Origin and Development of The Vaisesika System: History of Science, Philosophy and Culture in Indian Civilization (Volume 2, Part 4) by ANANTALAL THAKUR

Origin and Development of The Vaisesika System: History of Science, Philosophy and Culture in Indian Civilization (Volume 2, Part 4)

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  • Book Name Origin and Development of The Vaisesika System: History of Science, Philosophy and Culture in Indian Civilization (Volume 2, Part 4)
  • Author Anantalal Thakur
  • Language, Pages English, 491 Pgs.
  • Last Updated 2023 / 05 / 19
  • ISBN 8187586117

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Origin and Development of The Vaisesika System: History of Science, Philosophy and Culture in Indian Civilization (Volume 2, Part 4)
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This volume of the Project ON THE HISTORY OF SCIENCE, PHILOSOPHY AND CULTURE D INDIAN CIVILIZATION aims at discovering the main aspects of India's heritage and presenting them in an interrelated way. These volumes, in spite of the unitary look, recognize the difference between the areas of material civilization and those of ideation; culture. The Project is not being executed by a single group of thinkers and writers who are methodologically uniform or ideologically identical; in their commitments. In fact, contributions are made by different scholars with different ideologies; persuasions and methodological approaches. The Project is marked by what may be called 'methodological pluralism'.

In spite of its primarily historical character, the Project, both in its conceptualization and execution has been shaped by many scholars drawn from different disciplines. It is for the first time that an endeavour of such a unique and comprehensive character has been undertaken to study critically major world civilizations like India.

The Vaisestkadarsana of Kanaka is one of the old: Indian systems of philosophy. But the comprehensive history of the subject has not as yet been attempted presumably for want of publisher materials. There is a long gap between Canada and Prasastapada. But Jain scholars inform us of brisk activities during this dark period. The Ancient and Modern Nyaya sub-schools regarded the V asepsis as their samiina-tantra. The Buddhists accepted them as their worthy rivals. The printed V cassia texts a but a fraction of their former rich literature. But, important texts have recently been discovered I’m manuscripts. As the V cassias had intimate reline with the Nyaya, Buddhist and Jain systems, though. Viselike materials could be traced from them and other non-Viselike texts offering important information on the Vaisestka history and exegesis they were first presented in the form of articles and ultimately integrated into the present volume.

It is true that considering the time span and the rich heritage of the Vaisesikas the attempt made hen is very small. It is expected that more manuscripts 0 lost Vaisesika works and more references and quotations may be gathered from non-Vaisesiks sources especially the Tibetan versions of the Buddhist logical works and commentaries of the Dlgnaga and DharmakIrti schools.


About the Author

D. P. CHATIOPADHYAYA (b. 1931), M.A., LL.B., PhD (Calcutta and London School of Economics), D.lit. (Honoris Causa), studied, researched, and taught at various Universities in India, Europe and the USA from 1954-1994. Founder-Chairman of the Indian Council of Philosophical Research (1981-1990) and President- cum-Chairman of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla (1982-1991), Chattopadhyaya is currently the Project Director and General Editor of the multidisciplinary seventy-seven volume Project of History of Science, Philosophy and Culture in Indian Civilization [PHISPC] and Chairman of the Centre for Studies in Civilizations [CSC]. Among his notable publications are Individuals and Societies (1967), Individuals and Worlds (1976), Sri Aurobindo and Karl Marx (1988), Anthropology and Historiography of Science (1990), Induction, Probability and Skepticism(1991), Sociology, Ideology and Utopia (1997), Societies, Cultures and Ideologies (2000), Philosophy of Science, Phenomenology and Other Essays (2002), and Science, Society, Value and Civilizational Dialogue (2002). Besides, he has published nearly 300 research papers, discussions and book reviews in various journals, anthologies and encyclopedias.

