphabet.

Identity in this sense is a function of thought not existing by itself, but in relation to a sense of opponency or otherness. But revelation has no otherness in it; it is absolutely ubiquitous and homogeneous. But the identity of revelation of which we are speaking does not mean that the revelation signifies the same thing amidst a diversity of contents: it is simply the one essence identical in itself and devoid of any numerical or other kinds of difference. It is absolutely free from “now” and “then,” “here” and “there,” “such” or “not such” and “this” or “that.”

Consciousness of the self-shining self taken in this way cannot be regarded as the relation of an appearance to an object, but it is the fact of the revelation or the entity of the self. If we conceive of revelation in this way, it is an error to make any distinction in revelation as the revelation of the past or the revelation of the present moment. For moments are revealed as objects are revealed; they do not constitute revelation or form any part of it. This revelation is identical with the self-shining self to which everything else has to be related in order to be known.

“Is cognizing an act or a fact?” Before this can be answered the point to be made clear is what is meant by cognizing. If we ignore the aspect of revelation and speak of mental states which can be looked at from the point of view of temporal or qualitative change of character, we must speak of them as acts or events. If we look at any mental state as possessing certain characters and relations to its objects, we have to speak of these aspects. But, if we look at cognizing from the point of view of its ultimate truth and reality as revelation, we cannot call it either an act or a fact; for, as revelation, it is unique and unchangeable in itself. All relations and characters are revealed in it, it is self-evident and is at once in and beyond them all. Whether we dream or wake, whether we experience ai\ illusion or a truth, revelation is always there. When we look at our mental states, we find that they are always changing, but this is so only with reference to the contents. Apart from this there is a continuity in our conscious life. By this continuity the Vedānta apprehends not any sort of coherence in our ideas, but the fact of the permanence of revelation.

It may be asked what remains of revelation, if the mental states are taken away. This question is not admissible; for the mental states do not form part of revelation; they are rendered conscious by coming into relation with revelation. This category is the ultimate reality. It is not self or subject in the sense in which self or ego is ordinarily understood. For what is ordinarily understood as the ego or the “I” is as much a content of the perception of the moment as any other objective content. It is not impossible that any particular objective content may be revealed at any time without the corresponding “I perceive” being explicitly revealed at the same time. The notion of ego or “I” does not refer to an everlasting abiding independent self or person; for this notion is as changing as any other objective content.

The “I” has no definite real content as referring to an existing entity, but is only a particular mode of mind which is often associated, as a relatively abiding content, with other changing contents of the mind. As such, it is as changeable as is any other object. “I know this” only means that there is a revelation which at one sweep reveals both the “this” and the “I.”

So far as the revelation appears as revealing the “this” and the “I,” it is manifested in a subjective mental state having a particular conscious centre different from other similar centres. But, since revelation cannot in reality be individuated, all that we may say about “I” or “mine,” “thou” or “thine,” falls outside it. They are all contents, having some indefinite existence of their own and revealed by this principle of revelation under certain conditions. This principle of revelation thus has a reality in quite a different sense from that which is used to designate the existence of any other object. All other objects are dependent upon this principle of revelation for their manifestation, and their nature or essence, out of connection with it, cannot be defined or described. They are not self-evident, but are only expressed by coming into some sort of relation with this principle. We have already seen that this principle cannot be either subjective or objective. For all considerations of subject or object fall outside it and do not in any way qualify it, but are only revealed by it.

There are thus two principles, the principle of revelation and all that which is revealed by it. The principle of revelation is one; for there is nothing else like it; it alone is real in the highest and truest sense. It is absolute in the sense that there is no growth, decay, evolution or change in it, and it is perfectly complete in itself. It is infinite in the sense that no finitude can form part of it, though through it all finitude is being constantly revealed. It is all-pervading in the sense that no spatial or temporal limits can be said to affect it in any way, though all these are being constantly revealed by it. It is neither in my head nor in my body nor in the space before me; but yet there is nowhere that it is not. It has sometimes been designated as the“Self” or ātman , but only in the sense of denoting its nature as the supreme essence and transcendent reality of all— the Brahman.

Apart from this principle of revelation, all else is constituted of a substanceless indefinable stuff called māyā. In some schools of Śaṅkara Vedānta it is said that all is pure and simple illusion, that things exist only when they are perceived and dissolve into nothingness as soon as we cease to perceive them; this school has been designated the Dṛṣṭi-sṛṣṭi school, a doctrine which has been briefly explained in the tenth chapter of the present work[1]. One of the most important texts of this school is the Siddhānta-muktāvalī by Prakāśānanda[2].

Prakāśānanda seems to have taken his inspiration from the Yoga-vāsiṣṭha , and he denied the existence of things when they are not perceived (ajñāta-sattvānabhyupagama). He tried to show that there were no grounds for holding that external objects existed even when they were not perceived or that external objects had a reality independent of their perceptions. Examining the capacity of perception as a proof to establish this difference between perception and its object, he argued that, since the difference between the awareness and its object was a quality of the awareness, the awareness itself was not competent to grasp this quality in the object, as it was one of the constituents of the complex quality involving a difference of the awareness and its object; to assert the contrary would be a fallacy of self-dependence (ātmāśrayatva).

If the apprehended difference is a complex, such as “difference-between-awareness-and-its-object,” and if this complex is a quality which is apprehended as existing in the object, it has to be assumed that, in order that the nature of awareness may be realized, vindicated or established, it must depend upon itself involved as a constituent in the complex “difference-between-awareness-and-its-object” directly and immediately—which comes to the same thing as saying that awareness becomes aware of itself by being aware of itself; this is impossible and is called the logical fallacy of self dependence[3].

If it is held that the complex quality (“difference-of-awareness-from-the-object”) is directly perceived in the object through the senses, then it has to be assumed that the said complex quality existed in the object even before the production of the awareness, and this would involve the impossible supposition that the complex quality of which the awareness was a constituent was already present even before such an awareness had already come into being. If perception or direct awareness cannot be said to prove the difference between the awareness and its object, there can be no inference which may be supposed to do it.

For such an inference has to take form thus—

“the object is different from its own awareness, because it is associated with entirely different kinds of qualities or characteristics[4].”

