Vaisheshika-sutra with Commentary

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

The Vaisheshika-sutra 10.2.8, 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 (‘observances produce adrishta as their fruit,...’) contained in Chapter 2—Of Other Forms of Cognition—of Book X (of the differences of the attributes of the soul and of the threefold causes).

Sūtra 10.2.8 (Observances produce adṛṣṭa as their fruit,...)

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration, Word-for-word and English translation of Vaiśeṣika sūtra 10.2.8:

दृष्टानां दृष्टप्रयोजनानां दृष्टाभावे प्रयोगो ऽभ्युदयाय ॥ १०.२.८ ॥

dṛṣṭānāṃ dṛṣṭaprayojanānāṃ dṛṣṭābhāve prayogo 'bhyudayāya || 10.2.8 ||

dṛṣṭānāṃ—of acts observed or known to be productive of good; dṛṣṭa-prayojanānāṃ—of acts the purpose of which has been taught; dṛṣṭa-abhāve—in the absence of visible or observed faults or defects; prayogaḥ—performance; abhyudayāya—for the production of exaltation or adṛṣṭa.

8. The performance of acts of observed utility and of acts the purpose whereof has been taught (in the sacred writings), is, for the production of adṛṣṭa, (as these teachings are authoritatvrie [authoritative?] being the word of God in whom) the defects found in ordinary speakers do not exist.

Commentary: The Upaskāra of Śaṅkara Miśra:

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

[Full title: Observances produce adṛṣṭa as their fruit, on the authority of the Veda]

Now, in order to confirm the authoritativeness of the Vedas, he repeats the very same statement which has been made by him before:

[Read sūtra 10.2.8 above]

‘Dṛṣṭānāṃ’ means, of acts which have been proved to be useful by the evidenced experience, e.g., sacrifices, alms-givings, ablution, and the like. Dṛṣṭa-prayojanānāṃ’ means, of acts the purpose whereof has been taught. For, thus, in such precepts as “He who desires heaven, shall perform sacrifice,” “He who desires heaven, shall offer oblation in the agnihotra sacrifice,” etc., the fruit or purpose is mentioned at once along with the injunction; in some cases, the purpose is given out by way of a recommendation, as in “The pitṛs or departed ancestors of him who studies during these nights, pour down upon, or send down to, him streams of clarified butter and streams of honey,” etc.; in other cases, the purpose is left to he imagined, as in “He shall perform the Viśvajit sacrifice,” etc., for, here the purpose is neither mentioned along with the injunction nor presented by way of a recommendation, and is therefore, suppositional, and (it cannot be any thing but heaven), for heaven alone should be supposed as the purpose or fruit which is charming in itself. That being so, it does not stand to reason that these acts which so shortly come to their end, should have causality towards the production of fruits or results in the distant future. Hence, the meaning is, ‘prayoga’ [prayogaḥ], the performance, of these acts, is ‘abhyudayāva’, for the purpose of apūrva, that is, adṛṣṭa, or deserts. It might be objected as follows: This would have been the case, were the authoritativeness of the Vedas a fact. But that is hard to maintain. For the authoritativeness of the Vedas as being eternally free from faults or defects in themselves, is not desired by you, (i.e., the Vaiśeṣika), as it is by the Mīmāṃsā school, inasmuch as you recognise them as the production of a person, and in that case, it is possible that mistake, absence of mind, intention to mislead, and other defects existed in the person. To this the reply is given by the phrase, ‘dṛṣṭa-abhāve’ which means, there being non-existence of personal defects such as error, absence of mind, desire to mislead, and the like, which are found in other persons, namely, in ourselves and others; inasmuch as the Supreme Person, inferred whether as the Creator of the earth or as the Speaker of the Vedas, is presented to us entirely under the characteristic of freedom from faults or defects. So that His words can neither have no meaning, nor convey a contrary meaning, nor convey a useless meaning. It is only impurities caused by error, absence of mind, inefficiency of the senses, and the like, due to defectiveness of the elements constituting the physical organism, the external senses, and the mind, that may possibly vitiate speech. But they cannot possibly lurk in the word of Īśvara. It has been accordingly declared:—

rāgājñānādibhirvaktā grastatvādanṛtaṃ vad[e?]t |
te veśvare na vedyante sabrūyāt[?] kathamanyathā ||

—Being influenced by passion, ignorance, and the like, a speaker may tell untruths. But these do not exist in Īśvara. How can He speak otherwise (than truthfully)?—8.

Note.—Cf. VI.ii.1, supra.

Commentary: The Vivṛti of Jayanārāyaṇa:

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

Thus the Predicables have been ascertained, as also Resemblance and Difference. This Śāstra or System of Self-culture facilitates manana, intellection or thinking about things, in them only whose citta, or inner sense or mind, has been purified by the performance of acts, and not in them whose citta has not been so purified. Observances are productive of purity of citta, as declared by such text of the Veda as “They desire to know,” etc. The same has been mentioned before. He repeats it for further confirmation.

* * Observances, * * * when performed disinterestedly, do not produce elysian bliss, etc., as their fruit, but produce as their result purity of citta or intellect, etc., according to the text of the of. Veda, “They desire to know,” and the Smṛti, “When worldly attachment has, by observances, borne its fruits, knowledge is afterwards produced.”

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