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TECHNICAL LITERATURE]
179
SANSKRIT


the (Sānkhya-sūtra, or) Sānkhya-pravachana,[1] as well as the Tattvasamāsa, a mere catalogue of the principles. But, though the founder would seem to have promulgated his system, in some form or other, at a very early period, these works, in their present form, have been shown to be quite modern productions, going probably not farther back than the 14th century of our era. Probably the oldest existing work is Īśvarakṛishṇa's excellent Sānkhya-kārikā,[2] which gives, in the narrow compass of sixty-nine ślokas, a lucid and complete sketch of the system. Though nothing certain is known regarding its author,[3] this work must be of tolerable antiquity, considering that it was commented upon by Gauḍapāda,[4] the preceptor of Govinda, who, on his part, is said to have been the teacher of Śankarāchārya. Of the commentaries on the Sūtras, the most approved are those of Aniruddha[5] and Vijñāna Bhikshu,[6] a writer probably of the latter part of the 16th century, who also wrote an independent treatise, the Sānkhya-sāra,[7] consisting of a prose and a verse part, which is probably the most useful compendium of Sānkhya doctrines.

4. The Yoga system is merely a schismatic branch of the preceding school, holding the same opinions on most points treated in common Yoga. in their Sūtras, with the exception of one important point, the existence of God. To the twenty-five principles (tattva) of the Nirīśvara Sānkhya, the last of which was the Purusha, the Yoga adds, as the twenty-sixth, the Nirguṇa Purusha, or Self devoid of qualities, the Supreme God of the system. Hence the Yoga is called the Seśvara (theistical) Sānkhya. But over and above the purely speculative part of its doctrine, which it has adopted from the sister school, the theistic Sānkhya has developed a complete system of mortification of the senses—by means of prolonged apathy and abstraction, protracted rigidity of posture, and similar practices,—many of which are already alluded to in the Upanishads,—with the view of attaining to complete concentration (yoga) on, and an ecstatic vision of, the Deity, and the acquisition of miraculous powers. It is from this portion of the system that the school derives the name by which it is more generally known. The authoritative Sūtras of the Yoga, bearing the same title as those of the sister school, viz. Sānkhya-pravachana, but more commonly called Yoga-śāstra, are ascribed to Patañjali, who is perhaps identical with the author of the “great commentary” on Pāṇini. The oldest commentary on the Sūtras, the Pātañala-bhāshya, is attributed to no other than Vyāsa, the mythic arranger of the Veda and founder of the Vedānta. Both works have again been commented upon by Vāchaspati-miśra, Vijñāna-bhikshu, and other writers.

5, 6. The Nyāya[8] and Vaiśeshika are but separate branches of one and the same school, which supplement each other and the Nyāya and Vaiśeshika. doctrines of which have virtually become amalgamated into a single system of philosophy. The special part taken by each of the two branches in the elaboration of the system may be briefly stated in Dr Röer's words:—“To the Nyāya belong the logical doctrines of the forms of syllogisms, terms and repositions; to the Vaiśeshikas the systematical explanation of the categories (the simplest metaphysical ideas) of the metaphysical, physical and psychical notions—which notions are hardly touched upon in the Nyāya-sūtras. They differ in their statement of the several modes of proof—the Nyāya asserting four modes of proof (from perception, inference, analogy and verbal communication), the Vaiśieshikas admitting only the two first ones.” The term Nyāya (ni-āya, “in-going,” entering), though properly meaning “analytical investigation,” as applied to Logic. philosophical inquiry generally, has come to be taken more commonly in the narrower sense of “logic,” because this school has entered more thoroughly than any other into the laws and processes of thought, and has worked out a formal system of reasoning which forms the Hindu standard of logic.

The followers of these schools generally recognize seven categories (padārtha): substance (dravya), quality (guṇa), action (karma), generality (sāmānya), particularity (viśesha), intimate relation (samavāya) and non-existence or negation (abhāva). Substances, forming the substrata of qualities and actions, are, of two kinds: eternal (without a cause), viz. space, time, ether, soul and the atoms of mind, earth, water, fire and air; and non-eternal, comprising all compounds, or the things we perceive, and which must have a cause of their existence. Causality is of three kinds: that of intimate relation (material cause); that of non-intimate relation (between parts of a compound); and instrumental causality (effecting the union of component parts). Material things are thus composed of atoms (aṇu), i.e. ultimate simple substances, or units of space, eternal, unchangeable and without dimension, characterized only by “particularity (viśesha).” It is from this predication of ultimate “particulars” that the Vaiśeshikas, the originators of the atomistic doctrine, derive their name. The Nyāya draws a clear line between matter and spirit, and has worked out a careful and ingenious system of psychology. It distinguishes between individual or living souls (jīvātman), which are numerous, infinite and eternal, and the Supreme Soul (Paramātman), which is one only, the seat of eternal knowledge, and the maker and ruler (Īśvara) of all things. It is by his will and agency that the unconscious living souls (soul-atoms, in fact) enter into union with the (material) atoms of mind, &c., and thus partake of the pleasures and sufferings of mundane existence. On the Hindu syllogism compare Professor Cowell's notes to Colebrooke's Essays, 2nd ed., i. p. 314.