But how could it be known that the object has qualities of an entirely different character from its awareness, since a difference between an awareness and its object was contested and could not be proved by perception or any other means ? Prakāśānanda further says that the argument by implication (arthāpatti), that awareness involves the acceptance of something different from the awareness of which the awareness is affirmed, because there cannot be any knowledge without a corresponding object, is invalid. In proving the invalidity of the supposition that knowledge necessarily implies an object, Prakāśānanda raises the question whether such an implication of an object as conditioning knowledge refers to the production (utpatti) of knowledge, its persistence (sthiti) or its secondary cognition. As regards the first alternative Prakāśānanda says that according to the Vedānta consciousness is ever-existent and is never a product; and, even if it is regarded as a product, the process of cognition can itself be regarded as a sufficient cause for its production.

It can by no means be urged that the presence of an external object is in all cases necessary for the production of knowledge; for, though it is arguable that in perception an object is necessary, no one will suggest that an external object is to be considered necessary in the production of inferential knowledge—a fact which shows that the presence of an external object is not indispensable for the production of knowledge as such. As regards the persistence of knowledge it is said that awareness has not the object that it knows for its locus or substance (āśraya), in such a way that the absence of the object, as apart from the awareness, would make it impossible for the awareness to persist; and, if knowledge is supposed to be persisting in anything, that something would not be a cognized object, but the cognizer itself—as in the Nyāya view, where knowledge is regarded as an attribute of the self and the self is then regarded as the substance or locus (āśraya) of knowledge.

Since again cognition and its object do not exist in the same space or in the same time (this is proved by the possibility of our knowing a past or a future object), there cannot be any such concomitance between the two that it would be right for any one to infer the external presence of an object because of there being a subjective cognition or awareness. So he argues that there is no proof that cognition and cognized objects are different.

In the above account of Prakāśānanda’s views it is clear that he does not attempt to give any positive proof in support of his thesis that the world-appearance and all objects contained in it have no existence while they are not perceived or that the being of all objects cognized is their percipi. He only tries to show that it cannot be logically established that awareness of blue and blue are two different objects; or, in other words, that it cannot be proved that the cognized object is different from its cognition. It could not legitimately be held that awareness (pratīti) was different from its object (pratyetavya). The whole universe, as we perceive it, is nothing but cognition without there being any object corresponding to it. As dreams are nothing but mere awareness, without there being any real objects behind them which manifest themselves in different ways of awareness and their objects, so also is the world of awaking consciousness[5]. The world has thus no independent substratum, but is mere cognition or mere awareness (vijñāna-mātra or bhāva-mātra).

This scheme of Vedānta philosophy is surprisingly similar to the idealism of Vasubandhu (a.d. 280-360), as taught in his Viṃśatikā with a short commentary of his own and in his Trirnśikā with a commentary by Sthiramati[6]. According to this idealism (vijñāna-vāda)  of Vasubandhu all appearances are but transformations of the principle of consciousness by its inherent movement, and none of our cognitions are produced by any external objects which to us seem to be existing outside of us and generating our ideas.

Just as in dreams one experiences different objects at different places and countries without there being any objective existence of them, or as in dreams many people may come together and perform various actions, so what seems to be a real world of facts and external objects may well be explained as a mere creation of the principle of intelligence without any objective basis at all. All that we know as subjective or objective is mere ideation (vijñapti) and there is no substantive reality, or entity corresponding to it; but that does not mean that pure non-conceptual (anabhilapyenātmanā) thought, which the saints realize, is also false[7]. It is possible that the awareness of anything may become the object of a further awareness, and that of another; but in all such cases where the awarenesses are significant (arthavatī) there is no entity or reality represented by them; this, however, should not be interpreted as a denial of the principle of intelligence or pure knowledge as such.

Vasubandhu then undertakes to show that the perceptual evidence of the existence of the objective world cannot be trusted. He says that, taking visual perception as an example, we may ask ourselves if the objects of the visual perception are one as a whole or many as atoms. They cannot be mere wholes, since wholes would imply parts; they cannot be of the nature of atoms, since such atoms are not separately perceived; they cannot be of the nature of combinations of atoms, since the existence of atoms cannot be proved[8]. For, if six atoms combine from six sides, that implies that the atoms have parts; if however six atoms combine with one another at one identical point, that would mean that the combined group would not have a size larger than that of one atom and would therefore be invisible.

Again, if the objects of awareness and perception were only wholes, then succession and sequence would be inexplicable, and our perception of separate and distinct things would remain unaccountable. So they have no real objective existence, though perception leads us to believe that they have. People are dreaming of the world of objects in the sleep of the sub-conscious habit of false imaginative construction (vitatha-vikalpābhyāsa-vāsanā-nidrayā), and in their dreams they construct the objective world; it is only when they become awake with the transcendent indeterminate knowledge (lokottara-nirvikalpa-jñāna-lābhāt prabuddho bhavati) that they find the world-construction to be as false as the dream-construction of diverse appearances.

In such a view there is no objective material world, and our cognitions are not influenced by external objects; how then are our minds influenced by good instructions and associations? and, since none of us have any real physical bodies, how can one kill another? Vasubandhu explains this by the theory that the thought-currents of one person can sometimes determine the thought-currents of another. Thus the idea of killing of a certain type may produce such a disturbance of the vital powers of another as to produce a cessation of the continuity of the thought-processes, which is called death[9]. So also the good ideas of one may influence the ideas of another for good.

In the Triṃśikā of Vasubandhu and its commentary by Sthir-amati this idealism is more clearly explained. It is said that both the soul (or the knower) and all that it knows as subjective ideas or as external objects existing outside of us are but transformations of pure intelligence (vijñāna-pariṇāma). The transformation (parmama) of pure intelligence means the production of an effect different from that of the causal moment simultaneously with the cessation of the causal moment[10]. There is neither externality nor subjectivity in pure intelligence, but these are imposed upon it (vijñāna-svarūvpe parikalpita eva ātmā dharmāś ca).

All erroneous impositions imply that there must be some entity which is mistaken for something else; there cannot be erroneous impositions on mere vacuity; so it has to be admitted that these erroneous impositions of various kinds of external characteristics, self, etc. have been made upon the transformations of pure intelligence[11]. Both Vasubandhu and Sthiramati repudiate the suggestion of those extreme idealists who deny also the reality of pure intelligence on grounds of interdependence or relativity (saṃvṛti)[12]. Vasubandhu holds that pure consciousness (vijñapti-mātratā) is the ultimate reality.

