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A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume 1

Whereas the Nyaya sutras were written later


late Dr S.C. Vidyabhu@sa@na in _J.R.A.S._ 1918 thinks that the earlier part of Nyaya was written by Gautama about 550 B.C. whereas the _Nyaya sutras_ of Ak@sapada were written about 150 A.D. and says that the use of the word Nyaya in the sense of logic in _Mahabharata_ I.I. 67, I. 70. 42-51, must be regarded as interpolations. He, however, does not give any reasons in support of his assumption. It appears from his treatment of the subject that the fixing of the date of Ak@sapada was made to fit in somehow with his idea that Ak@sapada wrote his _Nyaya sutras_ under the influence of Aristotle--a supposition which does not require serious refutation, at least so far as Dr Vidyabhu@sa@na has proved it. Thus after all this discussion we have not advanced a step towards the ascertainment of the date of the original part of the Nyaya. Goldstuecker says that both Patanjali (140 B.C.) and Katyayana (fourth century B.C.) knew the _Nyaya sutras_ [Footnote ref 1]. We know that Kau@tilya knew the Nyaya in some form as Anvik@siki in 300 B.C., and on the strength of this we may venture to say that the Nyaya existed in some form as early as the fourth century B.C. But there are other reasons which lead me to think that at least some of the present sutras were written some time in the second century A.D. Bodas points out that Badaraya@na's sutras make allusions to the Vais'e@sika doctrines and not to Nyaya. On this ground he thinks that _Vais'e@sika sutras_ were written before Badarayana's _Brahma-sutras_,
whereas the Nyaya sutras were written later. Candrakanta Tarkala@mkara also contends in his


[Footnote 1: Goldstuecker's _Pa@nini_, p. 157.]


edition of Vais'e@sika that the _Vais'e@sika sutras_ were earlier than the Nyaya. It seems to me to be perfectly certain that the _Vais'e@sika sutras_ were written before Caraka (80 A.D.); for he not only quotes one of the _Vais'e@sika sutras_, but the whole foundation of his medical physics is based on the Vais`e@sika physics [Footnote ref 1]. The _La@nkavatara sutra_ (which as it was quoted by As'vagho@sa is earlier than 80 A.D.) also makes allusions to the atomic doctrine. There are other weightier grounds, as we shall see later on, for supposing that the _Vais'e@sika sutras_ are probably pre-Buddhistic [Footnote ref 2].

It is certain that even the logical part of the present _Nyaya sutras_ was preceded by previous speculations on the subject by thinkers of other schools. Thus in commenting on I.i. 32 in which the sutra states that a syllogism consists of five premisses (_avayava_) Vatsyayana says that this sutra was written to refute the views of those who held that there should be ten premisses [Footnote ref 3]. The _Vais'e@sika sutras_ also give us some of the earliest types of inference, which do not show any acquaintance with the technic of the Nyaya doctrine of inference [Footnote ref 4].

Does Vais'e@sika represent an Old School of Mima@msa?

The Vais'e@sika is so much associated with Nyaya by tradition that it seems at first sight quite unlikely that it could be supposed to represent an old school of Mima@msa, older than that represented in the _Mima@msa sutras._ But a closer inspection of the _Vais'e@sika sutras_ seems to confirm such a supposition in a very remarkable way. We have seen in the previous section that Caraka quotes a _Vais'e@sika sutra._ An examination of Caraka's _Sutrasthana_ (I.35-38) leaves us convinced that the writer of the verses had some compendium of Vais'e@sika such as that of the _Bha@sapariccheda_ before him. _Caraka sutra_ or _karika_ (I.i. 36) says that the gu@nas are those which have been enumerated such as heaviness, etc., cognition, and those which begin with the gu@na "_para_" (universality) and end with "_prayatna_" (effort) together with the sense-qualities (_sartha_). It seems that this is a reference to some well-known enumeration. But this enumeration is not to be found in the _Vais'e@sika sutra_ (I.i. 6) which leaves out the six gu@nas,

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