A History of Indian Philosophy Volume 3

by Surendranath Dasgupta | 1940 | 232,512 words | ISBN-13: 9788120804081

This page describes the philosophy of the ontological categories of the ramanuja school according to venkatanatha: a concept having historical value dating from ancient India. This is the fourteenth part in the series called the “philosophy of the ramanuja school of thought”, originally composed by Surendranath Dasgupta in the early 20th century.

Part 14 - The Ontological categories of the Rāmānuja School according to Veṅkaṭanātha

(a) Substance.

Veṅkaṭanātha in his Nyāya-siddhāñjana and Tattva-muktā-kalāpa, tries to give a succinct account of the different categories, admitted or presumed, in the philosophy of Rāmānuja which the latter did not bring prominently to the view of his readers. The main division is that of the substance (dravya) and that which is non-substance (adravya). Substance is defined as that which has states (daśāvat) or which suffers change and modification. In admitting substance he tries to refute the Buddhist view that there is no substance, and all things are but a momentary conglomeration of separate entities which come into being and are destroyed the next moment.

The Vaibhāṣika Buddhists say that there are four ultimate sense-data, viz. colour, taste, touch, and smell, which are themselves qualities and are not themselves qualities of anything. These can be grasped by our specific senses[1]. The Vātsīputrīya school includes sound as a separate sense-data which can be perceived by the ear. Against this Veṅkaṭa urges that in all perception we have a notion that we touch what we see; such a perception cannot be false, for such a feeling is both invariable and uncontradicted in experience (svārasika-bādhā-dṛṣṭer ananyathā-siddheśca).

Such a perception implies recognition (pratyabhvjñā) involving the notion that it is a permanent entity in the objective field which is perceived by a constant and unchangeable perceiver, and that the two sense-qualities refer to one and the same object. This recognition does not refer merely to the colour sensation, for the colour sensation does not involve the tactile; nor does it refer merely to the tactile, as that does not involve colour. Perception, therefore, refers to an entity to which both the colour and the tactile qualities belong. Such a perception of recognition also repudiates the Buddhist view of the conglomeration of entities. For such a view naturally raises the question as to whether the conglomeration is different from or the same as the entities that conglomerate. In the latter case there cannot be any recognition of the object as one entity to which both the colour and the tactile quality belong. In the former case, when conglomeration is regarded as extraneous to the conglomerated entities, such a conglomeration must either be positive or negative.

In the first alternative it amounts virtually to an admission of substances, for the assumption of the existence of merely the complex characters is inadmissible, since there cannot be anything like that which is neither a substance, nor quality, nor a qualifying relation.

In the second alternative, if the conglomeration (samghāta) is nonexistent, then it cannot produce the recognition. If conglomeration be defined as absence of interval between the perceived qualities, then also, since each sense quality has an appeal only to its own specific sense-organ, it is impossible that the perception of two different sense-qualities by two different organs should point to a common entity. Conglomeration cannot also be defined as spatial identity, for it must also involve temporal identity in order to give the notion of conglomeration. It cannot also be said that time and space are identical, for such a view which is true of momentariness, will be shown to be false by the refutation of momentariness.

Space cannot also be of the nature of ākāśa, which in the Buddhist view means unobstructedness and is not a positive concept. Space cannot also be regarded as material identitv with the sense-qualities, for the different sense-qualities are regarded as the unique nature of different moments[2]. If it means that the different sensible qualities have but one material behind them, that amounts to the admission of substance[3]. If the sensible qualities be regarded as a conglomeration on account of their existence in the same material object, then the material object would have to be described as a conglomeration by virtue of the existence of its elemental entities in some other entity and that again in some other entity, and thus we have a vicious infinite.

It cannot also be urged that the tactile sensation is inferred from the colour sensation, for such an inference would involve as its pre-condition the knowledge of the concomitance of the colour datum and the tactile, which is not possible unless they are known to belong to the same object. Neither can it be urged that the tactile and the colour-data are mutually associated; this gives rise to the notion that what is seen is touched, for the two sensations are known to be different in nature and originate through different sense-organs.

It cannot also be said that our apperception that we touch what we see, being due to the operation of our instinctive root-desire (vāsanā), is false, for proceeding on the same analogy and following the Yogācāra view, one may as well deny all external data. If it is said that the sense-data are never contradicted in experience and thus that the idealistic view is wrong, then it may as well be pointed out that our notion that we experience an object to which colour and the tactile sensations belong is also never contradicted in experience. If it is urged that such an experience cannot be proved to be logically valid, then it may be proved with equal force that the existence of external sense-data cannot be logically proved. Therefore, our ordinary experience that the object as a substance is the repository of various sense-qualities cannot be invalidated. The view that all the other four elements, excepting air (vāyu), are themselves of diverse nature and are hence perceived as coloured, as touchable, etc., and that they are capable of being grasped by different senses is also false, as it does not necessarily involve the supposition that they are the repository of different sense-qualities; for experience shows that we intuit the fact that the objects are endowed with qualities.

No one perceives a jug as being merely the colour-datum, but as an object having colour. It is also impossible that one neutral datum should have two different natures; for one entity cannot have two different natures. If it is said that two different qualities can abide in the same object, then that amounts to the admission of a substance in which different qualities inhere. It is also wrong to suppose that since the colour-datum and the tactile are grasped together they are identical in nature, for in the case of one error where a white conch-shell appears as yellow, the conch-shell is grasped without its white character, just as the yellow colour is grasped without its corresponding object. And it cannot be said that a separate yellow conch-shell is produced there; for such a view is directly contradicted in experience when we perceive the yellow colour and assert its identity with the conch-shell by touch. So, by the simultaneity of perception, coherence of qualities in an object is proved and not identity.

Moreover, even the Buddhists cannot prove that the tactile and the colour sensations occur simultaneously. If this were so, the testimony of the two different senses naturally points to the existence of two different characters. When an object is near we have a distinct perception of it, and when it is at a distance perception is indistinct. This distinctness or indistinctness cannot refer merely to the sense-character, for then their difference as objects would not be perceived. It cannot also refer to the size (parimāṇa), for the notion of size is admitted to be false by the Buddhists. Under the circumstances, it is to be admitted that such perceptions should refer to the objects.

The Buddhists are supposed to urge that if qualities are admitted to be separate from the substance, then it may be asked whether these qualities (dharma) have further qualities themselves or are without quality. In the latter alternative, being qualitiless, they are incapable of being defined or used in speech. In the former alternative, if qualities have further qualities, then the second grade qualities would have to be known by further qualities adhering to it, and that again by another, and thus we have a vicious infinite. Again, qualitiness (dharmatva) would itself be a quality.

And it cannot be said that qualitiness is the very nature of quality, for a thing cannot be explained by having reference to itself. If qualitiness is something different from the quality, then such a concept would lead us in infinite regress.

To this Veṅkaṭa’s reply is that all qualities are not qualitiless. In some cases quality appears as itself qualified, as testified by experience. In those cases where a quality is not demonstrable with particularizing specification, such as “this quality is so and so” (ittham-bhāva), it does not depend for its comprehension on any other quality. Such qualities may be illustrated in the case of all abstract qualities and universals, and the opposite may be illustrated in the case of adjectival qualities such as the word “white” in the case of “white horse.” There may be further specification regarding the nature of whiteness in the white horse, whereas when the word “whiteness” stands by itself any inquiry regarding its further specification becomes inadmissible.

Logically, however, there may be a demand of further specification in both the cases and the fear of an infinite regress, but it is not felt in experience[4]. Moreover, one might imagine a vicious infinite in the necessity of having an awareness of an awareness, and then another and so on, but still this is only hyper-logical; for the awareness, in manifesting itself, manifests all that needs be known about it, and there is actually nothing gained by continuing the series. Thus a quality may be supposed to have further qualities, but whatever could be manifested by these may be regarded as revealēd by the quality itself[5]. Again the assertion that if qualities are themselves without quality then they are unspeakable would involve the Buddhists themselves in a great difficulty when they described the nature of all things as unique; for obviously such a uniqueness (svalakṣaṇya) is without quality, and if that which has no quality cannot be described, then its specification as unique or svalakṣana is impossible[6].

It may be urged that a quality may belong to that which has no quality or to that which has it. The former alternative would imply the existence of an entity in its negation which is impossible; for then everything could exist everywhere, and even the chimerical entities, which are not regarded as existing anywhere, would be regarded as existing.

In the other alternative a quality would exist in a quality, which is an absurd conception, being only a circular reasoning (ātmāśraya).

The reply of Veṅkaṭa to this is that he does not hold that the quality belongs to the locus of its negation or to that which has it already, but he holds that a qualified entity possesses the quality not as a qualified entity but as taken apart from it[7].

It cannot be urged that this virtually implies the old objection of the existence of a quality in the locus of its negation.

To this Veṅkaṭa’s reply is that the special feature of a qualified entity does not belong to any of its constituents, and qualities of any of the constituents may not belong to the constituted entity[8]. If by the hyper-logical method the manner of the subsistence of a quality in a qualified entity is criticized, then it might lead to the view that the conception of qualified entity is without any sufficient ground, or self-contradictory, or that such a conception is itself inadmissible. All such views are meaningless, for the wildest criticism of opponents would involve the very notion of qualified entity in the use of their logical apparatus. So it has to be admitted that qualities adhere in qualified entities and that such an adherence does not involve infinite regress.

(b) Criticism of the Sāṃkhya Inference for Establishing the Existence of Prakṛti.

Veṅkaṭanātha admits the doctrine of prakṛti as the theory of materiality, but he thinks that such a doctrine can be accepted only on the testimony of scriptures and not on inference. He therefore criticizes the Sāṃkhya inference as follows. Neither prakṛti nor any of its evolutes such as mahat, ahaṃkāra, tanmātras, etc., can be known through perception. Neither prakṛti nor anv of its evolutes can also be known by inference. The Sāṃkhyists hold that the effect has the same qualities as the cause. The world of effects, as we find it, is pleasurable, painful or dulling (mohātmaka); so its cause also must have, as its nature, pleasure, pain and a feeling of dullness. To this the question naturally arises regarding the relation of the causal qualities with the effects. They cannot be identical -the whiteness of the cloth is not identical with the thread of which it is made; the effect as a substance is not identical with causal qualities, for the white and the cloth are not identical.

Further it cannot be said that the identity of the cause and the effect means merely that the effect is subordinate to the cause, as when one says that the effect, cloth, exists only in the samavāya relation in the cause and in no other form (aḍṛṣṭer eva tantu-samavetatvāt patasya tantu-guṇatvoktiḥ), for the obvious reply is that the Sāṃkhya itself does not admit the samavāya relation or anv ultimate distinction between the whole and the part. If it is said that all that is intended is that the effect exists in the cause, then it may be pointed out that merely by such an affirmation nothing is gained ; for that would not explain why the causal matter (prakṛti) should have the nature or qualities as the effect substance (na kāraṇā-vasthasya sukha-duḥkhā-dyā-tma-katva-siddhiḥ).

If it is held that the effect shares the qualities of the cause, then also it is against the normal supposition that the effect qualities are generated by the cause qualities; and, moreover, such a supposition would imply that the effect should have no other quality than those of the cause. It cannot also be said that the effect is of the same nature as the cause (sajātīya-guṇavattvam), for the Sāṃkhyists admit the mahat to be a different category existent in the prakṛti as its cause (vilakṣaṇa-mahatvā-dy-adhikaraṇatvād). If it is held that the effect must have only qualities similar to the cause, then they may be admitted with impunity; if the effect has all its qualities the same as those of the cause, then there will be no difference between the effect and the cause.

If, again, it is held that only certain specific traits which are not inappropriate in the cause can be supposed to migrate to the effect, and that the relation of the transmission of qualities from cause to the effect can thus be limited by a specific observation of the nature of the essential trait of the cause, then such cases in which living flies are produced from inanimate cow-dung would be inexplicable as cases of cause and effect[9].

