Vaisheshika-sutra with Commentary

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

The Vaisheshika-sutra 9.1.5, 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 5 (‘... there is absolute non-existence’) contained in Chapter 1—Of Ordinary Perception of Non-Existence and of Transcendental Perception—of Book IX (of ordinary and transcendental cognition...).

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration, Word-for-word and English translation of Vaiśeṣika sūtra 9.1.5:

यच्चान्यदसदतस्तदसत् ॥ ९.१.५ ॥

yaccānyadasadatastadasat || 9.1.5 ||

yat—that; which. ca—and; anyat—different; a-sat—non-existent; ataḥ—from these, ie, antecedent, consequent, and reciprocal, non-existents; tat—that; a-sat—non-existent.

5. And that which is a different non-existent from these, is (absolutely) non-existent.

Commentary: The Upaskāra of Śaṅkara Miśra:

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

[Full title: In addition to antecedent, consequent, and reciprocal, non-existence, there is absolute non-existence]

Now he describes the fourth (kind of) non-existence called absolute non-existence.

[Read sūtra 9.1.5 above]

‘Ataḥ,’ from the three forementioned non-existences, ‘yat anyat a-sat tat a-sat,’ (that which is a different non-existent is non-existent) i.e., that is absolute non-existence. The word ‘a-sat’ (non-existent) is in both the places used in a substantive sense. Of these, one ‘a-sat,’ is the subject and the other ‘a-sat’ is the predicate in apposition with the subject. The meaning of the aphorism, therefore, comes to be this that non-existence which is different from the three fore-mentioned nonexistences, is absolute non-existence. Amongst these, antecedent nonexistence is limited in the future or at the end, consequent nonexistence is limited in the past or at the beginning, and reciprocal non-existence has the same substratum or extension as its counteropposite; but absolute non-existence differs from all the three. Hence it is the fourth (kind of) non-existence.—5.

Commentary: The Vivṛti of Jayanārāyaṇa:

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

There are three things repugnant to absolute non-existence, viz., the counter-opposite or the object non-existent, its antecedent nonexistence, and its consequent non-existence. The ancients teach that the cognitions that dark colour does not exist (after baking) in a red water-pot, and that red colour does not exist (before baking) in a dark water-pot, are conversant about consequent and antecedent non-existences, but not absolute non-existence. The moderns, on the other hand, maintain that consequent and antecedent non-existences are not repugnant to absolute non-existence and hence that there certainly is absolute non-existence also by reference to annihilation, production, etc. They hold that when a water-pot, etc., previously removed, are brought back to a place, there is no cognition of the absolute non-existence of the water-pot, so long as the water-pot exists, inasmuch as the time during which the water-pot is existent does not constitute connection with non-existence. Some, again, teach that when there has formerly stood in any place a water-pot, and this has been removed and brought back again, there arises in this case cognition of a fourth kind of non-existence under the aspect of connection (Saṃsarga-abhāva), called temporary nonexistence, and not of absolute non-existence.

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