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A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume 1

We are not concerned with physical collocations


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style="text-align: justify;">[Footnote 1: See _Nyayamanjari_ on prama@na.]

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relates itself to knowledge, and how knowledge itself takes it up into itself and appears as conscious, is the most difficult point of the Sa@mkhya epistemology and metaphysics. The substance of knowledge copies the external world, and this copy-shape of knowledge is again intelligized by the pure intelligence (_puru@sa_) when it appears as conscious. The forming of the buddhi-shape of knowledge is thus the prama@na (instrument and process of knowledge) and the validity or invalidity of any of these shapes is criticized by the later shapes of knowledge and not by the external objects (_svata@h-prama@nya_ and _svata@h-aprama@nya_). The prama@na however can lead to a prama or right knowledge only when it is intelligized by the puru@sa. The puru@sa comes in touch with buddhi not by the ordinary means of physical contact but by what may be called an inexplicable transcendental contact. It is the transcendental influence of puru@sa that sets in motion the original prak@rti in Sa@mkhya metaphysics, and it is the same transcendent touch (call it yogyata according to Vacaspati or samyoga according to Bhik@su) of the transcendent entity of puru@sa that transforms the non-intelligent states of buddhi into consciousness. The Vijnanavadin Buddhist did not make any distinction between the pure consciousness and its forms (_akara_) and did not

therefore agree that the akara of knowledge was due to its copying the objects. Sa@mkhya was however a realist who admitted the external world and regarded the forms as all due to copying, all stamped as such upon a translucent substance (_sattva_) which could assume the shape of the objects. But Sa@mkhya was also transcendentalist in this, that it did not think like Nyaya that the akara of knowledge was all that knowledge had to show; it held that there was a transcendent element which shone forth in knowledge and made it conscious. With Nyaya there was no distinction between the shaped buddhi and the intelligence, and that being so consciousness was almost like a physical event. With Sa@mkhya however so far as the content and the shape manifested in consciousness were concerned it was indeed a physical event, but so far as the pure intelligizing element of consciousness was concerned it was a wholly transcendent affair beyond the scope and province of physics. The rise of consciousness was thus at once both transcendent and physical.

The Mima@msist Prabhakara agreed with Nyaya in general as regards the way in which the objective world and sense contact

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induced knowledge in us. But it regarded knowledge as a unique phenomenon which at once revealed itself, the knower and the known. We are not concerned with physical collocations, for whatever these may be it is knowledge which reveals things--the direct apprehension that should be called the prama@na. Prama@na in this sense is the same as pramiti or prama, the phenomenon of apprehension. Prama@na may also indeed mean the collocations so far as they induce the prama. For prama or right knowledge is never produced, it always exists, but it manifests itself differently under different circumstances. The validity of knowledge means the conviction or the specific attitude that is generated in us with reference to the objective world. This validity is manifested with the rise of knowledge, and it does not await the verdict of any later experience in the objective field (_sa@mvadin_). Knowledge as nirvikalpa (indeterminate) means the whole knowledge of the object and not merely a non-sensible hypothetical indeterminate class-notion as Nyaya holds. The savikalpa (determinate) knowledge only re-establishes the knowledge thus formed by relating it with other objects as represented by memory [Footnote ref 1].


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