God, The Soul And The Creatrix Haribhadra Sūri On Ny Ya And S Ṃkhya

Published: 06.01.2011
Updated: 02.07.2015

International Journal of Jaina Studies
(Online) Vol. 6, No. 6 (2010) 1-49



God, The Soul And The Creatrix Haribhadra Sūri On Ny Ya And S Ṃkhya

Unlike his Ṣaḍdarśanasamuccaya (ṢDS) Haribhadra Sūri's[1] Śāstravārtāsamuccaya (ŚVS)[2] is not a compendium of philosophical systems (darśana) but a comprehensive account (samuccaya) of doctrinal (śāstra) expositions (vār[t]tā) or simply doctrines (vāda). The ŚVS is subdivided into stabakas, chapters or sections: (1) bhautika-vāda, on the materialism of Cārvāka or Lokāyata; (2) kāla-vāda, svabhāva-vāda, niyati-vāda and karma-vāda, on the doctrines about the leading principle in the world: time, essence, faith or karma; (3) īśvara-vāda, on the doctrine of God of the Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika and prakṛtipuruṣa-vāda, on the doctrine of the Soul and Primal Nature of the Sāṃkhya or, as I will translate it, the 'Creatrix'; (4) kṣaṇika-vāda, on the doctrine of momentariness of the Sautrāntika Buddhists; (5) vijñānādvaita-vāda, on the doctrine of consciousness-only (vijñāna-mātra) of the Yogācāra Buddhists; (6) śūnya-vāda, on the doctrine of emptiness of the Mādhyamika Buddhists; (7) nityānityatva-vāda, on the doctrine of eternity-andnoneternity of the Jainas; (8) brahmādvaita-vāda, on the doctrine of the non-duality of Brahman of the Advaita Vedānta; (9) mokṣa-vāda, a discussion about the possibility or impossibility of Liberation; (10) sarvajñatā-pratiṣedha-vāda, on the doctrine of the negation of the possibility of omniscience of the Mīmāṃsā and an unidentified Buddhist sect (bauddha ekadeśī mata); and (11) śabdārtha-saṃbaṃdha-pratiṣedha-vāda, on the doctrine of the negation of the word-meaning relation of the Sautrāntika Buddhists. Below I will present a translation and analysis of section 3 of the ŚVS, viz. the section on īśvara-vāda and prakṛti-puruṣa-vāda: Haribhadra Sūri's Sanskrit ślokas together with Dixit's Hindi paraphrase and commentary.[3] For the analysis I will focus on those aspects of the Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika and Sāṃkhya doctrines that are relevant for Haribhadra Sūri's presentation and criticism. As a Jaina Haribhadra Sūri is a non-theist and non-creationist.[4] As such he criticizes the īśvara concept of the Nyāya system.[5]

Some scholars here accept that God is a creator because He has the nature to incite and that He has an inconceivable power of intelligence and is pure without beginning.

P. Some scholars admit that God is an agent in the form of an inciter of all activity of living beings[6] and that this God possesses inconceivable power of intelligence and that He is pure without beginning.

Ṭ. The intention to say about God that He 'possesses an inconceivable power of intelligence' is the following. It is a supernatural divine frolic to know all things in the world even without the aid of a body, senses, etc.[7]

The word preraka is found in the Nyāyasūtrabhāṣya 2:1:29 and 3:2:28, but not in the īśvara context.[8] Guṇaratna Sūri uses preraka in the īśvara context in the maṅgala of his Tarkarahasyadīpikā (1412), that is, his commentary on Haribhadra Sūri's ṢDS: "Theists think that everything is caused by the Lord of the world. God possesses the fourfold innate of knowledge, desirelessness, virtue and masterfulness, and He is the inciter of heaven and hell for living beings."[9] In Nyāya the subject of īśvara is discussed under the head of the possible objects of knowledge (prameya). Early Nyāya does not consider God to be the creator of the world. Here God is only the agency (kāritatva) of human action (puruṣa-karma).[10] The Nyāyabhāṣya of Vātsyāyana (or Pakṣilasvāmin, 425-500 A.D.) elaborates on this point but adds that God not only 'sets in motion' (pravartayati) the collections of dharma and adharma in each Soul but also the earth (pṛthivī), etc., The word kartṛ or kartā, however, is not used in this context.[11] The Nyāyavārttika of Uddyotakara (first half of the 7th century) teaches that God 'supports' (anugṛhṇāti) human action which means that He unyokes the result of an action at the time of the working-out, and that He is the efficient cause of the world (nimitta-kāraṇa) of which earth, etc., is the material cause (upādāna).[12] The Nyāyavārttikatātparyaṭīkā of Vācaspatimiśra, however, does not explicitly mention God as the supporter of human action, but stresses the point that God is the efficient cause of the world.[13] From this follows that Nyāya entertained two, arguably consecutive, ideas about the agency (kartṛtva) of God: (1) as an inciter of human activity and/or its results (karma), and (2) as the cause (kāraṇa) of the world and hence its creator. Haribhadra Sūri criticizes both conceptions of God independently and separately in two of his works, the Śāstravārtāsamuccaya and the Ṣaḍdarśanasamuccaya. First the ṢDS. Verse 13, on Nyāya philosophy, reads: "In the thought of Akṣapāda Śiva is the God who accomplishes the creation and destruction, omnipresent, eternal, pre-eminent, omniscient, and seat of eternal Intellect."[14] Here God is causing (kṛt) the creation and destruction of the world. God is not described as an agent (katṛ/kartā) of the working-out of karma nor the controller of dharma and adharma. This contrasts with the definition of God as a kartā given in the ŚVS verse 194 (see below). There is no mention here of God as the creator of the world. In the Laghuvṛtti of Maṇibhadra (date unknown) on the ṢDS the concept of God as an agent in the context of karma is treated, but only marginally so: "And the Lord (…) being omniscient (…) without anyone's wish bestows the enjoyment of happiness and sorrow for all living beings in heaven or hell by inference from the self-acquired merit or demerit. And accordingly it is said that 'This ignorant creature having no power over his own joy or sorrow goes to heaven or to hell, driven by God'."[15]

195. jñānam apratighaṃ yasya vairāgyaṃ ca jagat-pateḥ;
aiśvaryaṃ caiva dharmaś ca saha-siddhaṃ catuṣṭayam.

