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A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume 1

331the causal collocation can be called the primary cause


The

manner in which knowledge originates is one of the most favourite topics of discussion in Indian philosophy. We have already seen that Sa@mkhya-Yoga explained it by supposing that the buddhi (place of consciousness) assumed the form of the object of perception, and that the buddhi so transformed was then intelligized by the reflection of the pure intelligence or puru@sa. The Jains regarded the origin of any knowledge as being due to a withdrawal of a veil of karma which was covering the all-intelligence of the self.

Nyaya-Vais`e@sika regarded all effects as being due to the assemblage of certain collocations which unconditionally, invariably, and immediately preceded these effects. That collocation (_samagri_) which produced knowledge involved certain non-intelligent as well as intelligent elements and through their conjoint action uncontradicted and determinate knowledge was produced, and this collocation is thus called prama@na or the determining cause of the origin of knowledge [Footnote ref 2]. None of the separate elements composing

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[Footnote 1: Govardhana's _Nyayabodhini_ on _Tarkasa@mgraha_, pp. 9, 10.]

[Footnote 2: "_Avyabhicarinimasandigdharthopalabdhi@m vidadhati bodhabodhasvabhava samagri prama@nam._" _Nyayamanjari_, p. 12. Udyotakara however defined "prama@na" as

upalabdhihetu (cause of knowledge). This view does not go against Jayanta's view which I have followed, but it emphasizes the side of vyapara or movement of the senses, etc. by virtue of which the objects come in contact with them and knowledge is produced. Thus Vacaspati says: "_siddhamindriyadi, asiddhanca tatsannikar@sadi vyaparayannutpadayan kara@na eva caritartha@h kar@na@m tvindriyadi tatsannikar@sadi va nanyatra caritarthamiti sak@sadupalabdhaveva phale vyapriyate._" _Tatparya@tika_, p. 15. Thus it is the action of the senses as prama@na which is the direct cause of the production of knowledge, but as this production could not have taken place without the subject and the object, they also are to be regarded as causes in some sense. _"Pramat@rprameyayo@h. pramane caritarthatvamacaritarthatvam pramanasya tasmat tadeva phalahetu@h. Pramat@rprameye tu phaloddes'ena prav@rtte iti taddhetu kathancit." Ibid._ p. 16.]

331

the causal collocation can be called the primary cause; it is only their joint collocation that can be said to determine the effect, for sometimes the absence of a single element composing the causal collocation is sufficient to stop the production of the effect. Of course the collocation or combination is not an entity separated from the collocated or combined things. But in any case it is the preceding collocations that combine to produce the effect jointly. These involve not only intellectual elements (e.g. indeterminate cognition as qualification (vis'e@sa@na) in determinate perceptions, the knowledge of li@nga in inference, the seeing of similar things in upamana, the hearing of sound in s'abda) but also the assemblage of such physical things (e.g. proximity of the object of perception, capacity of the sense, light, etc.), which are all indispensable for the origin of knowledge. The cognitive and physical elements all co-operate in the same plane, combine together and produce further determinate knowledge. It is this capacity of the collocations that is called prama@na.


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