paricCheda 1 - paricChinnatva hetUpapattih (part 1)

अथ परिच्छिन्नहेतूपपत्ति: |

Thus far, we have looked at the five definitions of the sAdhya, and two alternatives for the hetu in the mithyAtva anumAna. Now we will consider the third hetu, paricChinnatvam - limitation. As discussed by ShankarAchArya in the taittirIya bhAShya for the word anantam, Brahman is free from any limitations, broadly classified into three categories - desha paricChinnatvam (spatial limitation), kAla paricChinnatvam (temporal limitation) or vastu paricChinnatvam (limitation by objects). The siddhikAra will argue in this chapter that paricChinnatvam is a suitable hetu for the mithyAtva anumAna.

परिच्छिन्नत्वमपि हेतु: | paricChinnatvam, or limitation, can also be considered as a hetu.

तच्च देशत: कालतो वस्तुतश्चेति त्रिविधम् | It can be of three kinds - limitation by space, time and objects.

तत्र देशत: परिच्छिन्नत्वं अत्यन्ताभावप्रतियोगित्वम् | Spatial limitation is the absence at any location - ie it being the counterpositive to the absolute absence of an object at a location.

कालत: परिच्छिन्नत्वं ध्वंसप्रतियोगित्वम् | Temporal limitation is the absence caused by the object's destruction, ie it being the counterpositive to the absence caused by destruction.

वस्तुत: परिच्छिन्नत्वं अन्योन्याभावप्रतियोगित्वम् | Limitation by objects is the ability of other objects to limit the object in question. For this, if there exist other objects different from this one, this object can be considered to be limited by others. In other words, limitation by objects is being the counterpositive to mutual absence (i.e difference).

The nyAyAmritakAra raises some objections to this definition:

ननु - समवायसम्बन्धेनात्यन्ताभावप्रतियोगित्वम् आत्मनि व्यभिचारि ; The Atma has no cause of its own, it being accepted as the primary cause. According to nyAya, the effect is present in the cause with samavAya sambandha, or inherence relationship. As the Atma has no cause, it is absent everywhere with a samavAya sambandha. If spatial limitation meant the counterpositive of absolute absence, it can lead to vyabhichAra with Atma, which is absent everywhere with an inherence relation.

तस्याप्याकाशादिवत् क्वाप्यसमवेतत्वात्, Atma, like space, has no inherence relation with anything.

संयोगसंबन्धेनात्यन्ताभावप्रतियोगित्वमाकाशादावसिद्धम्;  To remedy this, if you define spatial limitation as the absence in a location with samyoga sambandha, it will lead to space being rendered as not mithyA, or bhAgAsiddhi.

तस्य यावन्मूर्तसंयोगित्वनियमात्, Following the nyAya rule that all all-pervading (vibhu) objects will have samyoga sambandha (that is, be in contact) with all tangible objects, space will be in contact with all tangible objects. Thus, space will not have the absence with samyoga sambandha, which is the hetu for mithyAtva, rendering space as not mithyA.

अमूर्तनिष्ठात्यन्ताभावप्रतियोगित्वाभिप्राये तु आत्मनि व्यभिचारस्तदवस्थ:,  However all-pervading objects will not be in physical contact with intangible objects. If spatial limitation is defined as the absence of contact with intangible objects, space will be included within the scope of the definition, but so will Atma (Atma is considered all-pervading by the naiyyAyika, so it too will have no contact with intangibles), leading to vyabhichAra.

सर्वसंबन्धित्वाभावविवक्षायामपि सर्वसंबन्धशून्ये परमात्मनि व्यभिचार:, If you say limitation is the absence of all relations, then Atma, which has no relations with anything, will be included within the definition of paricChinna, causing vyabhichAra.

अज्ञाने सर्वसंबन्धिसिद्धिश्च, On the other hand, nescience is related to everything, leading to nescience not being mithyA.

Until now, the defects related to spatial limitation were mentioned. Temporal limitation and limitation by objects will be mentioned next.

ध्वंसप्रतियोगित्वमपि आकाशावसिद्धं, तेषां परैर्नित्यत्वाभ्युपगमात्, The absence caused by the destruction of the object is not present for space, because space has been accepted by others (naiyyAyikas) as permanent. Thus there is asiddhi for these objects.

अन्योन्याभावप्रतियोगित्वं चात्मनि व्यभिचार:, (The definition of limitation by objects as) the counterpositive of difference will lead to vyabhichAra in Atma.

तस्य जडनिष्ठान्योन्याभावप्रतियोगित्वात्, अन्यथा जडत्वापत्ते: - Because Atma is different from inert objects. If you say that the Atma is not-different from the inert, then Atma will be inert too.

Thus all three definitions of limitation have problems, rendering limitation as an unfit hetu for the mithyAtva anumAna.

To this, the siddhikAra says:

- इति चेन्न; If this is your argument, no.

