Vaisheshika-sutra with Commentary

by Nandalal Sinha | 1923 | 149,770 words | ISBN-13: 9789332869165

The Vaisheshika-sutra 5.2.16, English translation, including commentaries such as the Upaskara of Shankara Mishra, the Vivriti of Jayanarayana-Tarkapanchanana and the Bhashya of Chandrakanta. The Vaisheshika Sutras teaches the science freedom (moksha-shastra) and the various aspects of the soul (eg., it's nature, suffering and rebirth under the law of karma). This is sutra 6 (‘yoga described’) contained in Chapter 2—Of Non-volitional Action—of Book V (of investigation of action).

Sūtra 5.2.16 (Yoga described)

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration, Word-for-word and English translation of Vaiśeṣika sūtra 5.2.16:

तदनारम्भ आत्मस्थे मनसि शरीरस्य दुःखाभावः संयोगः ॥ ५.२.१६ ॥

tadanārambha ātmasthe manasi śarīrasya duḥkhābhāvaḥ saṃyogaḥ || 5.2.16 ||

tat-anārambhaḥ—non-origination of that, ie, pleasure and pain, or action of mind; ātmasthe—steady in the soul; manasi—mind being; śarīrasya—of body, ie, of the embodied soul; duḥkha-abhāvaḥ—non-existence of pain; saḥ—that; yogaḥyoga, communion.

16. Non-origination of that (follows) on the mind becoming steady in the soul; (after it, there is) non-existence of pain in the embodied soul. (This is) that yoga.

Commentary: The Upaskāra of Śaṅkara Miśra:

(English rendering of Śaṅkara Miśra’s commentary called Upaskāra from the 15th century)

Well, if the mind is so fickle or restless, then there being no inhibition or restraint of the internal organ there can bo no yoga or communion, and without yoga there can be no intuitive knowledge of the soul, and without it, there can be no mokṣa or salvation, Therefore, the undertaking of this treatise is futile. In anticipation of this objection he says:

[Read sūtra 5.2.16 above]

When the mind of an indifferent person who has come to believe in the vanity of all objects of enjoyment, comes to stay only in the soul, at that stage, owing to the absence of volition corresponding to its action, action is not produced in the mind which then becomes comparatively steady. It is this (state) which is (called) yoga, since the characteristic of yoga is the inhibition or restraint of the internal organ, citta.

‘Tat-anārambhaḥ’, means non-origination of action of mind. Or, by the word, ‘tat,’ only pleasure and pain are denoted, being in the context. ‘Duḥkha-abhāvaḥ’; Being the means of the non-existence of pain, Yoga itself is (spoken of as) non-existence of pain, as is the expression “Food is life.” Or, it is a relative compound word meaning where there is non-existence of pain. ‘Śarīrasya’ means the soul as limited or determined by the body. ‘Saḥ yogaḥ’: here the word, ‘that,’ refers to a universally known object, (the meaning being) this is that Yoga.

Or, by the word, ‘ātmā,’ life is here denoted by transference, since soul is inferred by life. So that, by action in the nervous process which is the channel of the life breath, action of the life breath, (respiration), is also produced. Or, the action of the life breath has, for its non-combinative cause, conjunction of the life-breath with soul exercising volition the source of vitality. And volition, which is the source of vitality, is supersensible, and has to be inferred by the movement of the life-breath. Otherwise, how can there be inspiration of air, even in the state of deep sleep? This is the import.—16.

Commentary: The Vivṛti of Jayanārāyaṇa:

(English extracts of Jayanārāyaṇa Tarkapañcānana’s Vivṛti or ‘gloss’ called the Kaṇādasūtravivṛti from the 17th century)

‘Ātmasthe manasi,’ i.e., when, quitting the senses, etc., in virtue of the six-limbed Yoga, mind abides in the soul alone, then, ‘tat-anārambhaḥ,’ i.e., ‘anārambhaḥ’ or non-production of action of mind. The mind then becomes fixed or steady. In this state, ‘Śarīrasya duḥkha-abhāvaḥ,’ i.e., pain in relation to the body is not produced. ‘Saḥ,’ i.e., conjunction of mind, resiling from the outside, with soul, is called Yoga.

The following verses of Skandapurāṇa also prove the same thing:

vātāhataṃ tathā cittaṃ tasmāttasya na viścaset |
ato'nilaṃ nirūndhīta cittasya sthairyahetave ||
marunnirodhanārthāsya ṣaḍaṅgaṃ yogamabhyaset |
āsanaṃ prāṇasaṃrodhaḥ pratyāhāraśca dhāraṇā |
dhyānaṃ samādhiretāni yogāṅgāni bhavanti ṣaṭū ||

“So also, (i.e., restless) is Citta, (i.e., the internal organ), smitten with air. Therefore, do not trust it Accordingly, restrain air, for the purpose of steadiness of Citta. For the purpose of restraining air, practise Yoga, of which there are six aṅgas or limbs. Posture, Regulation of breath, Abstraction or Inhibition of the senses, Concentration of mind, Meditation, and Absorption,—these are the six aṅgas or limbs of Yoga or communion.”

Therefore, there being cessation of false knowledge, etc., brought about by the manifestation of intuitive knowledge of soul, after the attainment of Yoga, final emancipation remains unimpeded. Consequently a system of thinking about things (like Kaṇāda Sūtras) is not fruitless. This is the import.

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