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A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume 1

The Nyaya sutras know of other prama@nas

seems to be more loose than

the term _vyapti_ as we know it in the later Nyaya. The _Vais'e@sika sutras_ do not count scriptures (_s'abda_) as a separate prama@na, but they tacitly admit the great validity of the Vedas. With _Nyaya sutras_ s'abda as a prama@na applies not only to the Vedas, but to the testimony of any trustworthy person, and Vatsyayana says that trustworthy persons may be of three kinds _@r@si, arya_ and _mleccha_ (foreigners). Upamana which is regarded as a means of right cognition in Nyaya is not even referred to in the _Vais'e@sika sutras_. The _Nyaya sutras_ know of other prama@nas, such as _arthapatti, sambhava_ and _aitihya_, but include them within the prama@nas admitted by them, but the _Vais'e@sika sutras_ do not seem to know them at all [Footnote ref 1]. The _Vais'e@sika sutras_ believe in the perception of negation (abhava) through the perception of the locus to which such negation refers (IX. i. 1-10). The _Nyaya sutras_ (II. ii. 1, 2, 7-12) consider that abhava as non-existence or negation can be perceived; when one asks another to "bring the clothes which are not marked," he finds that marks are absent in some clothes and brings them; so it is argued that absence or non-existence can be directly perceived [Footnote ref 2]. Though there is thus an agreement between the Nyaya and the _Vais'e@sika sutras_ about the acceptance of abhava as being due to perception, yet their method of handling the matter is different. The _Nyaya sutras_ say nothing about the categories of _dravya,
gu@na, karma, vis'e@sa_ and _samavaya_ which form the main subjects of Vais'e@ska discussions [Footnote ref 3]. The _Nyaya sutras_ take much pains to prove the materiality of the senses. But this question does not seem to have been important with Vais'e@sika. The slight reference to this question in VIII. ii. 5-6 can hardly be regarded as sufficient. The _Vais'e@sika sutras_ do not mention the name of "Is'vara," whereas the _Nyaya sutras_ try to prove his existence on eschatological grounds. The reasons given in support of the existence of self in the _Nyaya sutras_ are mainly on the ground of the unity of sense-cognitions and the phenomenon of recognition, whereas the


[Footnote 1: The only old authority which knows these prama@nas is Caraka. But he also gives an interpretation of sambhava which is different from Nyaya and calls _arthapatti arthaprapti_ (_Caraka_ III. viii.).]

[Footnote 2: The details of this example are taken from Vatsyayana's commentary.]

[Footnote 3: The _Nyaya sutra_ no doubt incidentally gives a definition of jati as "_samanaprasavatmika jati@h_" (II. ii. 71).]


Vaisesika lays its main emphasis on self-consciousness as a fact of knowledge. Both the Nyaya and the _Vais'e@sika sutras_ admit the existence of atoms, but all the details of the doctrine of atomic structure in later Nyaya-Vais'e@sika are absent there. The Vai'se@sika calls salvation _ni@hs'reyasa_ or _mok@sa_ and the Nyaya _apavarga_. Mok@sa with Vais'e@sika is the permanent cessation of connection with body; the apavarga with Nyaya is cessation of pain [Footnote ref l]. In later times the main points of difference between the Vais'e@sika and Nyaya are said to lie with regard to theory of the notion of number, changes of colour in the molecules by heat, etc. Thus the former admitted a special procedure of the mind by which cognitions of number arose in the mind (e.g. at the first moment there is the sense contact with an object, then the notion of oneness, then from a sense of relativeness--apek@sabuddhi--notion of two, then a notion of two-ness, and then the notion of two things); again, the doctrine of pilupaka (changes of qualities by heat are produced in atoms and not in molecules as Nyaya held) was held by Vais'e@sika, which the Naiyayikas did not admit [Footnote ref 2]. But as the _Nyaya sutras_ are silent on these points, it is not possible to say that such were really the differences between early Nyaya and early Vaise@sika. These differences may be said to hold between the later interpreters of Vais'e@sika and the later interpreters of Nyaya. The Vais'e@sika as we find it in the commentary of Pras'astapada (probably sixth century A.D.), and the Nyaya from the time of Udyotakara have come to be treated as almost the same system with slight variations only. I have therefore preferred to treat them together. The main presentation of the Nyaya-Vais'e@sika philosophy in this chapter is that which is found from the sixth century onwards.

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