Sāṁkhya Karika with Vācaspati Miṣra Commentaries |Part 8
The five forms of ignorance are: Nescience (avidyā), egotism (aśmitā), attachment (rāga), aversion (dveṣa), and clinging (abhiniveśa); they are respectively known as obscurity (Tamas), delusion (moha), extreme delusion (Mahā-moha), gloom (Tāmiśra), and blinding gloom (aṅdhatāmiśra). Egotism and the rest are the products of ignorance, hence they are of the nature of ignorance, or when an object is understood erroneously due to nescience, then egotism and the rest come to have the nature of ignorance. It is for this reason that the Blessed Vārṣagaṇya declared ignorance to be of five divisions. (In the above verse 50 different forms of Buddhi have been described).
Now, further sub-division of the five forms of ignorance is described:
Of Ignorance, there are eight divisions. Ignorance consists in imposing the notion of the Spirit on the non-Spirit, Unmanifest, Mahat, I-Principle, and the five Primary elements; this is known as Tamas or Darkness. The objects of false identification being eight, it is said that Tamas is eight-fold. Moha, or delusion also is of eight forms; here, the particle ca serves to connect eight forms to moha also. The deities having acquired the eight supernatural powers consider themselves as immortal and look upon their occult powers such as anima and the rest to be everlasting. This is the delusion caused by Egotism. Since this relates to the eight occult powers, it is said that delusion also is eight-fold. Extreme delusion is ten-fold. Attachment to the five sense objects such as sound and the rest, which are ten-fold being earthly and celestial, is extreme delusion. Since delusion has these ten for its objects, it is said to be ten-fold. Tāmiśra or aversion is eighteen-fold. By nature, ten objects such as the sound and the rest are delightful; the eight supernatural powers are, however, not delightful by themselves but they are the means of acquiring sense-objects of delight and craving. The objects of the senses are mutually suppressive and the eight occult powers such as anima and the rest which are the means to the attainment of the sense-objects of delight, become incensed. Thus, these eight occult powers together with ten sense-objects like the sound etc. become eighteen and these being the objects of aversion, it is said that Tāmiśra or aversion is eighteen fold. Aṅdha Tāmiśra is abhiniveśa, i.e. clinging. It is of the nature of blinding darkness. Tathā in the text applies to blinding gloom also, signifying eighteen forms of blinding gloom. The Devas (deities) having acquired the eight occult powers like the Aṇimā etc. are engaged in delightful enjoyment of the ten objects of the senses, such as sound and the rest. They live in perpetual fright of the Rākṣasas, thinking that the Rākṣasas would snatch away from them those supernatural powers like the Anima etc. which are the means for enjoying the ten objects of the senses. This fear is known as clinging or Aṅdha Tāmiśra or blinding gloom. It has for its objects the above-said eighteen; hence it is said to be eighteen-fold. These five forms of Ignorance which are but forms of fancy, become sixty-two with their sub-divisions.
Having thus described the five forms of Ignorance, next is described the 28 forms of disability:
As causes of injuries to the Buddhi, they are mentioned as injuries of the organs and not as independent forms of disabilities by themselves. The eleven disabilities are:
Bādhiryaṁ Kuṣṭhitā ’ṅdhatvaṁ Jaḍatā jighratā tathā |
Mūkatā Kauṇyapaṅgutve Klaibyodāvartta maṅdatāḥ ||
— bādhiryaṁ is deafness, is the disability of the ear; Kuṣṭhitā is numbness, is the disability of the skin; aṅdhatvaṁ, blindness, the disability of the eye; jaḍatā is tastelessness, the disability of the tongue; ajighratā, is insensibility of the olfactory nerves, the disability of the nose; mūkatā is dumbness, the disability of the speech; Kauṇya is the palsy of the hand, the disability of the hand; pañgutva is lameness, the disability of the foot; Klaibyaṁ is impotency, the disability of the generative organ; udāvarttaḥ is intestinal paralysis, the disability of the Anus; and maṅdatā is stupidity, the disability of the mind. These are the eleven disabilities of the eleven organs such as the auditory organ and the rest. The disability of the Buddhi with regard to its own function is caused by the injuries of the senses. The Buddhi is considered to have eleven disabilities owing to the eleven causes of disability. These have been treated on pair because of the theory of non-difference between the cause and the effect.
