A History of Indian Philosophy Volume 2

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

This page describes the philosophy of citsukha’s interpretations of the concepts of shankara vedanta: a concept having historical value dating from ancient India. This is the eighteenth part in the series called the “the shankara school of vedanta (continued)”, originally composed by Surendranath Dasgupta in the early 20th century.

Part 18 - Citsukha’s Interpretations of the Concepts of Śaṅkara Vedānta

Citsukha (about A.D. 1220), a commentator on Śrīharṣa, had all Śrīharṣa’s powers of acute dialectical thought, but he not only furnishes, like Śrīharṣa, a concise refutation of the Nyāya categories, but also, in his Tattva-pradīpikā , commented on by Pratyagbha-gavān (a.d. 1400) in his Nayana-prasādiriī[1], gives us a very acute analysis and interpretation of some of the most important concepts of Śaṅkara Vedānta. He is not only a protector of the Advaita doctrine of the Vedānta, but also an interpreter of the Vedāntic concepts[2]. The work is written in four chapters.

In the first chapter Citsukha deals with the interpretation of the Vedānta concepts of self-revelation (sva-prakāśa), the nature of self as consciousness (ātmanaḥ saṃvid-rūpatva), the nature of ignorance as darkness, the nature of falsity (mithyātva), the nature of nescience (avidyā), the nature of the truth of all ideas (sarva-pratyayōnām yathā-thatvam), the nature of illusions, etc.

In the second chapter he refutes the Nyāya categories of

  • difference,
  • separateness,
  • quality,
  • action,
  • class-concepts,
  • specific particulars (viśeṣa),
  • the relation of inherence (samavāya),
  • perception,
  • doubt,
  • illusion,
  • memory,
  • inference,
  • invariable concomitance (vyāpti),
  • induction (vyāpti-graha),
  • existence of the reason in the minor term (pakṣa-dharmatā),
  • reason (hetu),
  • analogy (upamāna),
  • implication,
  • being,
  • non-being,
  • duality,
  • measure,
  • causality,
  • time,
  • space, etc.

In the third chapter, the smallest of the book, he deals with the possibility of the realization of Brahman and the nature of release through knowledge. In the fourth chapter, which is much smaller than the first two, he deals with the nature of the ultimate state of emancipation.

Citsukha starts with a formal definition of the most fundamental concept of the Vedānta, namely the concept of self-revelation or self-illumination (sva-prakāśa). Both Padmapāda and Prakāśātman in the Pañca-pādikā and Pañca-pādikā-vivaraṇa had distinguished the self from the ego as self-revelation or self-illumination (svayam-prakāśa). Thus Prakāśātman says that consciousness (saṃvid) is self-revealing and that its self-revelation is not due to any other self-revealing cause[3]. It is on account of this natural self-revelation of consciousness that its objects also appear as self-revealing[4].

Padmapāda also says the same thing, when he states that the self is of the nature of pure self-revealing consciousness; when this consciousness appears in connection with other objects and manifests them, it is called experience (anubhava), and, when it is by itself, it is called the self or ātman[5]. But Citsukha was probably the first to give a formal definition of the nature of this selfrevelation.

Citsukha defines it as that which is entitled to be called immediate (aparokṣa-vyavahāra-yogya), though it is not an object of any cognition or any cognizing activity (avedyatve ’pi)[6]. It may be objected that desires, feelings, etc. also are not objects of any cognition and yet are entitled to be regarded as immediate, and hence the definition might as well apply to them; for the object of cognition has a separate objective existence, and by a mind-object contact the mind is transformed into the form of the object, and thereby the one consciousness, which was apparently split up into two forms as the object-consciousness which appeared as material objects and the subject-consciousness which appeared as the cognizer, is again restored to its unity by the super-imposition of the subjective form on the objective form, and the object-form is revealed in consciousness as a jug or a book. But in the case of our experience of our will or our feelings these have no existence separate from our own mind and hence are not cognized in the same way as external objects are cognized.

According to Vedānta epistemology these subjective experiences of will, emotions, etc. are different mental constituents, forms or states, which, being directly and illusorily imposed upon the self-revealing consciousness, become experienced. These subjective states are therefore not cognized in the same way as external objects. But, since the experience of these states is possible only through a process of illusory imposition, they are not entitled to be called immediate[7]. So, though they appear as immediate, they have no proper yogyatā , or, in other words, they are not entitled to be called immediate. But in the true sense even external objects are but illusory impositions on the self-revealing consciousness, and hence they also cannot be said to be entitled to be called immediate. There is therefore no meaning in trying to distinguish the self-revealing consciousness as one which is not an object of cognition; for on the Vedānta theory there is nothing which is entitled to be called immediate, and hence the phrase avedyatve (not being an object of cognition) is unnecessary as a special distinguishing feature of the self-revealing consciousness; the epithet “immediate” is therefore also unnecessary.

