Sāṁkhya Karika with Vācaspati Miṣra Commentaries |Part 10
By the very attainment of direct knowledge of the Tattva, the power of productivity of the entire stock of subliminal impressions of deeds, though beginningless and the time of its fruition is uncertain, gets destroyed like a burnt up seed, and no more produces any fruit in the form of experiences of rebirth, life etc. It is only when the field of Buddhi is watered with the waters of Kleṣa (Kleṣa is fivefold; ignorance, egotism, attachment, aversion and clinging to life) that the seeds of Karma germinate. Where is the possibility of the seeds germinating in a field rendered barren owing to its water of ignorance and the rest being sucked away by the heat produced by the Knowledge of the Truth? In this connection it is said: ‘Dispositions such as Virtue and the rest lose their causal efficacy to produce effects,’ i.e. they cease to be causes. Even so, the body lasts for a while longer even after the attainment of the knowledge of Truth on account of the previous impulses just like the potter’s wheel continuing to rotate for a while even though the potter has ceased from action, owing to the momentum of past impulses of the action. When, however, in course of time, the impulse is exhausted, it becomes inactive. In the case of the continuance of the body, the impulse is provided by virtue and the rest which have already started yielding fruits and which are destroyed only through exhaustion of their experience. It is declared in the Śruti: ‘Having exhausted the others by means of experience, the soul attains beatitude’ ‘The delay is for that long as beatitude is not attained’ (Cha. Up 6-14.2). The impulse of the subliminal impressions is of the nature of ignorance which is on the ebb of its life. Because of the momentum of this impulse, the Spirit continues to inhabit the body for a while.
Question: If it be said that the Spirit continues to inhabit the body due to some sort of impulse, then, when will his emancipation take place?
It is answered:
The seed state of those impressions which have not yet commenced fruitioning, having been destroyed by the fire of the knowledge of the tattvas and with the exhaustion of the actions which had commenced bearing fruits by their experience, the body gets destroyed because the purpose of Puruṣa has been fully accomplished by the Pradhāna and it desists from her activity with respect to that Puruṣa who has thus attained eternal and absolute release, i.e. the Puruṣa attains the release from the three kinds of pain.
Though the Sānkhya philosophy has been established by means of reasoning, yet, in order to rouse intense respect for the Śāstra, the precedence of the hoary sage is mentioned:
Guhyam because, it lives in the depth of intelligence; that is to say, it is difficult of understanding by stupid people. By the great sage refers to the great sage Kapila. The feeling of reverence is enhanced by declaring that the doctrine is scriptural. Yatra, in which knowledge. This expression is like the expression: carmiṇi dvīpinam haṅti. Here, the literal meaning of carmiṇi is: in the skin; but it is interpreted to mean: for the sake of the skin, the tiger is killed. The origin, duration and dissolution of the beings have been discussed in the Scriptures.
Question: We shall revere what has directly been said by the great sage Kapila; but why should there be such reverence for what has been said by Īśvara Kṛṣṇa? This is replied:
This is purifying because it purifies the Spirit of all impurities and evils which cause the three-fold pain. Foremost as it is the most important of all purifying doctrines.
Ārya is one who has arrived at the Truth; one whose mind is such is the noble-minded. It is said: this is a Śāstra to indicate that this is a whole scripture by itself, and not just a section, because this deals with all the branches of knowledge.
The Rajavartika enumerates the Sixty Topics as follows:
Pradhānā stitvam ekatvam arthavattvam athānyathā |
Pārārthyam ca tathānaikyaṁ Viyogo yoga eva ca ||
Śeṣavṛtthir akartṛtvam Maulikārthāḥ smṛtā Daśa |
Viparyayaḥ pañcavidhastathoktā nava tuṣṭayaḥ ||
Karaṇānām asāmarthyam aṣṭāvimśatidhā matam |
Iti ṣaṣṭhiḥ padārthānām aṣṭābhiḥ saha siddhibhiḥ ||
1. The existence of Pradhāna (Kārikā 14),
2. Her singleness (15),
3. Her objectiveness (11),
4. Distinctiveness (of Nature from Spirit (11),
5. Her subordination to Spirit (17),
6. Plurality of the Spirit (18),
7. Disjunction of spirit from Nature in the end (20),
8. Conjunction of Nature and Spirit in the beginning (21),
9. Duration (19),
10. Inactivity of the Spirit (19),
These are the ten Radical topics.
Added to the above are:
1. Five kinds of error (47),
2. Nine of the contentments (50),
3. Twenty eight of the disability of the organs (59), and
4. Eight forms of power (51)
These make up the Sixty Topics mentioned above. Since all these have been dealt with in the above seventy distiches, this is a complete philosophy by itself and not a section thereof.
Singleness, objectivity and subordination have been said in relation to the Prakṛti; distinctness, inactivity and plurality are in relation to the Puruṣa. Existence, disjunction and conjunction are said in relation to both; and continuance is with reference to gross and subtle things.
May this work of Vācaspati Miṣra known as the Tattva Kaumudī (the moonlight of Truth) continue to please (or cause to bloom) the pure (lily-like) hearts of good men!
Thus ends the Sānkhya-Tattva-Kaumudī of Śrīmad Vācaspati Miṣra who has authored glosses on all the six systems of Philosophy.