Having thus described the disabilities of the Buddhi through the injury of the sense organs, the natural disabilities of the Buddhi itself are described: together with the disabilities of the Buddhi. How many are the natural injuries of the Buddhi itself? This is answered: seventeen are the injuries of the Buddhi. Why? Due to inversion of contentment and success. Contentment is nine-fold; hence, the disabilities caused by its inversion are also nine-fold; similarly, success is eight-fold; hence, the disabilities caused by its inversion are also eight-fold. It has been said that contentment is nine-fold. They are being enumerated.
A person has the belief that there is a Spirit quite distinct from the Pradhāna; but being wrongly advised, no attempt is made to directly acquire discriminative Wisdom by taking recourse to such practices as hearing, discernment etc. and remains satisfied with this wrong advice. Such a one comes to have these four internal contentments. They are internal inasmuch as they are based on the Atman as distinct from Prakṛti. Which are these? It is answered: they are named Nature, Means, Time and Luck. The contentment called Prakṛti is the complacency the disciple gets into on being told ‘that discriminative wisdom is only a modification of Prakṛti and that such a knowledge is brought about by the Prakṛti itself; hence, there is no need to have recourse to the practice of meditation etc. So, my child, remain as you are.’ This sort of contentment is called Ambha.
The second type of contentment arises from the following instruction: ‘Discriminative knowledge cannot be attained even through the process of Prakṛti. If it were so, then, everyone would attain wisdom at all times because Prakṛti functions equally in respect to all. This can be acquired only by embracing Sannyāsa. Therefore, take to renunciation. Where, then, is the need for you, O long-lived one, for practising meditation?’ At this, out of indolence, the disciple is content with mere sannyāsa and fails to make efforts to realise the Truth. This is the second variety called upādāna tuṣṭi which is also called Salila.
The third type of contentment follows from the instruction: ‘even if one has recourse to the path of renunciation, emancipation is possible only when the time is ripe for it; hence, there is no need for undergoing the troubles of renouncing etc. before time.’ This type of self-contentment is known as Kāla, is also called Oghas.
The fourth type of contentment arises from the feeling of satisfaction arising from the thinking ‘that the discriminative wisdom cannot be attained either from Nature, or from any other means; nor does it depend solely on time but it comes only by luck. It was through mere luck alone that the children of Madālasā, though very young, attained wisdom through their mother’s instructions and thereby attained emancipation.’ The feeling of contentment arising from such instructions is known as bhagya, also called Vṛṣṭiḥ.
The external forms of contentment are being described. They are five from the abstinence of five objects of senses. These five belong to those who have Vairāgya but are, nevertheless, content in considering the non-Spirit, viz, Nature, Will, Intelligence, I-Principle and the rest as the Spirit. The feeling of satisfaction arising from this is called external because, lacking the knowledge of the Spirit, they undertake efforts based on the knowledge of the non-Spirit. These forms of contentment appear only when there is vairāgya. Therefore, these forms of vairāgya also are considered five-fold as the causes of vairāgya are five. Therefore, these contentments are also five. Abstinence from the objects of the senses is Vairāgya; and Vairāgya is the absence of attachment. These five abstinences arise from the perception of defects in the process of sense-enjoyments involving, as it does, the trouble of earning, saving, wasting, pleasure, and violence involved in killing etc. The means of earning wealth are by service, under another etc. and they cause pain to the servants, as mentioned in the verse below:
‘Dṛpyad durīśvarad vāḥsthadaṅḍicaṅḍārghacaṅdrajām I
Vedanāṁ bhāvayan prājñā kaḥ sevāsvanuṣajjate ||
— Which wise one would ever get into the services of another when one thinks of the pain caused by the insults suffered at the hands of the terrible wardens armed with sticks and employed by a haughty and wicked Master?’
Similar is the case with other means of acquiring wealth also. The contentment arising from abstinence from the objects of the senses because they cause pain, is called pāra.
Again, the protection of the wealth thus acquired from being destroyed by (the agents of) the king, thieves, fire and floods etc., involves great pain and misery. The contentment that arises from abstinence from the objects of senses due to such considerations is the second variety, called Supāram.
Again, the constant thought that the wealth acquired with great pain wastes away when enjoyed, leads to the abstinence from objects of the senses. The contentment arising from such feelings is the third kind of contentment called pārāvāra.
‘By becoming addicted to the enjoyments of the sense objects such as the sound and the rest, the cravings for them also increases. They make a lecherous person miserable if objects of enjoyments are not available.’ The contentment that arises from the abstinence of the objects of the senses from such thoughts, is the fourth type, known as anuttamāṁbha.
The contentment that comes from the abstinence of sense- objects arising from the perception of defects of violence etc., caused by such thoughts as ‘it is not possible to have the enjoyment of the objects of the senses without the process of killing animals etc.,’ is the fifth kind of contentment, called uttamāṁbha.
