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Pujya Dr. K.C. Varadachari - Volume -8
 

THE SAUTRANTIKA (REPRESENTATIONALISTIC) SYSTEM

  

1. We  now proceed to refute the Sautrantikan thinker who, having seen that the Yogacarin who holds that outer objects are non-existent, is an object of ridicule of all persons, declares that there are objects which are named outer objects (bahyartha), but that these are not objects of perception (pratyaksa), that only the representations received form them are apprehended in consciousness, and that therefore the outer objects are inferred.

 

            2. Even where  he has accepted the outer objects (as objects of inference rather than as perception) rejects the compounds (constituted by the toms) (avayavi-sanghatah) as non-things (avastu). He treats the atoms (paramanu) as without parts (niramsa), for fear of infinite regress etc., (in finite divisibility and other antinomies), which assails objects possessing parts (savayava). He declares that in the contact (samyoga) between the atoms me  do not have either total contact (krtsna-samyoga) with one another (in which case only one atom will result), or contact at any one point (ekdesa), but that it is due to vikalpa, imaginative construction. He has said that it is due only to some inherent chracteristic within them (samyoga) that there also arises the talk about combination (samyukta-sambandha). Since to the finite atoms, even as in the case of pots, we have to affirm several sides (parsvah), as when the sides are not accepted as in the case of akasa, space, all things will become illimited. And, doubting that contact can only happen when there are sides, for the sake of overcoming these defects, he (Sautrantikan) affirms that there is no ultimate quality as infinitesimal-ness capable of being predicated of the atoms. We see the finiteness such as this-much-ness which is the grouping of atoms (a grouping that is itself a product of illusion (bhrama-siddha). That is space (akasa). That too is mere consiousness. That is not a substance. In this manner, in the groupings (of atoms), therefore the momentary infinitesimal atoms which alone are of thee form of outer objects are inferred.

 

            (We reply to the above contentions thus). To him, who thus holds that between the atoms there is only illusion of contact (samyoga-bhrama), that there is illusion due to limitation in the form of space, there is no other way except to accept the perceptibility of the groupings of the atoms (at least) which the Vaibhasika speaks to, or to accept the perceptibility of the permanent (things) which others (like us) aver.

 

            3. To the consciousnesses which have objects of the extremely distant past and future, it cannot be said that there  will occur the granting of form (akara-samarpana), by the causal objects. Even the example that is utilized by him that, as in the case of the inference drawn from the characteristics of perceived objects s to the nature of other (unperceived) objects, we can infer the outer objects with the help of perceived representations in consciousness, cannot be availed of by one who declares that all objects are inferred.

 

            4. Nor is it admissible for any one who instead of inferring that there is such a things as real space from the congnition of space (even as  representation), to try to shew that space as such is chimerical (tucca). Where is similarity of cognition (with respect of pots and space) (pratiti-tulyam), if one of them is reduced to non-existence with the help of (fallacioud?) reasons? Then it may be said even blueness etc., r chimerical, having respect to what the Madhyamikan has said. If he declares that non-existence of obstructions (avaranabhava) is space (aksa)1,  for him there is no way of including this (kind of abhava, non-existence) under any one of the (known) countings distinguished as reciprocal non-existence (anyonyabhava) and samsarga-bhava   NOVEMBER, 2004  BETWEEN

 

V. SHAence.)

 

            5. Nor is there  any possibility of applying the attributes of nearness and fartherness etc., (in regard to objects) in the mid-space (madhykasa) (if space itself is non-existence).

 

            6. If it be said that by constructing distances etc. characterized by groupings in he substratum of non-existence (alikantaralattile), there arise the differences in imagining these (distances etc.), (we reply) only on the basis that if you grant that space to be real, is it possible to affirm these as delusive (spatial) differentiations in that (space) by means of grouping of qualities which are results of imaginations that are equivalent to dram images) (svapna-jānā-tulya). In which case, the substrate (space) which is clearly perceived etc., is strongly acceptable  to both parties. The author of the Vedānta-Sūtras states this in the Sūtra “And in the case of space also, on account of there being no difference” (Akasecavisesat) (II.ii.23).

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1Points of Controversy” Aung and Rhys Dvids p.193. “That ‘what lies between’ any two visible object, in the absence of other visible objects is ‘space’. This is an act of ideation, not of sense-cognition.”

 

            7. To this (school which seeks to affirm, the causality of the outer objective manifold (artha-vaicitrya) in respect of the (experienced) manifold in consciousness (Jānā-vaicitrya) there is no way at all of grasping their invariable concomitance (vyapti) inheriting in the consciousness (about which alone one  knows). Having not apprehended ‘invariable concomitance’ (vyapti), for him, there is no way by which outer objects could be determined to exist, much less is it possible for him to discover the invariable concomitance in the outer objects. If this invariable concomitance is apprehended taking these manifold differentiations in consciousness (i.e., representations) as causes, later on there is no need to postulate in another congnition (jānā) on outer object as its cause.