The Sāṃkhyists are supposed to argue that if pure intelligence were supposed naturally to tend to worldly objects, then there would be no chance of its attaining liberation. Its association, therefore, must needs be supposed through the intermediary of some other category. This cannot be the senses, for even without them the mind alone may continue to imagine worldly objects. Even when the mind is inactive in sleep, one may dream of various objects. And this may lead to the assumption of the category of ego or ahaṃkāra ; and in dreamless sleep, when the operation of this category of ahaṃkāra may be regarded as suspended, there is still the functioning of breathing, which leads to the assumption of another category, viz. manas. But as this has a limited operation, it presupposes some other cause; if that cause is also regarded as limited, then there would be an infinite regress. The Sāṃkhyists, therefore, rest with the assumption that the cause of mahat is unlimited, and this is prakṛti or avyakta.

The reply of Veṅkaṭa to this is that the association of pure intelligence with worldly objects is through the instrumentality of karma. It is also not possible to infer the existence of Manas as a separate category through the possibility of the thinking operation, for this may well be explained by the functioning of the subconscious root-impressions; for even the assumption of mind would not explain the thinking operation, since manas, by itself, cannot be regarded as capable of producing thought. Manas, being merely an instrument, cannot be regarded as playing the role of a substance of which thought may be regarded as a modification. In the state of dream also it is not necessary to assume the existence of a separate category of ahaṃkāra to explain dream experiences, for this may well be done by mind working in association with subconscious root-impression. The breathing operation in deep, dreamless sleep may also be explained by ordinary bio-motor functions, and for this there is no necessity for the assumption of mahat.

It is also wrong to suppose that the cause must be of a more unlimited extent than the effect, for it is not testified in ordinary experience, in which a big jug is often found to be made out of a lump of clay of a smaller size. It is also wrong to suppose that whatever is found to abide in an effect must also be found in its cause (na hi yad yenā’nugatam tat tasya kāraṇam iti niyamaḥ), for the various qualities that are found in a cow are never regarded as its cause. Following the same assumption, one w'ould expect to find a separate cause of which the common characteristics of the prakṛti and its evolutes are the effects, and this would involve the admission of another cause of the prakṛti itself (vyaktā-vyakta-sādhāraṇa-dharmāṇāṃ tad-ubhaya-kāraṇa-prasaṅgāt tathā ca tattvā-dhikya-prasaṅgaḥ). Thus, the argument that an effect must have as its cause qualitative entities that inhere in it is false. The earthiness (rnṛttva) which inheres in the jug is not its cause, and the earthy substance (mṛd-dravya) which shows itself in its unmodified form or its modified form as jug cannot be said to be inherent in the jug.

Again the argument that things which are related as cause and effect have the same form is also false; for if this sameness means identity, then no distinction can be made between cause and effect. If this sameness means the existence of some similar qualities, then there may be such similarity with other things (which are not cause and effect) as well. Again applying the same analogy to the Sāṃkhya doctrine of puruṣas (which are admitted to have the common characteristic of intelligence), the Sāṃkhyists may well be asked to hold a new category as the cause of the puruṣas. Further, two jugs which are similar in their character are not for that reason produced from the same lump of clay; and, on the other hand, we have the illustration of production of effects from an entirely different cause, as in the case of production of insects from cow-dung. Thus, from our experiences of pleasure, pain, and dullness it does not follow that there is a common cause of the nature of pleasure, pain, and dullness, for these experiences can in each specific instance be explained by a specific cause, and there is no necessity to admit a separate common cause of the nature of three guṇas. If for the explanation of the ordinary pleasurable and painful experiences a separate pleasure-and-pain complex be admitted as the cause, then there may be further inquiry regarding this pleasure-and-pain complex and this will lead to infinite regress. Again if the three guṇas are regarded as the cause of the world, then that would not lead to the affirmation that the world is produced out of one cause; for though the three guṇas may be in a state of equilibrium, they may still be regarded as having their special contribution in generating the varied types of effects. Thus, the triguṇa or the prakṛti of the Sāṃkhya can never be proved by inference. The only mode of approach to the doctrine of prakṛti is through the scriptures.

The three guṇas rest in the prakṛti, and in accordance with the gradual prominence of sattva, rajas, and tamas, three kinds of mahat are produced. From these three types of mahat three kinds of ahaṃ-kāras are produced.

  • Out of the first type (i.e. sāttvika ahaṃkāra) the eleven senses are produced.
  • Out of the last type (viz. the tāmasa ahaṃkāra) the tanmātras (also called the bhūtādi) are produced.
  • The second type of ahaṃkāra (called rājasa ahaṃkāra) behaves as an accessory for the production of both the eleven senses and the bhūtādi.

There are some who say that the conative senses are produced by rājasa ahaṃkāra. This cannot be accepted, as it is against the scriptural testimony. The tanmātras represent the subtle stage of evolution between the tāmasa ahaṃkāra and the gross elemental stage of the bhūtas[10]. The śabda-tan-mātra (sound-potential) is produced from bhūtādi, and from it the gross elemental sound is produced. Again the rūpa-tanmātra (light-heat-potential) is produced from the bhūtādi or the tāmasa ahaṃkāra, and from the rūpa-tanmātra (light-heat-potential) gross light-heat is produced, and so on.

Lokācārya, however, says that there is another view of the genesis of the tanmātra and the bhūta which has also the support of the scriptures and cannot therefore be ignored. This is as follows : śabda-tanmātra is produced from the bhūtādi and the ākāśa is produced from the śabda-tanmātra (sound-potential); the ākāśa again produces the sparśa-tanmātra (the touch-potential) and air is produced from the touch-potential. Again from air heat-light-potential (rūpa-tanmātra) is produced and from heat-light-potential tejas (heat-light) is produced; from tejas, rasa-tanmātra (taste-potential) is produced, and from it water. From water again the gandha-tan-mātra (smell-potential) is produced, and from it the earth[11].

The view is explained by Varavara on the supposition that just as a seed can produce shoots only when it is covered by husks, so the tanmātras can be supposed to be able to produce further evolutes only when they can operate from within the envelope of the bhūtādi[12].

The process of evolution according to the said interpretation is as follows. Śabda-tanmātra is produced from bhūtādi which then envelops it, and then in such an enveloped state ākāśa is produced. Then from such a śabda-tanmātra, sparśa-tan-mātra is produced which envelops the śabda-tanmātra. The sparśa-tanmātra, as enveloped by the śabda-tanmātra, produces the vāyu through the accessory help of ākāśa.

Then from this sparśa-tanmātra the rūpa-tanmātra is produced. The rūpa-tanmātra in its turn envelops the sparśa-tanmātra and then from the rūpa-tanmātra, as enveloped by the sparśa-tanmātra, tejas is produced through the accessory help of vāyu.

Again the rasa-tanmātra is produced from the rūpa-tanmātra, which again envelops the rasa-tanmātra. From the rasa-tanmātra enveloped by the rūpa-tanmatra water is produced through the accessory help of tejas. From the rasa-tanmātra the gandha-tanmātra is produced which again, enveloped by rasa-tanmātra, produces earth through the accessory help of water[13].

Varavara points out that in the Tattva-nirūpaṇa another genesis of creation is given which is as follows. Śabda-tan-mātra is produced from bhūtādi and as a gross state of it ākāśa is produced. The bhūtādi envelops the śabda-tanmātra and the ākāśa. From the transforming śabda-tan-mātra, through the accessory of the gross ākāśa as enveloped by bhūtādi, the sparśa-tanmātra is produced and from such a sparśa-tanmātra vāyu is produced.

The śabda-tan-mātra then envelops both the sparśa-tanmātra and the vāyu, and from the transforming sparśa-tanmātra, through the accessory of vāyu as enveloped by śabda-tanmātra, the rūpa-tanmātra is produced. From the rūpa-tanmātra, similarly, tejas is produced, and so on. In this view, in the production of the sparśa and other tanmātras the accessory help of the previous bhūtas is found necessary.

As Veṅkaṭanātha accepts the view that the gross bhūta of ākāśa acts as accessory to the production of the later bhūtas, he criticizes the Sāṃkhya view that the gross bhūtas are produced from the synthesis of tanmātras[14]. The Sāṃkhyists, again, think that the evolution of the different categories from prakṛti is due to an inherent teleology and not to the operation of any separate agent. Veṅkaṭa, however, as a true follower of Rāmānuja, repudiates it and asserts that the evolving operation of the prakṛti can only proceed through the dynamic operation of God Himself.

(c) Refutation of the Atomic Theory of Nyāya in relation to Whole and Part.

In refuting the Nyāya view that the parts attach themselves to each other and thereby produce the whole, and ultimately the partless atoms combine together to form a molecule, Veṅkaṭa introduces the following arguments. So far as the association of the wholes through their parts (beginning from the molecules) through the association of the parts are concerned, Veṅkaṭa has nothing to object. His objection is against the possibility of an atomic contract for the formation of molecules. If the atoms combine together through their parts, then these parts may be conceived to have further parts, and thus there would be infinite regress. If these parts are regarded as not different from the whole, then the different atoms could well be regarded as occupying the same atomic space, and thus they would not produce a conglomeration bigger in size than the constituent atoms. Further, it is not possible to imagine that there should be wholes without the parts also being present. Proceeding in this way, if the atomic combination cannot account for the origin of bigger measures, the possibility of objects of different magnitude through conglomeration (e.g. a hill or a mustard seed) would be inexplicable. If it is said that parts refer to the different sides of an atom, then also it might be urged that a partless atom cannot have sides.

It is held that knowledge, though one, can refer to many, though it is partless. It may also be urged in this connection that if it refers to all objects in their entirety, then the constituent entities would not be referred to separately, and it cannot also refer to the objects separately in parts, for th^n intelligence itself would not be partless. The Naiyāyika may also, on this analogy, urge that any solution that the idealist may find to his difficulty also applies to the atomic theory. To this the obvious answer of the idealist is that in the case of intelligence, experience testifies that though one and partless it can refer to many, and the Naiyāyikas have no such advantage to show in their favour, for the Naiyāyikas do not admit that in any case wholes may combine except through their parts. The objection cannot be laid against the Buddhist theory of conglomeration (saṅghāta), for there such conglomeration is not due to contact.

The Naiyāyikas may be supposed to raise an objection regarding the association of all-pervasive entities (vibhu) with finite objects; such an association has to be admitted, for otherwise the association of the self or the ākāśa with objects cannot be explained; it is not also possible to hold that all pervasive entities have parts. So ultimately it has to be admitted that the partless all-pervasive entities have contact with finite objects, and if their procedure is accepted, then the same might explain the contact of partless atoms.

To this Veṅkaṭa’s reply is that the illustration of the contact of all-pervasive entities with finite objects might well be thrown in our face, if we had attempted to refute the view that wholes had no specific qualities; but our main object is to show the inconsistency to which the Naiyāyikas are exposed when they apply their theory that all combinations of wholes must be through parts to the combination of the supposed partless atoms. As a matter of fact, the error lies in the assumption that the atoms are partless. If it is supposed that division of particles must ultimately take us to partless atoms, the obvious reply is that from the division of parts we could not go to the partless, the better way being the acceptance of the smallest visible particles called the trasareṇu. If it is urged that if trasareṇu is the atom, then it must be invisible, the obvious reply is that there is no such general concomitance between atomic nature and invisibility. The better course, therefore, is to accept the trasareṇu as ultimate particles of matter. There is, therefore, no necessity to admit dvyaṇuka also.

Veṅkaṭanātha further objects to the Nyāya doctrine of the formation of wholes (avayavl) from parts (avayava) and points out that if this is to be admitted, then the weight of an object must be due to the weight of the atoms; but the Naiyāyikas hold that the atoms have no weight. The proper view therefore is that the effect, or the so-called whole, is to be regarded as being only a modified condition of the parts. The causal operation in such a view is justified in producing the change in the condition of the causal object and not in producing a new object in the effect or the whole as is supposed by the Naiyāyikas. Again in the consideration of the production of the wholes from parts, when the thread is regarded as the cause of the production of the whole, the cloth, it may be observed that in the process of the production we find various accretions through the gradual addition of one thread after another.

In each such addition we have separate wholes, since the process may easily be stopped anywhere; and in such a view we have the addition of a part to a whole for the production of another whole. This is obviously against the Nyāya view, which would not lend any support to the doctrine that the addition of parts to wholes would produce other wholes. The Naiyāyikas urge that if a whole as a different entity from the parts be not admitted, and if a whole be regarded as nothing more than a collection of atoms, then, the atoms being invisible, the wholes would be invisible. The production of gross wholes not being admitted, the supposed explanation that there is an illusion of grossness in the atoms would also be inadmissible[15].

