Chapter V - BUDDHIST PHILOSOPHY

Surendranath Dasgupta

An artistic impression of Surendranath Dasgupta

by Surendranath Dasgupta

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Many scholars are of opinion that the Sâmkhya and the Yoga represent the earliest systematic speculations of India. It is also suggested that Buddhism drew much of its inspiration from them. It may be that there is some truth in such a view, but the systematic Sâmkhya and Yoga treatises as we have them had decidedly been written after Buddhism. Moreover it is well-known to every student of Hindu philosophy that a conflict with the Buddhists has largely stimulated philosophic enquiry in most of the systems of Hindu thought. A knowledge of Buddhism is therefore indispensable for a right understanding of the different systems in their mutual relation and opposition to Buddhism. It seems desirable therefore that I should begin with Buddhism first.

The State of Philosophy in India before the Buddha.

It is indeed difficult to give a short sketch of the different philosophical speculations that were prevalent in India before Buddhism. The doctrines of the Upanisads are well known, and these have already been briefly described. But these were not the only ones. Even in the Upanisads we find references to diverse atheistical creeds [Footnote ref 1]. We find there that the origin of the world and its processes were sometimes discussed, and some thought that "time" was the ultimate cause of all, others that all these had sprung forth by their own nature (_svabhâva_), others that everything had come forth in accordance with an inexorable destiny or a fortuitous concourse of accidental happenings, or through matter combinations in general. References to diverse kinds of heresies are found in Buddhist literature also, but no detailed accounts of these views are known. Of the Upanisad type of materialists the two schools of Cârvâkas (Dhûrtta and Sus'iksita) are referred to in later literature, though the time in which these flourished cannot rightly be discovered [Footnote ref 2]. But it seems


[Footnote 1: S'vetâs'vatara, I. 2, _kâlah svabhâbo niyatiryadrcchâ bhutâni yonih purusa iti cintyam._]

[Footnote 2: Lokâyata (literally, that which is found among people in general) seems to have been the name by which all carvâka doctrines were generally known. See Gunaratna on the Lokâyatas.]


probable however that the allusion to the materialists contained in the Upanisads refers to these or to similar schools. The Cârvâkas did not believe in the authority of the Vedas or any other holy scripture. According to them there was no soul. Life and consciousness were the products of the combination of matter, just as red colour was the result of mixing up white with yellow or as the power of intoxication was generated in molasses (_madas'akti_). There is no after-life, and no reward of actions, as there is neither virtue nor vice. Life is only for enjoyment. So long as it lasts it is needless to think of anything else, as everything will end with death, for when at death the body is burnt to ashes there cannot be any rebirth. They do not believe in the validity of inference. Nothing is trustworthy but what can be directly perceived, for it is impossible to determine that the distribution of the middle term (_hetu_) has not depended upon some extraneous condition, the absence of which might destroy the validity of any particular piece of inference. If in any case any inference comes to be true, it is only an accidental fact and there is no certitude about it. They were called Cârvâka because they would only eat but would not accept any other religious or moral responsibility. The word comes from _carv_ to eat. The Dhûrtta Cârvâkas held that there was nothing but the four elements of earth, water, air and fire, and that the body was but the result of atomic combination. There was no self or soul, no virtue or vice. The Sus'iksita Cârvâkas held that there was a soul apart from the body but that it also was destroyed with the destruction of the body. The original work of the Cârvâkas was written in sûtras probably by Brhaspati. Jayanta and Gunaratna quote two sûtras from it. Short accounts of this school may be found in Jayanta's _Nyâyamañjarî_, Mâdhava's _Sarvadars'anasamgraha_ and Gunaratna's _Tarkarahasyadîpikâ_. _Mahâbhârata_ gives an account of a man called Cârvâka meeting Yudhisthira.

Side by side with the doctrine of the Cârvâka materialists we are reminded of the Âjîvakas of which Makkhali Gosâla, probably a renegade disciple of the Jain saint Mahâvîra and a contemporary of Buddha and Mahâvîra, was the leader. This was a thorough-going determinism denying the free will of man and his moral responsibility for any so-called good or evil. The essence of Makkhali's system is this, that "there is no cause, either proximate or remote, for the depravity of beings or for their purity. They become so without any cause. Nothing depends either on one's own efforts or on the efforts of others, in short nothing depends on any human effort, for there is no such thing as power or energy, or human exertion. The varying conditions at any time are due to fate, to their environment and their own nature [Footnote ref 1]."

Another sophistical school led by Ajita Kesakambali taught that there was no fruit or result of good or evil deeds; there is no other world, nor was this one real; nor had parents nor any former lives any efficacy with respect to this life. Nothing that we can do prevents any of us alike from being wholly brought to an end at death [Footnote ref 2].

There were thus at least three currents of thought: firstly the sacrificial Karma by the force of the magical rites of which any person could attain anything he desired; secondly the Upanisad teaching that the Brahman, the self, is the ultimate reality and being, and all else but name and form which pass away but do not abide. That which permanently abides without change is the real and true, and this is self. Thirdly the nihilistic conceptions that there is no law, no abiding reality, that everything comes into being by a fortuitous concourse of circumstances or by some unknown fate. In each of these schools, philosophy had probably come to a deadlock. There were the Yoga practices prevalent in the country and these were accepted partly on the strength of traditional custom among certain sections, and partly by virtue of the great spiritual, intellectual and physical power which they gave to those who performed them. But these had no rational basis behind them on which they could lean for support. These were probably then just tending towards being affiliated to the nebulous Sâmkhya doctrines which had grown up among certain sections. It was at this juncture that we find Buddha erecting a new superstructure of thought on altogether original lines which thenceforth opened up a new avenue of philosophy for all posterity to come. If the Being of the Upanisads, the superlatively motionless, was the only real, how could it offer scope for further new speculations, as it had already discarded all other matters of interest? If everything was due to a reasonless fortuitous concourse of circumstances, reason could not proceed further in the direction to create any philosophy of the unreason. The magical


[Footnote 1: _Sâmaññaphala-sutta_, _Dîgha_, II. 20. Hoernlé's article on the Âjîvakas, E.R.E.]

[Footnote 2: _Sâmaññaphala-sutta_, II. 23.]


force of the hocus-pocus of sorcery or sacrifice had but little that was inviting for philosophy to proceed on. If we thus take into account the state of Indian philosophic culture before Buddha, we shall be better able to understand the value of the Buddhistic contribution to philosophy.

Buddha: his Life.

Gautama the Buddha was born in or about the year 560 B.C. in the Lumbini Grove near the ancient town of Kapilavastu in the now dense terai region of Nepal. His father was Suddhodana, a prince of the Sâkya clan, and his mother Queen Mahâmâyâ. According to the legends it was foretold of him that he would enter upon the ascetic life when he should see "A decrepit old man, a diseased man, a dead man, and a monk." His father tried his best to keep him away from these by marrying him and surrounding him with luxuries. But on successive occasions, issuing from the palace, he was confronted by those four things, which filled him with amazement and distress, and realizing the impermanence of all earthly things determined to forsake his home and try if he could to discover some means to immortality to remove the sufferings of men. He made his "Great Renunciation" when he was twenty-nine years old. He travelled on foot to Râjagrha (Rajgir) and thence to Uruvelâ, where in company with other five ascetics he entered upon a course of extreme self-discipline, carrying his austerities to such a length that his body became utterly emaciated and he fell down senseless and was believed to be dead. After six years of this great struggle he was convinced that the truth was not to be won by the way of extreme asceticism, and resuming an ordinary course of life at last attained absolute and supreme enlightenment. Thereafter the Buddha spent a life prolonged over forty-five years in travelling from place to place and preaching the doctrine to all who would listen. At the age of over eighty years Buddha realized that the time drew near for him to die. He then entered into Dhyana and passing through its successive stages attained nirvâna [Footnote ref 1]. The vast developments which the system of this great teacher underwent in the succeeding centuries in India and in other countries have not been thoroughly studied, and it will probably take yet many years more before even the materials for


[Footnote 1: _Mahâparinibbânasuttanta_, _Dîgha_, XVI. 6, 8, 9.]


such a study can be collected. But from what we now possess it is proved incontestably that it is one of the most wonderful and subtle productions of human wisdom. It is impossible to overestimate the debt that the philosophy, culture and civilization of India owe to it in all her developments for many succeeding centuries.

Early Buddhist Literature.

The Buddhist Pâli Scriptures contain three different collections: the Sutta (relating to the doctrines), the Vinaya (relating to the discipline of the monks) and the Abhidhamma (relating generally to the same subjects as the suttas but dealing with them in a scholastic and technical manner). Scholars of Buddhistic religious history of modern times have failed as yet to fix any definite dates for the collection or composition of the different parts of the aforesaid canonical literature of the Buddhists. The suttas were however composed before the Abhidhamma and it is very probable that almost the whole of the canonical works were completed before 241 B.C., the date of the third council during the reign of King Asoka. The suttas mainly deal with the doctrine (Dhamma) of the Buddhistic faith whereas the Vinaya deals only with the regulations concerning the discipline of the monks. The subject of the Abhidhamma is mostly the same as that of the suttas, namely, the interpretation of the Dhamma. Buddhaghosa in his introduction to _Atthasâlinî_, the commentary on the _Dhammasangani_, says that the Abhidhamma is so called (_abhi_ and _dhamma_) because it describes the same Dhammas as are related in the suttas in a more intensified (_dhammâtireka_) and specialized (_dhammavisesatthena_) manner. The Abhidhammas do not give any new doctrines that are not in the suttas, but they deal somewhat elaborately with those that are already found in the suttas. Buddhaghosa in distinguishing the special features of the suttas from the Abhidhammas says that the acquirement of the former leads one to attain meditation (_samâdhi_) whereas the latter leads one to attain wisdom (_paññâsampadam_). The force of this statement probably lies in this, that the dialogues of the suttas leave a chastening effect on the mind, the like of which is not to be found in the Abhidhammas, which busy themselves in enumerating the Buddhistic doctrines and defining them in a technical manner, which is more fitted to produce a reasoned insight into the doctrines than directly to generate a craving for following the path of meditation for the extinction of sorrow. The Abhidhamma known as the _Kathâvatthu_ differs from the other Abhidhammas in this, that it attempts to reduce the views of the heterodox schools to absurdity. The discussions proceed in the form of questions and answers, and the answers of the opponents are often shown to be based on contradictory assumptions.

The suttas contain five groups of collections called the Nikâyas. These are (1) _Dîgha Nikâya_, called so on account of the length of the suttas contained in it; (2) _Majjhima Nikâya_ (middling Nikâya), called so on account of the middling extent of the suttas contained in it; (3) _Samyutta Nikâya_ (Nikâyas relating to special meetings), called samyutta on account of their being delivered owing to the meetings (_samyoga_) of special persons which were the occasions for them; (4) _Anguttara Nikâya_, so called because in each succeeding book of this work the topics of discussion increase by one [Footnote ref 1]; (5) _Khuddaka Nikâya_ containing _Khuddaka pâtha, Dhammapada, Udâna, Itivuttaka, Sutta Nipâta, Vimâna-vatthu, Petavatthu, Theragathâ, Therîgathâ, Jâtaka, Niddesa, Patisambhidâmagga, Apadâna, Buddhavamsa, Caryâpitaka._

The Abhidhammas are _Patthâna, Dhammasangani, Dhâtukathâ, Puggalapaññatti, Vibhanga, Yamaka_ and _Kathâvatthu_. There exists also a large commentary literature on diverse parts of the above works known as atthakathâ. The work known as _Milinda Pañha_ (questions of King Milinda), of uncertain date, is of considerable philosophical value.

The doctrines and views incorporated in the above literature is generally now known as Sthaviravâda or Theravâda. On the origin of the name Theravâda (the doctrine of the elders) _Dîpavamsa_ says that since the Theras (elders) met (at the first council) and collected the doctrines it was known as the Thera Vâda [Footnote ref 2]. It does not appear that Buddhism as it appears in this Pâli literature developed much since the time of Buddhaghosa (4OO A.D.), the writer of _Visuddhimagga_ (a compendium of theravâda doctrines) and the commentator of _Dîghanikâya, Dhammasangani_, etc.

Hindu philosophy in later times seems to have been influenced by the later offshoots of the different schools of Buddhism, but it does not appear that Pâli Buddhism had any share in it. I


[Footnote 1: See Buddhaghosa's _Atthasâlini_, p. 25.]

[Footnote 2: Oldenberg's _Dîpavamsa_, p. 31.]


have not been able to discover any old Hindu writer who could be considered as being acquainted with Pâli.

The Doctrine of Causal Connection of early Buddhism [Footnote ref 1].

The word Dhamma in the Buddhist scriptures is used generally in four senses: (1) Scriptural texts, (2) quality (_guna_), (3) cause (_hetu_) and (4) unsubstantial and soulless (_nissatta nijjîva_ [Footnote ref 2]). Of these it is the last meaning which is particularly important, from the point of view of Buddhist philosophy. The early Buddhist philosophy did not accept any fixed entity as determining all reality; the only things with it were the unsubstantial phenomena and these were called dhammas. The question arises that if there is no substance or reality how are we to account for the phenomena? But the phenomena are happening and passing away and the main point of interest with the Buddha was to find out "What being what else is," "What happening what else happens" and "What not being what else is not." The phenomena are happening in a series and we see that there being certain phenomena there become some others; by the happening of some events others also are produced. This is called (_paticca-samuppâda_) dependent origination. But it is difficult to understand what is the exact nature of this dependence. The question as _Samyutta Nikâya_ (II. 5) has it with which the Buddha started before attaining Buddhahood was this: in what miserable condition are the people! they are born, they decay, they die, pass away and are born again; and they do not know the path of escape from this decay, death and misery.

How to know the Way to escape from this misery of decay and death. Then it occurred to him what being there, are decay and death, depending on what do they come? As he thought deeply into the root of the matter, it occurred to him that decay and death can only occur when there is birth (_jâti_), so they depend


[Footnote 1: There are some differences of opinion as to whether one could take the doctrine of the twelve links of causes as we find it in the _Samyutta Nikâya_ as the earliest Buddhist view, as Samyutta does not represent the oldest part of the suttas. But as this doctrine of the twelve causes became regarded as a fundamental Buddhist doctrine and as it gives us a start in philosophy I have not thought it fit to enter into conjectural discussions as to the earliest form. Dr E.J. Thomas drew my attention to this fact.]

[Footnote 2: _Atthasâtinî_, p. 38. There are also other senses in which the word is used, as _dhamma-desanâ_ where it means religious teaching. The _Lankâvatâra_ described Dharmma as _gunadravyapûrvakâ dharmmâ_, i.e. Dharmmas are those which are associated as attributes and substances.]


on birth. What being there, is there birth, on what does birth depend? Then it occurred to him that birth could only be if there were previous existence (_bhava_) [Footnote ref 1]. But on what does this existence depend, or what being there is there _bhava_. Then it occurred to him that there could not be existence unless there were holding fast (_upâdâna_) [Footnote ref 2]. But on what did upâdâna depend? It occurred to him that it was desire (_tanhâ_) on which upâdâna depended. There can be upâdâna if there is desire (_tanhâ_) [Footnote ref 3]. But what being there, can there be desire? To this question it occurred to him that there must be feeling (_vedanâ_) in order that there may be desire. But on what does vedanâ depend, or rather what must be there, that there may be feeling (_vedanâ_)? To this it occurred to him that there must be a sense-contact (_phassa_) in order that there may be feeling [Footnote ref 4]. If there should be no sense-contact there would be no feeling. But on what does sense-contact depend? It occurred to him that as there are six sense-contacts, there are the six fields of contact (_âyatana_) [Footnote ref 5]. But on what do the six âyatanas depend? It occurred to him that there must be the mind and body (_nâmarûpa_) in order that there may be the six fields of contact [Footnote ref 6]; but on what does nâmarûpa depend? It occurred to him that without consciousness (_viññâna_) there could be no nâmarûpa [Footnote ref 8]. But what being there would there


[Footnote 1: This word bhava is interpreted by Candrakîrtti in his _Mâdhyamîka vrtti,_ p. 565 (La Vallée Poussin's edition) as the deed which brought about rebirth (_punarbhavajanakam karma samutthâpayali kâyena vâcâ manasâ ca_).]

[Footnote 2: _Atthasâlinî_, p. 385, upâdânantidalhagahanam. Candrakîrtti in explaining upâdâna says that whatever thing a man desires he holds fast to the materials necessary for attaining it (_yatra vastuni satrsnastasya vastuno 'rjanâya vidhapanâya upâdânamupâdatte tatra tatra prârthayate_). _Mâdhyamîka vrtti_, p. 565.]

[Footnote 3: Candrakîrtti describes trsnâ as _âsvadanâbhinandanâdhyavasânasthânâdâtmapriyarûpairviyogo mâ bhût, nityamaparityâgo bhavediti, yeyam prârthanâ_--the desire that there may not ever be any separation from those pleasures, etc., which are dear to us. _Ibid._ 565.]

[Footnote 4: We read also of phassâyatana and phassakâya. _M. N._ II. 261, III. 280, etc. Candrakîrtti says that _sadbhirâyatanadvâraih krtyaprakriyâh pravarttante prajñâyante. tannâmarûpapratyayam sadâyatanamucyate. sadbhyas`câyatanebhyah satspars`akâyâh pravarttante. M.V._ 565.]

[Footnote 5: Âyatana means the six senses together with their objects. Âyatana literally is "Field of operation." Salâyatana means six senses as six fields of operation. Candrakîrtti has _âyatanadvâraih_.]

[Footnote 6: I have followed the translation of Aung in rendering nâmarûpa as mind and body, _Compendium_, p. 271. This seems to me to be fairly correct. The four skandhas are called nâma in each birth. These together with rûpa (matter) give us nâmarûpa (mind and body) which being developed render the activities through the six sense-gates possible so that there may be knowledge. Cf. _M. V._ 564. Govindânanda, the commentator on S'ankara's bhâsya on the _Brahma sûtras_ (II. ii. 19), gives a different interpretation of Namarûpa which may probably refer to the Vijñanavada view though we have no means at hand to verify it. He says--To think the momentary as the permanent is Avidya; from there come the samskaras of attachment, antipathy or anger, and infatuation; from there the first vijñana or thought of the foetus is produced, from that alayavijnana, and the four elements (which are objects of name and are hence called nama) are produced, and from those are produced the white and black, semen and blood called rûpa. Both Vacaspati and Amalananda agree with Govindananda in holding that nama signifies the semen and the ovum while rûpa means the visible physical body built out of them. Vijñaña entered the womb and on account of it namarupa were produced through the association of previous karma. See _Vedantakalpataru_, pp 274, 275. On the doctrine of the entrance of vijñaña into the womb compare _D N_ II. 63.]


be viññâna. Here it occurred to him that in order that there might be viññâna there must be the conformations (_sankhâra_) [Footnote ref 1]. But what being there are there the sankhâras? Here it occurred to him that the sankhâras can only be if there is ignorance (_avijjâ_). If avijjâ could be stopped then the sankhâras will be stopped, and if the sankhâras could be stopped viññâna could be stopped and so on [Footnote ref 2].

It is indeed difficult to be definite as to what the Buddha actually wished to mean by this cycle of dependence of existence sometimes called Bhavacakra (wheel of existence). Decay and death (_jarâmarana_) could not have happened if there was no birth [Footnote ref 3]. This seems to be clear. But at this point the difficulty begins. We must remember that the theory of rebirth was


[Footnote 1: It is difficult to say what is the exact sense of the word here. The Buddha was one of the first few earliest thinkers to introduce proper philosophical terms and phraseology with a distinct philosophical method and he had often to use the same word in more or less different senses. Some of the philosophical terms at least are therefore rather elastic when compared with the terms of precise and definite meaning which we find in later Sanskrit thought. Thus in _S N_ III. p. 87, "_Sankhatam abdisankharonta_," sankhara means that which synthesises the complexes. In the _Compendium_ it is translated as will, action. Mr. Aung thinks that it means the same as karma; it is here used in a different sense from what we find in the word sankhâta khandha (viz mental states). We get a list of 51 mental states forming sankhâta khandha in _Dhamma Sangam_, p 18, and another different set of 40 mental states in _Dharmasamgraha_, p. 6. In addition to these forty _cittasamprayuktasamskâra_, it also counts thirteen _cittaviprayuktasamskara_. Candrakirtti interprets it as meaning attachment, antipathy and infatuation, p 563. Govindananda, the commentator on S'ankara's _Brahma sutra_ (II. ii. 19), also interprets the word in connection with the doctrine of _Pratityasamutpada_ as attachment, antipathy and infatuation.]

[Footnote 2: _Samyutta Nikaya_, II. 7-8.]

[Footnote 3: Jara and marana bring in s'oka (grief), paridevanâ (lamentation), duhkha (suffering), daurmanasya (feeling of wretchedness and miserableness) and upayasa (feeling of extreme destitution) at the prospect of one's death or the death of other dear ones. All these make up suffering and are the results of jâti (birth). _M. V._ (B.T.S.p. 208). S'ankara in his bhâsya counted all the terms from jarâ, separately. The whole series is to be taken as representing the entirety of duhkhaskandha.]


enunciated in the Upanisads. The Brhadâranyaka says that just as an insect going to the end of a leaf of grass by a new effort collects itself in another so does the soul coming to the end of this life collect itself in another. This life thus presupposes another existence. So far as I remember there has seldom been before or after Buddha any serious attempt to prove or disprove the doctrine of rebirth [Footnote ref 1]. All schools of philosophy except the Cârvâkas believed in it and so little is known to us of the Cârvâka sûtras that it is difficult to say what they did to refute this doctrine. The Buddha also accepts it as a fact and does not criticize it. This life therefore comes only as one which had an infinite number of lives before, and which except in the case of a few emancipated ones would have an infinite number of them in the future. It was strongly believed by all people, and the Buddha also, when he came to think to what our present birth might be due, had to fall back upon another existence (_bhava_). If bhava means karma which brings rebirth as Candrakîrtti takes it to mean, then it would mean that the present birth could only take place on account of the works of a previous existence which determined it. Here also we are reminded of the Upanisad note "as a man does so will he be born" (_Yat karma kurute tadabhisampadyate_, Brh IV. iv. 5). Candrakîrtti's interpretation of "bhava" as Karma (_punarbhavajanakam karma_) seems to me to suit better than "existence." The word was probably used rather loosely for _kammabhava_. The word bhava is not found in the earlier Upanisads and was used in the Pâli scriptures for the first time as a philosophical term. But on what does this bhava depend? There could not have been a previous existence if people had not betaken themselves to things or works they desired. This betaking oneself to actions or things in accordance with desire is called upâdâna. In the Upanisads we read, "whatever one betakes himself to, so does he work" (_Yatkraturbhavati tatkarmma kurute_, Brh. IV. iv. 5). As this betaking to the thing depends upon desire {_trsnâ_}, it is said that in order that there may be upâdâna there must be tanhâ. In the Upanisads also we read "Whatever one desires so does he betake himself to" (_sa yathâkâmo bhavati tatkraturbhavati_). Neither the word upâdâna nor trsnâ (the Sanskrit word corresponding


[Footnote 1: The attempts to prove the doctrine of rebirth in the Hindu philosophical works such as the Nyâya, etc., are slight and inadequate.]


to tanhâ) is found in the earlier Upanisads, but the ideas contained in them are similar to the words "_kratu_" and "_kâma_." Desire (tanhâ) is then said to depend on feeling or sense-contact. Sense-contact presupposes the six senses as fields of operation [Footnote ref 1]. These six senses or operating fields would again presuppose the whole psychosis of the man (the body and the mind together) called nâmarûpa. We are familiar with this word in the Upanisads but there it is used in the sense of determinate forms and names as distinguished from the indeterminate indefinable reality [Footnote ref 2]. Buddhaghosa in the _Visuddhimagga_ says that by "Name" are meant the three groups beginning with sensation (i.e. sensation, perception and the predisposition); by "Form" the four elements and form derivative from the four elements [Footnote ref 3]. He further says that name by itself can produce physical changes, such as eating, drinking, making movements or the like. So form also cannot produce any of those changes by itself. But like the cripple and the blind they mutually help one another and effectuate the changes [Footnote ref 4]. But there exists no heap or collection of material for the production of Name and Form; "but just as when a lute is played upon, there is no previous store of sound; and when the sound comes into existence it does not come from any such store; and when it ceases, it does not go to any of the cardinal or intermediate points of the compass;...in exactly the same way all the elements of being both those with form and those without, come into existence after having previously been non-existent and having come into existence pass away [Footnote ref 5]." Nâmarûpa taken in this sense will not mean the whole of mind and body, but only the sense functions and the body which are found to operate in the six doors of sense (_salâyatana_). If we take nâmarûpa in this sense, we can see that it may be said to depend upon the viññâna (consciousness). Consciousness has been compared in the _Milinda Pañha_ with a watchman at the middle of


[Footnote 1: The word âyatana is found in many places in the earlier Upanisads in the sense of "field or place," Châ. I. 5, Brh. III. 9. 10, but sadâyatana does not occur.]

[Footnote 2: Candrakîrtti interprets nâma as _Vedanâdayo' rûpinas'catvârah skandhâstatra tatra bhave nâmayantîli nâma. saha rûpaskandhena ca nâma rûpam ceti nâmarûpamucyate._ The four skandhas in each specific birth act as name. These together with rûpa make nâmarûpa. _M. V._ 564.]

[Footnote 3: Warren's _Buddhism in Translations_, p. 184.]

[Footnote 4: _Ibid._ p. 185, _Visuddhimagga_, Ch. XVII.]