Annandale THAKUR (b. 1916) is a former Director of the KP. J ayaswal Research Institute, Patna, He also served as a Professor of Indian Philosophy at the Mithila Research Institute, Darbhanga, Prakrit Jain Institute, Vaisali, Kameshwar Singh Sanskrit University, Darbhanga, and Burdwan University. He has edited and published the Nyiiyacaturgranthika (consisting of Nyiiyasiitra and Nyayabha~ya, Nyiiyabha~yaviirttika, Nyayabha~yaviirttika-tatParya- tikii, and Nyiiyabha~yaviirttikatatParyapariSuddhitlka) Nyiiyalarrtkara of Abhayatilaka, SrlkaTJ.thatippaTJ.aka, Tiitparya-vivaraTJ.a-paiijika of Aniruddha, Vaisesika- viirttika of Bhatta Vadindra, an anonymous Vaisesika- ortti, Madhyiintavibhaitgabh~ya-tlka ofVasubandhu, ]iianaSrlmitranibandhavall, Ratnakirti-nibandhiioali, Asokanibandhas, etc. He has contributed about a hundred research papers on Nydya philosophy, Vaisesika philosophy, Buddhist philosophy, religion and literature, manuscript logy, general Indian culture, history, etc.


General Introduction

It is understandable that man, shaped by Nature, would like to know Nature. The human ways of knowing Nature are evidently diverse, theoretical and practical, scientific and technological, artistic and spiritual. This diversity has, on scrutiny, been found to be neither exhaustive nor exclusive. The complexity of physical nature, life-world and, particularly, the human mind is so enormous that it is futile to follow a single method for comprehending all the aspects of the world in which we are situated.

One need not feel bewildered by the variety and complexity of worldly phenomena. After all, both from traditional wisdom and our daily experience, we know that our own nature is not quite alien to the structure of the world. Positively speaking, the elements and forces that are out there in the world are also present in our body-mind complex, enabling us to adjust ourselves to our environment. Not only the natural conditions but also the social conditions of life have instructive similarities between them. This is not to underrate in any way the difference between the human ways of life all over the world. It is partly due to the variation in climatic conditions and partly due to the distinctness of production-related tradition, history and culture.

Three broad approaches are discernible in the works on the historiography of civilization, comprising science and technology, art and architecture, social sciences and institutions. Firstly, some writers are primarily interested in discovering the general laws which govern all civilizations spread over different continents. They tend to underplay what they call the noisy local events of the external world and the peculiarities of different languages, literatures and histories. Their accent is on the unity of Nature, the unity of science and the unity of mankind. The second group of writers, unlike the generalist or transcendentalist ones, attach primary importance to the distinctiveness of every culture.

To these writers’ human freedom and creativity are extremely important and basic in character. Social institutions and the cultural articulations of human consciousness, they argue, are bound to be expressive of the concerned people's consciousness. By implication, they tend to reject concepts like archetypal consciousness, universal mind and providential history. There is a third group of writers who offer a composite picture of civilizations, drawing elements both from their local as well as common characteristics. Every culture has its local roots and peculiarities. At the same time, it is pointed out that due to demographic migration and immigration over the centuries an element of compositeness emerges almost in every culture. When, due to a natural calamity or political exigencies people move from one part of the world to another, they carry with them, among other things, their language, cultural inheritance and their ways of living.

In light of the above facts, it is not at all surname that comparative anthropologists and philologists are intrigued by the striking similarity between different language families and the rites, rituals and myths of different peoples. Speculative philosophers of history, heavily relying on the findings of epigraphy, ethnography; archaeology and theology, try to show in very general terms that the particulars and universals of culture are 'essentially' or 'secretly' interrelated. The spiritual aspects of culture like dance and music, beliefs pertaining to life, death and duties, on analysis, are found to be mediated by the material forms of life like weather forecasting, food production, urbanization and the invention of the script. The transition from the oral culture to the written one was made possible because of the mastery of symbols and rules of measurement. Speech precedes grammar and poetry prosody. All these show how the 'matters' and 'forms' of life are so subtly interwoven.

The PHISPC publications on the History of Science, Philosophy and Culture in Indian Civilization, in spite of their unitary look, do recognize the differences between the areas of material civilization and those of ideational culture. It is not a work of a single author. Nor is it being executed by a group of thinkers and writers who are methodologically uniform or ideologically identical in their commitments. In conceiving the Project we have interacted with, and been influenced by, the writings and views of many Indian and non-Indian thinkers.

