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A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume 1

Quite in harmony with the conception of jati


"_adustakaranodbhutamanavirbhutabadhakam asandigdanca vijnanam katham mithyeti kathyate._"

_Nyayamanjari_, pp. 550 ff.]

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but the establishment of the existence of wholes refutes the argument that jati should be denied, because it involves the conception of a whole (class) consisting of many parts (individuals). The class character or jati exists because it is distinctly perceived by us in the individuals included in any particular class. It is eternal in the sense that it continues to exist in other individuals, even when one of the individuals ceases to exist. When a new individual of that class (e g. cow class) comes into being, a new relation of inherence is generated by which the individual is brought into relation with the class-character existing in other individuals, for inherence (_samavaya_) according to Prabhakara is not an eternal entity but an entity which is both produced and not produced according as the thing in which it exists is non-eternal or eternal, and it is not regarded as one as Nyaya holds, but as many, according as there is the infinite number of things in which it exists. When any individual is destroyed, the class-character does not go elsewhere, nor subsist in that individual, nor is itself destroyed, but it is only the inherence of class-character with that individual that ceases to exist. With the destruction of an individual or its production

it is a new relation of inherence that is destroyed or produced. But the class-character or jati has no separate existence apart from the individuals as Nyaya supposes. Apprehension of jati is essentially the apprehension of the class-character of a thing in relation to other similar things of that class by the perception of the common characteristics. But Prabhakara would not admit the existence of a highest genus satta (being) as acknowledged by Nyaya. He argues that the existence of class-character is apprehended because we find that the individuals of a class possess some common characteristic possessed by all the heterogeneous and disparate things of the world as can give rise to the conception of a separate jati as satta, as demanded by the naiyayikas. That all things are said to be _sat_ (existing) is more or less a word or a name without the corresponding apprehension of a common quality. Our experience always gives us concrete existing individuals, but we can never experience such a highest genus as pure existence or being, as it has no concrete form which may be perceived. When we speak of a thing as _sat_, we do not mean that it is possessed of any such class-characters as satta (being); what we mean is simply that the individual has its specific existence or svarupasatta.

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Thus the Nyaya view of perception as taking only the thing in its pure being apart from qualities, etc, (_sanmatra-vi@sayam pratyak@sa@m_) is made untenable by Prabhakara, as according to him the thing is perceived direct with all its qualities. According to Kumarila however jati is not something different from the individuals comprehended by it and it is directly perceived. Kumarila's view of jati is thus similar to that held by Sa@mkhya, namely that when we look at an individual from one point of view (jati as identical with the individual), it is the individual that lays its stress upon our consciousness and the notion of jati becomes latent, but when we look at it from another point of view (the individual as identical with jati) it is the jati which presents itself to consciousness, and the aspect as individual becomes latent. The apprehension as jati or as individual is thus only a matter of different points of view or angles of vision from which we look at a thing. Quite in harmony with the conception of jati, Kumarila holds that the relation of inherence is not anything which is distinct from the things themselves in which it is supposed to exist, but only a particular aspect or phase of the things themselves (_S'lokavarttika, Pratyak@sasutra_, 149, 150, _abhedat samavayo'stu svarupam dharmadharmi@no@h_), Kumarila agrees with Prabhakara that jati is perceived by the senses (_tatraikabuddhinirgrahya jatirindriyagocara_).


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