Thus, the four kinds of internal contentments along with the five varieties of externals make the total number of contentment nine.
Next, the principal and secondary divisions of siddhi - success is being described.
The pains to be suppressed are three-fold; hence the three siddhis which suppress them are the principal ones. The other five varieties of siddhis are secondary, inasmuch as they serve as the means to achieve this suppression of pain. They are also arranged as causes and effects, eg the first siddhi characterised by study is a cause only. The principal siddhis are only the causes while the middle ones are both causes and effects. Adhyāyana, which is the first kind of siddhi, consists in learning while living with his teacher, according to the scriptural injunctions, of the science of the Self and comprehending the true nature of the Immutable. This is also known as Tāram. Its effect is śabda or Word which implies the comprehension of the meaning born of the study of the word or śabda. Here, the cause is treated as the effect (cause is the word or oral study, the effect is comprehension of the meaning). This is the second kind of siddhi called sutāra. Śravaṇa or hearing constitutes both these two, viz, reading of the text and also comprehension of the meaning.
Ūhaḥ is reasoning or argumentation. This consists in the investigation of the meaning of the Agama texts by means of reasoning not inconsistent with the scriptures (i.e. reasoning which does not contradict or go against the teachings of the Scriptures). Investigation (parīkṣaṇa) consists in establishing the viewpoint of the proponent by repudiating all the doubts and objections of the opponent. This process is called by the authors of the scriptures as manana or discernment. This is the third kind of siddhi known as Tāratara.
Even the truth arrived at by investigation following the right method of reasoning lacks credence until he discusses it with his own teachers, disciples and fellow-students and gets their endorsement of his own conclusions. This acquisition of such friends as teacher, disciple and fellow students is known as suhṛt prāpti. This fourth kind of siddhi is called ramyaka. The term dāna means purity arising from discriminative wisdom. This word is derived from the root daip meaning to purify. Bhagavan Patañjali describes this (purity)as follows: ‘An unimpeded discriminative discernment is the means to the suppression of pain.’ (Yoga-Sutra 11.26). The unimpediment (in the Yoga Sutra) means purity. This consists in the process of establishment in the mind of the pure flow of direct discriminative wisdom after having eliminated all doubts and perverse notions along with all kinds of cravings or desires. And this purity cannot be obtained without achieving perfection by means of assiduous practice for a long and uninterrupted period; so, the term dāna includes this practice also. This is the fifth kind of siddhi called sadāmudita.
The principal siddhis are three; they are known as Pramoda, Mudita, and Modamāna. Thus, siddhis are of eight types.
Others explain siddhi as follows:
(a) That siddhi is called ūhaḥ where one realises the Truth by himself without being instructed by any one, only by virtue of his practices in his past lives.
(b) That siddhi where the knowledge is acquired by listening to another expounding the Sānkhya philosophy is known as śabda as it is acquired through a study of śabda.
(c) study is said to be the cause of that form of siddhi, where Knowledge is acquired by the study of the both the Sānkhya text and its meaning by means of conversation between the Teacher and the disciple who lives with his Teacher. This is known as the adhyāyana form of siddhi.
(d) Where one acquires knowledge by coming in contact with one who has already acquired that knowledge is known as the siddhi characterised by knowledge. This form of siddhi is known as suhṛt prāpti.
(e) Lastly, the siddhi known as dāna. Here, dāna or charity is said to be the means, because, when a knower of Truth is propitiated by gifts etc. he imparts him true Knowledge. The appropriateness (or otherwise) of the above interpretations is left to the consideration of learned ones. Our work is only to elucidate the cardinal doctrines of the Sānkhya philosophy; as such, we desist from pointing out others’ faults.
The disabilities of the Buddhi due to its injuries occasioned by the inversion of siddhi (success) and tuṣṭi (contentment) are thus seventeen in number. It is well-known that the siddhi is the most sought after for the evolution proceeding from the Buddhi (i.e. for the subjective evolution). Ignorance, disability and contentment are fit to be abandoned as they are the causes for impediments to siddhi-success. This is implied in the statement: The aforesaid three act as the restrainers of success. By aforesaid is meant ignorance, disability and contentment. These three act as the curbs on success inasmuch as they thwart success, like a goad restraining elephants. Therefore, ignorance, disability and contentment are to be abandoned as they are obstacles to success.
Objection: It has been said that the evolution proceeds for the purpose of the Spirit. This purpose of the Spirit could be served either by the subjective evolution (i.e. creation proceeding from Buddhi-pratyaya sarga) or by the objective evolution (i.e. creation proceeding from the Tanmātras - Tanmātra Sarga).
