The Sarva-Darsana-Samgraha

by E. B. Cowell | 1882 | 102,190 words | ISBN-13: 9788174791962

The Sarva-darsana-samgraha (English translation) of Madhava Acharya is a compendium of different philosophical schools of Hindu thought and Pancadasi, an important text in the Advaita Vedanta tradition. Full title: Sarvadarśanasaṅgraha or Sarvadarśanasaṃgraha: Review of the Different Systems of Hindu Philosophy (author Mādhava Ācārya)...

Chapter XII - The Jaiminīya System

An objector may here ask, "Are you not continually repeating that merit (dharma) comes from the practice of duty (dharma), but how is duty to be defined or proved?" Listen attentively to my answer. A reply to this question has been given in the older[1] Mīmāṃsā by the holy sage Jaimini. Now the Mīmāṃsā consists of twelve books.[2] In the first book is discussed the authoritativeness of those collections of words which are severally meant by the terms injunction (vidhi), "explanatory passage" (arthavāda), hymn (mantra), tradition (smṛti), and "name." In the second, certain subsidiary discussions [as e.g., on apūrva] relating to the difference of various rites, refutation of (erroneously alleged) proofs, and difference of performance [as in "constant" and "voluntary" offerings]. In the third, Śruti, "sign" or "sense of the passage" (liṅga), "context" (vākya), &c., and their respective weight when in apparent opposition to one another, the ceremonies called pratipatti-karmāṇi, things mentioned incidentally (anārabhyādhīta), things accessory to several main objects, as prayājas, &c., and the duties of the sacrificer. In the fourth, the influence on other rites of the principal and subordinate rites, the fruit caused by the juhū being made of the butea frondosa, &c., and the dice-playing, &c., which form subordinate parts of the rājasūya sacrifice. In the fifth, the relative order of different passages of Śruti, &c., the order of different parts of a sacrifice [as the seventeen animals at the vājapeya], the multiplication and non-multiplication of rites, and the respective force of the words of Śruti, order of mention, &c., in determining the order of performance. In the sixth, the persons qualified to offer sacrifices, their obligations, the substitutes for enjoined materials, supplies for lost or injured offerings, expiatory rites, the sattra offerings, things proper to be given, and the different sacrificial fires. In the seventh, transference of the ceremonies of one sacrifice to another by direct command in the Vaidic text, and then as inferred by "name" or "sign." In the eighth, transference by virtue of the clearly expressed or obscurely expressed "sign," or by the predominant "sign," and cases where no transference takes place. In the ninth, the beginning of the discussion on the adaptation of hymns when quoted in a new connection (ūha), the adaptation of sāmans and mantras, and collateral questions connected therewith. In the tenth, the discussion of occasions where the non-performance of the primary rite involves the "preclusion" and non-performance of the dependent rites, and of occasions where rites are precluded because other rites produce their special result, discussions connected with the graha offerings, certain sāmans, and various other things, and a discussion on the different kinds of negation. In the eleventh, the incidental mention and subsequently the fuller discussion of tantra[3] [where several acts are combined into one], and āvāpa [or the performing an act more than once]. In the twelfth, a discussion on prasaṅga [where the rite is performed for one chief purpose, but with an incidental further reference], tantra, cumulation of concurrent rites (samuccaya) and option.

Now the first topic which introduces the discussions of the Pūrva-Mīmāṃsā arises from the aphorism, "Now therefore a desire to know duty [is to be entertained by thee"]. Now the learned describe a "topic" as consisting of five members, and these are (a.) the subject, (b.) the doubt, (c.) the primâ facie argument, (d.) the demonstrated conclusion, and (e.) the connection (saṅgati). The topic is discussed according to the doctrines held by the great teachers of the system. Thus the "subject" to be discussed is the sentence, "The Veda is to be read." Now the "doubt" which arises is whether the study of Jaimini's śāstra concerning duty, beginning with the aphorism, "Duty is a thing which is to be recognised by an instigatory passage," and ending with "and from seeing it in the anvāhārya," is to be commenced or not. The primâ facie argument is that it is not to be commenced, whether the injunction to read the Veda be held to have a visible and present or an invisible and future fruit. (a.) If you say that this injunction must have a visible fruit, and this can be no other[4] than the knowledge of the meaning of what is read, we must next ask you whether this said reading is enjoined as something which otherwise would not have been thought of, or whether as something which otherwise would have been optional, as we see in the rule for shelling rice.[5] It cannot be the former, for the reading of the Veda is a means of knowing the sense thereof from its very nature as reading, just as in the parallel instance of reading the Mahābhārata; and we see by this argument that it would present itself as an obvious means quite independently of the injunction. Well, then, let it be the latter alternative; just as the baked flour cake called puroḍāsa is made only of rice prepared by being unhusked in a mortar, when, but for the injunction, it might have been unhusked by the finger-nails. There, however, the new moon and full moon sacrifices only produce their unseen effect, which is the principal apūrva, by means of the various minor effects or subordinate apūrvas, produced by the various subordinate parts of the whole ceremony; and consequently the minor apūrva of the unhusking is the reason there for the restricting injunction. But in the case which we are discussing, there is no such reason for any such restriction, as the rites can be equally well performed by gaining the knowledge of the Veda's meaning by reading a written book, or by studying under an authorised teacher. Hence we conclude that there is no injunction to study the Pūrva Mīmāṃsā as a means of knowing the sense of the Veda. (b.) "What, then, becomes of the Vedic injunction, 'The Veda is to be read'?" Well, you must be content with the fact that the injunction will have heaven as its [future] fruit, although it merely enjoins the making oneself master of the literal words of the Vedic text [without any care to understand the meaning which they may convey], since heaven, though not expressly mentioned, is to be assumed as the fruit, according to the analogy of the Viśvajit offering. Just as Jaimini, in his aphorism (iv. 3, 15), "Let that fruit be heaven, since it equally applies to all," establishes that those who are not expressly mentioned are still qualified to offer the Viśvajit sacrifice, and infers by argument that its characteristic fruit is heaven, so let us assume it to be in the present case also. As it has been said—

"Since the visible fruit would be equally obtained without the injunction, this cannot be its sole object; we must rather suppose heaven to be the fruit from the injunction's significance, after the analogy of the Viśvajit, &c."