To such an objection Citsukha’s reply is that the experience of external objects is only in the last stage of world-dissolution and Brahmahood found non-immediate and illusory, and, since in all our ordinary stages of experience the experience of world-objects is immediate, the epithet avedyatva successfully distinguishes self-revealing consciousness from all cognitions of external objects which are entitled to be called immediate and are to be excluded from the range of self-revealing consciousness only by being objects of cognition. In the field of ordinary experience the perceived world-objects are found to be entitled to be called immediate no less than the self-revealing consciousness, and it is only because they are objects of cognition that they can be distinguished from the self-revealing consciousness.

The main argument in favour of the admission of the category of independent self-revealing consciousness is that, unless an independent self-revealing consciousness is admitted, there would be a vicious series in the process preceding the rise of any cognition ; for, if the pure experience of self-revealing consciousness has to be further subjected to another process before it can be understood, then that also might require another process, and that another, and so there would be an unending series. Moreover, that the pure experience is self-revealing is proved by the very fact of the experience itself; for no one doubts his own experience or stands in need of any further corroboration or confirmation as to whether he experienced or not. It may be objected that it is well known that we may be aware of our awareness of anything (anu-vyavasāya), and in such a case the self-revealing consciousness may become further cognized.

Citsukha’s reply to this is that, when one perceives a jug, there is the mental activity, then a cessation of that activity, then a further starting of new activity and then the knowledge that I know the jug, or rather I know that I know the jug—and hence such a cognition cannot be said to be directly and immediately cognizing the first awareness, which could not have stayed through so many moments[8]. Again, since neither the senses nor the external objects can of themselves produce the self-revelation of knowledge, if knowledge were not admitted as self-revealing, the whole world would be blind and there would be no self-revelation.

When one knows that he knows a book or a jug, it is the cognized object that is known and not the awareness that is cognized; there can be no awareness of awareness, but only of the cognized object[9]. If the previous awareness could be made the object of subsequent awareness, then this would amount to an admission of the possibility of the self being known by the self (svasyāpi svena vedyatvāpātāt)—a theory which would accord not with the Vedānta idealism, but with the Buddhistic. It is true, no doubt, that the pure self-revealing consciousness shows itself only on the occasion of a mental state; but its difference from other cognitive states lies in the fact that it has no form or object, and hence, though it may be focussed by a mental state, yet it stands on a different footing from the objects illuminated by it.

The next point that Citsukha urges is that the self is of the nature of pure self-revealing consciousness (ātmanoh saṃvid-rūpatva). This is, of course, no new contribution by Citsukha, since this view had been maintained in the Upaniṣads and repeated by Śaṅkara, Padmapāda, Prakāśātman and others. Citsukha says that, like knowledge, the self also is immediately revealed or experienced without itself being the object of any cognizing activity or cognition, and therefore the self is also of the nature of knowledge. No one doubts about his own self; for the self always stands directly and immediately self-revealed. Self and knowledge being identical, there is no relation between the two save that of identity (jñānātmanoḥ sambandhasyaiva abhāvāt).

Citsukha defines falsity (mithyātva) as the non-existence of a thing in that which is considered to be its cause[10]. He shows this by pointing out that a whole, if it is to exist anywhere, must exist in the parts of which it is made, and, if it does not exist even there, it does not exist anywhere and is false. It is, however, evident that a whole cannot exist in the parts, since, being a whole, it cannot be in the parts[11]. Another argument adduced by Citsukha for the falsity of the world-appearance is that it is impossible that there should be any relation between the self-revealing consciousness, the knower (dṛk), and the objects which are cognized (dṛśyd). Knowledge cannot be said to arise through sense-con tact; for in the illusory perception of silver there is the false perception of silver without any actual sense-contact with silver. A reference to subject-object relation (viṣaya-viṣayi-bhāva) cannot explain it, since the idea of subject-object relation is itself obscure and unexplainable.

Arguing as to the impossibility of properly explaining the subject-object relation (viṣaya-viṣayi-bhāva) in knowledge, Citsukha says that it cannot be held that the subject-object relation means that knowledge produces some change in the object (viṣaya) and that the knower produces such a change. For what may be the nature of such a change? If it be described as jñātatā , or the character of being known, how can such a character be by my knowledge at the present moment generated as a positive quality in an object which has now ceased to exist? If such a quality can be produced even in past objects, then there would be no fixed law according to which such qualities should be produced. Nor can such a relationship be explained on a pragmatic basis by a reference to actual physical practical action with reference to objects that we know or the internal volitions or emotions associated with our knowledge of things.