The question now is what is meant by grossness. If it means a new measure, then it is quite admissible in the Rāmānuja view in which the production of separate wholes is not admitted; for just as the atomists would think of the production of the new wholes from atoms, so the Rāmānujist may also agree to the production of a new measure (parimāṇa). If the Naiyāyikas object to this and urge that the production of a new measure from the atomic is inadmissible, then they may as well be asked how they would also account for the notion of plurality in a collection of separate entities, each of which may be regarded as one in itself.

If it is said that the conception of number as plurality proceeds from a mental oscillation incorporating the diversity, then it may also be argued that from the absence of any such oscillation there may be a failure in noting the separateness which may give rise to a notion of gross measure. Moreover, there is nothing incongruous in the fact that if individuals are not visible the collection may be visible. If the grossness is supposed to mean the occupation of more spatial units than the individual entities, then also it is not inadmissible; for in a collection of small particles they are cognized as occupying different spatial units. If it is urged that since no separate wholes are admitted to be produced the gross dimension cannot be perceptible, the obvious reply is that the perception of grossness has no connection with the perception of wholes. Even before the dyad is produced the combining atoms have to be admitted as occupying' more space in their totality than in their individual capacity; for otherwise they in their totality could not produce a bigger dimension.

Thus, there is no reason for admitting the production of wholes separate from the parts. Under the same specific kind of combination of threads in which the Naiyāyikas think that a cloth could be produced, the Rāmānujists think that the threads under the selfsame condition are the cloth and there is no separate production of cloth[16]. But it should not be thought that any slight change in the condition of an object would mean that thereby there is a new object so long as the object remains sufficiently unchanged to be recognized as the same for all practical purposes. The causal operation, according to the Rāmānujists, only brings about new changes of conditions and states in the already existent causal substance. This is thus different from the Sāṃkhya theory of sat-kārya-vāda, according to which the effect is already existent in the cause even before the causal operation is set in motion. Veṅkaṭa, therefore, criticizes the Sāṃkhya theory of sat-kārya-vāda.

(d) Criticism of the Sāṃkhya Theory of Sat-kārya-vāda.

The Sāṃkhya is wrong in supposing that the effect (e.g. the jug) was pre-existent in its cause (e.g. earth), for had it been so the causal operation would have been fruitless. The Sāṃkhya may, however, say that the causal operation serves to manifest what was potentially existing in the cause; the function of causal operation is thus manifestation and not production. This, however, is wrong, for manifestation (vyaṅga) and production (kārya) are two different words having two different concepts. Manifestation can occur only in the operation of a manifesting agent with the help of its accessories in making an object manifested with regard to a particular sense-organ in a particular place where the manifesting agent exists[17]. It would first be proved that the pre-existent effect is manifested and not produced; only then would it have been worth while to inquire into the conditions of the causal operation to see whether it satisfied the necessary conditions of a manifesting agent. But the Sāṃkhya can hardly succeed in showing that it is so.

The Sāṃkhyist says that the effect is pre-existent before the causal operation; hut the causal operation is itself an effect, and if their previous assertion is correct then it was non-existent when the effect was non-manifested. If the causal operation was also existent at the time of the existence of the cause, then the effect would also have been present in the cause in a manifested state.

The Sāṃkhya says that what is non-existent cannot be produced, and this implies that a thing is existent because it can be produced, which is, on the face of it, self-contradictory. The theory that the effect is pre-existing in the cause could have been admitted as a last resort if there were no other theory available, but the ordinary notion of causality as invariable and immediate antecedent is quite sufficient to explain the phenomenon of production. Therefore, there is no necessity for such a chimerical theory. Again instead of holding that the effect is nothing more than the potential power in the cause, it is much better to say that the cause has such power by which it can produce the effect under certain conditions[18].

Again it may be thought about the instrumental and other accessory agents that if they lead to the generation of effort, as indeed they do, they should also be accepted as subtle potential states of the effect. But this is not admitted by the Sāṃkhyist, for according to him it is only the material cause which is regarded as the potential effect. Otherwise even the puruṣa, which, teleologically, is to be regarded as the instrumental cause of the world phenomenon, has to be regarded as a part of prakṛti. Again consider the destructive agents. Are the destructible effects already present in the destructible agent? It cannot be so, for they are entirely opposed to each other. If it were not so, it could not destroy it[19]. If it were not so and yet if it would be destroyed by the destructive agent, then everything could be destroyed by everything.

Turning to the function of the material cause, it may be pointed out that it cannot be defined as that from which an effect is produced (tajjanyatva); for then even an instrumental cause would be included in the material cause. Nor can it be regarded as a modification (tadvikāratva), for then the effect would be only the quality of the cause, and there would be no difference between the cause and the effect. But we see that the cloth is different from threads[20]. If the effect is regarded as identical with the cause on the ground that though there cannot be any contact between the effect and the cause yet the former is never outside the latter, the obvious reply is that in the view that the effect is not a substance there need not be any contact, and if it is a property of the cause it is never beside it[21]. On the view that the effect is a manifestation, it may be asked whether such a manifestation is eternal or itself an effect. In the former case no causal operation is necessary for the manifestation. In the latter case, if the manifestation be regarded as a separate effect, then it virtually amounts to a partial sacrifice of sat-kārya-vāda. If for the manifestation of a manifestation causal operation is necessary, then that will lead to a vicious infinite. Moreover, if manifestation is itself regarded as an effect, then since it did not exist before, its coming into being would involve the sacrifice of sat-kārya-vāda.

It may be urged that the production of an effect is not of the nature of the effect itself, for one always speaks of an effect as being produced. Thus the effect is different from production. If this is admitted, then what is the difficulty in accepting the view that the effect may be manifested ? If the word production be considered more logical, then with regard to it also there may be the same question, whether a production is produced or manifested, and in the former case there wrould be infinite regress, and in the latter no necessity for the causal operation. With regard to the manifestation also there would be the same difficulty as to whether it is produced or manifested, and in both cases there would be vicious infinite. The reply to this is that production means the operation of the causal agents, and if this operation be again admitted to be produced by the operation of its own causal constituent, and that by another, there is no doubt an infinite regress, but it is not vicious and is admitted by all. When there is a movement of a specific nature in the thread, we say a cloth is produced, or rather at the very first moment of such a movement involving the cloth-state of the thread we say that a cloth is produced[22]. It is for this reason that we can speak of an effect as being produced. Such a production has no further production.

(e) Refutation of the Buddhist Doctrine of Momentariness.

The Buddhists hold that the theory of causal efficiency proves that whatever is existent must be momentary; for the same efficiency cannot be produced again and again. So, in accordance with each efficiency or the production of effects, a separate entity has to be admitted. Since the efficiency at two different moments cannot be identical, the entities producing them also cannot be identical. Since the different characters that are supposed to belong to the same object represent different efficiencies, their attribution to the same object is also erroneous. Therefore, there are as many different entities as there are different character points in a particular moment (yo yo viruddha-dharmā-dhyāsavān sa sa nānā).

To this Veṅkaṭanātha’s reply is that things are not associated with diverse opposite characters, and that though in certain cases, e.g. the flowing river or the flame of a lamp, changing entities may show the appearance of an unchanging whole, there are undeniable cases of true recognition in all such cases where we perceive that it is the same thing which we both see and touch. The fact that in such cases subconscious impressions may also be working should not be exaggerated to such an extent as to lead us to believe that recognition is a mere affair of memory. Recognition is a case where perception predominates, or at the worst it may be said to be a joint complex of memory and perception. The objection that the presence of memory falsifies recognition is wrong, for not all memory is false. It is also wrong to think that memory is only subjective and as such cannot lead us to an objective determination; for memory is not only subjective but has also an objective reference involving the time character of the objects as past.

Again the Buddhists say that the association of many characters to an object is wrong, for each character-point represents the efficiency of a momentary unit, and that, therefore, the association of many characters in recognition is false. To this Veṅkaṭa’s reply is that if each momentary unit is by itself capable of producing any effect, it ought to do it by its own nature, and it ought not to wait for the assistance of other accessories. Following the same analogy, even the unique nature of any momentary unit would not be the same with any other unique nature of any other moment, and thus the idea of identity would be impossible and would land us in nihilism. It is, therefore, wrong to suppose that there is a separate entity corresponding to each and every character unit[23]. The Buddhists are supposed to urge further that the experience of recognition identifies a past moment with a present, which is impossible. The reply of Veṅkaṭa is that though it would be absurd to connect a past moment with the present, there is no incongruity in associating them with an entity which has lived through the past and is also persisting in the present moment[24].

It is true that the affirmation of a past time in the present is contradictory, but the real mystery of the situation is that one time appears as many under diverse conditions (upādhi). In such cases the contradiction arises in associating the different conditions in each other’s conditioned time unit, but this does not imply that the reference to the different conditions and time is inadmissible; for had it been so, even the concept of a successive series of moments would be inadmissible, since the notion of successive moments implies a reference of before and after, and hence in some way or other it brings together the past, the present and the future. If this be not admitted, the very concept of momentariness would have to be sacrificed[25]. If it is urged that momentariness (kṣaṇa-sambandhitva) means the unique self-identity of any entity, then that leads us to no new knowledge. Thus, the mere association of the past with the present leads us to no temporal self-contradiction.

Again the Buddhists are supposed to urge that perception refers only to the present moment. It can never lead us to the comprehension of the past. Our notion, therefore, that things existent in the past are persistent in the present is an illusion due to the operation of the subconscious root-impressions which ignore difference between the past and the present, and impose the former on the latter, as silver is imposed on conch-shell. The reply of Veṅkaṭa to this is that perception demonstrates only the presence of an object in the present moment as against its absence; but it does not on that account deny its existence in the past. Just as “this” indicates the presence of an object in the present moment, the perceptual experience “that is this” demonstrates the persistence of the object in the past and in the present[26]. If it is urged that perception reveals its object as a present entity, then the Buddhist theory of perception as indeterminate (nirvikalpa), which cannot reveal the object as qualified by the temporal character as present, falls to the ground. If it is urged that perception reveals the existence of the object at the moment of the perceptual revelation, then also it is impossible in the Buddhist view, for the momentary object with which the sense-organ was in touch has ceased to exist by the time knowledge was produced.

So, in whichever way the Buddhist may take it, he cannot prove that perception reveals an object only as present; whereas in the Rāmānuja view, since the sense-contact, the object as associated with it, and the temporal element associated with them, are continuous, the mental state is also continuous and as such the perception reveals the object as that with which the sense was in contact. Even after the cessation of the sense-contact, the mental state, indicating the perception of the object with which the sense was in contact, is comprehended[27].

Again if it is argued that whatever is invariably produced from anything must also be produced unconditionally without awaiting any causal operation, then it must be said that when leaves and flowers grow from a plant they do so unconditionally, which is absurd. Moreover, when in a series of momentary entities one entity follows another, it must do so without awaiting any cause; then, on the one hand, since each of the preceding entities has no special function to fulfil, it is without any causal efficiency and as such is non-existent; and, on the other hand, since each succeeding entity rises into being without waiting for any cause, it may rise into being in the preceding moment as well, and if this is so there would be no series at all. Again it is argued that since whatever is produced must necessarily be destroyed, destruction as such is unconditioned and takes place without awaiting any cause.

Negation can be unconditioned only when it is an implication of position which as such is never produced but is always associated with any and every position (e.g. cow implies the negation of a horse). But negations which are produced always depend on certain causes which can produce them just as much as any positive entity, as in the case of the destruction of a jug by the stroke of a stick. If it is argued that the stroke of a stick does not produce any destruction but only starts a new series of existence in the form of the particles of the jug, then also there are many other illustrations (e.g. the blowing out of a flame) in which the explanation of the starting of a new series is not available. If it is argued that negation is mere nothing and as such does not depend on a cause like chimerical entities, e.g. the lotus of the sky, such an explanation would be meaningless; for negations or destructions are conditioned in time just as are any positive entities, and as such are different from chimerical entities (pratiyogivad eva niyata-kālatayā pramitasya atyanta-tucchatā-yogāt).