He is the Lord of the universe whose four knowledge, desirelessness, masterfulness and virtue are unimpeded naturally acquired.

P. With reference to this God it is said that the knowledge of this Universal Lord, His renunciation, His glory and His justice are four unimpeded[16]- meaning all-powerful - and naturally acquired.[17]

Ṭ. This description of God is made in the terminology[18] of the Sāṃkha system though the endorsement of theism is not found in Sāṃkhya works themselves. But the acknowledgement of the existence of God is found in the Yogasūtra and its Bhāṣya that assume the ideas of the Sāṃkha on other doctrinal questions on existence.[19] In the Yogasūtra and Bhāṣya the existence of God is accepted and He is considered to be a kind of Soul or Self.[20] According to the Sāṃkhya system the knowledge (jñāna), renunciation (vairāgya), glory (aiśvarya) and justice (dharma) that are found in a common man are the result of the proper works[21] of this man, and are more or less potent.[22] According to the Yogasūtrabhāṣya the knowledge, renunciation, glory and justice found in God are naturally acquired and omnipotent. [23] The meanings of the words 'knowledge' and 'renunciation' are clear. The meaning of the word 'glory' the eight superhuman powers of minuteness, lightness, greatness, heaviness, etc.[24] that in the Yoga books are described as the supernatural powers.[25] The meaning of the word 'justice' some specific good qualities of character.[26] Verse 195 is also found twice verbatim in Guṇaratna's Tarkarahasyadīpikā (c. 1412).[27] Here the four qualities ascribed to God are reminiscent of the Yoga definition of an illuminated mind (rājasika citta). The Yogasūtrabhāṣya states: "The same shining forth everywhere, the veil of delusion vanished, associated with rajas only obtains virtue, knowledge, desirelessness and masterfulness."[28] The same qualities are also found in the Sāṃkhya system in the form of the four positive sāttvika bhāvas or 'fundamental strivings in the innermost core of human's nature': the predisposition toward meritorious behavior (dharma), towards knowledge (jñāna), towards non-attachment (vairāgya), and towards power (aiśvarya).[29]

196. ajño jantur anīśo 'yam ātmanaḥ sukha-duḥkhayoḥ;
īśvara-prerito gacchet svargaṃ vā śvabhram eva vā.

This ignorant creature having no power over his own joy or sorrow goes to heaven or to hell, driven by God.[30]

P. It is also said that the ignorant Soul is not the master of his own happiness and sorrow,[31] but that he goes to heaven or to hell through the inducement of God.[32]

This verse is almost verbatim verses 03,031.027a and 03,031.027c of the Āraṇyakaparvan of the Mahābhārata, [33] Māṭharācārya's commentary on the Sāṃkhyakārikā verse 61, [34] and Madhusūdana's commentary on verse 5.15 of the Bhagavadgītā. [35] The same verse is found verbatim in Vācaspatimiśra's Nyāyavārttikatātparyaṭīkā with reference to the Smṛti literature[36] and also in Udayana's Nyāyakusumāñjali.[37]

197. anye tv abhidadhaty atra vīta-rāgasya bhāvataḥ;
itthaṃ prayojanābhāvāt kartṛtvaṃ yujyate katham.

In this case however other ask how it can possibly correct in that manner that He is an agent. For, He has no motive since He is without passion.

P. Against this some other scholars[38] object that when it is not established that God - who is Himself without passion - has a motive in the form mentioned, viz. the bestowal of inducement,[39] how far is it rational to consider Him as the real creator of the activity of living beings?

198. nārakādi-phale kāṃścit kāṃścit svargādi-sādhane;
karmaṇi prerayaty āśu sa jantūn kena hetunā?

Some creatures He moves promptly into action resulting in hell, etc., some He moves promptly into action leading to heaven, etc. for what reason?

P. The question rises why God drives some living beings to such actions[40] that result in the acquisition of heaven and some to such actions that result in the acquisition of hell.

199. svayam eva pravartante sattvāś cet citra-karmaṇi;
nirarthakam iheśasya katṛtvaṃ gīyate katham?

And if beings act on their own account alone in a variety of actions, why proclaiming that the Lord is the creator here. For, this makes no sense.

P. If one argues that in world living beings are engaged in different sorts of actions[41] on their own accord[42] the question rises why then this pointless pronouncement[43] that God is the creator of the activity of living beings?

200. phalaṃ dadāti cet sarvaṃ tat teneha pracoditam;
aphale pūrva-doṣaḥ syāt saphale bhakti-mātratā.

If He gives all results here, directed by Him, then, if are ineffective the previous flaw remains. If perchance effective faith only.

P. One can say that all actions of living beings are established as giving their respective results by the inducement of God. But our answer to this is, that if actions are ineffective[44] in producing their result on their own account,[45] our previous objection remains in position, viz. why does God induce in the direction of actions that lead some living beings to heaven and some living beings in the direction of actions that lead to hell. And if they are effective in producing the effect on their own account, the postulation[46] of God is a matter of faith alone. For, then it is established that He has no motive.

201. ādi-sarge 'pi no hetuḥ kṛta-kṛtyasya vidyate;
pratijñāta-virodhitvāt svabhāvo 'py apramāṇakaḥ.

Someone who has already done all that has to be done, has no reason for a primal creation also. For, that would be contradictory with the postulate.[47] Also is God's essence is unwarranted.

P. Next, if the theist[48] postulates that God is a kṛta-kṛtya, a Soul that has accomplished all that has to be accomplished or, in other words, a Soul with no activity left,[49] there is no reason possible for Him to start a creation. For, if the theist accepts such a cause a conflict will arise with his basic postulate,[50] viz. with his postulate that God is a Soul that is kṛta-kṛtya. Moreover, to say that all this is decisively the essence of God is an unwarranted matter, that is, the existence of God is not validly established.[51]

Kṛta-kṛtya is a term commonly used in ritual context but it is also used in other contexts,[52] as i.e. in Yoga literature.[53] In the first context, it refers to someone who has done his rituals as prescribed. In the second it refers to a yogin who has attained samādhi and has become perfect. In common parlance it is also used to speak of a person who follows God's precepts.[54] So a kṛta-kṛtya is someone who has performed all his duties, who is completely realized and satisfied, and hence who has nothing to strive for anymore, as i.e. the creation of the world.