Thus, too, we shall keep the Smṛti rule from being violated: "Having read the Veda, let him bathe." For this rule clearly implies that no long interval is to take place between reading the Veda and the student's return to his home; while, according to your opinion, after he had read the Veda, he would still have to remain in his preceptor's house to read the Mīmāṃsā discussions, and thus the idea of no interval between would be contradicted. Therefore for these three reasons, (a.) that the study of Mīmāṃsā is not enjoined, (b.) that heaven can be obtained by the simple reading of the text, and (c.) that the rule for the student's return to his home is thus fulfilled, we maintain that the study of the Mīmāṃsā discussions on duty is not to be commenced.

The "authoritative conclusion" (siddhānta), however, is as follows:—

We grant that it cannot be a case of vidhi, for it might have been adopted on other grounds; but not even Indra with his thunderbolt could make us lose our hold of the other alternative that it is a case of niyama. In the sentence, "The Veda is to be read," the affix tavya expresses an enforcing power in the word,[6] which is to be rendered visible by a corresponding action in man, bringing a certain effect into existence; and this enforcing power seeks some corresponding end which is connected with the man's creative effort. Now it cannot be the act itself of reading, as suggested by the whole word adhyetavya, which it thus seeks as an end; for this act of reading, thus expressed by the word, could never be regarded as an end, since it is a laborious operation of the voice and mind, consisting in the articulate utterance of the portion read. Nor could the portion read, as suggested by the whole sentence, be regarded as the end. For the mass of words called "Veda," which is what we really mean by the words "portion read," being eternal and omnipresent, could never fulfil the conditions of the four "fruits of action," production, &c.[7] Therefore the only true end which remains to us is the knowledge of the meaning, as obtained by carrying out the sense of the words of the injunction. According to the old rule, "He has the right who has the want, the power, and the wit," those who are aiming to understand certain things, as the new and full moon sacrifices, use their daily reading to learn the truth about them. And the injunction for reading, since it virtually excludes the reading of written books, &c. [from the well-known technical sense of the word "read" when used in this connection], conveys the idea that the reading the Veda enjoined has a consecrated character [as taught by a duly authorised teacher]. Therefore, as the principal apūrva, produced by the great new and full moon sacrifices, necessitates and establishes the subordinate apūrvas produced by the inferior sacrificial acts, as unhusking the rice, &c., so the mass of apūrva produced by all the sacrifices necessitates and establishes a previous apūrva produced by the restricting injunction (niyama), which prescribes reading the Veda as the means to know how to perform these sacrifices. If you hesitate to concede that a niyama could have this future influence called apūrva, the same doubt might equally invalidate the efficacy of a vidhi [as the two stand on the same level as to their enjoining power]. Nor is the supposition a valid one that heaven is the fruit, according to the analogy of the Viśvajit offering, since, if there is a present and visible fruit in the form of a knowledge of the meaning of the sacred text, it is improper to suppose any other future and unseen fruit. Thus it has been said—

"Where a seen fruit is obtained, you must not suppose an unseen one; but if a vidhi has the restricting meaning of a niyama, it does not thereby become meaningless."

But an objector may say, "Although a man who reads the simple text of the Veda may not attain to a knowledge of its meaning, still, as he who reads the Veda with its aṅgas, grammar, &c., may attain to this knowledge, the study of Mīmāṃsā will be useless." But this is not true: for even though he may attain to a simple knowledge of the literal meaning, all deeper investigation must depend on this kind of discussion. For instance, when it is said, "He offers anointed gravel," neither grammar nor nigama[8] nor nirukta will determine the true meaning that it is to be anointed with ghee and not with oil, &c.; it is only by a Mīmāṃsā discussion that the true meaning is unravelled from the rest of the passage, "Verily, ghee is brightness."[9] It is therefore established that the study of Mīmāṃsā is enjoined. Nor need it be supposed that this contradicts the passage of Smṛti, "Having read the Veda, let him bathe," which implies that he should now leave his teacher's house, and prohibits any further delay; as the words do not necessarily imply that the return to the paternal roof is to follow immediately on his having read the Veda, but only that it is to follow it at some time, and that both actions are to be done by the same person, just as we see in the common phrase, "Having bathed, he eats." Therefore from the purport of the injunction we conclude that the study of the Pūrva Mīmāṃsā Śāstra, consisting of a thousand "topics,"[10] is to be commenced. This topic is connected with the main subject of the Śāstra as being a subsidiary digression, as it is said, "They call that a subsidiary digression which helps to establish the main subject."[11]

I now proceed to give a sketch of the discussion of the same "topic" in accordance with the teaching of the Guru Prabhākara.

In the Smṛti rule,[12] "Let him admit as a pupil the Brahman lad when eight years old (by investing him with the sacred cord), let him instruct him," the object of the direction appears to be the pupil's instruction. Now a direction must have reference to somebody to be directed; and if you ask who is here to be directed, I reply, "He who desires to be a teacher," since, by Pāṇini's rule (i. 3, 36), the root is used in the ātmanepada when honour, &c., are implied, i.e., here the duty which a teacher performs to his pupils. He who is to be directed as to admitting a pupil is the same person who is to be directed as to teaching him, since both are the object of one and the same command. Hence the inspired sage Manu has said (ii. 140), "The Brāhman who girds his pupil with the sacrificial cord and then instructs him in the Veda, with its subsidiary aṅgas and mystic doctrines, they call a spiritual teacher (ācārya)." Now the teaching which is the function of the teacher cannot be fulfilled without the learning which is the function of the pupil, and therefore the very injunction to teach implies and establishes a corresponding obligation to learn, since the influencer's efforts fail without those of one to be influenced. If you object that this view does not make reading the Veda the object of definite injunction, I reply, What matters it to us if it is not? For even if there is no reason for us to admit a separate injunction for reading the Veda, it will still remain perpetually enjoined as a duty, because the passage which mentions it is a perpetual anuvāda or "supplementary repetition."[13] Therefore the former primâ facie argument and its answer, which were given before under the idea that there was a definite injunction to read the Veda, must now be discussed in another way to suit this new view.

