Buddhism and the Sankhya Philosophy

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Buddhism and the Sankhya Philosophy  (1871) 
by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay

First published anonymously in the Calcutta Review, No. 106, 1871. Here taken from Bankim Rachanavali (1960), compilation of the author's English works, edited by Jogesh Chandra Bagal. Source: Digital Library of India.


  1. A Lecture on Hindu Philosophy. By Babu Rajkrishna Mukarjya, M.A. Calcutta. 1870.
  2. Sankhya Aphorisms of Kapila. By J. R. Ballantyne, LL.D. Calcutta. 1865.
  3. Chips from a German Workshop. By Max Müller, M.A. Vol. I. London. 1867.
  4. Le Bouddha et sa Religion. Par J. Barthélemy St. Hilaire, Membre de l'Institut. Paris. 1860.

M. Barthélemy St. Hilaire, and other writers on Buddhism, have endeavoured to show that the metaphysical doctrines of Buddha were borrowed from the earlier systems of Brahmanical philosophy, and in particular from the Sánkhya. This opinion has been rejected by no less an authority than Professor Max Müller; who, while admitting that any relation that can be established between the Sánkhya and the Buddhistic philosophy would be invaluable in determining the real chronology of the philosophical literature of India, doubts that any such relation exists.[1] Its existence is indeed of such importance to the student of Indian history, and it has been called in question by so high an authority, that we make no apology for entering into an enquiry as to the reality and nature of this relation between the two systems.

Before we proceed to discuss any community of doctrines between a system of philosophy and a system of theology, it may be well to remind the general reader of the constant association which obtains in India between theological beliefs and philosophical speculations. Professor Max Müller himself, than whom no one can be more competent to pronounce on the question, doubts whether the founder of the Buddhist religion cared much about philosophical speculations.[2] But in India the relation between theology and philosophy has always been peculiar. In other countries, popular systems of religious belief have rarely borrowed their theological tenets from the abstruse teachings of philosophers; but in India religious dogmas have produced systems of philosophy, and systems of philosophy have in their turn given birth to religious dogmas. There was scarcely a single system of religious doctrine in India, which had not its cognate system of speculative philosophy attached to it; nor many systems of philosophy which did not form the source of the religious doctrines of particular sects. The special mission of the Mímánsá philosophy was to explain the Vedas; the special object of the Vedánta to elaborate the Pantheistic conception of the Deity to be found in them. The eclecticism of the Bhagavadgítá modifies largely, even to this day, the religious convictions of the more educated classes of orthodox Hindus. The teaching of Chaitanya was the ultimate product of an union between the Vaishnavism of Rámánuja and Sándilya's doctrine of faith. Who shall say that Tantrikism itself is not the result of an alliance between the Pauranic religion on the one hand, and of the Mysticism of the Yoga philosophy and the sensualism of Chárváka on the other?

The Sánkhya, like most other systems of Indian philosophy, has its own theology and its own cosmogony. And the Sánkhya philosophy illustrates in a special manner the disastrous consequences of this mutual affiliation between religion and philosophy. Those consequences must in every case be, that philosophy moving within the narrow circles of orthodoxy, would develop into systems of error; and the errors of national and sectarian creeds, which would otherwise die out of their own rottenness, would receive strength and life from the subtle and illusory arguments of philosophy. This mischievous tendency of an alliance between religion and philosophy, was never so conspicuous as in the case of the Sánkhya. The Sánkhya is remarkably sceptical in its tendency; many antiquated or contemporaneous errors were swept away by its merciless logic. Carried to its legitimate consequences, a wise scepticism might have contributed to the lasting benefit of Hindu progress. And yet the Sánkhya is as great a mass of errors as any other branch of Hindu philosophy—even inferior, perhaps, to the Nyáya and Vaiseshika in intrinsic worth. This was the result of its uniform display of a tendency to support the authority of the Vedas. God himself could be denied, but not the authority of the Vedas. There is every reason to believe that this veneration for the Vedas was by no means a very sincere feeling with the sceptical philosopher; but whether that feeling was sincere or hollow, the authority of the Vedas appears to have set the limits beyond which thought was not allowed to range. Only in one instance, about to be mentioned, were even the Vedas set at nought; but Kapila could go no further.