202. karmādes tat-svabhāvatve na kiñcid bādhyate vibhoḥ;
vibhos tu tat-svabhāvatve kṛta-kṛtyatva-bādhanam.

If action, etc., would have that essence the Lord<'s existence> is nothing to be set aside. If, however, the Lord would have that essence this is annulled by being someone who has accomplished everything he wants.

P. When one accepts that action, etc., has the essence mentioned, that is, if one accepts that it is effective in the production of its result without depending on God,[55] no difficulty of any sort arises in relation to the existence of God. However, in that case God is not the inducer of the actions of living beings. But if one accepts that God has the essence mentioned, that is, if He is the inducer of actions and the provider, etc., of the result of these actions,[56] then a difficulty arises in relation to this recognition, viz. that God is a Soul that is kṛta-kṛtya and that He has achieved all there is to be achieved.

203. tataś ceśvara-kartṛtva-vādo 'yaṃ yujyate pāram;
samyag nyāyāvirodhena yathā''huḥ śuddha-buddhayaḥ.

And accordingly wise men declare for instance that this doctrine of a God-creator is thoroughly justified and correct since it is logically not contradictory.

P. All this being said, we can say that the God-creator doctrine is, in a specific sense, appropriate and logical,[57] as it is for example[58] formulated by some pure minds.

204. īśvaraḥ paramātmaiva tad-ukta-vrata-sevanāt;
yato muktis tatas tasyāḥ kartā syād guṇa-bhāvataḥ.

A Supreme Soul god because Liberation by resorting to the manner of life proclaimed by him. Therefore, in a secondary meaning, he can be an agent of this.

P. God is also another name of a Supreme Soul, that is, an omniscient person standing at the threshold of Liberation.[59] Since a living being can attain Liberation by following the way of life suggested by such a Supreme Soul,[60] therefore he can, in a subsidiary meaning,[61] also be called an agent of this Liberation.

The equation of a fully liberated and hence Supreme Soul (not necessarily on the 'threshold' of Liberation) with God is also found in later monistic Vedānta in the context of kṛta-kṛtya.[62] In Jaina context an Arhat like Mahāvīra is "a Lord of yogins (jogiṇāhaṃ)" and a kṛta-kṛtya, "one who has discharged one's obligation (who has done what was to be done)."[63]

205. tad-anāsevanād eva yat saṃsāro 'pi tattvataḥ;
tena tasyāpi karttṛtvaṃ kalpyamānaṃ na duṣyati.

By not resorting to this the result is in fact transmigration. For that reason it is not wrong to consider him also to be an agent.

P. Otherwise, for a living being not following the path suggested by a Supreme Soul mentioned[64] results in fact in the being caught in the worldly cycle or the cycle of rebirth. In such case it is not wrong also to assume that this Supreme Soul is an agent of this worldly cycle.[65]

A Supreme Soul is an example to follow. If one follows it, one reaches Liberation, if not, one remains caught in the cycle of rebirth. In both cases this Supreme Soul is a cause or an 'agent' of Liberation or bondage.

206. kartā'yam iti tad-vākyo yataḥ keṣāṃcid ādaraḥ;
atas tad-ānuguṇyena tasya katṛtva-deśanā.

The statement that he is an agent follows from the respect some have. Accordingly, for that reason, it is shown that he is an agent.

P. In some people's mind reverence for the teachings of the Supreme Soul as mentioned eventually[66] engenders the understanding that this Supreme Soul is an agent of the bondage and Liberation of living beings.[67] This is the reason that authors of the Śāstras, keeping in mind the mental state of these people, have called a Supreme Soul an agent of bondage and Liberation of living beings.

207. paramaiśvarya-yuktatvān mata ātmaiva ceśvaraḥ;
sa ca karteti nirdoṣaḥ kartṛ-vado vyavasthitaḥ.

If a Soul possesses supreme sovereignty it is considered to be a god and, to say that this is an agent is established as a faultless theory.

P. On the other hand, if he is perfect by reason of his supreme sovereignty a Soul can be considered to be a god because the agent of various actions to be done by a living being is the Soul of this living being.[68] Therefore the doctrine of a God-Agent is established as a faultless theory.

T. According to the Jaina doctrine a Soul is omnipotent[69] by nature. But its capacity remains disproportionally disconcert [70] as a consequence of the accumulation of karma. With this idea in mind Haribhadra says that a Soul "possesses supreme sovereignty."

208. śāstra-kārā mahātmānaḥ prāyo vīta-spṛhā bhave;
sattvārtha-saṃpravṛttāś ca kathaṃ te 'yukta-bhāṣiṇaḥ.

The authors of the Śāstras, exceedingly wise, were mostly free from desire in this worldly existence. Devoted to the welfare of beings, why would they say unreasonable things?

P. Actually, the great men that composed the Śāstras were mostly liberated from worldly ambitions and they did everything purely out of philanthropy.[71] Why then would they say such a thing if this was not reasonably established?[72]

T. The reasoning of Haribhadra is as follows. Since the great men that composed the Śāstras were telling the truth[73] and since the doctrine of a God-Creator is in a strict specific sense[74] reasonably established, wherever in the Śāstras the doctrine of a GodCreator is advocated, it must suit this specific sense only.[75]

209. abhiprāyas tatas teṣāṃ samyag mṛgyo hitaiṣiṇā;
nyāya-śāstrāvirodhena yathā''ha manur apy adaḥ.

Someone who desires welfare should investigate the intention of these thoroughly so that no contradiction arises with the science of logic. A wise man expresses himself accordingly.

P. For a person desiring his own benefit[76] it is necessary that he investigates the intention of the authors of the Śāstras thoroughly[77] in such manner that no contradiction between the logic of the intention expressed and the statements in the Śāstras arises.

T. In relation to the statements of the Śāstras one must emphasize that there should be no contradiction between their intention and the statements in the Śāstras. The implication is precisely this, that some ambiguous[78] Śāstra statements should not be given such a meaning that their contradiction would befall some unambiguous Śāstra statements.

210. ārṣaṃ ca dharma-śāstraṃ ca[79] veda-śāstrāvirodhinā;
yas tarkeṇānusaṃdhatte sa dharmaṃ veda netaraḥ.

