Sāṁkhya Karika with Vācaspati Miṣra Commentaries |Part 3

Saūkṣmyāt tadanupalabdhir, nābhāvāt kāryatas tadupalabdheḥ |
mahadādi tat ca kāryam, prakṛtivirūpaṃ sarūpaṃ ca  |8.|

Tatanupalabdhiḥ: Its non-perception; saukṣmyāt: is because of its subtlety; na abhāvāt: not because of its non-existence; kāryataḥ: through its effects; tat upalabdheḥ: as it is apprehended; tat ca kāryam: and its effect is; Mahat ādi: and the rest; Prakṛti- sarūpam: similar to Prakṛti; virūpam ca: and dissimilar.

Its non-perception is due to its subtlety and not due to its non-existence.

It is apprehended through its effects; these effects are the Mahat (Great Principle) and the rest; some of them are similar and some are dissimilar to Prakṛti (the Primordial Matter).|8|

Why not we say that these are not apprehended only because of their non-existence, just like the seventh kind of rasa?

The author answers: Na-abhāvāt: not because of its non-existence; why? because it is apprehended through its effects. Tat (in the text) refers to Primordial Nature. The proof for the apprehension of the Spirit is given (in Karika-17) as follows: the aggregate must be for the sake of non-aggregate. When we find that direct sense perception does not apprehend objects whose existence is proved by stronger proofs, it is to be understood that the senses are incapable of apprehension. The non-apprehension of seventh taste by the senses cannot be attributed to the incapability of the senses to apprehend it; it is because its (i.e. of the seventh taste) existence has not been established by any valid proof.

Question: What again, are the effects from which the existence of Primordial Nature is inferred?

Answer: Mahat and the rest are its effects. Details of how they indicate (the existence of Pradhāna) will be explained later on (in Karika 22). The statement in the text: Similar and dissimilar to Nature is mentioned because a comprehension of similarity and dissimilarity of these effects is helpful in gaining discriminative wisdom (Viveka Jñāna). This will further be classified (in Karika 23 etc.).

The cause alone is apprehended through the effects. With regard to this (subject of cause and effect) there are different versions among different philosophers.

(1) Some say (Buddhists assert) that existent (effect) emanates from the non-existent (cause);
(2) Others (Advaitins) affirm that all effects are merely illusory appearances of One Reality and are not real entities by themselves.
(3) Others (like Kaṇāda and Gautama) hold that the (previously) non-existent effect (arises) from the existent cause; and lastly,
(4) the ancients (like Kapila) declare that existent (effect) emanates from the existent (cause).
Under the first three of the opinions (about the theory of cause and effect), the existence of Pradhāna (Primordial Nature) cannot be proved. The world is of the nature of sound and other elements which are only different modifications of pleasure, pain and delusion. This proves that the cause of the world is Pradhāna which is of the nature of the attributes of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas (which are of the essence of pleasure, pain and delusion sukha, duhkha, and moha respectively). If the argument 'that the existent effect is produced from the non-existent cause’ is accepted, then, how could the non-existent Cause which must be inexpressible as it is characterless, be of the nature of Sound etc.? Certainly, the non-existent can never be of the nature of existent. Even if it be said that the world of the nature of sound etc. is an illusory appearance of One Reality, then also it cannot be proved that the existent effect is produced from the existent cause. Nor can the One Reality without a second ever constitute the phenomenality; rather, the conception of the non-phenomenal as constituting the phenomenal is only an illusion. Even under the theory of Kaṇāda and Gautama, that the non-existent effect is born of existent cause, it cannot be considered that the effect is entirely constituted by the cause as there could be no identity between the existent and the non-existent; hence under this theory also, the existence of Pradhāna cannot be established.

Therefore, in order to establish the existence of Pradhāna, the author at the outset declares that the effect is existent.

