Vaisheshika-sutra with Commentary

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

The Vaisheshika-sutra 5.2.18, 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 8 (‘moksha described’) contained in Chapter 2—Of Non-volitional Action—of Book V (of investigation of action).

Sūtra 5.2.18 (Mokṣa described)

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration, Word-for-word and English translation of Vaiśeṣika sūtra 5.2.18:

तदभावे संयोगाभावो ऽप्रादुर्भावश्च मोक्षः ॥ ५.२.१८ ॥

tadabhāve saṃyogābhāvo 'prādurbhāvaśca mokṣaḥ || 5.2.18 ||

tat-abhāve—in the non-existence of that, i; e., the causal body—or potential body, or the subtle body of impressions and tendencies, acquired during life, which becomes the cause of re-birth, and in rebirth, becomes encased, as it were, in the gross, physical body; saṃyoga-abhāvaḥ—non-existence of conjunction, i; e., with the existing physical body. a-prādurbhāvaḥ—non-re-appearance, or non-rebirth; ca—and; mokṣaḥ—salvation, mokṣa.

18. Mokṣa consists in the non-existence of conjunction with the body, when there is at the same time, no potential body existing, and consequently, re-birth cannot take place.

Commentary: The Upaskāra of Śaṅkara Miśra:

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

But, it may be urged, if the production of another (body were necessary, how would there be Mokṣa? Hence he says;

[Read sūtra 5.2.18 above]

Here the idea is as follows: The power of Yoga produces intuitive knowledge of the self; false knowledge, attended with desire, is thereby annihilated; consequently, attraction, aversion, stupidity or irrationality or spiritual blindness (moha), and other faults due to it, disappear; then inclination or activity goes away; birth, due to it, therefore, does not take place; and, consequently, pair., bound up with birth, also vanishes away. This, then, is the nature of things. Now, in virtue of the power born of yoga, a yogin, considering the entire mass of virtues and vices, or merits and demerits, which are the uncommon or particular causes of pleasure and pain to be enjoyed, at particular places and times, in the bodies of a horse, an elephant, a serpent, a bird, etc., in accordance with those merits and demerits, and then going through those several forms of physical existence, thereby wears away or exhausts his previously produced merits and demerits by experiencing them. His faults being thus neutralised, when other merits and demerits are not produced, and when there is in consequence no production of another future or potential body, at that time, it is the non-existence of conjunction, which then exists, with the former body, that is (called) mokṣa. ‘Tat-abhāve’ means in the absence of conjunction, in the non-production of a future body.

To meet the objection that this state is common to all at pralaya, or periodical dissolution of creation, he adds ‘aprādurbhāvaḥ. The meaning is, after which manifestation of body, etc., does not again take place. ‘Saḥ mokṣaḥ:’ that is, annihilation of pain, which results in that state, is Mokṣa.—18.

Commentary: The Vivṛti of Jayanārāyaṇa:

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

It may be objected that the stream of bodies being without beginning and without end, the impossibility of emancipation is also the same. Hence he says:

‘Tat-abhāve,’ i.e., in the absence of adṛṣṭa, that is to say, where future adṛṣṭa is exhausted by intuitive knowledge of self, and existing adṛṣṭa, by experience, bhoga; ‘saṃyoga-abhāvaḥ.’ i.e., a severance takes place from connection with the stream or succession of bodies; following it, is ‘aprādurbhāvaḥ ; i.e., non-production of pain, since the causes, viz., body and adṛṣṭa, do not exist. It is then and there that emancipation becomes possible. Therefore, emancipation is not chimerical like the horns of a hare. This is the import.

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