The original collection of Nyāya-sūtras is ascribed to Gotama, and that of the Vaiśeshika-sūtras to Kaṇāda. The etymological meaning of the latter name seems to be “little-eater, particle-eater,” whence in works of hostile critics the synonymous terms Kaṇa-bhuj or Kaṇa-bhaksha are sometimes derisively applied to him, doubtless in allusion to his theory of atoms. He is also occasionally referred to under the name of Kāśyapa. Both sūtra-works have been interpreted and supplemented by a number of writers, the commentary of Viśvanātha on the Nyāya and that of Śankara-miśra on the Vaiśeshika-sūtras being most generally used. There are, moreover, a vast number of separate works on the doctrines of these schools, especially on logic. Of favourite elementary treatises on the subject may be mentioned Keśava-miśra's Tarka-bhāshā, the Tarka-sangraha[9] and the Bhāshā-parichchheda.[10] A large and important book on logic is Gangeśa's Chintāmaṇi, which formed the text-book of the celebrated Nuddea school of Bengal, founded by Raghunātha-śiromaṇi about the beginning of the 16th century. An interesting little treatise is the Kusumāñjali,[11] in which the author, Udayana Āchārya (about the 12th century, according to Professor Cowell), attempts, in 72 couplets, to prove the existence of a Supreme Being on the principles of the Nyāya system.

As regards the different heretical systems of Hindu philosophy, there is no occasion, in a sketch of Sanskrit literature, to enter into Heretical Systems. the tenets of the two great anti-Brāhmanical sects, the Jainas and Buddhists. While the original works of the former are written mostly in a popular (the Ardhamāgadhī) dialect, the northern Buddhists, it is true, have produced a considerable body of literature,[12] composed in a kind of hybrid Sanskrit, but only a few of their sacred books have as yet been published;[13] and it is, moreover, admitted on all hands that for the pure and authentic Bauddha doctrines we have rather to look to the Pāli scriptures of the southern branch. Nor can we do more here than briefly allude to the theories of a few of the less prominent heterodox systems, however interesting they may be for a history of human thought.

The Chārvākas, an ancient sect of undisguised materialism, who deny the existence of the soul, and consider the human person (purusha) to be an organic body endowed with sensibility and with thought, resulting from a modification of the component material elements, ascribe their origin to Bṛihaspati; but their authoritative text-book, the Bārhaspatya-sūtra, is only known so far from a few quotations.

The Pāñcharātras, or Bhāgavatas, are an early Vaishṇava sect, in which the doctrine of faith, already alluded to, is strongly developed. Hence their tenets are defended by Rāmānuja, though they are partly condemned as heretical in the Brahma-sūtras. Their recognized text-book is the Nārada-Pāñcharātra,[14] whilst the Bhagavadgītā is also supposed to have had some connexion with this sect. According to their theory the Supreme Being (Bhagavat, Vāsudeva, Vishṇu) became four separate persons by successive production. While the Supreme Being himself is indued with the six qualities of knowledge, power, strength, absolute sway, vigour and energy, the three divine persons successively emanating from him and from one another represent the living soul, mind and consciousness respectively.

The Pāśupatas, one of several Śaiva (Māheśvara) sects, hold the Supreme Being (Īśvara), whom they identify with Śiva (as paśu-pati, or “lord of beasts”), to be the creator and ruler of the world, but not its material cause. With the Sānkhyas they admit the notion of a plastic material cause, the Pradhāna; while they follow Patañjali in maintaining the existence of a Supreme God.

III. Grammar (Vyākaraṇa).—We found this subject enumerated as one of the six “limbs of the Veda,” or auxiliary sciences, the study


  1. Translated by J. R. Ballantyne; 2nd ed. by F. Hall.
  2. Edited by C. Lassen (1832). Translations by H. T. Colebrooke and J. Davies.
  3. A writer makes him the pupil of Panchaśikha, whilst another even identifies him with Kālidāsa; cf. F. Hall, Sānkhyasāra, p. 29.
  4. Translated by H. H. Wilson. A Chinese translation of a commentary resembling that of Gauḍapāda is said (M. Müller, India, p. 360) to have been made during the Ch'en dynasty (A.D. 557-583).
  5. Translated by R. Garbe, Bibl. Ind.
  6. Edited by Garbe (Harvard, 1895); translated (Leipzig, 1889).
  7. Edited by F. Hall.
  8. Besides Colebrooke's Essay, with Cowell's notes, see Ballantyne's translation of the Tarka-sangraha and the introduction to Röer's translation of the Bhāshāparichheda, and his article, Z.D.M.G. xxi.
  9. Edited and translated by J. R. Ballantyne.
  10. Edited and translated, with commentary, by E. Röer.
  11. Edited and translated, with commentary, by E. B. Cowell.
  12. See B. H. Hodgson, The Languages, Literature and Religion of Nepal and Tibet.
  13. Lalita-vistara, ed. and partly transl. Rājendralāla Mitra; ed. S. Lefmann (1908); Mahāvastu, edited E. Senart; Vajra-parichchheda, edited M. Müller; Saddharma-puṇḍarīka, translated by E. Burnouf (“Lotus de la bonne loi”); and H. Kern, Sacred Books of the East.
  14. It consists of six Saṃhitās, one of which has been edited by K. M. Banerjea, Bibl. Ind.