अत्यन्ताभावे अन्योन्याभावे च धर्मिसमसत्ताकत्वविशेषणेन आत्मनि व्यभिचारपरिहारात्, The defect of vyabhichAra in the Atma with limitation defined as "being the counterpositive of absolute absence or mutual absence" can be remedied by adding the adjective "of an equal order of reality as the substratum" to the absence.

Brahman can never be absent, nor can any object be said to be different from Brahman, because Brahman is the content of every object. Thus, Brahman's absence and any difference from Brahman must necessarily be of a lower order of reality than Brahman itself. Therefore, by adding the words "of an equal order of reality as the substratum" in the definitions of the nature of absence / difference, all mithyA objects are covered, but Brahman itself is excluded. Thus, all the defects cited by the nyAyAmritakAra can be addressed quite easily.

This is further explained.

अज्ञानाकाशादौ च स्वसमसत्ताकात्यन्ताभावान्योन्याभावप्रतियोगित्वसत्वेन असिद्ध्यभावात् | Nescience and space, etc. are of the same order of reality as their absence / difference, therefore one cannot argue that mithyAtva is not present in them as a result of this definition of paricChinnatva. There is no asiddhi.

What if the absence of an object is treated as pAramArthika? This was one of the positions taken in the second definition of mithyAtva. There it was argued that the absence of an object could be treated as pAramArthika, ie it is of the nature of Brahman itself.

अविद्याकाशादेर्व्यावहारिकस्य पारमार्थिकाभावपक्षे 'स्वान्यूनसत्ताके'ति विशेषणम् देयम् ; When absence is treated as pAramArthika, and avidyA, space, etc. are vyAvahArika, the qualifier should be changed to "being not of a lower order of reality than" - that is, the absence of an object is not of a lower order of reality than the item in question. By doing this, the vyAvahArika world, whose absence is pAramArthika (in this position it is assumed that absence is of the nature of the ultimate substratum, Brahman), will be rendered as mithyA, but Brahman whose absence is necessarily of a lower order of reality than itself will be excluded from all things mithyA.

अतएव प्रातिभासिकशुक्तिरूप्यादेर्व्यावहारिकाभावप्रतियोगित्वेऽपि न साधनवैकल्यम् | As a result, prAtibhAsika shell-silver having a vyAvahArika absence will also fall under this definition of mithyA, and sAdhana vaikalya (or the defect of the hetu not being present in the example) will not apply.

A question may be asked here - the second definition of mithyA defined mithyA as that which is absent in all three periods of time in its locus. That is, mithyAtva is atyantAbhAva pratiyogitva. Now, the meaning of paricChinnatvam is as ayantAbhAva pratiyogitva. Is this not a circular argument? Essentially, the hetu and the sAdhya are the same. The world is mithyA, because it is paricChinna - this is the anumAna. That is, the world is atyantAbhAva pratiyogi (2nd definition of mithyAtva, the sAdhya). Why? Because it is atyantAbhAva pratiyogi (because it paricChinna, the hetu). This is clearly untenable.

To this, the siddhikAra replies:

निरुक्तमिथ्यात्वप्रकाराणामेवंरूपत्वाभावात् न साध्याविशिष्टता | There are other definitions of mithyAtva which are not equivalent to the hetu, so one can use those definitions as the meaning of the term mithyA when using paricChinnatva as the hetu. For example, the first definition (sadasat vilakshaNatva) or third definition (jnAna nivartyatva) can be used here.

The nyAyAmritakAra had said that as space is permanent, it cannot be destroyed. Thus it is not temporally limited. The siddhikAra replies:

ध्वंसप्रतियोगित्वं चाकाशादौ नासिद्धम् | Space is destroyed, and as a result, it too is mithyA. Thus there is no asiddhi there.

'तस्माद्वा एतस्मादात्मन आकाश: सम्भूत:' इति श्रुतिसिद्धजन्यत्वेनानुमितत्वात्, As the taittirIya shruti says "From the Atma, AkAsha was born". Anything that is born, will die. Therefore, space, which is created from the Atma, will also be destroyed at some point.

'आकाशावत्सर्वगतश्च नित्य' इत्यत्र चात्मनिदर्शनत्वं स्वसमानकालीनसर्वगतत्वेन आभूतसंप्लवावस्थायित्वेन चेति द्रष्टव्यम् | "Atma is all pervading like space, and permanent" says the shruti (note: this does not mean that Atma is permanent like space, the comparison with space is limited to its all pervading nature). Further, space's existence and all pervasion is for as long as the elements are in existence - that is, until everything is destroyed, during the dissolution of pralaya.

'अतोऽन्यदार्त'मिति श्रुत्या अनात्ममात्रस्यैव विनाशित्वप्रतिपादनात्, अतएव | Moreover, the shruti says that everything apart from Brahman is ultimately destroyed. "Apart from that (Brahman), everything else is destructible" says the shruti. Thus everything other than Atma has temporal limitation and that can be used as a suitable hetu for mithyAtva.

With this, the defects cited by the nyAyAmritakAra with paricChinnatva have been addressed. The siddhikAra next takes up an ancilliary discussion, which will be considered in the next post.

(To be continued.)

Originally posted on 26th February 2018.