Now the primâ facie argument was that the study of Mīmāṃsā, not being authoritatively enjoined, is not to be commenced; the "conclusion" was that it is to be commenced as being thus authoritatively enjoined.

Now the upholders of the former or primâ facie view argue as follows:—"We put to the advocates of the conclusion the following dilemma: Does the injunction to teach imply that the pupil is to understand the meaning of what is read, or does it only refer to the bare reading? It cannot be the former, for obviously the act of teaching cannot depend for its fulfilment on the pupil's understanding what is taught [as this will depend on his ability as a recipient]; and the latter will not help you, as, if the bare reading is sufficient, the Mīmāṃsā discussions in question will have no subject or use. For their proper subject is a point in the Veda, which is doubted about from having been only looked at in a rough and impromptu way; now if there is no need of understanding the meaning at all, why should we talk of doubts and still more of any hope of ascertaining the true meaning by means of laborious discussion? And therefore in accordance with the well-known principle, 'That which is a thing of use and not a matter of doubt is an object of attainment to an intelligent man, as, for instance, a jar which is in broad light and in contact with the external and internal senses,' as there is in the present case no such thing as a subject to exercise it upon, or a useful end to be attained by it, we maintain that the study of Mīmāṃsā is not to be commenced."

We grant, in reply, that the injunction to teach does not imply a corresponding necessity that the student must understand the meaning; still when a man has read the Veda with its subsidiary aṅgas, and has comprehended the general connection of the words with their respective meanings, this will imply an understanding of the meaning of the Veda, just as it would in any ordinary human compositions. "But may we not say that, just as in the case of the mother who said to her son, 'Eat poison,' the meaning literally expressed by the words was not what she wished to convey, since she really intended to forbid his eating anything at all in such and such a house; so if the literal meaning of the Veda does not express its real purport, the old objection will recur with full force that the study of Mīmāṃsā will have neither subject nor end [as there will be no use in understanding the literal meaning, since, as in the mother's case, it may only lead astray, and so common sense must be the ultimate judge"]. We reply, that your supposed illustration and the case in question are not really parallel. In the supposed illustration the primary meaning of the words would be obviously precluded, because a direction to eat poison would be inconceivable in the mouth of an authoritative and trustworthy speaker like a mother, and you would know at once that this could not be what she wished to say; but in the case of the Veda, which is underived from any personal author, why should not the literal meaning be the one actually intended? And it is just the doubts that arise, as they occasionally will do, in reference to this intended meaning, which will be the proper "subject" of Mīmāṃsā discussion; and the settlement of these doubts will be its proper "end." Therefore, whenever the true meaning of the Veda is not obtained[14] by that reading which is virtually prescribed by the authoritative injunction to a Brahman to teach, it will be a proper subject for systematic discussion; and hence we hold that the study of Mīmāṃsā is enjoined, and should be commenced.

"Well,[15] be it so" [say the followers of the Nyāya], "but how can the Vedas be said to be underived from any personal author, when there is no evidence to establish this? Would you maintain that they have no personal author because, although there is an unbroken line of tradition, there is no remembrance of any author, just as is the case with the soul"?[16] This argument is weak, because the alleged characteristics [unbroken tradition, &c.] are not proved; for those who hold the human origin of the Vedas maintain that the line of tradition was interrupted at the time of the dissolution of the universe. And, again, what is meant by this assertion that the author is not remembered? Is it (1.) that no author is believed, or (2.) that no author is remembered? The first alternative cannot be accepted, since we hold that God is proved to have been the author. Nor can the second, because it cannot stand the test of the following dilemma, viz., is it meant (a.) that no author of the Veda is remembered by some one person, or (b.) by any person whatever? The former supposition breaks down, as it would prove too much, since it would apply to such an isolated stanza as "He who is religious and has overcome pride and anger," &c.[17] And the latter supposition is inadmissible, since it would be impossible for any person who was not omniscient to know that no author of the Veda was recollected by any person whatever. Moreover, there is actual proof that the Veda had a personal author, for we argue as follows:—The sentences of the Veda must have originated from a personal author, since they have the character of sentences like those of Kālidāsa and other writers. And, again, the sentences of the Veda have been composed by a competent person, since, while they possess authority, they have, at the same time, the character of sentences, like those of Manu and other sages.

But [ask the Mīmāṃsakas] may it not be assumed that "all study of the Veda was preceded by an earlier study of it by the pupil's preceptor, since the study of the Veda must always have had one common character which was the same in former times as now;" and therefore this uninterrupted succession has force to prove the eternity of the Veda? This reasoning, however [the Naiyāyikas answer], cannot rise to the height of proof, for it has no more validity than such obviously illusory reasoning, as "All study of the Mahābhārata was preceded by an earlier study of it by the pupil's preceptor, since it is the study of the Mahābhārata, which must have been the same in former times as now." But [the Mīmāṃsakas will ask whether there is not a difference between these two cases, since] the Smṛti declares that [Viṣṇu incarnate as] Vyāsa was the author of the Mahābhārata, in accordance with the line, "Who else than the lotus-eyed Viṣṇu could be the maker of the Mahābhārata?" [while nothing of this sort is recorded in any Smṛti in regard to the Veda]. This argument, however, is pithless, since those words of the Puruṣasūkta (Rig V., x. 90), "From him sprang the Ṛch and Sāman verses; from him sprang the Metres; from him the Yajus arose;" prove that the Veda had a maker.