[Footnote 5: _Ibid._ pp. 185-186, _Visuddhimagga_, Ch. XVII.]


the cross-roads beholding all that come from any direction [Footnote ref 1]. Buddhaghosa in the _Atthasâlinî_ also says that consciousness means that which thinks its object. If we are to define its characteristics we must say that it knows (_vijânana_), goes in advance (_pubbangama_), connects (_sandhâna_), and stands on nâmarûpa (_nâmarûpapadatthânam_). When the consciousness gets a door, at a place the objects of sense are discerned (_ârammana-vibhâvanatthâne_) and it goes first as the precursor. When a visual object is seen by the eye it is known only by the consciousness, and when the dhammas are made the objects of (mind) mano, it is known only by the consciousness [Footnote ref 2]. Buddhaghosa also refers here to the passage in the _Milinda Pañha_ we have just referred to. He further goes on to say that when states of consciousness rise one after another, they leave no gap between the previous state and the later and consciousness therefore appears as connected. When there are the aggregates of the five khandhas it is lost; but there are the four aggregates as nâmarûpa, it stands on nâma and therefore it is said that it stands on nâmarûpa. He further asks, Is this consciousness the same as the previous consciousness or different from it? He answers that it is the same. Just so, the sun shows itself with all its colours, etc., but he is not different from those in truth; and it is said that just when the sun rises, its collected heat and yellow colour also rise then, but it does not mean that the sun is different from these. So the citta or consciousness takes the phenomena of contact, etc., and cognizes them. So though it is the same as they are yet in a sense it is different from them [Footnote ref 3].

To go back to the chain of twelve causes, we find that jâti (birth) is the cause of decay and death, _jarâmarana_, etc. Jâti is the appearance of the body or the totality of the five skandhas [Footnote ref 4]. Coming to bhava which determines jâti, I cannot think of any better rational explanation of bhava, than that I have already


[Footnote 1: Warren's _Buddhism in Translations_, p. 182, _Milinda Pañha_ (628).]

[Footnote 2: _Atthasâlinî_, p. 112...]

[Footnote 3: _Ibid._ p. 113, _Yathâ hi rûpâdîni upâdâya paññattâ suriyâdayo na atthato rûpâdîhi aññe honti ten' eva yasmin samaye suriyo udeti tasmin samaye tassa tejâ-sankhâtam rûpam pîti evam vuccamâne pi na rûpâdihi añño suriyo nâma atthi. Tathâ cittam phassâdayo dhamme upâdâya paññapiyati. Atthato pan' ettha tehi aññam eva. Tena yasmin samaye cittam uppannam hoti ekamsen eva tasmin samaye phassâdihi atthato aññad eva hotî ti_.]

[Footnote 4: "_Jâtirdehajanma pañcaskandhasamudâyah,_" Govindânanda's _Ratnaprabhâ_ on S'ankara's bhâsya, II. ii. 19.]


suggested, namely, the works (_karma_) which produce the birth [Footnote ref 1]. Upâdâna is an advanced trsnâ leading to positive clinging [Footnote ref 2]. It is produced by trsnâ (desire) which again is the result of vedanâ (pleasure and pain). But this vedanâ is of course vedanâ with ignorance (_avidyâ_), for an Arhat may have also vedanâ but as he has no avidyâ, the vedanâ cannot produce trsnâ in turn. On its development it immediately passes into upâdâna. Vedanâ means pleasurable, painful or indifferent feeling. On the one side it leads to trsnâ (desire) and on the other it is produced by sense-contact (_spars'a_). Prof. De la Vallée Poussin says that S'rîlâbha distinguishes three processes in the production of vedanâ. Thus first there is the contact between the sense and the object; then there is the knowledge of the object, and then there is the vedanâ. Depending on _Majjhima Nikâya_, iii. 242, Poussin gives the other opinion that just as in the case of two sticks heat takes place simultaneously with rubbing, so here also vedanâ takes place simultaneously with spars'a for they are "produits par un même complexe de causes (_sâmagrî_) [Footnote ref 3]."

Spars'a is produced by sadâyatana, sadâyatana by nâmarûpa, and nâmarûpa by vijñâna, and is said to descend in the womb of the mother and produce the five skandhas as nâmarûpa, out of which the six senses are specialized.

Vijñâna in this connection probably means the principle or germ of consciousness in the womb of the mother upholding the five elements of the new body there. It is the product of the past karmas (_sankhâra_) of the dying man and of his past consciousness too.

We sometimes find that the Buddhists believed that the last thoughts of the dying man determined the nature of his next


[Footnote 1: Govindananda in his _Ratnaprabhâ_ on S'ankara's bhâsya, II. ii. 19, explains "bhava" as that from which anything becomes, as merit and demerit (_dharmâdi_). See also _Vibhanga_, p. 137 and Warren's _Buddhism in Translations_, p. 201. Mr Aung says in _Abhidhammatthasangaha_, p. 189, that bhavo includes kammabhavo (the active side of an existence) and upapattibhavo (the passive side). And the commentators say that bhava is a contraction of "_kammabhava_" or Karma-becoming i.e. karmic activity.]

[Footnote 2: Prof. De la Vallée Poussin in his _Théoric des Douze Causes_, p. 26, says that _S'âlistambhasûtra_ explains the word "upâdâna" as "trsnâvaipulya" or hyper-trsnâ and Candrakîrtti also gives the same meaning, _M. V._ (B.T.S.p. 210). Govmdânanda explains "upâdâna" as pravrtti (movement) generated by trsnâ (desire), i.e. the active tendency in pursuance of desire. But if upâdâna means "support" it would denote all the five skandhas. Thus _Madhyamaka vrtti_ says _upâdânam pañcaskandhalaksanam...pañcopâdânaskandhâkhyam upâdânam. M.V._ XXVII. 6.]

[Footnote 3: Poussin's _Théorie des Douze Causes_, p. 23.


birth [Footnote ref 1]. The manner in which the vijñâna produced in the womb is determined by the past vijñâna of the previous existence is according to some authorities of the nature of a reflected image, like the transmission of learning from the teacher to the disciple, like the lighting of a lamp from another lamp or like the impress of a stamp on wax. As all the skandhas are changing in life, so death also is but a similar change; there is no great break, but the same uniform sort of destruction and coming into being. New skandhas are produced as simultaneously as the two scale pans of a balance rise up and fall, in the same manner as a lamp is lighted or an image is reflected. At the death of the man the vijñâna resulting from his previous karmas and vijñânas enters into the womb of that mother (animal, man or the gods) in which the next skandhas are to be matured. This vijñâna thus forms the principle of the new life. It is in this vijñâna that name (_nâma_) and form (_rûpa_) become associated.

The vijñâna is indeed a direct product of the samskâras and the sort of birth in which vijñâna should bring down (_nâmayati_) the new existence (_upapatti_) is determined by the samskâras [Footnote ref 2], for in reality the happening of death (_maranabhava_) and the instillation of the vijñâna as the beginning of the new life (_upapattibhava_) cannot be simultaneous, but the latter succeeds just at the next moment, and it is to signify this close succession that they are said to be simultaneous. If the vijñâna had not entered the womb then no nâmarûpa could have appeared [Footnote ref 3].

This chain of twelve causes extends over three lives. Thus avidyâ and samskâra of the past life produce the vijñâna, nâmarupa,


[Footnote 1: The deities of the gardens, the woods, the trees and the plants, finding the master of the house, Citta, ill said "make your resolution, 'May I be a cakravarttî king in a next existence,'" _Samyutta_, IV. 303.]

[Footnote 2: "_sa cedânandavijñânam mâtuhkuksim nâvakrâmeta, na tat kalalam kalalatvâya sannivartteta_," _M. V._ 552. Compare _Caraka, S'ârîra_, III. 5-8, where he speaks of a "upapîduka sattva" which connects the soul with body and by the absence of which the character is changed, the senses become affected and life ceases, when it is in a pure condition one can remember even the previous births; character, purity, antipathy, memory, fear, energy, all mental qualities are produced out of it. Just as a chariot is made by the combination of many elements, so is the foetus.]

[Footnote 3: _Madhyamaka vriti_ (B.T.S. 202-203). Poussin quotes from _Dîgha_, II. 63, "si le vijñâna ne descendait pas dans le sein maternel la namarupa s'y constituerait-il?" Govindânanda on S'ankara's commentary on the _Brahma-sûtras_ (II. ii. 19) says that the first consciousness (vijñâna) of the foetus is produced by the samskâras of the previous birth, and from that the four elements (which he calls nâma) and from that the white and red, semen and ovum, and the first stage of the foetus (_kalala-budbudâvasthâ_} is produced.]


sadâyatana, spars'a, vedanâ, trsnâ, upâdâna and the bhava (leading to another life) of the present actual life. This bhava produces the jâti and jarâmarana of the next life [Footnote ref l].

It is interesting to note that these twelve links in the chain extending in three sections over three lives are all but the manifestations of sorrow to the bringing in of which they naturally determine one another. Thus _Abhidhammatthasangaha_ says "each of these twelve terms is a factor. For the composite term 'sorrow,' etc. is only meant to show incidental consequences of birth. Again when 'ignorance' and 'the actions of the mind' have been taken into account, craving (_trsnâ_), grasping (_upâdâna_) and (_karma_) becoming (_bhava_) are implicitly accounted for also. In the same manner when craving, grasping and (_karma_) becoming have been taken into account, ignorance and the actions of the mind are (implicitly) accounted for, also; and when birth, decay, and death are taken into account, even the fivefold fruit, to wit (rebirth), consciousness, and the rest are accounted for. And thus:

Five causes in the Past and Now a fivefold 'fruit.'

Five causes Now and yet to come a fivefold 'fruit' make up the Twenty Modes, the Three Connections (1. sankhâra and viññâna, 2. vedanâ and tanhâ, 3. bhava and jâti) and the four groups (one causal group in the Past, one resultant group in the Present, one causal group in the Present and one resultant group in the Future, each group consisting of five modes) [Footnote ref 2]."

These twelve interdependent links (_dvâdas'ânga_) represent the paticcasamuppâda (_pratâtyasamutpâda_) doctrines (dependent origination) [Footnote ref 3] which are themselves but sorrow and lead to cycles of sorrow. The term paticcasamuppâda or pratîtyasamutpâda has been differently interpreted in later Buddhist literature [Footnote ref 4].


[Footnote 1: This explanation probably cannot be found in the early Pâli texts; but Buddhaghosa mentions it in _Sumangalavilâsinî_ on _Mahânidâna suttanta_. We find it also in _Abhidhammatthasangaha_, VIII. 3. Ignorance and the actions of the mind belong to the past; "birth," "decay and death" to the future; the intermediate eight to the present. It is styled as trikândaka (having three branches) in _Abhidkarmakos'a_, III. 20-24. Two in the past branch, two in the future and eight in the middle "_sa pratîtyasamutpâdo dvâdas'ângastrikândakah pûrvâparântayordve dve madhyestau_."]

[Footnote 2: Aung and Mrs Rhys Davids' translation of _Abhidhammatthasangaha_, pp. 189-190.]

[Footnote 3: The twelve links are not always constant. Thus in the list given in the _Dialogues of the Buddha_, II. 23 f., avijjâ and sankhâra have been omitted and the start has been made with consciousness, and it has been said that "Cognition turns back from name and form; it goes not beyond."]

[Footnote 4: _M. V._ p. 5 f.]


Samutpâda means appearance or arising (_prâdurbhdâva_) and pratîtya means after getting (_prati+i+ya_); combining the two we find, arising after getting (something). The elements, depending on which there is some kind of arising, are called hetu (cause) and paccaya (ground). These two words however are often used in the same sense and are interchangeable. But paccaya is also used in a specific sense. Thus when it is said that avijjâ is the paccaya of sankhâra it is meant that avijjâ is the ground (_thiti_) of the origin of the sankhâras, is the ground of their movement, of the instrument through which they stand (_nimittatthiti_), of their ayuhana (conglomeration), of their interconnection, of their intelligibility, of their conjoint arising, of their function as cause and of their function as the ground with reference to those which are determined by them. Avijjâ in all these nine ways is the ground of sankhâra both in the past and also in the future, though avijjâ itself is determined in its turn by other grounds [Footnote ref 1]. When we take the betu aspect of the causal chain, we cannot think of anything else but succession, but when we take the paccaya aspect we can have a better vision into the nature of the cause as ground. Thus when avijjâ is said to be the ground of the sankhâras in the nine ways mentioned above, it seems reasonable to think that the sankhâras were in some sense regarded as special manifestations of avijjâ [Footnote ref 2]. But as this point was not further developed in the early Buddhist texts it would be unwise to proceed further with it.

The Khandhas.

The word khandha (Skr. skandha) means the trunk of a tree and is generally used to mean group or aggregate [Footnote ref 3]. We have seen that Buddha said that there was no âtman (soul). He said that when people held that they found the much spoken of soul, they really only found the five khandhas together or any one of them. The khandhas are aggregates of bodily and psychical states which are immediate with us and are divided into five


[Footnote 1: See _Patisambhidâmagga_, vol. I.p. 50; see also _Majjhima Nikâya_, I. 67, _sankhâra...avijjânidânâ avijjâsamudayâ avijjâjâtikâ avijjâpabhavâ_.]

[Footnote 2: In the Yoga derivation of asmitâ (egoism), râga (attachment), dvesa (antipathy) and abhinives'a (self love) from avidyâ we find also that all the five are regarded as the five special stages of the growth of avidyâ (_pañcaparvî avidyâ_).]

[Footnote 3: The word skandha is used in Chândogya, II. 23 (_trayo dharmaskandhâh yajñah adhyayanam dânam_) in the sense of branches and in almost the same sense in Maitrî, VII. II.]


classes: (1) rûpa (four elements, the body, the senses), sense data, etc., (2) vedanâ (feeling--pleasurable, painful and indifferent), (3) saññâ (conceptual knowledge), (4) sankhâra (synthetic mental states and the synthetic functioning of compound sense-affections, compound feelings and compound concepts), (5) viññâna (consciousness) [Footnote ref 1].

All these states rise depending one upon the other (_paticcasamuppanna_) and when a man says that he perceives the self he only deludes himself, for he only perceives one or more of these. The word rûpa in rûpakhandha stands for matter and material qualities, the senses, and the sense data [Footnote ref 2]. But "rûpa" is also used in the sense of pure organic affections or states of mind as we find in the _Khandha Yamaka_, I.p. 16, and also in _Samyutta Nikâya_, III. 86. Rûpaskandha according to _Dharmasamgraha_ means the aggregate of five senses, the five sensations, and the implicatory communications associated in sense perceptions _vijñapti_).

The elaborate discussion of _Dhammasangani_ begins by defining rûpa as "_cattâro ca mahâbhûtâ catunnañca mahâbhntanam upâdâya rûpam_" (the four mahâbhûtas or elements and that proceeding from the grasping of that is called rûpa) [Footnote ref 3]. Buddhaghosa explains it by saying that rûpa means the four mahâbhûtas and those which arise depending (_nissâya_) on them as a modification of them. In the rûpa the six senses including their affections are also included. In explaining why the four elements are called mahâbhûtas, Buddhaghosa says: "Just as a magician (_mâyâkâra_) makes the water which is not hard appear as hard, makes the stone which is not gold appear as gold; just as he himself though not a ghost nor a bird makes himself appear as a ghost or a bird, so these elements though not themselves blue make themselves appear as blue (_nîlam upâdâ rûpam_), not yellow, red, or white make themselves appear as yellow, red or white (odâtam upâdârûpam), so on account of their similarity to the appearances created by the magician they are called mahâbhûta [Footnote ref 4]."

In the _Samyutta Nikâya_ we find that the Buddha says, "O Bhikkhus it is called rûpam because it manifests (_rûpyati_); how


[Footnote 1: _Samyutta Nikâya_, III. 86, etc.]

[Footnote 2: _Abhidhammatthasangaha_, J.P.T.S. 1884, p. 27 ff.]

[Footnote 3: _Dhammasangani_, pp. 124-179.]

[Footnote 4: _Atthasâlinî_, p. 299.]


does it manifest? It manifests as cold, and as heat, as hunger and as thirst, it manifests as the touch of gnats, mosquitos, wind, the sun and the snake; it manifests, therefore it is called rûpa [Footnote ref 1]."

If we take the somewhat conflicting passages referred to above for our consideration and try to combine them so as to understand what is meant by rûpa, I think we find that that which manifested itself to the senses and organs was called rûpa. No distinction seems to have been made between the sense-data as colours, smells, etc., as existing in the physical world and their appearance as sensations. They were only numerically different and the appearance of the sensations was dependent upon the sense-data and the senses but the sense-data and the sensations were "rûpa." Under certain conditions the sense-data were followed by the sensations. Buddhism did not probably start with the same kind of division of matter and mind as we now do. And it may not be out of place to mention that such an opposition and duality were found neither in the Upanisads nor in the Sâmkhya system which is regarded by some as pre-Buddhistic. The four elements manifested themselves in certain forms and were therefore called rûpa; the forms of affection that appeared were also called rûpa; many other mental states or features which appeared with them were also called rûpa [Footnote ref 2]. The âyatanas or the senses were also called rûpa [Footnote ref 3]. The mahâbhûtas or four elements were themselves but changing manifestations, and they together with all that appeared in association with them were called rûpa and formed the rûpa khandha (the classes of sense-materials, sense-data, senses and sensations).

In _Samyutta Nikâya_ (III. 101) it is said that "the four mahâbhûtas were the hetu and the paccaya for the communication of the rûpakkhandha (_rûpakkhandhassa paññâpanâya_). Contact (sense-contact, phassa) is the cause of the communication of feelings (_vedanâ_); sense-contact was also the hetu and paccaya for the communication of the saññâkkhandha; sense-contact is also the hetu and paccaya for the communication of the sankhârakkhandha. But nâmarûpa is the hetu and the paccaya for the communication of the viññânakkhandha." Thus not only feelings arise on account of the sense-contact but saññâ and sankhâra also arise therefrom. Saññâ is that where specific knowing or


[Footnote 1: _Samyutta Nikâya_, III. 86.]

[Footnote 2: _Khandhayamaka_.]

[Footnote 3: _Dhammasangani_, p. 124 ff.]


conceiving takes place. This is the stage where the specific distinctive knowledge as the yellow or the red takes place.

Mrs. Rhys Davids writing on saññâ says: "In editing the second book of the Abhidhamma pitaka I found a classification distinguishing between saññâ as cognitive assimilation on occasion of sense, and saññâ as cognitive assimilation of ideas by way of naming. The former is called perception of resistance, or opposition (_patigha-saññâ_). This, writes Buddhaghosa, is perception on occasion of sight, hearing, etc., when consciousness is aware of the impact of impressions; of external things as different, we might say. The latter is called perception of the equivalent word or name (_adhivachânâ-saññâ_) and is exercised by the _sensus communis_ (mano), when e.g. 'one is seated...and asks another who is thoughtful: "What are you thinking of?" one perceives through his speech.' Thus there are two stages of saññâ-consciousness, 1. contemplating sense-impressions, 2. ability to know what they are by naming [Footnote ref 1]."

About sankhâra we read in _Samyutta Nikâya_ (III. 87) that it is called sankhâra because it synthesises (_abhisankharonti_), it is that which conglomerated rûpa as rûpa, conglomerated saññâ as saññâ, sankhâra as sankhâra and consciousness (_viññâna_) as consciousness. It is called sankhâra because it synthesises the conglomerated (_sankhatam abhisankharonti_). It is thus a synthetic function which synthesises the passive rûpa, saññâ, sankhâra and viññâna elements. The fact that we hear of 52 sankhâra states and also that the sankhâra exercises its synthetic activity on the conglomerated elements in it, goes to show that probably the word sankhâra is used in two senses, as mental states and as synthetic activity.

Viññâna or consciousness meant according to Buddhaghosa, as we have already seen in the previous section, both the stage at which the intellectual process started and also the final resulting consciousness.

Buddhaghosa in explaining the process of Buddhist psychology says that "consciousness(_citta_)first comes into touch (_phassa_) with its object (_ârammana_) and thereafter feeling, conception (_saññâ_) and volition (_cetanâ_) come in. This contact is like the pillars of a palace, and the rest are but the superstructure built upon it (_dabbasambhârasadisâ_). But it should not be thought that contact


[Footnote 1: _Buddhist Psychology_, pp. 49, 50.]


is the beginning of the psychological processes, for in one whole consciousness (_ekacittasmim_) it cannot be said that this comes first and that comes after, so we can take contact in association with feeling (_vedanâ_), conceiving (_saññâ_) or volition (_cetanâ_); it is itself an immaterial state but yet since it comprehends objects it is called contact." "There is no impinging on one side of the object (as in physical contact), nevertheless contact causes consciousness and object to be in collision, as visible object and visual organs, sound and hearing; thus impact is its _function_; or it has impact as its _essential property_ in the sense of attainment, owing to the impact of the physical basis with the mental object. For it is said in the Commentary:--"contact in the four planes of existence is never without the characteristic of touch with the object; but the function of impact takes place in the five doors. For to sense, or five-door contact, is given the name 'having the characteristic of touch' as well as 'having the function of impact.' But to contact in the mind-door there is only the characteristic of touch, but not the function of impact. And then this Sutta is quoted 'As if, sire, two rams were to fight, one ram to represent the eye, the second the visible object, and their collision contact. And as if, sire, two cymbals were to strike against each other, or two hands were to clap against each other; one hand would represent the eye, the second the visible object and their collision contact. Thus contact has the characteristic of touch and the function of impact [Footnote ref 1]'. Contact is the manifestation of the union of the three (the object, the consciousness and the sense) and its effect is feeling (_vedanâ_); though it is generated by the objects it is felt in the consciousness and its chief feature is experiencing (_anubhava_) the taste of the object. As regards enjoying the taste of an object, the remaining associated states enjoy it only partially. Of contact there is (the function of) the mere touching, of perception the mere noting or perceiving, of volition the mere coordinating, of consciousness the mere cognizing. But feeling alone, through governance, proficiency, mastery, enjoys the taste of an object. For feeling is like the king, the remaining states are like the cook. As the cook, when he has prepared food of diverse tastes, puts it in a basket, seals it, takes it to the king, breaks the seal, opens the basket, takes the best of all the soup and curries, puts them in a dish, swallows (a portion) to find out


[Footnote 1: _Atthasâlinî_, p. 108; translation, pp. 143-144.]


whether they are faulty or not and afterwards offers the food of various excellent tastes to the king, and the king, being lord, expert, and master, eats whatever he likes, even so the mere tasting of the food by the cook is like the partial enjoyment of the object by the remaining states, and as the cook tastes a portion of the food, so the remaining states enjoy a portion of the object, and as the king, being lord, expert and master, eats the meal according to his pleasure so feeling being lord expert, and master, enjoys the taste of the object and therefore it is said that enjoyment or experience is its function [Footnote ref 1]."

The special feature of saññâ is said to be the recognizing (_paccabhiññâ_) by means of a sign (_abhiññânena_). According to another explanation, a recognition takes place by the inclusion of the totality (of aspects)--_sabbasangahikavasena_. The work of volition (_cetanâ_) is said to be coordination or binding together (_abhisandahana_). "Volition is exceedingly energetic and makes a double effort, a double exertion. Hence the Ancients said 'Volition is like the nature of a landowner, a cultivator who taking fifty-five strong men, went down to the fields to reap. He was exceedingly energetic and exceedingly strenuous; he doubled his strength and said "Take your sickles" and so forth, pointed out the portion to be reaped, offered them drink, food, scent, flowers, etc., and took an equal share of the work.' The simile should be thus applied: volition is like the cultivator, the fifty-five moral states which arise as factors of consciousness are like the fifty-five strong men; like the time of doubling strength, doubling effort by the cultivator is the doubled strength, doubled effort of volition as regards activity in moral and immoral acts [Footnote ref 2]." It seems that probably the active side operating in sankhâra was separately designated as cetanâ (volition).

"When one says 'I,' what he does is that he refers either to all the khandhas combined or any one of them and deludes himself that that was 'I.' Just as one could not say that the fragrance of the lotus belonged to the petals, the colour or the pollen, so one could not say that the rûpa was 'I' or that the vedanâ was 'I' or any of the other khandhas was 'I.' There is nowhere to be found in the khandhas 'I am [Footnote ref 3]'."


[Footnote 1: _Atthasâlinî_, pp. 109-110; translation, pp. 145-146.]

[Footnote 2: _Ibid._ p. 111; translation, pp. 147-148.]

[Footnote 3: _Samyutta Nikâya_, III. 130.]


Avijjâ and Âsava.

As to the question how the avijjâ (ignorance) first started there can be no answer, for we could never say that either ignorance or desire for existence ever has any beginning [Footnote ref 1]. Its fruition is seen in the cycle of existence and the sorrow that comes in its train, and it comes and goes with them all. Thus as we can never say that it has any beginning, it determines the elements which bring about cycles of existence and is itself determined by certain others. This mutual determination can only take place in and through the changing series of dependent phenomena, for there is nothing which can be said to have any absolute priority in time or stability. It is said that it is through the coming into being of the âsavas or depravities that the avijjâ came into being, and that through the destruction of the depravities (_âsava_) the avijjâ was destroyed [Footnote ref 2]. These âsavas are classified in the _Dhammasangani_ as kâmâsava, bhavâsava, ditthâsava and avijjâsava. Kâmâsava means desire, attachment, pleasure, and thirst after the qualities associated with the senses; bhavâsava means desire, attachment and will for existence or birth; ditthâsava means the holding of heretical views, such as, the world is eternal or non-eternal, or that the world will come to an end or will not come to an end, or that the body and the soul are one or are different; avijjâsava means the ignorance of sorrow, its cause, its extinction and its means of extinction. _Dhammasangani_ adds four more supplementary ones, viz. ignorance about the nature of anterior mental khandhas, posterior mental khandhas, anterior and posterior together, and their mutual dependence [Footnote ref 3]. Kâmâsava and bhavâsava can as Buddhaghosa says be counted as one, for they are both but depravities due to attachment [Footnote ref 4].


[Footnote 1: Warren's _Buddhism in Translations_ (_Visuddhimagga_, chap. XVII.), p. 175.]

[Footnote 2: _M. N._ I.p. 54. Childers translates "âsava" as "depravities" and Mrs Rhys Davids as "intoxicants." The word "âsava" in Skr. means "old wine." It is derived from "su" to produce by Buddhaghosa and the meaning that he gives to it is "_cira pârivâsikatthena_" (on account of its being stored up for a long time like wine). They work through the eye and the mind and continue to produce all beings up to Indra. As those wines which are kept long are called "âsavas" so these are also called âsavas for remaining a long time. The other alternative that Buddhaghosa gives is that they are called âsava on account of their producing samsâradukkha (sorrows of the world), _Atthasâlinî_, p. 48. Contrast it with Jaina âsrava (flowing in of karma matter). Finding it difficult to translate it in one word after Buddhaghosa, I have translated it as "depravities," after Childers.]

[Footnote 3: See _Dhammasangani_, p. 195.]

[Footnote 4: Buddhaghosa's _Atthasâlinî_, p. 371.]


The ditthâsavas by clouding the mind with false metaphysical views stand in the way of one's adopting the true Buddhistic doctrines. The kâmasâvas stand in the way of one's entering into the way of Nirvâna (_anâgâmimagga_) and the bhavâsavas and avijjâsavas stand in the way of one's attaining arha or final emancipation. When the _Majjhima Nikâya_ says that from the rise of the âsavas avijjâ rises, it evidently counts avijjâ there as in some sense separate from the other âsavas, such as those of attachment and desire of existence which veil the true knowledge about sorrow.

The afflictions (_kilesas_) do not differ much from the âsavas for they are but the specific passions in forms ordinarily familiar to us, such as covetousness (_lobha_), anger or hatred (_dosa_), infatuation (_moha_), arrogance, pride or vanity (_mâna_), heresy (_ditthi_), doubt or uncertainty (_vicikicchâ_), idleness (_thîna_), boastfulness (_udhacca_), shamelessness (_ahirika_) and hardness of heart _anottapa_); these kilesas proceed directly as a result of the âsavas. In spite of these varieties they are often counted as three (lobha, dosa, moha) and these together are called kilesa. They are associated with the vedanâkkhandha, saññâkkhandha, sankhârakkhandha and viññânakkhandha. From these arise the three kinds of actions, of speech, of body, and of mind [Footnote ref 1].

Sîla and Samâdhi.

We are intertwined all through outside and inside by the tangles of desire (_tanhâ jatâ_), and the only way by which these may be loosened is by the practice of right discipline (_sîla_), concentration (_samâdhi_) and wisdom (_paññâ_). Sîla briefly means the desisting from committing all sinful deeds (_sabbapâpassa akaranam_). With sîla therefore the first start has to be made, for by it one ceases to do all actions prompted by bad desires and thereby removes the inrush of dangers and disturbances. This serves to remove the kilesas, and therefore the proper performance of the sîla would lead one to the first two successive stages of sainthood, viz. the sotâpannabhâva (the stage in which one is put in the right current) and the sakadâgâmibhâva (the stage when one has only one more birth to undergo). Samâdhi is a more advanced effort, for by it all the old roots of the old kilesas are destroyed and the tanhâ or desire is removed and


[Footnote 1: _Dhammasangani,_ p. 180.]


by it one is led to the more advanced states of a saint. It directly brings in paññâ (true wisdom) and by paññâ the saint achieves final emancipation and becomes what is called an arhat [Footnote ref 1]. Wisdom (_paññâ_) is right knowledge about the four âriya saccas, viz. sorrow, its cause, its destruction and its cause of destruction.

Sîla means those particular volitions and mental states, etc. by which a man who desists from committing sinful actions maintains himself on the right path. Sîla thus means 1. right volition (_cetanâ_), 2. the associated mental states (_cetasika_), 3. mental control (_samvara_) and 4. the actual non-transgression (in body and speech) of the course of conduct already in the mind by the preceding three sîlas called avîtikkama. Samvara is spoken of as being of five kinds, 1. Pâtimokkhasamvara (the control which saves him who abides by it), 2. Satisamvara (the control of mindfulness), 3. Ñânasamvara (the control of knowledge), 4. Khantisamvara (the control of patience), 5. Viriyasamvara (the control of active self-restraint). Pâtimokkhasamvara means all self-control in general. Satisamvara means the mindfulness by which one can bring in the right and good associations when using one's cognitive senses. Even when looking at any tempting object he will by virtue of his mindfulness (_sati_) control himself from being tempted by avoiding to think of its tempting side and by thinking on such aspects of it as may lead in the right direction. Khantisamvara is that by which one can remain unperturbed in heat and cold. By the proper adherence to sîla all our bodily, mental and vocal activities (_kamma_) are duly systematized, organized, stabilized (_samâdhânam, upadhâranam, patitthâ_) [Footnote ref 2].

The sage who adopts the full course should also follow a number of healthy monastic rules with reference to dress, sitting, dining, etc., which are called the dhûtangas or pure disciplinary parts [Footnote ref 3]. The practice of sîla and the dhûtangas help the sage to adopt the course of samâdhi. Samâdhi as we have seen means the concentration of the mind bent on right endeavours (_kusalacittekaggatâ samâdhih_) together with its states upon one particular object (_ekârammana_) so that they may completely cease to shift and change (_sammâ ca avikkhipamânâ_) [Footnote ref 4].


[Footnote 1: _Visuddhimagga Nidânâdikathâ_.]

[Footnote 2: _Visuddhimagga-sîlaniddeso_, pp. 7 and 8.]

[Footnote 3: _Visuddhimagga_, II.]

[Footnote 4: _Visuddhimagga_, pp. 84-85.]


The man who has practised sîla must train his mind first in particular ways, so that it may be possible for him to acquire the chief concentration of meditation called jhâna (fixed and steady meditation). These preliminary endeavours of the mind for the acquirement of jhânasamâdhi eventually lead to it and are called upacâra samâdhi (preliminary samâdhi) as distinguished from the jhânasamâdhi called the appanâsamâdhi (achieved samâdhi) [Footnote ref 1]. Thus as a preparatory measure, firstly he has to train his mind continually to view with disgust the appetitive desires for eating and drinking (_âhâre patikkûlasaññâ_) by emphasizing in the mind the various troubles that are associated in seeking food and drink and their ultimate loathsome transformations as various nauseating bodily elements. When a man continually habituates himself to emphasize the disgusting associations of food and drink, he ceases to have any attachment to them and simply takes them as an unavoidable evil, only awaiting the day when the final dissolution of all sorrows will come [Footnote ref 2]. Secondly he has to habituate his mind to the idea that all the parts of our body are made up of the four elements, ksiti (earth), ap (water), tejas (fire) and wind (air), like the carcase of a cow at the butcher's shop. This is technically called catudhâtuvavatthânabhâvanâ (the meditation of the body as being made up of the four elements) [Footnote ref 3]. Thirdly he has to habituate his mind to think again and again (_anussati_) about the virtues or greatness of the Buddha, the sangha (the monks following the Buddha), the gods and the law (_dhamma_) of the Buddha, about the good effects of sîla, and the making of gifts (_câgânussati_), about the nature of death (_maranânussati_) and about the deep nature and qualities of the final extinction of all phenomena (_upasamânussati_) [Footnote ref 4].


[Footnote 1: As it is not possible for me to enter into details, I follow what appears to me to be the main line of division showing the interconnection of jhâna (Skr. _dhyâna_) with its accessory stages called parikammas (_Visuddhimagga,_ pp. 85 f.).]

[Footnote 2: _Visuddhimagga_, pp. 341-347; mark the intense pessimistic attitude, "_Imañ ca pana âhâre patikulasaññâm anuyuttassa bhikkhuno rasatanhâya cittam patilîyati, patikuttati, pativattati; so, kantâranittharanatthiko viya puttamamsam vigatamado âhâram âhâreti yâvad eva dukkhassa nittharanatthâya_," p. 347. The mind of him who inspires himself with this supreme disgust to all food, becomes free from all desires for palatable tastes, and turns its back to them and flies off from them. As a means of getting rid of all sorrow he takes his food without any attachment as one would eat the flesh of his own son to sustain himself in crossing a forest.]

[Footnote 3: _Visuddhimagga_, pp. 347-370.]

[Footnote 4: _Visuddhimagga_, pp. 197-294.]


Advancing further from the preliminary meditations or preparations called the upacâra samâdhi we come to those other sources of concentration and meditation called the appanâsamâdhi which directly lead to the achievement of the highest samâdhi. The processes of purification and strengthening of the mind continue in this stage also, but these represent the last attempts which lead the mind to its final goal Nibbâna. In the first part of this stage the sage has to go to the cremation grounds and notice the diverse horrifying changes of the human carcases and think how nauseating, loathsome, unsightly and impure they are, and from this he will turn his mind to the living human bodies and convince himself that they being in essence the same as the dead carcases are as loathsome as they [Footnote ref.1] This is called asubhakammatthâna or the endeavour to perceive the impurity of our bodies. He should think of the anatomical parts and constituents of the body as well as their processes, and this will help him to enter into the first jhâna by leading his mind away from his body. This is called the kayagatasati or the continual mindfulness about the nature of the body [Footnote ref 2]. As an aid to concentration the sage should sit in a quiet place and fix his mind on the inhaling (_passâsa_) and the exhaling (_âssâsa_) of his breath, so that instead of breathing in a more or less unconscious manner he may be aware whether he is breathing quickly or slowly; he ought to mark it definitely by counting numbers, so that by fixing his mind on the numbers counted he may fix his mind on the whole process of inhalation and exhalation in all stages of its course. This is called the anapânasati or the mindfulness of inhalation and exhalation [Footnote ref 3]

Next to this we come to Brahmavihâra, the fourfold meditation of metta (universal friendship), karunâ (universal pity), muditâ (happiness in the prosperity and happiness of all) and upekkhâ (indifference to any kind of preferment of oneself, his friend, enemy or a third party). In order to habituate oneself to the meditation on universal friendship, one should start with thinking how he should himself like to root out all misery and become happy, how he should himself like to avoid death and live cheerfully, and then pass over to the idea that other beings would also have the same desires. He should thus habituate himself to think that his friends, his enemies, and all those with whom he is not


[Footnote 1: _Visuddhimagga,_ VI.]

[Footnote 2: _Ibid._ pp. 239-266.]

[Footnote 3: _Ibid._ pp. 266-292.]


connected might all live and become happy. He should fix himself to such an extent in this meditation that he would not find any difference between the happiness or safety of himself and of others. He should never become angry with any person. Should he at any time feel himself offended on account of the injuries inflicted on him by his enemies, he should think of the futility of doubling his sadness by becoming sorry or vexed on that account. He should think that if he should allow himself to be affected by anger, he would spoil all his sîla which he was so carefully practising. If anyone has done a vile action by inflicting injury, should he himself also do the same by being angry at it? If he were finding fault with others for being angry, could he himself indulge in anger? Moreover he should think that all the dhammas are momentary (_khanikattâ_); that there no longer existed the khandhas which had inflicted the injury, and moreover the infliction of any injury being only a joint product, the man who was injured was himself an indispensable element in the production of the infliction as much as the man who inflicted the injury, and there could not thus be any special reason for making him responsible and of being angry with him. If even after thinking in this way the anger does not subside, he should think that by indulging in anger he could only bring mischief on himself through his bad deeds, and he should further think that the other man by being angry was only producing mischief to himself but not to him. By thinking in these ways the sage would be able to free his mind from anger against his enemies and establish himself in an attitude of universal friendship [Footnote ref 1]. This is called the mettâ-bhâvana. In the meditation of universal pity (_karunâ_) also one should sympathize with the sorrows of his friends and foes alike. The sage being more keen-sighted will feel pity for those who are apparently leading a happy life, but are neither acquiring merits nor endeavouring to proceed on the way to Nibbâna, for they are to suffer innumerable lives of sorrow [Footnote ref 2].

We next come to the jhânas with the help of material things as objects of concentration called the Kasinam. These objects of concentration may either be earth, water, fire, wind, blue colour, yellow colour, red colour, white colour, light or limited space (_parîcchinnâkâsa_). Thus the sage may take a brown ball of earth and concentrate his mind upon it as an earth ball, sometimes


[Footnote 1: _Visuddhimagga_, pp. 295-314.]

[Footnote 2: _Ibid._ pp. 314-315.]


with eyes open and sometimes with eyes shut. When he finds that even in shutting his eyes he can visualize the object in his mind, he may leave off the object and retire to another place to concentrate upon the image of the earth ball in his mind.

In the first stages of the first meditation (_pathamam jhânam_) the mind is concentrated on the object in the way of understanding it with its form and name and of comprehending it with its diverse relations. This state of concentration is called vitakka (discursive meditation). The next stage of the first meditation is that in which the mind does not move in the object in relational terms but becomes fixed and settled in it and penetrates into it without any quivering. This state is called vicâra (steadily moving). The first stage vitakka has been compared in Buddhaghosa's _Visuddhimagga_ to the flying of a kite with its wings flapping, whereas the second stage is compared to its flying in a sweep without the least quiver of its wings. These two stages are associated with a buoyant exaltation (_pîti_) and a steady inward bliss called sukha [Footnote ref 1] instilling the mind. The formation of this first jhâna roots out five ties of avijjâ, kamacchando (dallying with desires), vyâpâdo (hatred), thinamiddham (sloth and torpor), uddhaccakukkuccam (pride and restlessness), and vicikicchâ (doubt). The five elements of which this jhâna is constituted are vitakka, vicâra, plti, sukham and ekaggata (one pointedness).

When the sage masters the first jhâna he finds it defective and wants to enter into the second meditation (_dutiyam jhânam_), where there is neither any vitakka nor vicâra of the first jhâna, but the mind is in one unruffled state (_ekodibhâvam_). It is a much steadier state and does not possess the movement which characterized the vitakka and the vicâra stages of the first jhâna and is therefore a very placid state (_vitakka-vicârakkhobha-virahena ativiya acalatâ suppasannatâ ca_). It is however associated with pîti, sukha and ekaggatâ as the first jhâna was.

When the second jhâna is mastered the sage becomes disinclined towards the enjoyment of the pîti of that stage and becomes indifferent to them (_upekkhako_). A sage in this stage sees the objects but is neither pleased nor displeased. At this stage all the âsavas of the sage become loosened (khînâsava). The enjoyment of sukha however still remains in the stage and the


[Footnote 1: Where there is pîti there is sukha, but where there is sukha there may not necessarily be pîti. _Vîsuddhimagga_, p. 145.]


mind if not properly and carefully watched would like sometimes to turn back to the enjoyment of pîti again. The two characteristics of this jhâna are sukha and ekaggatâ. It should however be noted that though there is the feeling of highest sukha here, the mind is not only not attached to it but is indifferent to it (_atimadhhurasukhe sukhapâramippatte pi tatiyajjhâne upekkhako, na tattha sukhâbhisangena âkaddhiyati_) [Footnote ref 1]. The earth ball (_pathavî_) is however still the object of the jhâna.

In the fourth or the last jhâna both the sukha (happiness) and the dukkha (misery) vanish away and all the roots of attachment and antipathies are destroyed. This state is characterized by supreme and absolute indifference (_upekkhâ_) which was slowly growing in all the various stages of the jhânas. The characteristics of this jhâna are therefore upekkhâ and ekaggatâ. With the mastery of this jhâna comes final perfection and total extinction of the citta called cetovimutti, and the sage becomes thereby an arhat [Footnote ref 2]. There is no further production of the khandhas, no rebirth, and there is the absolute cessation of all sorrows and sufferings--Nibbâna.

Kamma.

In the Katha (II. 6) Yama says that "a fool who is blinded with the infatuation of riches does not believe in a future life; he thinks that only this life exists and not any other, and thus he comes again and again within my grasp." In the Digha Nikâya also we read how Pâyâsi was trying to give his reasons in support of his belief that "Neither is there any other world, nor are there beings, reborn otherwise than from parents, nor is there fruit or result of deeds well done or ill done [Footnote ref 3]." Some of his arguments were that neither the vicious nor the virtuous return to tell us that they suffered or enjoyed happiness in the other world, that if the virtuous had a better life in store, and if they believed in it, they would certainly commit suicide in order to get it at the earliest opportunity, that in spite of taking the best precautions we do not find at the time of the death of any person that his soul goes out, or that his body weighs less on account of the departure of his soul, and so on. Kassapa refutes his arguments with apt illustrations. But in spite of a few agnostics of


[Footnote 1: _Visuddhimagga_, p. 163.]

[Footnote 2: _Majjhima Nikâya_, I.p. 296, and _Visuddhimagga_, pp. 167-168.]

[Footnote 3: _Dialogues of the Buddha_, II. p. 349; _D. N._ II. pp. 317 ff.]


Pâyâsi's type, we have every reason to believe that the doctrine of rebirth in other worlds and in this was often spoken of in the Upanisads and taken as an accepted fact by the Buddha. In the _Milinda Pañha_, we find Nâgasena saying "it is through a difference in their karma that men are not all alike, but some long lived, some short lived, some healthy and some sickly, some handsome and some ugly, some powerful and some weak, some rich and some poor, some of high degree and some of low degree, some wise and some foolish [Footnote ref 1]." We have seen in the third chapter that the same soil of views was enunciated by the Upanisad sages.

But karma could produce its effect in this life or any other life only when there were covetousness, antipathy and infatuation. But "when a man's deeds are performed without covetousness, arise without covetousness and are occasioned without covetousness, then inasmuch as covetousness is gone these deeds are abandoned, uprooted, pulled out of the ground like a palmyra tree and become non-existent and not liable to spring up again in the future [Footnote ref 2]." Karma by itself without craving (_tanhâ_) is incapable of bearing good or bad fruits. Thus we read in the _Mahâsatipatthâna sutta_, "even this craving, potent for rebirth, that is accompanied by lust and self-indulgence, seeking satisfaction now here, now there, to wit, the craving for the life of sense, the craving for becoming (renewed life) and the craving for not becoming (for no new rebirth) [Footnote ref 3]." "Craving for things visible, craving for things audible, craving for things that may be smelt, tasted, touched, for things in memory recalled. These are the things in this world that are dear, that are pleasant. There does craving take its rise, there does it dwell [Footnote ref 4]." Pre-occupation and deliberation of sensual gratification giving rise to craving is the reason why sorrow comes. And this is the first ârya satya (noble truth).

The cessation of sorrow can only happen with "the utter cessation of and disenchantment about that very craving, giving it up, renouncing it and emancipation from it [Footnote ref 5]."

When the desire or craving (_tanhâ_) has once ceased the sage becomes an arhat, and the deeds that he may do after that will bear no fruit. An arhat cannot have any good or bad


[Footnote 1: Warren's _Buddhism in Translations_, p. 215.]

[Footnote 2: _Ibid._ pp. 216-217.]

[Footnote 3: _Dialogues of the Buddha_, II. p. 340.]

[Footnote 4: _Ibid._ p. 341.]

[Footnote 5: _Ibid._ p. 341.]


fruits of whatever he does. For it is through desire that karma finds its scope of giving fruit. With the cessation of desire all ignorance, antipathy and grasping cease and consequently there is nothing which can determine rebirth. An arhat may suffer the effects of the deeds done by him in some previous birth just as Moggallâna did, but in spite of the remnants of his past karma an arhat was an emancipated man on account of the cessation of his desire [Footnote ref 1].

Kammas are said to be of three kinds, of body, speech and mind (_kâyika_, _vâcika_ and _mânasika_). The root of this kamma is however volition (_cetanâ_) and the states associated with it [Footnote ref 2]. If a man wishing to kill animals goes out into the forest in search of them, but cannot get any of them there even after a long search, his misconduct is not a bodily one, for he could not actually commit the deed with his body. So if he gives an order for committing a similar misdeed, and if it is not actually carried out with the body, it would be a misdeed by speech (_vâcika_) and not by the body. But the merest bad thought or ill will alone whether carried into effect or not would be a kamma of the mind (_mânasika_) [Footnote ref 3]. But the mental kamma must be present as the root of all bodily and vocal kammas, for if this is absent, as in the case of an arhat, there cannot be any kammas at all for him.

Kammas are divided from the point of view of effects into four classes, viz. (1) those which are bad and produce impurity, (2) those which are good and productive of purity, (3) those which are partly good and partly bad and thus productive of both purity and impurity, (4) those which are neither good nor bad and productive neither of purity nor of impurity, but which contribute to the destruction of kammas [Footnote ref 4].

Final extinction of sorrow (_nibbâna_) takes place as the natural result of the destruction of desires. Scholars of Buddhism have tried to discover the meaning of this ultimate happening, and various interpretations have been offered. Professor De la Vallée Poussin has pointed out that in the Pâli texts Nibbâna has sometimes been represented as a happy state, as pure annihilation, as an inconceivable existence or as a changeless state [Footnote ref 5].


[Footnote 1: See _Kathâvatthu_ and Warren's _Buddhism in Translations_, pp, 221 ff.]

[Footnote 2: _Atthasâlinî_, p. 88.]

[Footnote 3: See _Atthasâlinî_, p. 90.]

[Footnote 4: See _Atthasâlinî_, p. 89.]

[Footnote 5: Prof. De la Valláe Poussin's article in the _E. R.E._ on Nirvâna. See also _Cullavagga_, IX. i. 4; Mrs Rhys Davids's _Psalms of the early Buddhists_, I. and II., Introduction, p. xxxvii; _Dîgha_, II. 15; _Udâna_, VIII.; _Samyutta_, III. 109.]


Mr Schrader, in discussing Nibbâna in _Pali Text Society Journal_, 1905, says that the Buddha held that those who sought to become identified after death with the soul of the world as infinite space (_âkâsa_) or consciousness (_viññâna_) attained to a state in which they had a corresponding feeling of infiniteness without having really lost their individuality. This latter interpretation of Nibbâna seems to me to be very new and quite against the spirit of the Buddhistic texts. It seems to me to be a hopeless task to explain Nibbâna in terms of worldly experience, and there is no way in which we can better indicate it than by saying that it is a cessation of all sorrow; the stage at which all worldly experiences have ceased can hardly be described either as positive or negative. Whether we exist in some form eternally or do not exist is not a proper Buddhistic question, for it is a heresy to think of a Tathâgata as existing eternally (_s'âs'vata_) or not-existing (_as'âs'vata_) or whether he is existing as well as not existing or whether he is neither existing nor non-existing. Any one who seeks to discuss whether Nibbâna is either a positive and eternal state or a mere state of non-existence or annihilation, takes a view which has been discarded in Buddhism as heretical. It is true that we in modern times are not satisfied with it, for we want to know what it all means. But it is not possible to give any answer since Buddhism regarded all these questions as illegitimate.

Later Buddhistic writers like Nâgârjuna and Candrakîrtti took advantage of this attitude of early Buddhism and interpreted it as meaning the non-essential character of all existence. Nothing existed, and therefore any question regarding the existence or non-existence of anything would be meaningless. There is no difference between the worldly stage (_samsâra_) and Nibbâna, for as all appearances are non-essential, they never existed during the samsâra so that they could not be annihilated in Nibbâna.

Upanisads and Buddhism.

The Upanisads had discovered that the true self was ânanda (bliss) [Footnote ref 1]. We could suppose that early Buddhism tacitly presupposes some such idea. It was probably thought that if there was the self (_attâ_) it must be bliss. The Upanisads had asserted that the self(_âtman_) was indestructible and eternal [Footnote ref 2]. If we are allowed


[Footnote 1: Tait, II.5.]

[Footnote 2: Brh. IV. 5. 14. Katha V. 13.]


to make explicit what was implicit in early Buddhism we could conceive it as holding that if there was the self it must be bliss, because it was eternal. This causal connection has not indeed been anywhere definitely pronounced in the Upanisads, but he who carefully reads the Upanisads cannot but think that the reason why the Upanisads speak of the self as bliss is that it is eternal. But the converse statement that what was not eternal was sorrow does not appear to be emphasized clearly in the Upanisads. The important postulate of the Buddha is that that which is changing is sorrow, and whatever is sorrow is not self [Footnote ref 1]. The point at which Buddhism parted from the Upanisads lies in the experiences of the self. The Upanisads doubtless considered that there were many experiences which we often identify with self, but which are impermanent. But the belief is found in the Upanisads that there was associated with these a permanent part as well, and that it was this permanent essence which was the true and unchangeable self, the blissful. They considered that this permanent self as pure bliss could not be defined as this, but could only be indicated as not this, not this (_neti neti_) [Footnote ref 2]. But the early Pali scriptures hold that we could nowhere find out such a permanent essence, any constant self, in our changing experiences. All were but changing phenomena and therefore sorrow and therefore non-self, and what was non-self was not mine, neither I belonged to it, nor did it belong to me as my self [Footnote ref 3].

The true self was with the Upanisads a matter of transcendental experience as it were, for they said that it could not be described in terms of anything, but could only be pointed out as "there," behind all the changing mental categories. The Buddha looked into the mind and saw that it did not exist. But how was it that the existence of this self was so widely spoken of as demonstrated in experience? To this the reply of the Buddha was that what people perceived there when they said that they perceived the self was but the mental experiences either individually or together. The ignorant ordinary man did not know the noble truths and was not trained in the way of wise men, and considered himself to be endowed with form (_rûpa_) or found the forms in his self or the self in the forms. He


[Footnote 1: _Samyutta Nikûya_, III. pp. 44-45 ff.]