Asadakaraṇād upādānagrahaṇāt sarvasambhavābhāvāt |
śaktasya śakyakaraṇāt, kāraṇabhāvāc ca satkāryam  |9|

Asat akaraṇāt: from the non-effectuation of the non-existent; upādānagrahaṇāt: from the selection of material for the effect; sarva sambhava abhāvāt: from the absence of the production of everything by every means; śaktasya: of the competent; śakyakaraṇāt: from the effectuation of the producible; ca: and; kāraṇabhāvāt: from the effect being of the same essence as cause; sat kāryam: the effect is existent.

The effect is ever existent, because:

(1) what is non-existent can by no means be brought into existence;
(2) because effects take adequate material cause;
(3) because all effects are not producible from all causes;
(4) because an efficient cause can produce only that for which it is efficient; and finality,
(5) because the effect is of the same essence as the cause. |9|

Satkāryam (in the text) means that the effect is existent even before the operation of the cause. The Naiyāyikā-s should not raise the objection (against this doctrine) by saying that it suffers from the absurdity of establishing what is already established. Even though products like the sprout and the jar are found to be produced after the destruction of the seed and lump of clay takes place, it cannot be said by this that the causal efficacy belongs to destruction (pradhvamsa as it is a pure negation); causal efficacy belongs only to positive entities consisting

of component particles of the seed (and lump of clay). If it were possible that a positive entity is produced from mere negation, then, such negation being easily available everywhere, the absurd possibility that all things could be produced at all places would arise.  All this has been explained in full by us in the Nyāya vārtika - tātparyaṭīkā.

(The Vedāntic theory) that the phenomenal world is merely an illusory appearance cannot be justified unless we have some proofs to invalidate its existence. Now remains the theory of Gautama and Kaṇāda (that the previously non-existent effect evolves from the existent cause). Here, the author establishes his view that the effect is existent. The reasons for this assertion are given (in the text): (1) What is non-existent can by no means be produced: If the effect were non-existent before the operation of the cause, then it could never be brought into existence by anybody; for, not even thousands of artists can ever change blue (colour) to yellow. If it be said that existence and non-existence were mere properties (dharma) belonging to the jar, even then, the object being non-existent, there can be no property subsisting in it, and the existence of the jar remains even as it was; and also non-existence cannot be the property of the jar because if the non-existence is not connected to and not identical with the jar, how could the jar be regarded as non-existent? Hence it follows that effect must be existent before the causal operation also, even as it exists after the causal operation. This being so, what is expected of a cause is only the manifestation of pre-existing effect. It is quite appropriate to affirm that the latent effect manifests, for example, the manifestation of oil from sesame seeds by applying pressure, of rice from paddy by thumping, and of milk from cows by milking. But we have no such instance to prove the production of a non-existent thing. In fact what is non-existent is never found to be either manifested or produced.

For the following reasons also the effect should be taken as subsisting in the cause even before its operation: because of the selection of the material for the effect. The term upādāna (in the text) stands for the cause; and grahaṇa (in the text) means grahaṇa of cause and stands for its relation to the effect. The compound upādānagrahaṇāt therefore means ‘because there is definite relation of the cause with the effect. ’ The meaning is that the cause produces the effect only when it is related to that effect; there could be no such relation with the effect if it were non-existent. Therefore, effect must be regarded as existent.

Question: Let it be so. Even then, why not the effects be produced from causes not related to them? In such a case, it could be that non-existent effect alone is produced. This is answered by the text ‘sarvasambhava abhāvāt - because of absence of production of everything from everything.’ If it is said that an effect could be produced without being related to the cause, then, every effect could arise from every cause as all would be equally unrelated to the cause; but such a thing never happens. Hence an unrelated effect cannot be produced by an unrelated cause but only a related effect can be produced by a related cause, That is why Sānkhya teachers assert: ‘Causes which are always related to existent things, can have no connection with non-existent things; for one who desires the production of an unrelated effect there would be no restriction, (i.e. there would be indiscriminate production of things).’