The attempted unity of this Project lies in its aim and inspiration. We have in India many scholarly works written by Indians on different aspects of our civilization and culture. Right from the pre-Christian era to our own time, India has drawn the attention of various countries in Asia, Europe and Africa. Some of these writings are objective and informative and many others are based on insufficient information and hearsay, and therefore not quite reliable, but they have their own value. Quality and viewpoints keep on changing not only because of the adequacy and inadequacy of evidence but also, perhaps more so, because of the bias and prejudice, religious and political conviction, of the writers.

Besides, it is to be remembered that history, like Nature, is not an open book to be read alike by all. The past is mainly enclosed and only partially disclosed. History is, therefore, partly objective or 'real' and largely a matter of construction. This is one of the reasons why some historians themselves think that it is a form of literature or art. However, it does not mean that historical construction is 'anarchic' and arbitrary. Certainly, imagination plays. An important role in it.

But its character is basically dependent upon the questions which the historian raises and wants to understand or answer in terms of the ideas and actions of human beings in the past ages. In a way, history, somewhat like the natural sciences, is engaged in answering questions and in exploring relationships of cause and effect between events and developments across time. While in the natural sciences, the scientist poses questions about nature in the form of hypotheses, expecting to elicit authoritative answers to such questions, the historian studies the past, partly for the sake of understanding it for its own sake and partly also for the light which the past throws upon the present, and the possibilities which it opens up for mounding the future. But the difference between the two approaches must not be lost sight of. The scientist is primarily interested in discovering laws and framing theories, in terms of which, different events and processes can be connected and anticipated. His interest in the conditions or circumstances of attending the concerned events is secondary. Therefore, scientific laws turn out to be basically abstract and easily expressible in terms of mathematical language. In contrast, the historian's main interest centres around specific events, human ideas and actions, not general laws. So, the historian, unlike the scientist, is obliged to pay primary attention to the circumstances of the events he wants to study. Consequently, history, like most other humanistic disciplines, is concrete and particularistic. This is not to deny the obvious truth that historical events and processes consisting of human ideas and actions show some trend or other and weave some pattern or other. If these trends and patterns were not there at all in history, the study of history as a branch of knowledge would not have been profitable or instructive. But one must recognize that historical trends and patterns, unlike scientific laws and theories, are not general or purported to be universal in their scope.

The aim of this Project is to discover the main aspects of Indian culture and present them in an interrelated way. Since our culture has influenced, and has been influenced by, the neighbouring cultures of West Asia, Central Asia, East Asia and South-East Asia, attempts have been made here to trace and study these influences in their mutuality. It is well known that during the last three centuries, European presence in India, both political and cultural, has been very widespread. In many volumes of the Project, considerable attention has been paid to Europe and through Europe to other parts of the world. For the purpose of a comprehensive cultural study of India, the existing political boundaries of South Asia today are more of a hindrance than a help. Cultures, like languages, often transcend the bounds of changing political territories.

If the inconstant political geography is not a reliable help to the understanding of the layered structure and spread of culture, a somewhat comparable problem is encountered in the area of historical periodization. Per iodization or segmenting time is a very tricky affair. When exactly one period ends and another begins is not precisely ascertainable. The periods of history designated as ancient, medieval and modern are purely conventional and merely heuristic in character. The varying scopes of history, local, national and continental or universal, somewhat like the periods of history, are unavoidably fuzzy and shifting. Amidst all these difficulties, the volume-wise details have been planned and worked out by the editors in consultation with the Project Director and the General Editor. I believe that the editors of different volumes have also profited from the reactions and suggestions of the contributors of individual chapters in planning the volumes.

Another aspect of Indian history that the volume editors and contributors of the Project have carefully dealt with is the distinction and relation between civilization and culture. The material conditions which substantially shaped Indian civilization have been discussed in detail. From agriculture and industry to metallurgy and technology, from physics and chemical practices to the life sciences and different systems of medicines-all the branches of knowledge and skill which directly affect human life-form the heart of this Project. Since the periods covered by the PHISPC are extensive-prehistory, proto- has Lorry, early history, medieval history and modern history of India-we do not claim to have gone into all the relevant material conditions of human life. We had to be selective. Therefore, one should not be surprised if one finds that only some material aspects of Indian civilization have received our pointed attention, while the rest have been dealt with in principle or only alluded to.