Further [proceed the Naiyāyikas] we hold that sound is non-eternal[18] because it has genus, and is also perceptible to the external organs of beings such as ourselves, just as a jar is.[19] "But," you may object, "is not this argument refuted by the proof arising from the fact that we recognise the letter g (for example) as the same we have heard before?" This objection, however, is extremely weak, for the recognition in question is powerless to refute our argument, since it has reference only to identity of species, as in the case of a man whose hair has been cut and has grown again, or of a jasmine which has blossomed afresh. "But [asks the Mīmāṃsaka] how can the Veda have been uttered by the incorporeal Parameśvara, who has no palate or other organs of speech, and therefore cannot have pronounced the letters?" "This objection [answers the Naiyāyika] is not happy, because, though Parameśvara is by nature incorporeal, he can yet assume a body in sport, in order to show kindness to his worshippers. Consequently the arguments in favour of the doctrine that the Veda had no personal author are inconclusive."

I shall now [says the Mīmāṃsaka] clear up the whole question. What is meant by this paurusheyatva ["derivation from a personal author"] which it is sought to prove? Is it (1.) mere procession (utpannatva) from a person, like the procession of the Veda from persons such as ourselves, when we daily utter it? or (2.) is it the arrangement—with a view to its manifestation—of knowledge acquired by other modes of proof, as in the case of treatises composed by persons like ourselves? If the first meaning be intended, there will be no dispute between us.[20] If the second sense be meant, I ask whether it is established (a.) by inference,[21] or (b.) by supernatural testimony? (a.) The former alternative cannot be correct, because your argument would equally apply to the sentences in dramas such as the Mālatīmādhava [which, of course, being a work of fiction, has no authoritative character]. If you qualify your argument by inserting the saving clause, "while they possess authority,"[22] [as supra, p. 188, line 21], even this explanation will fail to satisfy a philosopher. For the sentences of the Veda are universally defined to be sentences which prove things that are not provable by other evidence. But if you could establish that these Vedic sentences only prove what is provable by other evidence, this definition would be at once contradicted, just as if a man were to say that his mother was a barren woman. And even if we granted that Parameśvara might assume a body in sport, in order to show kindness to his worshippers, it would not at all follow that he would perceive things beyond the reach of the senses, from the want of any means of apprehending objects removed from him in place, in time, and in nature.[23] Nor is it to be assumed that his eyes and other senses alone would have the power of producing such knowledge, for we can only draw upon our imagination in accordance with our past experience. This has been declared by the Guru [Prabhākara] when he refutes the supposition of an omniscient author—

"Wherever we do find the power of an organ intensified,[24] it is done without its going beyond its own proper objects; thus it may appear in the power of seeing the very distant or the very minute, but not in the ear's becoming cognisant of form."

Hence (b.) we also maintain that your position cannot be established by any supposed supernatural testimony [as that quoted above from the Rig-Veda, "from him sprang the Ṛch and Sāman verses"]. For the rule of Pāṇini (iv. 3, 101) will still remain inviolate, that the grammatical affixes with which such names as Kāṭhaka, Kālāpa, and Taittirīya are formed, impart to those derivatives the sense of "uttered by" Kaṭha, Kalāpin, &c., though we maintain that these names have reference [not to those parts of the Veda as first composed by these sages, but] to the fact that these sages instituted certain schools of traditional study. And in the same way we hold [in reference to this verse from the Rig-Veda] that it only refers to the institution of certain schools of traditional study of these Vedas.

Nor will any supposed inference establish the non-eternity of sound, because [as we said before] it is opposed to the evidence of our consciousness, [since we certainly recognise the letter now heard as the one heard before]. Nor is it reasonable to reply that, although the letters are not the same, they seem to be so on account of their identity of species. For here we ask our opponents a question—Is this idea that "the apparent sameness arises from identity of species" put forward from a wish to preclude entirely any idea of the letters being the same, or only [from an imagined fear of error] because experience shows that the recognition will sometimes be erroneous [as in the cases of the hair and jasmine mentioned above]? (a.) If it arises from the latter reason, we Mīmāṃsakas, who hold that the Veda is its own evidence, have said in reference to this timid imagination—

"He who foolishly imagines that something as yet unknown to him will come hereafter to stop his present conclusion, will go to utter ruin in every transaction of life, his mind a mass of doubts."

(b.) "But [the Naiyāyikas will ask] does not this recognition of g and other letters [as the same which we heard before] refer to the species which exists the same in each, and not to the several individual letters, since, in fact, we perceive that they are different as uttered by different persons, otherwise we could not make such distinctions as we do when we say 'Somaśarman is reading'?" This objection, however, has as little brilliancy as its predecessors, for as there is no proof of any distinction between the individual g's, there is no proof that we ought to assume any such thing as a species g; and we maintain that, just as to the man who does not understand [the Naiyāyika doctrine of] the species g, the one species [in the Naiyāyika view] will by the influence of distinction of place, magnitude, form, and individual sounds, appear as if it were variously modified as itself distinct in place, as small, as great, as long, as short; so to the man who does not understand our [Mīmāṃsaka doctrine of] one individual g, the one g (in our view) will by the diversity of "manifesters,"[25] appear to him associated with their respective peculiarities; and as contrary characters are in this way ascribed [to the letter g], there is a fallacious appearance of distinction [between different g's]. But does this ascription of contrary characters, which is thus regarded as creating a difference [between the g's], result (1.) from the nature of the thing, or (2.) from our imagination? There is no proof of the former alternative; for, if it were true, as an inherent difference would have to be admitted between different g's, we should have to say, "Caitra has uttered ten g's," and not "Caitra has uttered the same g ten times." On the latter supposition, there is no proof of any inherent distinction between g's, for inherent oneness is not destroyed by a difference of external disguises. Thus we must not conceive, from the apparent distinction caused by such external disguises as jars, &c., that there is any inherent distinction, as of parts, in the one indivisible ether. The current use of the rejected phrase [i.e., "different" as applied to the g's] is really caused by the noise, which in each case is different. This has been said by the great teacher—

"The object which the Naiyāyikas seek by supposing a species is, in fact, gained from the letter itself; and the object which they aim at by supposing an individuality in letters, is attained from audible noises;[26] so that the assumption of species is useless."

