Vaisheshika-sutra with Commentary

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

The Vaisheshika-sutra 9.1.7, 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 7 (‘causes of the perception of antecedent 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 9.1.7 (Causes of the perception of antecedent non-existence)

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration, Word-for-word and English translation of Vaiśeṣika sūtra 9.1.7:

तथाभावे भावप्रत्यक्षाच्च ॥ ९.१.७ ॥

tathābhāve bhāvapratyakṣācca || 9.1.7 ||

tathā—similarly; a-bhāve—in the case of (antecedent) non-existence; bhāva-pratyakṣa-tvāt—in consequence of the perceptibility of the existent; ca—also.

7. Similarly (there is perceptual cognition) of (antecedent) non-existence, in consequence also of the perceptibility of the existent.

Commentary: The Upaskāra of Śaṅkara Miśra:

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

Extending to antecedent non-existence the mode in which consequent non-existence is an object of perception, he says:

[Read sūtra 9.1.7 above]

Although this word, non-existence is a general term, still from the context it signifies antecedent non-existence. As there is perceptual cognition in the case of consequent non-existence, so also in the case of antecedent non-existence.


Answer.—‘Bhāva-pratykṣatvāt’: ‘pratyakṣatvāt,’ in consequence of the characteristic of being made an object of cognition by perception, ‘bhāvasya,’ of straws, etc., while these are in the course of weaving (for a mat which is then antecedently non-existent). Or, the meaning is this: ‘pratyakṣatvāt,’ in consequence of the ‘fitness’ (for the senses) or apprehensibility, ‘bhāvasya,’ of the substratum as well as of the counter-opposite (i.e., the mat after production); inasmuch as the apprehensibility of the substratum as well as the apprehensibility of the counter-opposite govern the apprehension of Saṃsarga-abhāva or relational non-existence. The word ‘ca,’ also, brings forward the recollection of the counter-opposite and the argument already stated (in the preceding aphorism, as contributory causes of the perception of antecedent non-existence.) (It is to be observed that), although antecedent non-existence has no beginning, and although consequent non-existence has no end, yet they are preceptible under particular conditions only.—7.

Commentary: The Vivṛti of Jayanārāyaṇa:

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

It may be asked, inasmuch as antecedent non-existence has no beginning, how is it that there is no perception of it long before the production of the conjunction of the two halves of a water-pot, etc., the fore-mentioned causes (of such perception) being possible at that time also? Hence the author adds, ‘bhāva-pratyakṣatvāt.’ ‘Bhāva’ means the final collocation of causes, according to its derivation from the root bhū, ‘to be’ by the affix ghañ, in the ablative sense that it springs from this. ‘Bhāvapratyakṣatvāt’ means the state or condition of that whereof perception takes place by means of ‘bhāva.’ The resultant meaning of the term, therefore, is, because it must be manifested by the final collocation of causes. Thus, the import is, in the instance in question, there can be no perception of antecedent non-existence in consequence of the non-existence of the final collocation of cause.

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