This ultimate consciousness is a permanent entity, which by its inherent power (śakti) undergoes threefold transformations as the inherent indeterminate inner change (vipāka), which again produces the two other kinds of transformations as the inner psychoses of mental operations (manana) and as the perception of the so-called external sensibles (viṣaya-vijñapti). The apprehension of all appearances or characterized entities (dharma) as cognized objects and that of selves as cognizers, the duality of perceivers and the perceived, are due to the threefold transformations of vipāka, manana and viṣaya-vijñapti. The ultimate consciousness (vijñapti-mātra) which suffers all these modifications is called ālaya-vijñāna in its modified transformations, because it is the repository of all experiences. The ultimate principle of consciousness is regarded as absolutely permanent in itself and is consequently also of the nature of pure happiness (sukha); for what is not eternal is painful, and this, being eternal, is happy[13].

When a saint’s mind becomes fixed (pratiṣṭhita) in this pure consciousness (vijñapti-mātra), the tendency to dual thought of the subjective and the objective (grāhya-grāhakānuśaya) ceases and there dawns the pure indeterminate (nirvikalpa) and transcendent (lokottara) consciousness. It is a state in which the ultimate pure consciousness returns from its transformations and rests in itself. It is divested of all afflictions (kleśa) or touch of vicious tendencies and is therefore called anāsrava. It is unthinkable and undemonstrable,because it is,on the one hand,pure self-consciousness (pratyātma-vedya) and omniscience (sarvajñatā) , as it is divested of all limitations (āvaraṇa), and, on the other hand, it is unique in itself[14].

This pure consciousness is called the container of the seed of all (sarva-bīja), and, when its first indeterminate and indefinable transformations rouse the psychosis-transformations and also the transformations as sense-perceptions, these mutually act and react against one another, and thus the different series rise again and again and mutually determine one another. These transformations are like waves and ripples on the ocean, where each is as much the product of others as well as the generator of others[15].

In this view thought (vijñāna) is regarded as a real substance, and its transformations are also regarded as real; and it is these transformations that are manifested as the selves and the characterized appearances[16]. The first type of transformations, called vipāka, is in a way the ground of the other two transformations, which contain the indeterminate materials out of which the manifestations of the other two transformations appear. But, as has already been pointed out, these three different types of transformations again mutually determine one another.

The vipāka transformations contain within them the seeds of the constructive instincts (vikalpa-vāsanā) of the selves as cognizers,the constructive instincts of colours, sounds, etc., the substantive basis (āśraya) of the attribution of these twofold constructive instincts, as well as the sense-faculties and the localization of space-determinations (sthāna-vijñapti or bhājana-loka-sanniveśa-vijñapti). They are also associated in another mode with sense-modifications involving the triune of the sense (indriya), sense-object (viṣaya) and cognition (and each of these triunes is again associated with a characteristic affective tone corresponding to the effective tones of the other two members of the triune in a one-to-one relation), attention (manaskāra), discrimination (saṃjñā), volition (cetanā) and feeling (vedanā)[17].

The vipāka transformations have no determinate or limited forms (aparicchinnālambanākāra), and there are here no actualized emotional states of attachment, antipathy or the like, which are associated with the actual pleasurable or painful feelings.

The vipāka transformations thus give us the basic concept of mind and its principal functions with all the potentialities of determinate subject-object consciousness and its processes. There are here the constructive tendencies of selves as perceivers, the objective constructive tendencies of colours, sounds, etc., the sense-faculties, etc., attention, feeling, discrimination, volition and sense-functioning. But none of these have any determinate and actualized forms. The second grade of transformations, called manana, represents the actual evolution of moral and immoral emotions; it is here that the mind is set in motion by the ignorant references to the mental elements as the self, and from this ignorance about the self is engendered self-love (ātma-sneha) and egoism (ātma - māna). These references are again associated with the fivefold universal categories of sense-functioning, feeling, attention, volition and discrimination.

Then comes the third grade of transformations, which is associated with the fivefold universal categories together with the special manifestations of concrete sense-perceptions and the various kinds of intellectual states and moral and immoral mental states, such as desire (chandaḥ) for different kinds of sense-experiences, decisions (adhimokṣa) in conclusions firmly established by perceptions, reasoning, etc., memory, attentive reflection (samādhi), wisdom (prajñā), faith and firm will for the good (śraddhā), shamefulness (hrī) for the bad, etc. The term ālaya-vijñāna is given to all these three types of transformations, but there is underneath it, as the permanent passive ground, the eternal and unchangeable pure thought (vijñapti-mātratā).

It may be pointed out here that in this system of philosophy the eternal and unchangeable thought-substance undergoes by virtue of its inner dynamic three different orders of superficial changes, which are compared to constantly changing streams and waves. The first of these represents the basic change which later determines all subjective and objective possibilities; the second starts the process of the psychosis by the original ignorance and false attribution of self-hood to non-self elements, self-love and egoism; and in the third grade we have all the concrete mental and extra-mental facts. The fundamental categories which make the possibility of mind, mental processes and the extra-mental relations, are evolved in the first stage of transformations; and these abide through the other two stages of transformations and become more and more complex and concrete in course of their association with the categories of the other transformations. In analysing the knowledge situation Vasubandhu does not hold that our awareness of blue is only a modification of the “awareness,”

but he thinks that an awareness has always two relations, a relation with the subject or the knower (grāhaka-graha) and a relation with the object which is known (grāhya-graha). Blue as an object is essential for making an awareness of blue possible; for the awareness is not blue, but we have an awareness of the blue. But Vasubandhu argues that this psychological necessity is due to a projection of objectivity as a necessary function of determinate thought, and it does not at all follow that this implies that there are real external objects existing outside of it and generating the awareness as external agent. Psychological objectivity does not imply ontological objectivity. It is argued that, if the agency of objective entities in the production of sense-knowledge be admitted, there could not be any case where sense-knowledge could be admitted to be produced without the operation of the objective entities; but, since in dreams and illusions such sense-knowledge is universally regarded as being produced without the causal operation of such objective entities, no causal operation can be conceded to the objective entities for the production of sense-knowledge.