And again—

"Since in regard to sounds such an irresistible instinct of recognition is always awake within us, it precludes by its superior evidence all the inferences to prove sound's non-eternity."

This at once refutes the argument given in the [Naiyāyika] treatise by Vāgīśvara, entitled Māna-manohara, "sound is non-eternal from the fact of its being a special quality belonging to an organ of sense[27] (sc. the ear), just as colour is to the eye."

We can also refute it in the following ways: (a.) If we follow the [Sāṅkhya and Vedānta] view that sound is a substance, it is evidently overthrown[28] [as in that case sound cannot be a quality]; (b.) if we take it as referring to the noise, not the sound, we have no dispute, as it only establishes what we ourselves allow; and (c.) the inference is overthrown by the "limiting condition" [upādhi] of aśrāvaṇatva, or "the not causing audition."[29] So Udayana tries at great length to establish that, although ether, the site of sound, is imperceptible, the non-existence of that which abides in this site is perceptible; and he then brings forward as an evidence for the non-eternity of sound, that sense perception which causes the use of such common expressions as "The tumult is stopped," "The sound has arisen."[30] But he is sufficiently answered[31] by our old reply [in p. 193], that the fallacious appearance of distinction arises from contrary characters being erroneously ascribed, just as, in the story, the demon Tāla went away [as well as Betāla] when the offering of blood was given to the latter.[32] And as for the objection raised by the author of the Nyāyabhūshaṇa,[33] that, if sound were eternal, the conclusion must follow that it would be either always perceptible or always imperceptible, this also is obviated by our allowing that we only perceive that sound which is manifested by our articulate noise.[34] And as for the (Naiyāyika) argument against the existence[35] of such a constant relation as this which is supposed between the manifested "sound" and the manifesting "noise," since they both come simultaneously in contact with the sense of hearing, this is invalid, as it will indisputably apply with equal force in the case of the soul.[36]

Therefore as the Veda is thus proved to have not originated from any personal author, and as the minutest germ of suspicion against it is thus absolutely destroyed, we hold it as satisfactorily demonstrated that it has a self-established authority in all matters relating to duty.

"Well"[37] [say our opponents], "let this question rest; but how about another well-known controversy? It is said—

"'The Sāṅkhyas hold that both authoritativeness and non-authoritativeness are self-proved; the followers of the Nyāya hold that both are proved by something else [as inference, &c.]; the Buddhists hold that the latter is self-proved and the former proved by something else; the teachers of the Veda maintain that authoritativeness is self-proved and non-authoritativeness proved by something else.' Now we ask, amidst all this discussion, how do the Mīmāṃsakas accept as established their tenet that the authoritativeness of duty is self-proved? And what is the meaning of this so-called self-proved authoritativeness? Is it (a.) that authoritativeness springs from itself? or (b.) that it springs from the right knowledge in which it resides? or (c.) that it springs from the instrumental causes [as the eye, &c.] which produced the right knowledge in which it resides? or (d.) that it resides in a particular knowledge produced by the instrumental causes which produced the right knowledge?[38] or (e.) that it resides in a particular knowledge produced by the instrumental causes only which produced the right knowledge?

"(a.) It cannot be the first, because wherever the relation of cause and effect is found there must be a difference, and therefore these two cannot reside in the same subject [i.e., authoritativeness cannot cause itself]. (b.) It cannot be the second, because if knowledge, which is a quality, were the cause of authoritativeness, it would have to be a substance, as being an intimate cause.[39] (c.) It cannot be the third, because 'authoritativeness' cannot properly be 'produced' at all,[40] whether we call it a general characteristic (upādhi) or a species (jāti);[41] for if we call it an upādhi, it is defined as the absolute non-existence of any contradiction to a certain kind of knowledge which does not possess the nature of recollection;[42] and this cannot be produced, for we all allow that absolute non-existence is eternal; and still less can we speak of its being produced, if we regard it as a species. (d.) Nor can it be the fourth, for wrong knowledge [as well as right knowledge] is a particular kind of knowledge, and the instrumental causes which produce the general are included in those which produce the particular,[43] just as the general idea 'seed,' as applied to 'tree,' is included in the particular seed of any special tree, as, e.g., the Dalbergia Sisu; otherwise we might suppose that the particular had no instrumental cause at all. Your definition would therefore extend too far [and include erroneous as well as true knowledge]; for non-authoritativeness, which Vedantists and most Mīmāṃsakas allow to be produced by something external, must also be considered as residing in a particular knowledge [i.e., a wrong knowledge] produced [in part] by the instrumental causes which produced the right knowledge. (e.) As for your fifth view, we ask whether by being produced by the instrumental causes only which produced right knowledge, you mean to include or exclude the absence of a 'defect'? It cannot be the former alternative; because the followers of the Nyāya who hold that authoritativeness is proved by something external [as inference, &c.], would at once grant that authoritativeness is produced by the instrumental causes of knowledge combined with the absence of a 'defect.' Neither can it be the latter alternative; for, inasmuch as it is certain that the absence of a 'defect' is found combined with the various instrumental causes, this absence of a 'defect' is fixed as by adamantine glue to be a cause of right knowledge, since right knowledge will always accompany its presence, and be absent if it is absent,[44] and it will at the same time be not an unimportant condition.[45] If you object that non-existence (or absence) cannot be a cause, we reply by asking you whether non-existence can be an effect or not? If it cannot, then we should have to allow that cloth is eternal, as its "emergent non-existence" or destruction would be impossible. If it can be an effect, then why should it not be a cause also? So this rope binds you at both ends. This has also been said by Udayana [in his Kusumāñjali, i. 10]—

"'As existence, so too non-existence is held to be a cause as well as an effect.'