For in picking up a piece of silver that we see in front of us we may quite unknowingly be drawing with it the dross contained in the silver, and hence the fact of the physical drawing of the dross cannot on that ground alone make it an object of my knowledge, and hence the subject-object relation of knowledge cannot be defined as a mere physical action following cognition. The internal mental states of volition and the emotions associated with knowledge belong to the knower and have nothing to do with the object of knowledge. If, however, it is urged that objectivity consists in the fact that whatever is known appears in consciousness, the question arises, what does this appearing in consciousness mean? It cannot mean that consciousness is the container and the object is contained in it; for, consciousness being internal and the object external, the object cannot be contained in it.

It cannot be a mere undefined relatedness; for in that case the object may as well be considered subject and the subject, object. If objectivity be defined as that which can induce knowledge, then even the senses, the light and other accessories which help the rise of knowledge may as well be regarded as objects. Object cannot be defined as that to which knowledge owes its particular form; for, knowledge being identical with its form, all that helps the rise of knowledge, the senses, light, etc., may as well be regarded as objects. So, in whatever way one may try to conceive the nature of the subject-object relation, he will be disappointed.

Citsukha follows the traditional view of nescience (ajñāna) as a positive entity without beginning which disappears with the rise of true knowledge[12]. Nescience is different from the conception of positivity as well as of negativity, yet it is called only positive because of the fact that it is not negative[13]. Ignorance or nescience is described as a positive state and not a mere negation of knowledge; and so it is said that the rise of right knowledge of any object in a person destroys the positive entity of ignorance with reference to that object and that this ignorance is something different from what one would understand by negation of right knowledge[14].

Citsukha says that the positive character of ignorance becomes apparent when we say that “We do not know whether what you say is true.” Here there is the right knowledge of the fact that what is said is known, but it is not known whether what is said is valid[15]. Here also there is a positive knowledge of ignorance of fact, which is not the same as mere absence of knowledge. Such an ignorance, however, is not experienced through sense-contact or sense-processes, but directly by the self-revealing consciousness— the sākṣin. Just before the rise of right knowledge about an object there is ignorance (ajñāna), and the object, as qualified by such an ignorance, is experienced as being unknown. All things are the objects of the inner unmoved intuitive consciousness either as known or as unknown[16]. Our reference to deep dreamless sleep as a state in which we did not know anything (na kiṃcid-avediṣam) is also referred to as a positive experience of ignorance in the dreamless state.

One of the chief tenets of Vedānta epistemology lies in the supposition that a presentation of the false is a fact of experience. The opposite view is that of Prabhākara, that the false is never presented in experience and that falsehood consists in the wrong construction imposed upon experience by the mind, which fails to note the actual want of association between two things which are falsely associated as one. According to this theory all illusion consists of a false association or a false relationing of two things which are not presented in experience as related. This false association is not due to an active operation of the mind, but to a failure to note that no such association was actually presented in experience (asamsargāgraha).

According to Prabhākara, the great Mīmāṃsā authority, the false is never presented in experience, nor is the false experience due to an arbitrary positive activity of wrong construction of the mind, but merely to a failure to note certain distinctions presented in experience. On account of such a failure things which are distinct are not observed as distinct, and hence things which are distinct and different are falsely associated as one, and the conch-shell is thus regarded as silver. But here there is no false presentation in experience. Whatever is known is true; falsehood is due to omissions of knowledge and failure in noting differences.

Citsukha objects to this view and urges that such an explanation can never explain all cases of false apprehension. Take the proposition, “There are false apprehensions and false presentations”; if this proposition is admitted to be correct, then Prabhākara’s contention is false; if it is admitted to be false, then here is a false proposition, the falsehood of which is not due to a failure to note differences. If the falsity of all propositions be said to be due to a failure to note differences, then it would be hard to find out any true proposition or true experience.

On the analogy of our false experience of the everchanging flame of a lamp as the same identical one all cases of true recognition might no less be regarded as false, and therefore all inferences would be doubtful. All cases of real and true association could be explained as being due to a failure to note differences. There could be no case in which one could assure himself that he was dealing with a real association and not a failure to apprehend the absence of association (asaṃsargā - graha). Citsukha therefore contends that it is too much to expect that all cases of false knowledge can be explained as being due to a mere non-apprehension of difference, since it is quite reasonable to suppose that false knowledge is produced by defective senses which oppose the rise of true knowledge and positively induce false appearance[17].

