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A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume 1

Dissolution Pralaya and Creation S@r@s@ti


and accessory (_sahakari_) causes are those which help the material cause to produce the effect. Thus the potter, the wheel and the stick may be regarded as the nimitta and the sahakari causes of the effect.

We know that the Nyaya-Vais'e@sika regards the effect as nonexistent, before the operation of the cause in producing it, but it holds that the gu@nas in the cause are the causes of the gu@nas in the effect, e.g. the black colour of the clay is the cause of the black colour of the effect, except in cases where heat comes as an extraneous cause to generate other qualities; thus when a clay jug is burnt, on account of the heat we get red colour, though the colour of the original clay and the jug was black. Another important exception is to be found in the case of the production of the parima@nas of dvya@nukas and trasare@nus which are not produced by the parima@nas of an a@nu or a dya@nuka, but by their number as we have already seen.

Dissolution (Pralaya) and Creation (S@r@s@ti).

The doctrine of pralaya is accepted by all the Hindu systems except the Mima@msa [Footnote ref 1]. According to the Nyaya-Vais'e@sika view Is'vara wishing to give some respite or rest to all living beings desires to bring about dissolution (_sa@mhareccho bhavati_). Simultaneously with it the ad@r@s@ta force residing in all the souls and forming bodies, senses, and the gross elements, ceases to act

(_s'akti-pratibandha_). As a result of this no further bodies, senses, or other products come into being. Then for the bringing about of the dissolution of all produced things (by the desire of Is'vara) the separation of the atoms commences and thus all combinations as bodies or senses are disintegrated; so all earth is reduced to the disintegrated atomic state, then all ap, then all tejas and then all vayu. These disintegrated atoms and the souls associated with dharma, adharma and past impressions (_sa@mskara_) remain suspended in their own inanimate condition. For we know that souls in their natural condition are lifeless and knowledgeless, non-intelligent entities. It is only when these are connected with bodies that they possess knowledge through the activity of manas. In the state of pralaya owing to the ad@r@s@ta of souls the


[Footnote 1: The doctrine of pralaya and s@r@s@ti is found only in later Nyaya-Vais'e@sika works, but the sutras of both the systems seem to be silent on the matter.]


atoms do not conglomerate. It is not an act of cruelty on the part of Is'vara that he brings about dissolution, for he does it to give some rest to the sufferings of the living beings.

At the time of creation, Is'vara wishes to create and this desire of Is'vara works in all the souls as ad@r@s@ta. This one eternal desire of Is'vara under certain conditions of time (e.g. of pralaya) as accessory causes (_sahakari_) helps the disintegration of atoms and at other times (e.g. that of creation) the constructive process of integration and unification of atoms for the world-creation. When it acts in a specific capacity in the diverse souls it is called ad@r@s@ta. At the time of dissolution the creative function of this ad@r@s@ta is suspended and at the time of creation it finds full play. At the time of creation action first begins in the vayu atoms by the kinetic function of this ad@r@s@ta, by the contact of the souls with the atoms. By such action the air atoms come in contact with one another and the dvya@nukas are formed and then in a similar way the trya@nukas are formed, and thus vayu originates. After vayu, the ap is formed by the conglomeration of water atoms, and then the tejas atoms conglomerate and then the earth atoms. When the four elements are thus conglomerated in the gross form, the god Brahma and all the worlds are created by Is'vara and Brahma is directed by Is'vara to do the rest of the work. Brahma thus arranges for the enjoyment and suffering of the fruits of diverse kinds of karma, good or bad. Is'vara brings about this creation not for any selfish purpose but for the good of all beings. Even here sorrows have their place that they may lead men to turn from worldly attachment and try for the attainment of the highest good, mukti. Moreover Is'vara arranges for the enjoyment of pleasures and the suffering of pains according to the merits and demerits of men, just as in our ordinary experience we find that a master awards prizes or punishments according to good or bad deeds [Footnote ref 1]. Many Nyaya books do not speak of the appointment of a Brahma as deputy for supervision of the due disposal of the fruits of karma according to merit or demerit. It is also held that pralaya and creation were brought about in accordance with the karma of men, or that it may be due to a mere play (_lila_) of Is'vara. Is'vara is one, for if there were many Is'varas they might quarrel. The will of Is'vara not only brings about dissolution and creation,

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