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A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume 1

The Vais'e@sika and Nyaya Literature


The Vais'e@sika and Nyaya Literature.

It is difficult to ascertain definitely the date of the _Vais'e@sika sutras_ by Ka@nada, also called Aulukya the son of Uluka, though there is every reason to suppose it to be pre-Buddhistic. It

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[Footnote 1: Professor Vanamali Vedantatirtha quotes a passage from _Sa@mk@sepas'a@nkarajaya_, XVI. 68-69 in _J.A.S.B._, 1905, and another passage from a Nyaya writer Bhasarvajna, pp. 39-41, in _J.A.S.B._, 1914, to show that the old Naiyayikas considered that there was an element of happiness (_sukha_) in the state of mukti (salvation) which the Vais'e@sikas denied. No evidence in support of this opinion is found in the Nyaya or the _Vais'e@sika sutras_, unless the cessation of pain with Nyaya is interpreted as meaning the resence of some sort of bliss or happiness.]

[Footnote 2: See Madhava's _Sarvadars'anasa@mgraha-Aulukyadars'ana_.]

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appears from the _Vayu purana_ that he was born in Prabhasa near Dvaraka, and was the disciple of Somas'arma. The time of Pras'astapada who wrote a bha@sya (commentary) of the _Vais'e@sika sutras_ cannot also unfortunately be ascertained. The peculiarity of Pras'astapada's bha@sya is this that unlike other bha@syas (which first give brief

explanations of the text of the sutras and then continue to elaborate independent explanations by explaining the first brief comments), it does not follow the sutras but is an independent dissertation based on their main contents [Footnote ref 1]. There were two other bha@syas on the _Vais'e@sika sutras_, namely _Rava@na-bha@sya_ and _Bharadvaja-v@rtti_, but these are now probably lost. References to the former are found in _Kira@navalibhaskara_ of Padmanabha Mis'ra and also in _Ratnaprabha_ 2. 2. II. Four commentaries were written on this bha@sya, namely _Vyomavati_ by Vyomas'ekharacarya, _Nyayakandali_ by S'ridhara, _Kira@navali_ by Udayana (984 A.D.) and _Lilavati_ S'rivatsacarya. In addition to these Jagadis'a Bha@t@tacarya of Navadvipa and S'a@nkara Mis'ra wrote two other commentaries on the _Pras'astapada-bhasya_, namely _Bhasyasukti_ and _Ka@nada-rahasya_. S'a@nkara Mis'ra (1425 A.D.) also wrote a commentary on the _Vais'e@sika sutras_ called the _Upaskara_. Of these _Nyaya-kandali_ of S'ridhara on account of its simplicity of style and elaborate nature of exposition is probably the best for a modern student of Vais'e@sika. Its author was a native of the village of Bhuris@r@s@ti in Bengal (Ra@dha). His father's name was Baladeva and mother's name was Acchoka and he wrote his work in 913 S'aka era (990 A.D.) as he himself writes at the end of his work.

The _Nyaya sutra_ was written by Ak@sapada or Gautama, and the earliest commentary on it written by Vatsyayana is known as the _Vatsyayana-bha@sya_. The date of Vatsyayana has not


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