That is what Sikyasinha did. He took the step from which Kapila had recoiled. He denied the authority of the Vedas; and with it, caste, sacrifice, superstition, priesthood—whatever in fact had flourished so gaily under the shadow of its greatness. His success was great.

The doctrines which have in particular been supposed to be common to the Sánkhya and to Buddhism are, the rejection of all belief in the existence of God, and emancipation by the cessation of pain—the mukti of the Sánkhya and the Nirvána of the Buddhists. There is no question about the atheism of the Buddhists, Professor Max Müller himself has contributed to settle that point. But the atheism of the Sánkhya is still an open question. We make no apology, therefore, for dwelling at some length on the Sánkhya doctrines about the existence of God.

It is probably generally known that the name Sánkhya is given to two cognate systems of philosophy, to the Yoga system of Patanjali as well as to the system attributed to Kapila. The latter is the Sánkhya properly so called, and it is of the latter alone that we speak. Kapila's system is generally known as Niríswara, or "atheistic", and is thus distinguished from the Seswara Sánkhya of Patanjali. But the atheism of Kapila's Sánkhya has been doubted not by Professor Max Müller alone, but by other scholars of eminence, Hindu as well as European. Among the former may be mentioned Udayana Áchárya, the author of Kusumánjali, who describes the Sánkhya philosophers as worshippers of the Ádi vidván, (First Wise).[3] Among the latter may be mentioned (in addition to Professor Max Müller) Dr. F. E. Hall, who, like him, takes up the cause of Sánkhya Theism against Colebrooke and M. Barthélemy St. Hilaire.[4]

A third class of critics is represented by Vijnána Bhikshu; who, himself an eminent Sánkhya philosopher, and the commentator on the Sánkhya Pravachana, holds that Kapila by merely denying that the existence of God can be proved, never intended actually to deny that existence itself.[5] Iswara Krishna, one of the most eminent names in Sánkhya philosophy, is wholly silent on the subject of the existence of God.

There are grounds for this diversity of opinion; and in order to show what the Sánkhya conception of Iswara really was, we proceed to analyse the opinions of the Sánkhya Pravachana on the subject. The Sánkhya Pravachana alone, and not any later work, can throw any light on the original conception, which appears to have been gradually overshadowed by the Pauranic element in the belief of Kapila's followers.[6]

The Aphorisms broadly assert that the existence of God cannot be proved.[7] Thereupon Max Müller remarks, "Kapila is accused of denying the existence of Iswara, which in general means the 'Lord', but which in the passage where it occurs, refers to the Iswara of the Yogins, or mystic philosophers. They maintained that in an ecstatic state man possesses the power of seeing God face to face, and they wished to have this ecstatic intuition included under the head of sensuous perceptions. To this Kapila demurred, 'you have not proved the existence of your Lord, and therefore I see no reason why I should alter my definition of sensuous perceptions in order to accommodate your ecstatic visions.'"[8]

Now it is not correct to say that Kapila's celebrated Aphorism refer to the Iswara of the Yogins, as distinguished from the God of other sects or systems. The two preceding Aphorisms do indeed refer to the perceptions of the Yogins, as distinguished from ordinary perception, but there is no reference whatever anywhere to the Yoga conception of Iswara as distinguished from ordinary conceptions of him. Kapila defines perception to be "the knowledge which portrays the form of that which is in conjunction" or as Dr. Ballantyne rather incorrectly translates it, "that discernment which being in conjunction, portrays the form."[9] Now, it was evident that the Yogins might cavil at this definition as imperfect, for it did not embrace their mystic perceptions. Objects not in conjunction with the organs of perception were, it was supposed, perceived by them. Accordingly in the next Aphorism he defends his definition, on the ground that the mystic perception was not an external perception (abájhyam), and that therefore his definition could not be expected to apply to it; and in the next succeeding Aphorism he takes another view, and contends that his definition may be so interpreted as even to include the internal perception. It will be seen that Kapila accepts the reality of the Mystics' internal perceptions, and so far was he from implying that "he saw no reason why he should alter his definition to accommodate their ecstatic visions", he was actually at great pains to do so.[10] And his definition with the restriction in Aphorism 90, and the interpretation in Aphorism 91, stood in no need of a denial of a Lord if his existence was believed in. Direct perception of him by the Mystic would be an internal cognition (abájhyam), and therefore not intended to be included in the definition. Or if you insist on internal perception being included within the definition, you have only to understand "conjunction" in the sense given to it in Aphorism 91, and the Yogins' perception of the Lord would be found included. If Kapila had intended to evade the objection founded on mystical perception, he would have said that he would not alter his definition, not because the existence of the Mystic's Lord was not proved, but because the reality of the Mystic's perception was not proved. Admitting due perception, he gains nothing by denying only one of its objects.