Thus in the case of the illusory perception of conch-shell as silver it is the conch-shell that appears as a piece of silver. But what is the nature of the presentation that forms the object (ālambana) of false perception? It cannot be regarded as absolutely non-existent (asat), since that which is absolutely non-existent cannot be the object of even a false perception, and moreover it cannot through such a perception (e.g. the tendency of a man to pick up the piece of silver, which is but a false perception of a piece of conch-shell) induce a practical movement on the part of the perceiver. Neither can it be regarded as existent; for the later experience contradicts the previous false perception, and one says that there is no silver at the present time and there was no silver in the past—it was only the conch-shell that appeared as silver. Therefore the false presentation, though it serves all the purposes of a perceptual object, cannot be described either as existent or as non-existent, and it is precisely this character that constitutes the indefinable nature (amrvacanīyata) of all illusions[18].

It is unnecessary to deal with the other doctrines of Vedānta which Citsukha describes, since there is nothing new in them and they have already been described in chapter x of volume i of this work. It is therefore desirable to pass on to his dialectic criticism of the Nyāya categories. It will suffice, however, to give only a few of these criticisms, as they mostly refer to the refutation of such kinds of categories as are discussed in Śrīharṣa’s great work Khaṇḍana-khaṇḍa-khādya, and it would be tedious to follow the refutation of the same kinds of categories by two different writers, though the arguments of Citsukha are in many cases new and different from those given by Śrīharṣa. Citsukha’s general approach to such refutations is also slightly different from that of Śrīharṣa. For, unlike Śrīharṣa, Citsukha dealt with the principal propositions of the Vedānta, and his refutations of the Nyāya categories were not intended so much to show that they were inexplicable or indefinable as to show that they were false appearances, and that the pure self-revealing Brahman was the only reality and truth.

Thus, in refuting time (kāla), Citsukha says that time cannot be perceived either by the visual sense or by the tactual sense, nor can it be apprehended by the mind (manas), as the mind only operates in association with the external senses. Moreover, since there are no perceptual data, it cannot be inferred. The notions of before and after, succession and simultaneity, quickness and duration, cannot by themselves indicate the nature of time as it is in itself. It may be urged that, since the solar vibrations can only be associated with human bodies and worldly things, making them appear as young or old only through some other agency such as days, months, etc., such an agency, which brings about the connection of solar vibrations with worldly things, is called time[19]. To this Citsukha replies that, since the self itself can be regarded as the cause of the manifestation of time in events and things in accordance with the varying conditions of their appearance, it is unnecessary to suppose the existence of a new category called time. Again, it cannot be said that the notions of before and after have time as their material cause; for the validity of these notions is challenged by the Vedāntist.

They may be regarded as the im-pressions produced by a greater or lesser quantity of solar vibrations. There is therefore no necessity to admit time as a separate category, since its apprehension can be explained on the basis of our known data of experience. From considerations of some data relative space (dik) has to be discarded; for relative space cannot be perceived by the senses or inferred for want of data of experience. Both time and relative space originate from a sense of relativity (apekṣā-buddhi), and, given that sense of relativity, the mind can in association with our experience of bodily movements form the notion of relative space. It is therefore unnecessary to admit the existence of relative space as a separate category.

In refuting the atomic theory of the Vaiśeṣikas Citsukha says that there is no ground for admitting the Vaiśeṣika atoms. If these atoms are to be admitted on the ground that all things are to be conceived as being divisible into smaller and smaller parts, then the same may apply to the atoms as well. If it is urged that one must stop somewhere, that the atoms are therefore regarded as the last state, and are uniform in size and not further divisible, then the specks of dust that are seen in the windows when the sun is shining (called irasareṇus) may equally be regarded as the last stage of divisible size. If it is contended that, since these are visible, they have parts and cannot therefore be considered as indivisible, it may be said in reply that, since the Nyāya writers admit that the atoms can be perceived by the yogins, visibility of the trasareṇus could not be put forward as a reason why they could not be regarded as indivisible.

Moreover, if the atoms were partless, how could they be admitted to combine to produce the grosser material forms? Again, it is not indispensable that atoms should combine to form bigger particles or make grosser appearances possible; for, like threads in a sheet, many particles may make gross appearances possible even without combining. Citsukha then repeats Śaṅkara’s refutation of the concept of wholes and parts, saying that, if the wholes are different from the parts, then they must be in the parts or they would not be there; if they are not in the parts, it would be difficult to maintain that the wholes were made of parts; if they are in the parts, they must be either wholly or partly in them; if they are wholly in the parts, then there would be many such wholes, or in each part the whole would be found; and, if they are partly in the parts, then the same difficulty of wholes and parts would appear.

Again, the concept of contact (saṃyoga) is also inexplicable. It cannot be defined as the coming together of any two things which are not in contact (aprāptayoḥ prāptiḥ saṃyogaḥ); for, until one knows the meaning of the concept of contact, one cannot understand the meaning of the phrase “not in contact.” If it is defined as the coming together of two things which are unrelated, then contact (saṃyoga) would include even the relation of inherence, such as that which exists between a piece of cloth and the threads. If it is defined as a relation which is produced in time and is transitory (anityaḥ sambandhaḥ janyatva-viśeṣito vā). then cases of beginningless contact would not be included, and even the possession of an article by purchase would have to be included as contact, since this relation of possession is also produced in time.