If negations be regarded as similar to chimerical entities, then the former would be as beginningless as the latter, and, if this were so, then there would be no positive entities, all being beginningless negations. If negation were chimerical, then even at the time of negation there could be the positive entities, for negation being chimerical could not condition anything and this would amount to the persistence of all entities and cannot be acceptable to momentarists like the Buddhists. If negations were devoid only of certain specific characters, then they would be like the unique-charactered entities (svalakṣaṇa) which are also devoid of certain specific characters. If they were devoid of all characters (sarva-svabhāva-viraha), then they could have no place in a proposition which must affirm some predicate of them. If it is said that negation has a character as such, then that being its character it would not be devoid of any character. If such negations were not pre-existent, then their coming into being must depend on some causal operation. If they were pre-existent, then there would not be any positive entities (prāk-sattve tu bhāvā-pahnavaḥ).

If it is urged that the effect-moment as destruction is simultaneous with the cause-moment, then the positive entity and its destruction would occur at the same moment; and if this were so, there is no reason why the destruction should not precede the positive entity. If destruction is admitted to appear at a moment succeeding that of the production of the positive moment, then the destruction would not be unconditioned. If the sequence of the positive entity and its destruction be with reference to the positive entity itself and not to its production, then the positive entity would be the cause of the destruction. It cannot be said that destruction is conditioned only by the position, for its dependence on other accessory agents cannot be repudiated. It cannot be argued that the production of a moment is also its destruction, for that would be self-contradictory. It is sometimes maintained that difference does not constitute destruction, and hence the rise of a different-charactered moment does not imply the destruction of the previous moment.

The destruction of a moment has thus to be regarded as a separate fact, and as such it is involved and inherent in the very production of a moment[28]. To this the reply is that a different-charactered entity must also be regarded as the destruction of the previous entity, for otherwise it wrould be impossible to assign any cause to the rise of such a different-charactered entity.

If, again, the destruction be the very essence of an entity, then such an essence might as well manifest itself at the time of the rise of the present entity, and thus reduce it to the negation which would mean the universal negation of all things. If it is urged that an entity produces its own destruction by itself, then it would be meaningless to hold that destruction is unconditional; and if it is thus conditioned by itself, it would be idle to suppose that it does not depend on any other condition, for there is no means of knowing it. If it is admitted that an entity produces its own destruction with the help of other accessories, then the doctrine of momentariness fails.

It has also been shown before that the affirmation of momentariness is distinctly contradicted by the phenomenon of recognition as elaborated above. Again when the momentarist says that all things are momentary, how does he explain the fact that the effect-moment is caused by the cause-moment? If causation means nothing more than immediate succession, then the universe at a particular moment is caused by the universe at the preceding moment. The problem is whether such immediacy of succession is by itself competent to produce the effect-moment or needs the accessories of space and time. If such accessories are not necessary, then spatial co-existence or concomitance (as in the case of smoke and fire) ought not to lead to any inference. If such accessories are awaited, then it would mean that whatever is produced at any unit of space has also its cause in that unit of space and that unit of time. On such a view the effect-moment would be in the space and time of the cause, and thus the cause-space or cause-time would be co-extensive in two moments.

If this were admitted, then the momentarist might as well admit that the cause persists in two moments. So, the momentarist who does not admit persisting time and space cannot also admit that any sequence should be conditioned by them. If it is said that a cause-moment starts its effect in the very space or time in which it exists, then there would be no unity of the series between the cause and the effect; and, by supposition, they are regarded as having different sets of moments for themselves. There might be superimposition but no unity of the series. If the unity of the series be not admitted, then the expectation that just as when a cotton-seed is dyed there is redness in the cotton, so in the moral sphere whenever there is the vāsanā or root-inclination there is also its fruit, fails. The co-existence of the causal-moment and the effect-moment does not imply the unity that is expected in a normal cause and effect relation, and it would therefore be difficult to say that such an effect has such a cause, for the momentaristic theory cannot establish the bond between cause and effect.

Let us now analyse the concept of momentariness. It may mean the fact that

  1. an entity is associated with a moment (kṣaṇa-sambandhavattva),
  2. or association with a momentary unit of time (kṣaṇa-kāla-sambandhatvaṃ),
  3. or existence for only one moment (kṣana-mātra-vartitva),
  4. or absence of relation with two moments (kṣaṇa-dvaya-sambandha-śūnyatvd),
  5. or identity with the moment of time (kṣaṇa-kālatvaṃ),
  6. or being determinant of the moment-character (kṣaṇa-pādhitvaṃ).

1) The first alternative is inadmissible, for even those who believe in persistent entities admit that such entities, since they persist in- time, are associated with a moment.

2) The second alternative is inadmissible because the Buddhists do not believe in any separate category of time apart from the kṣaṇa[29]. On such an admission, again, an entity as time which is beyond a kṣaṇa has to be virtually accepted, which contradicts the doctrine of momentariness.

3) The third alternative is directly contradicted in the experience of recognition which testifies to the fact that we touch what we see.

4) The fourth view is also for the same reason contradicted in experience; and if any supposed entity which is not itself a kṣaṇa is not associated with two time-moments, then it can have only a chimerical existence, and, curiously enough, the Buddhists often compare all existent entities with chimerical objects[30].

5) The fifth alternative is also inadmissible, for just as an entity exists in a unit of space and cannot be identical with it, so also it cannot be identical with the time in which it exists, and it is directly contradicted in experience.

6) The sixth alternative is also inadmissible for the reason that if objects were in their own nature determinants of moments, then there would be nothing to explain our notion of temporal succession[31]; and all our experiences depending on such a succession would be contradicted.

If things did not persist in time and were absolutely destroyed without leaving any trace (niranvaya-vināśaḥ), then the ordinary experience of the world in which things are done for the purpose of reaping their benefits could not be explained. The man who had done some work would not wait a moment for his reward. In the Rāmānuja view persistence of the self is well explained in self-consciousness. The theory that such a self-consciousness refers only to the succeeding terms produced in the series of the ālaya-vijñāna is only a theory which has no verification, and such a theory is directly contradicted by the well attested maxim that the experience, of one individual cannot be remembered by another (nānya-dṛṣṭaṃ smaraty anyaḥ). There is also no way in which the terms of the ālaya-vijñāna series may be associated with volitional notions.

If the momentariness of entities means that they are modified or conditioned by moments, then also the question arises if they are not themselves momentary, how can they be conditioned by moments? If the conditioning by moments means that causal collocations represent only the previous moment of the effect (kārya-prāga-bhāva-samanvita), then it maybe urged by the opponent that it would be difficult to refute such momentariness. On the side of the opponent it may be further said that the criticism that the conglomeration of the causes is something different from, or identical with the conglomerating entities, cannot be made; for, in either case, since such an entity would, according to the Rāmānujists, be a persisting one, it would not condition a moment.

The reply is that conglomeration can neither mean relation nor the related entities; for the word “conglomeration” cannot apply specifically to each of the entities, and as such it is to be admitted that the causal entities, collected together by some condition, represent the conglomeration. If such entities are regarded as determining the moment, then they must necessarily be persistent. If it is held that the combining condition is the condition of the kṣaṇa, then the reply is that the production must be due to the joint operations of the combining conditions and the specific collocating entities. Of these the combining condition is not momentary, and since the collocating entities would stay till they were combined, they are also not momentary. The condition of the kṣaṇa seems, therefore, to be the last accessory agent or operation which associates with it the previous entities or operations and thereby behaves as the condition of the moment immediately antecedent to the effect. There is thus nothing momentary in it.

Time being unlimited in its nature cannot be parcelled out in moments. The supposed moments can be attributed to an operation or an existing entity only for specifying particular states or conditions for practical purposes; but an entity that exists, exists in time, and thus outgrows the limits of a previous or later moment. So, though a specific unit of time may be regarded as momentary, the entity that exists, therefore, is not momentary in the nature of its own existence. Since the Buddhists do not admit time, they are not justified in speaking of momentary time in which things are supposed to exist. Nor are they justified in holding that nature in itself suffers change in every moment, for that virtually amounts to the existence of a persisting entity which suffers modification[32].

The Buddhist assumption that things are destroyed entirely, and there are no elements in them that persist (niranvaya-vināśa), on the analogy that flames are destroyed without leaving any trace of their existence, is false. For, from various other instances, e.g. the case of jugs, cloth, etc., we find that their destruction means only a change of state and not entire annihilation; and from this analogy it is reasonable to suppose that the elements of the flame that are destroyed are not completely annihilated but persist in invisible forms. Even when a flame is destroyed, the tip of the wick is felt to be slightly warm, and this is certainly to be interpreted as a remnant of the heat possessed by the flame. If the last stage in the destruction of an entity be regarded as lapsing into entire annihilation, it would have no causal efficiency and as such would be nonexistent. If the last stage is non-existent, then its previous stage also would have no causal efficiency and would be non-existent, and so on. This would lead to universal non-existence.

(f) Refutation of the Cārvāka criticism against the Doctrine of Causality.

The problem of causality naturally brings in the question of time relation between the cause and the effect, i.e. whether the effect precedes the cause, or whether the cause precedes the effect, or whether they are simultaneous. If the effect precedes the cause, then it would not depend upon causal operation for its existence and it would then be an eternally existent entity like space. If it is not existent, then it cannot be brought into existence by anv means, for a non-existent entity cannot be produced. If the effect were produced before the cause, then the so-called “cause” could not be its cause. If the cause and effect were simultaneous, then it would be difficult to determine which is the cause and which the effect. If the cause precedes the effect, then, again, it may be asked whether the effect was already existent or beside it. If it is already existent, there is no need of causal operation, and that which is to happen later cannot be considered to be co-existent with that which was at a prior moment. If the effect was not co-existent with the cause, then what would be the bond which would determine why a particular cause should produce a particular effect and not others? Since production cannot be synonymous with what is produced, it must be different from it. Being a different entity, it may be demanded- that production should have a further production, and that another, and this will lead to infinite regress.

To these objections Veṅkaṭanātha’s reply is that the opposition of negation with position can hold good only with reference to the same unit of time and space. Therefore, the non-existence of the effect at a prior moment has no opposition to its existence at a later moment. That there is a relation between the cause of a prior moment and the effect of a later moment can be directly experienced. Such a relation is, of course, not contact, but one of dependence, of one another, as prior and later, as is perceived in experience. The dialectical criticism that production, being a separate entity, demands a further production and so forth cannot be applied to the Rāmānuja view; for here the effect is regarded as only a modified condition or state of the cause. The effect depends upon the cause in the sense that it is identical with it as being its state[33]. Identity here, of course, does not mean oneness but identity in difference.

The objection that no bond can be established in difference is found contradicted in our experience of cause and effect, and in many other cases, e.g. in the instance where a speaker tries to produce a conviction in his hearers who are different from him.

The objection that a cause can be called a cause only by virtue of its doing some operation (kiñcit-kara) and that its causality towards that operation must again involve the effectuation of some other operation, and thus there is an infinite regress, is invalid; for the existence of a number of operations (as given in experience) in producing an effect cannot lead to a vicious infinite, for only those operations which are revealed in experience can be accepted as having happened. In the case of spontaneous production (dvārā-n-tara-nirapekṣa), there is no necessity to admit any series of operations as the causality as invariable antecedent is directly given in experience.

The objection that a cause is a cause because it produces the effect involves the previous existence of the effect, and hence the futility of the causal operation is invalid; for causality means the happening of an operation suitable to the becoming of the effect[34]. This does not involve the prior existence of the effect, since the happening of the operation leading to the effect refers to the effect not as an existing fact but as anticipated in the mind of the observer (kurvattva-nirūpaṇaṃ tu bhāvinā’pi kāryeṇa buddhyā-rohiṇā siddheḥ).

The objection that if effect was a nature of the cause then it would be already there, and if it was not it could not come into being at any time, is also invalid on the supposition that there is an invariable uniformity of relationship (niyata-pratisambandhika-svabhāvatā eva). The effect entity is numerically and characteristically different from the cause entity, but yet the former and the latter are related to one another as mutually determining each other (anyo-nya - nirūpyatayā).

