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A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume 1

Vacika vijnapti karma and vacikavijnapti karma


of long, short, round, square, high, low, straight, and crooked. The sense of touch (_kayendriya_) has for its object the four elements and the qualities of smoothness, roughness, lightness, heaviness, cold, hunger and thirst. These qualities represent the feelings generated in sentient beings by the objects of touch, hunger, thirst, etc., and are also counted under it, as they are the organic effects produced by a touch which excites the physical frame at a time when the energy of wind becomes active in our body and predominates over other energies; so also the feeling of thirst is caused by a touch which excites the physical frame when the energy of the element of fire becomes active and predominates over the other energies. The indriyas (senses) can after grasping the external objects arouse thought (_vijnana_); each of the five senses is an agent without which none of the five vijnanas would become capable of perceiving an external object. The essence of the senses is entirely material. Each sense has two subdivisions, namely, the principal sense and the auxiliary sense. The substratum of the principal senses consists of a combination of parama@nus, which are extremely pure and minute, while the substratum of the latter is the flesh, made of grosser materials. The five senses differ from one another with respect to the manner and form of their respective atomic combinations. In all sense-acts, whenever an act is performed and an idea is impressed, a latent energy is impressed on our person which is designated as avijnapti rupa. It is called rupa because it is a result or effect of rupa-contact; it is called avijnapti because it is latent and unconscious; this latent energy is bound sooner or later to express itself in karma effects and is the only bridge which connects the cause and the effect of karma done by body or speech. Karma in this school is considered as twofold, namely, that as thought (_cetana karma_) and that as activity (_caitasika karma_). This last, again, is of two kinds, viz.

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that due to body-motion (_kayika karma_) and speech (_vacika karma_). Both these may again be latent (_avijnapti_) and patent (_vijnapti_), giving us the kayika-vijnnpti karma, kayikavijnapti karma, vacika-vijnapti karma and vacikavijnapti karma. Avijnapti rupa and avijnapti karma are what we should call in modern phraseology sub-conscious ideas, feelings and activity. Corresponding to each conscious sensation, feeling, thought or activity there is another similar sub-conscious state which expresses itself in future thoughts and actions; as these are not directly known but are similar to those which are known, they are called avijnapti.

The mind, says Vasubandhu, is called cittam, because it wills (_cetati_), manas because it thinks (_manvate_) and vijnana because it discriminates (_nirdis'ati_). The discrimination may be of three kinds: (1) svabhava nirdes'a (natural perceptual discrimination), (2) prayoga nirdes'a (actual discrimination as present, past and future), and (3) anusm@rti nirdes'a (reminiscent discrimination referring only to the past). The senses only possess the _svabhava nirdes'a_, the other two belong exclusively to manovijnana. Each of the vijnanas as associated with its specific sense discriminates its particular object and perceives its general characteristics; the six vijnanas combine to form what is known as the Vijnanaskandha, which is presided over by mind (_mano_). There are forty-six caitta sa@msk@rta dharmas. Of the three asa@msk@rta dharmas akas'a (ether) is in essence the freedom from obstruction, establishing it as a permanent omnipresent immaterial substance (_nirupakhya_, non-rupa). The second asa@msk@rta dharma, apratisa@mkhya nirodha, means the non-perception of dharmas caused by the absence of pratyayas or conditions. Thus when I fix my attention on one thing, other things are not seen then, not because they are non-existent but because the conditions which would have made them visible were absent. The third asa@msk@rta dharma, pratisa@mkhya nirodha, is the final deliverance from bondage. Its essential characteristic is everlastingness. These are called asa@msk@rta because being of the nature of negation they are non-collocative and hence have no production or dissolution. The eightfold noble path which leads to this state consists of right views, right aspirations, right speech, right conduct, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right rapture [Footnote ref 1].


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