One of the main aims of the Project has been to spell out the first principles of the philosophy of different schools, both pro-Vedic and anti-Vedic. The basic ideas of Buddhism, Jainism and Islam have been given their due importance. The special position accorded to philosophy is to be understood partly in terms of its proclaimed unifying character and partly to be explained in terms of the fact that different philosophical systems represent alternative worldviews, cultural perspectives, their conflict and mutual assimilation.

Most of the volume editors and at their instance, the concerned contributors have followed a middle path between the extremes of narratives and theoretics. The underlying idea has been this: If in the process of working out a comprehensive Project like this, every contributor attempts to narrate all those interesting things that he has in the back of his mind, the enterprise is likely to prove unmanageable. If, on the other hand, particular details are consciously forced into a fixed mould or pre-supposed theoretical structure, the details lose their particularity and interesting character. Therefore, depending on the nature of the problem of discourse, most of the writers have tried to reconcile in their presentation, the specificity of narratives and the generality of theoretical orientation. This is a conscious editorial decision. Because, in the absence of a theory, however inarticulate it may be, the factual details tend to fall apart. A spiritual network or theoretical orientation makes historical details not only meaningful but also interesting and enjoyable.

Another editorial decision which deserves spelling out is the necessity or avoidability of duplication of the same theme in different volumes or even in the same volume. Certainly, this Project is not an assortment of several volumes. Nor is any volume intended to be a miscellany. This Project has been designed with a definite end in view and has a structure of its own. The character of the structure has admittedly been influenced by the variety of themes accommodated within it. Again it must be understood that the complexity of the structure is rooted in the aimed integrality of the Project itself.

The long and in-depth editorial discussion has led us to several unanimous conclusions. Firstly, our Project is going to be unique, unrivalled and discursive in its attempt to integrate different forms of science, technology, philosophy and culture. Its comprehensive scope, continuous character and accent on culture distinguish it from the works of such Indian authors as P.C. Ray, B.N. Seal, Binoy Kumar Sarkar and S.N. Sen and also from such Euro-American writers as Lynn Thorndike, George Sarton and Joseph Needham. Indeed, it would be no exaggeration to suggest that it is for the first time that an endeavour of so comprehensive a character, in its exploration of the social, philosophical and cultural characteristics of a distinctive world civilization-that India-has been attempted in the domain of scholarship.

Secondly, we try to show the linkages between different branches of learning as different modes of experience in an organic manner and without resorting to a kind of reductionism, materialism or spiritualistic. The internal dialectics of organicism without reductionism allows fuzziness, discontinuity and discreteness within limits. Thirdly, positively speaking, different modes of human experience-scientific, artistic, etc., have their own individuality, not necessarily autonomy. Since all these modes are modifications and articulations of human experience, these are bound to have between them some finely graded commonness. At the same time, it has been recognized that reflection on different areas of experience and investigation brings to light new insights and findings. The growth of knowledge requires humans, in general, and scholars, in particular, to identify the distinctness of different branches of learning.

Fourthly, to follow simultaneously the twin principles of: (a) individuality of human experience as a whole, and (b) individuality of diverse disciplines, are not at all an easy task. Overlap of themes and duplication of the terms of discourse become unavoidable at times. For example, in the context of Dharmasiistra, the writer is bound to discuss the concept of value. The same concept also figures in economic discourse and also occurs in a discussion on fine arts. The conscious editorial decision has been that, while duplication should be kept to its minimum, for the sake of intended clarity of the themes under discussion, their reiteration must not be avoided at high intellectual cost.

Fifthly, the scholars working on the Project are drawn from widely different disciplines. They have brought to our notice an important fact that has clear relevance to our work. Many of our contemporary disciplines like economics and sociology did not exist, at least not in their present form, just two centuries ago or so. For example, before the middle of the nineteenth century, sociology as a distinct branch of knowledge was unknown. The term is said to have been coined first by the French philosopher Auguste Comte in 1838. Obviously, this does not mean that the issues discussed in sociology were not there. Similarly, Adam Smith's (1723-90) famous work The Wealth of Nations is often referred to as the first authoritative statement of the principles of (what we now call) economics. Interestingly enough, the author was equally interested in ethics and jurisprudence. It is clear from history that the nature and scope of different disciplines undergo change, at times very radically, over time. For example, in India 'Arthasiistra' does not mean the science of economics as understood today. Besides the principles of economics, the Arthasastra of ancient India discusses at length those of governance, diplomacy and military science.