It cannot be objected that “possession” is not a relation, since a relation to be such must be between two things; for, if the objection were valid, the relation between substance and quality would not be a relation, since quality and substance exist together, and there are no two separate things which can be related. If the objector means that the relation must be between two terms, then there are two terms here also, namely, the article possessed and the possessor. Moreover, if contact is defined as relation which does not connect two things in their entirety (avyāpya-vṛttitva-viśeṣito), then again it would be wrong, since in the case of partless entities the relation of contact cannot connect the parts, as they have no parts. Citsukha refutes the concept of separation (vibhāga) on the same lines and passes over to the refutation of number, as two, three and the like.

Citsukha urges that there is no necessity of admitting the existence of two, three, etc. as separate numbers, since what we perceive is but the one thing, and then by a sense of oscillation and mutual reference (apekṣā-buddhi) we associate them together and form the notions of two, three, etc. These numbers therefore do not exist separately and independently, but are imaginatively produced by mental oscillation and association from the experience of single objects. There is therefore no necessity of thinking that the numbers, two, three, etc., are actually produced. We simply deal with the notions of two, three, etc. on the strength of our powers of mental association[20].

Citsukha then refutes the notion of class-concept (jāti) on the ground that it cannot be proved either by perception or by inference. The question is what exactly is meant by class-concept. If it is said that, when in perceiving one individual animal we have the notion of a cow, and in perceiving other individual animals also we have the same notion of cow, there is jāti, then it may be replied that this does not necessarily imply the admission of a separate class-concept of cow; for, just as one individual had certain peculiarities which entitled it to be called a cow, so the other individuals had their peculiarities which entitled them to be called cows. We see reflections of the moon in different places and call each of them the moon. What constitutes the essentials of the concept of cow? It is difficult to formulate one universal characteristic of cows; if one such characteristic could be found, then there would be no necessity of admitting the class-concept of cow.

For it would then be an individual characteristic, and one would recognize it as a cow everywhere, and there would be no necessity of admitting a separate class-concept. If one admits a class-concept, one has to point out some trait or quality as that which indicates the class-concept. Then again one could not get at this trait or quality independently of the class-concept or at the class-concept independently of it, and this mutual dependence would make the definition of either of them impossible. Even if one admits the class-concept, one has to show what constitutes the essentials of it in each case, and, if such essentials have to be found in each case, then those essentials would be a sufficient justification for knowing a cow as cow and a horse as horse: what then is the good of admitting a class-concept? Again, even if a class-concept be admitted, it is difficult to see how it can be conceived to be related to the individuals.

It cannot be a relation of contact, identity, inherence or any other kind of relation existing anywhere. If all class-concepts existed everywhere, there would be a medley of all class-concepts together, and all things would be everywhere. Again, if it is held that the class-concept of cow exists only in the existing cows, then how does it jump to a new cow when it is born? Nor has the class-concept any parts, so as to be partly here and partly there. If each class-concept of cow were wholly existent in each of the individual cows, then there would be a number of class-concepts ; and, if each class-concept of cow were spread out over all the individual cows, then, unless all the individual cows were brought together, one could not have the notion of any class-concept.

Speaking of the refutation of cause (kāraṇa), Citsukha says that cause cannot be defined as mere antecedence (pūrva-kāla-bhāvitva); for then the ass which is always found in the house of a washerman and on the back of which the washerman carries his clothes might be regarded as a thing antecedent to the smoky fire kindled in the washerman’s house and thus as a cause of fire. If this antecedence be further qualified as that which is present in all cases of the presence of the effect and absent in all cases of the absence of the effect, then also the washerman’s ass may be considered to satisfy the conditions of such an antecedence with reference to the fire in the washerman’s house (when the washerman is away from the house with his ass, the fire in the washerman’s house is also absent, and it is again kindled when he returns to his house with his ass).

If “unconditionality” (ananyathā-siddha) is further added as a qualifying condition of antecedence, even then the ass and the common abiding elements such as space, ether and the like may be regarded as causes of the fire. If it be argued that the ass is present only because of the presence of other conditioning factors, the same may be said of seeds, earth, water, etc., which are all however regarded as being causes for the production of the shoots of plants. If objection be raised against the possibility of ether (ākāśa) being regarded as the cause of smoke on the ground of its being a common, abiding and all-pervasive element, then the same argument ought to stand as an objection against the soul (which is an all-pervasive entity) being regarded on the Nyāya view as the cause of the production of pleasure and pain.