One who explores the Veda and the Dharmaśāstra with a logic that is not contradictory with the Veda and Śāstras knows the dharma, no other.

P. A person who investigates the books given by the Seers, the Vedas, etc., the Dharmaśāstra books and the Purāṇas, etc., with the help of a logic that does not go against the teachings of the Vedas and the Dharmaśāstras, knows the dharma, no one else.

Refutation of the Doctrine of the Creatrix and the Soul[80]

211. pradhānodbhavam anye tu manyante sarvam eva hi.
mahad-ādi-krameṇeha kārya-jātaṃ vipaścitaḥ.

Other wise men, however, think that all originates from the First Principle that here by degrees the Intellect, etc., is produced as an effect.

P. Other learned men say that all worldly activity originates from a principle that is called the 'First Principle' from where a chain of production moves on, the Intellect, etc., amidst.[81]

212. pradhānād mahato bhāvo 'haṃkārasya tato 'pi ca;
akṣa-tan-mātra-vargasya tan-mātrād bhūta-saṃhateḥ.

From the First Principle the Intellect arises and from that Egoity, the class of the senses,[82] the rudimentary elements, and the collection of elements.

P. These are the successive stages: From the First Principle the Intellect arises, from the Intellect Egoity, from Egoity the eleven senses and the five rudimentary or subtle elements,[83] from the rudimentary elements the great or gross elements.[84]

The Puruṣa, the Universal Soul, which is uncreated and non-creative, is the first of the twenty-five principles (tattva) of classical Sāṃkhya. The other twenty-four principles are: the Creatrix (prakṛti, pradhāna) in its manifest (vyakta) form: the principles of the Intellect (buddhi) also called the 'Great One' (mahat), Egoity (ahaṃkāra), the internal organ of sense (manas), the five subtle elements (tan-mātra),[85] the five organs of sense (buddhīndriya),[86] the five organs of action (karmendriya),[87] and the five gross elements (mahā-bhūta).[88] With the 'class of the senses' (akṣa) or the 'eleven senses' (indriya) are meant: manas, the five buddhīndryas and the five karmendriyas.[89]

213. ghaṭādy api pṛthivy-ādi-pariṇāma-samudbhavam;
nātma-vyāpāra-jaṃ kiñcit teṣāṃ loke 'pi vidyate.

A jar, etc., is produced from the transformation of earth, etc. According to these nothing in this world exists that is caused by an operation of the Soul.

P. The question is up to what extent a jar, etc., is produced. According to the scholars mentioned its cause is the transformation[90] of earth, etc., only. This is because according to these scholars no action of the Soul the cause of the production of any object in the world.

According to Sāṃkhya the phenomenal world is ruled by processes of continuous change or transformation (pariṇāma) of the guṇa ratios. Every product is a transformation of one state into another as in case of a jar produced from a lump of clay.[91] The Sāṃkhya puruṣa is intrinsically inactive. It is a non-agent (akartṛ) and cannot be involved in any process of causation or production in contrast to the jīva, the Soul of the Jainas which is fully an agent (kartṛ).

214. anye tu bruvate hy etat prakriyā-mātra-varṇanam;
avicāryaiva tad yuktyā śraddhayā gamyate param.

Others, however, declare that this description of pure production is made without reasonable reflection[92] it is no more than a matter of faith.

P. But some other scholars say that all descriptions given above are only imagination coined by the mind[93] so that if persons allege these descriptions they are doing so succumbing to faith[94] in such a manner that they do not reason rationally.

Arguably the word prakriyā is used here in the sense of pariṇāma (transformation).[95] Sāṃkhya is generally identified with a theory of 'transformation' (pariṇāma-vāda) that is associated with a theory of causality called sat-kārya-vāda.[96] The development of all other tattvas from the Creatrix is ruled by one mechanism only, the "tripartite process"[97] of the three guṇas or evolutes that constitute all psycho-material substance: sattva, rajas and tamas. These terms cover a variety of meanings but can be roughly translated as purity or goodness, energy or passion, and dullness or ignorance. This Sāṃkhyan tripartite process that can be called traiguṇya-pariṇāma [98] is in fact primordial materiality.[99] So all psycho-material substances are Prakṛti in transformation. There is nothing but production (prakriyā-mātra).

215. yuktyā tu bādhyate yasmāt pradhānaṃ nityam iṣyate;
tathātvāpracyutau cāsya mahad-ādi kathaṃ bhavet?

However this goes against reason since the First Principle is acknowledged to be eternal. Now, until it does not deviate from this state, how then can the Intellect arise.

P. This description is contrary to reason because the First Principle here is considered to be eternal. But until the First Principle does not give up its primal state,[100] how shall it give birth to the Intellect, etc.

216. tasyaiva tat-svabhāvatvād iti cet kiṃ na sarvadā;
ata eveti cet tasya tathātve nanu tat kutaḥ?

If one argues that this is the essence of that, why not always? If one argues: Because of that!, then how is this ever possible when this in such a condition?

P. One can say that the production of the Intellect is the very essence of the Creatrix. But then our question is: Why does the Creatrix not produce the Intellect every moment? The answer can be that it is also the essence of the Creatrix to produce the Intellect, etc., now and then. But then our question is: How can the accidental production of the Intellect from the Creatrix be possible when this Creatrix abides in an unmoved existence in its primal state?[101]

According to the Sāṃkhya the Creatrix starts to produce its evolutes at a certain point in time after a pralaya or a period of universal dissolution. Then the unmanifest Creatrix starts to move as a result of the upsetting of the previous equilibrium of the guṇas[102] and becomes a manifest Creatrix. Gradually it produces the Intellect up to the gross elements. The question is: If the unmanifest Creatrix has an unmoved and stable essence, why does it come into action at a certain moment, and why not always? Conversely, if it would have the inherent capacity to produce the evolutes, why not continuously.

217. nānupādānam anyasya bhāve 'nyaj jātucid bhavet;
tad-upādānatāyāṃ ca na tasyaikānta-nityatā.

The production of one thing from another without a material cause is not possible at all and, if this is the material cause of that is not absolutely eternal.