Sixthly, this brings us to the next editorial policy followed in the Project. We have tried to remain very conscious of what may be called indeterminacy or inexactness of translation. When a word or expression of one language is translated into another, some loss of meaning or exactitude seems to be unavoidable. This is true not only in bilingual relations like Sanskrit-English and Sanskrit-Arabie but also in those of Hindi- Tamil and Hindi-Bengali. In recognition of the importance of the language-bound and context-relative character of meaning we have solicited from many learned scholars, contributions, written in vernacular languages. In order to minimize the miseffect of semantic inexactitude we have solicited translational help of that type of bilingual scholars who know both English and the concerned vernacular language, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali or Marathi.

Seventhly and finally, perhaps the place of technology as a branch of knowledge in the composite universe of science and art merits some elucidation. Technology has been conceived in very many ways, e.g., as autonomous, as a 'standing reserve', as liberating or enlarged mental, and alimentative or estranged mental force. The studies undertaken by the Project show that, in spite of its much-emphasized mechanical and alimentative characteristics, technology embodies a very useful mode of knowledge that is peculiar to man. The Greek root words of technology are techno (art) and logos (science). This is the basic justification for recognizing technology as closely related to both epistemology, the discipline of valid knowledge, and axiology, the discipline of freedom and values. It is in this context that we are reminded of the definition of man as homo techniques. In Sanskrit, the word closest to techno is kola which means any practical art, any mechanical or fine art. In the Indian tradition, in Saivatantra, for example, among the arts (kala) are counted dance, drama, music, architecture, metallurgy, knowledge of dictionary, encyclopedia and prosody. The closeness of the relationship between arts and sciences, technology and other forms of knowledge is evident from these examples and was known to the ancient people. The human quest for knowledge involves the use of both head and hand. Without a mind, the body is a corpse and the disembodied mind is a bare abstraction. Even for our appreciation of what is beautiful and the creation of what is valuable, we are required to exercise both our intellectual competence and physical capacity. In a manner of speaking, one might rightly affirm that our psychosomatic structure is a functional connector between what we are and what we could be, between the physical and the beyond. To suppose that there is a clear-cut distinction between the physical world and the psychosomatic one amount to a denial of the possible emergence of higher logic- mathematical, musical and other capacities. The very availability of aesthetic experience and creation proves that the supposed distinction is somehow overcome by what may be called the bodily self or embodied mind.