But the fact is, that it is neither to the Yogins' Iswara, nor to the Yogins' perception, that the passage in which the denial of God occurs, (92 Book I) has any reference. It refers to Iswara's own perceptions. As, according to the definition, perception results from conjunction of object with sense, the definition cannot by any stretch of meaning be held to apply to perception by God himself; as, supposing him to exist, his perceptions must be from eternity, and what exists from eternity cannot be the result of any conjunction. This is the objection which Kapila anticipates by denying the existence of God in general, without any reference to the Yogins' Iswara, or to any special conception of the divine nature. We should have certainly hesitated to charge Professor Max Müller with a mistake of this nature, had we not on our side an authority certainly able to hold his own against the Professor on matters relating to Sánkhya philosophy. We mean Vijnána Bhikshu, whose Bhásya on the Aphorism doubtless settles the point.[11]

Granted, however, that this particular passage has reference to the Iswara of the Yogins—how are the Aphorisms 2-12 in Book V. to be accounted for? In these Kapila, or whoever else was the author of the Aphorisms, proceeds to show that the supposition of a God is philosophically unnecessary; that to postulate a Creator and a Moral Governor of the Universe would be to postulate an absurdity; and that you cannot prove His existence in any way. Then he actually proceeds to prove his non-existence. In these passages there is not the slightest allusion from which it can be inferred that they have any special reference to the Iswara of the Yogins. The arguments used here as well as in 93-95 Bk. I., have no special application to the Yoga conception; and have the same force, if they have any force at all, against every theistic conception known in India. We must make good what we say by reproducing here the arguments themselves.

The existence of God, he says "is not established, because there is no proof of it"—pramánábhávát na tat siddhi (10, Bk. V). "It cannot be inferred, because there is no Relation."—Sambandhábhávát nánumánam (11, Bk. V). According to the Srutis, Nature creates; Srutirapi Pradhánakáryatwasya (12, Bk. V).

In this condensed aphoristic form, these arguments will not be intelligible here. Developed into their proper length, they are as follows:—The Sánkhya admits three kinds of evidence or instruments of knowledge, viz., Perception, Inference, and the Testimony of the Vedas. Direct perception of God, of course there is none. Inference fails, as an inference can be made only where an invariable relation has been established; but no invariable relation between a God and anything else from which you can infer His existence has ever been established. Lastly, the Vedas themselves assert that creation proceeds from nature, and do not therefore countenance the supposition of a God.

This, it may be said, is simply denying that the existence of a God can be proved, and does not amount to denying that God exists. This is what in effect both Max Müller and Vijnána Bhikshu say—Max Müller quotes Vijnána Bhikshu on the point. "The Commentator," he says, "narrates that this strong language was used by Kapila in order to silence the wild talk of the Mystics, and that though he taunted his adversaries with having failed to prove the existence of their Lord, he himself did not deny the existence of a Supreme Being."[12] This, however, is not exactly what Vijnána Bhikshu says—the idea of the Aphorism being meant to taunt opponents with having failed to prove the existence of their Lord, is Max Müller's, not Vijnána Bhikshu's. This is what the latter says—"But observe that this demurring to there being any Lord, is merely in accordance with the arrogant doctrine of certain partisans who held an opinion not recognised by the majority; therefore it is to be understood, the expression employed is, because it is not proved that there is a Lord, but not the expression that there is no Lord."[13]

This is intelligible in Vijnána Bhikshu, who is a Pauránic, and who has spared no pains to make the Sánkhya philosophy serve as a foundation for Pauránic mythology.[14] The very same thing was once said of Comte by one of his followers. But we submit that the denial of the fact that there exists proof of any particular essence, amounts in every way, for all philosophical purposes, to a denial of the existence of that essence.

