Sānkhya Aphorisms of Kapila | 5 Book


a. The tenets of his Institute are completed. Next is begun a Fifth Book, in order to set aside the prima facie notions of others in regard to his Institute. Among those, in the first place he disposes of the objection that the Benediction implied by the expression ‘Well,’ in the first Aphorism [of Book I.], is purposeless:

Aph. 1.

The [use of a] Benediction, is justified] by the practice of the good, by our seeing its fruit, and by Scripture.

Aph. 2.

Not from its [the World’s,] being governed by a Lord is there the effectuation of fruit; for it is by works [i.e., by merit and demerit,] that this is accomplished.

Aph. 3.

[If a Lord were governor, then,] from intending his own benefit, his government [would be selfish], as is the ease [with ordinary governors] in the world.

Aph. 4.

[He must, then, be] just like a worldly lord, [and] otherwise [than you desire that we should conceive of him].

Aph. 5.

Or [let the name of Lord be] technical.

Aph. 6.

This [position, viz., that there is a Lord,] cannot be established without [assuming that he is affected by] Passion; because that is the determinate cause [of all energizing].

Aph. 7.

Moreover, were that [Passion] conjoined with him, he could not be eternally free.

Aph. 8.

If it were from the conjunction of the properties of Nature, it would turn out that there is association, [which Scripture denies of Soul].

Aph. 9.

If it were from the mere existence [of Nature, not in association, but simply in proximity], then lordship would belong to everyone.

Aph. 10.

It is not established [that there is an eternal Lord]; because there is no evidence of it.


There is inferential proof [of there being a Lord]; because there is [here] no [case of invariable] association [between a sign and that which it might betoken].

Aph. 12.

Moreover, there is Scripture for [this world’s] being the product of Nature, [not of a Lord].

Aph. 13.

With that which is solitary there cannot be conjunction of the property of Ignorance.

Aph. 14.

Since the existence of this [alleged negative Ignorance] is established [only] on the ground of its [pretended] conjunction, there is a vicious circle.

Aph. 15.

It is not as in the case of seed and sprout; for Scripture teaches that the world has a beginning.

Aph. 16.

Then Brahma would be found to be excluded [from existence]; because he is something else than knowledge.

Aph. 17.

Were there not exclusion, then there would be resultlessness.

Aph. 18.

If it [Ignorance,] meant the being excludible by Knowledge, it would be [predicable], in like manner, of the world, also.

Aph. 19.

If it [Ignorance,] were of that nature, it would be something that had a commencement.

Aph. 20.

There is no denying Merit; because of the diversity in the operations of Nature.

Aph. 21.

It [the existence of Merit,] is established by Scripture, by tokens, &c.

Aph. 22.

There is, here, no necessity; for there is room for other proofs.

Aph. 23.

It is thus, moreover, in both cases.

Aph. 24.

If the existence [of Merit] be as of course, [because, otherwise, something would be unaccounted for], the same is the case in respect of both.

Aph. 25.

It is of the internal organ [not of soul,] that Merit, &c., are the properties.

Aph. 26.

And of the Qualities, &c., there is not absolute debarment.

Aph. 27.

By a conjunction of the five members [of an argumentative statement] we discern [that] Happiness [exists].

Aph. 28.

Not from once apprehending is a connexion established.

Aph. 29.

Pervadedness is a constant consociation of characters, in the case of both, or of one of them.

Aph. 30.

It [Pervadedness,] is not [as some think (see § 31),] an additional principle [over and above the twenty-five (Book I., § 61)]; for it is unsuitable to postulate entities.

Aph. 31.

[But certain] teachers say that it [Pervadedness,] is [another principle, in addition to the twenty-five,] resulting from the power of the thing itself.

Aph. 32.

Pañchaśikhā says that it [Pervadedness] is the possession of the power of the sustained.

Aph. 33.

The relation is not an essential power; for we should have [in that case,] a tautology.

Aph. 34.

Because we should find the distinction unmeaning; [as Intellect does not differ from Nature at all, except as does the sustained from the sustainer].

Aph. 35.

And because it [Pervadedness,] would not be reconcilable in shoots, &c.

Aph. 36.

Were it [thus] settled that it is a power of the ‘sustained,’ then, by the like argument, its dependence on an essential power, [as pretended by the heterodox teachers referred to in § 31, might be proved, also; and thus the argument proves nothing, since it proves too much].

Aph. 37.

The connexion between word and meaning is the relation of expressed and expresser.

Aph. 38.

The connexion [between a word and its sense] is determined by three [means].

Aph. 39.

There is no restriction to what is to be done; because we see it both ways.

Aph. 40.

He who is accomplished in the secular [connexion of words with meanings] can understand the sense of the Veda.


Not by the three [means mentioned in § 38, objects someone, can the sense of the Veda be gathered]; because the Veda is superhuman, and what it means transcends the senses.

Aph. 42.

Not so [i. e. what is meant by the Veda is not something transcending the senses]; because sacrifices, &c., are, in themselves, what constitutes merit, pre-eminently.

Aph. 43.

The natural force [of the terms in the Veda] is ascertained through the conversancy [therewith of those who successively transmit the knowledge]. 

Aph. 44.

This really takes place; because they [viz., the words,] give rise to knowledge, in the case both of things adapted [to sense] and of things not [so] adapted.

Aph. 45.

The Vedas are not from eternity; for there is Scripture for their being a production.

Aph. 46.

They [the Vedas,] are not the work of [the Supreme] Man; because there is no such thing as the [Supreme] Man, [whom you allude to as being, possibly,] their maker.

Aph. 47.

Since the liberated is unsuited [to the work, by his indifference], and the unliberated is so, [by his want of power, neither of these can be author of the Vedas].

Aph. 48.

As in the case of sprouts, &c., their eternity does not follow from their not being the work of [any Supreme] Man.

Aph. 49.

Were this the case with these, also, [i.e., if it were the case that vegetables were works], we should find a contradiction to experience, &c.

Aph. 50.

That [only] is Man’s work, in respect of which, even be it something invisible, an effort of understanding takes place.

Aph. 51.

They are, spontaneously, conveyers of right knowledge, from the patentness of their own power [to instruct rightly].

Aph. 52.

There is no Cognition of what is no entity, as a man’s horn.

Aph. 53.

It is not of the real [that there is here cognizance]; because exclusion is seen [of the Qualities].

Aph. 54.

 It is not of what cannot be [intelligibly] expressed [that there is cognizance]; because there exists no such thing.

Aph. 55.

There is no such thing as cognizing otherwise [or cognizing that as belonging to one, which belongs to another]; because your own proposition is self-destructive.

Aph. 56.

They [the Qualities,] are cognized rightly or wrongly, through their being denied and not denied [appropriately or otherwise].

Aph. 57.

A word does not consist of  [what the Yogas call] the ‘expresser’ (sphoṭa); by reason both of cognizance [which would disprove the existence of such imaginary thing,] and of non-cognizance, [which would, in like manner, disprove it].

Aph. 58.

Sound is not eternal; because we perceive it to be made.

Aph. 59.

[Suppose that] there is [in the case of sounds,] the manifestation of something whose existence was previously settled; as [the manifestation] of a [preexistent] jar by a lamp.

Aph. 60.

If the dogma of products’ being real [is accepted by you], then this is a proving of the already proved.

Aph. 61.

Non-duality of Soul is not; for its distinctions are cognized through signs.

Aph. 62.

Moreover, there is not  [non-distinction of Soul] from non-Soul; because this is disproved by sense-evidence.

Aph. 63.

Not between the two [Soul and non-Soul, is there non-difference]; for that same [couple of reasons].

Aph. 64.

There it is for the sake of something else, in respect of the undiscriminating.

Aph. 65.

Neither Soul, nor Ignorance, nor both, can be the material cause of the world; because of the solitariness of [Soul].

Aph. 66.

The two natures, joy and knowledge, do not belong to one; because the two are different.

Aph. 67.

Metaphorical [is the word ‘joy’, in the sense] of the cessation of pain.

Aph. 68.

It is [as] a laudation of emancipation, for the sake of the dull.

Aph. 69.

The Mind is not all-pervading; because it is an instrument, and because it is, moreover, an organ.

Aph. 70.

[The Mind is not all-pervading]; for it is movable; since there is Scripture regarding the motion.

Aph. 71.

Like a jar, it [the Mind,] is not without parts; because it comes in contact therewith, [i. e., with several Senses, simultaneously].

Aph. 72.

Everything except Nature and Soul is uneternal.

Aph. 73.

No parts [from the presence of which in the divisible, one might infer destructibility,] are found in the Experiencer; for there is Scripture for its being without parts.

Aph. 74.

Emancipation is not a manifestation of joy; because there are no properties [in Soul, as, e.g., in the shape of joy].

Aph. 75.

Nor, in like manner, is it [Emancipation,] the destruction of special qualities.

Aph. 76.

Nor is it [Emancipation,] any particular going of that [Soul,] which is motionless.

Aph. 77.

Nor is it [Emancipation,! the destruction oi the influence of [intellectual] forms, by reason of the faults of momentariness, &c.

Aph. 78.

Nor is it [Emancipation,] destruction of all; for this has, among other things, the fault of not being the Soul’s aim.

Aph. 79.

So, too, the Void.

Aph. 80.

And conjunctions terminate in separations; therefore, it [Emancipation,] is not the acquisition of lands, &c., either.

Aph. 81.

Nor is it [Emancipation,] conjunction of a Part with the Whole.

Aph. 82.

Nor is it [Emancipation], moreover, conjunction with the [power of] becoming as small as an atom, &c.; since, as is the case with other conjunctions, the destruction of this must necessarily take place.

Aph. 83.

Nor, just as in that case, is it [Emancipation], moreover, conjunction with the rank of Indra, &c.

Aph. 84.

The Organs are not formed of the Elements [as the Naiyāyikas assert]; because there is Scripture for their being derived from Self-consciousness.

Aph. 85.

The rule of six categories is not [the correct one]; nor does Emancipation result from acquaintance therewith, [as the Vaiśeṣikas maintain].

Aph. 86.

So, too, is it in the case of the sixteen [categories of the Nyāya], &c.

Aph. 87.

[The five Elements being products, as declared in Book I., § 61], Atoms are not eternal, [as alleged in the Nyāya]; for there is Scripture for their being products.

Aph. 88.

Since it is a product, it is not without parts.

Aph. 89.

There is no necessity that direct cognition should have colour as its cause.

Aph. 90.

There are not four varieties of dimension; because those can be accounted for by two.

Aph. 91.

Though these [individuals] be uneternal, recognition, as being associated with constancy, is of genus.

Aph. 92.

Therefore it [genus,] is not to be denied.

Aph. 93.

It [genus,] does not consist in exclusion of something else; because it is cognized as an entity.

Aph. 94.

Likeness is not a separate principle; for it is directly apprehended, [as one manifestation of Community].

Aph. 95.

Nor is it [likeness,] a manifestation of [something’s] own power; because the apprehension of it is different.

Aph. 96.

Nor, moreover, is it [likeness,] the connexion between name and named.

Aph. 97.

That connexion [viz., between name and named,] is not eternal; since both [the correlatives] are uneternal.

Aph. 98.

The connexion is not so [not eternal], for this reason, viz., because this is debarred by the evidence which acquaints us with the thing; [i. e., the supposition is inconsistent with the definition of the term].

Aph. 99.

There is no [such thing as Coinherence, [such as the Naiyāyikas insist upon]; for there is no evidence [for it].

Aph. 100.

Neither perception nor inference [is evidence for the existence of Coinherence]; since, as regards both alike, the case is otherwise disposed of.

Aph. 101.

Motion is not a matter of inference; for he who stands very near has, indeed, direct cognition both of it and of what it belongs to.

Aph. 102.

The Body does not consist of five elements; because many [heterogeneous things] are unsuitable as the material.

Aph. 103.

It [the Body,] is not, necessarily, the Gross one; for there is, also, the vehicular [transmigrating or Subtile] one.

Aph. 104.

The senses do not reveal what they do not reach to; because of their not reaching, or because [else,] they might reach everything.

Aph. 105.

Not because Light glides [and the Sight does so, too,] is the Sight luminous [or formed of Light]; because the thing is accounted for by [the theory of] modifications, [to be now explained].

Aph. 106.

By the sign of the display of the attained object the [existence of the] modification [which could alone account for that display,] is proved.

Aph. 107.

The ‘modification’ is another principle than a fragment, or a quality, [of the Sight, or other sense]; because it is for the sake of connexion that it glides forth.

Aph. 108.

It [the term ‘modification’,] is not confined to substances; because it is etymological, [not technical, and applies, etymologically, to a quality, as well].

Aph. 109.

Not though there be a difference of locality, is there a difference in the material [of which the organs are formed]: the rule is as with the like of us.

Aph. 110.

The mention thereof [viz., of materiality, as if it belonged to the organs,] is because there is [intended to be made, thereby, a more emphatic] mention of the concomitant cause.

Aph. 111.

The heat-born, egg-born, womb-horn, vegetable, thought-born, and spell-born; such is not an exhaustive division [of Gross Body, though a rough and customary one].

Aph. 112.

In all [Bodies] Earth is the material: in consideration [how- ever,] of some speciality, there is designation as this [or that other element than earth, as entering into the constitution of some given body], as in the preceding case [treated under § 110].

Aph. 113.

The vital air is not [on the allegation that it is the principal thing in the Body, to be considered] the originant of the Body; because it [the vital air, or spirit,] subsists through the power of the organs.

Aph. 114.

The site of experience [viz., the Body,] is constructed [only] through the superintendence of the experiencer [Soul]: otherwise, we should find putrefaction.

Aph. 115.

Through a servant, not directly, is superintendence [exercised] by the master.

Aph. 116.

In Concentration, profound sleep, and emancipation, it [Soul,] consists of Brahma.

Aph. 117.

In the case of the two, it is with a seed; in the case of the other, this is wanting.

Aph. 118.

But there are not the two [only]; because the triad, also [Emancipation inclusive], is evident; as are the two.

Aph. 119.

There is not the revelation, by memory, of an object likewise during the conjunction of a [more potent] fault [such as sleep]: the secondary cause does not debar the principal.

Aph. 120.

A single impression [suffices to generate, and] lasts out the experience: but there are not different impressions, one to each [instant of] experience; else, we should have a postulation of many, [where a single one may suffice].

Aph. 121.

Knowledge of the external is not indispensable [to constitute a Body]: trees, shrubs, climbers, annuals, trees with invisible flowers, grasses, creepers, &e., [which have internal consciousness], are, also, sites of experiencer and experience; as in the former case.

Aph. 122.

And from the Legal Institutes the same fact may be inferred, viz., that vegetables have bodies and are conscious].

Aph. 123.

Not merely through a Body is there susceptibility of Merit and Demerit; for Scripture tells us the distinction.

Aph. 124.

Among the three there is a threefold distribution; the Body of merit, the Body of experience, and the Body of both.

Aph. 125.

Not any one [of these], moreover, is that of the apathetic.

Aph. 126.

Eternity does not [as is alleged by those who wish to establish the existence of a Lord,] belong to knowledge, &c., even in the case of the particular site, [viz., that of the supposed Lord]; as is the case with fire.

Aph. 127.

And, because the site [viz., the supposed Lord,] is unreal, [it matters not, in the present instance, whether knowledge, &c., may be eternal, or not].

Aph. 128.

The superhuman powers of concentration, just like the effects of drugs, &c., are not to be gainsaid.

Aph. 129.

Thought does not belong to the Elements; for it is not found in them separately, or, moreover, in the state of combination,—or, moreover, in the state of combination.