Then, where is the need for both the evolutions?
This is answered:
Liṅgam in the text suggests the evolution of Tanmātras, Primary elements, and Bhāva indicates the evolution out of Buddhi or Will. The meaning is that the manifestation of the objective evolution is the means to bring about the accomplishment of the purpose of the Puruṣa. This is not possible without the subjective evolution. Similarly, the manifestation or the evolution of subjective evolution is also for the accomplishment of the purpose of the Puruṣa and this is not possible without the objective evolution. Thus it is that both the creations take place. Experience (bhoga) is the purpose of the Puruṣa; this experience cannot be brought about unless there are the objects of experience such as the sound and the rest, and also the field of experience in the form of the two bodies (i.e. the subtle and the gross); thus, it is quite appropriate to assume the objective evolution of Tanmātras. Experience is not possible without the vehicles of experience in the form of sense organs; and the creation of internal organs in turn, is not possible without the dispositions such as Virtue and the rest. Nor Discriminative Wisdom which brings about the emancipation, is possible without both of these evolutions. Thus is established the appropriateness of both forms of Evolution (viz, subjective evolution proceeding from the Buddhi and the objective evolution proceeding from the Tanmātras). The defect of mutual dependence (anyonya āśraya doṣa) does not affect this theory, because, the creation being eternal, it would be like the analogy of the seed and the sprout (bīja - aṅkura - nyāya, which is a maxim involving an eternal series of seed and sprout. As the seed produces the sprout, so the latter in turn reproduces the former. Each, therefore, is a cause and effect). The production of subjective and objective evolutions even at the very beginning of the present cycle (Kalpa) is due to the subliminal impressions left behind by the corresponding subjective and objective evolutions in the earlier cycle; thus, this theory of the emanations of the evolutions is quite appropriate and is accepted by all.
Subjective evolution has been classified. Now, is described the objective or the elemental evolution:
The eight celestial forms belong to (1) Brahmā, (2) Prajāpati, (3) Indra, (4) Pitṛ, (5) Gaṅdharva, (6) Yakṣa, (7) Rākṣasa, and (8) Piśāca.
The five kinds of animal species are (1) cattle, (2) deer, (3) bird, (4) reptile, and (5) the immobile things.
Of the mankind, there is one kind only, without taking into account its four sub-divisions such as brāhmaṇa etc. inasmuch as the physical frame is the same in all the classes of humans. Such is the elemental creation in brief. Objects such as the jar and the like, though bodyless, are included in the category of the immobile.
Next is described the three kinds of this material evolution, depending on the differences in higher or lower degree of intelligence, in the form of the higher, the intermediary and the lower.
The heavenly regions extending up to Satya (i.e. Bhuvaḥ, Svaḥ, Mahaḥ, Janaḥ, Tapas and Satya) abound in sattva attribute; The nether regions containing all things from the cattle down to the immobile things abound in Tamas attribute as they are full of delusion. The region of Earth (Bhūrloka) consisting of seven dvīpas (continents) and oceans form the intermediary region, abounding in Rajas attribute, because, people engage themselves in the performance of deeds, righteous and unrighteous, and because it abounds in pain and misery. The entire creation is being summarised: from Brahma down to the blade of grass. The word stamba also includes trees and other things.
Thus, having described creation, the author next describes the painful nature of this creation, a knowledge of which is conducive to bring about dispassion which is a means of attaining emancipation.
Tatra (in the text) means in the body etc. Even though the body pulsating with vital breath is the vehicle for the enjoyment of various forms of pleasure, yet, the constant pain caused by decay and death is common to all. Everyone, even an insect, suffers from fear of death, and hopes: ‘may I not cease to be,’ ‘may I continue to be’ etc. Pain causes fear and death is a source of pain.
Objection: But pleasure and pain are material and are the properties of Buddhi. Then, how do these become related to the Sentient Spirit?
Answer: Puruṣa literally means one who sleeps in the subtle body. This subtle body is in connection with the Buddhi and its properties; because of this, the Spirit also becomes connected with that.
Objection: How can the pain which is related to the subtle body, be said to belong to the Sentient Spirit?
Answer: Due to the non-cessation of the subtle body. The Spirit, not apprehending its distinction from the body, superimposes the properties of the subtle body on itself; or, the ā in avinivṛtteḥ may be taken to suggest the limit of the pain of the Puruṣa; then the meaning would be: until the subtle body has ceased to be, the Spirit suffers pain.
Next, the author refutes the different views regarding the cause of creation or evolution: