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A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume 1

Buddhi resembles puru@sa in transparency


so associated with the reflection

of the puru@sa in the buddhi that they are interpreted as the experiences of the puru@sa. This association of the buddhi with the reflection of the puru@sa in the buddhi has such a special fitness (_yogyata_) that it is interpreted as the experience of the puru@sa. This explanation of Vacaspati of the situation is objected to by Vijnana Bhik@su. Vijnana Bhik@su says that the association of the buddhi with the image of the puru@sa cannot give us the notion of a real person who undergoes the experiences. It is to be supposed therefore that when the buddhi is intelligized by the reflection of the puru@sa, it is then superimposed upon the puru@sa, and we have the notion of an abiding person who experiences [Footnote ref 1]. Whatever may be the explanation, it seems that the union of the buddhi with the puru@sa is somewhat mystical. As a result of this reflection of _cit_ on buddhi and the superimposition of the buddhi the puru@sa cannot realize that the transformations of the buddhi are not its own. Buddhi resembles puru@sa in transparency, and the puru@sa fails to differentiate itself from the modifications of the buddhi, and as a result of this non-distinction the puru@sa becomes bound down to the buddhi, always failing to recognize the truth that the buddhi and its transformations are wholly alien to it. This non-distinction of puru@sa from buddhi which is itself a mode of buddhi is what is meant by _avidya_ (non-knowledge) in Sa@mkhya, and is the root of all experience and all
misery [Footnote ref 2].

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[Footnote 1: _Tattvavais'aradi_ and _Yogavarttika_, I. 4.]

[Footnote 2: This indicates the nature of the analysis of illusion with Sa@mkhya. It is the non-apprehension of the distinction of two things (e.g. the snake and the rope) that is the cause of illusion; it is therefore called the _akhyati_ (non-apprehension) theory of illusion which must be distinguished from the _anyathakhyati_ (misapprehension) theory of illusion of Yoga which consists in positively misapprehending one (e.g. the rope) for the other (e.g. snake). _Yogavarttika,_ I. 8.]

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Yoga holds a slightly different view and supposes that the puru@sa not only fails to distinguish the difference between itself and the buddhi but positively takes the transformations of buddhi as its own. It is no non-perception of the difference but positively false knowledge, that we take the puru@sa to be that which it is not (_anyathakhyati_). It takes the changing, impure, sorrowful, and objective prak@rti or buddhi to be the changeless, pure, happiness-begetting subject. It wrongly thinks buddhi to be the self and regards it as pure, permanent and capable of giving us happiness. This is the avidya of Yoga. A buddhi associated with a puru@sa is dominated by such an avidya, and when birth after birth the same buddhi is associated with the same puru@sa, it cannot easily get rid of this avidya. If in the meantime pralaya takes place, the buddhi is submerged in the prak@rti, and the avidya also sleeps with it. When at the beginning of the next creation the individual buddhis associated with the puru@sas emerge, the old avidyas also become manifest by virtue of it and the buddhis associate themselves with the puru@sas to which they were attached before the pralaya. Thus proceeds the course of sa@msara. When the avidya of a person is rooted out by the rise of true knowledge, the buddhi fails to attach itself to the puru@sa and is forever dissociated from it, and this is the state of mukti.


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