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A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume 1

Combine together to form each of the elements


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style="text-align: justify;">[Footnote 1: _Systems of Buddhistic Thought_, published by the Calcutta University.]

[Footnote 2: S'a@nkara in his meagre sketch of the doctrine of the Sarvastivadins in his bha@sya on the _Brahma-sutras_ II. 2 notices some of the categories mentioned by Sogen.]

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others around it. The point which must be remembered in connection with the conception of matter is this, that the qualities of all the mahabhutas are inherent in the parama@nus. The special characteristics of roughness (which naturally belongs to earth), viscousness (which naturally belongs to water), heat (belonging to fire), movableness (belonging to wind), combine together to form each of the elements; the difference between the different elements consists only in this, that in each of them its own special characteristics were predominant and active, and other characteristics though present remained only in a potential form. The mutual resistance of material things is due to the quality of earth or the solidness inherent in them; the mutual attraction of things is due to moisture or the quality of water, and so forth. The four elements are to be observed from three aspects, namely, (1) as things, (2) from the point of view of their natures (such as activity, moisture, etc.), and (3) function (such as _dh@rti_ or attraction, _sa@mgraha_ or cohesion, _pakti_ or chemical heat, and _vyuhana_

or clustering and collecting). These combine together naturally by other conditions or causes. The main point of distinction between the Vaibha@sika Sarvastivadins and other forms of Buddhism is this, that here the five skandhas and matter are regarded as permanent and eternal; they are said to be momentary only in the sense that they are changing their phases constantly, owing to their constant change of combination. Avidya is not regarded here as a link in the chain of the causal series of pratityasamutpada; nor is it ignorance of any particular individual, but is rather identical with "moha" or delusion and represents the ultimate state of immaterial dharmas. Avidya, which through sa@mskara, etc., produces namarupa in the case of a particular individual, is not his avidya in the present existence but the avidya of his past existence bearing fruit in the present life.

"The cause never perishes but only changes its name, when it becomes an effect, having changed its state." For example, clay becomes jar, having changed its state; and in this case the name clay is lost and the name jar arises [Footnote ref 1]. The Sarvastivadins allowed simultaneousness between cause and effect only in the case of composite things (_sa@mprayukta hetu_) and in the case of

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[Footnote 1: Sogen's quotation from Kumarajiva's Chinese version of Aryyadeva's commentary on the _Madhyamika s'astra_ (chapter XX. Karika 9).]

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the interaction of mental and material things. The substratum of "vijnana" or "consciousness" is regarded as permanent and the aggregate of the five senses (_indriyas_) is called the perceiver. It must be remembered that the indriyas being material had a permanent substratum, and their aggregate had therefore also a substratum formed of them.

The sense of sight grasps the four main colours of blue, yellow, red, white, and their combinations, as also the visual forms of appearance (_sa@msthana_)


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