P. Even when one object - the Creatrix for instance - is present,[103] a second object - the Intellect for instance - cannot be produced as long as the material cause of this second object is not present also. If the first object mentioned would be the material cause of the second object alluded to, this first object cannot be considered to be absolutely eternal, that is, eternal with an unchanged existence.[104]

Sāṃkhya distinguishes between two forms of Prakṛti, the unmanifest Creatrix (avyakta) that is uncreated and the manifest Creatrix (vyakta) that is created. The last is caused (hetumat), finite (anitya), active (sakriya) and diverse (aneka). The last is the opposite of the first.[105] In order to explain the nature of this unmanifest Creatrix the Sāṃkhya commentators often use the simile of water which can - as a basic substrate - occur in a multiplicity of manifestations such as rain, juice, etc.[106] It is clear that Haribhadra Sūri endorses the idea of the eternity and unchangebility of a material or quasi-material substratum of the world that is active and productive. The unmanifest form of the Creatrix, the psycho-material substrate of the world, consisting of the three guṇas, first produces the Intellect. But, a material cause (upādāna) cannot produce an effect without changing itself in the process. This is illustrated in Sāṃkhya by means of the simile of the causal transformation (pariṇāma) of milk into curds[107] wherein milk is the upādāna, the material cause of curds. If, in this manner, the unmanifest Creatrix is the upādāna of the Intellect, it must itself change in the process and hence it cannot be eternal in the sense of unchanging (avikṛta).

218. ghaṭādy api kulālādi-sāpekṣaṃ dṛśyate bhavet;
ato na tat pṛthivy-ādi-pariṇāma-samudbhavam.

It is also seen that a jar, etc., requires a potter, etc. Therefore it is not possible that it is produced from a transformation of earth, etc.,.

P. Also we get a jar, etc., by producing it with the help of a potter, etc. So regarding these one cannot say that the sole cause [108] of them is the transformation of earth, etc.

One of the offshoots of the Sāṃkhya theory of causality is that it restricts the concept of cause (kāraṇa) solely to the material cause (upādāna), considering all other causes as auxiliary appliances (kārakāṇi) and granting them only a minor role. Matter is, in fact, the same in the cause and the effect. That is why causality is simply a process of transformation of the guṇas (guṇa-pariṇāma) inherent in the Creatrix.[109] What is the role of the efficient cause (nimitta-kāraṇa) or the agency in this matter (the weaver and the loom in case of a cloth, God (īśvara) in case of the Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika theory of creation)?[110] The Puruṣa is not - not as a unity and not as a plurality - the efficient cause of the universe or of products in general. The Puruṣa is merely a 'spectator'[111] or a 'knower' (jña).

219. tatrāpi dehaḥ kartā cen naivāsāv ātmanaḥ pṛthak;
pṛthag eveti ced bhoga ātmano yujyate katham?

If one argues that the body is also an agent in this case, this is not at all separate from the Soul. If one argues that it is indeed separate, how can the Soul possibly have experience?

P. One can also argue that the body of the potter, etc., is the creator of the jar, etc., not Soul. Our answer to this is that the body is not separate from the Soul. That is why, according to the scholars in question, the Soul is completely pervading.[112] If one argues that the body is really separate from the Soul, our question will be: How can the Soul be an agent of experience?[113] That is the reason why the Soul can become an agent of experience only with the help of a body.

If the individual puruṣa or ātman cannot be a cause because it is inactive, what then about the body? According to the Sāṃkhya each sentient being is linked to a puruṣa that is limitless and not restricted to the physical body. The Jaina objection is that the individual Soul cannot exceed the limits of the body. According to the Jainas the Soul (jīva) of non-liberated sentient beings has the same size as the body.[114] Next, in Sāṃkhya the individual puruṣa possesses a 'witnesshood' (puruṣasya sākṣitvam);[115] it witnesses the Intellect, etc. According to Sāṃkhya the puruṣa is also an experiencer (bhoktṛ).[116] But this is incompatible with its being a non-agent (akartṛ). The Sāṃkhya also states that the body - or any matter that is made up of the three guṇas - and the Soul are absolutely different.[117] How then can it be an 'experiencer'? Arguably, the Sāṃkhya means that theSoul is a passive reflector of the experiences of the mind-body complex just as the unconscious mind is a reflector of the consciousness of the Soul.

220. deha-bhogena naivāsya bhāvato bhoga iṣyate;
pratibimbodayāt kintu yathoktaṃ pūrva-sūribhiḥ.

Since it is the body that experiences, it is, consequently, not accepted that it is the that experiences since it is only the appearance of a reflection. Accordingly early sages have said: …

P. The following answer can be given. Since it is the body that incites experience, the agency of experience does not really lie in the Soul but falls like a shade.[118] Accordingly ancient sages have said: …

221. "puruṣo 'vikṛtātmaiva sva-nirbhāsam acetanam;
manaḥ karoti sānnidhyād upādhiḥ sphaṭikaṃ yathā.

222. vibhaktedṛk-pariṇatau buddhau bhogo 'sya kathyate;
pratibimbodayaḥ svacche yathā candramaso 'mbhasi."

The Soul has a changeless essence. It causes the unconscious mind to reflect by its presence. is a fill in like a crystal. The Intellect is developed in such a way that it is different. One says that it experiences like the reflection, etc., of the moon in clear water.

P. The Soul has an essence that is, by itself, changeless[119] and mirrors itself as it were in the unconscious mind, that is, makes it as if conscious[120] in the same way as a colored object placed beside a crystal mirrors itself in the crystal, viz. as colored. When the Intellect or the mind,[121] that is separate[122] from the Soul, obtains another form in this manner we readily say that the Soul is the subject of that experience. To argue in this manner is the same as you would consider the reflection of the moon falling on clear water, or the actions of this reflection as the actions of the moon. To this we state the following: …

According to Sāṃkhya there is a difference between consciousness and experience. Only 'the seat of thought and feeling' (antaḥkaraṇa, the inner mental apparatus, consisting of manas, ahamkāra, and buddhi) is the device for experience, not the Soul.[123] The Soul is pure consciousness that reflects or mirrors itself in buddhi or manas and makes it appear as if it is a conscious receptor of experience.[124]

223. pratibimbodayo 'py asya nāmūrtatvena yujyate;
muktair atiprasaṃgāc ca na vai bhogaḥ kadācana.