The objection, that since the separate entities in a causal conglomeration cannot produce the effect, the conglomeration as a whole could not produce the effect, is invalid; for the capacity of the individual entities is defined in terms of their capacity in joint production (samuditānāṃ kārya-karatvam eva hi pratyekam api hi śaktiḥ). The further objection that since the cause is destroyed on its way to produce the effect, it (cause) itself being destroyed, ought not to be able to produce the effect, is not valid; for the production of the effect requires only the existence of the cause at a prior moment (pūrva-kṣaṇa-sattvam eva hi kāraṇasya kāryo-payogi).

Again it is urged that the concept of invariable priority which determines causation is itself indeterminable, for time as duration has no quality in itself. Priority and posteriority therefore have to be determined by other imposed conditions (upādhi), and the causal phenomena could be regarded as such an imposed condition. If this is so, priority and posteriority, which are in this view supposed to originate from causal conditions, cannot be regarded as determining causality. Again if conditions are supposed to split up time as pure duration into succession, then, since time is not regarded as discrete, the supposed conditions would have to refer to the whole of time, in which case there would be no succession. Moreover, if the conditions were to refer to certain parts, discrete time has first to be accepted[35].

The reply to the above objection is that if by the force of the above argument time as succession is not admitted, then if things are in time they are eternal, and if they are not, they are chimerical; which is absurd. The objector is again supposed to urge that, all universals being eternally existing, priority and posteriority can never be referred mutually among them, or between them and individuals. Where the rise of the constellation Rohiṇī is inferred from the rise of the constellation Kṛttikā, priority and posteriority are not between the two. The reply is to be found in the experience that such a qualified entity is produced from such other qualified entity where the universal and the individual merge together in a complex whole—a qualified entity[36]. Definite causal relations with definite effects are known from large experience of invariable antecedence between them, and this repudiates the idea of any denial of the uniformity of causal relation relating specific cause to specific effect. The notion of the plurality of causes is also therefore repudiated for the same reason. Where the same effect seems to be produced by different causes it is due to mal-observation and non-observation.

A closer observation by experts reveals that though certain effects may be apparently similar yet they have specificity in their individual nature. By virtue of such specificity, each one of them can be referred to its own determinate cause. The negation-antecedent-to-being (prāga-bhāva) cannot by itself be regarded as determining the effect, for such negations in themselves, being beginningless, could not explain the occasion of an effect’s coming into being. Moreover, such negations involve in some form or other the effect to which it would give rise as its constituent; for, otherwise it could not be referred to or defined as a negation-antecedent-to-being of the effect. If an effect, being existent, be without any cause, it would be eternal; and if it be non-existent without any cause, then it would be chimerical. If the effect could happen by fits and starts, then its uniform dependence upon the immediate and invariable antecedents could not be explained. Thus the doctrine of causality stands unimpeached by any of the objections brought forward by the Cārvākas.

(g) The Nature of the Senses according to Veṅkaṭanātha.

The Naiyāyikas think that the visual organ has for its material cause the eight elements, for though it cannot perceive any other sense-data it can grasp colours like a lamp; and, following a similar course of argument, they hold that the tactile organ is made up of air, the gustatory organ, of water, the smell-organ, of earth, and the auditory organ, of space-element (ākāśa). Veṅkaṭanātha’s main objection is directed against viewing the senses as the specific and most important instruments of the corresponding perceptions on the ground that in the act of perception many accessories, such as the subject, object, light, sense-organ, sense-contact, absence of obstruction, and other accessories participate in such a manner that it is impossible to single out the sense-organ as being the most important instrument (karaṇa). Even if the sense-faculties be regarded as different from the sense-organs, they may be considered as the special ways of the ego-hood (ahaṃkāra), and this is testified by scriptural texts. Merely on the ground that the visual sense-faculty can perceive colours, it would be wrong to argue that this sense-faculty is made up of the same element as colour; for the visual sense-faculty is not by itself responsible for the colour-perception. The special predominance of the visional organ over other accessories in colour-perception, by which its affinity with the colour element may be shown, cannot be established.

Veṅkaṭa urges that the same reasons that lead to the acceptance of the five cognitive senses lead also to the admission of the five conative senses and manas (mind). The function of the cognitive senses is believed to be of a special kind by which the senses can operate only in a special manner and under special conditions, and the same applies also to the conative senses. These are as much associated with the subtle body as the cognitive senses, and the view of Yādāvaprakāśa that the conative senses came into being with this body and were destroyed with its destruction is regarded as false[37]. Manas, being a part of the evolution of prakṛti, cannot be regarded as all-pervasive. The ordinary argument that that which, being eternal, is not the material constituent of any other thing is all-pervasive, is faulty, for this is directly contradicted by the testimony of the scriptures, and according to the Rāmānuja view atoms are not the ultimate constituent of things. Again the argument that that which is devoid of specific qualities, like time, is all-pervasive is also untenable, for according to the Rāmānuja view there is nothing which is devoid of specific quality. The argument that since mind can remember very distant experiences it is all-pervasive is also faulty, for such remembrances are due to the contact of mind with specific subconscious root-impressions.

The senses are to be regarded as subtle (sūkṣma) or atomic, and yet by their functioning or in association with other things they may behave as being spread out[38]. It is for this reason that in the bodies of animals of different dimensions the same senses may spread over smaller or larger areas through such functions without which they have to be admitted as becoming larger or smaller according to the dimensions of the bodies in which they may operate. If manas is all-pervasive, or if it occupies the span of the body, then the cognition by all the five senses may arise at one moment. The senses are regarded by Veṅkaṭa as abiding in the heart, whence they move through respective nerves to the particular sense-organs.

The sense operates by its function called vṛtti, which moves almost with the speed of light and grasps its object. There is thus a gradual operation of the sense-function passing from one place to another which, on account of its high speed, seems to be operative with regard to the object near at hand and also at a distance. This produces the appearance of simultaneous perception. The same process also holds good in the case of auditory perception. Since, according to the Rāmānuja school, senses are immaterial, their functions also are to be described as immaterial[39].

(h) The Nature of ākāśa according to Veṅkaṭanātha.

Veṅkaṭa tries to establish in some detail the supposed fact that the ākāśa is perceived by the visual organ, as in our well attested experience in perceiving the blue sky or the scarlet sky in the evening and also the movement of the birds through the sky. He denies the position that the existence of ākāśa can only be inferred through movements, for the ākāśa exists even in thick walls where no movement is possible. Ākāśa is not its pure vacuity; its existence is manifested by its non-obstruction to the movements of animals. Some of the Buddhists and the Cārvākas argue that there are only four elements and that ākāśa is only the negation (āvaraṇā-bhāva). We do not perceive any ākāśa in a wall, but when it is split up we say that we perceive ākāśa. Such an ākāśa cannot be anything but a negation of obstruction; for if this is not admitted, then there is no negation of obstruction anywhere, all such cases being explainable on the supposition of ākāśa. It is this negation of obstruction, pure vacuity, which produces the illusion of some positive entity like a mirage. Such experiences may well be illustrated in those instances where the negation of pain is experienced as pleasure and negation of light as blue darkness. We are all familiar with the fact that mere linguistic usage sometimes produces an idea without there being an entity behind it, when someone says “the sharp horn of a hare.”

To this Veṅkaṭa’s reply is that the existence of categories can only be justified by an appeal to experience, and we all have a positive experience of ākāśa. What we call negation is also a positive entity. The very negative concept can well be regarded as a positive notion. It is useless to argue that the negative concept differs from all positivity, for each specific category has its own special notion, and it is futile to argue why a particular entity should have its own peculiar concept[40].

A negation is always defined as the absence of the positive entity of which the negation is affirmed. The positivity of ākāśa is established by its positive experience. The view that there is nG ākāśa in occupied space is wrong, for when the occupying object is cut asunder we perceive the ākāśa and we affirm of it the negation of occupation. Thus the negation of occupation (āvar-aṇā-bhāvā) is the predicate which is affirmed of the positive entity ākāśa, for in our experience of ākāśa we perceive that there is no occupation (āvarṇa) in the ākāśa (iha’varaṇaṃ nāsti). If this is not admitted, then such perceptions as “Here is an object” would be inexplicable, for the word “here” would have no meaning if it were mere absence of negation. If, again, ākāśa was absent in an occupying object, it would be unreasonable to define ākāśa as the absence of such an object; since nothing exists in itself, everything would on the above analogy become its own negation[41]. The fact that ākāśa sometimes seems to show the false appearance of a surface is due also to the fact that it is an entity on which certain qualities are illusorily imposed. If it were mere nothing, there could have been no predication of false qualities to it.

When it is said that the negation of pain is falsely conceived as pleasure, the fact is that the so-called negation is only another kind of positivity [42]. In the case of chimerical entities such as the sharp hare’s horn there is an affirmation of horn in the hare, and when the horn is known there is a deliberation in our mind whether our notion of sharpness is true or false. The affirmation of sharpness, therefore, is not on mere negation. The falsity of chimerical predication also consists of affirming a predicate to a subject which in the course of nature it does not possess, and there is nothing like pure falsity or non-existence in such notions.

When one says that there is no occupation here he must show the locus where the occupation is denied or negated; for a negation implies a locus. The locus of the negation of occupation would be pure space (ākāśa). If the negation of occupation meant absolute non-existence, then that would land us in nihilism. If the occupation (āvaraṇa) did exist anywhere or did not exist anywhere, then in either case the production or destruction of such occupation would be undemonstrable; for an existent thing is never produced nor destroyed and a non-existent thing is neither produced nor destroyed. Thus, for these and other considerations, ākāśa, which is neither eternal nor all-pervasive, has to be regarded as a separate positive entity and not as mere negation of occupation. Dik or the quarter of the sky, north, south, etc., should not be regarded as separate entities, but it is the sky, or ākāśa, which appears as different kinds of dik on account of its association with different conditions of the perceiver and the perceived space-relations.

(i) Nature of Time according to Veṅkaṭanātha.

Time is eternal and beginningless, for any conception in which it might be held that time were produced would involve the view that time was non-existent before its production. This, as it is easy to see, involves a notion of before and after, and as such it may be presumed that without the assumption of time even the production of time cannot be perceived. Time is directly perceived as a quality of all perceived entities. If time is regarded as being only inferable, then since it is intimately associated with all perceptible things the non-apprehension of time by direct perception would mean that the perceived objects also are not directly apprehended but known by inference.

Even those who deny the separate existence of time explain it as an unreal notion of things in relation with the movement of the sun. Thus, the category of time, whether it is admitted as real or unreal, is taken as a quality or mode of perceived things and is apprehended along with them. There is no other time than what is conceived as before and after, as modes of our experience. It may be argued that with the exception of recognition all our experiences relate to the present and as such in the apprehension of objects by perception there is no notion of before and after which constitutes time, so there is no direct perception of time. To this the suggested discussion is whether, when objects are apprehended, they are apprehended as present or not, or whether only the notion of “the present” is apprehended without any association of any other object. Such views are directly contradicted in such experience as “I see this,” where the object is demonstrated as being perceived at the present time.

Perception thus refers both to the object and to its temporal character as present. It cannot be said that the temporal character is only illusorily imposed upon the perceived object; for in that case it must be shown that the temporal character was at least somewhere perceived or known independently by itself. It is argued that the sense-characters are perceived as “present,” and this notion of the “present” is illusorily imposed upon time. To this it may be replied that in the passing series of the momentary sense-characters it is impossible to point out anything as “present,” since these are only perceived as “before” and “after”; by the time anything could be designated as “present” it is already past. Thus the point of time as present is undemonstrable. If the time as present may be affirmed of any sense-character, it may be affirmed of time itself. Again if time were non-existent, what is the use of assuming its imposition? If it is held that there is only the imposition of time-conception without any entity of which it is affirmed, then it would become the blind phenomenalism of the nihilists.

In the Rāmānuja view of things it is possible somehow to affirm the notion as “present” of time just as it is affirmed of the sense-characters. It cannot be said that time is merely a character of the sensibles, and that there is no other entity as time apart from these sensibles; for the temporal character of the sensibles as “present” is only possible on the assumption that there is such a thing as “present” time. Again if the “present” is denied, then that would mean universal negation, for the past and future are never perceived by us. Moreover, the present cannot be conceived as something different or unrelated and independent of the past and the future. If the past and the future were regarded as constituting the present, then our experience would only be related to the past and the future and there would be no possibility for any of our present afflictions. “Present” thus may be regarded as that series of operations which has begun but has not as yet ended in fruition.