Śaṅkara, in attempting to refute the Buddhist idealism in his commentary on the Brahma-sūtra, 11. ii. 28, seems to refer to a school of idealism which is the same as that described by Śāntarakṣita in his Tattva-saṃgraha (commented upon by Kama-laśīla), but largely different from that described in Vasubandhu’s Triṃśikā. The positive arguments against the impossibility of an external world constituted by partless atoms are the same[18].

But it is further argued on behalf of the Buddhist idealists that the awareness of a pillar, the awareness of a wall or of a jug or of a piece of cloth, implies that these individual awarenesses are mutually different in nature among themselves; and that consequently the apparent differences among objects are but differences among the ideas; and that therefore the objects are of the same nature as the particular ideas by which we are supposed to know them; and, if that be so, the hypothesis of an external world of objects becomes unnecessary. Moreover the fact that both the idea of the object and the object are taken at one and the same moment proves that both the object and the idea are identical, just as the illusory second moon perceived simultaneously with the moon is identical with it[19]. When one of them is not perceived the other also is not perceived. If they were by nature separate and different, there would be no reason why there should be such a uniform and invariable relation between them.

The reason for the diversity of our ideas is to be sought not in the diversity of external objects which are ordinarily supposed to produce them, but in the beginningless diversity of the instinctive sub-conscious roots (vāsanā) which produce all our ideas in the waking state, just as they produce dreams during sleep; as dreams are admitted by all to be produced without any external objects, so are all ideas produced without any external real objects; for as ideas the dream ideas are just the same as the waking ideas. But in both cases there are the instinctive sub-conscious roots (vāsanā), without which no ideas, whether in the dream state or in the waking state, can be produced; so these, being invariably present in all cases of production of ideas, are the cause of all ideas[20].

Śaṅkara in refuting the above position says that such a view is untenable because it contradicts our experience, which always distinguishes the subject and the object from the awareness. We are directly aware of our sense-contact with external objects which we perceive, and the object of awareness and the awareness are not one and the same. Our awareness itself shows that it is different from its object. The awareness of a pillar is not the same as a pillar, but a pillar is only an object of the awareness of a pillar. Even in denying external objects, the Buddhist idealists have to say that what is knowable only within appears as if it was existing outside[21].

Śaṅkara argues thus: if externality is absolutely non-existent, how can any sense-cognition appear as external? Viṣṇumitra cannot appear as the son of a barren woman. Again, the fact that an idea has the same form as its object does not imply that there are no objects; on the other hand, if there were no objects, how could any idea have the same form as its corresponding object? Again, the maxim that any two things which are taken simultaneously are identical is false; for, if the object and its awareness are comprehended at the same moment, the very fact that one is taken along with the other shows that they cannot be identical.

Moreover, we find that in all our awarenesses of blue or yellow, a jug or a wall, it is the qualifying or predicative factors of objects of knowledge that differ; awareness as such remains just the same. The objects of knowledge are like so many extraneous qualities attributed to knowledge, just as whiteness or blackness may be attributed to a cow; so whether one perceives blue or red or yellow, that signifies that the difference of perception involves a difference in objects and not in the awareness itself.

So the awareness, being one, is naturally different from the objects, which are many; and, since the objects are many, they are different from the one, the awareness. The awareness is one and it is different from the objects, which are many[22]. Moreover, the argument that the appearance of world objects may be explained on the analogy of dreams is also invalid; for there is a great difference between our knowledge of dreams and of worldly objects—dreams are contradicted by the waking experience, but the waking experiences are never found contradicted.

It is curious to note here the contradictions in Śaṅkara’s own statements. It has been already pointed out that he himself in his commentary on Gaudapāda’s Kārikā built a powerful argument for the non-existence of all objects of waking experience on the analogy of the non-existence of the objects of dream experience. Śāntarak-ṣita (a.d. 705) and Kamalaśīla (a.d. 728) in refuting a position similar to that of the view of Śaṅkara—that consciousness is one and unchangeable and that all objects are changing, but that the change of objects does not imply any change of the consciousness itself—argue that, had this been so, then that would imply that all sensibles of different kinds of colours, sounds, etc. were known at one and the same time, since the consciousness that would reveal those objects is constant and unchangeable[23].

Kamalaśīla therefore holds that consciousness is not unchangeable and one, but that there are only the changeable ideas of the sensibles and each idea is different from the other which follows it in time. Śaṅkara’s view that consciousness is only one and that it is only the objects that are many seems to be based on a separation due to an arbitrary abstraction. If the commentary on Gaudapāda’s Kārikā be admitted to be a work of Śaṅkara, then it may be urged that Śaṅkara’s views had undergone a change when he was writing the commentary on the Brahma-sūtra ; for in the commentary on Gaudapāda’s Kārikā he seems again and again to emphasize the view that the objects perceived in waking experience are as false and as non-existent as objects of dream experience.

His only realism there consisted in the assertion that the world was but the result of a false illusory imposition on the real Brahman, since illusions such as mirage, etc. must have some underlying basis upon which they are imposed. But in the commentary on the Brahma-sūtra the world of objects and sensibles is seen to have an existence of some sort outside individual thought. Vācaspati in his Bhāmatī commentary distinguishes the position of Śaṅkara from that of Buddhist idealism by saying that the Vedānta holds that the “blue” is not an idea of the form of blue, but “the blue” is merely the inexplicable and indefinable object[24].

In discussing the views of Vasubandhu in the Viṃśatikā and Triṃśikā it has been pointed out that Vasubandhu did not try to repudiate the objectivity of the objects of awareness, but he repudiated the idea that objects of awareness existed outside of thought and produced the different kinds of awareness. His idea seems to have been that the sensibles are made up of thought-stuff and, though they are the psychological objects of awareness, they do not exist outside of thought and determine the different ideas that we have of them. But both the sensibles and their ideas are determined by some inner law of thought, which determines the nature and methods of the whole process of the growth and development of the psychosis, and which determines not only its cognitional character, but also its moral and emotional character. All the arguments of Śaṅkara in which he emphasizes the psychological duality of awareness and its object would have no force against Vasubandhu, as Vasubandhu admits it himself and holds that “blue” (nīla) is different from the idea of blue; the blue is an object (ālambana) and the idea of the blue is an awareness.