[Footnote 2: See Brh. IV. iv. Chândogya, VIII. 7-12.]

[Footnote 3: _Samyutta Nikaya_, III 45.]


experienced the thought (of the moment) as it were the self or experienced himself as being endowed with thought, or the thought in the self or the self in the thought. It is these kinds of experiences that he considered as the perception of the self [Footnote ref 1].

The Upanisads did not try to establish any school of discipline or systematic thought. They revealed throughout the dawn of an experience of an immutable Reality as the self of man, as the only abiding truth behind all changes. But Buddhism holds that this immutable self of man is a delusion and a false knowledge. The first postulate of the system is that impermanence is sorrow. Ignorance about sorrow, ignorance about the way it originates, ignorance about the nature of the extinction of sorrow, and ignorance about the means of bringing about this extinction represent the fourfold ignorance (_avijjâ_) [Footnote ref 2]. The avidyâ, which is equivalent to the Pâli word avijjâ, occurs in the Upanisads also, but there it means ignorance about the âtman doctrine, and it is sometimes contrasted with vidyâ or true knowledge about the self (_âtman_) [Footnote ref 3]. With the Upanisads the highest truth was the permanent self, the bliss, but with the Buddha there was nothing permanent; and all was change; and all change and impermanence was sorrow [Footnote ref 4]. This is, then, the cardinal truth of Buddhism, and ignorance concerning it in the above fourfold ways represented the fourfold ignorance which stood in the way of the right comprehension of the fourfold cardinal truths (_âriya sacca_)--sorrow, cause of the origination of sorrow, extinction of sorrow, and the means thereto.

There is no Brahman or supreme permanent reality and no self, and this ignorance does not belong to any ego or self as we may ordinarily be led to suppose.

Thus it is said in the _Visuddhimagga_ "inasmuch however as ignorance is empty of stability from being subject to a coming into existence and a disappearing from existence...and is empty of a self-determining Ego from being subject to dependence,--...or in other words inasmuch as ignorance is not an Ego, and similarly with reference to Karma and the rest--therefore is it to be understood of the wheel of existence that it is empty with a twelvefold emptiness [Footnote ref 5]."


[Footnote 1: _Samyutta Nikâya_, II. 46.]

[Footnote 2: _Majjhima Nikâya_, I.p. 54.]

[Footnote 3: Châ. I.i. 10. Brh. IV. 3.20. There are some passages where vidyâ and avidyâ have been used in a different and rather obscure sense, I's'â 9-11.]

[Footnote 4: _Ang. Nikâya_, III. 85.]

[Footnote 5 Warren's _Buddhism in Translations_ (_Visuddhimagga_, chap. XVII.), p. 175.]


The Schools of Theravâda Buddhism.

There is reason to believe that the oral instructions of the Buddha were not collected until a few centuries after his death. Serious quarrels arose amongst his disciples or rather amongst the successive generations of the disciples of his disciples about his doctrines and other monastic rules which he had enjoined upon his followers. Thus we find that when the council of Vesâli decided against the Vrjin monks, called also the Vajjiputtakas, they in their turn held another great meeting (Mahâsangha) and came to their own decisions about certain monastic rules and thus came to be called as the Mahâsanghikas [Footnote ref 1]. According to Vasumitra as translated by Vassilief, the Mahâsanghikas seceded in 400 B.C. and during the next one hundred years they gave rise first to the three schools Ekavyavahârikas, Lokottaravâdins, and Kukkulikas and after that the Bahus'rutîyas. In the course of the next one hundred years, other schools rose out of it namely the Prajñaptivâdins, Caittikas, Aparas'ailas and Uttaras'ailas. The Theravâda or the Sthaviravâda school which had convened the council of Vesâli developed during the second and first century B.C. into a number of schools, viz. the Haimavatas, Dharmaguptikas, Mahîs'âsakas, Kâs'yapîyas, Sankrântikas (more well known as Sautrântikas) and the Vâtsiputtrîyas which latter was again split up into the Dharmottarîyas, Bhadrayânîyas, Sammitîyas and Channâgarikas. The main branch of the Theravâda school was from the second century downwards known as the Hetuvâdins or Sarvâstivâdins [Footnote ref 2]. The _Mahâbodhivamsa_ identifies the Theravâda school with the Vibhajjavâdins. The commentator of the _Kathâvatthu_ who probably lived according to Mrs Rhys Davids sometime in the fifth century A.D. mentions a few other schools of Buddhists. But of all these Buddhist schools we know very little. Vasumitra (100 A.D.) gives us some very meagre accounts of


[Footnote 1: The _Mahâvamsa_ differs from _Dîpavamsa_ in holding that the Vajjiputtakas did not develop into the Mahâsanghikas, but it was the Mahâsanghikas who first seceded while the Vajjiputtakas seceded independently of them. The _Mahâbodhivamsa_, which according to Professor Geiger was composed 975 A.D.--1000 A.D., follows the Mahavamsa in holding the Mahâsanghikas to be the first seceders and Vajjiputtakas to have seceded independently.

Vasumitra confuses the council of Vesali with the third council of Pâtaliputra. See introduction to translation of _Kathâvatthu_ by Mrs Rhys Davids.]

[Footnote 2: For other accounts of the schism see Mr Aung and Mrs Rhys Davids's translation of _Kathâvatthu_, pp. xxxvi-xlv.]


certain schools, of the Mahâsanghikas, Lokottaravâdins, Ekavyavahârikas, Kakkulikas, Prajñaptivâdins and Sarvâstivâdins, but these accounts deal more with subsidiary matters of little philosophical importance. Some of the points of interest are (1) that the Mahâsanghikas were said to believe that the body was filled with mind (_citta_) which was represented as sitting, (2) that the Prajñaptivâdins held that there was no agent in man, that there was no untimely death, for it was caused by the previous deeds of man, (3) that the Sarvâstivâdins believed that everything existed. From the discussions found in the _Kathâvatthu_ also we may know the views of some of the schools on some points which are not always devoid of philosophical interest. But there is nothing to be found by which we can properly know the philosophy of these schools. It is quite possible however that these so-called schools of Buddhism were not so many different systems but only differed from one another on some points of dogma or practice which were considered as being of sufficient interest to them, but which to us now appear to be quite trifling. But as we do not know any of their literatures, it is better not to make any unwarrantable surmises. These schools are however not very important for a history of later Indian Philosophy, for none of them are even referred to in any of the systems of Hindu thought. The only schools of Buddhism with which other schools of philosophical thought came in direct contact, are the Sarvâstivâdins including the Sautrântikas and the Vaibhâsikas, the Yogâcâra or the Vijñânavâdins and the Mâdhyamikas or the S'ûnyavâdins. We do not know which of the diverse smaller schools were taken up into these four great schools, the Sautrântika, Vaibhâsika, Yogâcâra and the Mâdhyamika schools. But as these schools were most important in relation to the development of the different systems in Hindu thought, it is best that we should set ourselves to gather what we can about these systems of Buddhistic thought.

When the Hindu writers refer to the Buddhist doctrine in general terms such as "the Buddhists say" without calling them the Vijñânavâdins or the Yogâcâras and the S'ûnyavâdins, they often refer to the Sarvûstivûdins by which they mean both the Sautrûntikas and the Vaibhûsikas, ignoring the difference that exists between these two schools. It is well to mention that there is hardly any evidence to prove that the Hindu writers were acquainted with the Theravûda doctrines as expressed in the Pâli works. The Vaibhâsikas and the Sautrântikas have been more or less associated with each other. Thus the _Abhidharmakos'as'âstra_ of Vasubandhu who was a Vaibhâsika was commented upon by Yas'omitra who was a Sautrântika. The difference between the Vaibhâsikas and the Sautrântikas that attracted the notice of the Hindu writers was this, that the former believed that external objects were directly perceived, whereas the latter believed that the existence of the external objects could only be inferred from our diversified knowledge [Footnote ref 1]. Gunaratna (fourteenth century A.D.) in his commentary _Tarkarahasyadîpikâ on Saddars'anasamuccaya_ says that the Vaibhâsika was but another name of the Âryasammitîya school. According to Gunaratna the Vaibhâsikas held that things existed for four moments, the moment of production, the moment of existence, the moment of decay and the moment of annihilation. It has been pointed out in Vastlbandhu's _Abhidharmakos'a_ that the Vaibhâsikas believed these to be four kinds of forces which by coming in combination with the permanent essence of an entity produced its impermanent manifestations in life (see Prof. Stcherbatsky's translation of Yas'omitra on _Abhidharmakos'a kârikâ_, V. 25). The self called pudgala also possessed those characteristics. Knowledge was formless and was produced along with its object by the very same conditions (_arthasahabhâsî ekasamâgryadhînah_). The Sautrântikas according to Gunaratna held that there was no soul but only the five skandhas. These skandhas transmigrated. The past, the future, annihilation, dependence on cause, âkâs'a and pudgala are but names (_samjñâmâtram_), mere assertions (_pratijñâmâtram_), mere limitations (_samvrtamâtram_) and mere phenomena (_vyavahâramâtram_). By pudgala they meant that which other people called eternal and all pervasive soul. External objects are never directly perceived but are only inferred as existing for explaining the diversity of knowledge. Definite cognitions are valid; all compounded things are momentary (_ksanikâh sarvasamskârâh_).


[Footnote 1: Mâdhavâcârya's _Sarvadars'anasamgraha_, chapter II. _S'âstradîpikâ_, the discussions on Pratyaksa, Amalañanda's commentary (on _Bhâmatî_) _Vedântakalpataru_, p 286. "_vaibhâsikasya bâhyo'rthah pratyaksah, sautrântikasya jñânagatâkâravaicitryen anumeyah_." The nature of the inference of the Sautrântikas is shown thus by Amalânanda (1247-1260 A.D.) "_ye yasmin satyapi kâdâcitkâh te tadatiriktâpeksâh_" (those [i.e. cognitions] which in spite of certain unvaried conditions are of unaccounted diversity must depend on other things in addition to these, i.e. the external objects) _Vedântakalpataru_, p. 289.]


The atoms of colour, taste, smell and touch, and cognition are being destroyed every moment. The meanings of words always imply the negations of all other things, excepting that which is intended to be signified by that word (_anyâpohah s'abdârthah_). Salvation (_moksa_) comes as the result of the destruction of the process of knowledge through continual meditation that there is no soul [Footnote ref 1].

One of the main differences between the Vibhajjavâdins, Sautrântikas and the Vaibhâsikas or the Sarvâstivâdins appears to refer to the notion of time which is a subject of great interest with Buddhist philosophy. Thus _Abhidharmakos'a_ (v. 24...) describes the Sarvâstivâdins as those who maintain the universal existence of everything past, present and future. The Vibhajjavâdins are those "who maintain that the present elements and those among the past that have not yet produced their fruition, are existent, but they deny the existence of the future ones and of those among the past that have already produced fruition." There were four branches of this school represented by Dharmatrâta, Ghosa, Vasumitra and Buddhadeva. Dharmatrâta maintained that when an element enters different times, its existence changes but not its essence, just as when milk is changed into curd or a golden vessel is broken, the form of the existence changes though the essence remains the same. Ghosa held that "when an element appears at different times, the past one retains its past aspects without being severed from its future and present aspects, the present likewise retains its present aspect without completely losing its past and future aspects," just as a man in passionate love with a woman does not lose his capacity to love other women though he is not actually in love with them. Vasumitra held that an entity is called present, past and future according as it produces its efficiency, ceases to produce after having once produced it or has not yet begun to produce it. Buddhadeva maintained the view that just as the same woman may be called mother, daughter, wife, so the same entity may be called present, past or future in accordance with its relation to the preceding or the succeeding moment.

All these schools are in some sense Sarvâstivâdins, for they maintain universal existence. But the Vaibhâsika finds them all defective excepting the view of Vasumitra. For Dharmatrâta's


[Footnote 1: Gunaratna's _Tarkarahasyadîpikâ_, pp. 46-47.]


view is only a veiled Sâmkhya doctrine; that of Ghosa is a confusion of the notion of time, since it presupposes the coexistence of all the aspects of an entity at the same time, and that of Buddhadeva is also an impossible situation, since it would suppose that all the three times were found together and included in one of them. The Vaibhâsika finds himself in agreement with Vasumitra's view and holds that the difference in time depends upon the difference of the function of an entity; at the time when an entity does not actually produce its function it is future; when it produces it, it becomes present; when after having produced it, it stops, it becomes past; there is a real existence of the past and the future as much as of the present. He thinks that if the past did not exist and assert some efficiency it could not have been the object of my knowledge, and deeds done in past times could not have produced its effects in the present time. The Sautrântika however thought that the Vaibhâsika's doctrine would imply the heretical doctrine of eternal existence, for according to them the stuff remained the same and the time-difference appeared in it. The true view according to him was, that there was no difference between the efficiency of an entity, the entity and the time of its appearance. Entities appeared from non-existence, existed for a moment and again ceased to exist. He objected to the Vaibhâsika view that the past is to be regarded as existent because it exerts efficiency in bringing about the present on the ground that in that case there should be no difference between the past and the present, since both exerted efficiency. If a distinction is made between past, present and future efficiency by a second grade of efficiencies, then we should have to continue it and thus have a vicious infinite. We can know non-existent entities as much as we can know existent ones, and hence our knowledge of the past does not imply that the past is exerting any efficiency. If a distinction is made between an efficiency and an entity, then the reason why efficiency started at any particular time and ceased at another would be inexplicable. Once you admit that there is no difference between efficiency and the entity, you at once find that there is no time at all and the efficiency, the entity and the moment are all one and the same. When we remember a thing of the past we do not know it as existing in the past, but in the same way in which we knew it when it was present. We are never attracted to past passions as the Vaibhâsika suggests, but past passions leave residues which become the causes of new passions of the present moment [Footnote ref.1].

Again we can have a glimpse of the respective positions of the Vâtsiputtrîyas and the Sarvâstivâdins as represented by Vasubandhu if we attend to the discussion on the subject of the existence of soul in _Abhidharmakos'a_. The argument of Vasubandhu against the existence of soul is this, that though it is true that the sense organs may be regarded as a determining cause of perception, no such cause can be found which may render the inference of the existence of soul necessary. If soul actually exists, it must have an essence of its own and must be something different from the elements or entities of a personal life. Moreover, such an eternal, uncaused and unchanging being would be without any practical efficiency (_arthakriyâkâritva_) which alone determines or proves existence. The soul can thus be said to have a mere nominal existence as a mere object of current usage. There is no soul, but there are only the elements of a personal life. But the Vâtsiputtrîya school held that just as fire could not be said to be either the same as the burning wood or as different from it, and yet it is separate from it, so the soul is an individual (_pudgala_) which has a separate existence, though we could not say that it was altogether different from the elements of a personal life or the same as these. It exists as being conditioned by the elements of personal life, but it cannot further be defined. But its existence cannot be denied, for wherever there is an activity, there must be an agent (e.g. Devadatta walks). To be conscious is likewise an action, hence the agent who is conscious must also exist. To this Vasubandhu replies that Devadatta (the name of a person) does not represent an unity. "It is only an unbroken continuity of momentary forces (flashing into existence), which simple people believe to be a unity and to which they give the name Devadatta. Their belief that Devadatta moves is conditioned, and is based on an analogy with their own experience, but their own continuity of life consists in constantly moving from one place to another. This movement, though regarded as


[Footnote 1: I am indebted for the above account to the unpublished translation from Tibetan of a small portion of _Abhidharmakoia_ by my esteemed friend Prof. Th. Stcherbatsky of Petrograd. I am grateful to him that he allowed me to utilize it.]


belonging to a permanent entity, is but a series of new productions in different places, just as the expressions 'fire moves,' 'sound spreads' have the meaning of continuities (of new productions in new places). They likewise use the words 'Devadatta cognises' in order to express the fact that a cognition (takes place in the present moment) which has a cause (in the former moments, these former moments coming in close succession being called Devadatta)."

The problem of memory also does not bring any difficulty, for the stream of consciousness being one throughout, it produces its recollections when connected with a previous knowledge of the remembered object under certain conditions of attention, etc., and absence of distractive factors, such as bodily pains or violent emotions. No agent is required in the phenomena of memory. The cause of recollection is a suitable state of mind and nothing else. When the Buddha told his birth stories saying that he was such and such in such and such a life, he only meant that his past and his present belonged to one and the same lineage of momentary existences. Just as when we say "this same fire which had been consuming that has reached this object," we know that the fire is not identical at any two moments, but yet we overlook the difference and say that it is the same fire. Again, what we call an individual can only be known by descriptions such as "this venerable man, having this name, of such a caste, of such a family, of such an age, eating such food, finding pleasure or displeasure in such things, of such an age, the man who after a life of such length, will pass away having reached an age." Only so much description can be understood, but we have never a direct acquaintance with the individual; all that is perceived are the momentary elements of sensations, images, feelings, etc., and these happening at the former moments exert a pressure on the later ones. The individual is thus only a fiction, a mere nominal existence, a mere thing of description and not of acquaintance; it cannot be grasped either by the senses or by the action of pure intellect. This becomes evident when we judge it by analogies from other fields. Thus whenever we use any common noun, e.g. milk, we sometimes falsely think that there is such an entity as milk, but what really exists is only certain momentary colours, tastes, etc., fictitiously unified as milk; and "just as milk and water are conventional names (for a set of independent elements) for some colour, smell (taste and touch) taken together, so is the designation 'individual' but a common name for the different elements of which it is composed."

The reason why the Buddha declined to decide the question whether the "living being is identical with the body or not" is just because there did not exist any living being as "individual," as is generally supposed. He did not declare that the living being did not exist, because in that case the questioner would have thought that the continuity of the elements of a life was also denied. In truth the "living being" is only a conventional name for a set of constantly changing elements [Footnote ref 1].

The only book of the Sammitîyas known to us and that by name only is the _Sammitîyas'âstra_ translated into Chinese between 350 A.D. to 431 A.D.; the original Sanskrit works are however probably lost [Footnote ref 2].

The Vaibhâsikas are identified with the Sarvâstivâdins who according to _Dîpavamsa_ V. 47, as pointed out by Takakusu, branched off from the Mahîs'âsakas, who in their turn had separated from the Theravâda school.

From the _Kathâvatthu_ we know (1) that the Sabbatthivâdins believed that everything existed, (2) that the dawn of right attainment was not a momentary flash of insight but by a gradual process, (3) that consciousness or even samâdhi was nothing but


[Footnote 1: This account is based on the translation of _Astamakos'asthânanibaddhah pudgolavinis'cayah_, a special appendix to the eighth chapter of Abhidharmakos'a, by Prof Th. Stcherbatsky, _Bulletin de l' Académie des Sciences de Russie_, 1919.]

[Footnote 2: Professor De la Vallée Poussin has collected some of the points of this doctrine in an article on the Sammitîyas in the _E. R.E._ He there says that in the _Abhidharmakos'avyâkhyâ_ the Sammitîyas have been identified with the Vâtsîputtrîyas and that many of its texts were admitted by the Vaibhâsikas of a later age. Some of their views are as follows: (1) An arhat in possession of nirvâna can fall away; (2) there is an intermediate state between death and rebirth called _antarâbhava_; (3) merit accrues not only by gift (_tyagânvaya_) but also by the fact of the actual use and advantage reaped by the man to whom the thing was given (_paribhogânvaya punya_); (4) not only abstention from evil deeds but a declaration of intention to that end produces merit by itself alone; (5) they believe in a pudgala (soul) as distinct from the skandhas from which it can be said to be either different or non-different. "The pudgala cannot be said to be transitory (_anitye_) like the skandhas since it transmigrates laying down the burden (_skandhas_) shouldering a new burden; it cannot be said to be permanent, since it is made of transitory constituents." This pudgala doctrine of the Sammitîyas as sketched by Professor De la Vallée Poussin is not in full agreement with the pudgala doctrine of the Sammitîyas as sketched by Gunaratna which we have noticed above.]


a flux and (4) that an arhat (saint) may fall away [Footnote ref 1]. The Sabbatthivâdins or Sarvâstivâdins have a vast Abhidharma literature still existing in Chinese translations which is different from the Abhidharma of the Theravâda school which we have already mentioned [Footnote ref 2]. These are 1. _Jñânaprasthâna S'âstra_ of Kâtyâyanîputtra which passed by the name of _Mahâ Vibhâsâ_ from which the Sabbatthivâdins who followed it are called Vaibhâsikas [Footnote ref 3]. This work is said to have been given a literary form by As'vaghosa. 2. _Dharmaskandha_ by S'âriputtra. 3. _Dhâtukâya_ by Pûrna. 4. _Prajñaptis'âstra_ by Maudgalyâyana. 5. _Vijñânakâya_ by Devaksema. 6. _Sangîtiparyyâya_ by Sâriputtra and _Prakaranapâda_ by Vasumitra. Vasubandhu (420 A.D.-500 A.D.) wrote a work on the Vaibhâsika [Footnote ref 4] system in verses (_kârikâ_) known as the _Abhidharmakos'a_, to which he appended a commentary of his own which passes by the name _Abhidharma Kos'abhâsya_ in which he pointed out some of the defects of the Vaibhâsika school from the Sautrântika point of view [Footnote ref 5]. This work was commented upon by Vasumitra and Gunamati and later on by Yas'omitra who was himself a Sautrântika and called his work _Abhidharmakos'a vyâkhyâ_; Sanghabhadra a contemporary of Vasubandhu wrote _Samayapradipa_ and _Nyâyânusâra_ (Chinese translations of which are available) on strict Vaibhâsika lines. We hear also of other Vaibhâsika writers such as Dharmatrâta, Ghosaka, Vasumitra and Bhadanta, the writer of _Samyuktâbhidharmas'âstra_ and _Mahâvibhâsâ_. Dinnâga(480 A.D.), the celebrated logician, a Vaibhâsika or a Sautrântika and reputed to be a pupil of Vasubandhu, wrote his famous work _Pramânasamuccaya_ in which he established Buddhist logic and refuted many of the views of Vâtsyâyana the celebrated commentator of the _Nyâya sûtras_; but we regret


[Footnote 1: See Mrs Rhys Davids's translation _Kathâvatthu_, p. xix, and Sections I.6,7; II. 9 and XI. 6.]

[Footnote 2: _Mahâvyutpatti_ gives two names for Sarvâstivâda, viz. Mûlasarvâstivâda and Âryyasarvâstivâda. Itsing (671-695 A.D.) speaks of Âryyamûlasarvâstivâda and Mûlasarvâstivâda. In his time he found it prevailing in Magadha, Guzrat, Sind, S. India, E. India. Takakusu says (_P.T.S._ 1904-1905) that Paramârtha, in his life of Vasubandhu, says that it was propagated from Kashmere to Middle India by Vasubhadra, who studied it there.]

[Footnote 3: Takakusu says (_P.T.S._ 1904-1905) that Kâtyâyanîputtra's work was probably a compilation from other Vibhâsâs which existed before the Chinese translations and Vibhâsâ texts dated 383 A.D.]

[Footnote 4: See Takakusu's article _J.R.A.S._ 1905.]

[Footnote 5: The Sautrântikas did not regard the Abhidharmas of the Vaibhâsikas as authentic and laid stress on the suttanta doctrines as given in the Suttapitaka.]


to say that none of the above works are available in Sanskrit, nor have they been retranslated from Chinese or Tibetan into any of the modern European or Indian languages.

The Japanese scholar Mr Yamakami Sogen, late lecturer at Calcutta University, describes the doctrine of the Sabbatthivâdins from the Chinese versions of the _Abhidharmakos'a, Mahâvibhâsâs'âstra_, etc., rather elaborately [Footnote ref 1]. The following is a short sketch, which is borrowed mainly from the accounts given by Mr Sogen.

The Sabbatthivâdins admitted the five skandhas, twelve âyatanas, eighteen dhâtus, the three asamskrta dharmas of pratisamkhyânirodha apratisamkhyânirodha and âkâs'a, and the samskrta dharmas (things composite and interdependent) of rûpa (matter), citta (mind), caitta (mental) and cittaviprayukta (non-mental) [Footnote ref 2]. All effects are produced by the coming together (samskrta) of a number of causes. The five skandhas, and the rûpa, citta, etc., are thus called samskrta dharmas (composite things or collocations--_sambhûyakâri_). The rûpa dharmas are eleven in number, one citta dharma, 46 caitta dharmas and 14 cittaviprayukta samskâra dharmas (non-mental composite things); adding to these the three asamskrta dharmas we have the seventy-five dharmas. Rûpa is that which has the capacity to obstruct the sense organs. Matter is regarded as the collective organism or collocation, consisting of the fourfold substratum of colour, smell, taste and contact. The unit possessing this fourfold substratum is known as paramânu, which is the minutest form of rûpa. It cannot be pierced through or picked up or thrown away. It is indivisible, unanalysable, invisible, inaudible, untastable and intangible. But yet it is not permanent, but is like a momentary flash into being. The simple atoms are called _dravyaparamânu_ and the compound ones _samghâtaparamânu_. In the words of Prof. Stcherbatsky "the universal elements of matter are manifested in their actions or functions. They are consequently more energies than substances." The organs of sense are also regarded as modifications of atomic matter. Seven such paramânus combine together to form an anu, and it is in this combined form only that they become perceptible. The combination takes place in the form of a cluster having one atom at the centre and


[Footnote 1: _Systems of Buddhistic Thought_, published by the Calcutta University.]

[Footnote 2: S'ankara in his meagre sketch of the doctrine of the Sarvâstivâdins in his bhâsya on the _Brahma-sûtras_ II. 2 notices some of the categories mentioned by Sogen.]


others around it. The point which must be remembered in connection with the conception of matter is this, that the qualities of all the mahâbhûtas are inherent in the paramânus. The special characteristics of roughness (which naturally belongs to earth), viscousness (which naturally belongs to water), heat (belonging to fire), movableness (belonging to wind), combine together to form each of the elements; the difference between the different elements consists only in this, that in each of them its own special characteristics were predominant and active, and other characteristics though present remained only in a potential form. The mutual resistance of material things is due to the quality of earth or the solidness inherent in them; the mutual attraction of things is due to moisture or the quality of water, and so forth. The four elements are to be observed from three aspects, namely, (1) as things, (2) from the point of view of their natures (such as activity, moisture, etc.), and (3) function (such as _dhrti_ or attraction, _samgraha_ or cohesion, _pakti_ or chemical heat, and _vyûhana_ or clustering and collecting). These combine together naturally by other conditions or causes. The main point of distinction between the Vaibhâsika Sarvâstivadins and other forms of Buddhism is this, that here the five skandhas and matter are regarded as permanent and eternal; they are said to be momentary only in the sense that they are changing their phases constantly, owing to their constant change of combination. Avidyâ is not regarded here as a link in the chain of the causal series of pratîtyasamutpâda; nor is it ignorance of any particular individual, but is rather identical with "moha" or delusion and represents the ultimate state of immaterial dharmas. Avidyâ, which through samskâra, etc., produces nâmarûpa in the case of a particular individual, is not his avidyâ in the present existence but the avidyâ of his past existence bearing fruit in the present life.

"The cause never perishes but only changes its name, when it becomes an effect, having changed its state." For example, clay becomes jar, having changed its state; and in this case the name clay is lost and the name jar arises [Footnote ref 1]. The Sarvâstivâdins allowed simultaneousness between cause and effect only in the case of composite things (_samprayukta hetu_) and in the case of


[Footnote 1: Sogen's quotation from Kumârajîva's Chinese version of Âryyadeva's commentary on the _Mâdhyamika s'âstra_ (chapter XX. Kârikâ 9).]


the interaction of mental and material things. The substratum of "vijñâna" or "consciousness" is regarded as permanent and the aggregate of the five senses (_indriyas_) is called the perceiver. It must be remembered that the indriyas being material had a permanent substratum, and their aggregate had therefore also a substratum formed of them.

The sense of sight grasps the four main colours of blue, yellow, red, white, and their combinations, as also the visual forms of appearance (_samsthâna_) of long, short, round, square, high, low, straight, and crooked. The sense of touch (_kâyendriya_) has for its object the four elements and the qualities of smoothness, roughness, lightness, heaviness, cold, hunger and thirst. These qualities represent the feelings generated in sentient beings by the objects of touch, hunger, thirst, etc., and are also counted under it, as they are the organic effects produced by a touch which excites the physical frame at a time when the energy of wind becomes active in our body and predominates over other energies; so also the feeling of thirst is caused by a touch which excites the physical frame when the energy of the element of fire becomes active and predominates over the other energies. The indriyas (senses) can after grasping the external objects arouse thought (_vijñâna_); each of the five senses is an agent without which none of the five vijñânas would become capable of perceiving an external object. The essence of the senses is entirely material. Each sense has two subdivisions, namely, the principal sense and the auxiliary sense. The substratum of the principal senses consists of a combination of paramânus, which are extremely pure and minute, while the substratum of the latter is the flesh, made of grosser materials. The five senses differ from one another with respect to the manner and form of their respective atomic combinations. In all sense-acts, whenever an act is performed and an idea is impressed, a latent energy is impressed on our person which is designated as avijñapti rûpa. It is called rûpa because it is a result or effect of rûpa-contact; it is called avijñapti because it is latent and unconscious; this latent energy is bound sooner or later to express itself in karma effects and is the only bridge which connects the cause and the effect of karma done by body or speech. Karma in this school is considered as twofold, namely, that as thought (_cetana karma_) and that as activity (_caitasika karma_). This last, again, is of two kinds, viz. that due to body-motion (_kâyika karma_) and speech (_vâcika karma_). Both these may again be latent (_avijñapti_) and patent (_vijñapti_), giving us the kâyika-vijnñpti karma, kâyikâvijñapti karma, vâcika-vijñapti karma and vâcikâvijñapti karma. Avijñapti rûpa and avijñapti karma are what we should call in modern phraseology sub-conscious ideas, feelings and activity. Corresponding to each conscious sensation, feeling, thought or activity there is another similar sub-conscious state which expresses itself in future thoughts and actions; as these are not directly known but are similar to those which are known, they are called avijñapti.

The mind, says Vasubandhu, is called cittam, because it wills (_cetati_), manas because it thinks (_manvate_) and vijñâna because it discriminates (_nirdis'ati_). The discrimination may be of three kinds: (1) svabhâva nirdes'a (natural perceptual discrimination), (2) prayoga nirdes'a (actual discrimination as present, past and future), and (3) anusmrti nirdes'a (reminiscent discrimination referring only to the past). The senses only possess the _svabhâva nirdes'a_, the other two belong exclusively to manovijñâna. Each of the vijñânas as associated with its specific sense discriminates its particular object and perceives its general characteristics; the six vijñânas combine to form what is known as the Vijñânaskandha, which is presided over by mind (_mano_). There are forty-six caitta samskrta dharmas. Of the three asamskrta dharmas âkâs'a (ether) is in essence the freedom from obstruction, establishing it as a permanent omnipresent immaterial substance (_nîrûpâkhya_, non-rûpa). The second asamskrta dharma, apratisamkhyâ nirodha, means the non-perception of dharmas caused by the absence of pratyayas or conditions. Thus when I fix my attention on one thing, other things are not seen then, not because they are non-existent but because the conditions which would have made them visible were absent. The third asamskrta dharma, pratisamkhyâ nirodha, is the final deliverance from bondage. Its essential characteristic is everlastingness. These are called asamskrta because being of the nature of negation they are non-collocative and hence have no production or dissolution. The eightfold noble path which leads to this state consists of right views, right aspirations, right speech, right conduct, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right rapture [Footnote ref 1].


[Footnote 1: Mr Sogen mentions the name of another Buddhist Hînayâna thinker (about 250 A.D.), Harivarman, who founded a school known as Satyasiddhi school, which propounded the same sort of doctrines as those preached by Nâgârjuna. None of his works are available in Sanskrit and I have never come across any allusion to his name by Sanskrit writers.]


Mahâyânism.

It is difficult to say precisely at what time Mahâyânism took its rise. But there is reason to think that as the Mahâsanghikas separated themselves from the Theravâdins probably some time in 400 B.C. and split themselves up into eight different schools, those elements of thoughts and ideas which in later days came to be labelled as Mahâyâna were gradually on the way to taking their first inception. We hear in about 100 A.D. of a number of works which are regarded as various Mahâyâna sûtras, some of which are probably as old as at least 100 B.C. (if not earlier) and others as late as 300 or 400 A.D.[Footnote ref 1]. These Mahâyânasûtras, also called the Vaipulyasûtras, are generally all in the form of instructions given by the Buddha. Nothing is known about their authors or compilers, but they are all written in some form of Sanskrit and were probably written by those who seceded from the Theravâda school.

The word Hînayâna refers to the schools of Theravâda, and as such it is contrasted with Mahâyâna. The words are generally translated as small vehicle (_hîna_ = small, _yâna_ = vehicle) and great vehicle (_mahâ_ = great, _yâna_ = vehicle). But this translation by no means expresses what is meant by Mahâyâna and Hînayâna [Footnote ref 2]. Asanga (480 A.D.) in his _Mahâyânasûtrâlamkâra_ gives


[Footnote 1: Quotations and references to many of these sûtras are found in Candrakîrtti's commentary on the _Mâdhyamîka kârikâs_ of Nâgârjuna; some of these are the following: _Astasâhasrikâprajñâpâramitâ_ (translated into Chinese 164 A.D.-167 A.D.), _S'atasâhasrikâprajñâpâramitâ, Gaganagañja, Samâdhisûtra, Tathâgataguhyasûtra, Drdhâdhyâs'ayasañcodanâsûtra, Dhyâyitamustisûtra, Pitâputrasamâgamasûtra, Mahâyânasûtra, Mâradamanasûtra, Ratnakûtasûtra, Ratnacûdâpariprcchâsûtra, Ratnameghasûtra, Ratnarâs`isûtra, Ratnâkarasûtra, Râstrapâlapariprcchâsûtra, Lankâvatârasûtra, Lalitavistarasûtra, Vajracchedikâsûtra, Vimalakîrttinirdes'asûtra, S'âlistambhasûtra, Samâdhirajasutra, Sukhâvatîvyûha, Suvarnaprabhâsasûtra, Saddharmapundarika (translated into Chinese A.D. 255), Amitâyurdhyânasûtra, Hastikâkhyasûtra, etc.]

[Footnote 2: The word Yâna is generally translated as vehicle, but a consideration of numerous contexts in which the word occurs seems to suggest that it means career or course or way, rather than vehicle (_Lalitavistara_, pp. 25, 38; _Prajñâpâramitâ_, pp. 24, 319; _Samâdhirâjasûtra_, p. 1; _Karunâpundarîka_, p. 67; _Lankâvatârasûtra_, pp. 68, 108, 132). The word Yâna is as old as the Upanisads where we read of Devayâna and Pitryâna. There is no reason why this word should be taken in a different sense. We hear in _Lankâvatâra_ of S'râvakayâna (career of the S'râvakas or the Theravâdin Buddhists), Pratyekabuddhayâna (the career of saints before the coming of the Buddha), Buddha yâna (career of the Buddhas), Ekayâna (one career), Devayâna (career of the gods), Brahmayâna (career of becoming a Brahmâ), Tathâgatayâna (career of a Tathâgata). In one place _Lankâvatâra_ says that ordinarily distinction is made between the three careers and one career and no career, but these distinctions are only for the ignorant (_Lankâvatâra_, p. 68).]


us the reason why one school was called Hînayâna whereas the other, which he professed, was called Mahâyâna. He says that, considered from the point of view of the ultimate goal of religion, the instructions, attempts, realization, and time, the Hînayâna occupies a lower and smaller place than the other called Mahâ (great) Yâna, and hence it is branded as Hîna (small, or low). This brings us to one of the fundamental points of distinction between Hînayâna and Mahâyâna. The ultimate good of an adherent of the Hînayâna is to attain his own nirvâna or salvation, whereas the ultimate goal of those who professed the Mahâyâna creed was not to seek their own salvation but to seek the salvation of all beings. So the Hînayâna goal was lower, and in consequence of that the instructions that its followers received, the attempts they undertook, and the results they achieved were narrower than that of the Mahâyâna adherents. A Hînayâna man had only a short business in attaining his own salvation, and this could be done in three lives, whereas a Mahâyâna adherent was prepared to work for infinite time in helping all beings to attain salvation. So the Hînayana adherents required only a short period of work and may from that point of view also be called _hîna,_ or lower.

This point, though important from the point of view of the difference in the creed of the two schools, is not so from the point of view of philosophy. But there is another trait of the Mahâyânists which distinguishes them from the Hînayânists from the philosophical point of view. The Mahâyânists believed that all things were of a non-essential and indefinable character and void at bottom, whereas the Hînayânists only believed in the impermanence of all things, but did not proceed further than that.

It is sometimes erroneously thought that Nâgârjuna first preached the doctrine of S'ûnyavâda (essencelessness or voidness of all appearance), but in reality almost all the Mahâyâna sûtras either definitely preach this doctrine or allude to it. Thus if we take some of those sûtras which were in all probability earlier than Nâgârjuna, we find that the doctrine which Nâgârjuna expounded with all the rigour of his powerful dialectic was quietly accepted as an indisputable truth. Thus we find Subhûti saying to the Buddha that vedanâ (feeling), samjñâ (concepts) and the samskâras (conformations) are all mâyâ (illusion) [Footnote ref 1]. All the skandhas, dhätus (elements) and âyatanas are void and absolute cessation. The highest knowledge of everything as pure void is not different from the skandhas, dhâtus and âyatanas, and this absolute cessation of dharmas is regarded as the highest knowledge (_prajñâpâramitâ_) [Footnote ref 2]. Everything being void there is in reality no process and no cessation. The truth is neither eternal (_s'âs'vata_) nor non-eternal (_as'âs'vata_) but pure void. It should be the object of a saint's endeavour to put himself in the "thatness" (_tathatâ_) and consider all things as void. The saint (_bodhisattva_) has to establish himself in all the virtues (_pâramitâ_), benevolence (_dânapâramitâ_), the virtue of character (_s'îlapâramitâ_), the virtue of forbearance (_ksântipâramitâ_), the virtue of tenacity and strength (_vîryyapâramitâ_) and the virtue of meditation (_dhyânapâramitâ_). The saint (_bodhisattva_) is firmly determined that he will help an infinite number of souls to attain nirvâna. In reality, however, there are no beings, there is no bondage, no salvation; and the saint knows it but too well, yet he is not afraid of this high truth, but proceeds on his career of attaining for all illusory beings illusory emancipation from illusory bondage. The saint is actuated with that feeling and proceeds in his work on the strength of his pâramitâs, though in reality there is no one who is to attain salvation in reality and no one who is to help him to attain it [Footnote ref 3]. The true prajñapâramitâ is the absolute cessation of all appearance (_yah anupalambhah sarvadharmânâm sa prajñâpâramitâ ityucyate_) [Footnote ref 4].

The Mahâyâna doctrine has developed on two lines, viz. that of S'ûnyavâda or the Mâdhyamika doctrine and Vijñânavâda. The difference between S'ûnyavâda and Vijñânavâda (the theory that there is only the appearance of phenomena of consciousness) is not fundamental, but is rather one of method. Both of them agree in holding that there is no truth in anything, everything is only passing appearance akin to dream or magic. But while the S'ûnyavâdins were more busy in showing this indefinableness of all phenomena, the Vijñânavâdins, tacitly accepting


[Footnote 1: _Astesâhasiihâprajñâpâramita_, p. 16.]

[Footnote 2: Ibid p. 177.]

[Footnote 3: Ibid p. 21.]

[Footnote 4: Ibid p. 177.]


the truth preached by the S'ûnyavâdins, interested themselves in explaining the phenomena of consciousness by their theory of beginningless illusory root-ideas or instincts of the mind (_vâsanâ_).

As'vaghosa (100 A.D.) seems to have been the greatest teacher of a new type of idealism (_vijñânavâda_) known as the Tathatâ philosophy. Trusting in Suzuki's identification of a quotation in As'vaghosa's _S'raddhotpâdas'âstra_ as being made from _Lankâvatârasûtra_, we should think of the _Lankâvatârasûtra_ as being one of the early works of the Vijñânavâdins [Footnote ref 1]. The greatest later writer of the Vijñânavâda school was Asanga (400 A.D.), to whom are attributed the _Saptadas'abhûmi sûtra, Mahâyâna sûtra, Upades'a, Mahâyânasamparigraha s'âstra, Yogâcârabhûmi s'âstra_ and _Mahâyânasûtrâlamkâra_. None of these works excepting the last one is available to readers who have no access to the Chinese and Tibetan manuscripts, as the Sanskrit originals are in all probability lost. The Vijñânavâda school is known to Hindu writers by another name also, viz. Yogâcâra, and it does not seem an improbable supposition that Asanga's _Yogâcârabhûmi s'âstra_ was responsible for the new name. Vasubandhu, a younger brother of Asanga, was, as Paramârtha (499-569) tells us, at first a liberal Sarvâstivâdin, but was converted to Vijñânavâda, late in his life, by Asanga. Thus Vasubandhu, who wrote in his early life the great standard work of the Sarvâstivâdins, _Abhidharmakos'a_, devoted himself in his later life to Vijñânavâda [Footnote ref 2]. He is said to have commented upon a number of Mahâyâna sûtras, such as _Avatamsaka, Nirvâna, Saddharmapundarîka, Prajñâpâramitâ, Vimalakîrtti_ and _S'rîmâlâsimhanâda_, and compiled some Mahâyâna sûtras, such as _Vijñânamâtrasiddhi, Ratnatraya_, etc. The school of Vijñânavâda continued for at least a century or two after Vasubandhu, but we are not in possession of any work of great fame of this school after him.

We have already noticed that the S'ûnyavâda formed the fundamental principle of all schools of Mahâyâna. The most powerful exponent of this doctrine was Nâgârjuna (1OO A.D.), a brief account of whose system will be given in its proper place. Nâgârjuna's kârikâs (verses) were commented upon by Âryyadeva, a disciple of his, Kumârajîva (383 A.D.). Buddhapâlita and Candrakîrtti (550 A.D.). Âryyadeva in addition to this commentary wrote at


[Footnote 1: Dr S.C. Vidyâbhûshana thinks that _Lankâvatâna_ belongs to about 300 A.D.]

[Footnote 2: Takakusu's "A study of the Paramârtha's life of Vasubandhu," _J.R.A.S_. 1905.]


least three other books, viz. _Catuhs'ataka, Hastabâlaprakaranavrtti_ and _Cittavis`uddhiprakarana_ [Footnote ref 1]. In the small work called _Hastabâlaprakaranavrtti_ Âryyadeva says that whatever depends for its existence on anything else may be proved to be illusory; all our notions of external objects depend on space perceptions and notions of part and whole and should therefore be regarded as mere appearance. Knowing therefore that all that is dependent on others for establishing itself is illusory, no wise man should feel attachment or antipathy towards these mere phenomenal appearances. In his _Cittavis'uddhiprakarana_ he says that just as a crystal appears to be coloured, catching the reflection of a coloured object, even so the mind though in itself colourless appears to show diverse colours by coloration of imagination (_vikalpa_). In reality the mind (_citta_) without a touch of imagination (_kalpanâ_) in it is the pure reality.

It does not seem however that the S'ûnyavâdins could produce any great writers after Candrakîrtti. References to S'ûnyavâda show that it was a living philosophy amongst the Hindu writers until the time of the great Mîmâmsâ authority Kumârila who flourished in the eighth century; but in later times the S'ûnyavâdins were no longer occupying the position of strong and active disputants.

The Tathataâ Philosophy of As'vaghosa (80 A.D.) [Footnote ref 2].

As'vaghosa was the son of a Brahmin named Saimhaguhya who spent his early days in travelling over the different parts of India and defeating the Buddhists in open debates. He was probably converted to Buddhism by Pârsva who was an important person in the third Buddhist Council promoted, according to some authorities, by the King of Kashmere and according to other authorities by Punyayas'as [Footnote ref 3].

___________________________________________________________________

[Footnote 1: Âryyadeva's _Hastabâlaprakaranavrtti_ has been reclaimed by Dr. F.W. Thomas. Fragmentary portions of his _Cittavis'uddhiprakarana_ were published by Mahâmahopâdhyâya Haraprasâda s'âstrî in the Bengal Asiatic Society's journal, 1898.]

[Footnote 2: The above section is based on the _Awakening of Faith_, an English translation by Suzuki of the Chinese version of _S'raddhotpâdas`âstra_ by As'vaghosa, the Sanskrit original of which appears to have been lost. Suzuki has brought forward a mass of evidence to show that As'vaghosa was a contemporary of Kaniska.]

[Footnote 3: Târanâtha says that he was converted by Aryadeva, a disciple of Nâgârjuna, _Geschichte des Buddhismus_, German translation by Schiefner, pp. 84-85. See Suzuki's _Awakening of Faith_, pp. 24-32. As'vaghosa wrote the _Buddhacaritakâvya_, of great poetical excellence, and the _Mahâlamkâras'âstra_. He was also a musician and had invented a musical instrument called Râstavara that he might by that means convert the people of the city. "Its melody was classical, mournful, and melodious, inducing the audience to ponder on the misery, emptiness, and non-âtmanness of life." Suzuki, p. 35.]

130

He held that in the soul two aspects may be distinguished --the aspect as thatness (_bhûtatathatâ_) and the aspect as the cycle of birth and death (_samsâra_). The soul as bhûtatathatâ means the oneness of the totality of all things (_dharmadhâtu_). Its essential nature is uncreate and external. All things simply on account of the beginningless traces of the incipient and unconscious memory of our past experiences of many previous lives (_smrti_) appear under the forms of individuation [Footnote ref 1]. If we could overcome this smrti "the signs of individuation would disappear and there would be no trace of a world of objects." "All things in their fundamental nature are not nameable or explicable. They cannot be adequately expressed in any form of language. They possess absolute sameness (_samatâ_). They are subject neither to transformation nor to destruction. They are nothing but one soul" --thatness (_bhûtatathatâ_). This "thatness" has no attribute and it can only be somehow pointed out in speech as "thatness." As soon as you understand that when the totality of existence is spoken of or thought of, there is neither that which speaks nor that which is spoken of, there is neither that which thinks nor that which is thought of, "this is the stage of thatness." This bhûtatathatâ is neither that which is existence, nor that which is non-existence, nor that which is at once existence and non-existence, nor that which is not at once existence and non-existence; it is neither that which is plurality, nor that which is at once unity and plurality, nor that which is not at once unity and plurality. It is a negative concept in the sense that it is beyond all that is conditional and yet it is a positive concept in the sense that it holds all within it. It cannot be comprehended by any kind of particularization or distinction. It is only by transcending the range of our intellectual categories of the comprehension of the limited range of finite phenomena that we can get a glimpse of it. It cannot be comprehended by the particularizing consciousness of all beings, and we thus may call it negation, "s'ûnyatâ," in this sense. The truth is that which


[Footnote 1: I have ventured to translate "_smrti_" in the sense of vâsanâ in preference to Suzuki's "confused subjectivity" because smrti in the sense of vâsanâ is not unfamiliar to the readers of such Buddhist works as _Lankâvatâra_. The word "subjectivity" seems to be too European a term to be used as a word to represent the Buddhist sense.]


subjectively does not exist by itself, that the negation (_s'ûnyatâ_) is also void (_s'ûnya_) in its nature, that neither that which is negated nor that which negates is an independent entity. It is the pure soul that manifests itself as eternal, permanent, immutable, and completely holds all things within it. On that account it may be called affirmation. But yet there is no trace of affirmation in it, because it is not the product of the creative instinctive memory (_smrti_) of conceptual thought and the only way of grasping the truth--the thatness, is by transcending all conceptual creations.

"The soul as birth and death (_samsâra_) comes forth from the Tathâgata womb (_tathâgatagarbha_), the ultimate reality. But the immortal and the mortal coincide with each other. Though they are not identical they are not duality either. Thus when the absolute soul assumes a relative aspect by its self-affirmation it is called the all-conserving mind (_âlayavijñâna_). It embraces two principles, (1) enlightenment, (2) non-enlightenment. Enlightenment is the perfection of the mind when it is free from the corruptions of the creative instinctive incipient memory (_smrti_). It penetrates all and is the unity of all (_dharmadhâtu_). That is to say, it is the universal dharmakâya of all Tathâgatas constituting the ultimate foundation of existence.

"When it is said that all consciousness starts from this fundamental truth, it should not be thought that consciousness had any real origin, for it was merely phenomenal existence--a mere imaginary creation of the perceivers under the influence of the delusive smrti. The multitude of people (_bahujana_) are said to be lacking in enlightenment, because ignorance (_avidyâ_) prevails there from all eternity, because there is a constant succession of smrti (past confused memory working as instinct) from which they have never been emancipated. But when they are divested of this smrti they can then recognize that no states of mentation, viz. their appearance, presence, change and disappearance, have any reality. They are neither in a temporal nor in a spatial relation with the one soul, for they are not self-existent.

"This high enlightenment shows itself imperfectly in our corrupted phenomenal experience as prajñâ (wisdom) and karma (incomprehensible activity of life). By pure wisdom we understand that when one, by virtue of the perfuming power of dharma, disciplines himself truthfully (i.e. according to the dharma), and accomplishes meritorious deeds, the mind (i.e. the _âlayavijñâna_) which implicates itself with birth and death will be broken down and the modes of the evolving consciousness will be annulled, and the pure and the genuine wisdom of the Dharmakâya will manifest itself. Though all modes of consciousness and mentation are mere products of ignorance, ignorance in its ultimate nature is identical and non-identical with enlightenment; and therefore ignorance is in one sense destructible, though in another sense it is indestructible. This may be illustrated by the simile of the water and the waves which are stirred up in the ocean. Here the water can be said to be both identical and non-identical with the waves. The waves are stirred up by the wind, but the water remains the same. When the wind ceases the motion of the waves subsides, but the water remains the same. Likewise when the mind of all creatures, which in its own nature is pure and clean, is stirred up by the wind of ignorance (_avidyâ_), the waves of mentality (_vijñâna_) make their appearance. These three (i.e. the mind, ignorance, and mentality) however have no existence, and they are neither unity nor plurality. When the ignorance is annihilated, the awakened mentality is tranquillized, whilst the essence of the wisdom remains unmolested." The truth or the enlightenment "is absolutely unobtainable by any modes of relativity or by any outward signs of enlightenment. All events in the phenomenal world are reflected in enlightenment, so that they neither pass out of it, nor enter into it, and they neither disappear nor are destroyed." It is for ever cut off from the hindrances both affectional (_kles'âvarana_) and intellectual (_jñeyâvarana_), as well as from the mind (i.e. _âlayavijñâna_) which implicates itself with birth and death, since it is in its true nature clean, pure, eternal, calm, and immutable. The truth again is such that it transforms and unfolds itself wherever conditions are favourable in the form of a tathâgata or in some other forms, in order that all beings may be induced thereby to bring their virtue to maturity.