The appearance of the reflection of this is also not correct because is immaterial and because this leads to an unwarrantable conclusion.

P. The matter of the falling of the reflection of the Soul on the Intellect is not reasonable. The reason is that the Soul is an immaterial and incorporeal principle,[125] whereas the capacity to throw its own reflection on a mirror[126] is possible only in case of a corporeal substance. Secondly, if the reflection of a worldly Soul can fall on the Intellect, it must likewise fall of liberated selves. The point of all this is that according to the scholars mentioned the Soul can never become an experiencer. Otherwise it must stay an agent of experience in the state of Liberation also.

The Soul is immaterial and incorporeal. It is not an object.[127] So the comparison with an object reflecting itself in a mirror, in this case Buddhi or the Intellect, does not hold. The use of the simile of the reflection on a mirror is not fortuitous. Other examples are colored light reflected in a crystal, or the moon reflected in clear water. The purity or clearness of the Intellect is due to its high sāttvic character which is responsible for the capacity of the lucent reflection of the consciousness of the Puruṣa. There is a second objection. The Soul is not an 'active' agent of experience. It is only a reflector of experience. If it would be an active agent of experience in worldly souls it must remain so in case of liberated souls.

224. na ca pūrva-svabhāvatvāt sa muktānām asaṃgataḥ;
svabhavāntara-bhāve ca pariṇāmo 'nivāritaḥ.

And this is not unreasonable because of the earlier state of liberated. And when acquires another disposition, the change is inevitable.

P. Because according to the scholars mentioned liberated Selves possess a special disposition[128] in worldly state so that their reflections are falling on the Intellect and, consequently, in this manner they are agents of experience. That is why our objection that according to these the liberated Selves must possess this same special disposition in the state of Liberation is not unreasonable. So their reflection falls on the Intellect and they must, consequently, be agents of experience. If they argue that in liberated Selves such a new disposition arises that they did not have in worldly state, the scholars mentioned are obliged to accept that the Soul is such a principle wherein workings of transformation of form are usually active.[129]

225. dehāt pṛthaktva evāsya na ca hiṃsādayaḥ kvacit;
tad-abhāve 'nimittatvāt kathaṃ bandhaḥ śubhāśubhaḥ.

And if this is separate from the body, not injury, etc., at all. However, if this does not exist, how can there be bondage karma>, pure and impure. For, there is no material cause.

P. If the Soul is strictly separate from the body, injury, etc., ought never to be possible because then one can say that injury, etc., are actions that affect the body, not the Soul. And if injury, etc., does not exist, how then can the pure and impure bondage of karma be possible since in that case the instrumental cause[130] of bondage of karma will not exist.

Ṭ. The intention of Haribhadra is that the instrumental causes of the bondage of karma are injury, etc.

According to the Sāṃkhya karma does not affect the Soul. It affects the subtle body (sūkṣma-śarīra) composed of the antaḥkaraṇa, the five tanmātras, the five organs of action, and the five organs of perception. It is this subtle body that transmigrates, not the Soul.[131]

226. bandhādṛte na saṃsāro muktir vā'syopapadhyate;
yamādi tad-abhāve ca sarvam eva hy apārthakam.

When bondage is not acceded, neither the cycle of rebirth nor Liberation is justified, and when these do not exist, restraint, etc., all senseless.

P. Without the bondage of karma it is impossible for a Soul to be absorbed in the cycle of rebirth,[132] nor can Liberation be attained. And when there is no Liberation all good activities in conformity to that,[133] viz. restraint, etc. - that are supposed to lead to Liberation - will be poorly established.

Ṭ. With the expression 'restraint, etc.' are meant the eight good activities in conformity to what the Sāṃkhya-Yoga tradition calls the 'constituents of yoga.'[134] The eight constituents of yoga are: restraint, limitation, posture, breath-control, withdrawal of the senses, concentration, meditation, and contemplation.[135]

227. ātmā na badhyate nāpi mucyate 'sau kadācana;
badhyate mucyate cāpi prakṛti svātmaneti cet.

If one argues that it is the Creatrix itself that is bound and liberated, this Soul is never bound nor liberated.

P. One can argue that there is neither bondage nor Liberation of the Soul, but that the Creatrix is sometimes spontaneously involved[136] in bondage, sometimes in Liberation. To this we answer the following: …

In Sāṃkhya it is not the Soul that is bound or liberated. The Soul is eternally unbound. So it does not need to be liberated. It is the Creatrix in the form of the Intellect, Egoity, etc., that makes the Soul appear as bound.[137]

228. ekāntenaika-rūpāyā nityāyāś ca na sarvathā;
tasyāḥ kriyāntarābhāvād bandha-mokṣau tu yuktitaḥ.

Since this is always absolutely uniform and eternal, the bondage and Liberation of it have no justification since it cannot act in any way.

P. When the Creatrix is always unchangeable and eternal, the causation of the one activity in lieu of the second activity is not possible, and in this manner to talk about the Liberation and bondage of the Creatrix is not relevant at all.

229. mokṣaḥ prakṛty-ayogo yad ato 'syāḥ sa kathaṃ bhavet;
svarūpa-vigamāpattes tathā tantra-virodhataḥ.

Liberation is the isolation from the Creatrix. How is this of this from that possible? For, this leads to the destruction of the essence. Besides, this stands in contradiction with doctrine.

P. Again, in the theory of the scholars mentioned, Liberation is the name of the breaking of the link and the Creatrix.[138] How can the Creatrix attain such a Liberation? For then the very essence of the Creatrix must be considered to be destroyed. Secondly, the hypothesis mentioned, viz. of the breaking of the bondage of the Creatrix from the Creatrix[139] is contradictory with the philosophy accepted by the scholars mentioned. In Classical Sāṃkhya the liṅga is the 'mark' of the transmigrating entity. This liṅga is the Creatrix consisting of the twenty-five tattvas from eternal consciousness down to the five organs of sense, five of activity (buddīndriya or jñānendriya, and karmendriya respectively) and the five subtle elements that are the objects of sense (tan-mātras).[140]

230. pañcaviṃśati-tattva-jño yatra tatrāśrame rataḥ;
jaṭī muṇḍī śikhī vā'pi mucyate nātra saṃśayaḥ.