For, except in the case of impossible conceptions, as that of a round square, the denial of the existence of the proof is the utmost that can be urged by a philosopher against any conception which is rejected. There is nothing more which can be said against the wildest conceptions ever hatched by the human brain. You can say nothing more, if you wish to be logically correct, against the most extravagant conceptions of the Hindu mythology. The whole world united cannot advance any philosophical argument (we do not speak of theological arguments) against the existence of such a fabulous Being as Indra, or Vishnu, which is not ultimately resolvable into a negation of proof. But is that a reason for maintaining that the whole world has an orthodox belief in the existence of Indra or Vishnu? Indeed, on this view of the case, there has never been an atheistic system in the world; for no system, not even the Chárvákas whose atheism probably neither Vijnána Bhikshu nor Professor Max Müller would deny, ever went further than to assert that the existence of God cannot be proved.[15]

If ever any philosophical system ventured further than this, that system was the Sánkhya. It not only denies that the existence of God can be proved, but asserts that he can not exist; that the conception of God as Creator) is an impossible conception. (Aphorisms 93 and 94, Book I). The arguments in these two Aphorisms are thus paraphrased by Professor Max Müller himself. Iswara, "is either absolute and unconditioned (mukta), or he is bound and conditioned (baddha). If he is absolute and unconditioned, he cannot enter into the condition of Creator; he would have no desires which could instigate him to create. If, on the contrary, he is represented as active, and entering on the work of creation, he would no longer be the absolute and unchangeable Being which we are asked to believe in."[16] Max Müller holds that Kapila argues thus in regard to the "Supreme Lord of the Mystics". But neither text nor commentaries furnish the slightest reason for supposing that the argument is not directed against the conception of Iswara in general; nor is there anything in the naturte of the argument itself to authorise such a restricted interpretation of its applicability. It can certainly be predicated of God as conceived by any believer in the world that he must be either bound or not bound, either conditioned or not conditioned. If so, why should we consider the argument as directed against the conception of a single sect only, when there is nothing in the text to authorise our doing so ? And why should Kapila have used arguments of general applicability, if he wished to demolish the conceptions of a particular sect only?

Having thus disposed of the supposition of a God as Creator, the Sánkhya philosopher proceeds to disprove the existence of God as a Moral Governor (Aphorisms 2 and 3, Book V). The argument fully developed, runs thus:—You assume a Moral Governor, only because men's actions must be rewarded or punished. You see men rewarded or punished for their actions, and you suppose that there is a God who rewards oi punishes. You must admit that he can punish or reward only either according to the merit of the actions, or not according to the merit of the actions. If you suppose Him to reward and punish according to the acts, why can you not presume the acts themselves to be the cause of the reward and punishment which you see? There is no purpose which the supposition of a God as cause of rewards and punishments would answer, and which the supposition of acts as such a cause in themselves cannot answer. In supposing a Moral Governor, you therefore make an unnecessary supposition, which is a philosophical error. But if, on the other hand, you suppose that God does not punish according to desert, your God is an unjust Being, and therefore a selfish Being. He is a selfish Being, because a Governor who is not just, does not govern for the benefit of the governed; and a Governor, who does not govern for the benefit of the governed, must govern for his own benefit. And more in the same strain.

Having thus not only denied that God exists, but denied that he can exist, it remained for the atheistic philosopher to reconcile this heterodox doctrine with his orthodox belief in the Scriptures. This he does with surprising audacity. It has been seen that he goes to the length of asserting that there is no text in the Vedic Scriptures inculcating the existence of a God, (V. 12). Nothing could be more audacious, as there is scarcely anything in the Vedas which is more strongly or more frequently inculcated. These texts must therefore be explained away, or Atheism given up; and Kapila adopts the former alternative. He explains away the texts by saying, that those which make mention of a God are either glorifications of the liberated soul, or homages to popular gods.

Professor Max Müller lays indeed great stress on this orthodox main­tenance of the authority of the Vedas. "Kapila," he says, "like the preacher of our own days,[17] was accused of Atheism, but his philosophy was nevertheless admitted as orthodox, because in addition to sensuous perception and inductive reasoning, Kapila professed emphatically his belief in Revelation, i.e., in the Veda, and allowed to it a place among the recognised instruments of knowledge". Kapila was admitted to be orthodox, because orthodoxy among the Hindus consisted in maintaining the authority of the Vedas, apart from all belief in God, or in the Vedic gods. Belief in God did not necessarily follow from such an orthodoxy, as Kapila himself contends.[18] But we admit that this veneration for the Vedas is a most curious feature in the Sánkhya philosophy. It is perhaps the only system of belief known in the world which accepts a Revelation and rejects a God; and this orthodoxy, therefore, deserves a more detailed examination.

There is no question that the Sánkhya upholds the authority of the Vedas. It is frequently cited as conclusively settling disputed points. It is invoked to demolish even the belief in a God. Testimony seems to have been erected into an independent instrument of knowledge, distinct from inference, for no other visible reason than for maintaining intact the authority of the Vedas. Yet one may well feel inclined to doubt, whether all this veneration for the Vedas was sincere, at least whether it was so in the first teachers of the system. The authority of the Vedas is unhesitatingly appealed to whenever an opponent has to be silenced, or a favourite dogma to be established; and when texts are convenient for the purpose. When Vedic texts tell on the other side, they are explained away. Finally, the exposition to be found in the Aphorisms, of the grounds on which the Vedas are to be held infallible, is one of the most remarkable instances on record of the absurdities into which an acute and vigorous intellect is driven when forced to fight for an hypothesis which is seen by the advocate to be untenable. It is as follows:—

The Sánkhya denies that the Vedas are the work of a Divine author, for it denies the existence of a God.[19] It denies too that they are the work of any author, for this curious reason; if they had any author, he must be either emancipated or unemancipated. If emancipated, he would be without motive for the work; for he is free from all affections. If unemancipated, he would be wanting in the power and knowledge necessary for the production of such perfect works.[20] They are therefore nobody's work. If they are nobody's work, they must be self-existent and eternal, as no other supposition is possible. But even this is denied, because they themselves contain texts for their being productions.[21] Thus having very satisfactorily demonstrated that the Vedas are neither self-existent nor were called into existence by any one, the author quietly drops the matter, leaving his students to account in the best way they can for the existence of the Vedas. So acute a logician as the author of the Aphorisms could hardly have thought that he escaped the dilemma by saying that the knowledge of the Vedas is traditional. (43 Book V).

This criticism was undoubtedly eminently destructive of the very authority, the infallibility of which it was proposed to establish. Yet the critic doubtless felt that some reasons must be assigned for considering that as an authority which conclusively settles for him so many disputed points in his system. Accordingly he assigns a reason. He holds that the Vedas contain evidence of their own authority; it consists in the right knowledge they impart (51 Book V), thus leaving a door open for the utter rejection of the authority of the Vedas by any one who impeached the correctness of that knowledge.

Such are the theological doctrines of a system to which Buddhism stands, as M. Barthélemy St. Hilaire and others hold, in the obvious relation of offspring to parent. The real or pretended reverence for the Vedas, which the Sánkhya displayed, whilst mercilessly striking at the root of their authority, was cast off by the Buddhists who accepted the logic, but rejected the conclusion. But it may appear inexplicable, that, if the Atheism of the Sánkhya was so pronounced, so many profound scholars should fall into the mistake of accounting it a theistic philosophy. Whence did Udayana Áchárya get his Ádi vidván of the Sánkhya?—and why should so great an authority as Professor Max Müller take upon himself to say, that the Sánkhya, like all other systems of Brahmanical philosophy, "admits in some form or other the existence of an Absolute and Supreme Being, the source of all that exists or seems to exist?"[22] The answer will be found in Aphorisms 56 and 57, Book III. They are as follows:—

LVI. "Sa hi sarbabit, sarba-kartá." (He is All-wise and All-powerful).
LVII. "Idriseswara siddhih siddhá." (The existence of such a God is settled).

But in reality these Aphorisms do not admit the existence of a God. These two Aphorisms simply refer to the soul, absorbed into Nature. To understand this, a brief recapitulation of the leading doctrines of the Sánkhya philosophy is necessary.

The totality of all material existence, including the intellect and its products, is denominated by the Sánkhya, Nature or Prakriti. All that is not included in it, is Soul (Purusha). The association of Soul with Nature is the cause of evil. The cessation of pain or evil is the supreme end of the Soul. This is emancipation. This emancipation can be obtained only by learning to discriminate between Nature and Soul. Such discrimination can be arrived at only through knowledge. Any state of existence other than this emancipation through knowledge is to be shunned, as not precluding the recurrence of evil. Even the fabled bliss of heaven is not desirable, as decay and death follow there. Not even is absorption into the Final Cause (Nature) desirable, for there is emergence again out of it. But the Soul which emerges out of Nature, comes out "All-wise and All-powerful". If such a being can be called Iswara, the Sánkhya philosopher has no objection to such terminology. But he distinctly stipulates (Aphorism 5, Book V) that the concession is to be regarded as a verbal concession only. There is nothing from which an admission of the existence of an Eternal Being, a Creator and a Governor of the Universe, may be inferred. What is admitted is simply the first Soul emerging out of Nature, which has attained to Infinite Power and knowledge by its previous absorption into Nature, but which is nevertheless uncreative, itself reproduced by Nature, and subject to evil. Such is the Sánkhya conception of Iswara. Such a Being is of course not God, nor was ever intended to be recognised as God. Almost all systems of belief which recognise a God, recognise Him as an Eternal Being, the Creator and Ruler of the Universe. No such Being is recognised by the Sánkhya. We decline to withhold the charge of Atheism from any system which ignores a Creator and a Moral Governor, and concedes only a supreme man uncreating and quiescent, and himself a finite being.

Professor Max Müller asserts, as we have stated, that this Being is, according to the Sánkhya, "the source of all, or all that seems to exist."[23] What we have said will, we hope, be sufficient to convince the reader that the Sánkhya holds no such doctrine, and that according to it Nature is the source of all things. If not, we will put here a collection of Aphorisms, which are certainly very emphatic.

Bk. II. Aph. 5[24]. The character of Creator belongs really to Nature, and is fictitiously attributed to Soul.
Bk. II. Aph. 6[25]. This is proved by Nature's products.
Bk. II. 8[26]. Even though there be conjunction of Soul with Nature, this power of giving rise to products does not exist in the Soul, just like the burning action of iron.
Bk. I. 74[27]. Mediately, the First (Nature) is the cause of all products, like Atoms.
Bk. I. 75[28]. Only two (Nature and Soul) are antecedent to all products. Since Soul is not Creator, Nature must be.
Bk. I. 137[29]. Nature's products prove her.
Bk. V. 12[30]. There is Scripture for this world being the product of Nature.

Many more texts might be quoted, if that were necessary. To hold, therefore, that the Sánkhya attributes the origin of all things to an Absolute and Supreme Being, is, we think, an obvious error.

We have no room to discuss at length the relation of the Buddhistic doctrine of Nirvána to the Sánkhya doctrine of Emancipation. Max Müller himself admits that both doctrines emerge from the same starting point. "The complete cessation of three kinds of pain is the highest aim of man," is Kapila's first sutra. But "their roads are so far apart," Max Müller observes, "and their goals change so completely, that it is difficult to understand how, almost by common consent, Buddha is supposed either to have followed in the steps of Kapila, or to have changed Kapila's philosophy into religion." But no one ever thought of asserting a complete identity of doctrine in the two systems. Similarity is not identity, and is often compatible with very wide divergence. A great deal is gained if the same keen sense of the overwhelming burden of human misery, and the same yearning for its cessation as the supreme felicity of man, are found to form the backbone of both doctrines. Nor is the divergence so great as Professor Max Müller seems to think. The Sánkhya places the supreme felicity of man in the complete cessation of Experience.[31] Buddhism only goes a step beyond, and places it in the cessation, not only of all Experience, but of the Experiencer also. In reality there is no difference between these two doctrines; for the cessation of experience, including purely subjective experience, can proceed only from the annihilation of the Sentient Being whose nature is to experience. But we cannot credit these primitive thinkers with having arrived at this result, and we will allow that according to their ideas the difference was great. But whatever the difference, it was one only of degree, not of kind; and does not at all militate against the hypothesis that the one doctrine was derived from the other. So great is the affinity between the two, that the following exposition of the doctrine of Nirvána by Professor Max Müller himself, would accurately describe the Sánkhya doctrine of Emancipation, if only the word "experience" were substituted for "existence". In that substitution is the key to all the difference between the two.

