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Chapter Twelve

The Pratyabhijna and the

Logical-Epistemological School of Buddhism

Raffaele Torella

Perhaps no other doctrines in the history of Indian thought

have made suc h a gen eral— overw helming and sub tl e— im pac t on
contemporary philosophical schools as those of Dignäga, Dharma-
kï rt i, a nd con ti n u ers— at l eas t one of wh om , D h arm ottara, deserves
to be m ention ed .1 And thi s was not confi ned o nl y to contem po rar y
on es, as t he w ork of t hese tw o m asters comp el led the opposi ng
schools to carry out a general task of revision and rethinking, that
w as al so t o bear fruit m uch later— thi nk for exam ple o f t he devel op
ment of the Navya Nyäya from the Nyäya, through Udayana.
N on e— M lmäm sakas, Naiyä yi kas, V edän ti ns, Jai na s— co ul d or
w anted to avoi d this chall en ge, for so i t app ears t o be from D h arm a-
k lr ti 's b it terl y hau gh ty to n e.2 T h e case of the P ratyabh ij nä school,
w hic h co nstit uted the h ighest poi nt of phil osophic al sel f-aw aren ess
re ached by non du al is ti c K ashm ir Saivism ,3 start ing from Som ânan da
(c. 875-925 a .D.), then especially Utpaladeva (c. 900-950 A.D.), and
later Abhinavagupta (c.950-1020 a .D.), is one of the most typical,
though perhaps one of the least investigated.4
Som ânand a defi nit el y k new D harm aklrt i's w ork s— at leas t one
verse of the PV is clearly recognizable in the Sivaiirsti 5— bu t it i s on ly
from Utpaladeva onward that the masters of Buddhist logic rise to
the rol e o f pri nci pal interlocu tors.6 T he y are opp on ents, of c ou rse,
but they are evoked so constantly and always with such profound
respect, part ic ularl y D h arm ak lrt i, 7 that the n ature o f t heir rel ation 
ship i s not im m ediatel y eviden t. M ore ov er, i t w as i nev it able t hat
a school that first established itself in tenth-eleventh century
Kashmir sooner or later should accept a confrontation with Bud
dhism, in a country where Saivism was deeply rooted, but that
also was impregnated with Buddhist culture. The Nllamatapuräna
and the Räjataranginl tell of Buddhism in Kashmir from very early
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ti m es8 and the C h ines e pil grims gi ve us detai le d in form ation on

the spre ad o f t he d if feren t Budd his t s chools. I n the com m en tari es
on the Éivasütra an echo rem ai ns of a cert ain a gg ressiveness that
Buddhist proselytism, around the ninth century, must have
assum ed.QFu rt herm ore, a s t he R âj atar an ginï (IV .5. 498) inform s us ,
o ne o f the great n am es of Buddhis t l ogi c, Dh arm ottar a (c . 75 0-8 10
a.d.), had settl ed in K ash m ir at the invitat ion o f the king, Jayâpï da
(c. 775-806 .);10
a .d D ha rm ott ara' s w orks i n eff ect are w el l- know n
and frequently quoted and criticized by the Pratyabhijhä masters.
Areata (c. 730-790 .),11
a .d the author of the Hetubindutlkä and
Ä nand avardhana, bes ides the fam ous D hvany äl oka, al so the autho r
of a vast com m entary, now lost , on D h arm ottara' s Pram änavini s-
cay atïkâ1 2 w ere natives o f K ashm ir . Sahkarän and a or San ka ra-
nandana (ninth -t en th century), t he M ahäbrähm ana of the Tibetan s,
deserves a speci al m ention. He w as a n in teresti n g and enigm ati c
fi gu re halfw ay betw een the logical -epist em olog ical Bu dd his t
tradition, of which he is both an exponent and critic, and perhaps
the em ergi ng êai va g no seo logy .13
The Buddhist logicians and Pratyabhijhä start from presuppo
sitions that appear, and are, absolutely irreconcilable: an impersonal
world of events, on the one hand, and, on the other, a world
permeated and vivified even in its seemingly most inert crannies
by the dynam is m of the I (êi va or Co n sciousn ess). D espite t his,
an undoubted fascination is exerted by the rigor of the Buddhist
logici ans' arg u m en tation and th eir da un tl ess cri ti cal capacit y that
uses it s sharp an d ori ginal i n strum en ts on the d octri nes o f the
m ost diver se opp onents. T h e v ery ai r o f sup eri ori ty that som eti m es
may be glimpsed in their opposition to all others, though it does
not fail occasionally to provoke a note of sarcasm in the êaiva
m as ters,1 4 ends up b y fu rthe r enhan ci ng their im age. T his con
tributes to causing them to be adopted by the Pratyabhijhä authors,
partly, so to speak, as a touchstone to test the soundness of their
theses and part ly as a w h etston e to sharpen their di al ect ic ar m s.
Buddhist logic, in its struggle against realism (particularly of
the Nyäya) constantly is concerned with showing the fundamental

w ho, w it hof the
the mind
ai m inofstructuring reality,
un derl ining theini contrast to those
ndep end ent nature of the
external reality confronted by human experience, move in the
opp osi te directi on — reduci ng the cr eati ve and f orm ati ve rol e of
kno w ledge as far as po ssi ble and m aking i t i nto a m ere m irror that
records ready-made realities outside itself, resulting in an unending
entification even of relations, qualities, and so forth. This reference
to the cen tral it y o f the mind m ust have been fel t b y t he P ratyabh ij hä
Raffaele Torella 329

m asters to be a strong elem ent o f af fi nity, even thoug h it w as

destined to have divergent developments. Bearing this in mind,
on e m ay be surpris ed by statem en ts li ke that found in I PV , vol . 1,
p. 43— naiyäyikakramasyaiva mäyäpade päram ärthikat vam iti gran thakä räbh i-
p räy a h " kriy äsatn b an d h asäm än y a'' il y âd is u udd esesu p r a k a t ib h a v is y a t i 15—
which seem to have broader significance and refer not only to the
more or less effective articulation of the p a râ rth â n u m â n a . The Praty
abhijnä seems to reject neither the Buddhist position nor the
naiyäyika on e, thou gh they are an ti theti cal. It accepts many concep ts
that the Buddhist logicians refute and that the Nyäya upholds,
like the previously mentioned kriyä sambandha sämänya (dravya dik käla ;
see IPK, II.2.1) but it does so only after Buddhist criticism has
rendered them untenable, recuperating them in a bound. Thus two
atti tud es essen ti all y em erge. In certai n cases po si ti ons p ert aining
to t he Bu dd his ts are acce pted but to show that they becom e adm is
sibl e i n al l the ir im plicati on s on ly if t he y are pla ced i n a êaiv a fram e
o f re fe re n ce .16 In oth ers , Bud dh is t cri ti cism is accept ed to show that
realities which on close examination prove to be irremediably
contradictory and yet are demanded by vyavahära become acceptable
in a Ôaiva context.17 Through this subtle play of a declared basic
disag reem en t w it h the do ctri ne s of Bud dh is t l ogicians, a li m it ed
acceptance and purel y instrum en tal ( or thou gh t to be s o) us e of
them , the m ast ers of t he Pratyabhij nä end up b y be ing som ehow
drawn into their orbit. The architecture of the Pratyabhijnä feels
the effec t of thi s. Th at m any p robl em s are pose d, m ore or l ess
unwittingly, in Buddhist terms to a certain extent prefigures their
development and reduces possible alternative as regard solution.
To trace the features of this complex relationship in the filigree
of the terse li nes of the IPK and its com m en tari es, f irs t a nd f orem ost
on e m ust try to reco n struct the term s of at least som e o f the var ious
disputes to be found in it that deal with the principal topoi of logical-
epistemological speculation. In doing so, one cannot fail to note,
as a preliminary step, how the Pratyabhijnä has appropriated the
ty pic al term inolog y o f Bud dh is t l ogi c, to a m arkedly g rea ter ex ten t
than the other schools. I am not referring to expressions such as

the one encountered, p a r ä r th ä n u m ä n a ,16 which, as we know, already

had entered common usage from Prasastapäda onward, but, for
example, to svalaksan a, arthak riyäsam artha , tädät m ya, tad ut pat ti , sv abhäv a-
hetu, käryahetu, the various types of anupalabdhi, and s o on. Som e
of these terms (e.g., svalaksana) may designate realities that do not
com plet el y coi ncide w it h those m eant by the Bud dhist l ogi ci ans
or that are valued differently ( arthakriyä ); others, like those con
nected with the inferential process, sometimes are expressly
33 0 R itualandSp eculation

attributed to the Buddhists but more often are used freely in the
cou rse o f t h eir ow n arg u m en tation .19 Bu t, w h atever the case, it
is the actual use of this terminology that indicates impregnation.
A t the beginning of Ä hnika II I of the K ri yad hikâra2 0 we com e
across this definition of pram än a:

idam etädrg ity evam yadvasäd vyavatisthate /

vastu pramänam tat so 'pi sväbhäso 'bhinavodayah //
so 'ntas tathävimarsätmä desakälädyabhedini /
ekäbhidhänavisaye m it ir v as tuny abädhitä //

T h e m eans of know le dge i s that than ks to w hich the ob ject

is situated in its own confines ( vyavatisthate ): “this thing,
w it h these ch arac teristi cs." T his m eans of know ledge i s an
ev er fresh ly arisi ng li gh t, co rrelat ed to a su bject. Th is l ight,
whose essence is the inner reflective awareness of that

w hic h is thu s m anifest ed, becom es, as regards the object

without spatio-temporal limitations etc. and expressed
by a single name, knowledge (miti) [provided it is] non

A ccor ding to the Pratyab h ij nä , there fore, th ere i s no d if feren 

tiation between the means of knowledge and its result ( pram än a—
p ra m ä o r p r a m iti), as al so t he B ud dh is ts— but no t only th ey 21—
m ai ntai n (s ee for examp le PS I .8 b -ll an d vrtti, PV II I.301-319, N BJ
pp . 79-86 , T S 13 43 -60 , et c. ). Th e di st incti on betw een p ram än a and
p ra m ä, the Bud dh ist s say, i s onl y the ou tcom e of t he analyti c con 
si d erati on o f a reali ty, w hich in it self i s on e. T h e tw o t erm s thus
foregroun ded can no t in any case represen t a rel ati on ship of cause
and effect, because this would require an actual difference between
the tw o term s, but at the m ost a rel ati on o f vyavasthäpya-vyavasthäpana,
with a division of roles within the same reality.22 And up to this
point the âaivas and Bu dd his ts are m ai nly i n agreem ent. A proof
of this i s that A bhinavagu pta, i n concl uding hi s argu m en tat ion
in the tw o co m m en taries,2 3 w hich devel ops U tpaladeva' s barel y
sketc hed posit ion, qu otes part of a verse by D h arm ak lr ti (PV II I. 308 :

tadvasät tadvyavasthänät. O n the con tr ary, the two po si ti ons di ff er on

the concept of the "function, activity" ( vyäpära) carried out by the
elem ents occu rri ng in c og nit ion. Vyäpära is completely denied by
the Buddhists, who consider every distinction on this basis purely
imaginary ( utpreksita), so much so that, for example, an act such
as piercing with an arrow may be analyzed in various ways, all
equal ly legit im ate, att ributing to the bow the fu nction ( vyäpära)
eit he r of kartr, o r karana, o r apadäna.24 But, above all, the impossibility
Raffaele Torella 33 1

o f vyäpära is the di rec t c onsequ ence of the doctri ne o f m om en tari 

ness.25 Cognition, therefore, only "appears” to be endowed with a
function ( savyâpâram iväbhäti). Abhinavagupta's reply refers implicitly
to this statem en t by Dh arm ak lr ti , wh ich i n t urn depends on PS I. 8c d:
savyäpärapratitatvät pramänam eva sa/26 (Abhinavagupta, as we have
seen, just before had quoted with approval the third p äd a of the
same verse).27 Vyâpâra, Abhinavagupta says, not only exists but
constitutes the very essence of p ra m ä and on this, according to the
êaivas, hinges the nondifferentiation of p ram än a and p r a m â : v y âp â ra
is not a different reality from the subject that acts and from the
ins tru m en t tha t i s set i n actio n .28 All tha t al ready had been ess en tiall y
contained in the laconic p r am ä trv y ä p ä ra h , which follows p ra m itih in
Utpaladeva's vrtti. But, Abhinavagupta continues, that does not
mean that p ram än a and p r a m ä are simply two ways of saying the
same thing ( p a r y ä y a tv a m ); the cognitive light, which is the essential
nature of both, in the p ram än a is turned toward the external object,
whereas in the p ra m ä i t i s t urned inw ar d as pure de term inate aw are
ness, contracted due to the influence of the object assumed in it,
having the word as its essence.
It i s preci sel y the inseparable con nec ti on betw een know ledge
and the word that forms one of the nerve centers of both schools
and a vantage point from which, yet again, to view this complex
pl ay of att raction an d d etachm en t that ch aracterizes the posit ions
of the Pratyabhijnä. Both Dignäga and Dharmaklrti substantially
agree that vikalpa-kalpanä and sabda are very closely related, if not

is f u rthe ridentical.
el aboratedTheby definition
D harm inaklrt
PS i 1.3d, nämajätyädiyojanä,
i n t he sub tl er and m ore com 
prehensive definition in NB 1.5, abhiläpasamsarga yogyapratibhäsä prati ti h
kalpanä, w hich introdu ces the elem en t of p o ten tiali ty.2 ” U tpaladeva
de fi n it ely has this form ulation in mind i n t he verse that open s Ähn ika
VI of the Jnänädhikära :
ahampratyavamarso yah prakäsätmäpi vägvapuh /
näsa u vikalpah sa hy ukt o dvayäksepi vi nisca yah / /
[vrtti] prakäsasyätmany aham iti parävägrüpatvät säbhiläpo
'pi svabhävabhütah pratyavamarso na vikalpa ity ucyate, sa
hi pratiyoginisedhapürvo niscayo na cätra pratiyogisambhavah.

T h e refl ecti ve aw areness "I,” w hic h is the ver y essen ce of

light, is not a vikalpa, although it is informed by the word.
For a vikalpa is an act o f de term ination w hich i m pli es two
The reflective awareness concerning the self, the
refl ecti on aw aren ess “I ,” w hic h co ns ti tutes the ow n natu re
332 Ritual and Speculation

of the li gh t, can no t be cal le d 'vikalpa' even if it is essentially

associated with a “discourse" ( abhilâpa ), since the word
tha t inform s i t is the sup rem e wo rd. Indeed, the vikalpa
is a determination ( niscaya) acquired through the negation
of the opposite, and, as regards pure light, there is no
possibil it y o f t he e xisten ce o f som ething that i s its

T h e w ord, h ow ever, i s not l im it ed to pervadi ng the sphere of

disc ursi ve tho u gh t. 31 Fol low ing the teaching o f that o the r great
figure who conditioned the Pratyabhijnä, Bhartrhari, it is placed
at the very h eart o f r eali ty as the su prem ely un if ying elem en t, i t is
the essence of all knowledge and sentience itself.32 It therefore also
inform s sen sation ,33 fr om w hic h the B ud dh ist logici ans, o n the
contrary, strictly excluded it. Direct perception is followed by the
moment of determination ( adhyavasäya, nikaya); it is w orth d w ell ing
on how this is conceived and valued in the two schools, because it
constitutes the crux of the whole question. For this purpose the
field must be extended to a consideration of the respective positions
regarding the nature of the object of the p r am ân a. Let us return
to the passage of the Kriyädhikära quoted earlier, where one reads
among other things: “as regards the object without spatio-temporal
li m it ations etc. and expressed by a si ng le n am e" (desakälädyabhedini /
ekäbhidhänavisaye [ . . . ] vastuny). Thus, according to the Pratyabhijnä,
the ob ject of the p ra m ân a is the single âbhâsa, w hic h b ei ng disc on nected
from space and tim e i s a sàmânya (cf. the vrtti sâmânyarüpe ); it is the
object of a single word. A group of äbhäsas, including those of space,
ti m e, a nd fo rm — endow ed w it h a spec ial i ndivi duali zi ng fo rce —
is composed in the apparent unity of the individual thing, the
svalaksana, w it h w hic h we are con fron ted in everyday ex p erience .34
If we then pass on to the respective position of the Buddhist
logicians we find a diametrically opposed picture. The Buddhists
make a sharp distinction between the objects of the two pram än as:
the object of knowledge that appears to the senses is the svalaksana.
What the éaivas conceive as a secondary product they view as the
supremely real and efficient, unitary and unrepeatable being; direct
perception grasps it in its totality (cf. PV 1.43: ekasyârthasvabhâvasya
p raty aksa sy a sa t ah sv ay am / ko 'n yo na drs to b h ä g ah sy äd y ah p r a m ä n a ih
p arik sy a te / / 'W hen the un it ary specif ic na ture o f an ob ject i s percei ved,
what other part that is not perceived can there be that may be
investigated by [other] means of knowledge?'and the first hemistich
of the samgrahasloka 1.45: tasmäd drstasya bhävasya drsta eväkhilo gunah /
'Therefore, when an object is perceived, all its qualities are
R affaeleT o rella 333

au tom atical ly percei ved ') 35 H ow ever, it m ay be the o bject o f

determ inate know ledge— w hi ch al one renders i t com m unicabl e
and place s i t w it hin the sp h ere of hu m an a cti v it ies a nd co n v en ti o n s,3 6
bu t at the p ri ce o f t he de com po si ti on of it s un it y and the ' co ve ring '
(samvrti) of t he p ecul ia r f orm of the ob ject w it h the form o f the
cognition. The unity of the svalaksana shatters into a myriad of
dharmas, each o f w hich is grasped by a si ng le act of de term ination
( niscaya, adhyavasäya). This division into many dharmas, like the
attribution of diverse multiple and unrepeatable entities to a single
class or the division into particular and universal, though strictly
speaking unreal are not arbitrary acts, however, because they still
d eri ve from the p erception o f a d eterm ina te indivi dual reali ty a nd
in a sense are a prop erty o f the thing itself; only a thing th at po ssesses
such a svabhäva may be grasped in this way (PVSV, p. 43: taddharmatäm
eväv atar anto vikalpä nän aikadharmav yatirekän sam darsayanti / na c a le
niräsrayäs tadbhedadarsanäsrayatvät / nävastudharmatä lalsvabhävasyaiva
talhä khyäteh).37 These constructs do not so much mirror the thing
in i ts real ity as com m un icat e the know ing m ind's intention s. Th e
niscaya cannot capture the particular in its totality but only enucleate
one featu re of it ; vari ou s factors, such as m ental acu tenes s, previ ous
experiences, and so forth determine which of the many possible
features (although the thing has in actual fact no parts) is grasped
at different times (PVSV, p. 32: yady apy amsarahilah sarvato bhinna-
svabh ävo bhâvo nubhütas tat häpi na sarvabhede su tävatä nis cay o bhava ti /
käranäntaräpeksatvät / anubhavo hi yathävikalpäbhyäsam niscayapratyayäh

ja n a y a li / y ath ä rü p ad arsan ä v is ese 'pi k u n a p a k ä m in ib h a k sy a v ik a lp ä h / taira

bu ddhipäfavam tadv äsanäb hyäsah pr akaran am ity ädayo 'nubhaväd bheda-
T h e tw o concep ti on s differ grea tl y bu t have a ki nd of cross
correspo nd enc e that m akes on e think that the difference li es in
the approach rather than in the content. For the Buddhist logicians
(D ha rm ak ïrt i), t he star ti n g point i s the parti cu lar ( svalaksana, bheda );
perception grasps it in its entirety but it also is inexpressible and
uncommunicable, it may not be associated with words (unlike
kalpanä); different niscayas may stem from this single perceptual

content; each of them captures a (unreal but not unfounded) part

of it a nd con n ects it w it h a word, wh ich th erefo re den otes a cert ain
sämänya or rather the negation of what is other than that feature
(PV 1.50-51: yävanto 'msasamäropäs lanniräse viniscayäh / tävanta eva
sabdäs ca l ena te bhinn agocaräh / / any athaikena sabdena v yäpt a ekatra vas tuni /
buddhyä vä nänyavisaya iti paryäyatä bhavet //; P V S V , p . 28: tadviveka
eva cànyàpohah / lasmàd tad api lanmàlràpohagocaram / na vastusvabhävanis-
cayätmakam)39 For the Pratyabhijnä (Utpaladeva), each p ram än a
334 Ritual and Speculation

grasps an individual äbhäsa (which is a sämänya), expressed by a

d eterm inate w ord, depending on a d eterm inate refl ecti ve aw aren ess4 0
(vrtti ad IPK 11.3.2: vimarsabhedänusäryekaikasabdaväcye; vrtti ad IPK II.3.5:
ekaikas câsàv äbhäsa ekaikena sabdena vyavahärärtham tattanniyatärthakriyä-
rthibhir abhidhiyate) or grasps—in the perception itself and not in
a later act—a group of äbhäsas coordinated by the Lord's power of
necessity according to sämänädhikaranya (blue lotus); in this case the
p ra m ä n a i s oriented to the do m inant äbhäsa and t he p ercept ion rem ai ns
unitary. In various passages of the IPK, Utpaladeva is concerned
with safeguarding the unity of the thing that the division into
multiple äbhäsas seem s irr em ediably to break up . I PK II.3.3 and
the relative vrtti read as follows:

yalhäruci yathärthitvam yathävyutpatti bhidyate /

äbhäso 'py artha ekas minn an usam dhän asädhite //
ekasminn eva caikapratyavamarsasämärthyopapädite vastuni
svecchävasäd arthitvänurodhäd vä naipunavasäd vävabhäsa-

In an ob ject, tho u gh it s unity is establi she d by the u nifyi ng

pow er of mind, vari ou s m an if estati on s ( äbhäsa ) may be
distinguished according to the inclinations, practical re
qu irem en ts and speci fi c experi enc e o f t he sub ject.
In the o b ject— thou gh it i s un it ary, having bee n
assumed as such on the strength of a single reflective
aw arene ss— there are d if ferent m anifes tat ions that ar e

dep end ent on th e wi ll, practi cal requ irem en ts and

experience of the subject.

Two themes peculiar to Dharmaklrti's thought are here clearly

discernible. I already have dwelt on the first.41 The second, which
app ears s ev eral ti m es i n the PV , i s t hu s form ulated in v. 109 of
the Svärthänumänapariccheda and svavrtti :42

ekapratyavamarsasya hetutväd dhir abhedini /

ekadhihetubhävena vyaktinäm apy abhinnatä //
[ . . . J tad api pratidravyam bhidyamänam api prakrtyaika-
p raty a v a m a rsa sy ä b h ed ä v a sk a n d in o hetu r b h a v ad a b h in n am
khyäti / tathäbhütapratyavamarsahetor abhedävabhäsino jhä-
näder arthasya hetutväd vyaktayo 'pi samsrstäkäram svabhäva-
bhedaparamärtham svabhävata ekam pratyayam janayanti [... J

B ecau se i t i s the cau se of a si ng le refl ective aw aren ess,

cognition appears as undifferentiated. Because they cause
a single cognition, individual realities also appear as
Raffaele Torella 3 35

. . . That cognition, although it differs for each
individual object, appears as undifferentiated, being by
its very nature the cause of a single reflective awareness
that establishes the nondifferentiation. Individual things,
because they are the cause of a reality that is manifested
as undifferentiated (cognition etc.) and is the cause of
such a reflective awareness, owing to their very nature
a lso pr odu ce a si ng le cog niti on in wh ic h the form s m erge,
though in the absolute sense there is a differentiation
o f th eir ow n n at u re s. I . . . J43

D harm akïrt i uses thi s argum ent to account for t he form at ion
o f the idea of cl ass and u niversal tha t em brace s a plurali ty of d iscret e
realities which, strictly speaking, cannot be reduced to anything
but th em sel ves. T h e singl e parti cular re ali ti es becom e com posed
in an apparent unity through the same reflective awareness that
by nature they are able to determine. Dharmakïrti concludes that
it the refo re is onl y the fact t hat they p roduce t he sam e effects
that constitutes the unity of things that are (in fact) differentiated
(itasmâd ekakäryataiva bhävänäm abhedah). This theme already had been
expressed and developed in a clear and rigorous way in PV III.73
and svavrtti:44

ekapratyavamarsärthajnänädyekärthasädhane /
bhede 'pi niyatäh kecit svabhävenendriyädivat //
[ . . . 1evam simsapâdayo ‘pi bhedâh parasparànanvaye 'pi
p ra k rty a iv a ik am ek ä k ä ra m p ra iy ab b ij riä n a m jan a y a n ti an y äm
vä yathäpratyayam dahanagrhädikätn kästhasädhyäm artha-
kriyäm [. . . 1

So m e indivi dual entiti es, despit e th e fact tha t they ar e

differentiated, are determined by their very nature to
bring into being a single reality, such as a single reflective
awareness or a single object cognition.
. . . T h u s, d iffere n t p articular en titi es , such as simsapä
trees etc., despite the fact that they are not connected
w it h o ne an oth er, produce by their very n ature a si ngle,
uniform recognition, or a different efficiency—depending
on the orientation of the cognition—such as burning,
building a house etc. carried out by wood.
T h e sam e effects are, t h erefo re, fi rst, t he c og niti on tha t t he
thing because of its nature is able to give rise to, and, second, the
d eterm inate purpose that m ay be achi eved th ank s to this.4 5 As
336 Ritual and Speculation

Kam al asl la sa ys l ater i n hi s com m entary on T S , everyday experience

groups tog ether com ple te ly heteroge neo us and separat e data , s uch
as a certain sh ape, color, and so forth , on the basis of the ir com bining
to p erf orm a s ingle fun cti on (e. g., con tai ning w ater) t hu s co n
stru cting the un it y of a 't h ing ' (e. g., a jar).4 *1 IPK II .3.7 echo es, al so
in i ts form ulati on , D h arm ak ïr ti 's argu m en tati on ; the vrtti furnishes
an indispensable explicitation of it.
p rth a g d ip a p ra kä sä n ä m srola sä m sâg a re y ath ä /
aviruddhävabhäsänäm ekakäryä tathaikyadhih //
bhinnä pradipaprabhä avibhägenävabhäsante nadipravähäs ca
sindhubuddhau pänake ca te te rasäh tathäsauklyamahatvapata-
tvädyavabhäsäh parasparänupravesaksamäh na tu nilapltädy-
avabhäsäh tattadekakäryaikadravyäbhäsabhävena kalpanie
p raty aksa ev a / tad etat sämänädhikaranyam.

As in the case of the distinct rays of light in a torch and

of the cu rren ts i n the sea, thus in m an if estati on s t hat
are not in contrast with each other the notion of unity
is produced by their appearing as unitary entities.
T h e individual rays o f l ight in a torch app ear as
an undifferentiated whole and the same holds for the
currents of rivers in the notion of the sea and for the
various flavours in the p än a k a . Sim ilarl y, m an if estati on s
such as "w h ite," "b ig ," "clo th ," and s o on, capabl e a s
they are of interpenetrating, lend themselves in the

direct exp eri enc

various unitary e itself
things having ato single,
t he unitary
m an if estati
effect. on o f t he
T h is does not happen w it h oth er seri es s uch as "b lu e,"
"ye ll ow ," etc. Th is i s w hat w e c al l "having the s am e
substrat um ."
The context is different from that of Dharmakïrti's argument
and very cl ose to K am alasl la' s: h ere th e purp ose i s t o explai n how
we m ay arri ve at perce iving the apparen t un ity o f the o bject fr om
a multiplicity of äbhäsas. However, Utpaladeva's conclusion (tad
etat sämän ädhikara nyam ) and D ha rm akïrt i's (ta smäd ekakäryataiva bhävänäm
abhedah) are strictly homologous.
In a long fragm en t of U tpal adeva's l ost IP Vivrti — that I have
recen tl y edit ed and tran slated — a section is devoted to the self-
revealing nature of cognition. It concludes as follows:

siddham tävat parasamvedyatävyäpakedantäsvabhävajadatävirud-

dhähamprakäsavyäptatvam svasamvidrüpatvasya / tena jhäne vyä-
p ak a v iru d d h a v y äp tä y ä h p arasam v ed y atä y ä n is ed h ah
Ra ff aele T orell a 337

It has there fore been proved tha t bei ng conscious of

itself [on th e p art o f cog n iti on ] i s pervaded by the li gh t
o f the I, wh ic h is opposed t o insen ti en ce— and i nse ntience,
for it s part, has the n ature o f “th is, " wh ich pervades the
property of being knowable by others. Thus it is possible
to deny that cog nit ion is know able by oth ers, because thi s
property is pervaded by another that is in opposition to
the pervading one ( vyâpakaviruddhavyâpiâyâh ).47

W hat I w is h to un derl ine h ere i s no t the con tent o f t his

statem en t— w hich would need t o be deal t w it h separately (cognit ion
as svasamvedana in fact is a well-known doctrine of the Buddhist
logicians, althou gh it i s no t li m it ed strictl y to the m )— but the
proc edu re U tpal adeva has used to d em o n strate i t. In f act, he re
w e are f ace d w it h an argu m en tat ion (and a ter m inology ) pecul iar
to the Buddhist logicians: the anupalabdhi as the hetu of a negative
inference, here in the form of vyäpakaviruddhavyäpiopalabdhi.*» More
over, it may be noted that this type is not found in any of the
classifications of the anupalabdhi given by D h arm ak ïrt i ( in the PV ,
Pram ânav ini scaya, H etubi nd u, N B), it is no t presen t i n D ha rm ottara,
it i s not quoted by the K ashm ir ian au tho rs Jayan ta (84 0-9 00 )
and B häsa rvajna (86 0 -9 2 0 ),4 9 an d unti l now w as t ho ug ht to have
first appeared in the relati ve ly l ate D h arm o tt arap rad lpa 50 by
Durvekamisra (late tenth-early eleventh centuries), who includes
it i n a classifi cation com prisi ng fou rteen or sixteen fo rm s.5 1 T h e
fact that the Pratyabhijnä constitutes a source of information on
the logical-epistemological school of Buddhism contributes an
additional interest to an examination of it from this point of view.