"Non-elightenment has no existence of its own aside from its relation with enlightenment _a priori_." But enlightenment _a priori_ is spoken of only in contrast to non-enlightenment, and as non-enlightenment is a non-entity, true enlightenment in turn loses its significance too. They are distinguished only in mutual relation as enlightenment or non-enlightenment. The manifestations of non-enlightenment are made in three ways: (1) as a disturbance of the mind (_âlayavijñâna_), by the avidyâkarma (ignorant action), producing misery (_duhkha_); (2) by the appearance of an ego or of a perceiver; and (3) by the creation of an external world which does not exist in itself, independent of the perceiver. Conditioned by the unreal external world six kinds of phenomena arise in succession. The first phenomenon is intelligence (sensation); being affected by the external world the mind becomes conscious of the difference between the agreeable and the disagreeable. The second phenomenon is succession. Following upon intelligence, memory retains the sensations, agreeable as well as disagreeable, in a continuous succession of subjective states. The third phenomenon is clinging. Through the retention and succession of sensations, agreeable as well as disagreeable, there arises the desire of clinging. The fourth phenomenon is an attachment to names or ideas (_samjñâ_), etc. By clinging the mind hypostatizes all names whereby to give definitions to all things. The fifth phenomenon is the performance of deeds (_karma_). On account of attachment to names, etc., there arise all the variations of deeds, productive of individuality. "The sixth phenomenon is the suffering due to the fetter of deeds. Through deeds suffering arises in which the mind finds itself entangled and curtailed of its freedom." All these phenomena have thus sprung forth through avidyâ.

The relation between this truth and avidyâ is in one sense a mere identity and may be illustrated by the simile of all kinds of pottery which though different are all made of the same clay [Footnote ref 1]. Likewise the undefiled (_anâsrava_) and ignorance (_avidyâ_) and their various transient forms all come from one and the same entity. Therefore Buddha teaches that all beings are from all eternity abiding in Nirvâna.

It is by the touch of ignorance (_avidyâ_) that this truth assumes all the phenomenal forms of existence.

In the all-conserving mind (_âlayavijñâna_) ignorance manifests itself; and from non-enlightenment starts that which sees, that which represents, that which apprehends an objective world, and that which constantly particularizes. This is called ego (_manas_). Five different names are given to the ego (according to its different modes of operation). The first name is activity-consciousness (_karmavijñâna_) in the sense that through the agency of ignorance an unenlightened mind begins to be disturbed (or


[Footnote 1: Compare Chândogya, VI. 1. 4.]


awakened). The second name is evolving-consciousness (_pravrttiivijñâna_) in the sense that when the mind is disturbed, there evolves that which sees an external world. The third name is representation-consciousness in the sense that the ego (_manas_} represents (or reflects) an external world. As a clean mirror reflects the images of all description, it is even so with the representation-consciousness. When it is confronted, for instance, with the objects of the five senses, it represents them instantaneously and without effort. The fourth is particularization-consciousness, in the sense that it discriminates between different things defiled as well as pure. The fifth name is succession-consciousness, in the sense that continuously directed by the awakening consciousness of attention (_manaskâra_) it (_manas_) retains all experiences and never loses or suffers the destruction of any karma, good as well as evil, which had been sown in the past, and whose retribution, painful or agreeable, it never fails to mature, be it in the present or in the future, and also in the sense that it unconsciously recollects things gone by and in imagination anticipates things to come. Therefore the three domains (_kâmaloka_, domain of feeling--_rûpaloka_, domain of bodily existence--_arûpaloka_, domain of incorporeality) are nothing but the self manifestation of the mind (i.e. _âlayavijñâna_ which is practically identical with _bhûtatathatâ_). Since all things, owing the principle of their existence to the mind (_âlayavijñâna_), are produced by smrti, all the modes of particularization are the self-particularizations of the mind. The mind in itself (or the soul) being however free from all attributes is not differentiated. Therefore we come to the conclusion that all things and conditions in the phenomenal world, hypostatized and established only through ignorance (_avidyâ_) and memory (_smrti_), have no more reality than the images in a mirror. They arise simply from the ideality of a particularizing mind. When the mind is disturbed, the multiplicity of things is produced; but when the mind is quieted, the multiplicity of things disappears. By ego-consciousness (_manovijñâna_) we mean the ignorant mind which by its succession-consciousness clings to the conception of I and Not-I and misapprehends the nature of the six objects of sense. The ego-consciousness is also called separation-consciousness, because it is nourished by the perfuming influence of the prejudices (_âsrava_), intellectual as well as affectional. Thus believing in the external world produced by memory, the mind becomes oblivious of the principle of sameness (_samatâ_) that underlies all things which are one and perfectly calm and tranquil and show no sign of becoming.

Non-enlightenment is the _raison d'étre_ of samsâra. When this is annihilated the conditions--the external world--are also annihilated and with them the state of an interrelated mind is also annihilated. But this annihilation does not mean the annihilation of the mind but of its modes only. It becomes calm like an unruffled sea when all winds which were disturbing it and producing the waves have been annihilated.

In describing the relation of the interaction of avidyâ (ignorance), karmavijñâna (activity-consciousness--the subjective mind), visaya (external world--represented by the senses) and the tathatâ (suchness), As'vaghosa says that there is an interperfuming of these elements. Thus As'vaghosa says, "By perfuming we mean that while our worldly clothes (viz. those which we wear) have no odour of their own, neither offensive nor agreeable, they can yet acquire one or the other odour according to the nature of the substance with which they are perfumed. Suchness (_tathatâ_) is likewise a pure dharma free from all defilements caused by the perfuming power of ignorance. On the other hand ignorance has nothing to do with purity. Nevertheless we speak of its being able to do the work of purity because it in its turn is perfumed by suchness. Determined by suchness ignorance becomes the _raison d'étre_ of all forms of defilement. And this ignorance perfumes suchness and produces smrti. This smrti in its turn perfumes ignorance. On account of this (reciprocal) perfuming, the truth is misunderstood. On account of its being misunderstood an external world of subjectivity appears. Further, on account of the perfuming power of memory, various modes of individuation are produced. And by clinging to them various deeds are done, and we suffer as the result miseries mentally as well as bodily." Again "suchness perfumes ignorance, and in consequence of this perfuming the individual in subjectivity is caused to loathe the misery of birth and death and to seek after the blessing of Nirvâna. This longing and loathing on the part of the subjective mind in turn perfumes suchness. On account of this perfuming influence we are enabled to believe that we are in possession within ourselves of suchness whose essential nature is pure and immaculate; and we also recognize that all phenomena in the world are nothing but the illusory manifestations of the mind (_âlayavijñâna_) and have no reality of their own. Since we thus rightly understand the truth, we can practise the means of liberation, can perform those actions which are in accordance with the dharma. We should neither particularize, nor cling to objects of desire. By virtue of this discipline and habituation during the lapse of innumerable âsankhyeyakalpas [Footnote ref 1] we get ignorance annihilated. As ignorance is thus annihilated, the mind (_âlayavijñâna_) is no longer disturbed, so as to be subject to individuation. As the mind is no longer disturbed, the particularization of the surrounding world is annihilated. When in this wise the principle and the condition of defilement, their products, and the mental disturbances are all annihilated, it is said that we attain Nirvâna and that various spontaneous displays of activity are accomplished." The Nirvâna of the tathatâ philosophy is not nothingness, but tathatâ (suchness or thatness) in its purity unassociated with any kind of disturbance which produces all the diversity of experience.

To the question that if all beings are uniformly in possession of suchness and are therefore equally perfumed by it, how is it that there are some who do not believe in it, while others do, As'vaghosa's reply is that though all beings are uniformly in possession of suchness, the intensity of ignorance and the principle of individuation, that work from all eternity, vary in such manifold grades as to outnumber the sands of the Ganges, and hence the difference. There is an inherent perfuming principle in one's own being which, embraced and protected by the love (_maitrî_) and compassion (_karunâ_) of all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, is caused to loathe the misery of birth and death, to believe in nirvâna, to cultivate the root of merit (_kus'alamûla_), to habituate oneself to it and to bring it to maturity. In consequence of this, one is enabled to see all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and, receiving instructions from them, is benefited, gladdened and induced to practise good deeds, etc., till one can attain to Buddhahood and enter into Nirvâna. This implies that all beings have such perfuming power in them that they may be affected by the good wishes of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas for leading them to the path of virtue, and thus it is that sometimes hearing the Bodhisattvas and sometimes seeing them, "all beings thereby acquire (spiritual) benefits (_hitatâ_)" and "entering into the samâdhi of purity, they


[Footnote 1: Technical name for a very vast period of time.]


destroy hindrances wherever they are met with and obtain all-penetrating insight that enables them to become conscious of the absolute oneness (_samatâ_) of the universe (_sarvaloka_) and to see innumerable Buddhas and Bodhisattvas."

There is a difference between the perfuming which is not in unison with suchness, as in the case of s'râvakas (theravâdin monks), pratyekabuddhas and the novice bodhisattvas, who only continue their religious discipline but do not attain to the state of non-particularization in unison with the essence of suchness. But those bodhisattvas whose perfuming is already in unison with suchness attain to the state of non-particularization and allow themselves to be influenced only by the power of the dharma. The incessant perfuming of the defiled dharma (ignorance from all eternity) works on, but when one attains to Buddhahood one at once puts an end to it. The perfuming of the pure dharma (i.e. suchness) however works on to eternity without any interruption. For this suchness or thatness is the effulgence of great wisdom, the universal illumination of the dharmadhâtu (universe), the true and adequate knowledge, the mind pure and clean in its own nature, the eternal, the blessed, the self-regulating and the pure, the tranquil, the inimitable and the free, and this is called the tathâgatagarbha or the dharmakâya. It may be objected that since thatness or suchness has been described as being without characteristics, it is now a contradiction to speak of it as embracing all merits, but it is held, that in spite of its embracing all merits, it is free in its nature from all forms of distinction, because all objects in the world are of one and the same taste; and being of one reality they have nothing to do with the modes of particularization or of dualistic character. "Though all things in their (metaphysical) origin come from the soul alone and in truth are free from particularization, yet on account of non-enlightenment there originates a subjective mind (_âlayavijñâna_) that becomes conscious of an external world." This is called ignorance or avidyâ. Nevertheless the pure essence of the mind is perfectly pure and there is no awakening of ignorance in it. Hence we assign to suchness this quality, the effulgence of great wisdom. It is called universal illumination, because there is nothing for it to illumine. This perfuming of suchness therefore continues for ever, though the stage of the perfuming of avidyâ comes to an end with the Buddhas when they attain to nirvâna. All Buddhas while at the stage of discipline feel a deep compassion (_mahâkarunâ_) for all beings, practise all virtues (_pâramitâs_) and many other meritorious deeds, treat others as their own selves, and wish to work out a universal salvation of mankind in ages to come, through limitless numbers of _kalpas_, recognize truthfully and adequately the principle of equality (_samatâ_)among people; and do not cling to the individual existence of a sentient being. This is what is meant by the activity of tathatâ. The main idea of this tathatâ philosophy seems to be this, that this transcendent "thatness" is at once the quintessence of all thought and activity; as avidyâ veils it or perfumes it, the world-appearance springs forth, but as the pure thatness also perfumes the avidyâ there is a striving for the good as well. As the stage of avidyâ is passed its luminous character shines forth, for it is the ultimate truth which only illusorily appeared as the many of the world.

This doctrine seems to be more in agreement with the view of an absolute unchangeable reality as the ultimate truth than that of the nihilistic idealism of _Lankâvatâra_. Considering the fact that As'vaghosa was a learned Brahmin scholar in his early life, it is easy to guess that there was much Upanisad influence in this interpretation of Buddhism, which compares so favourably with the Vedânta as interpreted by S'ankara. The _Lankâvatâra_ admitted a reality only as a make-believe to attract the Tairthikas (heretics) who had a prejudice in favour of an unchangeable self (_âtman_). But As'vaghosa plainly admitted an unspeakable reality as the ultimate truth. Nâgârjuna's Mâdhyamika doctrines which eclipsed the profound philosophy of As'vaghosa seem to be more faithful to the traditional Buddhist creed and to the Vijñânavâda creed of Buddhism as explained in the Lankâvatâra [Footnote ref 1].

The Mâdhyamika or the S'ûntavâda school.--Nihilism.

Candrakîrtti, the commentator of Nâgârjuna's verses known as "_Mâdhyamika kârikâ_," in explaining the doctrine of dependent origination (_pratîtyasamutpâda_) as described by Nâgârjuna starts with two interpretations of the word. According to one the word pratîtyasamutpâda means the origination (_utpâda_) of the nonexistent (_abhâva_) depending on (_pratîtya_) reasons and causes


[Footnote 1: As I have no access to the Chinese translation of As'vaghosa's _S'raddhotpâda S'âstra_, I had to depend entirely on Suzuki's expressions as they appear in his translation.]


(hetupratyaya). According to the other interpretation pratîtya means each and every destructible individual and pratîtyasamutpâda means the origination of each and every destructible individual. But he disapproves of both these meanings. The second meaning does not suit the context in which the Pâli Scriptures generally speak of pratîtyasamutpâda (e.g. _caksuh pratîtya rûpâni ca utpadyante caksurvijñânam_) for it does not mean the origination of each and every destructible individual, but the originating of specific individual phenomena (e.g. perception of form by the operation in connection with the eye) depending upon certain specific conditions.

The first meaning also is equally unsuitable. Thus for example if we take the case of any origination, e.g. that of the visual percept, we see that there cannot be any contact between visual knowledge and physical sense, the eye, and so it would not be intelligible that the former should depend upon the latter. If we interpret the maxim of pratîtyasamutpâda as this happening that happens, that would not explain any specific origination. All origination is false, for a thing can neither originate by itself nor by others, nor by a co-operation of both nor without any reason. For if a thing exists already it cannot originate again by itself. To suppose that it is originated by others would also mean that the origination was of a thing already existing. If again without any further qualification it is said that depending on one the other comes into being, then depending on anything any other thing could come into being--from light we could have darkness! Since a thing could not originate from itself or by others, it could not also be originated by a combination of both of them together. A thing also could not originate without any cause, for then all things could come into being at all times. It is therefore to be acknowledged that wherever the Buddha spoke of this so-called dependent origination (_pratîtyasamutpâda_) it was referred to as illusory manifestations appearing to intellects and senses stricken with ignorance. This dependent origination is not thus a real law, but only an appearance due to ignorance (_avidyâ_). The only thing which is not lost (_amosadharma_) is nirvâna; but all other forms of knowledge and phenomena (_samskâra_) are false and are lost with their appearances (_sarvasamskârâs'ca mrsâmosadharmânah_).

It is sometimes objected to this doctrine that if all appearances are false, then they do not exist at all. There are then no good or bad works and no cycle of existence, and if such is the case, then it may be argued that no philosophical discussion should be attempted. But the reply to such an objection is that the nihilistic doctrine is engaged in destroying the misplaced confidence of the people that things are true. Those who are really wise do not find anything either false or true, for to them clearly they do not exist at all and they do not trouble themselves with the question of their truth or falsehood. For him who knows thus there are neither works nor cycles of births (_samsâra_) and also he does not trouble himself about the existence or non-existence of any of the appearances. Thus it is said in the Ratnakûtasûtra that howsoever carefully one may search one cannot discover consciousness (_citta_); what cannot be perceived cannot be said to exist, and what does not exist is neither past, nor future, nor present, and as such it cannot be said to have any nature at all; and that which has no nature is subject neither to origination nor to extinction. He who through his false knowledge (_viparyyâsa_) does not comprehend the falsehood of all appearances, but thinks them to be real, works and suffers the cycles of rebirth (_samsâra_). Like all illusions, though false these appearances can produce all the harm of rebirth and sorrow.

It may again be objected that if there is nothing true according to the nihilists (_s'ûnyavâdins_), then their statement that there is no origination or extinction is also not true. Candrakirtti in replying to this says that with s'ûnyavâdins the truth is absolute silence. When the S'ûnyavâdin sages argue, they only accept for the moment what other people regard as reasons, and deal with them in their own manner to help them to come to a right comprehension of all appearances. It is of no use to say, in spite of all arguments tending to show the falsehood of all appearances, that they are testified by our experience, for the whole thing that we call "our experience" is but false illusion inasmuch as these phenomena have no true essence.

When the doctrine of pratîtyasamutpâda is described as "this being that is," what is really meant is that things can only be indicated as mere appearances one after another, for they have no essence or true nature. Nihilism (_s'ûnyavâda_) also means just this. The true meaning of pratîtyasamutpâda or s'ûnyavâda is this, that there is no truth, no essence in all phenomena that appear [Footnote ref 1]. As the phenomena have no essence they are neither produced nor destroyed; they really neither come nor go. They are merely the appearance of maya or illusion. The void (_s'ûnya_) does not mean pure negation, for that is relative to some kind of position. It simply means that none of the appearances have any intrinsic nature of their own (_nihsvabhâvatvam_).

The Madhyamaka or S'ûnya system does not hold that anything has any essence or nature (svabhâva) of its own; even heat cannot be said to be the essence of fire; for both the heat and the fire are the result of the combination of many conditions, and what depends on many conditions cannot be said to be the nature or essence of the thing. That alone may be said to be the true essence or nature of anything which does not depend on anything else, and since no such essence or nature can be pointed out which stands independently by itself we cannot say that it exists. If a thing has no essence or existence of its own, we cannot affirm the essence of other things to it (_parabhâva_). If we cannot affirm anything of anything as positive, we cannot consequently assert anything of anything as negative. If anyone first believes in things positive and afterwards discovers that they are not so, he no doubt thus takes his stand on a negation (_abhâva_), but in reality since we cannot speak of anything positive, we cannot speak of anything negative either [Footnote ref 2].

It is again objected that we nevertheless perceive a process going on. To this the Madhyamaka reply is that a process of change could not be affirmed of things that are permanent. But we can hardly speak of a process with reference to momentary things; for those which are momentary are destroyed the next moment after they appear, and so there is nothing which can continue to justify a process. That which appears as being neither comes from anywhere nor goes anywhere, and that which appears as destroyed also does not come from anywhere nor go anywhere, and so a process (_samsâra_) cannot be affirmed of them. It cannot be that when the second moment arose, the first moment had suffered a change in the process, for it was not the same as the second, as there is no so-called cause-effect connection. In fact there being no relation between the two, the temporal determination as prior and later is wrong. The supposition that there is a self which suffers changes is also not valid, for howsoever we


[Footnote 1: See _Mâdhyamikavrtti_ (B.T.S.), p. 50.]

[Footnote 2: _Ibid_. pp. 93-100.]


may search we find the five skandhas but no self. Moreover if the soul is a unity it cannot undergo any process or progression, for that would presuppose that the soul abandons one character and takes up another at the same identical moment which is inconceivable [Footnote ref 1].

But then again the question arises that if there is no process, and no cycle of worldly existence of thousands of afflictions, what is then the nirvâna which is described as the final extinction of all afflictions (_kles'a_)? To this the Madhyamaka reply is that it does not agree to such a definition of nirvâna. Nirvâna on the Madhyamaka theory is the absence of the essence of all phenomena, that which cannot be conceived either as anything which has ceased or as anything which is produced (_aniruddham anntpannam_}. In nirvâna all phenomena are lost; we say that the phenomena cease to exist in nirvâna, but like the illusory snake in the rope they never existed [Footnote ref 2]. Nirvâna cannot be any positive thing or any sort of state of being (_bhâva_), for all positive states or things are joint products of combined causes (_samskrta_) and are liable to decay and destruction. Neither can it be a negative existence, for since we cannot speak of any positive existence, we cannot speak of a negative existence either. The appearances or the phenomena are communicated as being in a state of change and process coming one after another, but beyond that no essence, existence, or truth can be affirmed of them. Phenomena sometimes appear to be produced and sometimes to be destroyed, but they cannot be determined as existent or non-existent. Nirvâna is merely the cessation of the seeming phenomenal flow (_prapañcapravrtti_). It cannot therefore be designated either as positive or as negative for these conceptions belong to phenomena (_na câpravrttimatram bhâvâbhâveti parikalpitum pâryyate evam na bhâvâbhâvanirvânam_, M.V. 197). In this state there is nothing which is known, and even the knowledge that the phenomena have ceased to appear is not found. Even the Buddha himself is a phenomenon, a mirage or a dream, and so are all his teachings [Footnote ref 3].

It is easy to see that in this system there cannot exist any bondage or emancipation; all phenomena are like shadows, like the mirage, the dream, the mâyâ, and the magic without any real nature (_nihsvabhâva_). It is mere false knowledge to suppose that


[Footnote 1: See _Madhyamikavrtti_ (B.T.S.), pp. 101-102.]

[Footnote 2: _Ibid_. p. 194.]

[Footnote 3: _Ibid_. pp.162 and 201.]


one is trying to win a real nirvâna [Footnote ref 1]. It is this false egoism that is to be considered as avidyâ. When considered deeply it is found that there is not even the slightest trace of any positive existence. Thus it is seen that if there were no ignorance (_avidyâ_), there would have been no conformations (_samskâras_), and if there were no conformations there would have been no consciousness, and so on; but it cannot be said of the ignorance "I am generating the samskâras," and it can be said of the samskâras "we are being produced by the avidyâ." But there being avidyâ, there come the samskarâs and so on with other categories too. This character of the pratîtyasamutpâda is known as the coming of the consequent depending on an antecedent reason (_hetûpanibandha_).

It can be viewed from another aspect, namely that of dependence on conglomeration or combination (_pratyayopanibandh_). It is by the combination (_samavâya_) of the four elements, space (_âkâs'a_) and consciousness (_vijñâna_) that a man is made. It is due to earth (_prthivî_) that the body becomes solid, it is due to water that there is fat in the body, it is due to fire that there is digestion, it is due to wind that there is respiration; it is due to âkâs'a that there is porosity, and it is due to vijñâna that there is mind-consciousness. It is by their mutual combination that we find a man as he is. But none of these elements think that they have done any of the functions that are considered to be allotted to them. None of these are real substances or beings or souls. It is by ignorance that these are thought of as existents and attachment is generated for them. Through ignorance thus come the samskâras, consisting of attachment, antipathy and thoughtlessness (_râga, dvesa, moha_); from these proceed the vijñâna and the four skandhas. These with the four elements bring about name and form (_nâmarûpa_), from these proceed the senses (_sadayatana_), from the coming together of those three comes contact (_spars'a_); from that feelings, from that comes desire (_trsnâ_) and so on. These flow on like the stream of a river, but there is no essence or truth behind them all or as the ground of them all [Footnote ref 2]. The phenomena therefore cannot be said to be either existent or non-existent, and no truth can be affirmed of either eternalism (_s'âs'vatavâda_) or nihilism (_ucchedavâda_), and it is for this reason


[Footnote 1: See _Mâdhyamikavrtti_ (B.T.S.), pp. 101-108.]

[Footnote: _Ibid._ pp. 209-211, quoted from _Sâlistambhasûtra_. Vâcaspatimis'ra also quotes this passage in his _Bhâmatî_ on S'ankara's _Brahma-sûtra_.]


that this doctrine is called the middle doctrine (_madhyamaka_) [Footnote ref 1]. Existence and non-existence have only a relative truth (_samvrtisatya_) in them, as in all phenomena, but there is no true reality (_paramârthasatya_) in them or anything else. Morality plays as high a part in this nihilistic system as it does in any other Indian system. I quote below some stanzas from Nâgârjuna's _Sukrllekha_ as translated by Wenzel (P.T.S. 1886) from the Tibetan translation.

6. Knowing that riches are unstable and void (_asâra_) give according to the moral precepts, to Bhikshus, Brahmins, the poor and friends for there is no better friend than giving.

7. Exhibit morality (_s'îla_) faultless and sublime, unmixed and spotless, for morality is the supporting ground of all eminence, as the earth is of the moving and immovable.

8. Exercise the imponderable, transcendental virtues of charity, morality, patience, energy, meditation, and likewise wisdom, in order that, having reached the farther shore of the sea of existence, you may become a Jina prince.

9. View as enemies, avarice (_mâtsaryya_), deceit (_s'âthya_), duplicity (_mâyâ_), lust, indolence (_kausîdya_), pride (_mâna_), greed (_râga_), hatred (_dvesa_) and pride (_mada_) concerning family, figure, glory, youth, or power.

15. Since nothing is so difficult of attainment as patience, open no door for anger; the Buddha has pronounced that he who renounces anger shall attain the degree of an anâgâmin (a saint who never suffers rebirth).

21. Do not look after another's wife; but if you see her, regard her, according to age, like your mother, daughter or sister.

24. Of him who has conquered the unstable, ever moving objects of the six senses and him who has overcome the mass of his enemies in battle, the wise praise the first as the greater hero.

29. Thou who knowest the world, be equanimous against the eight worldly conditions, gain and loss, happiness and suffering, fame and dishonour, blame and praise, for they are not objects for your thoughts.

37. But one (a woman) that is gentle as a sister, winning as a friend, careful of your well being as a mother, obedient as a servant her (you must) honour as the guardian god(dess) of the family.

40. Always perfectly meditate on (turn your thoughts to) kindness, pity, joy and indifference; then if you do not obtain a higher degree you (certainly) will obtain the happiness of Brahman's world (_brahmavihâra_).

41. By the four dhyânas completely abandoning desire (_kâma_), reflection (_vicâra_), joy (_prîti_), and happiness and pain (_sukha, duhkha_) you will obtain as fruit the lot of a Brahman.

49. If you say "I am not the form, you thereby will understand I am not endowed with form, I do not dwell in form, the form does not dwell in me; and in like manner you will understand the voidness of the other four aggregates."

50. The aggregates do not arise from desire, nor from time, nor from


[Footnote 1: See _Mâdhyamikavrtti_ (B.T.S.), p. 160.]


nature (_prakrti_), not from themselves (_svabhâvât_), nor from the Lord (_îs'vara_), nor yet are they without cause; know that they arise from ignorance (_avidyâ_) and desire (_trsnâ_).

51. Know that attachment to religious ceremonies (_s'îlabrataparâmars'a_), wrong views (_mithyâdrsti_) and doubt (_vicikitsâ_) are the three fetters.

53. Steadily instruct yourself (more and more) in the highest morality, the highest wisdom and the highest thought, for the hundred and fifty one rules (of the _prâtimoksa_) are combined perfectly in these three.

58. Because thus (as demonstrated) all this is unstable (_anitya_) without substance (_anâtma_) without help (_as'arana_) without protector (_anâtha_) and without abode (_asthâna_) thou O Lord of men must become discontented with this worthless (_asâra_) kadali-tree of the orb.

104. If a fire were to seize your head or your dress you would extinguish and subdue it, even then endeavour to annihilate desire, for there is no other higher necessity than this.

105. By morality, knowledge and contemplation, attain the spotless dignity of the quieting and the subduing nirvâna not subject to age, death or decay, devoid of earth, water, fire, wind, sun and moon.

107. Where there is no wisdom (_prajñâ_) there is also no contemplation (_dhyana_), where there is no contemplation there is also no wisdom; but know that for him who possesses these two the sea of existence is like a grove.

Uncompromising Idealism or the School of Vijñânavâda Buddhism.

The school of Buddhist philosophy known as the Vijñânavâda or Yogâcâra has often been referred to by such prominent teachers of Hindu thought as Kumârila and S'ankara. It agrees to a great extent with the S'ûnyavâdins whom we have already described. All the dharmas (qualities and substances) are but imaginary constructions of ignorant minds. There is no movement in the so-called external world as we suppose, for it does not exist. We construct it ourselves and then are ourselves deluded that it exists by itself (_nirmmitapratimohi_) [Footnote ref 1]. There are two functions involved in our consciousness, viz. that which holds the perceptions (_khyâti vijñâna_), and that which orders them by imaginary constructions (_vastuprativikalpavijñâna_). The two functions however mutually determine each other and cannot be separately distinguished (_abhinnalaksane anyonyahetuke_). These functions are set to work on account of the beginningless instinctive tendencies inherent in them in relation to the world of appearance (_anâdikâla-prapañca-vâsanahetukañca_) [Footnote ref 2].

All sense knowledge can be stopped only when the diverse


[Footnote 1: _Lankâvatârasûtra_, pp. 21-22.]

[Footnote 2 _Ibid._ p. 44.]


unmanifested instincts of imagination are stopped (_abhûta-parikalpa-vâsanâ-vaicitra-nirodha_) [Footnote ref 1]. All our phenomenal knowledge is without any essence or truth (_nihsvabhâva_) and is but a creation of mâyâ, a mirage or a dream. There is nothing which may be called external, but all is the imaginary creation of the mind (_svacitta_), which has been accustomed to create imaginary appearances from beginningless time. This mind by whose movement these creations take place as subject and object has no appearance in itself and is thus without any origination, existence and extinction (_utpâdasthitibhangavarjjam_) and is called the âlayavijñâna. The reason why this âlayavijñâna itself is said to be without origination, existence, and extinction is probably this, that it is always a hypothetical state which merely explains all the phenomenal states that appear, and therefore it has no existence in the sense in which the term is used and we could not affirm any special essence of it.

We do not realize that all visible phenomena are of nothing external but of our own mind (_svacitta_), and there is also the beginningless tendency for believing and creating a phenomenal world of appearance. There is also the nature of knowledge (which takes things as the perceiver and the perceived) and there is also the instinct in the mind to experience diverse forms. On account of these four reasons there are produced in the âlayavijñâna (mind) the ripples of our sense experiences (_pravrttivijñana_) as in a lake, and these are manifested as sense experiences. All the five skandhas called _pañchavijñânakâya_ thus appear in a proper synthetic form. None of the phenomenal knowledge that appears is either identical or different from the âlayavijñâna just as the waves cannot be said to be either identical or different from the ocean. As the ocean dances on in waves so the citta or the âlayavijñâna is also dancing as it were in its diverse operations (_vrtti_). As citta it collects all movements (_karma_) within it, as manas it synthesizes (_vidhîyate_) and as vijñâna it constructs the fivefold perceptions (_vijñânân vijânâti drs'yam kalpate pañcabhih_) [Footnote ref 2].

It is only due to mâyâ (illusion) that the phenomena appear in their twofold aspect as subject and object. This must always be regarded as an appearance (_samvrtisatyatâ_) whereas in the real aspect we could never say whether they existed (_bhâva_) or did not exist [Footnote ref 3].


[Footnote 1: _Pañcâvatârasûtra_, p. 44.]

[Footnote 2: _Ibid_., pp. 50-55.]

[Footnote 3: Asanga's _Mahâyânasûtrâlamkâra_, pp. 58-59.]


All phenomena both being and non-being are illusory (_sadasantah mâyopamâh_). When we look deeply into them we find that there is an absolute negation of all appearances, including even all negations, for they are also appearances. This would make the ultimate truth positive. But this is not so, for it is that in which the positive and negative are one and the same (_bhâvâbhâvasamânatâ_) [Footnote ref 1]. Such a state which is complete in itself and has no name and no substance had been described in the Lankâvatârasûtra as thatness (_tathatâ_) [Footnote ref 2]. This state is also described in another place in the _Lankâvatâra_ as voidness (_s'ûnyatâ_) which is one and has no origination and no essence [Footnote ref 3]. In another place it is also designated as tathâgatagarbha [Footnote ref 4].

It may be supposed that this doctrine of an unqualified ultimate truth comes near to the Vedantic âtman or Brahman like the tathatâ doctrine of As'vaghosa; and we find in Lankavatâra that Râvana asks the Buddha "How can you say that your doctrine of tathâgatagarbha was not the same as the âtman doctrine of the other schools of philosophers, for those heretics also consider the âtman as eternal, agent, unqualified, all pervading and unchanged?" To this the Buddha is found to reply thus--"Our doctrine is not the same as the doctrine of those heretics; it is in consideration of the fact that the instruction of a philosophy which considered that there was no soul or substance in anything (nairatmya) would frighten the disciples, that I say that all things are in reality the tathâgatagarbha. This should not be regarded as âtman. Just as a lump of clay is made into various shapes, so it is the non-essential nature of all phenomena and their freedom from all characteristics (_sarvavikalpalaksanavinivrttam_) that is variously described as the garbha or the nairâtmya (essencelessness). This explanation of tathâgatagarbha as the ultimate truth and reality is given in order to attract to our creed those heretics who are superstitiously inclined to believe in the âtman doctrine [Footnote ref 5]."

So far as the appearance of the phenomena was concerned, the idealistic Buddhists (_vijñânavâdins_) agreed to the doctrine of pratîtyasamutpâda with certain modifications. There was with them an external pratîtyasamutpâda just as it appeared in the


[Footnote 1: Asanga's _Mahâyânasûtrâlamkâra_, p. 65.]

[Footnote 2: _Lankâvatârasûtra_, p. 70.]

[Footnote 3: _Ibid._ p. 78.]

[Footnote 4: _Ibid._ p. 80.]

[Footnote 5: _Ibid._ pp. 80-81.]


objective aspect and an internal pratîtyasamutpâda. The external pratîtyasamutpâda (dependent origination) is represented in the way in which material things (e.g. a jug) came into being by the co-operation of diverse elements--the lump of clay, the potter, the wheel, etc. The internal (_âdhyâtmika_) pratîtyasamutpâda was represented by avidyâ, trsnâ, karma, the skandhas, and the âyatanas produced out of them [Footnote ref 1].

Our understanding is composed of two categories called the _pravichayabuddhi_ and the _vikalpalaksanagrahâbhinives'apratisthapikâbuddhi_. The pravicayabuddhi is that which always seeks to take things in either of the following four ways, that they are either this or the other (_ekatvânyaiva_); either both or not both (_ubhayânubhaya_), either are or are not (_astinâsti_), either eternal or non-eternal (_nityânitya_). But in reality none of these can be affirmed of the phenomena. The second category consists of that habit of the mind by virtue of which it constructs diversities and arranges them (created in their turn by its own constructive activity--_parikalpa_) in a logical order of diverse relations of subject and predicate, causal and other relations. He who knows the nature of these two categories of the mind knows that there is no external world of matter and that they are all experienced only in the mind. There is no water, but it is the sense construction of smoothness (_sneha_) that constructs the water as an external substance; it is the sense construction of activity or energy that constructs the external substance of fire; it is the sense construction of movement that constructs the external substance of air. In this way through the false habit of taking the unreal as the real (_mithyâsatyâbhinives'a_) five skandhas appear. If these were to appear all together, we could not speak of any kind of causal relations, and if they appeared in succession there could be no connection between them, as there is nothing to bind them together. In reality there is nothing which is produced or destroyed, it is only our constructive imagination that builds up things as perceived with all their relations, and ourselves as perceivers. It is simply a convention (_vyavahâra_) to speak of things as known [Footnote ref 2]. Whatever we designate by speech is mere speech-construction (_vâgvikalpa_) and unreal. In speech one could not speak of anything without relating things in some kind of causal


[Footnote 1: _Lankâvatârasûtra_, p. 85.]

[Footnote 2: _Lankâvatârasûtra_, p. 87, compare the term "vyavahârika" as used of the phenomenal and the conventional world in almost the same sense by S'ankara.]


relation, but none of these characters may be said to be true; the real truth (_paramartha_) can never be referred to by such speech-construction.

The nothingness (_s'ûnyata_) of things may be viewed from seven aspects--(1) that they are always interdependent, and hence have no special characteristics by themselves, and as they cannot be determined in themselves they cannot be determined in terms of others, for, their own nature being undetermined, a reference to an "other" is also undetermined, and hence they are all indefinable (_laksanas'ûnyata_); (2) that they have no positive essence (_bhâvasvabhâvas'ûnyatâ_), since they spring up from a natural non-existence (_svabhâvâbhâvotpatti_); (3) that they are of an unknown type of non-existence (_apracaritas'ûnyatâ_), since all the skandhas vanish in the nirvana; (4) that they appear phenomenally as connected though non-existent (_pracaritas'ûnyatâ_), for their skandhas have no reality in themselves nor are they related to others, but yet they appear to be somehow causally connected; (5) that none of the things can be described as having any definite nature, they are all undemonstrable by language (_nirabhilapyas'ûnyatâ_); (6) that there cannot be any knowledge about them except that which is brought about by the long-standing defects of desires which pollute all our vision; (7) that things are also non-existent in the sense that we affirm them to be in a particular place and time in which they are not (_itaretaras'ûnyatâ_).

There is thus only non-existence, which again is neither eternal nor destructible, and the world is but a dream and a mâyâ; the two kinds of negation (_nirodha_) are âkâs'a (space) and nirvana; things which are neither existent nor non-existent are only imagined to be existent by fools.

This view apparently comes into conflict with the doctrine of this school, that the reality is called the tathâgatagarbha (the womb of all that is merged in thatness) and all the phenomenal appearances of the clusters (_skandhas_), elements (_dhâtus_), and fields of sense operation (_âyatanas_) only serve to veil it with impurities, and this would bring it nearer to the assumption of a universal soul as the reality. But the _Lankâvatâra_ attempts to explain away this conflict by suggesting that the reference to the tathâgatagarbha as the reality is only a sort of false bait to attract those who are afraid of listening to the nairâtmya (non-soul doctrine) [Footnote ref 1].


[Footnote 1: _Lankâvatârasûtra_, p. 80.


The Bodhisattvas may attain their highest by the fourfold knowledge of (1) _svacittadrs'hyabhâvanâ_, (2) _utpâdasthitibhangavivarjjanatâ_, (3) _bâhyabhâvâbhâvopalaksanatâ_ and (4) _svapratyâryyajñânâdhigamâbhinnalaksanatâ_. The first means that all things are but creations of the imagination of one's mind. The second means that as things have no essence there is no origination, existence or destruction. The third means that one should know the distinctive sense in which all external things are said either to be existent or non-existent, for their existence is merely like the mirage which is produced by the beginningless desire (_vâsanâ_) of creating and perceiving the manifold. This brings us to the fourth one, which means the right comprehension of the nature of all things.

The four dhyânas spoken of in the _Lankâvatâra_ seem to be different from those which have been described in connection with the Theravâda Buddhism. These dhyânas are called (1) _bâlopacârika_, (2) _arthapravichaya_, (3) _tathatâlambana_ and (4) _tathâgata_. The first one is said to be that practised by the s'râvakas and the pratyekabuddhas. It consists in concentrating upon the doctrine that there is no soul (_pudgalanairâtmya_), and that everything is transitory, miserable and impure. When considering all things in this way from beginning to end the sage advances on till all conceptual knowing ceases (_âsamjñânirodhât_); we have what is called the vâlopacârika dhyâna (the meditation for beginners).

The second is the advanced state where not only there is full consciousness that there is no self, but there is also the comprehension that neither these nor the doctrines of other heretics may be said to exist, and that there is none of the dharmas that appears. This is called the _arthapravicayadhyâna_, for the sage concentrates here on the subject of thoroughly seeking out (_pravichaya_) the nature of all things (_artha_).

The third dhyâna, that in which the mind realizes that the thought that there is no self nor that there are the appearances, is itself the result of imagination and thus lapses into the thatness (_tathatâ_). This dhyâna is called _tathatâlambana_, because it has for its object tathatâ or thatness.

The last or the fourth dhyâna is that in which the lapse of the mind into the state of thatness is such that the nothingness and incomprehensibility of all phenomena is perfectly realized; and nirvâna is that in which all root desires (_vâsanâ_) manifesting themselves in knowledge are destroyed and the mind with knowledge and perceptions, making false creations, ceases to work. This cannot be called death, for it will not have any rebirth and it cannot be called destruction, for only compounded things (_samskrta_) suffer destruction, so that it is different from either death or destruction. This nirvâna is different from that of the s'râvakas and the pratyekabuddhas for they are satisfied to call that state nirvâna, in which by the knowledge of the general characteristics of all things (transitoriness and misery) they are not attached to things and cease to make erroneous judgments [Footnote ref 1].

Thus we see that there is no cause (in the sense of ground) of all these phenomena as other heretics maintain. When it is said that the world is mâyâ or illusion, what is meant to be emphasized is this, that there is no cause, no ground. The phenomena that seem to originate, stay, and be destroyed are mere constructions of tainted imagination, and the tathatâ or thatness is nothing but the turning away of this constructive activity or nature of the imagination (_vikalpa_) tainted with the associations of beginningless root desires (_vâsanâ_) [Footnote ref 2]. The tathatâ has no separate reality from illusion, but it is illusion itself when the course of the construction of illusion has ceased. It is therefore also spoken of as that which is cut off or detached from the mind (_cittavimukta_), for here there is no construction of imagination (_sarvakalpanavirahitam_) [Footnote ref 3].

Sautrântika Theory of Perception.

Dharmottara (847 A.D.), a commentator of Dharmakîrtti's [Footnote ref 4] (about 635 A.D.) _Nyâyabindu_, a Sautrantika logical and epistemological work, describes right knowledge (_samyagjñâna_) as an invariable antecedent to the accomplishment of all that a man


[Footnote 1: _Lankâvatarasûtra_, p. 100.]

[Footnote 2: _Ibid._ p. 109.]

[Footnote 3: This account of the Vijñanavada school is collected mainly from _Lankâvatârasûtra_, as no other authentic work of the Vijñânavâda school is available. Hindu accounts and criticisms of this school may be had in such books as Kumarila's _S'loka vârttika_ or S'ankara's bhasya, II. ii, etc. Asaknga's _Mahâyânasûtralamkâra_ deals more with the duties concerning the career of a saint (_Bodhisattva_) than with the metaphysics of the system.]

[Footnote 4: Dharmakîrtti calls himself an adherent of Vijñanavâda in his _Santânântarasiddhi_, a treatise on solipsism, but his _Nyâyabindu_ seems rightly to have been considered by the author of _Nyâyabindutîkâtippani_ (p. 19) as being written from the Sautrântika point of view.]


desires to have (_samyagjñânapûrvikâ sarvapurusârthasiddhi_) [Footnote ref 1]. When on proceeding, in accordance with the presentation of any knowledge, we get a thing as presented by it we call it right knowledge. Right knowledge is thus the knowledge by which one can practically acquire the thing he wants to acquire (_arthâdhigati_). The process of knowledge, therefore, starts with the perceptual presentation and ends with the attainment of the thing represented by it and the fulfilment of the practical need by it (_arthâdhigamât samâptah pramânavyâpârah_). Thus there are three moments in the perceptual acquirement of knowledge: (1) the presentation, (2) our prompting in accordance with it, and (3) the final realization of the object in accordance with our endeavour following the direction of knowledge. Inference is also to be called right knowledge, as it also serves our practical need by representing the presence of objects in certain connections and helping us to realize them. In perception this presentation is direct, while in inference this is brought about indirectly through the linga (reason). Knowledge is sought by men for the realization of their ends, and the subject of knowledge is discussed in philosophical works only because knowledge is sought by men. Any knowledge, therefore, which will not lead us to the realization of the object represented by it could not be called right knowledge. All illusory perceptions, therefore, such as the perception of a white conch-shell as yellow or dream perceptions, are not right knowledge, since they do not lead to the realization of such objects as are presented by them. It is true no doubt that since all objects are momentary, the object which was perceived at the moment of perception was not the same as that which was realized at a later moment. But the series of existents which started with the first perception of a blue object finds itself realized by the realization of other existents of the same series (_nîlâdau ya eva santânah paricchinno nilajñânena sa eva tena prâpitah tena nilajñânam pramânam_) [Footnote ref 2].

When it is said that right knowledge is an invariable antecedent of the realization of any desirable thing or the retarding of any undesirable thing, it must be noted that it is not meant


[Footnote 1: Brief extracts from the opinions of two other commentators of _Nyâyaybindu_, Vinîtadeva and S'antabhadra (seventh century), are found in _Nyâyabindutîkâtippanî_, a commentary of _Nyayabindutikâ_ of Dharmmottara, but their texts are not available to us.]

[Footnote 2: _Nyâyabindutîkâtippanî_, p. 11.]


that right knowledge is directly the cause of it; for, with the rise of any right perception, there is a memory of past experiences, desire is aroused, through desire an endeavour in accordance with it is launched, and as a result of that there is realization of the object of desire. Thus, looked at from this point of view, right knowledge is not directly the cause of the realization of the object. Right knowledge of course directly indicates the presentation, the object of desire, but so far as the object is a mere presentation it is not a subject of enquiry. It becomes a subject of enquiry only in connection with our achieving the object presented by perception.

Perception (_pratyaks'a_) has been defined by Dharmakîrtti as a presentation, which is generated by the objects alone, unassociated by any names or relations (_kalpanâ_) and which is not erroneous (_kalpanâpodhamabhrântam_) [Footnote ref 1]. This definition does not indeed represent the actual nature (_svarûpa_) of perception, but only shows the condition which must be fulfilled in order that anything may be valid perception. What is meant by saying that a perception is not erroneous is simply this, that it will be such that if one engages himself in an endeavour in accordance with it, he will not be baffled in the object which was presented to him by his perception (_tasmâdgrâhye arthe vasturûpe yadaviparyastam tadabhrântamiha veditavyam_}. It is said that a right perception could not be associated with names (_kalpanâ_ or _abhilâpa_). This qualification is added only with a view of leaving out all that is not directly generated by the object. A name is given to a thing only when it is associated in the mind, through memory, as being the same as perceived before. This cannot, therefore, be regarded as being produced by the object of perception. The senses present the objects by coming in contact with them, and the objects also must of necessity allow themselves to be presented as they are when they are in contact with the proper senses. But the work of recognition or giving names is not what is directly produced by the objects themselves, for this involves the unification of previous experiences, and this is certainly not what is presented


[Footnote 1: The definition first given in the _Pramânasamucaya_ (not available in Sanskrit) of Dinnâga (500 A.D.) was "_Kalpanâpodham_." According to Dharmakirtti it is the indeterminate knowledge (_nirvikalpa jñâna_) consisting only of the copy of the object presented to the senses that constitutes the valid element presented to perception. The determinate knowledge (_savikalpa jñâna_), as formed by the conceptual activity of the mind identifying the object with what has been experienced before, cannot be regarded as truly representing what is really presented to the senses.]


to the sense (_pûrvadrstâparadrstañcârthamekîkurvadvijñânamasannihitavisayam pûrvadrstasyâsannihitatvât_). In all illusory perceptions it is the sense which is affected either by extraneous or by inherent physiological causes. If the senses are not perverted they are bound to present the object correctly. Perception thus means the correct presentation through the senses of an object in its own uniqueness as containing only those features which are its and its alone (_svalaksanam_). The validity of knowledge consists in the sameness that it has with the objects presented by it (_arthena saha yatsârûpyam sâdrs'yamasya jñânasya tatpramânamiha_). But the objection here is that if our percept is only similar to the external object then this similarity is a thing which is different from the presentation, and thus perception becomes invalid. But the similarity is not different from the percept which appears as being similar to the object. It is by virtue of their sameness that we refer to the object by the percept (_taditi sârûpyam tasya vas'ât_) and our perception of the object becomes possible. It is because we have an awareness of blueness that we speak of having perceived a blue object. The relation, however, between the notion of similarity of the perception with the blue object and the indefinite awareness of blue in perception is not one of causation but of a determinant and a determinate (_vyavasthâpyavyavasthâpakabhâvena_). Thus it is the same cognition which in one form stands as signifying the similarity with the object of perception and is in another indefinite form the awareness as the percept (_tata ekasya vastunah kiñcidrûpam pramânam kiñcitpramânaphalam na virudhyate_). It is on account of this similarity with the object that a cognition can be a determinant of the definite awareness (_vyavasthâpanaheturhi sârûpyam_), so that by the determinate we know the determinant and thus by the similarity of the sense-datum with the object {_pramâna_) we come to think that our awareness has this particular form as "blue" (_pramânaphala_). If this sameness between the knowledge and its object was not felt we could not have spoken of the object from the awareness (_sârûpyamanubhûtam vyavasthâpanahetuh_). The object generates an awareness similar to itself, and it is this correspondence that can lead us to the realization of the object so presented by right knowledge [Footnote ref l].


[Footnote 1: See also pp. 340 and 409. It is unfortunate that, excepting the _Nyâyabindu, Nyâyabindutîkâ, Nyâyabindutîkâtippanî_ (St Petersburg, 1909), no other works dealing with this interesting doctrine of perception are available to us. _Nyâyabindu_ is probably one of the earliest works in which we hear of the doctrine of _arthakriyâkâritva_ (practical fulfilment of our desire as a criterion of right knowledge). Later on it was regarded as a criterion of existence, as Ratnakîrtti's works and the profuse references by Hindu writers to the Buddhistic doctrines prove. The word _arthakriyâ_ is found in Candrakîrtti's commentary on Nâgârjuna and also in such early works as _Lalitavistara_ (pointed out to me by Dr E.J. Thomas of the Cambridge University Library) but the word has no philosophical significance there.]


Sautrântika theory of Inference [Footnote ref 1].

According to the Sautrântika doctrine of Buddhism as described by Dharmakîrtti and Dharmmottara which is probably the only account of systematic Buddhist logic that is now available to us in Sanskrit, inference (_anumâna_) is divided into two classes, called svârthânumâna (inferential knowledge attained by a person arguing in his own mind or judgments), and parârthânumâna (inference through the help of articulated propositions for convincing others in a debate). The validity of inference depended, like the validity of perception, on copying the actually existing facts of the external world. Inference copied external realities as much as perception did; just as the validity of the immediate perception of blue depends upon its similarity to the external blue thing perceived, so the validity of the inference of a blue thing also, so far as it is knowledge, depends upon its resemblance to the external fact thus inferred (_sârûpyavas'âddhi tannîlapratîtirûpam sidhyati_).

The reason by which an inference is made should be such that it may be present only in those cases where the thing to be inferred exists, and absent in every case where it does not exist. It is only when the reason is tested by both these joint conditions that an unfailing connection (_pratibandha_) between the reason and the thing to be inferred can be established. It is not enough that the reason should be present in all cases where the thing to be inferred exists and absent where it does not exist, but it is necessary that it should be present only in the above case. This law (_niyama_) is essential for establishing the unfailing condition necessary for inference [Footnote ref 2]. This unfailing natural connection (_svabhâvapratibandha_) is found in two types


[Footnote 1: As the _Pramânasamuccaya_ of Diñnâga is not available in Sanskrit, we can hardly know anything of developed Buddhist logic except what can be got from the _Nyâyabindutîkâ_ of Dharmmottara.]

[Footnote 2: _tasmât niyamavatorevânvayavyatirekayoh prayogah karttavyah yena pratibandho gamyeta sâdhanyasa sâdhyena. Nyâyabindutîkâ_, p. 24.]


of cases. The first is that where the nature of the reason is contained in the thing to be inferred as a part of its nature, i.e. where the reason stands for a species of which the thing to be inferred is a genus; thus a stupid person living in a place full of tall pines may come to think that pines are called trees because they are tall and it may be useful to point out to him that even a small pine plant is a tree because it is pine; the quality of pineness forms a part of the essence of treeness, for the former being a species is contained in the latter as a genus; the nature of the species being identical with the nature of the genus, one could infer the latter from the former but not _vice versa_; this is called the unfailing natural connection of identity of nature (_tâdâtmya_). The second is that where the cause is inferred from the effect which stands as the reason of the former. Thus from the smoke the fire which has produced it may be inferred. The ground of these inferences is that reason is naturally indissolubly connected with the thing to be inferred, and unless this is the case, no inference is warrantable.