231. puruṣasyoditā muktir iti tantre cirantanaiḥ;
itthaṃ na ghaṭate ceyam iti sarvam ayuktimat.

The one who knows the twenty-five principles is liberated - no doubt about that! - abiding wherever, in an āśrama, as an ascetic, a shaven-headed or a Brahmin. In works the ancients have said that Liberation is produced for the Soul. In this manner this cannot take place. So all is unreasonable.

P. The ancient teachers recognized by the scholars mentioned have said in their texts: "The one who has knowledge of the twenty-five principles attains Liberation; there is no doubt about that. And, if desired, this person can live in a āśrama, if desired as an ascetic, [141] if desired as a shaven-headed, [142] and, if desired, as a Brahmin."[143] In this manner these teachers were convinced that it was the Soul only that attained Liberation. But when the argumentation of the scholars mentioned is accepted, the attainment of Liberation of the Soul seems impossible. Hence it is established that everything these have said in this connection is unreasonable.

Ṭ. The twenty-five principles indicated were already enumerated earlier in the Kārikā mentioned and they are as follows: (1) the Creatrix, (2) the Intellect, (3) Egoity, (4-14) the eleven senses, (15-19) the five subtle elements, (20-24) the five gross elements, and (25) the Soul.

232. atrāpi puruṣasyānye muktim icchanti vādinaḥ;
prakṛtiṃ cāpi sannyāyāt karma-prakṛtim eva ca.

In this connection also other scholars accept that the Soul Liberation, and also that according to sound logic the Creatrix is identical to karmic matter.

P. Also in this connection some other scholars think that it is the Soul that attains Liberation and, reasoning correctly,[144] they argue that the Creatrix is another name for karmic matter.

Ṭ. The scholars indicated in the Kārikā mentioned are Jaina philosophers because they accept such a principle under the name of karmic matter or karma that is the root cause[145] of the bondage of the Soul. In equal manner the Creatrix of the Sāṃkhya philosophers is such a principle that is the root cause of the bondage of the Soul. But there is also a major difference between the karmic matter of the Jaina philosophers and the Creatrix of the Sāṃkhya philosophers that should be kept in mind. As we have already seen, according to the Sāṃkhya system the whole inanimate world, the twentythree principles starting from the Intellect up to the five gross elements, is only a transformation[146] of the Creatrix. Contrary to that, the karmic matter[147] of the Jaina system is only a part of the inanimate or material world,[148] which means that according to the Jaina system one cannot say that the whole inanimate world is but a transformation of karmic matter.

233. tasyāś cāneka-rūpatvāt pariṇāmitva-yogataḥ;
ātmano bandhanatvāc ca nokta-doṣa-samudbhavam.

Since this is multiform, since it has the nature to transform, and since it has the nature to bind the Soul, the flaws mentioned do not arise.

P. Since this karmic matter is of numerous sorts, [149] since therein the process of transformation is active, since the binding of the Soul by that is possible, therefore in the thought brought forward there is no scope for the flaws that were pointed out in the thought described earlier.

234. nāmūrtaṃ murtatāṃ yāti mūrtaṃ na yāty amūrtatām;
yato bandhād yato nyāyād ātmano 'saṃgataṃ tayā.

something incorporeal does not turn into something corporeal, something corporeal does not turn into something incorporeal. For this reason it is irrational that the Soul is bound by this.

P. might object that since a material object cannot become immaterial and since an immaterial object cannot become material, it is not reasonable to say that the binding, etc., of the Soul is realized by karmic matter. To this our answer is: …

235. deha-sparśādi-saṃvittyā na yāty evety ayuktimat.[150]
anyonya-vyāpti-jā ceyam iti bandhādi saṃgatam.

Because the body has the feeling of touch, etc., it is not reasonable to say that does not merge. And this is produced by the mutual concomitance. Hence the binding, etc., is justified.

P. The presence in the Soul of the eventual experience[151] of touch, etc., of the body is established in such a manner that to say that a corporeal object cannot become material is unreasonable. The cause of the experience mentioned is the close mutual relationship[152] of the Soul and the body. Therefore it is also established that the binding, etc., of the Soul with karmic matter is a theory that is in accordance with reason.

Ṭ. The intention of Haribhadra is that, when the body touches objects of different sorts the Soul situated in this body starts to have experiences of different sorts, consisting of pleasure or pain. The following consequence is drawn from this, viz. That there is a close relationship between the body and the Soul contained in that body. With the help of this example relating to experience Haribhadra wants to establish that such a close relationship between a conscious Soul and inanimate karma[153] can exist that the Soul can be thrown into the bondage of the cycle of rebirth.

236. mūrtayā'py ātmano yogo ghaṭate nabhaso yathā;
upaghātādi-bhāvaś ca jñānasyeva surādinā.

The connection between the Soul and material is also possible of the atmosphere, and also of the weakening, etc., of consciousness by liquor.

P. The connection of the immaterial Soul with matter, viz. karmic matter, is also possible in this manner, viz. just as it is of immaterial space[154] with a material jar. And in this manner the weakening,[155] etc., in the Soul as a result of the binding of karmic matter is possible just as drinking liquor, etc., weakens consciousness.

Ṭ. In order to establish the possibility of the connection between the Soul and karma, Haribhadra places two different examples before us in the verse in question, the example of the connection between a material jar and immaterial space[156] and the second, the example of the weakening of consciousness resulting from the subtle mental processes that follow from gross corporeal processes the drinking of liquor. Among them the first example will make us understand that - as Haribhadra sees it - a jar is a material substance while space an immaterial substance in the same manner that according to him karma is a material substance while the Soul is an immaterial substance. And the second example brought forward will mainly make us understand in that manner the example of the 'experience of the Soul produced by contact with the body' of that the latter verse.

237. evaṃ prakṛti-vādo 'pi vijñeyaḥ satya eva hi;
kapiloktatvataś caiva divyo hi sa mahā-muniḥ.

Thus also the doctrine of the Creatrix should be considered to be true indeed and because it is taught by Kapila he is really a divine great sage.

P. For these reasons the doctrine of the Creatrix should also be considered a legitimate doctrine, also because Kapila - a great and divine sage - proposed this doctrine.