The cause cannot be defined as that which being there the effect follows; for then a seed cannot be regarded as the cause of the shoot of the plant, since the shoots cannot be produced from seeds without the help of other co-operating factors, such as earth, water, light, air, etc. Cause, again, cannot be defined as that which being present in the midst of the co-operating factors or even accessories (sahakāri), the effect follows; for an irrelevant thing, like an ass, may be present among a number of co-operating circumstances, but this would not justify anybody calling an irrelevant thing a cause. Moreover, such a definition would not apply to those cases where by the joint operation of many co-operating entities the effect is produced.

Furthermore, unless the cause can be properly defined, there is no way of defining the co-operating conditions. Nor can a cause be defined as that which being there the effect follows, and which not being there there is no effect (sati bhāvo ’saty abhāva eva); for such a maxim is invalidated by the plurality of causes (fire may be produced by rubbing two pieces of wood, by striking hard against a flint, or by a lens). It may be urged that there are differences in each kind of fire produced by the different agencies: to which it may be replied that, even if there were any such difference, it is impossible to know it by observation.

Even when differences are noticeable, such differences do not necessarily imply that the different effects belong to different classes; for the differences might well be due to various attendant circumstances. Again, a cause cannot be defined as a collocation of things, since such a collocation may well be one of irrelevant things. A cause cannot be defined as a collocation of different causes, since it has not so far been possible to define what is meant by “cause.” The phrase “collocation of causes” will therefore be meaningless. Moreover, it may be asked whether a collocation of causes (sāmagrī) be something different from the causes, or identical with them. If the former alternative be accepted, then effects would follow from individual causes as well, and the supposition of a collocation of causes as producing the effects would be uncalled-for.

If the latter alternative be accepted, then, since the individuals are the causes of the collocation, the individuals being there, there is always the collocation and so always the effect, which is absurd. Again, what does this collocation of causes mean ? It cannot mean occurrence in the same time or place; for, there being no sameness of time and place for time and place respectively, they themselves would be without any cause. Again, it cannot be said that, if the existence of cause be not admitted, then things, being causeless, would be non-existent; for the Nyāya holds that there are eternal substances such as atoms, souls, etc., which have no cause.

Since cause cannot be defined, neither can effect (kārya) be satisfactorily defined, as the conception of effect always depends upon the notion of cause.

In refuting the conception of substance (dravya) Citsukha says that a substance can be defined only as being that in which the qualities inhere. But, since even qualities are seen to have qualities and a substance is believed by the Naiyāyikas to be without any quality at the moment of its origination, such a definition cannot properly distinguish or define a substance. If a substance be defined in a roundabout way as that in which there is no presence of the absolute negation of possessing qualities (guṇavattvāty-antābhāvānadhikaraṇatā), then also it may be objected that such a definition would make us regard even negation (abhāva) as a quality, since the absence of the negation of qualities, being itself a negation, cannot exist in a negation[21]. It may again be asked whether the absence of the negation of qualities refers to the negation of a number of qualities or the negation of all qualities; in either case it is wrong.

For in the first case a substance, which contains only some qualities and does not possess others, would not be called a substance, and in the latter case it would be difficult to find anything that cannot be called a substance; for where is the substance which lacks all qualities? The fact also remains that even such a roundabout definition cannot distinguish a substance from a quality; for even qualities have the numerical qualities and the qualities of separateness[22]. If it is argued that, if qualities are admitted to have further qualities, there will be a vicious infinite, it may be said in reply that the charge of vicious infinite cannot be made, since the qualities of number and separateness cannot be said to have any further qualities.

Substances, again, have nothing in common by virtue of which they could be regarded as coming under the class-concept of substances[23]. Gold and mud and trees are all regarded as substances, but there is nothing common in them by virtue of which one can think that gold is the same as mud or tree; therefore it cannot be admitted that in the substances one finds any characteristic which remains the same in them all[24].

Referring to qualities (guṇa), Citsukha deals with the definition of guṇa in the Vaiśeṣika-bhāśya of Praśastapāda. There Praśastapāda defines guṇa as that which inheres in a substance, is associated with the class-concept of substance, is itself without any quality and which has no motion (niṣkriya)[25]. But the definition of a quality cannot involve the phrase “without a quality”; for quality is still to be defined. Again, unless the guṇa is properly defined, its difference from motion is not known, and so the phrase “which has no motion” is meaningless. The class-concept of quality, again, can be determined only when the general character of qualities is known and the nature of class-concepts also is determined. Hence, from whatever point of view one may look at the question, it is impossible to define qualities.

It is needless now to multiply examples of such refutation by Citsukha. It will appear from what has been adduced that Citsukha enters into detail concerning most concepts of particular categories and tries to show their intrinsic impossibility. In some cases, however, he was not equal to the task and remained content with criticizing the definitions given by the Naiyāyikas. But it may be well to point out here that, though Śrīharṣa and Citsukha carried out an elaborate scheme of a critique of the different categories in order to show that the definitions of these categories, as given by the Nyāya, are impossible, yet neither of them can be regarded as the originator of the application of the dialectic method in the Vedānta. Śaṅkara himself had started it in his refutation of the Nyāya and other systems in his commentary on the Vedānta-sūtras, II. II.

Footnotes and references:


Citsukha, a pupil of Gauḍeśvara Ācārya, called also Jñānottama, wrote a commentary on Ānandabodha Bhattārakācārya’s Nyāya-makaranda and also on Śrīhar§a’s Khaṇḍana-khaṇḍa-khādya and an independent work called Tattva-pradīpikā or Cit-sukki, on which the study of the present section is based.

In this work he quotes

  • Udayana,
  • Uddyotakara,
  • Kumārila,
  • Padmapāda,
  • Vallabha (Līlāvatī),
  • Śālikanātha,
  • Sureśvara,
  • Sivāditya,
  • Kulārka
  • Paṇḍita
  • and Śrīdhara (Nyāya-kandatī).

In addition to these he also wrote

  • a commentary on the Brahmasūtra-bhāṣya of Śaṅkara, called Bhāṣya-bhāva-prakāśikā,
  • Vivaraṇa-tātparya-dīpikā, a commentary on the Pramāṇa-mālā of Ānandabodha,
  • a commentary on Maṇḍana’s Brahma-siddhi, called Abhiprāya-prakāśikā,
  • and an index to the adhikaraṇas of the Brahma-sūtra, called Adhikaraṇa-mañjarī.

His teacher Jñānottama wrote two works on Vedānta, called Nyāya-sudhā and Jñāna-siddhi; but he seems to have been a different person from the Jñānottama who wrote a commentary on Sureśvara’s Naiṣkarmyasiddhi-, for the latter was a householder (as he styles himself with a householder’s title, miśra), and an inhabitant of the village of Mangala in the Cola country, while the former was an ascetic and a preceptor of the King of Gauḍa, as Citsukha describes him in his colophon to his Tativa-pradīpikā.

He is also said to have written the

  • Brahma-stuti,
  • Viṣṇu-purāṇa-ṭīkā,
  • Ṣaḍ-darśaṇa-saṃgraha-vṛtti,
  • Adhikaraṇasaṇgati (awork explaining the inter-relation of the topics of the Brahma-sūtra)
  • and a commentary on the Naiṣkarmya- siddhi, called the Naiṣkarmya-sidḍhi-ṭīkā or the Bhāva-tattva-prakāśikā.

His pupil Sukhaprakāśa wrote a work on the topics of the Brahmasūtra, called Adhikaraṇa-ratna-mālā.


Thus Paṇḍita Harinātha Śarmā in his Sanskrit introduction to the Tattva-pradipikā or Cit-sukhī speaks of this work as advaita-siddhānta-rakṣako ’pyadvaita-siddhānta-prakāśako vyutpādakaś ca.


saṃvedanaṃ tu svayam-prakāśa eva na prakāśāntara-hetuḥ.
p. 52.


tasmād anubhavaḥ sajātīya-prakāśāntara-nirapekṣaḥ prakāśamāna eva viṣaye prakāśādi-vyavahāra-nimittaṃ bhavitum arhati avyavadhānena viṣaye prakāśā-di-vyavahāra-nimittatvāt.


tasmāt cit-svabhāva evātmā tena tena prameya-bhedena upadhīyamāno ’ttubha-vābhidhāriīyakaṃ labhate avivakṣitopādhir ātmādi-śabdaiḥ.
p. iq.


avedyatve saty aparokṣa-vyavahāra-yogyatvaṃ svayam-prakāśa-lakṣaṇam.
      Cit-sukhī, p. 9


avedyatve ’pi nāparokṣa-vyavahāra-yogyatā teṣāṃ, adhyastatayaiva teṣāṃ siddheḥ.
p. 10.
      Nirnaya-Sāgara Press, Bombay, 1915.


ghaṭa-jñānodaya-samaye manasi kriyā tato vibhāgas tataḥ pūrva-saṃyoga-vināśas tata uttara-saṃyogotpattis tato jñānāntaram iti aneka-kṣaṇa-vilambena utpadyamānasya jñānasya aparokṣatayā pūrva-jñuna-grāhakatvānupapatteḥ.
p. 17.


vidito ghaṭa ity atra anuvyavasāyena ghaṭasyaiva viditatvam avasīyate na tu vitteḥ.
p. 18.


sarveṣām api bhāvānām āśrayatvena saṃmate
pratiyogitvam atyantābhāvaṃ prati mṛṣātmatā.
p. 39.

Some of these definitions of falsity are collected in Madhusūdana’s Advaita-siddhi, a work composed much later than the Cit-sukhī.


aṃśinaḥ svāṃśa-gātyantābhāvasya pratiyoginaḥ aṃśitvād itarāṃilva... vimataḥ paṭaḥ etat-tantu-niṣṭhātyantābhāva-pratiyogī avayavitvāt paṭāntaravat.
pp. 40, 41.


anādi-bhāva-rūpaṃ yad-vijñānena vilīyate tad ajñānam iti prājñā-lakṣaṇam saṃpracakṣate anāditve sati bhāva-rūpaṃ vijñāna-nirāsyam ajñānam iti lakṣaṇaṃ iha vivakṣitam.
p. 57.


bhāvābhāva-vilakṣaṇasya ajñānasya abhāva-vilakṣaṇatva-mātreṇa bhāvatvo-pacārāt.


vigītaṃ Deva-datta-niṣṭha-pramāṇa-jñānaṃ Devadatta-ntṣṭha-pramābhāvā-tiriktānādernivarttakaṃ pramāṇatvād Yajñadattādigata-pramāṇa-jñānavad ity anumānam.
p. 58.


tvadukte ’rthe pramāṇa-jñānaṃ mama nāsti ity asya viśiṣṭa-viṣaya-jñānasya pramātvāt.
p. 59.


asman-mate ajñānasya sākṣi-siddhatayā pramāṇābodhyatvāt, pramāṇa-jñāno-doyātprāk-kālc ajñānaṃ tad-viśeṣito ’rthaḥ sākṣi-siddhaḥ ajñāta ity anuvāda gocaraḥ . . .sarvaṃ vastu jñātatayā ajñātatayā vā sākṣi-caitanyasya viṣayaḥ.
p. 60.


tathā doṣāṇām api yathārtha-jñāna-pratibandhakatvam ayathārtha-jñāna-janakatvaṃ ca kiṃ na syāt.
, p. 66.


pratyekaṃ sad asattvābhyāṃ vicāra-padavīiti na yad gāhate tad anirvācyam āhtir vedānta-vedinaḥ.
p. 79.


taraṇi-parispanda-viśeṣāṇāṃ yuva-sthavira-śarīrādi-piṇḍeṣu māsādi-vicitra-buddḥi-janana-dvāreṇa tad-upahiteṣu paratvāparatvādi-buddhi-janakatvaṃ na ca tair asambaddhānāṃ tatra buddhi-janakatvaṃ, na ca sākṣāt sambandho ravi-parispandānāṃ piṇḍair asti ataḥ tat-sambandhakatayā kaścid aṣṭadravya-vilakṣaṇo dravya-viśeṣaḥ svīkartavyaḥ, tasya ca kāla iti saṃjñā.

      (This is Vallabha’s view of time.)

      Nayana-prasādinī commentary on Cit-sukhī, p. 321, by Pratyak-svarupa-bhagavat.
      Nirnaya-Sāgara Press, Bombay, 1915.


āropita-dvitva-tritvādi-viśeṣitaikatva-samuccayālambanā buddhir dvitvādi-janiketi cet; na; tathābhūtāyā eva buddher dvitvādi-vyavahāra-janakatvopapattau dvitvādy-utpādakatva-kalpanā-vaiyarthyāt.
p. 300.


tatraiva atyantābhave’tivyāpteḥ; sopi hi guṇavattvātyantōbhāvas tasyādhi-karaṇam svasya svasminnavṛtteḥ.
p. 176.


asminnapi vakra-lakṣaṇe guṇādiṣu api saṃkhyā-pṛthaktva-guṇayoḥ pratīteḥ kathaṃ nātivyāptiḥ. 
p. 177.


jātim abhyupagacchatā tajjāti-vyañjakam kiṃcid-avaśyam abhyupeyam na ca tannirupaṇam suśakam.
p. 178.


dravyaṃ dravyam iti anugata-pratyayaḥ pramāṇam iti cenna suvarṇam-upalabhya mṛttikām-upalabhyamānasya laukikasya tad evedaṃ dravyam iti pratyayā-bhāvāt parīkṣakāṇāṃ cānugata-pratyaye vipratipatteḥ.
p. 179.


rūpādtnāṃ guṇānāṃ sarveṣāṃ guṇatvābhisambaṇḍho dravyāśritatvaṃ nirguṇatvaṃ niṣkriyatvaṃ.
p. 94,
      The Vizianagram Sanskrit Series, Benares, 1895.

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