"He [the Buddhist] starts from the idea that the highest object is to escape pain, life, in his eyes, is nothing but misery; birth the cause of all evil, from which even death cannot deliver him, because he believes in an eternal cycle of existence, or in transmigration. There is no deliverance from evil, except by breaking through the prison-walls, not only of life, but of existence, and by extirpating the last cause of existence."

We have said what we had to say regarding the existence of similarity between Buddhism and the Sánkhya philosophy. We regret our limits do not permit us to proceed to the examination of the question, whether the existence of this similarity between the two doctrines leads to the inference that Buddhism borrowed its philosophy from Kapila, or to the inference that Kapila based his philosophy on Buddhism. The discussion must be left for another occasion.

  1. Chips from a German Workshop, Vol. I, p. 220.
  2. Ibid., Vol I, p. 234.
  3. Kusumanjali, I, 3.
  4. Preface to Sánkhya Sára, note, pp. 1, 2.
  5. See his Commentary on Aphorism 92, Book I. Ballantyne's Translation, p. 36.
  6. Dr. Hall surmises that the Sánkhya Pravachana (the Aphorisms of Kapila) is a modern production, and is indebted to the Kárikás of Iswara Krishna (Preface to Sánkhya Sára, pp. 8 to 12). Among his reasons, one is that there is a great similarity between the Kárikás and the Aphorisms. Why is not that a reason for inferring that the Kárikás are indebted to the Aphorisms? There is at least tradition on this side, while there is nothing on the other.
  7. "Iswarasiddheh", Book I. 92.
  8. Chips from a German Workshop, Vol. I, p. 228.
  9. The Aphorism is as follows—"Yat sambaddham sat tadákárollekhi Vijnánamtat pratyaksham". (89, Book I.)
  10. The Aphorisms themselves contain a direct acknowledgment of the supernatural power of the Yogins. The 118th Aphorism of the fifth Book is devoted to its glorification.
  11. Ballantyne's Aphorisms of Kapila, p. 36.
  12. Chips from a German Workshop, Vol. I, p. 228. The use of the phrase "Supreme Being", in discussing the Atheism of the Sánkhya, is objectionable and leads to confusion. The Sánkhya admits a Supreme Being who, however, is not God, as we shall show.
  13. See Ballantyne's Aphorisms of Kapila, p. 36.
  14. Vide his Commentary on Aphorism 66 Book VI, Ballantyne's Aphorisms of Kapila, p. 173.
  15. We of course do not deny that people may assert that the existence of God cannot be proved on rational grounds, but may yet believe in Him through Revelation. But Kapila, we have seen, denies that even Revelation proves his existence.
  16. Chips from a German Workshop, Vol. I, p. 229.
  17. A well-known Bampton Lecturer.
  18. Vide supra; also Aphorism 95, Book I.
  19. 46 Book V.
  20. 47 book V.
  21. 45 Book V.
  22. Chips from a German Workshop, Vol. I, p. 228.
  23. Chips from a German Workshop, Vol. I, p. 228.
  24. Prakriti vástave cha purusha-sáddhyásasiddhi.
  25. Káryatastatsiddheh.
  26. Janyajoge api tatsiddhir nanjasyenáyodáhabat.
  27. Ádya hetutá tadwárá pálamparye apyanubat.
  28. Purva bhábitwe dwayoreka tara sya háne anyatarayoga.
  29. Tatkáryatastatsiddher nápalápa.
  30. Srutirapi pradhána káryatwasya.
  31. Of all experience, pleasurable as well as painful, for pleasure is variegated by pain; therefore the wise cast it into the scale and reckon it as so much pain.—8 Bk. VI.

This work was published before January 1, 1926, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.