This natural indissoluble connection (_svabhâvapratibandha_), be it of the nature of identity of essence of the species in the genus or inseparable connection of the effect with the cause, is the ground of all inference [Footnote ref 1]. The svabhâvapratibandha determines the inseparability of connection (avinâbhâvaniyama) and the inference is made not through a series of premisses, but directly by the linga (reason) which has the inseparable connection [Footnote ref 2].

The second type of inference known as parârthânumâna agrees with svârthânumâna in all essential characteristics; the main difference between the two is this, that in the case of parârthânumâna, the inferential process has to be put verbally in premisses.

Pandit Ratnâkarasânti, probably of the ninth or the tenth century A.D., wrote a paper named _Antarvyâptisamarthana_ in which


[Footnote 1: _na hi yo yatra svabhâvena na pratibaddhah sa tam apratibaddhavisayamavs'yameva na vyabhicaratîti nâsti tayoravyabhicâraniyama. Nyâyabindutîkâ_, p. 29.]

[Footnote 2: The inseparable connection determining inference is only possible when the linga satisfies the three following conditions, viz. (1) paksasattva (existence of the linga in the paksa--the thing about which something is inferred); (2) sapaksasattva (existence of the linga in those cases where the sâdhya oc probandum existed), and (3) vipaksâsattva (its non-existence in all those places where the sâdhya did not exist). The Buddhists admitted three propositions in a syllogism, e.g. The hill has fire, because it has smoke, like a kitchen but unlike a lake.]


he tried to show that the concomitance is not between those cases which possess the linga or reason with the cases which possess the sâdhya (probandum) but between that which has the characteristics of the linga with that which has the characteristics of the sâdhya (probandum); or in other words the concomitance is not between the places containing the smoke such as kitchen, etc., and the places containing fire but between that which has the characteristic of the linga, viz. the smoke, and that which has the characteristic of the sâdhya, viz. the fire. This view of the nature of concomitance is known as inner concomitance (_antarvyâpti_), whereas the former, viz. the concomitance between the thing possessing linga and that possessing sâdhya, is known as outer concomitance (_bahirvyâpti_) and generally accepted by the Nyâya school of thought. This antarvyâpti doctrine of concomitance is indeed a later Buddhist doctrine.

It may not be out of place here to remark that evidences of some form of Buddhist logic probably go back at least as early as the _Kathâvatthu_ (200 B.C.). Thus Aung on the evidence of the _Yamaka_ points out that Buddhist logic at the time of As'oka "was conversant with the distribution of terms" and the process of conversion. He further points out that the logical premisses such as the udâharana (_Yo yo aggimâ so so dhûmavâ_--whatever is fiery is smoky), the upanayana (_ayam pabbato dhûmavâ_--this hill is smoky) and the niggama (_tasmâdayam aggimâ_--therefore that is fiery) were also known. (Aung further sums up the method of the arguments which are found in the _Kathâvatthu_ as follows:

"Adherent. Is _A B_? (_thâpanâ_). Opponent. Yes.

Adherent. Is _C D_? (_pâpanâ_). Opponent. No.

Adherent. But if _A_ be _B_ then (you should have said) _C_ is _D_. That _B_ can be affirmed of _A_ but _D_ of _C_ is false. Hence your first answer is refuted.")

The antecedent of the hypothetical major premiss is termed thâpanâ, because the opponent's position, _A_ is _B_, is conditionally established for the purpose of refutation.

The consequent of the hypothetical major premiss is termed pâpanâ because it is got from the antecedent. And the conclusion is termed ropana because the regulation is placed on the opponent. Next:

"If _D_ be derived of _C_. Then _B_ should have been derived of _A_. But you affirmed _B_ of _A_. (therefore) That _B_ can be affirmed of _A_ but not of _D_ or _C_ is wrong."

This is the patiloma, inverse or indirect method, as contrasted with the former or direct method, anuloma. In both methods the consequent is derived. But if we reverse the hypothetical major in the latter method we get

"If _A_ is _B_ _C_ is _D_. But _A_ is _B_. Therefore _C_ is _D_.

By this indirect method the opponent's second answer is reestablished [Footnote ref 1]."

The Doctrine of Momentariness.

Ratnakîrtti (950 A.D.) sought to prove the momentariness of all existence (_sattva_), first, by the concomitance discovered by the method of agreement in presence (_anvayavyâpti_), and then by the method of difference by proving that the production of effects could not be justified on the assumption of things being permanent and hence accepting the doctrine of momentariness as the only alternative. Existence is defined as the capacity of producing anything (_arthakriyâkâritva_). The form of the first type of argument by anvayavyâpti may be given thus: "Whatever exists is momentary, by virtue of its existence, as for example the jug; all things about the momentariness of which we are discussing are existents and are therefore momentary." It cannot be said that the jug which has been chosen as an example of an existent is not momentary; for the jug is producing certain effects at the present moment; and it cannot be held that these are all identical in the past and the future or that it is producing no effect at all in the past and future, for the first is impossible, for those which are done now could not be done again in the future; the second is impossible, for if it has any capacity to


[Footnote: 1: See introduction to the translation of _Kathâvatthu_ (_Points of Controversy_) by Mrs Rhys Davids.]


produce effects it must not cease doing so, as in that case one might as well expect that there should not be any effect even at the present moment. Whatever has the capacity of producing anything at any time must of necessity do it. So if it does produce at one moment and does not produce at another, this contradiction will prove the supposition that the things were different at the different moments. If it is held that the nature of production varies at different moments, then also the thing at those two moments must be different, for a thing could not have in it two contradictory capacities.

Since the jug does not produce at the present moment the work of the past and the future moments, it cannot evidently do so, and hence is not identical with the jug in the past and in the future, for the fact that the jug has the capacity and has not the capacity as well, proves that it is not the same jug at the two moments (_s'aktâs'aktasvabhavatayâ pratiksanam bhedah_). The capacity of producing effects (_arthakriyâs'akti_), which is but the other name of existence, is universally concomitant with momentariness (_ksanikatvavyâpta_).

The Nyâya school of philosophy objects to this view and says that the capacity of anything cannot be known until the effect produced is known, and if capacity to produce effects be regarded as existence or being, then the being or existence of the effect cannot be known, until that has produced another effect and that another _ad infinitum_. Since there can be no being that has not capacity of producing effects, and as this capacity can demonstrate itself only in an infinite chain, it will be impossible to know any being or to affirm the capacity of producing effects as the definition of existence. Moreover if all things were momentary there would be no permanent perceiver to observe the change, and there being nothing fixed there could hardly be any means even of taking to any kind of inference. To this Ratnakirtti replies that capacity (_saâmarthya_) cannot be denied, for it is demonstrated even in making the denial. The observation of any concomitance in agreement in presence, or agreement in absence, does not require any permanent observer, for under certain conditions of agreement there is the knowledge of the concomitance of agreement in presence, and in other conditions there is the knowledge of the concomitance in absence. This knowledge of concomitance at the succeeding moment holds within itself the experience of the conditions of the preceding moment, and this alone is what we find and not any permanent observer.

The Buddhist definition of being or existence (_sattva_) is indeed capacity, and we arrived at this when it was observed that in all proved cases capacity was all that could be defined of being;--seed was but the capacity of producing shoots, and even if this capacity should require further capacity to produce effects, the fact which has been perceived still remains, viz. that the existence of seeds is nothing but the capacity of producing the shoots and thus there is no vicious infinite [Footnote ref l]. Though things are momentary, yet we could have concomitance between things only so long as their apparent forms are not different (_atadrûpaparâvrttayoreva sâdhyasâdhanayoh pratyaksena vyâptigrahanât_). The vyâpti or concomitance of any two things (e.g. the fire and the smoke) is based on extreme similarity and not on identity.

Another objection raised against the doctrine of momentariness is this, that a cause (e.g. seed) must wait for a number of other collocations of earth, water, etc., before it can produce the effect (e.g. the shoots) and hence the doctrine must fail. To this Ratnakîrtti replies that the seed does not exist before and produce the effect when joined by other collocations, but such is the special effectiveness of a particular seed-moment, that it produces both the collocations or conditions as well as the effect, the shoot. How a special seed-moment became endowed with such special effectiveness is to be sought in other causal moments which preceded it, and on which it was dependent. Ratnakîrtti wishes to draw attention to the fact that as one perceptual moment reveals a number of objects, so one causal moment may produce a number of effects. Thus he says that the inference that whatever has being is momentary is valid and free from any fallacy.

It is not important to enlarge upon the second part of Ratnakîrtti's arguments in which he tries to show that the production of effects could not be explained if we did not suppose


[Footnote 1: The distinction between vicious and harmless infinites was known to the Indians at least as early as the sixth or the seventh century. Jayanta quotes a passage which differentiates the two clearly (_Nyâyamañjarî_, p. 22):

"_mûlaksatikarîmâhuranavasthâm hi dûsanam. mûlasiddhau tvarucyâpi nânavasthâ nivâryate._"

The infinite regress that has to be gone through in order to arrive at the root matter awaiting to be solved destroys the root and is hence vicious, whereas if the root is saved there is no harm in a regress though one may not be willing to have it.]


all things to be momentary, for this is more an attempt to refute the doctrines of Nyâya than an elaboration of the Buddhist principles.

The doctrine of momentariness ought to be a direct corollary of the Buddhist metaphysics. But it is curious that though all dharmas were regarded as changing, the fact that they were all strictly momentary (_ksanika_--i.e. existing only for one moment) was not emphasized in early Pâli literature. As'vaghosa in his _S'raddhotpâdas'âstra_ speaks of all skandhas as ksanika (Suzuki's translation, p. 105). Buddhaghosa also speaks of the meditation of the khandhas as khanika in his _Visuddhimagga._ But from the seventh century A.D. till the tenth century this doctrine together with the doctrine of arthakriyâkâritva received great attention at the hands of the Sautrântikas and the Vaibhâsikas. All the Nyâya and Vedânta literature of this period is full of refutations and criticisms of these doctrines. The only Buddhist account available of the doctrine of momentariness is from the pen of Ratnakîrtti. Some of the general features of his argument in favour of the view have been given above. Elaborate accounts of it may be found in any of the important Nyâya works of this period such as _Nynyamanjari, Tâtparyyatîkâ_ of Vâcaspati Mis'ra, etc.

Buddhism did not at any time believe anything to be permanent. With the development of this doctrine they gave great emphasis to this point. Things came to view at one moment and the next moment they were destroyed. Whatever is existent is momentary. It is said that our notion of permanence is derived from the notion of permanence of ourselves, but Buddhism denied the existence of any such permanent selves. What appears as self is but the bundle of ideas, emotions, and active tendencies manifesting at any particular moment. The next moment these dissolve, and new bundles determined by the preceding ones appear and so on. The present thought is thus the only thinker. Apart from the emotions, ideas, and active tendencies, we cannot discover any separate self or soul. It is the combined product of these ideas, emotions, etc., that yield the illusory appearance of self at any moment. The consciousness of self is the resultant product as it were of the combination of ideas, emotions, etc., at any particular moment. As these ideas, emotions, etc., change every moment there is no such thing as a permanent self.

The fact that I remember that I have been existing for a long time past does not prove that a permanent self has been existing for such a long period. When I say this is that book, I perceive the book with my eye at the present moment, but that "this book" is the same as "that book" (i.e. the book arising in memory), cannot be perceived by the senses. It is evident that the "that book" of memory refers to a book seen in the past, whereas "this book" refers to the book which is before my eyes. The feeling of identity which is adduced to prove permanence is thus due to a confusion between an object of memory referring to a past and different object with the object as perceived at the present moment by the senses [Footnote ref 1]. This is true not only of all recognition of identity and permanence of external objects but also of the perception of the identity of self, for the perception of self-identity results from the confusion of certain ideas or emotions arising in memory with similar ideas of the present moment. But since memory points to an object of past perception, and the perception to another object of the present moment, identity cannot be proved by a confusion of the two. Every moment all objects of the world are suffering dissolution and destruction, but yet things appear to persist, and destruction cannot often be noticed. Our hair and nails grow and are cut, but yet we think that we have the same hair and nail that we had before, in place of old hairs new ones similar to them have sprung forth, and they leave the impression as if the old ones were persisting. So it is that though things are destroyed every moment, others similar to these often rise into being and are destroyed the next moment and so on, and these similar things succeeding in a series produce the impression that it is one and the same thing which has been persisting through all the passing moments [Footnote ref 2]. Just as the flame of a candle is changing every moment and yet it seems to us as if we have been perceiving the same flame all the while, so all our bodies, our ideas, emotions, etc., all external objects around us are being destroyed every moment, and new ones are being generated at every succeeding moment, but so long as the objects of the succeeding moments are similar to those of the preceding moments, it appears to us that things have remained the same and no destruction has taken place.


[Footnote 1: See pratyabhijñânirâsa of the Buddhists, _Nyâyamañjarî_, V.S. Series, pp. 449, etc.]

[Footnote 2: See _Tarkarahasyadîpikâ_ of Gunaratna, p. 30, and also _Nyâyamañjarî,_ V.S. edition, p. 450.]


(Arthakriyâkâritva).

It appears that a thing or a phenomenon may be defined from the Buddhist point of view as being the combination of diverse characteristics [Footnote ref 1]. What we call a thing is but a conglomeration of diverse characteristics which are found to affect, determine or influence other conglomerations appearing as sentient or as inanimate bodies. So long as the characteristics forming the elements of any conglomeration remain perfectly the same, the conglomeration may be said to be the same. As soon as any of these characteristics is supplanted by any other new characteristic, the conglomeration is to be called a new one [Footnote ref 2]. Existence or being of things means the work that any conglomeration does or the influence that it exerts on other conglomerations. This in Sanskrit is called _arthakriyâkâritva_ which literally translated means--the power of performing actions and purposes of some kind [Footnote ref 3]. The criterion of existence or being is the performance of certain specific actions, or rather existence means that a certain effect has been produced in some way (causal efficiency). That which has produced such an effect is then called existent or _sat_. Any change in the effect thus produced means a corresponding change of existence. Now, that selfsame definite specific effect


[Footnote 1: Compare _Milindapañha,_ II. I. 1--The Chariot Simile.]

[Footnote 2: Compare _Tarkarahasyadîpikâ_ of Gunaratna, A.S.'s edition, pp. 24, 28 and _Nyâyamañjarî,_ V.S. edition, pp. 445, etc., and also the paper on _Ksanabhangasiddhi_ by Ratnakîrtti in _Six Buddhist Nyâya tracts_.]

[Footnote 3: This meaning of the word "arthakriyâkâritva" is different from the meaning of the word as we found in the section "sautrântika theory of perception." But we find the development of this meaning both in Ratnakîrtti as well as in Nyâya writers who referred to this doctrine. With Vinîtadeva (seventh century A.D.) the word "_arthakrîyâsiddhi_" meant the fulfilment of any need such as the cooking of rice by fire (_arthas'abdena prayojanamucyate purusasya praycjanam dârupâkâdi tasya siddhih nispattih_--the word _artha_ means need; the need of man such as cooking by logs, etc.; _siddhi_ of that, means accomplishment). With Dharmottara who flourished about a century and a half later _arthasiddhi_ means action (anusthiti) with reference to undesirable and desirable objects (_heyopâdeyârthavisayâ_). But with Ratnakîrtti (950 A.D.) the word _arthakriyâkâritva_ has an entirely different sense. It means with him efficiency of producing any action or event, and as such it is regarded as the characteristic definition of existence _sattva_). Thus he says in his _Ksanabhangasiddhi,_ pp. 20, 21, that though in different philosophies there are different definitions of existence or being, he will open his argument with the universally accepted definition of existence as _arthakriyâkâritva_ (efficiency of causing any action or event). Whenever Hindu writers after Ratnakîrtti refer to the Buddhist doctrine of _arthakriyâkâritva_ they usually refer to this doctrine in Ratnakîrtti's sense.]


which is produced now was never produced before, and cannot be repeated in the future, for that identical effect which is once produced cannot be produced again. So the effects produced in us by objects at different moments of time may be similar but cannot be identical. Each moment is associated with a new effect and each new effect thus produced means in each case the coming into being of a correspondingly new existence of things. If things were permanent there would be no reason why they should be performing different effects at different points of time. Any difference in the effect produced, whether due to the thing itself or its combination with other accessories, justifies us in asserting that the thing has changed and a new one has come in its place. The existence of a jug for example is known by the power it has of forcing itself upon our minds; if it had no such power then we could not have said that it existed. We can have no notion of the meaning of existence other than the impression produced on us; this impression is nothing else but the power exerted by things on us, for there is no reason why one should hold that beyond such powers as are associated with the production of impressions or effects there should be some other permanent entity to which the power adhered, and which existed even when the power was not exerted. We perceive the power of producing effects and define each unit of such power as amounting to a unit of existence. And as there would be different units of power at different moments, there should also be as many new existences, i.e. existents must be regarded as momentary, existing at each moment that exerts a new power. This definition of existence naturally brings in the doctrine of momentariness shown by Ratnakîrtti.

Some Ontological Problems on which the Different Indian Systems Diverged.

We cannot close our examination of Buddhist philosophy without briefly referring to its views on some ontological problems which were favourite subjects of discussion in almost all philosophical circles of India. These are in brief: (1) the relation of cause and effect, (2) the relation of the whole (_avayavi_) and the part (_avayava_), (3) the relation of generality (_samanya_) to the specific individuals, (4) the relation of attributes or qualities and the substance and the problem of the relation of inherence, (5) the relation of power (_s'akti_) to the power-possessor (_s'aktimân_). Thus on the relation of cause and effect, S'ankara held that cause alone was permanent, real, and all effects as such were but impermanent illusions due to ignorance, Sâmkhya held that there was no difference between cause and effect, except that the former was only the earlier stage which when transformed through certain changes became the effect. The history of any causal activity is the history of the transformation of the cause into the effects. Buddhism holds everything to be momentary, so neither cause nor effect can abide. One is called the effect because its momentary existence has been determined by the destruction of its momentary antecedent called the cause. There is no permanent reality which undergoes the change, but one change is determined by another and this determination is nothing more than "that happening, this happened." On the relation of parts to whole, Buddhism does not believe in the existence of wholes. According to it, it is the parts which illusorily appear as the whole, the individual atoms rise into being and die the next moment and thus there is no such thing as "whole [Footnote ref 1]. The Buddhists hold again that there are no universals, for it is the individuals alone which come and go. There are my five fingers as individuals but there is no such thing as fingerness (_angulitva_) as the abstract universal of the fingers. On the relation of attributes and substance we know that the Sautrântika Buddhists did not believe in the existence of any substance apart from its attributes; what we call a substance is but a unit capable of producing a unit of sensation. In the external world there are as many individual simple units (atoms) as there are points of sensations. Corresponding to each unit of sensation there is a separate simple unit in the objective world. Our perception of a thing is thus the perception of the assemblage of these sensations. In the objective world also there are no substances but atoms or reals, each representing a unit of sensation, force or attribute, rising into being and dying the next moment. Buddhism thus denies the existence of any such relation as that of inherence (_samavâya_) in which relation the attributes are said to exist in the substance, for since there are no separate substances there is no necessity for admitting the relation of inherence. Following the same logic Buddhism also does not believe in the existence of a power-possessor separate from the power.

Brief survey of the evolution of Buddhist Thought.

In the earliest period of Buddhism more attention was paid to the four noble truths than to systematic metaphysics. What was sorrow, what was the cause of sorrow, what was the cessation of sorrow and what could lead to it? The doctrine of _paticcasamuppâda_ was offered only to explain how sorrow came in and not with a view to the solving of a metaphysical problem. The discussion of ultimate metaphysical problems, such as whether the world was eternal or non-eternal, or whether a Tathâgata existed after death or not, were considered as heresies in early Buddhism. Great emphasis was laid on sîla, samâdhi and paññâ and the doctrine that there was no soul. The Abhidhammas hardly give us any new philosophy which was not contained in the Suttas. They only elaborated the materials of the suttas with enumerations and definitions. With the evolution of Mahâyâna scriptures from some time about 200 B.C. the doctrine of the non-essentialness and voidness of all _dhammas_ began to be preached. This doctrine, which was taken up and elaborated by Nagârjuna, Âryyadeva, Kumârajîva and Candrakîrtti, is more or less a corollary from the older doctrine of Buddhism. If one could not say whether the world was eternal or non-eternal, or whether a Tathâgata existed or did not exist after death, and if there was no permanent soul and all the dhammas were changing, the only legitimate way of thinking about all things appeared to be to think of them as mere void and non-essential appearances. These appearances appear as being mutually related but apart from their appearance they have no other essence, no being or reality. The Tathatâ doctrine which was preached by As'vaghosa oscillated between the position of this absolute non-essentialness of all dhammas and the Brahminic idea that something existed as the background of all these non-essential dhammas. This he called tathatâ, but he could not consistently say that any such permanent entity could exist. The Vijñânavâda doctrine which also took its rise at this time appears to me to be a mixture of the S'ûnyavâda doctrine and the Tathatâ doctrine; but when carefully examined it seems to be nothing but S'ûnyavâda, with an attempt at explaining all the observed phenomena. If everything was non-essential how did it originate? Vijñânavâda proposes to give an answer, and says that these phenomena are all but ideas of the mind generated by the beginningless vâsanâ (desire) of the mind. The difficulty which is felt with regard to the Tathatâ doctrine that there must be some reality which is generating all these ideas appearing as phenomena, is the same as that in the Vijñânavâda doctrine. The Vijñânavâdins could not admit the existence of such a reality, but yet their doctrines led them to it. They could not properly solve the difficulty, and admitted that their doctrine was some sort of a compromise with the Brahminical doctrines of heresy, but they said that this was a compromise to make the doctrine intelligible to the heretics; in truth however the reality assumed in the doctrine was also non-essential. The Vijñânavâda literature that is available to us is very scanty and from that we are not in a position to judge what answers Vijñânavâda could give on the point. These three doctrines developed almost about the same time and the difficulty of conceiving s'ûnya (void), tathatâ, (thatness) and the âlayavijñâna of Vijñânavâda is more or less the same.

The Tathatâ doctrine of As'vaghosa practically ceased with him. But the S'ûnyavâda and the Vijñânavâda doctrines which originated probably about 200 B.C. continued to develop probably till the eighth century A.D. Vigorous disputes with S'ûnyavâda doctrines are rarely made in any independent work of Hindu philosophy, after Kumârila and S'ankara. From the third or the fourth century A.D. some Buddhists took to the study of systematic logic and began to criticize the doctrine of the Hindu logicians. Dinnâga the Buddhist logician (500 A.D.) probably started these hostile criticisms by trying to refute the doctrines of the great Hindu logician Vâtsyâyana, in his Pramânasamuccaya. In association with this logical activity we find the activity of two other schools of Buddhism, viz. the Sarvâstivâdins (known also as Vaibhâsikas) and the Sautrântikas. Both the Vaibhâsikas and the Sautrântikas accepted the existence of the external world, and they were generally in conflict with the Hindu schools of thought Nyâya-Vais'esika and Sâmkhya which also admitted the existence of the external world. Vasubandhu (420-500 A.D.) was one of the most illustrious names of this school. We have from this time forth a number of great Buddhist thinkers such as Yas'omitra (commentator of Vasubandhu's work), Dharmmakîrtti (writer of Nyâyabindu 635 A.D.), Vinîtadeva and S'ântabhadra (commentators of Nyâyabindu), Dharmmottara (commentator of Nyâyabindu 847 A.D.), Ratnakîrtti (950 A.D.), Pandita As'oka, and Ratnâkara S'ânti, some of whose contributions have been published in the _Six Buddhist Nyâya Tracts_, published in Calcutta in the _Bibliotheca Indica_ series. These Buddhist writers were mainly interested in discussions regarding the nature of perception, inference, the doctrine of momentariness, and the doctrine of causal efficiency (_arthakriyâkâritva_) as demonstrating the nature of existence. On the negative side they were interested in denying the ontological theories of Nyâya and Sâmkhya with regard to the nature of class-concepts, negation, relation of whole and part, connotation of terms, etc. These problems hardly attracted any notice in the non-Sautrântika and non-Vaibhâsika schools of Buddhism of earlier times. They of course agreed with the earlier Buddhists in denying the existence of a permanent soul, but this they did with the help of their doctrine of causal efficiency. The points of disagreement between Hindu thought up to S'ankara (800 A.D.) and Buddhist thought till the time of S'ankara consisted mainly in the denial by the Buddhists of a permanent soul and the permanent external world. For Hindu thought was more or less realistic, and even the Vedânta of S'ankara admitted the existence of the permanent external world in some sense. With S'ankara the forms of the external world were no doubt illusory, but they all had a permanent background in the Brahman, which was the only reality behind all mental and the physical phenomena. The Sautrântikas admitted the existence of the external world and so their quarrel with Nyâya and Sâmkhya was with regard to their doctrine of momentariness; their denial of soul and their views on the different ontological problems were in accordance with their doctrine of momentariness. After the twelfth century we do not hear much of any new disputes with the Buddhists. From this time the disputes were mainly between the different systems of Hindu philosophers, viz. Nyâya, the Vedânta of the school of S'ankara and the Theistic Vedânta of Râmânuja, Madhva, etc.

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Source: A History Of Indian Philosophy Surendranath Dasgupta Volume I First Edition: Cambridge, 1922. Produced by Srinivasan Sriram and sripedia.org, William Boerst and PG Distributed Proofreaders. While we have made every effort to reproduce the text correctly, we do not guarantee or accept any responsibility for any errors or omissions or inaccuracies in the reproduction of this text. Please refer the original text for any academic or serious studies.