According to him thought splits itself into subject and object; the idea therefore expresses itself as a subject-object awareness. The subject and the object are as much products of thought as the idea itself; the fact that he considers the blue to be thought does not mean that he denies the objectivity of the blue or that the only existence of the blue is the blue-idea. The blue is objectively present before the idea of blue as a presentation, just as there is the subject to perceive it, but this objectivity does not imply that the blue is somewhere outside thought in the space outside; for even space-locations are thought-products, and so there is no sense in attributing the sensibles of presentation to the outside world. The sensibles are objects of awareness, but they are not the excitants of the corresponding awareness. It does not seem that Śaṅkara says anything to refute such a view.

Śaṅkara’s position in the commentary on Gaudapāda’s Kārikā seems to have been the same sort of view as that of Diṅnāga, which he takes so much pains to refute in the Brahma-sūtra-bhāṣya , and as such it was opposed to the view of Nāgārjuna that there must be some essence or reality on which the illusory impositions are made. But in the Brahma-sūtra-bhāṣya he maintains the view that the objective world, as it appears to our consciousness, is present before it objectively and independently—only its ultimate nature is inexplicable. The difference of the objects from the awareness and their independent existence and activity have been accepted by most of the later Vedānta teachers of the Śaṅkara school; and it is well known that in sense-perception the need of the mind-contact with the object of perception through the specific sense is considered indispensable[25].

Prakāśātman (A.D. 1200) in his Pañca-pādikā-vivaraṇa raises this point and says that the great difference between the Mahāyānists and the Vedāntins consists in the fact that the former hold that the objects (viṣaya) have neither any separate existence nor any independent purpose or action to fulfil as distinguished from the momentary ideas, while the latter hold that, though the objects are in essence identical with the one pure consciousness, yet they can fulfil independent purposes or functions and have separate, abiding and uncontradicted existences[26].

Both Padmapāda and Prakāśātman argue that, since the awareness remains the same while there is a constant variation of its objects, and therefore that which remains constant (anuvṛtta) and that which changes (vyāvṛtta) cannot be considered identical, the object cannot be regarded as being only a modification of the idea[27]. It is suggested that the Buddhist idealist urges that, if the object (e.g. blue) is different from the awareness, it cannot be revealed in it, and, if the blue can be revealed in the awareness, at that moment all the other things of the world might as well be revealed; for there is no such specific relation with the blue that the blue alone should appear in consciousness at that moment.

If it is urged that the blue produces the awareness of the blue, then what would be the function of the visual organ? It is better, therefore, the Buddhist suggests, to admit a natural and unique relation of identity of the idea and the object[28]. The Vedāntist objects to this and says that such a supposition cannot be true, since we perceive that the subject, object and the idea are not one and the same. To such an objection the Buddhist is supposed to reply that these three do not form a complex unity, but arise at three successive moments of time, and then by virtue of their potency or root-impression a complex of the three appears; and this complex should not therefore be interpreted as being due to a relationing of three distinct entities[29]. Thus the fact that “I perceive blue” is not to be interpreted as a conscious relationing of “I,” “the blue” and the awareness, but as an ideation arising at one particular point of time, involving all the three constituents in it.

Such a supposition is necessary, because all appearances are momentary, and because the relationing of the three as three independent entities would necessarily be impossible without the lapse of some time for their operation of relationing. The theory of momentariness naturally leads us to the above supposition, that what appears as relationing is nothing but one momentary flash, which has the above three as its constituent elements; so the Buddhist is supposed to admit that, psychologically, the awareness and its object seem to be different, but such a psychological appearance can at best be considered as a mental illusion or fiction; for logically the Buddhist cannot admit that a momentary appearance could subsist long enough to have the possibility of being relationed to the self and the awareness, as in “I know the blue”; and, if the blue was not considered to be identical with awareness, there would remain no way to explain the possibility of the appearance of the blue in the awareness[30] .

Padmapāda points out that the main point with the Buddhists is the doctrine of causal efficiency (artha-kriyā-kāritva), or the maxim that that alone exists which can prove its existence by effecting some purpose or action. They hold further that this criterion of existence can be satisfied only if all existents are momentary and if all things are momentary; the only epistemological view that can consistently be accepted is the identity of the awareness and the object. The main reason why only momentary existents can satisfy the criterion of causal efficiency is that, if the existents were not assumed to be momentary, they could not effect any purpose or action[31].

Padmapāda urges in refutation of this that, if causal efficiency means the productivity of its own awareness (sva-viṣaya-jñāna-jananam), then an awareness or idea has no existence; for it does not produce any other knowledge of itself (saṃmdāṃ sva-viṣaya-jñānā-jananād asallakṣaṇatvam), and the awareness of one cannot be known by others except by inference, which again would not be direct cognition[32].

If causal efficiency means the production of another moment, then the last moment, having no other moment to produce, would itself be non-existent; and, if the last moment is proved to be non-existent, then by turns all the other moments would be non-existent. Existence is a nature of things; and even when a thing remains silent after an operation it does not on that account cease to exist[33] . On such a basis Prakāśātman points out that the supposed three notions of “I,” “awareness” and the object are really not three distinct notions appearing as one on account of their similarity, but all the three are joined together in one identical subject-object-awareness which does not involve the three successive stages which the Buddhists suppose.

This identity is proved by the fact that they are recognized (pratyabhijñā) to be so. We are, again, all conscious of our own identity, that we persist in all our changing states of consciousness, and that, though our ideas are continually changing with the changing objects, we remain unchanged all the same; and this shows that in knowing ourselves as pure awareness we are successively connected with the changing objects. But the question arises who is to be convinced of this identity, a notion of which can be produced only by a relationing of the previous existence (through sub-conscious impressions of memory) to the existence of the present moment; and this cannot be done by the Vedāntic self, which is pure self-revealing consciousness that cannot further be made an object of any other conscious state; for it is unchangeable, indestructible, and there cannot be in it a consciousness of relationing between a past state and a present state through the sub-conscious impressions of memory[34] .

The mere persistence of the same consciousness is not the recognition of identity; for the recognition of identity would be a relation uniting the past as past with the present as present; and, since there is no one to perceive the relation of identity, the appearance of identity is false. The Vedāntic answer to such an objection is that, though the pure consciousness cannot behave as an individual, yet the same consciousness associated with mind (aniahkaraṇa-viśiṣṭa) may behave as an individual who can recognize his own identity as well as that of others.

The mind is associated with the sub-conscious impressions of a felt ego (ahaṃvṛtti-saṃskāra-sahitam), due to the experience of the self as associated with a past time; being responsible for the experience of the self as associated with the present time, it produces the notion of the identity of the self as persisting both in the past and in the present. A natural objection against such an explanation is that, since the Vedānta does not admit that one awareness can be the object of another awareness, the revival of a past awareness is impossible, without which recognition of identity would be impossible. The answer of the Vedāntist is that, just as an idea is remembered through its sub-conscious impressions, so, though recognition of identity was absent in the preceding moment, yet it could arise through the operation of the sub-conscious impressions at a later moment[35] .

According to the Vedānta the pure consciousness is the only unchanging substance underlying; it is this consciousness associated with mind (antaḥkaraṇa) that behaves as the knower or the subject, and it is the same consciousness associated with the previous and later time that appears as the objective self with which the identity is felt and which is known to be identical with the knower—the mind-associated consciousness. We all have notions of self-identity and we feel it as “I am the same”; and the only way in which this can be explained is on the basis of the fact that consciousness, though one and universal, can yet be supposed to perform diverse functions by virtue of the diverse nature of its associations, by which it seems to transform itself as the knower and the thousand varieties of relations and objects which it knows.

The main point which is to be noted in connection with this realization of the identity of the self is that the previous experience and its memory prove that the self existed in the past; but how are we to prove that what existed is also existing at the present moment? Knowledge of identity of the self is something different from the experience of self in the past and in the present. But the process consists in this, that the two experiences manifest the self as one identical entity which persisted through both the experiences, and this new experience makes the self known in the aforesaid relation of identity. Again, when I remember a past experience, it is the self as associated with that experience that is remembered; so it is the self as associated with the different time relations that is apprehended in an experience of the identity of self.

From all these discussions one thing that comes out clearly is that according to the Śaṅkara Vedānta, as explained by the Vwar ana school of Padmapāda and his followers, the sense-data and the objects have an existence independent of their being perceived; and there is also the mind called antaḥkaraṇa, which operates in its own way for the apprehension of this or that object. Are objects already there and presented to the pure consciousness through the mind? But what then are the objects? and the Śaṅkarite’s answer is that they in themselves are unspeakable and indescribable. It is easy to notice the difference of such a view from that of the Buddhistic idealism of Diṅnāga or the Laṅkāvatāra on the one hand and that of Vasubandhu in his Triṃśikā on the other. For in the case of the former there were no objects independent of their being perceived, and in the case of the latter the objects are transformations of a thought-principle and are as such objective to the subject which apprehends them.

Both the subject and the object are grounded in the higher and superior principle, the principle of thought. This grounding implies that this principle of thought and its transformations are responsible for both the subject and the object, as regards material and also as regards form. According to the Śaṅkara Vedānta, however, the stuff of world-objects, mind, the senses and all their activities, functionings and the like are but modifications of māyā, which is indescribable (anirvācya) in itself, but which is always related to pure consciousness as its underlying principle, and which in its forms as material objects hides from the view and is made self-conscious by the illuminating flash of the underlying principle of pure consciousness in its forms as intellectual states or ideas.

As already described, the Sūnyavādins also admitted the objective existence of all things and appearances; but, as these did not stand the test of criticism, considered them as being essenceless (nilksvabhāva). The only difference that one can make out between this doctrine of essencelessness and the doctrine of indescribableness of the Śaṅkara school is that this “indescribable” is yet regarded as an indescribable something, as some stuff which undergoes changes and which has transformed itself into all the objects of the world. The idealism of the Śaṅkara Vedānta does not believe in the sahopalam-bha-niyama of the Buddhist idealists, that to exist is to be perceived.

The world is there even if it be not perceived by the individual; it has an objective existence quite independent of my ideas and sensations; but, though independent of my sensations or ideas, it is not independent of consciousness, with which it is associated and on which it is dependent. This consciousness is not ordinary psychological thought, but it is the principle that underlies all conscious thought. This pure thought is independent and self-revealing, because in all conscious thought the consciousness shines by itself; all else is manifested by this consciousness and when considered apart from it, is inconceivable and unmeaning. This independent and uncontradicted self-shiningness constitutes being (abādhita-svayaṃ-prakāśataiva asya sattā)[36].

All being is pure consciousness, and all appearance hangs on it as something which is expressed by a reference to it and apart from which it has no conceivable status or meaning. This is so not only epistemologically or logically, but also ontologically. The object-forms of the world are there as transformations of the indescribable stuff of māyā , which is not “being,” but dependent on “being”; but they can only be expressed when they are reflected in mental states and presented as ideas. Analogies of world objects with dream objects or illusions can therefore be taken only as popular examples to make the conception of māyā popularly intelligible; and this gives the Vedāntic idealism its unique position.

Footnotes and references:


A History of Indian Philosophy, vol. I. pp. 477-478, by S. N. Dasgupta, published by the Cambridge University Press, 1922.


Prakāśānanda refers to the arguments of Prakāśātman’s (a.d. 1200) Pañca-pādikā-vivaraṇa and Sarvajñātma Muni’s (A.D. 900) Saṃkṣepa-śārīraka and refers approvingly to Sureśvara, the author of the Naiṣkarmyasiddhi. Appaya Dīkṣita (A.D. 1620) refers to Prakāśānanda in his Siddhānta-leśa (pp. 13,72). Nānā Dīkṣita, a follower of the school of Prakāśānanda and author of the Siddhānta-dīpikā, in a commentary on the Siddhānta-muktāvalī, gives a list of Vedānta teachers. In this list he mentions the names of Prakāśānubhavānanda, Nṛsiṃha and Rāghavendra Yati. Venis thinks (see The Pandit, 1890, pp. 487-490) thatPrakāśānubhavais the same as Prakāśātman and Nṛsiṃha the same as Nṛsiṃhāśrama Muni, who is said to have converted Appaya Dīkṣita to Śaṅkara Vedānta, and thinks that Prakāśānanda lived in the last quarter of the sixteenth century, being wedged in between Nṛsiṃha and Appaya. Though it would be difficult to settle his time so precisely and definitely, yet it would not be wrong to suppose that he lived some time towards the latter half of the sixteenth century. Prakāśānanda’s doctrine of Dṛṣṭi-sṛṣṭi is apparently unknown to the earlier Vedantic works and even the Vedānta-paribhāṣā, a work of the early sixteenth century, does not seem to be aware of him, and it appears that the earliest mention of his name can be traced only to Appaya, who lived in the sixteenth and the seventeenth centuries. Prakāśānanda may thus be believed to have lived in the latter half of the sixteenth century.


