Yoga-sutras (with Vyasa and Vachaspati Mishra)

by Rama Prasada | 1924 | 154,800 words | ISBN-10: 9381406863 | ISBN-13: 9789381406861

The Yoga-Sutra 4.14, English translation with Commentaries. The Yoga Sutras are an ancient collection of Sanskrit texts dating from 500 BCE dealing with Yoga and Meditation in four books. It deals with topics such as Samadhi (meditative absorption), Sadhana (Yoga practice), Vibhuti (powers or Siddhis), Kaivaly (isolation) and Moksha (liberation).

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration and English translation of Sūtra 4.14:

परिणामैकत्वाद् वस्तुतत्त्वम् ॥ ४.१४ ॥

pariṇāmaikatvād vastutattvam || 4.14 ||

pariṇāma—of modification, ekatvāt—on account of the unity. vastu—of the object, tattvam—the reality.

14. The reality of the object on account of the unity of modification.—174.

The Sankhya-pravachana commentary of Vyasa

[English translation of the 7th century commentary by Vyāsa called the Sāṅkhya-pravacana, Vyāsabhāṣya or Yogabhāṣya]

[Sanskrit text for commentary available]

When all are ‘qualities,’ how is it that one modification is sound and the other the sense? ‘The reality of the object on account of unity of modification.’ One modification of the qualities possessed of the nature of illumination, activity and inertia, and being of the nature of an instrument, appears in the shape of organs. This is the sense of hearing. Another modification of the ‘qualities’ appears in the objective state as the soniferous ultimate atom (śabda tanmātra). This is the object sound.

The atom of Pṛthvī is a modification of sound, &c., existing along with the generic quality of form (mūrti). It is a portion of the tanmātra. Single modifications of these atoms are the earth, the cow, the tree, the hill and so forth. In the case of other elements also, taking up the generic qualities of smoothness, temperature, impulsion and space, single modifications are to be understood by meditation.

There is no object not co-existent with ideas. There are, however, ideas, which are not co-existent with objects, such as those that are fancied in dreams.

There are people who try to do away with the reality of objects by this reasoning, saying that objects are but the fabrications of the mind, like the fancies of a dream, and that they are nothing real. The objective world is present by its own power. How is it that they give up the objective world on the strength of imaginative cognition, and even then go on talking nonsense about it? How is it possible to have faith in them?—174.

The Gloss of Vachaspati Mishra

[English translation of the 9th century Tattvavaiśāradī by Vācaspatimiśra]

Well there may he sort of variety of modification of the three qualities. But how is a single modification brought about in the shape of any one element, say the Pṛthvī or the Apas. This unity is contradicted by its nature. With this doubt the author introduces the aphorism:—‘The reality of the object on account of the unity of modification.’ A single modification of more than one is also observed. That as follows:—The cow, the horse, the buffalo, the elephant, all of them modify into a single substance, the salt, when they are thrown into a mine of salt. Wick, oil and fire change into a lamp. In this way, although the qualities are more than one, a single modification does take place. For this reason, the Tanmātra, the elements and the objects made of the elements have each a real unity.

In the case of instrumental appearances, being as they are the effects of the principle of individuality, and possessed as they are of the nature of illumination on account of the preponderance of the quality of essentiality (sattva), the modification is a single one in the shape of an organ, such as the organ of hearing. Of the same qualities, another single modification in the shape of Tanmātra is sound, the object, when they appear as objective phenomena, in the shape of non-intelligent appearances with the quality of Tamas preponderating.

Sound, the object:—Sound hero means the soniferous other (tanmātra). The word ‘object’ (viṣaya) signifies non-intelligence, because the tanmātra cannot possibly become the object of sensation. The rest is easy.

Now brings in the Vaiśeṣika with his idealistic theory There is no object which is not co-existent with an idea.’

If the elements and physical objects be something different from mere ideation, then it may be that such a Prakriti be put up as the cause of their production. They are not, however, different from ideas in reality. How is it then that the Pradhāna is put up as a cause? How is it again that the instrumental appearances are fancied to exist as the modifications of the principle of individuality? Thus seeing that a non-intelligent object is not self-illuminative, it does not exist unless it co-exist with the idea. Co-existence means relation. The denial of co-existence means its absence. The meaning is that without coming into relationship with the idea it is of no use in practice. The idea, however, exists without being co-existent with the object, because it is self-illuminative. It cau exist as its own field of knowledge. It doos not stand in need of a non-intelligent object in practice. These are the two rules that are brought to notice by idealistic philosophers as going along with knowability. They are applied thus:—That which is known by any act of knowledge, doos not differ therefrom, in the same way as knowledge does not differ from the self. And the elements and the physical phenomena thereof are known by an act of knowledge. This leads to a knowledge of the pervaded which contradicts it. Knowability as it is soon, is pervaded by similarity, which contradicts the difference to be denied, bringing into consciousness the similarity which pervades itself, it does away with the difference which contradicts it. Thus:—That which is perceived with something else always invariably, does not differ from it. Just as one moon does not differ from another moon. And an object is invariably perceived together with the idea. This knowledge is perceived as being contradictory of the pervader. It contradicts the rule of the pervader consisting of the difference to bo denied. This rule does away with arbitrariness, and brings into consciousness the difference which consists in the pervaded.

Lot it be. If the object is not different from the idea, how is it that it looks as if it were different. For this reason ho says:—‘Fancied &c.’ As say the Vainaṣikas [Vaināśikas?]:—There is no difference on account of the rule of coincident perception. The difference between the yellow and the blue, &c., and their ideas, is brought about by delusive cognitions.

Explains the nature of the fancy:—‘An object is merely an ideation,’ &c. Refutes:—

‘How is it possible, &c.’ This is connected with the words ‘have faith in them.’

‘Is present as contradictory knowledge’ How is it present? ‘In the way, &c.’ In whatever way it shines as being the meaning of the word ‘this,’ in the same way it is present by its own power.

Now he shows that the object is the cause of the idea:—‘Inasmuch as the object has given birth to the idea thereof by the power of its own perceptibility, it is not for this reason the perceiver of the object. Such a real object cannot be done away with by the unanthoritative force of imaginative cognitions. Inasmuch as imagination is unauthoritative, its power also is unauthoritative, because the power is of the same nature with it.

‘The giving up of the objective world thereby’ means ignoring it as if it were removed from sight.

In some places the reading is ‘Upagṛhyate’ in place of ‘Utsṛjyate.’ The meaning is the same in either case. They ignore the existence of the outside world, and yet go on talking about it. How can there be faith in them? The meaning here is this. The causes which have been mentioned, i.e., invariable coincident perception and knowability, are not final, because application to the canon of difference is doubtful. Further the externality and the grossness which are perceived to exist in the elements and the physical phenomena thereof, which possess the forms of the ideas, are not possible of existence in the case of ideas themselves. Because externality means being related to separate space. Grossness means the pervading of more portions of space than one. It is not possible that one idea may exist in more places than one, and also exist in a place separated from itself. When a certain thing exists in a certain place, there cannot exist in the same place, something else characterized by a quality opposite to the characteristic of being present in the same place. If it were possible the three worlds themselves would become but one.

It may be said, let then thereto diffefence of ideas. If this be so, whence does this consciousness of grossness come in the case of notions, whose sphere of operations is very subtle, and which do not know of the existence and operation of each other, and which arc only in relation to their own sphere of operation only. There should be no high talk about its being the sphere of imagination only because there is in that case no contact and because the reflection is very clear. Further the gross has never been made the object of thought, so that the idea qualified thereby may be clearly perceived, oven though at the back of it there may exist imaginative cognition. Further imagination is not confined to the knowledge of the thing itself as it exists in its own sphere, in the same way as knowledge free from the taint of imagination is. Further as imagination is not gross, it is not proper that it should be acting in the sphere of the gross. Therefore it is not possible that in the external cause there should be perceived grossness and externality, and hence it should bo considered to be false. And the false is not inseparable from the idea, because if it wore, the idea itself would become contemptible like the false, on account of its not comprehending everything. Further knowability being not pervaded by identity, how can it be the opposite of difference (bheda). As to the rule of coincidence of perception of the idea and of grossness, it is capable of explanation like that of the Sat and the Asat (the existent and the non-existent) either by their nature or by obstruction from some cause, oven though both of them exist independently. Hence these two arguments are not complete, and are therefore merely false similitudes of arguments, and they merely give rise to an imaginary conception of the non-existence of the external. Farther the power of perception cannot be done away with by mere imagination. It is therefore well said, ‘How do they give up the objective world on the strength of imaginative cognitions?’

By this also stands refuted the assertion that notions may be generated without there being any actual basis for them, as in the case of dream cognitions.

The imaginative creation of the thing to be known, has been refuted by establishing the existence of the substratum, the whole as being independent of the parts. Details will be found in the Nyāya-Kanika. More details need not be entered into here.—14.

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