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A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume 1

Vasumitra held that an entity is called present


style="text-align: justify;">The atoms of colour, taste, smell and touch, and cognition are being destroyed every moment. The meanings of words always imply the negations of all other things, excepting that which is intended to be signified by that word (_anyapoha@h s'abdartha@h_). Salvation (_mok@sa_) comes as the result of the destruction of the process of knowledge through continual meditation that there is no soul [Footnote ref 1].

One of the main differences between the Vibhajjavadins, Sautrantikas and the Vaibha@sikas or the Sarvastivadins appears to refer to the notion of time which is a subject of great interest with Buddhist philosophy. Thus _Abhidharmakos'a_ (v. 24...) describes the Sarvastivadins as those who maintain the universal existence of everything past, present and future. The Vibhajjavadins are those "who maintain that the present elements and those among the past that have not yet produced their fruition, are existent, but they deny the existence of the future ones and of those among the past that have already produced fruition." There were four branches of this school represented by Dharmatrata, Gho@sa, Vasumitra and Buddhadeva. Dharmatrata maintained that when an element enters different times, its existence changes but not its essence, just as when milk is changed into curd or a golden vessel is broken, the form of the existence changes though the essence remains the same. Gho@sa held that "when an element appears at different

times, the past one retains its past aspects without being severed from its future and present aspects, the present likewise retains its present aspect without completely losing its past and future aspects," just as a man in passionate love with a woman does not lose his capacity to love other women though he is not actually in love with them. Vasumitra held that an entity is called present, past and future according as it produces its efficiency, ceases to produce after having once produced it or has not yet begun to produce it. Buddhadeva maintained the view that just as the same woman may be called mother, daughter, wife, so the same entity may be called present, past or future in accordance with its relation to the preceding or the succeeding moment.

All these schools are in some sense Sarvastivadins, for they maintain universal existence. But the Vaibha@sika finds them all defective excepting the view of Vasumitra. For Dharmatrata's


[Footnote 1: Gu@naratna's _Tarkarahasyadipika_, pp. 46-47.]


view is only a veiled Sa@mkhya doctrine; that of Gho@sa is a confusion of the notion of time, since it presupposes the coexistence of all the aspects of an entity at the same time, and that of Buddhadeva is also an impossible situation, since it would suppose that all the three times were found together and included in one of

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