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A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume 1

Universal coexistence of the gamaka with the gamya e


Inference.

S'abara says that when a certain fixed or permanent relation has been known to exist between two things, we can have the idea of one thing when the other one is perceived, and this kind of knowledge is called inference. Kumarila on the basis of this tries to show that inference is only possible when we notice that in a large number of cases two things (e.g. smoke and fire) subsist together in a third thing (e.g. kitchen, etc.) in some independent relation, i.e. when their coexistence does not depend upon any other eliminable condition or factor. It is also necessary that the two things (smoke and fire) coexisting in a third thing should be so experienced that all cases of the existence of one thing should also be cases involving the existence of the other, but the cases of the existence of one thing (e.g. fire), though including all the cases of the existence of the other (smoke), may have yet a more extensive sphere where the latter (smoke) may not exist. When once a permanent relation, whether it be a case of coexistence (as in the case of the contiguity of the constellation of K@rttika with Rohi@ni, where, by the rise of the former the early rise of the latter may be inferred), or a case of identity (as in the relation between a genus and its species), or a case of cause and effect or otherwise between two things and a third thing which had been apprehended in a large number of cases, is perceived, they fuse together in the mind

as forming

388

one whole, and as a result of that when the existence of the one (e.g. smoke) in a thing (hill) is noticed, we can infer the existence of the thing (hill) with its counterpart (fire). In all such cases the thing (e.g. fire) which has a sphere extending beyond that in which the other (e.g. smoke) can exist is called _gamya_ or _vyapaka_ and the other (e.g. smoke) _vyapya_ or _gamaka_ and it is only by the presence of gamaka in a thing (e.g. hill, the pak@sa) that the other counterpart the gamya (fire) may be inferred. The general proposition, universal coexistence of the gamaka with the gamya (e.g. wherever there is smoke there is fire) cannot be the cause of inference, for it is itself a case of inference. Inference involves the memory of a permanent relation subsisting between two things (e.g. smoke and fire) in a third thing (e g. kitchen); but the third thing is remembered only in a general way that the coexisting things must have a place where they are found associated. It is by virtue of such a memory that the direct perception of a basis (e.g. hill) with the gamaka thing (e.g. smoke) in it would naturally bring to my mind that the same basis (hill) must contain the gamya (i.e. fire) also. Every case of inference thus proceeds directly from a perception and not from any universal general proposition. Kumarila holds that the inference gives us the minor as associated with the major and not of the major alone, i.e. of the fiery mountain and not of fire. Thus inference gives us a new knowledge, for though it was known in a general way that the possessor of smoke is the possessor of fire, yet the case of the mountain was not anticipated and the inference of the fiery mountain is thus a distinctly new knowledge (_des'akaladhikyadyuktamag@rhitagrahitvam anumanasya, Nyayaratnakara_, p. 363) [Footnote ref 1]. It should also be noted that in forming the notion of the permanent relation between two things, a third thing in which these two subsist is always remembered and for the conception of this permanent relation it is enough that in the large number of cases where the concomitance was noted there was no knowledge of any case where the concomitance failed, and it is not indispensable that the negative instances in which the absence of the gamya or vyapaka was marked by an


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