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A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume 1

Without false knowledge and attachment


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so Is'vara knows all the purposes of this wide universe and is thus omniscient. He knows all things always and therefore does not require memory; all things are perceived by him directly without any intervention of any internal sense such as manas, etc. He is always happy. His will is eternal, and in accordance with the karma of men the same will produces dissolution, creates, or protects the world, in the order by which each man reaps the results of his own deeds. As our self which is in itself bodiless can by its will produce changes in our body and through it in the external world, so Is'vara also can by his will create the universe though he has no body. Some, however, say that if any association of body with Is'vara is indispensable for our conception of him, the atoms may as well be regarded as his body, so that just as by the will of our self changes and movement of our body take place, so also by his will changes and movements are produced in the atoms [Footnote ref l].

The naiyayikas in common with most other systems of Indian philosophy believed that the world was full of sorrow and that the small bits of pleasure only served to intensify the force of sorrow. To a wise person therefore everything is sorrow (_sarva@m du@hkha@m vivekina@h_); the wise therefore is never attached to the so-called pleasures of life which only lead us to further sorrows.

The bondage of the world is due to false knowledge (_mithyajnana_) which consists in thinking as my own self that which is not my self, namely body, senses, manas, feelings and knowledge; when once the true knowledge of the six padarthas and as Nyaya says, of the proofs (_prama@na_), the objects of knowledge (_prameya_), and of the other logical categories of inference is attained, false knowledge is destroyed. False knowledge can be removed by constant thinking of its opposite (_pratipak@sabhavana_), namely the true estimates of things. Thus when any pleasure attracts us, we are to think that this is in reality but pain, and thus the right knowledge about it will dawn and it will never attract us again. Thus it is that with the destruction of false knowledge our attachment or antipathy to things and ignorance about them (collectively called do@sa, cf. the kles'a of Patanjali) are also destroyed.

With the destruction of attachment actions (_prav@rtti_) for the

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[Footnote:1: See _Nyayamanjari_, pp. 190-204,_ Is'varanumana_ of Raghunatha S'iro@ma@ni and Udayana's _Kusumanjali_.]

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fulfilment of desires cease and with it rebirth ceases and with it sorrow ceases. Without false knowledge and attachment, actions cannot produce the bondage of karma that leads to the production of body and its experiences. With the cessation of sorrow there is emancipation in which the self is divested of all its qualities (consciousness, feeling, willing, etc.) and remains in its own inert state. The state of mukti according to Nyaya-Vais'e@sika is neither a state of pure knowledge nor of bliss but a state of perfect qualitilessness, in which the self remains in itself in its own purity. It is the negative state of absolute painlessness in mukti that is sometimes spoken of as being a state of absolute happiness (_ananda_), though really speaking the state of mukti can never be a state of happiness. It is a passive state of self in its original and natural purity unassociated with pleasure, pain, knowledge, willing, etc. [Footnote ref 1].


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