Though time is one and eternal it can appear as limited and many, like all other objects which, though they may remain as one, may yet be supposed to be many and different in respect of the states through which they may seem to pass by virtue of the various conditional qualities (upādhi-sambandha) with which they may be associated. Though this view may be regarded as sufficient in explaining the notion of limited time, yet there are others who think that unless time itself is supposed to be constituted of moments through which time as changeable may be apprehended, the association of conditions to explain the notion of limitation will be impossible; for such an association presupposes the fact of limitation in time to which alone the conditions could be referred.

Thus, Yādavaprakāśa holds that time is beginningless and endless, and continually transforms itself through moments by which the divisions of time as hours, days and nights can be spanned; through which again the transformation of all changeable objects can be measured[43]. In this view the conditions are relative from the point of view of each person, who collects the passing time-units and forms his own conceptions of minutes, hours and days from his own point of calculation according to his own needs.

A valid objection, however, mav be raised against such a view when it is pointed out that the criticism that was made against the association of conditional qualities to partless time may also be raised against the present view in which time is regarded as constituted of parts as moments, For it may well be said that the parts would require further parts for associating the conditional qualities; and if it does, there would be a vicious infinite and if it does not, then it will be admitted that the whole of a moment would not require a specification of parts for the association of conditional qualities.

If the whole of a moment does not stand in need of any specification of parts for such association, why should time as a whole require it? The explanation that the association of a conditional quality with a part means its association with the whole on the analogv of the association of qualities in a substance is equally applicable to partless time. Veṅkaṭa points out that though the moments are adventitiously conceived on account of the variety of conditional qualities, time in itself is eternal. “Eternal” means that it is never destroyed. Time is thus co-existent with God. It is a material cause with reference to its own modifications and is the efficient cause with reference to everything else. The scriptural pronouncements that God is all-pervading can be harmonized with the all-pervading character of time by conceiving it to be co-existent with God.

(j) The Nature of Soul according to Veṅkaṭanātha.

Veṅkaṭanātha first tries to establish the existence of the soul as different from the body, and in this connection tries to refute the well-known Cārvāka arguments which do not admit the existence of a soul as different from the body to which the former mav be supposed to belong. The main emphasis of Veṅkaṭa’s arguments lies in the appeal to the testimony of our experience which manifests the body as a whole and its parts as belonging to an “I,” as when we say “my body,” “my head,” etc. He says that though we have various parts of one body and though some of these may be destroyed, yet in spite of such variations they are all supposed to belong to one unchangeable unity, the self, which seems to persist through all changes of time. If the experiences belonged to the different parts of the body, then on the removal of any of the limbs the experiences which are associated with that limb could not be remembered; for it cannot be admitted that there is a transmission of experiences from one limb to another.

Even a mother’s experience cannot be shared by the foetus. It cannot also be supposed that the experiences of the different limbs are somehow collected as impressions in the heart or brain; for it can neither be directly perceived, nor is there a datum which can lead to such an inference. Moreover, if there is a continual accumulation of impressions in the heart or brain, such a matter of conglomeration would be different at each moment through dissipation and aggregation of its constituent impressions, and as such it would be impossible to explain the fact of memory through such a changing entity[44].

The unified behaviour of an individual cannot also be regarded as being due to the co-operation of a number of individual units of consciousness; for, in that case there must be individual purposes in each of them, leading to a conflict, and if they have no such purposes, there is no reason why they should co-operate together. If it is assumed that these individual constituent conscious-entities are naturally such that they are engaged in serving one another without any conflict, then the more normal possibility would be that, having no natural attachment or antipathy, they would cease to act, and this would result in a cessation of all activities on the part of the constituted individual as a whole.

Again whenever an animal is born it is perceived as endowed with certain instinctive tendencies towards certain action, such as sucking the mother’s breast, which demonstrates its attachment in that direction and necessarily presupposes an experience of that kind in a previous birth. This shows that there is a self which is different and distinct from the body and its parts. The experiences and their root-impressions also explain the diversity of intellectual powers, tendencies and inclinations[45].

It cannot also be held that the units of consciousness of the different parts of the body are in themselves too subtle and potential to manifest themselves in their individual capacity, but they may yet co-operate together jointly to manifest the consciousness of the individual as a whole; for even the smallest molecular animals are found to be endowed with behaviouristic action. Moreover, if the units of consciousness emanating from the different parts of the body are admitted to be only potentially conscious, then it is absurd to suppose that they will be able to produce actual consciousness by mere conglomeration.

Again consciousness is a quality and as such it must await a substratum to which it would belong, but in the view in which consciousness is supposed to be material, the fundamental distinction between a quality and a substance is not observed[46]. It cannot also be held that consciousness is but a special modification of certain of the bodily elements, for this would only be a theory, which cannot be attested by any experience.

Again to such of the Cārvākas as admit the validity of inference, it may be urged that the body is a matter-complex; and, being but a conglomeration and sensible, is material like any other material object, whereas consciousness, being something entirely different from the body by virtue of its being consciousness, is also entirely distinct from it. The ordinary illusory notion which confuses the self with the body can be explained in diverse ways. The objector may say that if from such notions as “my body,” “my hand,” etc., it is argued that the self is something different from the body, then from such expressions as “my self” one may as well argue that the self has a further self.

To this Yeṅkata’s reply is that such expressions as “my hand” and “my body” are like such other expressions as “my house” and “my stick,” where the distinction between the two things is directly apprehended. In such an expression as “my self” we have a linguistic usage in which the possessive case can be explained only in the sense of ideality, having only such an imaginary distinction between the two terms as may be in the mind of the observer at the moment and due to his emphasizing a difference from a conditional point of view. Veṅkaṭa holds that further arguments may also be brought forward by the Cārvākas[47], to which effective replies may be given. But instead of going into a big chain of arguments and counter arguments the most effective way is to appeal to the testimony of scripture which in its self-validity affirms both positively and by implication the existence of the permanent self as distinct from the body. The testimony of the scriptures cannot be rebutted or refuted by mere speculative arguments.

There is a view that consciousness belongs to the senses and that cognitions through the different senses are integrated together in the same body, and it is by that means that an object perceived by the eye is also identified as the same entity as that grasped by the tactile apprehension. Another view is that the pleasurable, painful feelings associated with sense-cognitions can themselves attract or repulse an individual to behave as a separate entity who is being attracted or repelled by a sense-object.

Veṅkaṭa objects to such a doctrine as being incapable of explaining our psychological experience in which we feel that we have touched the very thing that we have seen. This implies that there is an entity that persists over and above the two different cognitions of the two senses; for the visual and the tactile sense-organs are limited to the apprehension of their own peculiar sense-data or sensibles, and none of them is competent to affirm the identity of the object through two different sense-appearances or sense-characteristics.

Veṅkaṭa further says that the view that the impressions of the various senses accumulate in the heart, and that it is through such an integration of experiences in the heart that there is an appearance of one concrete individual, is wrong; for no such centre of integration of impressions inside our bodies is known to us, and if such a centre in the body is to be admitted there is no harm in admitting a separate soul in which these impressions inhere[48].

Consciousness also cannot be regarded as the self, for consciousness is an experience and as such must belong to some individual separate and distinct from it. In the passing conscious states there is nothing that abides and persists which can integrate the past and present states in itself and develop the notion of the person, the perceiver. Therefore, it has to be admitted that there is a conscious ego to which all cognitions and experiences belong. Such an ego is self-luminous in the sense that it is always manifest by itself to itself and not merely the locus of self-knowledge. Such a self-revealing ego is present even in our dreamless sleep, and this is attested by later recollections in which one feels “I slept happily”; and it is not contradicted by any experience. Even when one is referred to by another as “you” or “this,” the ego in the latter is all the time self-manifested as “I.” Such an ego refers to the soul which is a real agent and experiencer of pleasure and pain and a cognizer of all cognitions and as such is a real moral agent and is therefore distinguished from other kindred souls by its specific efforts leading to specific kinds of deeds and their fruits. The efforts, however, of the individual agents are themselves pre-determined by the resulting fruits of actions in previous births, and those by other actions of other previous births. Those who say that efforts lead to no efforts contradict themselves in all the practical behaviour which presupposes a belief in the efficacy of efforts. Only such of the efforts as are directed towards the attainment of the impossible or towards objects which require no effort are found to be ineffective, whereas all other efforts are attended with fruition.

Veṅkaṭa urges that the theory which holds that there is but one Brahman which appears as many by its association with different minds is false; for we know that the same individual is associated with different bodies in the series of his transmigrations, and such an association with different bodies cannot produce any difference in the individual. And if this is so, that is, if association with different bodies cannot induce a difference in the individual, there is no reason why one Brahman should become many by its association with different minds. Again the view that holds that the individuals, though really different from one another, are so far identical that they are all but parts of pure Being—the Brahman—is equally false; for if the Brahman is thus one with the individual, it should also be exposed to all its sufferings and imperfections, which is absurd.

Brahmadatta held that Brahman alone is eternal and unborn and the individual souls are born out of it. Veṅkaṭa criticizes this view and propounds the theory that the souls are all uncreated and unborn. They are to be regarded as permanent and eternal; for if they are believed to be changing during the continuance of their body, then the continuity of purposive activity will be inexplicable. If they are destroyed with the death of the body, then the karma theory and all theories of moral responsibility have to be given up.

The soul, however, is not all-pervasive; for the Upaniṣads speak of it as going out of the body. The argument for all-pervasiveness of the soul as given by the Naiyāyikas is as follows. Virtue and vice are associated with a particular soul and may produce such changes in the material world, even in distant places, as would conduce to the enjoyment or suffering of that particular individual; and since virtue and vice are associated with a particular soul, they could not produce their effects on a distant place unless the soul, their locus, is co-extensive with those places. This, however, does not apply to the Rāmānujists, for according to them virtue and vice are only terms which mean that God has either been pleased or displeased owing to the particular kinds of deeds of an individual, and God’s pleasure or displeasure has no limitations of operation[49].

From the opponent’s point of view, even if the self is regarded as all-pervasive, that would not explain the happening of favourable or unfavourable effects; for though the self may be co-extensive with those distant places, yet its adṛṣṭa or unseen merit occurs not throughout the entire pervasive self, but only in a part of it, and as such, since it is not in touch with the place where the effect will happen, it cannot very well explain it.

(k) The Nature of Emancipation according to Veṅkaṭanātha.

Veṅkaṭanātha says that an objection has been raised by some that if individuals had been in the state of bondage from beginningless time, there is no reason why they should attain emancipation at some future date. To this the reply is that it is admitted by all that there is every hope that at some time or other there will be such a favourable collocation of accessories that our karma will so fructify that it will lead us out of bondage, through the production of sight of discrimination and disinclination, to enjoyment of all kinds that it may give God an opportunity to exercise His mercy. Thus, though all are in a state of bondage from beginningless time, they all gradually find a suitable opportunity for attaining their emancipation. Thus, God extends His grace for emancipation only to those who deserve it by reason of their deeds, and it is theoretically possible that there should be a time when all people would receive their salvation and the world process would cease to exist. Such a cessation of the world-process will be due to His own free will, and thus there is not the slightest reason for fear that in such a state there will have been any obstruction to God’s free and spontaneous activity from extraneous sources.

Man is led to the way of emancipation by his experience of suffering, which nullifies the pleasure of our mundane life. He feels that worldly pleasures are limited (alpa) and impermanent (asthira) and associated with pain. He thus aspires to attain a stage in which he can get unlimited pleasure unmixed with suffering. Such an emancipation can be brought about only through the love of God (bhakti). Bhakti, however, is used here in the sense of meditation or thinking with affection[50]. Such a bhakti also produces knowledge, and such a knowledge is also included in bhakti[51]. Bhakti is defined here as unceasing meditation (dhruvā-nusmṛti), and this therefore has to be continually practised. The Śaṇkarite view that emancipation can be attained by mere knowledge is false. In the Upaniṣads knowledge means unceasing meditation, and this has to be continued and only then can it be regarded as upāsanā, which is the same as bhakti[52].