Siddhānta-muktāvalī, as printed in the Pandit, 1889, pp. 247—249.


vimato viṣayaḥ sva-viṣaya-jñānād bhidyate tad-viruddha-dharmāśrayatvōt.
p. 252.


pratyetavya-pratītyoś ca bhedaḥ prāmāṇikaḥ kutaḥ
pratīti-mātram evaitad bhāti viśvaṃ carācaram
jñāna-jñeya-prabhedena yathā svāpnaṃ pratīyate
vijñāna-mātram evaitat tathā jāgrac carācaram.


Vijñapti-mātratā-siddhi, containing two treatises, Viṃśatikā and Triṃśikā, Paris, 1925. It seems probable that Vasubandhu flourished in a.d. 280—360 rather than in A.D. 420-500 as held by me in the first volume of the present work. See B. bhaṭṭacharya’s foreword to the Tattva-saṃgraha.


yo bālair dhārmāṇāṃ svabhāvo grāhya-grahakādiḥ porikalpitaḥ tena kalpiten-ātmanā teṣōṃ nairātmyaṃ na tv anabhilāpyenātmanā yo buddhānāṃ viṣaya iti. Commentary on Viṃśatikā, p. 6.


Nāpi te saṃhatā viṣayī-bhavanti, yasmāt paramāṇur ekaṃ dravyaṃ na sidhyati. Ibid. p. 7.


para-vijñapti-viśeṣādhipatyāt pareṣāṃ jīvitendriya-rirodhinī kācit vikriyā utpcidyate yayā sabhāga-santati-vicchedākhyaṃ maraṇam bhavati.
      Commentary on Viṃśatikā, p. 10.


kāraṇa-kṣaṇa-nirodha-sama-kālaḥ kāraṇa-kṣaṇa-vilakṣaṇa-kāryasya ātma-lābhaḥ pariṇāmaḥ.
      Sthiramati’s commentary on Triṃśikā, p. 16.


upacārasya ca nirādhārasyāsambhavād avaśyaṃ vijñāna-pariṇāmo vastuto 'sty upagantavyo yatra ātma-dharmopacāraḥpravartate.
Compare Śaṅkara’s commentary on Gauḍapāda’s Kārikā, no hi nirāspadā mṛgatṛṣṇikādayaḥ.


Thus Laṅkāvatāra, one of the most important works on Buddhistic idealism, denies the real transformation of the pure intelligence or ālaya-vijñāna. See Laṅkāvatāra, p. 46, published by the Otani University Press, Kyoto, 1923.


dhruvo nityatvād akṣayatayā; sukho nityatvād eva yad avityaṃ tad duḥkḥam ayaṃ ca nitya iti asmāt sukhaḥ. Sthiramati’s commentary on Triṃśikā, p. 44.


Alaya-vijñāna in this ultimate state of pure consciousness (vijñapti-mātratā) is called the cause (dhātu) of all virtues, and, being the ultimate state in which the dharmas or characterized appearances have lost all their limitations it is called the dharma-kāya of the Buddha (mahā-muniḥ bhūnd-pāramitādi-bhāva-nayā kleśa-jñeyāvaraṇa-prahāṇāt... sarva-dharma-vibhutva-lābhataś ca dhanna-kāya ity ucyate). Ibid.


tac ca varttate srotasaughavat. Ibid. p. 21.


avaśyaṃ vijñāna-pariṇāmo vastuto ’sty upagantavy oyatrātmadharmopacāraḥ pravarttate. Ibid. p. 16.


Feeling (vedanā) is distinguished here as painful,pleasurable and as the basic entity which is neither painful nor pleasurable, which is feeling per se (vedanā anubhava-svabhāvā sā punar viṣayasya āhlādaka-paritāpaka-tadubhaya-kara-vivikta-svarūpa-sākṣātkaraṇa-bhedāt). This feeling per se must be distinguished again from the non-pleasurable-painful feeling existing along with the two other varieties, the painful and the pleasurable. Here the vipāka transformations are regarded as evolving the basic entity of feeling, and it is therefore undifferentiated in it as pleasure or pain and is hence called “feeling as indifference (upekṣā)" and undifferentiated (avyākṛta). The differentiation of feeling as pleasurable or as painful takes place only as a further determination of the basic entity of feeling evolved in the vipāka transformations of good and bad deeds (śubhāśubha-karma-vipāka). Good and bad (śubhāśubha) are to be distinguished from moral and immoral as potential and actual determinations of virtuous and vicious actions.


Vācaspati, however, in his Bhāmatī commentary, II. ii.28, introduces some new points. He says that spatial extension, as perceived in visual perception, cannot be due to the perception of partless atoms. Nor can it be said that the colour particles produced in uninterrupted succession generate the notion of spatial extension, though there is no spatial extension in the individual atom; for it is not possible that the groups of colour particles are not interrupted by taste, smell and the tactual particles. So it has to be admitted that the colour particles are at some distance from one another and are interrupted by other particles, and that the continuous appearance of colour in spatial distribution is a false appearance, like the appearance of continuous trees from a distance constituting a forest

(gandha-rasa-sparśa-paramāṇv-antaritā hi te rūpa-paramāṇavo na nirantarāḥ ; tasmād ārāt sāntareṣu vṛkṣeṣu eka-ghana-pratyayavad eṣa sthūla-pratyayaḥ paramāṇuṣu sāntareṣu bhrānta eva).


This simile is adduced by Vācaspati probably from a quotation from Diñnāga—

sahopalambha-niyamād abhedo nīla-tad-dhiyoḥ bhedaś ca bhrānti-vijñānair dṛsyetendāv ivādvaye.

Since both the blue and the idea of the blue are taken at the same moment, they are one and the same; for any two things which are taken simultaneously are identical. As one moon appears as two in an illusory manner, so the difference between the idea and the object is also perceived only illusorily. This argument of sahopalambha-niyayna is absent in Vasubandhu’s Viṃśatikā and Triṃśikā.