"The argument, in my opinion, runs as follows:—Right knowledge depends on some cause[46] other than the common causes of knowledge, from the very fact that, while it is an effect, it is also knowledge, just as wrong knowledge does.[47] Authoritativeness is known through something external to itself [e.g., inference], because doubt arises in regard to it in an unfamiliar case, as we also see in non-authoritativeness.

"Therefore, as we can prove that authoritativeness is both produced and recognised by means of something external, the Mīmāṃsā tenet that 'authoritativeness is self-proved' is like a gourd overripe and rotten."

This long harangue of our opponent, however, is but a vain attempt to strike the sky with his fist; for (a.) we mean by our phrase "self-proved" that while right knowledge is produced by the instrumental causes of knowledge, it is not produced by any other cause (as "defect," &c.) The following is our argument as drawn out in full:—Right knowledge is not produced by any other instrumental causes than those of knowledge, while, at the same time, it is produced by these, because it is not the site of wrongness of knowledge,—just like a jar.[48] Nor can Udayana's[49] argument be brought forward as establishing the dependence of authoritativeness on something external, for it is swallowed up by the dragon of the equally potent contradictory argument. "Right knowledge is not produced by any cause which is other than the causes of knowledge and is also other than 'defect,'[50] from the very fact of its being knowledge—like wrong knowledge." Again, since right knowledge can arise from the causes of knowledge per se, it would be a needless complexity to suppose that anything else is a cause, whether you call it a guṇa or the absence of a "defect" (doṣa).[51]

"But surely if the presence of a defect is the cause of wrong knowledge, it is difficult to deny that its absence must be a cause of right knowledge?" We meet this, however, by maintaining that the absence of defect is only an indirect and remote cause, as it only acts negatively by preventing wrong knowledge. As it has been said—

"Therefore we reasonably conclude from the presence of guṇas the absence of 'defects,'[52] from their absence the non-existence of the two kinds of non-authoritativeness,[53] and from this the general conclusion."[54]

(b.) We maintain that the recognition of right knowledge is produced by the same causes only which make us perceive the first knowledge[55] [sc. the eye, mind, &c.] Nor can you object that this view is precluded, because it would imply that there could be no such thing as doubt; for we answer that doubt arises in cases where, although all the causes which produce knowledge are present, there is also the simultaneous presence of some opposing cause, as a "defect," &c.

As for your argument [O Naiyāyika! given supra, in p. 198, lines 17-24], I ask, Is your own argument an authoritative proof by itself or not? If it is, it proves too much [for it would properly apply to itself and lead us to infer its own dependence on external proof, whereas you hold it to be independent of such]; and if it is not, we should have a case of regressus in infinitum, for it will want some other proof to confirm its authoritativeness, and this too in its turn will want some fresh proof, and so on for ever.

As for the argument urged by Udayana[56] in the Kusumāñjali, when he tries to establish that immediate and vehement action does not depend on the agent's certainty as to the authoritativeness of the speech which sets him acting: "Action depends on wish, its vehemence on that of the wish,[57] wish on the knowledge that the thing wished for is a means to attain some wished-for end, and this is only ascertained by an inference based on some 'sign' which proves that the thing is closely connected with the wished-for end, and this inference depends on the things being in direct contact with the agent's senses; but throughout the whole series of antecedent steps the Mīmāṃsā idea of the perception of authoritativeness is never once found as a cause of action." All this appears to us simple bluster, like that of the thief who ostentatiously throws open all his limbs before me, when I had actually found the gold under his armpit. It is only the knowledge that the thing is a means to attain the desired end, and this knowledge recognised as authoritative and right knowledge, which causes the definite volition to arise at all; and in this we can distinctly trace the influence of that very perception of authoritativeness [whose existence he so vehemently pretended to deny]. If unhesitating action ever arose in any case from doubt, then, as it might always arise so in every given case, all ascertainment of authoritativeness would be useless; and as the very existence of what is unascertained is rendered uncertain, poor authoritativeness would have to be considered as dead and buried! But enough of this prolix controversy; since it has been said—

"Therefore the authoritativeness of a cognition, which (authoritativeness) presented itself as representing a real fact, may be overthrown by the perception of a 'defect,' which perception is produced by some sign that proves the discrepancy between the cognition and the fact."[58]

Now with regard to the Veda, which is the self-proved and authoritative criterion in regard to duty, [we have the following divergency between the two great Mīmāṃsā schools]:—The Veda is composed of three portions, respectively called "hymns" (mantra), "explanatory passages" (arthavāda), and "injunctions" (vidhi); and by "injunction" we mean such sentences as "Let him who desires heaven sacrifice with the jyotiṣṭoma." Here ta, the affix of the third person singular, denotes an enjoining power, which is "coloured" [or rendered definite] by the meaning of the root, according to the opinion of the followers of Bhaṭṭa Kumārila, who maintain that words signify[59] something definite by themselves [apart from the sentence]. The followers of Guru Prabhākara, on the contrary, hold that the whole sentence is a command relating to the sacrifice, as they maintain that words only signify an action or something to be done.[60] Thus all has been made plain.

E. B. C.

Footnotes and references:


Mādhava here calls it the prācī Mīmāṃsā.


Cf. J. Nyāyamālāvist, pp. 5-9.


