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A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume 1

Knowledge jnana is produced


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style="text-align: justify;">[Footnote 1: _Nyayamanjari_, pp. 499-533.]

CHAPTER IX

MIMA@MSA PHILOSOPHY [Footnote ref 1]

A Comparative Review.

The Nyaya-Vais'e@sika philosophy looked at experience from a purely common sense point of view and did not work with any such monistic tendency that the ultimate conceptions of our common sense experience should be considered as coming out of an original universal (e.g. prak@rti of the Sam@khya). Space, time, the four elements, soul, etc. convey the impression that they are substantive entities or substances. What is perceived of the material things as qualities such as colour, taste, etc. is regarded as so many entities which have distinct and separate existence but which manifest themselves in connection with the substances. So also karma or action is supposed to be a separate entity, and even the class notions are perceived as separate entities inhering in substances. Knowledge (_jnana_) which illuminates all things is regarded only as a quality belonging to soul, just as there are other qualities of material objects. Causation is viewed merely as the collocation of conditions. The genesis of knowledge is also viewed as similar in nature to the production of any other physical event. Thus just as by the collocation of certain

physical circumstances a jug and its qualities are produced, so by the combination and respective contacts of the soul, mind, sense, and the objects of sense, knowledge (_jnana_) is produced. Soul with Nyaya is an inert unconscious entity in which knowledge, etc. inhere. The relation between a substance and its quality, action, class notion, etc. has also to be admitted as a separate entity, as without it the different entities being without any principle of relation would naturally fail to give us a philosophic construction.

Sa@mkhya had conceived of a principle which consisted of an infinite number of reals of three different types, which by their combination were conceived to be able to produce all substances, qualities, actions, etc. No difference was acknowledged to exist between substances, qualities and actions, and it was conceived

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[Footnote 1: On the meanirg of the word Mima@msa see Chapter IV.]

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that these were but so many aspects of a combination of the three types of reals in different proportions. The reals contained within them the rudiments of all developments of matter, knowledge, willing, feelings, etc. As combinations of reals changed incessantly and new phenomena of matter and mind were manifested, collocations did not bring about any new thing but brought about a phenomenon which was already there in its causes in another form. What we call knowledge or thought ordinarily, is with them merely a form of subtle illuminating matter stuff. Sa@mkhya holds however that there is a transcendent entity as pure consciousness and that by some kind of transcendent reflection or contact this pure consciousness transforms the bare translucent thought-matter into conscious thought or experience of a person.


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