Vācaspati summarizes in this connection the inference of the Sautrāntikas for the existence of an external world of objects as the causes of the corresponding ideas. The argument of the Sautrāntikas runs thus: When, the old causes remaining the same, there is a new effect, that new effect must be due to a new cause. Now, though it should be admitted that in the passing series of inner consciousness each particular moment generates the succeeding one, and that this power of productivity is called vāsanā (tat-pravṛtti-vijñāna-janana-śaktir vāsanā), and that its tendency to effectuate itself is called its power of fruition (paripāka), even then it would be difficult to understand how each particular moment should have a power altogether different from other moments; for, since there is nothing else to change the character of the moments, each moment is just as much a moment as any other. So it has to be admitted that there are other things which make one moment different in its power of effectuation from any other; and these are the external objects.


Śaṅkara says yad antar-jñeya-rūpaṃ tad bahirvad avabhāsate. This seems to be a quotation from Diñnāga. Diñnāga’s verse, as quoted by Kamalaśīla in his commentary on the Tattva-saṃgraha, verses 2082-2084, runs as follows:

yad antar-jñeya-rūpaṃ tu bahirvad avabhāsate
’rtho vijñāna-rūpatvāt tat-praiyayatayāpi ca.

This shows that Śaṅkara had Diñnāga in his mind when he attempted to refute the Buddhist idealists.


dvābhyāṃ ca bheda ekasya siddho bhavati ekasmāc ca dvayoḥ; tasmād artha-jñātiayor bhedaḥ.
      Śaṅkara’s Bhāṣya, II. ii. 28,
      Nirnaya-Sāgara Press, Bombay, 1904.


tad yadi nityaika-jñāna-pratibhāsātmakā amī śabdādayaḥ syus tadā vicitrās-taraṇa-pratibhāsavat sakṛd eva pratibhāseratt; tat-pratibhāsātmakasya jñānasya sarvadā vasthitatvāt.
      Kamalaśīla’s commentary on the Tattva-saṃgraha, si. 331.
      Gaekwad’s Oriental Series, 1926.

Neither Śāntarakṣita nor Kamalaśīla seems to be familiar with Śaṅkara.


na hi brahma-vādino nīlādyākārāṃ vittim abhyupagacchanti, kin tu anirvacarilyaṃ nīlādlti.
, n. ii. 28.


See Vedānta-paribhāṣā, ch. 1, Srīvenkateśvar Press, Bombay, 1911.


tattva-darśinas tu advitīyāt saṃvedanāt abhede 'pi viṣayasya bhedenāpi artha-kriyā-sāmarthya-sattvaṃ sthāyitvaṃ cābādhitam astīti vadanti.
p. 73.

In addition to this work Prakāśātman also wrote two independent commentaries on Brahma-sūtra called Śārīraka-ṃimāṃsā-nyāya-saṃgraha and Laukika-nyāya-muktāvalī.


anuvṛttasya vyāvrttān na bhedo 'nuvṛttatvād ākāśa-ghafādivat.
p. 73.


tasmāt svābhāvikāsādharaṇābhedasambandhād eva vijñāne nīlam avabhāsate.
p. 74.

Arguing from a similar point of view, Śāntarak§ita and Kamalaśīla urge that, if the object was not identical with the awareness, there must be some immutable law why they should appear simultaneously. This law according to the Buddhists could only be either of identity {tādātmya) or of causality as invariability of production {tad-utpatti). The first alternative is what the Buddhists here are contending for as against the Vedāntists. There cannot be the law of causality here; for there cannot be any operation of the law of causality as production between two entities which are simultaneous. Tattva-saṃgraha and Pañjikā, 2030, 2031.


tad vāsanā-sameta-samanantcra-pratyaya-samutthaṃ saṅkalanātmakaṃ pra-tyayāntaram etan neha sambandhāgamaḥ.
      Padmapāda’s (A.D. 820) Pañca-pādikā, p. 25.

This work exerted the greatest influence on the development of Vedāntic thought for about six or seven centuries, and several commentaries were written on it. Most important of these are Prakāśātman’s Pañcapādikā-vivaraṇa, Pañca-pādikādhyāsa-bhāṣya-vyākhyā, Pañca-pādikā-śāstra-darpaṇa by Amrtānanda, Tattva-dīpana by Amrtānandanātha, and also a commentary by Anāndapūrna Yati. Prakāśātman’s commentary on it, called Pañcapādikā-vivaraṇa, was commented upon by Akhaṇḍānanda Muni in his Tattva-dīpana, by Rāmānanda Sarasvatī in his Vivaraṇopanyāsa , and by Nṛsiṃhāśrama in his Pañca-pādikā-vivaraṇa-bhāva-prakāśikā.


  nānubhavam āśritya saṃvedanād abhinnaṃ nīlaṃ brūmaḥ kintu vijñānena nīlasya pratibhāsānyathānupapattyā ; kṣaṇikcisya tv āgantuko-sambandhābhāve ... pratibhāsa eva na syāt.
p. 74.


  See the first volume of this work, pp. 163-164, where the reasons in justification of the doctrine are briefly stated.


  Padmapāda derives the possibility of one’s being aware of an awareness, which however hardly appears to be convincing. He thinks that an awareness, being of the nature of light, does not stand in need of any other light to illuminate it. na ca saṃvit saṃvido viṣayaḥ samvid-ātmanā bhedābhāvāt pradtpasyeva pradīpāntaram. Pañca-pādikā , p. 27.


  nārtha-kriyā-kāritva-lakṣaṇarn sattvaṃ kintu svābhāvikam iti sakṛt kāryyaṃ kṛtvā tuṣṇīmbhūtasyāpisthāyinaḥ sattvaṃ na virudhyate.  
p. 80.


  pūrvānubhava-sainskāra-sahitād idānīṃtana-vastu-pramiti-kāraṇāj jātam ekasya kāla-dvaya-saṃbandha-viṣayakaṃ pratyakṣa-jñānaṃ pratyabhijñā iti cet , na tarhi ātmani sā sambhavati. .. vijñāna-svabhāvasya hy ātmanaḥ. . .jñānānta-rāgamyatvāt ...
p. 75.


Pañca-pādikā-vivaraṇa, p. 76.


Vācaspati Miśra’s Bhāmatī, p. 13, Nirṇaya-Sāgara edition, 1904.

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