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A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume 1

It is the buddhi which suffers changes


There

are some other points in which Bhik@su's interpretation differs from that of Vacaspati. The most important of these may be mentioned here. The first is the nature of the connection of the buddhi states with the puru@sa. Vacaspati holds that there is no contact (_sa@myoga_) of any buddhi state with the puru@sa but that a reflection of the puru@sa is caught in the state of buddhi by virtue of which the buddhi state becomes intelligized and transformed into consciousness. But this view is open to the objection that it does not explain how the puru@sa can be said to be the experiencer of the conscious states of the buddhi, for its reflection in the buddhi is merely an image, and there cannot be an experience (_bhoga_) on the basis of that image alone without any actual connection of the puru@sa with the buddhi. The answer of Vacaspati Mis'ra is that there is no contact of the two in space and time, but that their proximity (_sannidhi_) means only a specific kind of fitness (_yogyata_) by virtue of which the puru@sa, though it remains aloof, is yet felt to be united and identified in the buddhi, and as a result of that the states of the buddhi appear as ascribed to a person. Vijnana Bhik@su differs from Vacaspati and says that if such a special kind of fitness be admitted, then there is no

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reason why puru@sa should be deprived of such a fitness at the time of emancipation, and thus there would be no emancipation

at all, for the fitness being in the puru@sa, he could not be divested of it, and he would continue to enjoy the experiences represented in the buddhi for ever. Vijnana Bhik@su thus holds that there is a real contact of the puru@sa with the buddhi state in any cognitive state. Such a contact of the puru@sa and the buddhi does not necessarily mean that the former will be liable to change on account of it, for contact and change are not synonymous. Change means the rise of new qualities. It is the buddhi which suffers changes, and when these changes are reflected in the puru@sa, there is the notion of a person or experiencer in the puru@sa, and when the puru@sa is reflected back in the buddhi the buddhi state appears as a conscious state. The second, is the difference between Vacaspati and Bhik@su as regards the nature of the perceptual process. Bhik@su thinks that the senses can directly perceive the determinate qualities of things without any intervention of manas, whereas Vacaspati ascribes to manas the power of arranging the sense-data in a definite order and of making the indeterminate sense-data determinate. With him the first stage of cognition is the stage when indeterminate sense materials are first presented, at the next stage there is assimilation, differentiation, and association by which the indeterminate materials are ordered and classified by the activity of manas called sa@mkalpa which coordinates the indeterminate sense materials into determinate perceptual and conceptual forms as class notions with particular characteristics. Bhik@su who supposes that the determinate character of things is directly perceived by the senses has necessarily to assign a subordinate position to manas as being only the faculty of desire, doubt, and imagination.

It may not be out of place to mention here that there are one or two passages in Vacaspati's commentary on the _Sa@mkhya karika_ which seem to suggest that he considered the ego (_aha@mkara_) as producing the subjective series of the senses and the objective series of the external world by a sort of desire or will, but he did not work out this doctrine, and it is therefore not necessary to enlarge upon it. There is also a difference of view with regard to the evolution of the tanmatras from the mahat; for contrary to the view of _Vyasabha@sya_ and Vijnana Bhik@su etc. Vacaspati holds that from the mahat there was aha@mkara and


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