The performance of the prescribed duties is helpful to the production of knowledge in the sense of bhakti by counteracting the wrong influence of such karmas as are antagonistic to the rise of true knowledge. Thus the prescribed duties are not to be performed along with the practice of bhakti, and they are not both to be regarded as joint causes of emancipation; but the performance of duties is to be interpreted as helping the rise of bhakti only by removing the obstructive influences of other opposing karmas[53]. The performance of scriptural duties including sacrifices is not incompatible with devotional exercises, for the gods referred to in the Vedic sacrifices may also be regarded as referring to Brahman, the only god of the Vaiṣṇavas. The absolutely (nitya) and the conditionally (naimittika) obligatory duties should not be given up by the devotee, for mere cessation from one’s duties has no meaning; the real significance of the cessation from duties is that these should be performed without any motive of gain or advantage. It is wrong to suppose that emancipation can be attained only by those who renounce the world and become ascetics, for a man of any caste (varṇa) and at any stage of life (āśrama) may attain it provided he follows his normal caste duties and is filled with unceasing bhakti towards God.

It is well to point out in this connection that duties are regarded as threefold. Those that are absolutely obligatory are called nitya. No special good or advantage comes out of their performance, but their non-performance is associated with evil effects. Those that are obligatory under certain circumstances are called naimittika. If these duties are not performed under those special circumstances, sin will accrue, but no special beneficial effects are produced by their performance. Those duties which are to be performed only if the person is desirous of attaining special kinds of pleasurable ends such as residence in Heaven, the birth of a son, and the like, are called kāmya. Now a man who wishes to attain emancipation should give up all the kāmya duties and refrain from all actions prohibited in the scriptures, but he should perform the nitya and the naimittika duties. Though the performance of the nitya and the naimittika duties is associated with some kind of beneficial results, inasmuch as such performance keeps away the evil and the sinful effects which would have resulted from their non-performance, yet these, being fruits of a negative nature, are not precluded for a person who intends to attain emancipation. For such a person only the performance of such actions as bring positive pleasures is prohibited. When it is said that actions of a devotee should have no motive, this does not mean that it includes also actions which are performed with the motive of pleasing God; for actions with motive are only such actions as are performed with motives of one’s own pleasure, and these are always associated with harmful effects[54].

It has already been said that the naimittika duties should be performed; but of these there are some which are of an expiatory nature, called prāyaścitta, by which the sinful effects of our deeds are expiated. A true devotee should not perform this latter kind of expiatory duties, for the meditation of God with love is by itself sufficient to purge us of all our sins and indeed of all our virtues also; for these latter, as they produce heavenly pleasures as their effects, obstruct the path of emancipation as much as do our sins. All that narrows our mind by associating it with narrow ends is to be regarded as sinful. Judged from this point of view even the so-called meritorious actions (puṇya) are to be regarded as harmful to a devotee who intends to attain emancipation[55]. Virtue (dharma) can be regarded as such only relatively, so that actions which are regarded as virtuous for ordinary persons may be regarded as sinful for a person inspired with the higher ambition of attaining emancipation[56]. For a true devotee who has attained the knowledge of Brahman and is pursuing the meditation of God, sinful or virtuous actions are both inefficacious, the older ones being destroyed by the meditation itself and the new ones incapable of being associated with him—the wise man.

The eschatological conception of the Rāmānuja school as explained by Veṅkaṭa is that the soul of the true devotee escapes by a special nerve in the head (mūrdhanya-nāḍī) and is gradually lifted from one stage to another by the presiding deities of fire, day, white fortnight, the vernal equinox, year, wind, the sun, the moon, lightning, Varuṇa, Indra and Prajāpati, who are appointed by God for the conducting of the departed devotee[57].

The state of final emancipation is regarded as the rise of the ultimate expansion of the intellect. But though this is a state which is produced as a result of devotional exercises, yet there is no chance that there would ever be a cessation of such a state, for it is the result of the ultimate dissociation of all causes, such as sins or virtues, which can produce a contraction of the mind. Therefore, there can never be a falling off from this state.

An emancipated person can assume bodies at his own will. His body is not a source of bondage to him, for only those whose bodies are conditioned by their karma may be supposed to suffer bondage through them. The state of emancipation is a state of perfect bliss through a continual realization of Brahman, to whom he is attached as a servant. This servitude, however, cannot beget misery, for servitude can beget misery only when it is associated with sins. The emancipated person is omnipotent ir the sense that God is never pleased to frustrate the fulfilment of his wishes.

The emancipated person regards all things as being held in Brahman as its parts and as such no mundane affair can pain him, though he may have the knowledge that in the past many things in the world caused him misery.

Veṅkaṭa denied the possibility of attaining emancipation in this life, for the very definition of emancipation is dissociation from life, sense-organs and the body generated by karma. So when we hear of jīvanmukta or those emancipated in their lifetime, it is to be interpreted to mean a state similar to the state of emancipation. The contention of the Advaitins that the principal avidyā vanishes with knowledge, yet that its partial states may still continue binding the emancipated person with a body, is false. For if the principal avidyā has vanished, its states cannot still continue. Moreover, if they do continue in spite of the knowledge, it is impossible to imagine how they will cease at the death of the emancipated person.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

evam āhur vaibhāṣikāḥ nirādhārā nirdharmakāśca rūpādayai catvāraḥ padārtḥāh.
     Tattva-muktā-kalāpa, Sarvārtha-siddhi,
p. 8.

[2]:

na co'pādāna-rūpaḥ sparśa-rūpādīnāṃ bhinna-svalakṣaṇo-pādānatvā-bhy-upagamāt.
     Tattva-muktā-kalāpa, Sarvārtha-siddhi,
p. 9.

[3]:

eko-pādānatve tu tad eva dravyam.
     Ibid.

[4]:

udāhṛteṣu niyatā-niyata-niṣkarṣaka-śabdeṣu jāti-guṇādeḥ pradhānatayā nirdeśe’pi santi kecit yathā-pramāṇam ittham-bhāvāḥ tvayā’pi hetu-sādhyā-di-dharmāṇāṃ pakṣa-dharmatvā-di-dharmāḥ svīkāryā anavasthā ca kathañcid upaiamanlyā.
     Tattva-muktā-kcdāpa, Sarvārtha-siddhi,
p. 16.

[5]:

svīkṛtañca samvedana-samvedane śabda-śabdādau sva-para-nirvāhakatvam.
     Ibid.

[6]:

kiñca sva-lakṣaṇā-dtnāṃ jātyā-dīnāñca samvṛti-siddhānāṃ nirdharmakatve’pi kathañcid abhilāpārhatvaṃ tvayāpi grāhyam.
     Ibid.

[7]:

vastutas’ tad-viśiṣṭe viśeṣye tad viśiṣṭa-vṛty-abhāve tac-chūnye vṛtti syād eva.
     Ibid.
p. 17.

[8]:

na ca ghaṭavati bhūtale vartamānānāṃ guṇādīnāṃ ghate’pi vṛtter adṛṣṭeḥ.
     Tattva-muktā-kalāpa, Sarvārtha-siddhi
, p. 18.

[9]:

mṛt-suvarṇā-divat-kārya-viśeṣa-vyavasthāpaka-kāraṇa-srabhāva-sājātya-vivakṣāyāṃ gomaya-makṣikā-dy-ārabdha-vṛścikā-diṣu vyabhicārāt.
     Tattva-muktā-kalāpa
, Sarvārtha-siddhi, p. 22.

[10]:

bhūtānām avyavahita-sūkṣmā-vasthā-viśiṣṭaṃ dravyaṃ tanmātraṃ dadhi-rūpeṇa pariṇamamānasya payaso madhyamā-vasthāvad bhūta-rūpeṇa pariṇama-mānasya dravyasya tataḥ pūrvā kācid avasthā tanmātrā.
     Nyāya-siddḥāñjana,
p. 25.

[11]:

This view seems to be held in the Viṣṇu-purāṇa, I. 3. 66, etc. where it is distinctly said that the element of ākāśa produces sparśa-tanmātra (touch-potential). Varavara, however, in his commentary on the Tattvatraya of Lokācārya, wishes to point out that according to Parāśara’s commentary this has been explained as being the production of tanmātras from tanmātras, though it clearly contradicts the manifest expressions of the Viṣṇu-purāṇa when it states that tanmātras are produced from the bhūtādi. He further points out that in the Mahābhārata (Śāntiparva Mokṣadharma, Ch. XXX) the vikāras or pure modifications are described as sixteen and the causes (prakṛti) as eight. But in this counting the sixteen vikāras (eleven senses and the five categories— śabda, etc.), the distinction between the five tanmātras and the five elements has not been observed on account of there not being any essential difference, the grosser stages being only modified states of the subtler ones (tanrnātrāṇām bhūtebhyaḥ svarūpa-bhedā-bhāvāt avasthā-bheda-mātrattvāt). According to this interpretation the eight Prakṛtis mean the prakṛti, the mahat, the ahaṃkāra and five categories of ākāśa, etc., in their gross forms. The five categories included under the sixteen vikāras are the tanmātras which are regarded as modifications of the elemental states of the bhūtas.

[12]:

yathā tvak-śūnya-vījasyā'ṃkura-śaktir nāsti,
tathā’varaṇa-śūnyasyo'ttara-kārya-śaktir nāstīti bhānāt
kāraṇa-guṇaṃ vino’ttaro-ttara-guṇa-viśeṣeṣu. . . .
sva-viśeṣasyo’kta-guṇā-tiśayā-nupapatteḥ.

     Varavara’s bhāṣya on Tattvatraya, p. 58.

[13]:

Varavara’s bhāṣya on Tattvatraya, p. 59.

[14]:

sāṃkhyāstu pañchā’pi tanmātrāṇi sākṣāt-tāmasā-haṃkāro-tpannāni tatra śabda-tanmātram ākāśā-rambhakam itarāṇi tu tanmātrāṇi pūrva-pūrva-tanmātra-sahakṛtāny uttaro-ttara-bhūtā-rambhakānī’ty āhuḥ tad asat. ākāśād vāyur ity-ādy-ananyathā-siddho-pādānakrama-viśeṣā-bhidhāna-darśanāt.
     Nyāya-siddhāñjana,
pp. 25-26.

[15]:

sthūla-dravyā-bhāve cā’ṇu-saṁhatau sthūlatvā-dhyāso na siddhyet.
     Sarvārtha-siddhi,
p. 46.

[16]:

yadi saṃsṛṣṭās tantava eva paṭas tatas tantu-rāśimātre’pi pata-dhīḥ syād ity āha saṃsargāder iti. na hi tvayā’pi tantu-sarnsarga-mātraṃ paṭasyā’samavāyi-kāraṇam iṣyate tathā sati kuvindā-di-vyāpāra-nairapekṣya-prasaṅgāt ato yādṛśāt saṃsarga-viśeṣād avayavī tavo’tpadyate tādṛśa-saṃsarga-viśiṣṭās tantavaḥ paṭa iti kvā’tiprasaṅgaḥ.
     Sarvārtha-siddhi,
p. 48.

[17]:

kārya-vyaṅgya-śabdau ca vyavasthita-viṣayau loke dṛṣṭau kāraka-vyañjaka-bhedaś ca kārakaṃ samagram apy ekam utpādayati vyañjakantu sahakāri-sam-pannaṃ samāne-ndriya-grāhyāni samāna-deśa-sthāni tādṛśāni sarvāṇyapi vyan-akti.
     Ibid.
pp. 55-56.

[18]:

yathā sarveṣu dravyeṣu tilā era taila-garbhāḥ sra-kāraṇa-śaktyā sṛjyante tathā tat-tat-kārya-niynta-pūrva-bhāvitayā tat-tad-utpādaka-svabhāvās te te bhāvās tathai’ve’ti svīkāryam.
     Sarvārtha-siddhi,
p. 59.

[19]:

nāśakeṣu ca nāśya-vṛttir asti na vā. asti cet hahnau tūlavaā virodhaḥ na cet kathaṃ tadeva tasya nāśakam.
     Ibid.
p. 60.

[20]:

tad-dharmatva-hetū-kta-doṣād eva ubhayatra paṭā-vasthā tantvā-tmā na bhavati tantubhyo bhinnatvāt ghaṭavad iti prati-prayogasya śakyatvācca.
     Sarvārtha-siddhi,
p. 60. 

[21]:

tādātmya-virafie’pi anyatarasya dravyatvāt saṃyogā-bhāvaḥ tad-dharma-svabhāvatvād eva aprāpti-parihārāt iti anyathā-siddhasya asādhakatvāt.
     Ibid.
p. 61.

[22]:

yadā hi tantvā-dayaḥ vyāpriyante tadā paṭa utpadyate iti vyavaharanti ādya-kṣaṇā-vacchinna-paṭatvā-vasthai-va vā paṭo’tpattir ucyate sai’va tadava-sthasyo’tpattir iti bhāṣyam api tad-abhiprāyam eva.
     Sarvārtha-siddhi,
p. 62.

[23]:

viruddhānāṃ deśa-kālā-dya-samāḥita-virodḥatvena sva-lakṣaṇasyā'pi virud-dḥa-śata-kṣuṇṇatayā nānātve tat-kṣodānāṃ ca tathā tatḥā kṣode kiñcid apy ekaṃ na siddḥyet tad-abḥāve ca kuto nai'kam iti mādḥyamika-matā-pātaḥ.
     Sarvārtha-siddhi,
p. 66.

[24]:

kāla-dvayasyā’nyonyasminn-abhāve’pi tad-ubḥaya-sambandḥini vastuny a-bhāvā-bhāvāt yas tu tasmin vastuny asambaddḥa kālaḥ tasya tatra sadbḥāvaṃ na brūmaḥ.
     Ibid. p. 68.

[25]:

pūrvā-para-kāla-yogo hi viruddhaḥ sveno’pādhinā’vacchinnasyai’kasya kāla-syā’vāntaro-pādhibhir nānātve’pi tat-tad-upādhīnām eva tat-tad-avāntarakā-ladvayānvaya-virodhaḥ anyā-pekṣayā pūrvā-para-kālayor anyasya viruddhatve kṣana-kālasyā’py anyā-pekṣayā paurvāparyāt tat-kāla-vartitvam api vastuno viruddhyeta.
     Ibid.

[26]:

yathā idam iti tat-kāla-sattā gṛhyate tathā tad idaṃ iti kāla-dvaya-sattvam api pratyakṣeṇai’va gṛhītam.
     Sarvārtha-siddhi,
p. 69.

[27]:

asman-mate tv indriya-samprayogasya tad-viśiṣṭa-vastunas tad-upahita-kālā-ṃśasya ca sthāyitvena dhī-kṣanānuvṛttau tad-viṣayatayā pratyakṣu-dayāt sam-prayogā-nantara-kṣaṇe dhīr api nirvartyate.
     Ibid.
p. 70.

[28]:

yad yato bhidyate na tat tasya dhvaṃsaḥ yathā rūpasya rasaḥ. dhvaṃsas tu kasyacid eva bhavati iti tad-ātmakaḥ. ataḥ svo-tpattāv eva svātmani dhvaṃse sannihite kathaṃ kṣaṇā-ntaraṃ prāpnuyāt.
     Sarvārtha-siddhi,
p. 72.

[29]:

kālam evā’nicchatas te ko’sau kṣaṇa-kālaḥ kaś ca tasya sambandḥaḥ.
     Sarvār-tḥa-siddhi,
p. 74.

[30]:

yasminnanityatā nāsti kāryata pi na vidyate tasmin yathā kḥa-puspādāviti śakyaṃ hi bhāṣitum.
     Ibid.
p. 75.

[31]:

yadā hi ghaṭā-dayaḥ svarūpeṇa kṣano-pādhayaḥ syuḥ kāla-tāratamya-dhīḥ kutrā’pi na bḥavet.
     Ibid.

[32]:

sarva-kṣaṇikatvaṃ sādhayitum upakramya sthira-dravya-vṛtti-kṣaṇika-vikāravad iti kathaṃ dṛṣṭāntayema teṣu ca na tvad-abhimataṃ kṣaṇikatvaṃ pradīpā-di vadāiutara-vināiitva-mātreṇa kṣaṇikato-kteḥ.
     Sarvārtha-siddhi,
p. 77.

[33]:

na hi vayam abhivyaktiṃ vā kāraṇa-samavāyā-dikaṃ vā janme’ti brūmaḥ. kintū’pādānā-vasthā-viśeṣaṃ tasya kāryā-vasthā-sāmānādhikaraṇya-vyapadeśaḥ tādātmyena tad-āśraya-vṛtteḥ.
     Sarvārtha-siddhi,
p. 80.

[34]:

bhāvi-kāryā-nuguṇa-vyāpāravattvam eva kāraṇasya kurvattvam.
     Sarvārtha-siddhi,
p. 81.

[35]:

kāle ca pūrvattvam upādhi-kṛtaṃ sa ca upādhir yady ayam eva tadā tad-adhīnaṃ kālasya pūrvattvaṃ kālā-dhīnañco’pādher ity anyonyā-śrayaḥ. anyā-pekṣāyāṃ cakrakam anavasthā’pi kālasya kramavad upādhi-sambandha-bhedād bhedaśca kṛtsnai-ka-deśa-vikalpa-duḥstha iti.
     Sarvārtha-siddhi
, p. 82.

[36]:

etad-dharmakād etad-dharmakam upajātam itijāty-upādhi-kroḍī-kṛta-rūpeṇa vyaktiṣu niyama-siddheḥ.
     Ibid.
p. 83.

[37]:

Nyāya-siddhāñjana, p. 24.

[38]:

siddhe’pi hy aṇutve vikāsatayā vṛtti-viśeṣa-dvārā’pyāyaka-pracayād vā pṛthutvam aṅgīkāryam.
     Sarvārtha-siddhi,
p. 98.

[39]:

According to the Sāṃkhya view, where also the senses are regarded as immaterial, the vṛtti is regarded as their transformation in the form of the object and not contact. The Yoga view, however, as explained by Bhiksu, is that the citta passes through the senses and comes in contact with the object and is transformed into its form in association with the senses. The transformation, therefore, is not of the citta alone but of the citta together with the senses.

[40]:

nā’bhāvasya niḥsvabhāvatā abhāva-svabhāvatayai’va tat-siddheḥ svānya-svabhāvatayā siddhis tu na kasyā’pi. na ca svena svabhāvena siddhasya para-svabhāva-virahād asattvam atiprasaṅgāt. 
    Sarvārtha-siddhi,
p. 113.

[41]:

na tv ākāśa-mātram āvaraṇeṣv avidyamānatayā tad-abhāva ākāśa iti cā’yuktaṃ sarveṣāṃ svasminn avidyamānatayā svā-bhāvatva-prasaṅgāt.
     Sarvārtha-siddhi,
p. 114.

[42]:

duhkhā-bhāve sukhā-ropāt abhāvasya bhāvā-nyatva-mātram eva hy asatvaṃ siddhaṃ tena ca svarūpa-sann evā’sau.
     Ibid.

[43]:

yādavaprakāśair apy abhyupagato'yaṃpakṣaḥ kālo’nādy-ananto’jasra-kṣaṇa-pariṇāmī muhūrtā-horātrā-di-vibhāga-yuk sarveṣāṃ pariṇārna-spanda-hetuḥ.
     Sarvārtha-siddhi,
pp. 148-149.

[44]:

sarva-bodhaiś ca hṛt-kośe saṃskārā-dhānam ityapi
na dṛṣṭaṃ na ca tat-klptau liṅgaṃ kim api dṛśyate
na ca saṃskāra-kośas te saṅghātā-tmā prati-kṣaṇaṃ
pracayā-pacayābhyāṃ syād bhinnaḥ smartā’tra ko bhavet.
     Sarvārtha-siddhi,
p. 153.

[45]:

evaṃ manuṣyā-di-śarīra-prāpti-daśāyām adṛṣṭa-viśeṣāt purva-janmā-nubhava-saṃskāra-bhedair evam abhiruci-bhedāś ca yujyante.
     Sarvārtha-siddhi,
pp. 153-154.

[46]:

nanu caitanyam iti na kaścid guṇaḥ, yasyā’dhāro’pekṣyaḥ kintu yasau yuṣ-mākaṃ caitanya-sāmagrī sai’va caitanya-padārthaḥ syāt.
     Ibid.
p. 154.

[47]:

The additional arguments of the Cārvākas are as follows:

When one says “I, a fat person, know,” it is difficult to say that the fatness belongs to the body and the knowledge to some other entity. If the expression “my body” seems to imply that the body is different, the expression “I am fat” demonstrates the identity of the body and the self. What is definitely perceived cannot be refuted by inference, for in that case even fire could be inferred as cold.

Perception is even stronger than scriptures and so there is no cause of doubt in our experience; therefore there is no reason to have recourse to any inference for testing the perceptual experience. The Sāṃkhya argument, that those which are the results of aggregation must imply some other entity for which the aggregation has been named (just as a bedstead implies someone who is to lie on the bed), is ineffective; for the second-grade entity for which the first-grade conglomeration is supposed to be intended may itself await a third grade entity, and that another, and this may lead to a vicious infinite.

To stop this vicious infinite the Sāṃkhya thinks that the self does not await for any further entity. But instead of arbitrarily thinking the self to be ultimate, it is as good to stop at the body and to think that the body is its own end. The argument that a living body must have a soul because it has life is false, for the supposed self as distinct from the body is not known to us by other means. One might as well say that a living body must have a sky-lotus because it has life.

The Cārvāka ultimately winds up the argument and says that the body is like an automatic machine which works by itself without awaiting the help of any other distinct entity presiding over it, and is the result of a specific modification of matter (ananyā-dhiṣṭhita-svayaṃ-vāhaka-yantra-nyāyād vicitra-bhūta-pariṇati-viśeṣa-sambhavo’yaṃ deha-yantraḥ).

Sarvā-rtha-siddhi, p. 157.

[48]:

tvad-iṣṭa-saṃskāra-kośe mānā-bhāvāt, anekeṣām aham-arthānām eka-śarīra-yoge ca tataś ca varaṃ yatho-palambham ekasminn aham-arthe sarvais saṃskārā-dhānam.
     Sarvārtha-siddhi,
p. 160.

[49]:

iha hi dharmā-dharma-idbdaḥ karma-nimitte-śvara-prīti-kopa-rūpa-buddhi-dyotakaḥ. as ti hi śubhe tv asau tuṣyati duṣkṛte tu na tuṣyate’ sau paramah śarīrī iti.
     Sarvārtha-siddhi,
p. 179.

[50]:

mahanīya-viṣaye prītir bhaktiḥ prīty-ādaynś ca jñāna-viśeṣā iti vakṣyate sneha-pūrvam anudhyānaṃ bhaktiḥ.
     Sarvārtha-siddhi,
p. 190.

[51]:

bhakti-sādhyaṃ prāpaka-jñānam api bhakti-lakṣaṇo-petam.
     Sarvārtha-siddhi,
p. 1 gi.

[52]:

ekasminn eva viṣaye vedano-pāsana-śabdayoḥ vyatikareṇo’pakramo-pasaṃ-hāra-darśanāc ca vedanam eva upāsanatayā viśeṣyate. . . sā mukti-sādhanatayo'ktā hi vittiḥ bhakti-rūpatva-paryanta-viśeṣaṇa-viśiṣṭā.
     Ibid.
pp. 191—192.

[53]:

Ibid. pp. 194-195.

[54]:

anarthā-vinā-bhūta-sukḥa-kāmanāto niiṛttaṃ karma ttiṣkāmam.
     Sarvārtha-siddhi,
p. 202.

[55]:

tad evaṃ dhī-saṅkocaka-karma-dhraṃse dhī-vikāśa eva brahmā-nubhūtiḥ.
     Ibid.
p. 220.

[56]:

sa er a dḥarmaḥ so'dharmas taṃ taṃ prati naraṃ bhavet
pātra-karma-viśeṣeṇa deśa-kālāvapekṣya ca.
     Ibid.
p. 221.

[57]:

Sarvārtha-siddhi, pp. 226-227.

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