Thus it is said that he who desires to be a family priest should offer a black-necked animal to Agni, a parti-coloured one to Soma, and a black-necked one to Agni. Should this be a case for tantra or not? By tantra one offering to Agni would do for both; but as the offering to Soma comes between, they cannot be united, and thus it must be a case of āvāpa, i.e., offering the two separately (J. Nyāyamālā, xi. 1, 13).


In p. 123, line 4, I read vilakṣaṇa-dṛṣṭaphala.


In the former case it would be a vidhi, in the latter a niyama. Cf. the lines vidhir atyantam aprāpto niyamaḥ pākṣike sati, tatra cānyatra ca prāptau parisaṃkhyā vidhīyate.


The Mīmāṃsā holds that the potential and similar affixes, which constitute a vidhi, have a twofold power; by the one they express an active volition of the agent, corresponding to the root-meaning (artha-bhāvanā); by the other an enforcing power in the word (śabda-bhāvanā). Thus in svargakāmo yajeta, the eta implies "let him produce heaven by means of certain acts which together make up a sacrifice possessing a certain mystic influence;" next it implies an enforcing power residing in itself (as it is the word of the self-existent Veda and not of God) which sets the hearer upon this course of action.


These four "fruits of action" are obscure, and I do not remember to have seen them alluded to elsewhere. I was told in India that they were a thing's coming into being, growing, declining, and perishing. If so, they are the second, third, fifth, and sixth of the six vikāras mentioned in Śaṅkara's Vajrasūci, 2, i.e., asti, jāyate, vardhate, vipariṇamate, apakṣīyate, naśyati. I do not see how there could be any reference to the four kinds of apūrva, sc. phala, samudāya, utpatti, and aṅga, described in Nyāya M. V. ii. 1, 2.


The nigamas are the Vedic quotations in Yāska's nirukta.


See Nyāya-mālā-vistara, i. 4, 19.


The exact number is 915.


This is to explain the last of the five members, the saṃgati.


Cf. Aśvalāyana's Gṛhya Sūtras, i. 19, 1.


The anuvāda, of course, implies a previous vidhi, which it thus repeats and supplements, and so carries with it an equal authority. The anuvāda in the present case is the passage which mentions that the Veda is to be read, as it enforces the previous vidhi as to teaching.


I read in p. 127, line 12, anava-gamyamānasya, and so the recension given in the Nyāya M. V. p. 14, na budhyamānasya.


In the next two or three pages I have frequently borrowed from Dr. Muir's translation in his Sanskrit Texts, vol. iii. p. 88.


The soul may be traced back through successive transmigrations, but you never get back to its beginning.


Mādhava means that the author of this stanza, though unknown to many people, was not necessarily unknown to all, as his contemporaries, no doubt, knew who wrote it, and his descendants might perhaps still be aware of the fact. In this case, therefore, we have an instance of a composition of which some persons did not know the origin, but which, nevertheless, had a human author. The stanza in question is quoted in full in Böhtlingk's Indische Sprüche, No. 5598, from the MS. anthology called the Subhāshitārṇava. For muktaka, see Sāh. Darp., § 558.


The eternity of the Veda depends on this tenet of the Mīmāṃsā that sound is eternal.


Eternal things (as the atoms of earth, fire, water, and air, minds, time, space, ether, and soul) have viśeṣa, not sāmānya or genus, and they are all imperceptible to the senses. Genera are themselves eternal (though the individuals in which they reside are not), but they have not themselves genus. Both these arguments belong rather to the Nyāya-vaiśeṣika school than to the Nyāya.


The Mīmāṃsaka allows that the uccāraṇa or utterance is non-eternal.


The inference will be as follows: "The Vedas were arranged after being acquired by other modes of proof, with a view to their manifestation, from the very fact of their having the nature of sentences, just like the compositions of Manu, &c."


The argument will now run, "The Vedas were arranged after being acquired by other modes of proof, because, while they possess authority, they still have the nature of sentences, like the composition of Manu, &c."


In assuming a material body, he would be subject to material limitations.


The Jainas allow thirty-four such superhuman developments (atiśayāḥ) in their saints.


Jaimini maintains that the vibrations of the air "manifest" the always existing sound.


"What is meant by 'noise' (nāda) is these 'conjunctions' and 'disjunctions,' occasioned by the vibrations of the air."—Ballantyne, Mīmāṃsā Aphorisms, i. 17.


The Nyāya holds that colour and sound are respectively special qualities of the elements light and ether; and as the organs of seeing and hearing are composed of light and ether, each will, of course, have its corresponding special quality.


In p. 131, line 7, I read pratyakṣāsiddheḥ.


Cf. my note pp. 7, 8, (on the Cārvāka-darśana) for the upādhi. The upādhi or "condition" limits a too general middle term; it is defined as "that which always accompanies the major term, but does not always accompany the middle." Thus if the condition "produced from wet fuel" is added to "fire," the argument "the mountain has smoke because it has fire" is no longer a false one. Here, in answer to the Nyāya argument in the text, our author objects that its middle term ("from the fact of its being a special quality belonging to an organ of sense") is too wide, i.e., it is sometimes found where the major term "non-eternal" is not found, as, e.g., in sound itself, according to the Mīmāṃsā doctrine. To obviate this he proposes to add the "condition," "not causing audition," as he will readily concede that all those things are non-eternal which, while not causing audition, are special qualities belonging to an organ of sense, as, e.g., colour. But I need scarcely add that this addition would make the whole argument nugatory. In fact, the Pūrva Mīmāṃsā and the Nyāya can never argue together on this question of the eternity of sound, as their points of view are so totally different.


In the former case we have the dhvaṃsa of sound, in the latter its prāgabhāva.


In p. 131, line 12, I read samapauhi for samāpohi, i.e., the passive aorist of sam + apa + ūh.


