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A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume 1

These types are six in number dravya

action (_karma_), sameness

or generality (_samanya_), speciality or specific individuality (_vis'e@sa_) and the relation of inherence (_samavaya_) cannot show themselves without the help of substance (_dravya_). Dravya is thus the place of rest (_as'raya_) on which all the others depend (_as'@rta_). Dravya, gu@na, karma, samanya, vis'e@sa, and samavaya are the six original entities of which all things in the world are made up [Footnote ref 1]. When a man through some special merit, by the cultivation of reason and a thorough knowledge of the fallacies and pitfalls in the way of right thinking, comes to know the respective characteristics and differences of the above entities, he ceases to have any passions and to work in accordance with their promptings and attains a conviction of the nature of self, and is liberated [Footnote ref 2]. The Nyaya-Vais'e@sika is a pluralistic system which neither tries to reduce the diversity of experience to any universal principle, nor dismisses patent facts of experience on the strength of the demands of the logical coherence of mere abstract thought. The entities it admits are taken directly from experience. The underlying principle is that at the root of each kind of perception there must be something to which the perception is due. It classified the percepts and concepts of experience into several ultimate types or categories (_padartha_), and held that the notion of each type was due to the presence of that entity. These types are six in number--dravya, gu@na, etc.
If we take a percept "I see a red book," the book appears to be an independent entity on which rests the concept of "redness" and "oneness," and we thus call the book a substance (_dravya_); dravya is thus defined as that which has the characteristic of a dravya (_dravyatva_). So also gu@na and karma. In the subdivision of different kinds of dravya also the same principle of classification is followed. In contrasting it with Sa@mkhya or Buddhism we see that for each unit of sensation (say


[Footnote 1: _Abhava_ (negation) as dependent on bhava (position) is mentioned in the _Vais'e@sika sutras_. Later Nyaya writers such as Udayana include _abhava_ as a separate category, but S'ridhara a contemporary of Udayana rightly remarks that abhava was not counted by Pras'astapada as it was dependent on bhava--"_abhavasya prthaganupades'a@h bhavaparatantryat na tvabhavat_." _Nyayakandali_, p. 6, and _Lak@sa@navali_, p. 2.]

[Footnote 2: "_Tattvato jnate@su bahyadhyatmike@su vi@saye@su do@sadars'anat viraktasya samihaniv@rttau atmajnasya tadarthani karmanyakurvatah tatparityagasadhanani s'rutism@rtyuditani asa@nkalpitaphalani upadadanasya atmajnanamabhyasyata@h prak@r@s@tanivarttakadharmopacaye sati paripakvatmajnanasyatyantikas'ariraviyogasya bhavat._" _Ibid._ p. 7.]


whiteness) the latter would admit a corresponding real, but Nyaya-Vais'e@sika would collect "all whiteness" under the name of "the quality of white colour" which the atom possessed [Footnote ref l]. They only regarded as a separate entity what represented an ultimate mode of thought. They did not enquire whether such notions could be regarded as the modification of some other notion or not; but whenever they found that there were some experiences which were similar and universal, they classed them as separate entities or categories.

The six Padarthas: Dravya, Gu@na, Karma, Samanya, Vis'e@sa, Samavaya.

Of the six classes of entities or categories (_padartha_) we have already given some account of dravya [Footnote ref 2]. Let us now turn to the others. Of the qualities (_gu@na_) the first one called _rupa_ (colour) is that which can be apprehended by the eye alone and not by any other sense. The colours are white, blue, yellow, red, green, brown and variegated (_citra_). Colours are found only in k@siti, ap and tejas. The colours of ap and tejas are permanent (_nitya_}, but the colour of k@siti changes when heat is applied, and this, S'ridhara holds, is due to the fact that heat changes the atomic structure of k@siti (earth) and thus the old constitution of the substance being destroyed, its old colour is also destroyed, and a new one is generated. Rupa is the general name for the specific individual colours. There is the genus _rupatva_ (colourness), and the rupa gu@na (quality) is that on which rests this genus; rupa is not itself a genus and can be apprehended by the eye.

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