Objection: Let it be so; but the cause, even though unrelated, is capable of producing only that effect for which it is efficient; and this efficiency of the cause is apprehended by actually seeing the effect being produced. Thus, there can be no disorderliness, (as mentioned above). This is answered by the text: ‘because the efficient cause can only produce that for which it is efficient. ’

Now, does this efficiency (śakti) subsist in the efficient cause operative on all things or only on that effect which it is efficient to bring forth? If the former is accepted, then, the same confusion of disorderliness arises; if the latter, then it has to be explained as to how it can operate on a non-existent thing. If it be said that the causal efficacy (śakti) itself is constituted in such a way that it can produce only certain effects and not all effects, we ask, well, is this peculiarly constituted efficiency of yours related to the particular effect or not? If related, then no relation is possible with what is non-existent; so, the effect has to be accepted as existent. If not related, we have again the same problem of avyavasthā, disorderliness. Therefore, rightly has it been said (in the text) ‘that the efficient cause can produce only that for which it is efficient.’ Further, the reason for regarding the effect as existent is being given by the statement 'because the effect is of the same essence as the cause. ’ Effect is of the same essence as the cause: so, effect cannot be different from the cause. Therefore, the cause being existent, how can the effect which is non-different from the cause, be non-existent?

The following are the proofs that establish the non-difference of the effect from the cause: (1) The cloth is not different from the yams (constituting it) because the cloth subsists in the yams. A thing differing in its essence from another, cannot subsist in it, like a cow in a horse; but here, the cloth subsists in its yams. From this it follows that the effect is not different from its cause. (2) The cloth and the yam cannot be two different things because of the relationship between the material cause and the effect (upādāna - upādeya bhāva). Whenever two things are found to be different from each other, there the relationship between the constituent cause and effect is never found, e.g. in the case of the jar and the cloth. But the relationship between the constituent cause and the effect is found between the yam and the cloth; thus the two are not different things. (3) For the following reason also cloth and yam are not two different things: ‘because there is neither conjunction nor disjunction between them (saṁyoga - aprāpti abhāvāt).’ Conjunction is found to exist only .between objects different from each other, as between the well and the jujubee tree; the same with regard to separation also, as between the Himavān and the Vindhya. In case of the cloth and the yams, there is no such conjunction or disjunction; hence, they are not two different things. (4) For the following reason also, the cloth does not differ from the yams because the cloth does not contain in itself any other product which makes it heavier than the yams. In fact, it is only in an object that differs in essence from another that a different product with greater weight is accepted; e.g. the lowering of the balance caused by a bracelet weighing two pālas is more than that caused by the bracelet weighing a single pāla. But no such difference is seen between the effect of the weight of the cloth and the effect of the weight of the yams. Therefore, the cloth is not different from the yams. These proofs establishing the non-difference between the cloth and the yams are afforded by avīta inference (negative inference).

Thus the non-difference between the cloth and the yams is established. It follows, therefore, that the cloth is only the yams arranged in different fashions and that the cloth is non-different from the yams in its essence. Nor can it be established that the two are entirely different from each other by such arguments as: (a) In a non-different thing, there would occur self-contradictory actions (i.e. when the cloth is tom and reduced to threads it involves the action of being destroyed on the part of the cloth and the action of being produced on the part of the threads or yarns; if the identity of the cloth and yarn is accepted then it would thus involve self-contradictory actions like destruction and production.). (b) The knowledge that the cause and effect are related (leads to the notion that the two members of the relation are different); and (c) the purpose of the function of the cause is different from that served by the effect (e.g. the cloth serves the purpose of covering things, which purpose cannot be served by the yams). These arguments cannot establish the difference between the cause and the effect, because all the above mentioned oppositions can be explained and reconciled by attributing the notions to the appearance and disappearance of certain factors; (1) The limbs of the tortoise disappear when they enter into its body; and appear again when the limbs are drawn out. Because of this, it cannot be said that the limbs are produced and destroyed by the tortoise. In similar way, the jar, and the crown etc. are only some particular modifications of the selfsame clay, gold and so forth; they are said to be produced when they appear (i.e. emerge) from clay or gold and said to be destroyed when they disappear by entering into them again (i.e. when they become again clay, gold etc.). In reality, there can be no production for what is non-existent and no destruction for what is existent. This has been declared to be so by Bhagavan Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyana (in Bhagavad Gita 2.16): ‘There is no being for the non-existent nor non-being for the existent.’ In the example quoted, the tortoise is not different from its appearing and disappearing limbs; similarly, the jar, the crown and other products also are not different from clay, gold etc.