I do not know this legend. Tāla and Betāla are the two demons who carry Vikramāditya on their shoulders in the Siṃhāsan-battīsī. It appears to be referred to here as illustrating how one answer can suffice for two opponents.


This is probably a work by Bhāsarvajña (see Dr. Hall's Bibl. Index, p. 26).


Dhvani, or our "articulate noise," produces the vibrations of air which render manifest the ever-existing sound. There is always an eternal but inaudible hum going on, which we modify into a definite speech by our various articulations. I take saṃskṛta here as equivalent to abhivyakta.


I read in p. 131, line 15, saṃskārakasaṃskāryabhāvābhāvānumānam.


It would be a case of vyabhicāra. The Naiyāyika argument would seem to be something as follows:—Sound is not thus manifested by noise, since both are simultaneously perceived by the senses, just as we see in the parallel case of the individual and its species; these are both perceived together, but the individual is not manifested by the species. But the Mīmāṃsā rejoins that this would equally apply to the soul and knowledge; as the internal sense perceives both simultaneously, and therefore knowledge ought not to be manifested by the soul, which is contrary to experience. But I am not sure that I rightly understand the argument.


Here begins a long pūrva-pakṣa, from p. 131, line 18, down to p. 133, line 9; see p. 198 infra.


This is Prabhākara's view (see Siddh. Muktāv., p. 118). The first knowledge is in the form "This is a jar;" the second knowledge is the cognition of this perception in the form "I perceive the jar;" and this latter produces authoritativeness (prāmāṇya), which resides in it as its characteristic.


Substances are "intimate causes" to their qualities, and only substances have qualities; now if authoritativeness, which is a characteristic of right knowledge, were caused by it, it would be a quality of it, that is, right knowledge would be its intimate cause and therefore a substance.


The eye, &c., would be its instrumental causes.


The first three categories "substance," "quality," and "action," are called jātis or species; the last four, "genus," "viśeṣa," "intimate relation," and "non-existence," are called upādhis or "general characteristics."


The Pūrva Mīmāṃsā denies that recollection is right knowledge.


Wrong knowledge is produced by the same instrumental causes (as the eye, &c.) which produced right knowledge, but by these together with a "defect," as biliousness, distance &c.


Scil. if there be doṣābhāva there is pramā; if not, not. In p. 132, line 20, I read doṣābhāvatvena for doṣābhāvasahakṛtatvena.


Anyathāsiddhatvam means niyatapūrvavartitve sati anāvaśyakatvam.


Scil. or the absence of "defect," doṣābhāva.


Wrong knowledge has doṣābhāva or the presence of a "defect" as its cause, in addition to the common causes.


Wrongness of knowledge (apramātva) can only reside in knowledge as a characteristic or quality thereof; it cannot reside in a jar. The jar is, of course, produced by other instrumental causes than those of knowledge (as, e.g., the potter's stick, &c.), but it is not produced by these other causes in combination with being also produced by the instrumental causes of knowledge (with which it has nothing directly to do); and so by a quibble, which is less obvious in Sanskrit than in English, this wretched sophism is allowed to pass muster. The jar is not produced-by-any-other-instrumental-causes-than-those-of-knowledge,-while-at-the-same-time-it-is-produced-by-these.


I suppose this is the argument given at the close of the previous long pūrva-pakṣa.


These words "and is other than defect" (doṣa-vyatirikta) are, of course, meaningless as far as right knowledge is concerned; they are simply added to enable the author to bring in "wrong knowledge" as an example. Wrong knowledge is caused by the causes of knowledge plus "defect;" right knowledge by the former alone.


The Nyāya holds that wrong knowledge is produced by a "defect," as jaundice, &c., in the eye, and right knowledge by a guṇa or "virtue" (as the direct contact of the healthy organ with a true object), or by the absence of a "defect."


The guṇa (or βελτἱστη ἕξις of an organ is not properly a cause of pramā but rather doṣābhāva-bodhaka.


Scil. "doubtful" (sandigdha) and "ascertained non-authoritativeness" (niścitāprāmāṇya).


Utsarga is a general conclusion which is not necessarily true in every particular case; but here it means the conclusion that "right knowledge has no special causes but the common causes of knowledge, the eye," &c.


The first knowledge is "This is a jar," the second knowledge is the cognition of this perception in the form "I perceive the jar;" and simultaneously with it arises the cognition of the truth of the perception, i.e., its authoritativeness or prāmāṇya.


This seems to be a quotation of Udayana's own words, and no doubt is taken from his very rare prose commentary on the Kusumāñjali, a specimen of which I printed in the preface to my edition. This passage must come from the fifth book (v. 6?).


I read tat-prācuryam for tatprācurye in p. 134, line 7.


This stanza affirms that according to the Mīmāṃsā school, while authoritativeness is self-proved, non-authoritativeness is proved from something else (as inference, &c.)


I take vyutpatti here as used for śakti; siddhe means ghaṭādau.


These are the two great Mīmāṃsā schools. The former, called abhihitānvaya-vādinaḥ, hold (like the Naiyāyika school) that words by themselves can express their separate meaning by the function abhidhā or "denotation;" these are subsequently combined into a sentence expressing one connected idea. The latter, called anvitābhidhāna-vādinaḥ, hold that words only express a meaning as parts of a sentence and grammatically connected with each other; they only mean an action or something connected with an action. In gām ānaya, gām does not properly mean gotva, but ānayanānvita-gotva, i.e., the bovine genus as connected with "bringing." We cannot have a case of a noun without some governing verb, and vice versâ. Cf. Waitz, as quoted by Professor Sayce (Comparative Philology, page 136): "We do not think in words but in sentences; hence we may assert that a living language consists of sentences, not of words. But a sentence is formed not of single independent words, but of words which refer to one another in a particular manner, like the corresponding thought, which does not consist of single independent ideas, but of such as, connected, form a whole, and determine one another mutually."

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: