A text dealing with Ayurveda

Ferenc Ruzsa f_ruzsa at ISIS.ELTE.HU
Wed Apr 28 21:24:02 UTC 1999

[In reply to comments from Paolo Magnone]

Dear Paolo,

the issues concerned are admittedly rather complex, and the current policy
of the list does not favour a lengthy discussion. Still I will try to
suggest an alternative approach to some of the points you mentioned.

> I think "will" is explicitly denied of the puruza itself already in the
> kArikA, when the puruza is styled *madhyastha* (19) and above all
> *udAsIna* (20).
Both terms imply impartiality, neutrality and inactivity. (There *is* an
alternative interpretation, but I will not pursue it here.) I think it is
fair to infer that the puruSa is without passion (or even without emotion?
but cf. SK55: duHkhaM prApnoti puruSaH); so probably the locus of (some)
emotions might be somewhere in the antaHkaraNa. It does not follow that the
locus of volition is not the puruSa.

> What is agency otherwise than "in the crude material sense"?
The standard sAMkhya examples of the inactive king (and his minister), or
the cripple (and the blind) show: active as exerting specific influence, but
incapable of independent locomotion.
But about gauDapAda's position you are doubtless right: there the guNas
decide. Still I think that in the earlier commentaries the puruSa is not yet
kUTastha, absolutely unchanging. Or do you have any comments thereon?

> it is nature herself who supplies the "deliberation" or adhyavasAya
> element
Clearly, SK 23.: adhyavasAyo buddhir; but adhyavasAya is a difficult term,
meaning here probably grasping, understanding, judgement (not decision, as
in the gauDapAda passage you quoted ad SK 20). Cf. the analysis in
Oberhammer et al. (Terminologie der frühen philosophischen Scholastik in
Indien, Band 1, s. 29): "Es ist das sAMkhya, das (jedenfalls seit
IzvarakRSNa) den *adhyavasAya* im strikt technischen Sinne nur für dieses
dem Erkennen eigene Erfassen des Gegenstandes als das, was er ist,

> It is not right to take the non-simultaneous actions in k. 18 as
> implying activity on the part of the puruzas. If you do, by the same
> reason you could likewise argue that birth, death etc. that are
> mentioned earlier in the same k. are also predicable of the different
> puruzas
They imply the involvement of the puruSas; i.e., the puruSa initiates the
actions, and it is the cause of the different births and deaths of the
individuals. The latter seems to suggest that karman in a way belongs to the
puruSa, which is logical if he willed the actions, so he was responsible for

Thank you very much for your kind comments,


More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list