Shri Amar Muni
ARE THE FIVE BASIC ELEMENTS (BHUTAS) REAL?
Now the fourth scholar named Vyakata approached Shri
Mahavir Bhagavan. Bhagavan himself stated Vyakta's doubt thus "On the
basis of such Vedic statement as (Indian writing pg 83 angie)
meaning the world is illusory like a dream you believed
that the five basic elements (bhutas) accepted by people are illusory like
a dream and hence they are not real (true). On the other hand, on the
basis of such Vedic statements as (Indian writing pg 83 angie) ... etc.,
(the earth is a deity, water is a deity etc., ) you feel that the five
bhutas which are emobiments of divinity ought to be real and lasting.
Hence emobiments of divinity ought to be real and lasting. Hence, you have
entertained the doubt, "Are the five basic elements real or unreal"? When
you have such a doubt even regarding the perceptible reality, naturally
you might have a greater doubt regarding the soul, which is an
imperceptible reality. In other words, you suspect if everything is (are
all these things) decidedly void and non-existent?
This argument is given in support of the view that all
things are unreal and illusory.
Its logic is all the substances are unreal and
1) Every substance is a mutually relative reality.
2) In this real relationship (the connection) of the
reality with the reals is logically impossible.
3) The creation of the real also is logically
4) The causes producing it are logically impossible.
5) Its visibility also is logically impossible (one
which is beyond occurrance).
Existence is relative:
The evidence of the existence or the creation of an
object is a relative concept, because an object that is real is evident or
accomplished either (a) by itself or (b)by the relative other object, or (c)by
both, itself and the other relative objects. Now, a substance can be in
the form of a cause or an effect. If it produces an effect then only it is
called the cause. But first if this causative nature is established, only
then this effect can be called an effect. If the cause is not on its own
accord evident, then, how can the effect dependent on such a non-evident
cause be an established fact? In the same manner, if the effect is not
evident by itself, how can the producer dependent on it be styled as
cause. In the same manner short and long, far and near, father and son
etc., become an established fact only when their mutual relationship and
cognition is proved. If the middle finger is proved to be long, then only
the ring finger is proved to be short, or if the ring finger is first
proved to be short, then only the middle finger can be established. as
long. The purport is when the objects being dependent on each other are
not of their own accord evident, as an established fact, then they cannot
be proved to exist even in relation to other objects. Therefore, how can
it be proved to exist by itself? Or by its relationship with other things?
Or by both?
Is reality different from the real Or not?'
In real and existing substances like a pot, etc., there
is lying reality or existence. Is this reality or existence different from
the substance or not?
(a) If the existence is not different, then it is
concluded that "whatever exists is a pot". In other words all things would
be existing in the form of a pot. But here you cannot say, "let it be so",
because the existence of the pot also is a non-pot, then only can we call
it a pot. There being nothing like a non-pot, hence non-pot being unreal,
the pot also is proved unreal. That means all things are unreal.
(b)If reality is different from the object, then the
object itself cannot be real. It remains only unreal. In this manner so
long as we cannot prove the existence of substances like a non-pot, how
can we name an object 'pot'? In other words, like the 'sat' ( existence )
or real, there is nothing like 'Abhilapya' (a thing which can be expressed
by words). The purport is this, the relationship between an object and its
existence (reality) being logically impossible to happen, all things are
null and void or unreal.
Creation is improbable
In the same manner (i) is a created thing created? or (ii)an
uncreated thing is created? or (iii)are both created- uncreated?
The first one is not true, because it is a futile
endeavour to create a created one; when a thing has already been created,
if it is again created then it will continue to be created endlessly.
If you say that the uncreated is created, then that
which has not been created is like a horse-horn e.g. unreal. It can never
Even the third point is not true because the defects in
each of the two appear in both. Now the question is whether there is
anything like both the created--uncreated existent or not? If there is
such a thing then it results in only one issue of "created only) or
"uncreated only". Hence how can there be both?
If you say, that one which is in the process of being
created, is created" here first of all the question arises "Is the one
being produced real? Or unreal?" In this, there is a defect as in the
third point since it is self- contradictory. The essence of the argument
is this, 'Creation is improbable: therefore, every substance is unreal'.
Is each of causes potential?
An object appears to have been made up from the
aggregate of substances, viz. 'Upadan Karana' and Nimitta karana (raw
material and causative substances). In other words, all things seem to be
made out of the aggregate of all the causative substances. But according
to your theory of 'all unreal' where there is no such thing as "all", what
is the meaning of the aggregate of substances? Moreover, if each of
these-substances does not possess the potentiality for emergence or
creation, then how can there be the potentiality of emergence or creation
in the whole aggregate? In other words, in the combination of substances
when each of which is devoid of the potentiality for creation, how can it
be in the causative aggregate present in their combination. If there is no
oil in every particle of sand, then it is not present in the mass of sand
particles. If there is oil in each sesame grain then only its mass also
contains it. Similarly if there is potentiality in every causative
substance then each one must be capable of producing an effect. In this
manner, since the mass possessing potentiality of causing creation being
impossible to exist, each substance in the mass of unreal is also unreal
there being the impossibility of the combination of causative substances,
everything is unreal.
Is the substance visible or invisible? There is nothing
like invisible in the world because it is not logically proved. Then there
is no visible thing also because it is illogical in this way,
Which is seen is not the whole of the substance but it
is only the upward or forward part. This part also being a combination of
particles, what we see is not the totality of particles but only the
upward or forward part of the particles. There also in the same manner
that part is made up of smaller particles and there it will not be wholly
seen but only the smallest particles. So think out further and further;
only the top most atom will come in your sight, and you call the atom
invisible. In this way all things are invisible, all things are
non-existent, are unreal.
Now, this is answered.
The refutation of the theory (idian writing pg86
angie) `All are unreal (null and void) '.
1. First of all, if all things are only Asat and
unreal, how can this doubt arise, "Are the five elements existing or not?"
Because such a doubt cannot arise in the case of objects which are utterly
unreal and non-existent like a horse-horn. We do not get this doubt -- "Is
this a horse- horn or a donkey-horn?" Yes, a doubt arises only in the case
of things which are true (Sat) or`real just as, "Is this a stump or a
human being?" but not in the case of untrue (asat) or unreal substance.
Why this difference? Therefore, we say that a thing regarding which a
doubt arises is established as sat or real. Otherwise why is there not the
contrary condition? Just as why is it that we do not doubt unreal objects,
and we doubt only real objects, Why does a doubt arise only regarding
'Sat' or existent reality?
2. If all things are asat, untrue, unreal, then the
doubt also is proved to be asat or untrue.
3. Doubts and illusions are the various forms of 'gyana'
knowledge and they are connected with the 'gneya' i.e.knowable object. But
if all things are unreal and non- existent, then there is no difference
between what is knowable or what is unknowlable? If everything is unreal
then these two contrary conceptions have no meaning.
Question: There is no real thing in a dream, yet we get
a doubt regarding it. Do we not?
4. Answer: Even in a dream the doubt arises only
regarding the previously experienced or heard things. Therefore, even in a
dream the cause of a doubt is real (satya). A dream itself being a form of
knowledge is dependent on some cause. If a dream is an effect, it is under
the principle of cause and effect. If all things are unreal, what can we
dream of and why a dream?
5. If all things are unreal and void then why do the
following differences arise?
(a) One is a dream and the other is non-dream.
(b) One is a truth and the other is a lie.
(c) One is a real city and the other is an illusive
(d) One is primary (formal) and the other is
(e) One is an effect and the other is a cause and a
(f) One is sadhya, that which is to be accomplished,
and other is sadhana meaning instrument.
(g) One is the speaker or the spoken subject and the
other is utterance.
(h) One is plaintiff and the other is the defendant.
(i) One is a teacher and the other is a disciple.
(j) One is a receiver namely the senses, the other is
the received such as sound, colour etc.
(k) One is hot and the other is cool.
(l) One is sweet and the other is bitter.
(m) The earth is always steady; the water is always
fluid. Fire is always hot; the wind is always moving. Each of these
possesses a particular fixed nature. Why are not they all equal in the
form of a dream? Or why are they not real. Why are they not contrary to
the natural course? If all things are unreal, untrue, where there is
scope for their knowledge in varied forms.
Question: The knowledges relating to them are possible
just like a mirage, but they are not true. The concepts that one is a
dream and the other is a non-dream, are mere illusions.
Answer: This cannot be called illusion because
knowledge occurs of a thing with regard to a decided particular place,
time, and nature etc. in a special form. For instance here the object is
silver and there the object is not silver but tin. The pot that existed
yesterday is not existent today .... Such knowledge is ture.
6. Is the illusion real or unreal? If the illusion is
real then to that extent the real being proved existing in the world, the
theory that "all things are unreal" is repudiated. If the illusion itself
is unreal, it means that the theory "every knowledge is a dream and that
all things are unreal," is false. Consequently the object of knowledge is
proved true and real. The knowledge that finds illusion to be unreal is
itself real or sat. Thus regarding the question "whether all voidness is
real or unreal" here also the same difficulty arises.
7. All voidness has to be proved by means of 'Pramana'--
evidence. If the evidence itself applied to this theory of voidness is
real, then the theory of (All Voidness' becomes false to that extent. If
the evidence is unreal, then all voidness cannot be proved as true by such