In order to understand Haribhadra Sūri's appraisal of the Sāṃkhya doctrines we can point to the parallels between the Sāṃkhya and Jaina systems. Both teach a multiplex dualism: they postulate two distinct realities and, besides, a radical difference between a plurality of Selves, the puruṣas and jīvas. In both systems the Selves acquire karmic bodies[157] and they strive for ultimate kaivalya or kevala, Perfect Isolation or Liberation. Moreover, the Jainas also use of the word prakṛti for karma.[158]


Basic tenets of the Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika as regards God (Īśvara) and objections:

1 God is an agent/creator (kartā),

1.1 because He incites all activity of living being with His
1.1.1 inconceivable power of intelligence, and
1.1.2 eternal purity.

2 God is the Lord of the universe with His unimpeded and naturally acquired

2.1 desirelessness,
2.2 masterfulness, and
2.3 virtue.

3 The ignorant mortal has no control over his destiny; God drives mortals toward heaven or hell.

(Implied in Objection 3, verse 201)

Objection 1: If all beings act on their own accord, why 1.1?

Objection 2: Actions of living beings are effective as well as ineffective.

If non-effective, why 1.1 < and 3>?

If effective and unconfined, the belief in God is a matter of faith only, but nothing to be set aside (Verse 202).

Objection 3: If God is a being that has accomplished everything (kṛta-kṛtya) and has no desires (cf. 2.1), why 4?

Objection 4: If 3, God cannot be a being that has accomplished everything.

God as an agent defined otherwise:

1 A Supreme Soul, a person 'standing at the threshold of Final Emancipation,' can be called a God.

2 This Supreme Soul is an agent of bondage, of the cycle of rebirth and of Final Emancipation as well, in the sense that He is a model that incites other living beings to follow his path.

Basic tenets of Sāṃkhya and objections:

1 All originates from the Creatrix (prakṛti) by degrees, as effects: the Intellect, Egoity, the senses the rudimentary elements, and the collection of gross elements.

2 Every object is produced from the transformation of earth, etc. only.

Objection: Some say that this is a matter of faith only.

3 Nothing is produced by the Soul (puruṣa).

4 The Creatrix is eternal.

Objection: If the Creatrix is eternal (meaning, having an unchangeable essence), then no evolution is possible.

5 It is the essence of the Creatrix to produce the evolutes.

Objection: Then why does it not produce the evolutes always and only now and then.

Answer: It is the essence of the Creatrix to produce the evolutes only accidentally.

Objection: In that case the Creatrix does not have a stable essence.

6 Objection: Production presumes a material cause. A material cause is not eternal. The Creatrix is the material cause of the evolutes. Hence the Creatrix cannot be absolutely eternal.

7 Objection: The production of ordinary objects requires an efficient cause. So, the production of things cannot simply be a transformation of state (see 2).

8 The body is the efficient cause, not the Soul which is essentially a non-agent.
Objection: The body is not separate from the Soul. If it would, the soul cannot be an agent of experience.

9 The body is the agent of experience. Its experience falls on the inactive Soul as a reflection.

10 On the other hand, the Soul's consciousness reflects itself in the mind, the Intellect, etc.

Objection: The argument of the Soul reflecting itself in the Intellect, etc., is not correct because the Soul is immaterial.

11 The Soul is separate from the body.

Objection: In that case the Soul cannot suffer. If the soul cannot suffer, no bondage of karma is possible. Then neither the cycle of rebirth nor final emancipation are possible. In that case all activities related to both are senseless.

12 It is the Creatrix in the form of the Intellect, Egoity, etc., that is bound and liberated, not the Soul.

Objection: The Creatrix is said to be uniform and eternal, meaning unchangeable. In that case neither bondage nor liberation is possible.

13 Liberation is the isolation of the Soul from the Creatrix.

Objection: In that case the essence of the Creatrix would be destroyed. The ancients have declared that it is the Soul that is liberated. This is impossible in Sāṃkhya and hence unreasonable.

Objection: The Jains argue that it is the soul that attains Liberation and that the Creatrix
is karma. Karma is multiform, transforms and binds the soul.

14 Something corporeal cannot turn into something incorporeal, and vice versa. So, one cannot say that the Soul is bound by karmic matter.

Objection: The body has feelings. This is the result of the interaction between the Soul and the body. In the same way the Soul acquires karma.

15 The Sāṃkhya doctrine of the Creatrix is true.


Ṭippaṇī by Dixit on the Śāstravārtāsamuccaya
NS Nyāyasūtra
NSBh Nyāyasūtrabhāṣya
P Paraphrase of Dixit of the Śāstravārtāsamuccaya
YS Yogasūtra
ŚVS Śāstravārtāsamuccaya
ṢDS Ṣaḍdarśanasamuccaya
SK Sāṃkhyakārikā


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  1. Adharma
  2. Advaita
  3. Advaita Vedānta
  4. Bhāṣya
  5. Body
  6. Brahma
  7. Brahman
  8. Buddhi
  9. Citta
  10. Consciousness
  11. Contemplation
  12. Darśana
  13. Dharma
  14. Ether
  15. Gandha
  16. Gunas
  17. Guṇas
  18. Haribhadra
  19. Haribhadra Sūri
  20. Hemacandra
  21. Hyderabad
  22. International Journal of Jaina Studies
  23. JAINA
  24. Jacobi
  25. Jaina
  26. Jainism
  27. Jñāna
  28. Jīva
  29. Kam
  30. Karaṇa
  31. Karma
  32. Karmic matter
  33. Krishna
  34. Kriyā
  35. Kāla
  36. Loka
  37. Mahābhārata
  38. Manah
  39. Mīmāṃsā
  40. Nimitta
  41. Niyati
  42. Nyāya
  43. Omniscient
  44. Pariṇāma
  45. Prakriti
  46. Prakṛti
  47. Prameya
  48. Pudgala
  49. Puruṣa
  50. Rajas
  51. Rasa
  52. Sankhya
  53. Sanskrit
  54. Satkāryavāda
  55. Sattva
  56. Smṛti
  57. Soul
  58. Space
  59. Svabhāva
  60. Syād
  61. Syāt
  62. Sāṃkhya
  63. Sūtra
  64. Tamas
  65. Tattva
  66. Upādāna
  67. Vaiśeṣika
  68. Yoga
  69. samādhi
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