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A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume 1

The earth possesses four qualities


third book begins with the proofs for the existence of the self or atman. It is said that each of the senses is associated with its own specific object, but there must exist some other entity in us which gathered together the different sense-cognitions and produced the perception of the total object as distinguished from the separate sense-perceptions. If there were no self then there would be no sin in injuring the bodies of men: again if there were no permanent self, no one would be able to recognize things as having seen them before; the two images produced by the eyes in visual perception could not also have been united together as one visual perception of the things [Footnote ref 1]; moreover if there were no permanent cognizer then by the sight of a sour fruit one could not be reminded of its sour taste. If consciousness belonged to the senses only, then there would be no recognition, for the experience of one could not be recognized by another. If it is said that the unity of sensations could as well be effected by manas (mind), then the manas would serve the same purpose as self and it would only be a quarrel over a name, for this entity the knower would require some instrument by which it would co-ordinate the sensations and cognize; unless manas is admitted as a separate instrument of the soul, then though the sense perceptions could be explained as being the work of the


style="text-align: justify;">[Footnote 1: According to Vatsyayana, in the two eyes we have two different senses. Udyotakara, however, thinks that there is one visual sense which works in both eyes.]


senses, yet imagining, thinking, etc., could not be explained. Another argument for the admission of soul is this, that infants show signs of pleasure and pain in quite early stages of infancy and this could not be due to anything but similar experiences in previous lives. Moreover every creature is born with some desires, and no one is seen to be born without desires. All attachments and desires are due to previous experiences, and therefore it is argued that desires in infants are due to their experience in previous existences.

The body is made up of the k@siti element. The visual sense is material and so also are all other senses [Footnote ref l]. Incidentally the view held by some that the skin is the only organ of sensation is also refuted. The earth possesses four qualities, water three, fire two, air one, and ether one, but the sense of smell, taste, eye, and touch which are made respectively by the four elements of earth, etc., can only grasp the distinctive features of the elements of which they are made. Thus though the organ of smell is made by earth which contains four qualities, it can only grasp the distinctive quality of earth, viz. smell.

Against the Sa@mkhya distinction of _buddhi_ (cognition) and _cit_ (pure intelligence) it is said that there is no difference between the _buddhi_ and _cit_. We do not find in our consciousness two elements of a phenomenal and a non-phenomenal consciousness, but only one, by whichever name it may be called. The Sa@mkhya epistemology that the anta@hkara@na assumes diverse forms in cognitive acts is also denied, and these are explained on the supposition of contacts of manas with the senses, atman and external objects. The Buddhist objection against the Sa@mkhya explanation that the anta@hkara@nas catch reflection from the external world just as a crystal does from the coloured objects that may lie near it, that there were really momentary productions of crystals and no permanent crystal catching different reflections at different times is refuted by Nyaya; for it says that it cannot be said that all creations are momentary, but it can only be agreed to in those cases where momentariness was actually experienced. In the case of the transformation of milk into curd there is no coming in of new qualities and disappearance of old ones, but

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