 

            8. If is be asked by him(Sautrantikan) who argues for the existence of the inferred outer objects thus: when the stream of blue cognitions is going on, the eyes etc., and blueness and yellowness remain as general  characteristics of he streams. When, later on, the cognition of yellow happens (i.e., interferes with the blue stream) should there not be an external object nearby (which causes it)? If not so, will not the blue-cognition-stream continue (its flow without any interruption by other cognitions)? (we reply) To one who holds that when in dreams, the blu   NOVEMBER, 2004  BETWEEN

 

V. SHANTHA RAM, S/O. ŚRĪ V. VENKATESHWARLU aged about 36 years, occupation Business. Resident of 1-49/2/4, Scognition streams alternate, there are no outer objects but (these alterntions) are governed by impressions (vasanas). There is no other way except to affirm with the Yogacarin that even in waking states, all (manifoldness) of experiences come about due to peculiar manifold characteristics of the impressions (vasanas)1.

 

            This person (Sautrantikan) who replied to the Yogacarin who repudiates the possibility of ‘grasping’ or apprehending any outer object, in the following manner

 

“If it be asked how there can be apprehension if it (the object) belongs to  a different time (from that of cognition), it can be apprehended, declare the knowers of reasons, only by being the cause able to grant its form to consciousness.”

 

to say that at the moment of contact with the sense-organs (indriya-samprayoga) it is existent, (and) at the moment of producing its cognition we (only) grant a name to the outer object which grants its own form to it, is also unancceptable, (because) he accepts  a form (akara) of an outer object which is made to be devoid of its own nature (svarupa) (by being made to give  up its form to another, which is impossible as the akara cannot exist apart from is substrate). Even though we accept (such a form without a substrate), it cannot enter into a consciousness-that-is-going-to-come (i.e. in the future) leaving, its own substrate (or locus, svasraya)2. [It may be replied that what is intended is like die-stamping of the form].

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1Representationalism must end in solipsism: there is no other way open to it.

2 A floating idea is possible, but a regular form abandoning its locus and awaiting author locus, a phantom form, is impossible or it is a ‘wandering double?’

 

            9. Nor Will the object itself remain till its own effect, which is its cognition (i.e. of its own form), comes into a existence, (since if it did remain, it would be, firstly, non-momentary, secondly, it might then be said that it can give its form to its effect in consciousness namely the representation). When  both these are without any object, to say that there arises the modification similar to it (in the consciousness) is also untenable. If it is said that in the pure consciousness there is reflection of the object’s form, we reply that according to laws of reflection as determined by all people, there is needed the existence of both the reflected and the reflector at the same time (samakala).

 

            10.  For these reasons, the examples of iron in fire, black-ink in a pile of black beans, Kadamba-bird amidst blue-lotuses, get rejected1.

 

            11. To say that there is the same form (akara) in both the prior and latter, object and its cognition (respectively). Even like the jati2 (class-concept) that is accepted by others (especially  Nyāya), is contradictory to observation, proof and one’s own tenets (upalambhopapatti-svasiddhānta-virodha).

 

            12. The view that like the red colour produced by the combination of lime and turmeric, the  form (akara) which is neither in the outer object nor in the cognitive consciousness comes into being is also refuted, since there can  be  no

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1cf. Sarvrtha siddhi, p.451, which omits the first example of iron in fire (taptayapinda).

2Jati s abstract universal is not accepted byBuddhism as real. Cf. Buddhist Logic, Vol.II.p.184

 

connection between those that are prior and those that are later. (The example does not apply, secondly,  the object and its cognition must belong to he same time samakala). This being thus, there is no third way; either we have to accept that the outer form is an object of perception (not one of inference only) or else we have to hold that there being no outer objects, these representation rise by the power of the (vasanas) impressions (just as in the Yogacara school of thought), (since we do not know the nature of the grouping of atoms that produce there representations of colour etc., in consciousness).

 

            13. Further by such a person as this, since momentary estable and enjoyable things cannot be perceived but only inferred as having existed, they cannot become objects that could be utilized for eating etc. To eat or chew the representation (jānā-akara) is impossible.

 

            14. The ‘inferred’ characteristics even though causative of fear do not exist the next moment. (e.g., a serpent inferred to exist outside does not exist even by the time it is inferred since the serpent is  momentary thing).

 

            15. If it be said that they, being streams which are enjoyable and which are fear-causing their  later moments are like their previous moments, (we reply that ) all consciousness-streams being  unable to grasp the wonderful diversity in the momentary objects (vaicitryam), their doctrine that diversity of cognitions happen due to objective diversity will (also) fall to the ground. This theory, since it makes the perceived outer objects the ‘inferred,’ against all the observations of oneself and of all persons, being a joke without any consistency (transtari)1, is extremely ridiculous. This system is refuted by the author of the Sūtras in the Sūtra “Nasatodsrtatvat” II.ii.25. “Not from non-entity, this being not observed.”