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A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume 1

This world is not momentary as the Buddhists suppose


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style="text-align: justify;">[Footnote 1: See _Nyayakandali_, pp. 48-54.]

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but also acts always among us in a general way, for without it our karmas could not ripen, and the consequent disposal of pleasures and sorrows to us and a corresponding change in the exterior world in the form of order or harmony could not happen. The exterior world is in perfect harmony with men's actions. Their merits and demerits and all its changes and modifications take place in accordance with merits and demerits. This desire (_iccha_) of Is'vara may thus be compared with the _iccha_ of Is'vara as we find it in the Yoga system.

Proof of the Existence of Is'vara.

Sa@mkhya asserts that the teleology of the prak@rti is sufficient to explain all order and arrangement of the cosmos. The Mima@msakas, the Carvakas, the Buddhists and the Jains all deny the existence of Is'vara (God). Nyaya believes that Is'vara has fashioned this universe by his will out of the ever-existing atoms. For every effect (e.g. a jug) must have its cause. If this be so, then this world with all its order and arrangement must also be due to the agency of some cause, and this cause is Is'vara. This world is not momentary as the Buddhists suppose, but is permanent as atoms, is also an effect so far as it is a collocation of atoms and is made up of parts like all other individual objects (e.g.

jug, etc.), which we call effects. The world being an effect like any other effect must have a cause like any other effect. The objection made against this view is that such effects as we ordinarily perceive may be said to have agents as their causes but this manifest world with mountains, rivers, oceans etc. is so utterly different in form from ordinary effects that we notice every day, that the law that every effect must have a cause cannot be said to hold good in the present case. The answer that Nyaya gives is that the concomitance between two things must be taken in its general aspect neglecting the specific peculiarities of each case of observed concomitance. Thus I had seen many cases of the concomitance of smoke with fire, and had thence formed the notion that "wherever there is smoke there is fire"; but if I had only observed small puffs of smoke and small fires, could I say that only small quantities of smoke could lead us to the inference of fire, and could I hold that therefore large volumes of smoke from the burning of a forest should not be sufficient reason for us to infer the existence of fire in the forest?

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Thus our conclusion should not be that only smaller effects are preceded by their causes, but that all effects are invariably and unconditionally preceded by causes. This world therefore being an effect must be preceded by a cause, and this cause is Is'vara. This cause we cannot see, because Is'vara has no visible body, not because he does not exist. It is sometimes said that we see every day that shoots come out of seeds and they are not produced by any agent. To such an objection the Nyaya answer is that even they are created by God, for they are also effects. That we do not see any one to fashion them is not because there is no maker of them, but because the creator cannot be seen. If the objector could distinctly prove that there was no invisible maker shaping these shoots, then only could he point to it as a case of contradiction. But so long as this is not done it is still only a doubtful case of enquiry and it is therefore legitimate for us to infer that since all effects have a cause, the shoots as well as the manifest world being effects must have a cause. This cause is Is'vara. He has infinite knowledge and is all merciful. At the beginning of creation He created the Vedas. He is like our father who is always engaged in doing us good [Footnote ref 1].


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