Table of Transliteration
General Introduction xii
D.P. Chattopadhyaya xiii
Abbreviations xxiii
Preface xxv
I. Vaise~Ika Slitras And Their Commentary Literature 1-164
Vaisesika=-What Does It Mean? 1
Ka~ada- The Propounder of the System 3
Theory of the Jaina Origin of the Vaisesika 7
The Problem of the Vaisesikasiitras and their Interpretation 9
Dharma and Adrsta in the Vaisesika Philosophy 14
Contents of the Vaisesika Siitras 20
The Vaisesika Siitras of Kanada 24
Atreya-the Bhasyakara 122
Candrananda and his Vrtti 131
Bhatta Vadindra=-the Vaisesika 132
A Fragmentary Vaisesikasiitravrtti 138
Sankararnisra and his Upaskara 143
Jayanarayana Tarkapaficanana and his (Kanadasiitra) Vivrti 160
Different other Bhasyas (Commentaries) on Kanada Siitras 162
Kailasacandra Siromani and his Tarkalamkarabhasyapariksa 163
II. Padarthadharmasajyigraha And Its Commentary Literature 165-304
The Problem of Immediate Successors of Kanada upto Prasastapada 165
Dasapadarthasastra of Candramati 169
Prasastapada 171
Padarthadharmasamgraha: Its Special Features 173
Sutra Elements in the Padarthadharmasamgraha 176
Non-Surra Elements in the Padarthadharmasamgraha 180
The Categories 182
Similarities and Dissimilarities Among the Six Categories 185
God 189
Process of Creation and Destruction of the Four Mahabhutas 195
Atomism 198
The Theory of Pilupaka 199
Duality (Dvitva) 203
Disjunction Produced by Disjunction 208
Priority and Posteriority 215
Perception 219
Inference 223
Inference-Components 230
Pseudo-Probans 238
Analogy Not a Separate Pramana 244
Verbal Testimony-Not a Separate Pramana 247
Salikanatha-The Vaisesika 251
Vyomsivacarya 257
Vyomavati 259
Srldhara and his Nyayakandali 265
Sridhara's Criticism of Vyomasiva 268
Commentaries on the Nyayakandali 277
Udayanacarya 281
Kiranaval] 286
Commentaries on the Kiranavali 295
Gopinatha and his Prasastapadabha~ya-Bhava-Prakasika 299
Jagadisa Tarkalamkara and his Sukti 301
Padmanabhamisra and his Setu 303
III. V Aise~Ika Tracts 305-366
Laksanavali of Udayana 305
Sesa Samgadhara and his Nyayamuktavali 306
Sarvadeva and his Pramanarnafijan 307
Vadivagisvara and his Manamanohara 310
Srivallabhacarya and his Nyayalilavati 313
Nyayalilavati 316
Commentaries on the Nyayalilavati 321
Sivadiryarnisra and his Saptapadarthi 324
Sankaramisra and his Kanadarahasya 329
Raghunatha Siromani and his Padarthakhandana alias Padarthatattvavivecana or
Padarthatatrvanirupana 334
Commentaries on the Padarthakhandana (Padarthatattvavivecana or
Padarthatattvanirupana) of Raghunatha Siromani 336
Kanada Tarkavagisa and his Bhasaratna 337
Bhasapariccheda and its Commentaries 339
Rarnabhadra Sarvabhauma and his Gunarahasya 343
Raddhantarnuktahara and Kanadarahasya 344
Jagadisa Tarkalamkara and his Tarkamrta 345
Bhaskara and his Gunaratnavali 350
Annarnbhatta and his Tarkasamgraha 351
Commentaries on the Tarkasarngraha 355
Raghudeva Nyayalamkara and his Dravyasarasamgraha 357
Jayarama Nyayapaficanana and his Padartharnala 358
Laugaksi Bhaskara and his Padarthamalaprakasa 359
Kaunda Bhatta and his Padarthadipika 360
Venidatta and his Padartharnandana 361
Srinivasa and his Nyayasiddhanta-tatrvamrta 364
Some other Vaisesika Tracts 366
IV. V Aisesika Elements In Non-V Aisesika Works And Relation Of The Vaisesika System With Other Systems Of Indian Philosophy 367-455
Vatsyayana and the Vaisesika System 367
Uddyotakara as a Vaisesika 373
Vaisesika in the Kashmiri Nyaya Works 381
Jayanta Bhatta and the Vaisesika Philosophy 383
Bhasarvajfia and the Vaisesika Philosophy 386
Vacaspatimisra's Tatparyatika and the Vaisesika System 389
Vaisesika Elements in Udayana's Nyaya-varttika-tatparya-parisuddhi 396
Vaisesika Elements in Vardhamana's Works 398
Vaisesika Elements in the Tarkabhasa of Kesavamisra 404
Vaisesika Elements in the Tarkabhasaprakasika of Cinnarnbhatta 406
Vaisesika Elements in the Pramanasarnuccaya, Vrtti and the Visalarnalavati 409
Vaisesika Elements in the Tattvasamgraha of Santaraksita and the Pafijika of Kamalasila 410 412
Vaisesika Elements in Nyayaviniscayavivarana of Vadiraja 413
Vaisesika Elements in Prabhacandra's Works 414
Visesa in Vyasatirtha's Nyayamrta 415
Vaisesika in the Citsukhi and the Nayanaprasadini 418
Vaisesika Categories in the Ayurveda 427
Vaisesika Philosophy in the Darsanasamgrahas 436
Differences between the Vaisesika and the Nyaya 443
The Mimamsakas and the Vaisesikas 445
The Vedantins and the Vaisesikas 446
The Samkhyas and the Vaisesikas 449
The Buddhists and the Vaisesikas 450
The Jainas and the Vaisesikas 451
Bibliography 457

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