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A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume 1

There is also this external similarity


Professor

J.H. Woods of Harvard University is therefore in a way justified in his unwillingness to identify the grammarian and the Yoga editor on the slender evidence of these commentators. It is indeed curious to notice that the great commentators of the grammar school such as Bhart@rhari, Kaiyya@ta, Vamana, Jayaditya, Nages'a, etc. are silent on this point. This is indeed a point against the identification of the two Patanjalis by some Yoga and medical commentators of a later age. And if other proofs are available which go against such an identification, we could not think the grammarian and the Yoga writer to be the same person.

Let us now see if Patanjali's grammatical work contains anything which may lead us to think that he was not the same person as the writer on Yoga. Professor Woods supposes that the philosophic concept of substance (_dravya_) of the two Patanjalis differs and therefore they cannot be identified. He holds that dravya is described in _Vyasabha@sya_ in one place as being the unity of species and qualities (_samanyavis'e@satmaka_), whereas the _Mahabha@sya_ holds that a dravya denotes a genus and also specific qualities according as the emphasis or stress is laid on either side. I fail to see how these ideas are totally antagonistic. Moreover, we know that these two views were held by

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Vya@di and Vajapyayana (Vya@di holding that words denoted qualities or dravya

and Vajapyayana holding that words denoted species [Footnote ref 1]). Even Pa@nini had these two different ideas in "_jatyakhyayamekasmin bahuvacanamanyatarasyam_" and "_sarupanamekas'e@samekavibhaktau_," and Patanjali the writer of the _Mahabha@sya_ only combined these two views. This does not show that he opposes the view of _Vyasabha@sya_, though we must remember that even if he did, that would not prove anything with regard to the writer of the sutras. Moreover, when we read that dravya is spoken of in the _Mahabha@sya_ as that object which is the specific kind of the conglomeration of its parts, just as a cow is of its tail, hoofs, horns, etc.--"_yat sasnala@ngulakakudakhuravi@sa@nyartharupam_," we are reminded of its similarity with "_ayutasiddhavayavabhedanugata@h samuha@h dravyam_" (a conglomeration of interrelated parts is called dravya) in the _Vyasabhasya_. So far as I have examined the _Mahabha@sya_ I have not been able to discover anything there which can warrant us in holding that the two Patanjalis cannot be identified. There are no doubt many apparent divergences of view, but even in these it is only the traditional views of the old grammarians that are exposed and reconciled, and it would be very unwarrantable for us to judge anything about the personal views of the grammarian from them. I am also convinced that the writer of the _Mahabha@sya_ knew most of the important points of the Sa@mkhya-Yoga metaphysics; as a few examples I may refer to the gu@na theory (1. 2. 64, 4. 1. 3), the Sa@mkhya dictum of ex nihilo nihil fit (1. 1. 56), the ideas of time (2. 2. 5, 3. 2. 123), the idea of the return of similars into similars (1. 1. 50), the idea of change _vikara_ as production of new qualities _gu@nantaradhana_ (5. 1. 2, 5. 1. 3) and the distinction of indriya and Buddhi (3. 3. 133). We may add to it that the _Mahabha@sya_ agrees with the Yoga view as regards the Spho@tavada, which is not held in common by any other school of Indian philosophy. There is also this external similarity, that unlike any other work they both begin their works in a similar manner (_atha yoganus'asanam_ and _athas'abdanus'asanam_)--"now begins the compilation of the instructions on Yoga" (_Yoga sutra_)--and "now begins the compilation of the instructions of words" (_Mahabha@sya_).


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