(2) The significations (of difference between the cloth and the yams) implicit in such statements as ‘the cloth is in these yams’ (i.e. the cloth is made up of these yams) is like the statement: ‘These are Tilaka trees in the forest.’ (Here, this statement does not mean that the forest is different from the Tilaka trees; rather the forest is nothing but the aggregate of Tilaka trees. Similarly, in the example of the cloth and yams also, the cloth is but the yams in a particular form; in essence there is no difference between the two).

(3) The difference in the functions of purpose served by them also cannot establish the difference between the cause and the effect; because, one and the same thing is found to have several different purposes. For example, fire, though one only, yet serves different purposes like burning, cooking and lighting. Nor can it be said that variations of functions is the cause of differences; because, it is seen that the functions of the same thing vary with their operating collectively or individually; for example, each individual bearer performs only the function of pointing out the way and not that of carrying the palanquin. But collectively they perform the function of carrying the palanquin. In like manner, yams do not serve the purpose of covering when they are scattered severally; but, joining together and thus appearing in the form of cloth, they serve the purpose of covering.

Objection: Now, was this appearance (ie coming into being of the cloth) existent before the causal operation? or was it non-existent? If it was non-existent, then the production of what was non-existent, has to be admitted. If it was existent (before the operation of the cause), then, where is the necessity for causal operation? For, we do not see any necessity for causal operation when the effect is already there. If it is said that though this manifestation is existent, yet it is the manifestation of this manifestation for which causal operation is needed, it only lands us in an endless series of manifestations (which is absurd). Therefore, it is hollow to argue that what all happens when a cloth is produced is just that the yams become manifested in the form of cloth.

Answer: We reply: This is not so. If according to your opinion, a non-existent effect is produced, then, tell us, what is this production of non-existent effect? Is it existent or non-existent? If it is existent, then where is the need for the cause? If it is non-existent, then there should be production of that production also, and thus there would be an endless series of productions (which is absurd and unacceptable). (To avoid this defect) if it be said that production is not something different from the cloth but verily the cloth itself, then it would mean that the utterance of the term cloth is synonymous with the utterance of the term is produced. In which case, when the term cloth is uttered, the term is produced should not be uttered because, (these two being synonymous) the utterance of the term is produced would only be a needless repetition. Also, one cannot say, the cloth is destroyed because both production and destruction can never coexist in one and the same thing.

Therefore, this production of cloth must consist either in inherence (of the cloth) in its cause (sva - kāraṇa-samavāya), or inherence (of the cloth) in its Being (sva sattā samavāya). In either of these, the said production is not produced (because inherence is eternal). Even so, for the purpose of that production, several causes must become operative. Thus it is appropriate to say that there is a need for causes to bring about the manifestation of the already existent products like the cloth etc. Again it is not that the causes are related to the form of the cloth, because, the form is not an operation; it is only to an operation that the causes are related, as otherwise, (i.e. if the causes are not related to operation) they would not be causes at all. Thus it has been amply proved that the effect is ever existent (Satkāryam).

