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A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume 1

But as no Is'vara is mentioned


points do not form any subject

of discussion in the Vais'e@sika. But as no Is'vara is mentioned, and as all ad@r@s@ta depends upon the authority of the Vedas, we may assume that Vais'e@sika had no dispute with Mima@msa. The fact that there is no reference to any dissension is probably due to the fact that really none had taken place at the time of the _Vais`e@sika sutras._ It is probable that Ka@nada believed that the Vedas were written by some persons superior to us (II. i. 18, VI. i. 1-2). But the fact that there is no reference to any conflict with Mima@msa suggests that the doctrine that the Vedas were never written by anyone was formulated at a later period, whereas in the days of the _Vais'e@sika sutras,_ the view was probably what is represented in the _Vais'e@sika sutras._ As there is no reference to Is`vara and as ad@r@s@ta proceeding out of the performance of actions in accordance with Vedic injunctions is made the cause of all atomic movements, we can very well assume that Vais'e@sika was as atheistic or non-theistic as the later Mima@msa philosophers. As regards the eternality of sound, which in later days was one of the main points of quarrel between the Nyaya-Vais'e@sika and the Mima@msa, we find that in II. ii. 25-32, Ka@nada gives reasons in favour of the non-eternality of sound, but after that from II. ii. 33 till the end of the chapter he closes the argument in favour of the eternality of sound, which is the distinctive Mima@msa view as we know from the later Mima@msa writers [Footnote ref
1]. Next comes the question of the proof of the existence of self. The traditional Nyaya view is

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[Footnote 1: The last two concluding sutras II. ii. 36 and 37 are in my opinion wrongly interpreted by S'a@nkara Mis'ra in his _Upaskara_ (II. ii. 36 by adding an "_api_" to the sutra and thereby changing the issue, and II. ii. 37 by misreading the phonetic combination "samkhyabhava" as sa@mkhya and bhava instead of sa@mkhya and abhava, which in my opinion is the right combination here) in favour of the non-eternality of sound as we find in the later Nyaya Vais'e@sika view.]

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that the self is supposed to exist because it must be inferred as the seat of the qualities of pleasure, pain, cognition, etc. Traditionally this is regarded as the Vais'e@sika view as well. But in Vais'e@sika III. ii. 4 the existence of soul is first inferred by reason of its activity and the existence of pleasure, pain, etc., in III. ii. 6-7 this inference is challenged by saying that we do not perceive that the activity, etc. belongs to the soul and not to the body and so no certainty can be arrived at by inference, and in III. ii. 8 it is suggested that therefore the existence of soul is to be accepted on the authority of the scriptures (_agama_). To this the final Vais'e@sika conclusion is given that we can directly perceive the self in our feeling as "I" (_aham_), and we have therefore not to depend on the scriptures for the proof of the existence of the self, and thus the inference of the existence of the self is only an additional proof of what we already find in perception as "I" (_aham_) (III. ii. 10-18, also IX. i. 11).

These considerations lead me to think that the Vais'e@sika represented a school of Mima@msa thought which supplemented a metaphysics to strengthen the grounds of the Vedas.


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