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A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume 1

This manas alone by itself brings about cognitions


colour in the cloth subsists

in the yarns which form the material cause of the cloth) or in the material cause itself (e.g. in the case of a new form of smell being produced in a substance by fire-contact, this contact, which is the immaterial cause of the smell, subsists in that substance itself which is put in the fire and in which the smell is produced). The soul is eternal and has no other cause, and it has to be assumed that the immaterial cause required for the rise of a cognition must inhere in the soul, and hence must be a quality. Then again accepting the Nyaya conclusions we know that the rise of qualities in an eternal thing can only take place by contact with some other substances. Now cognition being a quality which the soul acquires would naturally require the contact of such substances. Since there is nothing to show that such substances inhere in other substances they are also to be taken as eternal. There are three eternal substances, time, space, and atoms. But time and space being all-pervasive the soul is always in contact with them. Contact with these therefore cannot explain the occasional rise of different cognitions. This contact must then be of some kind of atom which resides in the body ensouled by the cognizing soul. This atom may be called _manas_ (mind). This manas alone by itself brings about cognitions, pleasure, pain, desire, aversion, effort, etc. The manas however by itself is found to be devoid of any such qualities as colour, smell, etc., and as such cannot lead the soul
to experience or cognize these qualities; hence it stands in need of such other organs as may be characterized by these qualities; for the cognition of colour, the mind will need the aid of an organ of which colour is the characteristic quality; for the cognition of smell, an organ having the odorous characteristic and so on with touch, taste, vision. Now we know that the organ which has colour for its distinctive feature must be one composed of tejas or light, as colour is a feature of light, and this proves the existence of the organ, the eye--for the cognition of colour; in a similar manner the existence of the earthly organ (organ of smell), the aqueous organ (organ of taste), the akas'ic organ (organ of sound) and the airy organ (organ of touch) may be demonstrated. But without manas none of these organs is found to be effective. Four necessary contacts have to be admitted, (1) of the sense organs with the object, (2) of the sense organs with the qualities of the object, (3) of the manas

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with the sense organs, and (4) of the manas with the soul. The objects of perception are of three kinds,(1) substances, (2) qualities, (3) jati or class. The material substances are tangible objects of earth, fire, water, air in large dimensions (for in their fine atomic states they cannot be perceived). The qualities are colour, taste, smell, touch, number, dimension, separateness, conjunction, disjunction, priority, posteriority, pleasure, pain, desire, aversion, and effort [Footnote ref l].

It may not be out of place here to mention in conclusion that Kumarila Bha@t@ta was rather undecided as to the nature of the senses or of their contact with the objects. Thus he says that the senses may be conceived either as certain functions or activities, or as entities having the capacity of revealing things without coming into actual contact with them, or that they might be entities which actually come in contact with their objects [Footnote ref 2], and he prefers this last view as being more satisfactory.


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