Vaisheshika-sutra with Commentary

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

The Vaisheshika-sutra 9.1.6, 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 (‘causes of the perception consequent non-existence’) contained in Chapter 1—Of Ordinary Perception of Non-Existence and of Transcendental Perception—of Book IX (of ordinary and transcendental cognition...).

Sūtra 9.1.6 (Causes of the perception consequent non-existence)

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration, Word-for-word and English translation of Vaiśeṣika sūtra 9.1.6:

असदिति भूतप्रत्यक्षाभावात् भूतस्मृतेर्विरोधिप्रत्यक्षवत् ॥ ९.१.६ ॥

asaditi bhūtapratyakṣābhāvāt bhūtasmṛtervirodhipratyakṣavat || 9.1.6 ||

a-sat—non-existent; iti—such; bhūta-pratyakṣa-abhāvāt—because of the non-existence of the perception of a past object; bhūta-smṛteḥ—because of the recollection of a past object; virodhi-pratyakṣa-vat—similar to the perception of the contradictory or opposite.

6. “(It is; non-existent”—such (perceptual cognition) is similar to the perception of the counter-opposite (of non-existence), because fin both cases) there is non-existence of the perception of that which is past and gone, and there is recollection of the past.

Commentary: The Upaskāra of Śaṅkara Miśra:

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

He now begins another section and therein states the causes of the perception of consequent non-existence:

[Read sūtra 9.1.6 above]

‘A-sat iti’; By the word, ‘iti,’ he indicates cognition in the form of perception. Thereby (it is obtained that) there is such perceptual cognition as “The water-pot is non-existent,” “The water-pot has been destroyed,” “The water-pot is now in a state of annihilation.” An example of this cognition is given by ‘virodhi-pratyakṣa-vat’; as there is clear perception of the counter-opposite (of existence) e.g., a water-pot, etc., so there is of its annihilation or consequent non-existence also. The reason of this stated as ‘bhūta-pratyakṣa-abhāvāt,’ which means, because there is non-existence of the perception of ‘bhūta,’ i.e., a water-pot, etc., which having been first produced have been subsequently destroyed. Hereby the non-apprehension of the (once) apprehensible is stated. There, again, the following argument is confirmatory (of the perceptual cognition): If there were a water-pot here, it would be seen, as the place is seen; but it is not visible; therefore there is none. He mentions another auxiliary cause: ‘bhūta-smṛteḥ,’ which means, because there is recollection of the counter-opposite, e.g., a water-pot, etc., which is past and gone. Hereby recollection of the counter-opposite is stated.—6.

Commentary: The Vivṛti of Jayanārāyaṇa:

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

The four kinds of non-existence being explained, the perception of consequent non-existence is explained.

‘A-sat, iti,’ “The water-pot is non-existent,” The water-pot is destroyed,” “The water-pot is annihilated,”—such perception, ‘virodhi-pratyakṣavat,’ is similar to the perception of the water-pot which is the counter-opposite (of its non-existence), that is to say, is proved by sense-experience and produced from the ordinary or popularly understood contact (of sense and object). Between them there is, however, this difference that the perception of the counter-opposite is produced from the conjunction of the eye, etc., (with their objects), while the perception of consequent non-existence is produced from there being a modification or qualification (e.g., non-existence of water-pot in (“place possessing non-existence of water-pot”) conjoint with the eye, etc. He mentions another point of difference, viz., ‘bhūta-pratyakṣa-abhāvāt.’ The meaning is that perception of consequent non-existence is produced from a cause in the form of the non-apprehension of the apprehensible consequent on the non-existence of the perception of the past, i.e., the counter-opposite, e.g., the water-pot, etc., and also from the recollection of the past water-pot etc., in other words, from cognition of the counter-opposite, which cognition is here identical with recollection. Thus the perception of consequent non-existence is produced from the non-perception of its counter-opposite as well as from the cognition of the counter-opposite, whereas the perception of the-counter-opposite is not so produced. There is, therefore, difference between them in this respect also. This is the import. ‘It should be observed that recollection as such is not intended (in this aphorism, though the word has been used), but mere cognition is intended. That being so, the idea is this that as the water-pot, etc., are proved by perception, so also are their consequent non-existences.

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