1. On the influence of the founder Dignaga, see Tucci 1971,
pp. 191-192.
2. I am referring particularly to the well-known stanzas of the

beg inning (1. 2) and the end (IV .286 , only f ou nd in M iyasaka's edit ion)
of the PV: p rä y a h p rä k r ta s a k tir a p r a ii b a la p r a jh o ja n a h k ev a la m n ân arth y ev a
sub häsiiaih parigaio vidv esi y apïrsyâm alaih / tenäy am na paropakâr a it i na s
ciniipi ceias ciram süktifbhyäsavivardhitavyasanam ity airänubaddhasprham //
'Mankind are mostly addicted to platitudes, they don't go in for
finesse. Not enough that they do not care at all for deep sayings,
they are fi lled w it h h atr ed and w it h the fi lt h o f envy. T h ere fo re
neither do I care to write for their benefit. However, my heart has
3 38 Ritual and Speculation

found satisfaction in this [my work), because through it my love for

profound and long meditation over [every] well spoken word has
been gratified'; anadhyavasitâvagâhanam analpadhlsaktinäpy adrstapara-
märthasäram adhikäbhiyogair api / matam mama jagaty alabdhasadrsaprati-
g r ä h a k a m p r ay äsy ati p ayon id h eh p ay a iv a svad eh e ja r ä m // 'M y w ork wil l
fi nd no on e i n this w orl d w ho w ould be adequ ate easi ly t o grasp i ts
deep sayings. It will be absorbed by, and perish in, my own person,
ju s t a s a r iv e r [w h ic h is a b s o r b e d a n d lo st] in t h e o c e a n . T h o s e w h o
are endowed with no inconsiderable force of reason, even they
can no t fat ho m its dept h! T h ose w ho ar e e ndow ed w it h excepti onal
intrepidity of thought, even they cannot perceive its highest truth'
(tr an s, i n Stch erba tsky 19 30 -32 , vol . I, pp. 35 -36). M oksâk aragu pta
add res ses hi m w it h the ep it he t nyäyaparamesvara 'Supreme Lord of
Lo gic' (K aji yam a 1 96 6, p . 125 ).
3. I am aware that the purely speculative aspect, dealt with
in this chapter, does not exhaust the whole of the Pratyabhijnâ
teaching. On the doctrines of the Pratyabhijnâ, see Pandey 1963,
pp. 290-460; on its collocation within the Kaula tradition, see the
observations of Sanderson 1985, pp. 203-204.
4. C f. M ass on and Patw ardhan 1 969, p . 34: "A n o ther questi on
that must go unanswered, though it is rich in possibilities, is Abhi-
nava's debt to Buddhism. We simply do not know anything definite
on this problem at all, though it is very tempting to speculate."
See also, on the same page, note 1. See Gnoli 1960, pp. xxiii-xxvi.

5. It is PV III.282 kâmasokabhayonmâdacaurasvapnâdyupaplulâh /
abhülän api pasyanli purato 'vasthitän iva //. The verse of the ôivadrsfi
is 1.45 drsyante ' tra tadicc hâto bhä vä bhityädiyogata h / taira m ithyâsvarü pam
cet sthâpyâgre salyatedrsâm // (cf . G n oli 1 95 7, p. 22); see also U tpaladeva 's
vrtti: kâmasokabhayâdiyogâc ca te te bhäväh purah sphuranto drsyante.

6. On the central role of Utpaladeva in the elaboration of

Pratyab hij nâ phil osophy, s ee T orella, forthcom ing A.
7. T h e pri vi leged relat ionship w it h D ha rm aklrt i m ight be
explained by the fact that he, unlike Dignâga, had accepted the
le gacy of B h artrha ri ( cf . H erzb erger 198 6, pp . 11-12), wh o con sti tutes
one of the Pratyabhijnä's points of reference, from Utpaladeva

8. Cf. Pandey 1963, pp. 147-150.

9. Ibid., p. 149; see also SivasütravimarsinI, p. 1.

10. Frauw al lner 196 1, p. 147; Stcherb atsky 19 30 -32 , I 40 -41.

Raffaele Torella 339

11. Fra u w allner, ibi d., p. 14 8.

12. A cco rdi ng to A bhinavagupta' s test im on y (Stcherbatsky

19 30 -32 , I pp . 41 -42 ). Stch erba tsky identi fi es a “C ash m ere or phil o
sophi ca l s chool of com m entators [of D harm aklrt i's w orks]. '

13. On the figure and work of êartkarananda, see Gnoli 1960,

pp . xxi ii ff. ; cf . als o S tch erb atsk y , ib id. , I p. 42 and B üh ne m an n 19 80.

14. C f., e.g ., vol. 2, p. 17 4: p rä m ä n ik a la ra m m an y aih [b a u d d h a ih ]

tädätmyatadutpatti niyamanidànam upagate.

15. C f. ibid. , p. 14 0: p arä rth ä n u m ä n a m h i sästra m / ta tra ca p ra m ä n ä d i-

sodasapadä rtha tat tvamayatvam ev a param ärthah; see al so IPV V , vol. 3, p . 182 .

16. Se e, fo r ins tan ce, I PV , vol . 1 , p. 30 8 (on apoha ); IPVV, vol. 2,

pp. 276-277 (on sabdakalpanä ); IPVV, vol. 2, pp. 344-345, vol. 3, p. 205
(on käryakäranasiddhi); IPVV, vol. 2, p. 371 (on bädhyabädhakabhäva), etc.

17. Cf. e.g., IPV vol. 2, p. 32: ekänekarüpasya kriyädeh bähyaväde

viruddhadhar m ädhyäsa dü$anena anupapadyamSnasyäpy avas yam samarthaniyam

18. See note 15 .

19. See also the description that Abhinavagupta gives of the

anumäna in IP V , vol . 2, p. 84 , wh ic h a Bud dh is t would ag ree w it h:
anumänajä tu pratltih äbhäsäntarät käryarüpät svabhävarüpät vä äbhäsäntare
p ratip attih . A bhinavagu pta accepts t he B ud dhist concep ti on en bloc ,
except that he inscribes it in the sphere of the Lord's power of
necessity (ibid.: vastvantarasya ca tena säkam käryakäranabhävaniyamah
säm änäd hikaran yan iyam as ca isvaraniyati saktyupajfvana ev a avad häry o bhav ati
na anyathä). He does t he sam e els ew here w it h the Bud dhis t do ct ri ne
of impermanence (IPVV, vol. 3, p. 214: na bhävasya kimcit nijam nityam
anityam vä vapuh / ìsvaras tu svasam vinm ukure vi svam äbhäs ayan ksanikatäm
api äbhäsayatiti nah paksah).

20. T h e quo tat ion s f rom the I PK and vrtti are drawn from my
forthcom ing (B) edit ion and tr an slat ion.

21. Bandyopadhyay 1979, p. 43.

22. NBT, p. 82: na cätra janyajanakabhävanibandhanah sädhyasädhana-

bhä vah, yenaikas min vast uni virodhah s yät / ap i tu vyavasthäpyavyavasthäpan a-
bhävena / tad ekasya vastunah kimcid rüpam pramänam kimcit pramänaphalam
na virudhyate.

23 . IPV , vol . 2, pp . 7 3 -7 5 ; IPV V , vol. 3, pp . 7 1 -72 .

3 40 Ritual and Speculation

24. Cf. TS 1346: ata utpreksito bhedo vidyate dhanurädivat / utpädyoi-

p äd akatv en a vyavasth ey am tu nes yate // and the relative p an cik ä.

25. TSP, vol. 1, p. 488: ksanikatvena nirvyäpäratvät sarvadharmänäm.

26. C f. H att ori 1968 , p. 28.

27. T h e w hole verse r eads as fol low s: savyäpäram iväbhäti v yäpäre na

svakarm ani / tad vas ât tadvyava sthänäd akàrak am api svay am / /.

28. CF. IPV, vol. 2, p. 75: ki m ca vyâpârar üpam eva phalam vyäp ärasca
vyäpri yamänät vyäpäryamän ät vä anan yâkâra ev a sidd ha it i abhedah pram âna-
p h ala y oh .

29. C f. H att ori 196 8, pp . 83 -85 . See t he discuss ion i n T S 121 3 ff .

and the relative p an cik ä. Cf. also PV III.123: praty aksam ka lp an äp od h a m
p raty aksen aiv a s id h y ati / p raty ätm av ed y ah sarvesäm v ika lp o n äm a sam sra y a h / / .

30. A bhinavag up ta, in com m enting on thi s verse i n IPV V , voi . 2,

pp. 276-278, refers explicitly (following the tïkâ) to the definition
of the N B a nd al so quo te s two pass ages f rom D h arm ottara, f or
w hic h I have foun d on ly a sum m ary correspo nd ence in t he edi te d
text of the N BT . A no ther el em ent w orthy of considerat ion in t he
stanza and in the vrtti i s t he con cepti on of the determ inate cogn it ion
( vikalpa, niscaya) as based on the exclusion of what is other. It reminds
one o f a n im po rt ant pass age of the PV (1. 48-49) , w here the apoha,
w hich at fi rst see m ed o nly to con cern the inferen ti al process, al so i s
ext ended to deter m ina te cognit ion ( niscayajhäna) that follows
perception: kvac id d rs te 'p i ya j j hänam sämän yärtham vikal pakam / asam äropi-
täny ämse tanm âtrâpo hagocar am / / — [svavrtti] yad rüpädidarsanänantaram
alingam niscayajhänam bhavati, tat katham asati samärope bhavad vyavaccheda-
visayam bhavati, samäropavisaye iasyäbhävät (...] // niscayäropamanasor
bäd hyabä dhakabh ävatah / samäropaviv eke sya pravrlti r iti gam yate // [sva
vrtti ] ( . . . ] tadviveka eva cänyäpohah / tasmäd ta d api tanm âtrâ pohagocaram /
na vastusv abhä vaniscay ätm akam / tathä hi kasyacin nisca ye ' py any äsyä prati-
p attid arsan ät / ta tsv ab h äv an is ca y e ca ta sy äy og ät (c f. M oo kerjee and Nagasaki
1964, pp. 108 ff.). Cf. IPV, vol. 1, pp. 303-304: vividhä kalpanä vividha-
tvena ca sankitasya kalpo ‘nyavyavacchedanam vikalpah, vividhatvam ca vahnäv

anagnisambhävanäsamäropaniräse sati bhavat, dvayam vahnyavahnirüpam

samäksipati; see also IPK 1.6.2-3.

31. Up to this point, in fact, the P ratyab h ij nâ and Bud dh is t logic

agree, and the m asters of the Pratyab hij nâ are wel l aw are of thi s
(cf. IPV, vol. 1, p. 266: bauddhair api adhyavasäyäpeksam prakäsasya prä-
mänyam vadadbhi h upagata präyah eva ayam arthah , abhil äpätm akatvät a dhya-
vasäyasya iti).

32 . IPK 1.5. 13: ci ti h pratyavam arsätm ä paräv äk svarasodi tä / svätantryam

Raffaele Torella 341

et an mukhyam tad ais varyam param ätman ah / /.

33 . IPK 1.5. 19: säksätkarane 'py asti vimarsah katham anyathä /

dhävanädy upapadyeta pratisamdhänavarjitam // 'Even at the moment
o f the direc t percepti on there is a d eterm inate refl ective aw arene ss.
How otherwise could one account for such actions as running and
so on, if they w ere thou gh t of as bei ng devoi d of determ inate
aw are n es s?'; cf . IPV , vol. 1, p. 2 93 : süksmena pratyavamarsena samvartita-
sabdabhävanämayena bhâvyam eva.

34. Abhinavagupta refers explicitly (IPVV, vol. 3, p. 201) to

two different positions as regards the nature of the svalaksana. For
the one (which is also accepted by the Pratyabhijfia) it is formed by
a collection of äbhäsas ( äbhäsanikurumbätmakasvalaksanaväda ), for the
other it is partless ( niramsasvalaksanaväda ).

35. C f. Ste ink ellne r 19 71 , p. 198. T h is is val id for eve ry p r am ä n a,

therefore also for the anumäna (cf. PV 1.46 and svavrtti). IPK II. 3.8
echoes this conception: taträvisiste vahnyädau käryakäranatosnatä- /
tatt acchabdärt hatädyätmä pram änäd ekalo matah // 'Regarding a nonspecific
manifestation of “fire," a single means of knowledge knows what
the effect or cause of it is, its being hot, its being denoted by this
or that word and so on.' See also IPVV, vol. 1, p. 199.

36. Indee d i t i s precisel y de term ina te kn ow ledge, wh ich i s no t

itself a p r am ä n a , that renders the perception for all intents and
purposes a p r am än a (N B T p . 84: tasmäd adhyavasäyam kurvad eva praty-
aksam pramänam bhavali).

37. Cf. Vetter 1964, p. 56.

38. T h e pass age com m ents on PV 1. 58 : p raty aksen a g r h ite 'pi

visese 'msavivarjite / yadvisesävasäye 'sii praiyayah sa pratiyate //.

39. Cf. Vetter 1964, pp. 48-49.

40. The vimarsa pla ys the rol e o f "sy stem atize r" (vyavasthäpaka)
of reality that is strictly analogous to the role the Buddhists assign
to niscaya-adhyavasäya, notwithstanding the different valuation
(N B T p . 84: nisc ayapratyayenävyavasthäpitam sad api nilabodharüp am vij nänam
asaikalpam eva [ . . . ) akrte tv adhyavasäye nilabodharüpatvenävyavasthäpitam
bhavati vijnänam).

41. Cf. above p. 333 and note 38.

42. Cf. Steinkellner 1971, p. 190.

43. See also PV 1.68-69: p ara rü p am sv arü pen a y ay ä sam v riy ate d h iy ä /
ekärthapratibhäsi nyä bhävän äsri tya bhedi nah / / ta yä sam vrtanänärthäh sa m-
34 2 Ritual and Speculation

vrt yâ bhedinah sva yam / abhedina iväbh änti bhävä rüpe na kena ci t / / .

44. C f. V etter 1964 , p. 53.

45. It is a question o f what have been called p ratin iy a ta sak ti and
scimänyasakti (Mikogami 1979, pp. 80 ff.; Katsura 1984, p. 218).

46. TSP, vol. 1, p. 59: ta eva rüpädayah salilädidhäranärthakriyä -

kärina h sam udäyo ghata it i vyapa dis yante .

4 7 . Torella 1988, p. 28.

48. A ft er U tpal adeva , Abhinavagupta al so m akes f requ ent use

of thi s t ype of argum en tat ion.
49. The Nyäyamanjari (vol. 1, p. 53) and the Nyäyabhüsana (p. 288)
refer to t he classi fi cati on in el even form s, deri ved from the N B.
50. Dharmoltarapradlpa, p. 140. C f. Kaji yam a 1 96 6, pp . 151 ff .

51. The vyäpakaviruddhavyäptopalabdhi later is referred to by

Moksäkaragupta (between 1050 and 1202) in the Tarkabhäsä (Kaji
yama 1966, p. 85) and by Vidyâkaraéânti (c. 1100) in the Tarkasopina
(Tucci 1956, p. 291).



EW East and West, Rome

IPK isvarapratyabhijiiäkärikä

IPV Uvarapratyabhijnävimarsini

IPVV Isvarapratyabhijfiavivrtivimarsini

JIP Jo u rn al o f In dia n P h il osop h y, Dordrecht

NB Nyâyabindu

NBT Nyäyabindutikä

PS Pramänasamuccaya
PV Pramänavärttika (P V , vo l. 1 = Svärthänumäna ; PV, vol. 2 = Pra-
mänasiddhi; PV, vol. 3 = Pratyakça ; PV vol. 4 = Parärthänumäna)

PVSV Pramânavârttikasvavrlti

TS Tattvasamgraha

TSP Tattvasamgrahapahcikä

WZKSO Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde Süd- und Ostasiens, Vienna
Raffaele Torella 34 3

Abhinavagupta. Isvarapratyabhijhävimarsini (see Bhâskara).

. Isvarapratyabhijhävivrtivimarsini, ed. M. K. Shastri, vols. 1-3,

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Bhäsarvajna, Nyäyabhüsanam, ed. SvämI Yogïndrânanda, Çaddarsana-

prakäsanapratisthana-granthamala no. 1, Varanasi: 1968.

Bhäskara. Bhäsk ari. A Comm enta ry o n t he isvarapratyab hijhävi m arsini of

A b h in a v a g u p t a, vols. 1-2, ed. K. A. S. Iyer and K. C. Pandey. The
Princess of W al es Sarasva ti Bh avana T ex ts Nos. 70 and 83.
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Dharmakïrti. Pramänavärttika-kärikä [Sanskrit and Tibetan), ed. Y.

Miyasaka, A cta In dolo gic a 2 (1971-72).

. Pram änavärtti ka wit h th e Com mentary 'Vr tt i' of A chary a M ano-

rathanandin, critically ed. Swami Dwarikadas Shastri. (Varanasi

. Pram änavärttikam . The Fir st Chapter with the Au tocomm entary, text
and cri ti cal notes by R. G noli . Serie O rientale R om a 23. R om e:

. Hetubindu (see Steinkellner 1967).

Dharmottara. Nyäyabindutikä (see Du rveka M is ra, Dharmottarapradipa).

Durveka Misra. Dharmottarapradipa [being a subcommentary on Dharmot-

tara's Nyäyabindutikä, a commentary on Dharmakirti's Nyäyabindu],
ed. Pandita Dalsukhbhai Malvania. Revised 2d ed. Patna: Kashi-
prasad Jayaswal Research Institute, 1971.

Ja y a n ta , Nyäyamahjari, ed. Pt. Surya Näräyana ôukla, parts 1 and 2,

Kashi Sanskrit Series 106. Varanasi: 1969-71.

êântaraksita. Tattvasam graha with t he Com mentary 'Pahji kä' of K am alasila,

2 vols., critically ed. Swami Dwarikadas Shastri. Bauddha
Bharati Series 1. Varanasi: 1981.
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