Thus, having proved that the effect is existent, which fact is helpful in proving the existence of Pradhāna, the author, in order to show the means of proving the existence of Pradhāna, next states the similarity and dissimilarity between the manifested (vyakta) and the unmanifested (avyakta), a proper comprehension of which is conducive to vivekajñāna (discriminative wisdom), in the next kārikā 

Hetumad anityam avyāpi sakriyam anekam āshritaṃ liṅgam |
sāvayavaṃ paratantraṃ, vyaktaṃ viparītam avyaktam  |10|

Vyaktam: The Manifested; hetumat: is possessing or depending ..upon a cause; anityam: non-eternal; avyāpi: not pervasive, ie finite; sakriyam: mobile or active; anekam: manifold; āśritam: supported or dependant; liṅgam: mergent, mark; sāvayavam: made up of parts; parataṅtram: subordinate; avyaktam: the unmanifested; viparītam: is the reverse (of the above).

The manifested is producible, non-eternal, non-pervasive, active, multiform, dependant, serving as a mark (of inference), aggregate of parts and subordinate.

The Unmanifest is the reverse of this.|10|

The manifest is with the cause (i.e. it is a product). The question as to what is the cause of what is being dealt with later (in Karika 22). Anityam is destructible, i.e. subject to disappearance (in its material cause). Non-pervasive, because it does not pervade all its evolutes. It is only the effect that is pervaded by the cause, not the cause by the effect. For instance, Buddhi (intelligence) and other products can never pervade Pradhāna; as such they are non-pervasive. Active, because of mobility like entering and exiting; Buddhi and other evolutes are regarded mobile, because they give up the body they had occupied earlier and occupy another body. Mobility of body, earth and other substances is well-known. Manifold, because Buddhi and other evolutes differ with each person (ie there are as many of them as there are persons). Earth and other evolutes too are multitudinous according to differences in bodies, jars and other products. Dependant-because they are supported by their respective causes. Though the evolutes like the Buddhi and the rest are non-different from their cause, yet, assuming some sort of difference, they are connected to the cause in the relation of the support and the supported, as found in the statement ‘There are Tilaka trees in the forest.’ (Here, trees have no existence apart from that of the forest).

Lingam, i.e. the mark of Pradhāna. Buddhi and other products are the marks of Pradhāna (Primordial Matter). This will be explained later (under Karika-15 etc.). But Pradhāna is not the mark of Pradhāna itself though it may be regarded to be so of the Spirit. Sāvayavam - i.e. containing in itself the relation of the whole and the parts; or, the term avayava may be explained as equivalent to avayavana, which means mutual adhesion, i.e. conjunction between the whole and the parts. Conjunction consists in union following disunion. Sāvayavam is therefore that which has such contact. For instance, substances like the earth etc. conjoin mutually. Similarly, other substances too conjoin. But Pradhāna does not conjoin with (its products) Buddhi and the rest, because they are non-different (i.e. they are essentially one with Pradhāna). Nor is there any mutual conjunction among the attributes of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas, because there is the absence of disunion among them.

Parataṅtram: Buddhi and the rest are the subordinates. In order to produce its evolute, ahaṁkāra (the I-Principle), Buddhi needs the assistance of Prakṛti in the form of infilling it. Without such assistance, Buddhi, being weak, won’t be able to produce ahaṁkāra. Similarly, ahaṁkāra and the rest too need the assistance of Prakṛti in producing their evolutes. Thus everything requires the infilling of Prakṛti for evolving its products. Therefore, even though efficient in producing its own evolutes, the assistance of the Supreme Nature (Param Prakṛti) by way of infilling them is needed. Therefore, the Manifest is dependent.

The Unmanifest is the reverse of the Manifest. That is to say, the Unmanifest is without cause, eternal, pervasive and inactive. Even though the Unmanifest possesses the activity of evolution, yet, there is no mobility in it. The Unmanifest is therefore one, not a component, non-mergent, unconjunct and independent.

By this, the dissimilarities between the Manifested and the Unmanifested have been explained. Now, the author states the .similarities between them and their dissimilarities from the Spirit in the following verse:

Triguṇam aviveki viṣayaḥ, sāmānyam acetanaṃ prasavadharmi |
vyaktaṃ tathā pradhānaṃ, tadviparītas tathā ca pumān  |11|

Vyaktam: The Manifest; triguṇam: is constituted of three attributes; aviveki: indistinguishable; viṣaya: objective; sāmānyaṁ: common; acetanaṁ: non-intelligent; prasavadharmi: prolific; Tathā: so; Pradhānam: is the Primordial Nature; Pumān: the Spirit; tadviparītaḥ: is the reverse of that; ca tathā: and also similar (in some respects).

The Manifest is constituted of the three attributes (of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas), is non-distinguishable, objective, common, non-intelligent, and prolific. So also is the Primordial Nature.

The Spirit is the reverse of both of them and yet is similar in some respects.|11|

Three attributes: The Manifest is constituted of three attributes of pleasure, pain and delusion (which are the essence of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas respectively). By this statement the theories of all those (Tārkikas and others) who hold that pleasure etc. are the qualities inhering in the Spirit are refuted. Indistinguishable because just as Pradhāna cannot be distinguished from itself, so also Mahat and the rest cannot be distinguished from Pradhāna, because of their being identical with Pradhāna; or, indistinguishability may mean the characteristic of creating things by uniting together; because none of them is capable of evolving even its own product singly but only by uniting together. Thus, by itself, it is not possible for anything to produce anything out of anything.

Doubt: Some say (i.e. the Vijñāna Vādins belonging to the Yogacara School of Buddhism) that pleasure, pain and delusion which are of the form of sound and other elements are nothing but mere Ideas; further, there can exist nothing besides this Idea that can have these as its attributes. To refute this, it is said Viṣaya (in the text), that is, the Manifest is objective. Objective is that which is apprehended by the senses and it is exterior to Idea. Because it is objective, it is also Common i.e. it is apprehended by all puruṣas alike. If it is said that it is only a form of Idea, then all that is manifest would have to be only Specials (as opposed to Common as they belong only to particular persons), because Ideas being in the form of special mental modifications, belong specially to particular individuals. (That is to say, one’s Idea is not apprehended by another; thus the cognition of a person’s Idea always remains uncognisable to another). In the case of a dancing girl, her side-long glances (which are manifest actions of the eye) are stared at continuously by many persons at the same time. If it were otherwise (i.e. if the glance were merely an Idea) then this could not be possible (i.e. then the staring at one person by many persons at the same time would not be there).

Unintelligent - Everything, Pradhāna, Buddhi and the rest are insentient. Sentiency does not belong to Buddhi as held by the Vaināśikas. (The followers of a particular school of Buddhists). Prolific: because, it is possessed of the faculty of producing unceasingly. The form of the word ought to have been prasava-dharma (in the text instead of prasavadharmi); but the author has employed the particular possessive affix here in order to point out that the Manifest is endowed with the property of constant productiveness and that it never ceases from evolving similar and dissimilar products. By saying so is Pradhāna, the author attributes the properties of the Manifest to the unmanifest Pradhāna also, that is to say, as is the Manifest, so is the unmanifest. By saying, The Spirit is the reverse of both, the author points out their dissimilarity to the Spirit.

Objection: There are points of similarity between the Puruṣa and the Pradhāna, such as causelessness, eternality and so on. Similarly, there is similarity between the Manifested and the Puruṣa, such as being multiform. Then how is it that you say that the Puruṣa is the reverse of these?

Answer: This is replied: ‘yet also similar. ’ Here ca has the meaning of api also. Though there are points of similarity such as causelessness etc. there are also points of dissimilarity, such as the absence of these attributes and the rest.

What are the three attributes and what are their characteristics? The next verse answers this: