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An Eccentric Ghost in the Machine: Formal and Quantitative Aspects of the Skhya-Yoga Dualism Author(s): Gerald James Larson

Reviewed work(s): Source: Philosophy East and West, Vol. 33, No. 3 (Jul., 1983), pp. 219-233 Published by: University of Hawai'i Press Stable URL: . Accessed: 28/11/2011 04:11
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Gerald James Larson An eccentric ghost in the machine: Formal and quantitativeaspects of the Siikhya-Yoga dualism

Within the "grammar" of dualisms in the history of philosophy, the classical

of an anomaly.The Samkhya is a bit Samkhya positionappearsto be something like the nitya-samdsa in Sanskritcomposition,that is to say, a compoundthat cannotbe analyzedaccordingto the conventional rules.By this I meanthat the not does fit the usual or conventional notions of dualism.If one looks, Samrkhya for example,at the classicexpression of the dualistpositionin Western thought, that the Samkhyasomehow namelythat of Descartes,one realizesimmediately missesthe mark.In his Principles Descartescommentsas follows of Philosophy aboutthe dualistproblem: Extensionin length, breadth and depth constitutesthe nature of corporeal and thoughtthe natureof thinkingsubstance.For everyotherthing substance; that can be attributed to body presupposes extensionand is only some mode of an extendedthing;as all the properties we discoverin the mindareonly diverse modesof thinking (citedin K. Nielsen,ReasonandPractice,1971,p. 332,I: liii). In his Meditations Descartessets forth the essenceof the dualistperspective as follows: Becauseon the one hand I have a clearand distinctideaof myself,in as far as I am only a thinkingand unextended thing,and so on the otherhand I possessa distinctideaof body,in as faras it is only an extended andunthinking thing,it is certainthat I, that is my mind by which I am what I am, is entirelyand truly distinctfrommy body and may exist withoutit (Nielsen,VI). A more recent statementof the conventionaldualist position is that of the Kai Nielsen,who puts the matteras follows: analyticphilosopher Thecoreof thedualistclaim.., could... be putin thisway:Thereareat leasttwo different kindsof reality,existenceor phenomena: the physicaland the radically mental.... Physicalphenomenaor realitiesare extendedin space and are perof thingsthatare ceptually publicor, likeelectronsandphotons,areconstituents perceptually public.... Mental phenomenaor realities,by contrast, are unextended,not in space,and are inherently private(Nielsen,p. 333). Whether one considersthe Cartesian positionor, accordingto Kai Nielsen,the restatement of the of Siakhya must admitthat modern,analytic it, interpreter the Samkhyais not a dualismin these senses. Similarly,if one considersthe theologicalor ethicaldualismof Christianthought-a la Paulinetheologyor latertreatments suchas thoseof Augustine,and so forth-again, the interpreter of Samhkhya must say that Samkhyais not a dualismin these senses.Similarly, if one considersthe dualistic analyses in Plato or Aristotle, or the Kantian dualismof noumenaand phenomena, or a phenomenological dualismof noesis and noema,the Siakhya is not reallydualistin any of thesesenses.Evenwithin the framework of Indianphilosophy,the garden-variety dualismsof the later
GeraldJames Larson is Professor of Religious Studies at the Universityof California, Santa Barbara. NOTE: This article was preparedfor a Symposiumon Samkhya and Yoga at the Institutefor AUTHOR's the Study of WorldReligions, SUNY, Stony Brook, New York, April 1981.
EastandWest33, no. 3 (July1983). by the University Philosophy of HawaiiPress. All rightsreserved.

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Vedanta schools or the older archaic jTva-ajlvadualism of the Jains does not adequately fit the Siamkhyacase. Indeed, vis-a-vis all of these positions, I am inclined to argue that Siamkhya represents a critique of the traditional or conventional dualist position and approaches, rather, the opposite position, or what modern Western philosophy of mind would call "reductive materialism," that is to say, a philosophical view which "reduces" "mind"-talk or "mentalistic"-talk to "brain-process"-talkor, in other words, construes mind, thought, ideas, sensations, and so forth, in terms of some sort of material stuff, or energy, or force (as has been argued, for example, by H. Feigl, J. J. C. Smart, Kai Nielsen, and others). For, according to classical Siamkhya, the experiences of intellect (buddhi), ego (ahathkara), and mind (manas), and the "raw-feels" such as "pain" (duhkha) or "pleasure" (sukha)-or, in other words, what conventional dualists would consider to be "inherently private"-are simply subtle reflections of a primordial materiality (prakrti)-a primordial materiality undergoing continuous transformation (parinaima)via its constituent modalities of externalizing activity (rajas), reflexive discriminating (sattva), and reifying objectivation (tamas). Thus, the modern reductive materialist's claim that "sensations are identical with certain brain processes" would have a peculiar counterpart in the classical Siamkhyaclaim that "awarenesses"(citta-vrttis or antahkarana-vrttis)are identical with certain guna-modalities. Or, again, the modern reductive materialist's claim that the conventional notions of "the inherently private" or "the mental" are only linguistic fictions which inhibit a more correct understanding of the human situation would find its peculiar counterpart in the classical Siamkhyaclaim that the notion of the discreet "individual"or the "individualego" seriously inhibits a more correct understanding of the basically "dividual" and "transactional" environment in which "human existence" occurs (to use McKim Marriott's idiom). Both positions, in other words, appear to criticize the notion of an inherently private, mentalistic "ghost in the machine" as being a product of verbal carelessness (vikalpa) brought about by the failure to make relevant distinctions (aviveka or avidya). Alas, however, the comparison of Siamkhyaphilosophy with reductive materialism quickly breaks down, for instead of expelling the traditional or conventional "ghost in the machine" and getting on with the task of describing the world without "ghost"-talk, Samkhya, as it were, refurbishes the "ghost," stripping it of its conventional attributes and reintroducing it as what I am calling in this paper "an eccentric ghost," eccentric in the sense that it no longer has anything to do with "mind"-talk or "mentalist"-talk or "ego"-talk, all of which latter are fully reducible to guna-talk in good reductive materialist fashion. Samfkhyadesignates its "eccentric ghost" as "consciousness" (purusa), thus necessitating the differentiation of "awareness" (citta-vrttior antahkarana-vrtti) from "consciousness" (purusa) and requiring a radically different kind of dualism, namely, a dualism between a closed causal system of reductive materi-


alism(encompassing or the "private" life of the mind),on the one "awareness" on the other. It and contentless"consciousness," hand, and a nonintentional withoutgivingup an ultimately transcendent consciousthereby rejectsidealism ness.It rejectstraditional or conventional dualismby reducing"mentalist"-talk to one or another transformation of material "awareness"; and it corrects reductive materialism an "eccentric which by introducing ghostin the machine" is nonintentional and has nothingto do with ordinarymentalawareness. It is a classiccaseof a philosophy thatwantsto haveits idealist/realist/materialist cake and eat it too! Whetheror not Samkhyaphilosophyis finally successful,of course, is open to debate and interpretation-the Indian tradition itself, it shouldbe noted, took a ratherdim view of it-but I would arguethat it raises someinteresting issuesthat may stillbe relevant in current discusphilosophical sions withinthe philosophyof mind. As is well-known,it is difficultto trace the originsof this peculiarSiamkhya dualismandits "eccentric sincedetailedtextsthatlay out ghostin the machine", the basic argumentsand methodologyof the systemare simplynot available from any period.What remainsare summaries and digestsof the system(for
example, the Smrikhyakarika, the Tattvasamasa-sutra, and the very late

the greatmajorityof Sairkhya-sutra, togetherwith a varietyof commentaries which are generallyuseless).Also, there are various attacks on Srmhkhya by variousother schools of Indianphilosophizing, some of which can be used to reconstruct someof the detailsof the system;yet the highlypolemicalenvironment in which these discussions occur can hardly reassurethe student of that he or she is getting a fair account of the system. K. C. Samrkhya has expressed the matterwell: Bhattacharya Muchof Sramkhya to havebeenlost, and thereseemsto be no literature appears of tradition fromancienttimesup to the ageof the commentators.... continuity Theinterpretation of all ancientsystemsrequires a constructive but while effort; in the case of some systemswherewe have a largevolume of literature and a of tradition, the construction is mainlyof the natureof translation of continuity ideas into modernconcepts,herein Samhkhya the constructionat many places involvessupplying of missinglinksfromone's imagination. It is riskywork,but unlessone does it one cannotbe saidto understand as a philosophy.It Samikhya is a taskthatone is obligedto undertake. It is a fascinating taskbecauseSamhkhya
is a bold constructive philosophy (Studies in Philosophy, 1956, 1:127).

of missinglinks"I have been Recentlyin my own attemptsat the "supplying in the interpretation of exploringvariousformalor quantitative"paradigms" classicalSfamkhya, because the term itself to be related mainly sramkhya appears to the notionof "number" or "enumeration" andbecausethe extanttextsof the elaborate in enumerations what systempresent appearsto be a paradigmatic fashion.Theproblem, of course,is one of identifying the sortsof paradigms that the ancientSiamkhya had in mind.Unfortunately, as KarlH. Potterand acaryas othershave observed,Indianphilosophygenerally(includingSiakhya philos-

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or a ophy)makesno cleardistinctionbetweenanalyticand syntheticstatements in modern Western and a as classical and logic, and, priori posteriori judgments therearein Indianphilosformalor quantitative whatever therefore, paradigms ophy cannot be directlyrelatedto what one might considerto be an obvious of Indianlogic.To be sure,there sourceforformalparadigms, namely,traditions are some fascinating relationsbetweenSamkhyaand ancientIndianlogic, and Randle has suggestedthat the earliest reflectionsin India on the nature of the inference can be tracedto Vaisesika and Samkhya Nevertheless, philosophy. enumerations are not primarily Samrkhya intelligiblein termsof the standard categoriesor paradigmsof Indian logic, or, puttingthe matteranotherway, Samikhya philosophydoes not appearto be directlyrelevantto the standard issuesandproblems of Indianlogic.Thebasicthrustof the systemwouldappear to be in quitea different direction. the turf of the is Formalism,however, not solely or perhapseven primarily field of logic, as modernstructuralism us. Such has taught divergentfieldsas andlinguistics haveall music,psychology,anthropology, physics,mathematics, benefitted and advancedvia systemstheory,semiotics,structural analysis,and othervarietiesof formalanalysis,and it is to be noted that ancientIndiamade some interesting in most of thesefields.Indeed,one could easily contributions to knowledge mount an argumentthat India'smost importantcontributions werenot reallyin the areasof logic or technicalphilosophybut, rather,in such areasas grammar, phonology,mathematics, psychology,and anthropology. In any case,in an attemptat the "supplying of missinglinks"for the interpretationof classicalSiamkhya for theinterpretation of Samkhya's and,specifically, "eccentric ghost in the machine"(namely,purusa),I want to call attentionto to the Sfiakhya enumerathreedistinct(yet related)paradigmatic approaches tions,namely, (a) a "mathematical" paradigm; and paradigm; (b) a "linguistic (phonologicaland grammatical)" feature"paradigm. or "contrastive (c) a "dyadic" I meanmetaphorsof modellingthat may have By "paradigmatic approaches" theirspeculative beenusedby the Sriakhyaacaryas as theypursued philosophizis a formof mathematics, in otherwords,thatSiamkhya ing.I amnot suggesting, or "dyadic"analysis.I am or a form of grammar,or a form of structuralist or that ancient the rather, acaryasmayhaveusedpatterns Sramkhya suggesting, for organizingtheirthought.(It is modelssuch as theseas heuristicmetaphors conceivable,of course,that the Sramkhya acaryaswere themselvespersonally to theirstyleof thinking. or modelssuchas theserelated unaware thatparadigms thevalidityof suchparadigmatic Thatwouldnot disprove however, approaches, and a to native more a than fluently language any speaker'sability speak of of the formal is to the related grammar the correctly speaker'sknowledge withoutany That is to a native may speakquitecorrectly speaker language. say, knowledgeof the grammar.)


(a) The "mathematical"paradigm. All traditions of Indian learning proceed

by makinglists of things-for example,in astronomy,phonology,grammar, and so forth.The medicine, prosody,philosophy,logic, mythology,meditation, studentof ancientIndianlearningsoon growswearyof this particular cultural to of be ancient cultures but sure, many predilection-a predilectiontypical, to carried in an extreme India. was with AncientIndia obsessed numberperhaps there is a set numberof permissible ing. Even in love-making(Kama-sutra) postures, a set number of aphrodisiacs,a set number of useful flirtatious and a set numberof techniques for arousinga lover.To a largeextent, gestures, of course, enumerationsare useful devices for preservingoral traditionsof most enumerations are quite arbitrary and convenlearning,and undoubtedly tional mnemonicdevices.Shouldanyonedoubt this, I would simplyinvitethe doubterto read any of the dreadfulAbhidhamma books of the BuddhistPali Canon-an exercisein readingvery much like readingthe Santa Barbaraor Stony Brooktelephonedirectory! In some instances,however, patterns of enumerationbecome more than mnemonicdevices.In Panini,for example,rulesare enumerated in a arbitrary order so that the of in is related precise sequence numbering important waysto the applicationof grammatical rules.Or again,as E. G. McClainand A. T. de Nicolas haveargued,obscureVedic numberings appearto be relatedto certain commonratiosin musicalacoustics(whenreducedto simplewhole numbers). Moreover, certain numbersappear again and again-for example, certain squarenumberssuchas 25 (the Samkhyatattvas),36 (KasmirSaivism),49 (the lettersof the Sanskrit"alphabet"), 64 and 81 (the numberof Yoginis in Indian and so forth. Interestingly also-as was pointed out to me by iconography), ThomasHopkinsof Franklinand MarshallCollege-if one multiplies1 by 22 by 33 one gets 1 x 4 x 27 or "108," one of the most common "symbolic" numbersin Indianliterature. Regardingthe Saikhya system, for many years I had ignoredthe specific enumerations andhad moreor lessfollowedalongwiththe traditional viewthat theenumerations wereonly arbitrary mnemonic withthe devices.Whileworking however, in recent years-a text which contains only Tattvasamasa-sutra, twenty-fiveshort numericalutterances-I began to wonder if the patternof enumerationshad additional significancebeyond that of mnemonic convenience,an additionalsignificance perhapson analogywithPanini'spatternof enumeration. I thereforebegan to play with the Sfamkhya numbers,reducing largernumbersto smallernumbers(and operatingwith the methodological in actual principlethat only those numbersthat actuallyappearprominently texts could be used in the What Samkhya finallyemerged,interest"game"). was not related to Panini's but was related,rather,to a pheingly, sequences nomenonin the fieldof mathematics. That is to say, thereis a clearpreference or predilectionin Samkhyaphilosophy for the sequenceof prime numbers whosefactorsare only themselves or 1), namely,2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, (numbers

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19, 23, and so forth. Moreover, between 1 and 100 there are exactly twenty-five prime numbers, and, of course, according to classical Sfamkhyaphilosophy, there are twenty-five basic tattvas or fundamental principles. All numbers presuppose number 1, and the number 1, therefore, must perforce be the mulaprakrti;and the sequence of Samikhya"entities" can be exhibited as follows: (1) mulaprakrti(and implicit in prakrti are the three gunas that manifest themselves in pairings of 2 + 1); (2) buddhi(with its twofold bhava-structure); (3) ahahmkira (with its threefold structure: vaikrta, bhiutidi,taijasa); (5) tanmatras (five subtle elements) (7) five tanmatras + buddhi+ aharhkara, referred to as "the seven" in Siihkhyakirika III; (11) indriyas, including the five sense capacities, the five action capacities, and manas or "mind"; (13) linga or karana, the thirteenfold instrument made up of buddhi,aharhkara manas, and the ten sense capacities and which transmigratesfrom life to life; (17) structure of aharhkara when fully manifest (namely the elevenfold and the one taijasavaikrta-aharhkira,the fivefold bhiutidi-ahahmkra, ahamhkdra); (19) transmigrating entity empowered by prakrti (namely, the thirteenfold instrument + the five tanmatras + prakrti, according to Sirhkhyakiriki XLII; or, in its Vedanta variant as set forth in Safikara's Bhdsya to the Min.dukya Upanisad: "nineteen mouths," namely, the five sense capacities, the five action capacities, the five pranas + manas + ahamkara + buddhi+ citta; compare Bhasiya in verse 2 of the Mindikya); (23) the manifest world that emerges because of the co-presence of prakrti and purusa (from "Brahma down to a blade of grass," according to Sirhkhyakdriki LIV). The twenty-fifth tattva, of course, is purusa, and the Sramkhya texts describe the as contentless whose consciousness allows purusa prakrti to become presence manifest. Given the number sequence that has emerged, there is, of course, only one possibility for purusa, namely, zero (0), a notion which was not only known to the ancient Hindus but possibly discovered by them. The notion of zero is necessary for all sophisticated calculation, yet it has the peculiar characteristicof not adding anything in any calculation. It is an irreducibleprinciple necessary in any sophisticated theory of numbers, yet it is not clear, even in modern mathematics, if zero itself can be construed as a number. From such a perspective, Safkhya philosophy can be construed as generating the natural world utilizing a "mathematical" model or paradigm in a manner not unlike that of ancient Pythagorean philosophy. The number 1 is the source of all whole numbers, the primes being particularly important in that their factors are only themselves and 1, with composite numbers being reducible to the primes. Such a perspective would suggest that the primes 2, 3, 5, 7, and so forth, could serve as building blocks, as it were, in a "numbered world," and this, of course, they appear to do in Sramkhya philosophy. One might also usefully compare the


and mahdbhitas(namelythe so-called generationof the Samkhyatanmatras notionof thegnomons to the "accumulation (theso-called theory") Pythagorean means of which the 5 the "carpenter's squares") by sequence1, 2, 3, 4, generates also squares1, 4, 9, 16, and 25. The perfectnumber10 of the Pythagoreans appearsto have its counterpartin the 10 cilikdrthasor milikirthas of the of course, Samkhya. Implicitin such a "mathematical" approachto Sramkhya, would be the corollarynotion that the notion of "number" links up in some intelligibleway with the notion of "subtle matter"or "thing"or "manifest is relevant,for entity," and here again a comparisonwith Pythagoreanism with wanted to correlate "numbers" Pythagoreans "things." In any case, construingSramkhya as a kind of archaicmathematical physics (on analogywithPythagoreanism) mayprovideoneusefulavenueforattempting to decipher the natureof the peculiarSamkhya dualismand its "eccentric ghost in the machine." of the in an article (I havepublished portions foregoinganalysis entitled "The Format of Technical PhilosophicalWritingin Ancient India: of Conventional Eastand West30, no. 3 Translations," Inadequacies Philosophy (July 1980):375-380.)
(b) The "linguistic" paradigm. If ancient Indian traditions of learning were

obsessed with numbersand enumerations,they were also almost as equally obsessed withlanguage andgrammar, andhereagaintheparadigms or modelsof reflection some useful in the peculiar linguistic provide perspectives interpreting dualismand its "eccentric Samkhya ghost in the machine."Someyearsago (in an articleentitled "A Possible Mystical Interpretation of ahamkaraand the tanmatrasin the Sramkhya," in the Sri Aurobindo commemorationvolume ((Pondicherry,1972), pp. 79-87) I noted some strikingsimilaritiesbetween philosophy and ancient phonological treatises(siksa, pratisakhya Samrkhya and so forth). I observed,for example,the appearance of Sfamkhyaliterature, like terminologyin phonologicaltexts (for example,prakrti, vikira, vyakta,
sarhyoga, karana guna, mdtrd, and so forth). I was especially interested in the terms ahahmkira and tanmatra, and I related aharhkarato the notion of Ormkdra

or recitingOm") and tanmitrato the notion of mitra, a term ("pronouncing to the lengthof time required for pronouncing a shortvowel.A short referring vowelis one mitra;a long voweltwo matrds; an elongatedvowelthreematras; a
consonant or stop is matrd; mdtrd m is an anu ("moment" or "atom"); and 4anu is a paramainu.(See Taittiriya Prdtisikhya as discussed by W. H. Allen in his Phonetics in Ancient India.) As is perhaps obvious, I then related aharhkira and

the tanmatras to Omkaraand its mitrds as set forth in the little Miinduikya and other and the tanmatras in Samkhya texts,arguingthataharhkara Upanisad seemto haveroots in the old Upanisadsand in environments wherespeculation centeredaround mantras,mystical syllables,and mystical sounds. Creation takes place by means of naming, speaking,utteringsounds. The milaprakrti would then be potential sound or unmanifestsound. The manifestationsof

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prakrtiwould be, on one level, variousseriesof sounds and combinationsof sounds.Also, the method of achievingkaivalya,describedin Sdmikhyakdrika LXIV as tattvabhyasa, may echo a similar environment.Abhyisa means or "repeated and so forth, but it also means "repetition" "study,""analysis," the one comes to know the tattvas recitation." By repeatedly gradually reciting sounds. Thepurusa basisof creationof emergence the of creative itself, pattern wouldthenbe thatwhichtranscends all sound-passive, emptysilence principle whichis yet the background and presupposition of all sounddistinctions. take such a "linguistic" I have been to Recently paradigma bit attempting further intotheareaof grammar andspeechitself,andI havefoundsomefurther usefulperspectives for thinkingabout the Samkhyadualismand the "eccentric assertsthatintellect As is well-known, (buddhi), ghostin themachine." Samkhya
ego (ahamkara),and mind (manas)-in other words, antahkarana-vrttior citta-

or activityof vrtti-are manifestations (the "transformations" ofgunaparinama

sattva, rajas, and tamas) but have nothing whatever to do with purusa. Consciousness (purusa) is simply "present" (saksitva) to antahkarana-vrttior

is Consciousness is one of mutualreflection. and the only interaction citta-vrtti, and it is describedas being describedas being wholly inactive(akartrbhava), of antahkarana-vrtti (or, in otherwords, whollyuninvolvedin the transactions have agreed and manas).All interpreters the transactions of buddhi, aharmkara, as well)thatthis (not only modernWesternscholarsbut ancientIndianthinkers is a peculiarway of thinkingabout consciousness, and, more than that, that it it. It not to be absurd on the face of rather however,if may be so absurd, appears the Samkhya werethinkingaboutthe basictattvasfromthe perspective dcifryas of a certain grammaticalparadigmor model having to do with the basic structure of nouns and verbs in a sentence.The paradigmor model I have in in whichthe Sanskrit mindrelates in Sanskrit to nominalinflection grammarians make a distinctionbetweenwhat they call vibhakti (case endings)and kiiraka Thereare eight cases in Sanskrit(nominative, accusative, (case relationships). instrumental, dative,ablative,genitive,locative,andvocative).Thecaseendings or case terminations are as follows: prathamui-"first"-nominative dvitiya-"second"-accusative
trtiya-"third"-instrumental caturth -"fourth"-dative pancam--"fifth"-ablative


"eighth"-vocative (althoughmost grammariansdeniedthat the "eighth" is reallya "case")

from mustbe clearly Thesecaseendings,or terminations, however, distinguished or karakas.Althoughthere what the grammarians called "case relationships" are sevencase terminations (or eight,if one countsthe vocative),thereare only


six essentialcase relationships-a case relationship beingthe mannerin which the nounsandadjectives in a sentencerelateto the verbalactionof the sentence. The six essentialcase relationships or karakasare as follows: kartr-nominative or subjectof the action karman-accusative or objectof the action or Tneans of the action karana-instrumentalor instrument
sampradana-dative or recipient of the action

apiddina-ablativeor ablationof the action

adhikarana-locative or location of the action

Whatis Thekdraka whata sentence"does"or how it actsor functions. expresses to be said, then, about the so-called "sixth case" or genitive?Interestingly, it has no kdraka-it is in no wayrelated to the Sanskrit according grammarians, to the verbalaction of the sentence.The sixth case or genitiveonly relatesone thingto another,and it is whollyuninvolvedin the action of the sentence.It is calledsimplythesambandha or the caseof mererelation.Extrapolating fromthis the have been may thinkingabout grammatical paradigm, Saikhya dcadryas
buddhi,aharhkara,and manas as being involved in the transactions ofprakrti-

the "verbalaction,"as it were,of gunaparinama-andtherebyhavingkdrakaor functionswithinthe transformations of the manifestworld. Consciousness with the and whatever to do transactions has however, nothing purusa, ofprakrti is only present(sdksitva)to prakrtias mere relation.An intriguingpiece of or modelis the old Samkhyaclaim evidencefor thiskindof linguisticparadigm that inference has to do with certainkindsof realrelationsbetweenentities.In the Jayamangala, is madeto an old Samkhyainterpretafor example,reference tion of "inference" as relatingto "sevenbasic relations" (sapta-sambandha):
(1) sva-svimibhiva-sambandha-possessor and possessed (2) prakrti-vikara-sambandha-principal and secondary (3) karya-kdrana-sambandha-effect and cause (material) (?) (4) pitra-pdtrika-sambandha-measure and measured

for example,a king and his subject

for example,barleyand groats for example,cow and calf

(5) sdhacarya-sambandha-companionship or association (6) pratidvandvi-sambandha-opposition or hostility

for example,stick and what it measures (perhapswhole and part) for example,a pairof cakravdka birds for example,cold and heat

(7) nimitta-naimittika-sambandha-efficient cause and effect

for example,eaterand eaten(Jayamangald on KarikaV).

also makereference to Dignaga,Kamalasila,and other Buddhistphilosophers an old Samrkhya notion of "sevenbasicrelations" and their (sapta-sambandha), in termsof examples, listingsof the basic relations,though somewhatdifferent arebasicallyin keepingwiththe abovelist fromthe Jayamahgald. Of theseseven relations,only the firstis typicalof the relationbetween purusaandprakrti;the othersix are all internalrelationswithinprakrti(eitherin termsof the analytic

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distinction between"whole"and "part"or in termsof the syntheticdistinction between"cause"and "effect").Quite apart from the sophisticationor lack of inference thereofin thiskindof characterization that (andit mustbe admitted Indianphilosophysoon moved beyondthe discussionof inferencein termsof realrelations), indicatethatthe the Siamkhya of thesapta-sambandha discussions with as it ancientiicaryas been one have were,on models eye, may philosophizing of thinkingderivedfrom traditionsof grammatical categoriesand paradigms. Consciousness orpurusa,then,is thatentitywhichhas no relationto the verbal action of the world but is in a relationof mere presencevery much like that exhibitedby the sixthor genitivecase.
(c) The "dyadic"or "contrastivefeature"paradigm. The third possibly produc-

tiveapproach to understanding the peculiar dualismandits "eccentric Samrkhya is to look at the basicSSfakhya inferences ghostin themachine" (set forthin the firsttwentyor so of thekirikas)fromthe perspective of a kindof "structuralist" to a model or paradigmused as a analysis.Here I am not so much referring as I am to what appearsto be the actual methodologyof Samfkhya metaphor to whichI have alreadyreferred thinking.It clearlyresonatesto the paradigms and the "linguistic"), but thereappearsto be no (namelythe "mathematical" sourcefor it other than the Samkhyatexts themselves.Possiblyit is a unique to India's Samfkhya approachand represents Samikhya's peculiarcontribution philosophical heritage. The actual contentsof the Sfankhyainferences(which are mainlyof the clearand may be founddescribedin any siiminyato-drsta type)are reasonably of textbookson Indianphilosophy. number Whatis perhaps not so clearis how the various inferencesand basic Samkhya notions relate to one another. in the texts and comUnfortunately, again,thereis preciouslittle information mentariesregardingthis problem,and one must proceed by reconstructing possiblescenariosfrom what is actuallyavailable.The only test for such reconstructions is whether or not theyrender the systemas a wholemorecoherent. Whatis moststriking of the Samrkhya to thecarefulreader textsis thetendency towards dyadic or contrastiveanalysis. Dyads, polarities,oppositions, and contrariesappeareverywhere, so much so that it becomes clear, as already that a kindof overall or contrastive featureanalysisrepresents indicated, dyadic in the system.Someof the moreimportant of thesedyadsare the methodology following: (1) avyakta/vyakta (unmanifest/manifest) intellect) of virtue) (4) dharma/adharma (virtue/lack
(2) prakrti/vikrti (creative/created) (3) sattvika buddhi/timasa buddhi (discriminating intellect/reifying

(5) jnana/aj~iina (knowledge/lack of knowledge) (6) vairiigya/avairigya (dispassion/lack of dispassion) (7) aisvarya/anaisvarya(power/lack of power)


(10) apavarga/bhoga experience/ordinary experience) (discriminating (11) nirupabhoga/upabhoga (withoutexperience/ordinary experience) (12) lihga/bhava (inherited disposition) disposition/projecting
(13) siksma/sthila (subtle/gross) (15) avisesa/visesa (nonspecific/specific)

(8) sittvika aharhkara/tiimasaahamkara (discriminating egoity/reifying egoity) (9) antahkaranal/bhyakarana (internal organ/external organ)

(14) suksma-sarra/sthula-sarra (subtlebody/grossbody)

eventhe triadof thegunasis basicallydyadicin structure inasmuch as Moreover, thegunasalwaysrelatewith one anotherin ratiosof two-plus-one, or, puttingit in theframework of the manifeststructure of reality,thereis an ongoingpolarity between sdttvika and timasa manifestations withrajasplayinglargelya mediating role ("... taijasadubhayam,"Karika 25). Sittvika manifestations become the

reflexive, "awarenesses" characteristic of the properly functiondiscriminating buddhi when internal or external or activitiesof awareing objectsof awareness ness have been correctly,assimilated. They manifest themselvesin ordinary as feelingsof joyous and quietfulfillment experience (santa).Timasamanifestationsarethe intentional and reified"objects" of awareness themselves (whether internalin termsof one's own self or ego beingan object, or externalin terms of subtle elements or gross objects). They manifest themselvesin ordinary experienceas feelingsof alienationand reification(mi.dha).The guna, rajas, at all, but is, rather,the externalizing however,is not a manifestation processof life itself (pravrttior karman),which pervadesordinaryhumanexistenceand generates feelingsof discomfort(ghora)and a senseor feelingof tragicsuffering
(duhkha)(or, as the Yuktid7pikiputs it: "duhkharh raja iti"). All "private" and

or experiences, "public"manifestations therefore,are more adequatelytalked aboutsimplyin termsof the modalitiesof the gunas(guna-pariniima, or, as the commonrefrain and putsit:gunagunesuvartanta iti). Then,too, all experiences manifestations areconstrued in termsofsatkdrya,or the notionof causalitythat Both analytically positsan identitybetweencauseand effect(or kdrana-kdrya). and synthetically,therefore,we are dealing with a closed causal system of reductive materialism which can be rewritten in briefas "gund gunesuvartanta iti."Froman analyticpointof view,every"component" of thesystemis a "part" of thetotallyfunctioning "whole"(andmaywellexplainwhythe Srmhkhya lends itselfto a purely mathematical formulation as hintedat earlier). Froma synthetic point of view, every empiricalmanifestationis an "effect"that is finally a mere modificationof one ultimate, unconscious (acetana)material "cause"

That the Samkhyasystemis so tight as a closed causal systemof reductive materialism led DebiprasadChattopadhyaya to suggestin his book Lokdyata Calcutta, that indeed was a pure (third edition, 1973) originally Samhkhya materialism derivative of an archaic,matriarchal, Tantricmilieu.The notionof purusa,or what I am callingthe "eccentricghost in the machine,"was a later

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life cameto be dominated into the systemwhenIndianintellectual interpolation of male consciousness. Vedantin notions and by patriarchal largely to textsclearlymakereference Be thatas it may,theextantclassicalSramkhya as "something" or "consciousness" totallydistinctfromthe closedcausal purusa system of reductive materialism.These referencesoccur primarilyin the sequenceof inferencesset forth in Karikas IX-XXI (and in all of the accommentaries). Again,the analysisunfoldsvia a seriesof dyadsor companying contrastivefeatures.In the second hemistichof verse II, after rejectingperITvarakrsna callsattenmeansfor overcoming ceptibleand scriptural suffering, that differsfrom both the tion to a "superior means"for overcomingsuffering and scriptural means,namely,the properdiscrimination (vijnina)of perceptible introduces the basic He then andjna:vyaktavyaktajna-vijnanat. vyakta, avyakta, dualismin the followingfashion(verseIII): Samkhya tuvikdro na avikrtir sapta,sodasakas prakrti-vikrtayah mulaprakrtir mahadady.h na vikrtih purusah. prakrtir the seven,intellect,and so forth, are both Primordial is uncreated; materiality createdand creative.The sixteenare created;consciousnessis neithercreated nor creative. The four hemistichs of the versemay be exhibitedas follows: avikrtir, (I) mulaprakrtir (II) mahadidydh prakrti-vikrtayah sapta; (III) sodasakastu vikaro, na vikrtih (IV) naprakrtir purusah. is clearly fromallothertattvasin thesenseof not being distinguished Herepurusa if I mightadd parenthetiin prakrtior vikrti(and in a formulation, implicated cally, that is strikinglyreminiscentof Johannes Scottus Eriugena'sopening whichreadsas follows: passagein Book I of his Periphyseon, results "Itis my opinionthatthe divisionof Natureby meansof fourdifferences in four species,(beingdivided)firstinto that which createsand is not created, secondlyinto that which is createdand also creates,thirdlyinto that which is createdand does not create,while the fourth neithercreatesnor is created" edition,Dublin, 1968). (Sheldon-Williams In this Srahkhya formulation,moreover,it is to be noted that the first part avikrtir)is a negation of the third part (sodasakastu (namely,milaprakrtir and the fourthpart(namely, it is a (and vikiro) negationof theparyudisa-type); of the second part (mahadddydh is a na prakrtirna vikrtih purusah) negation is prethat whatever It be therefore, sapta). may anticipated, prakrti-vikrtayah dicatedof the second part will provideus with a negativedescriptionof the fourthpart, and whateveris predicatedof the third part will provideus with of boththe firstpartandthe fourthpart(inasmuchas the negativedescriptions fourthpartis similarto the firstpartto the extentthatit, too, is uncreated). And,


alas, the descriptions that emerge in Karika X and following provide us with precisely these descriptions. The descriptions may be exhibited as follows: (1) Predicates of the third part (2) (purusa) (jna avyakta) ahetumat (uncaused) nitya (nontemporal) vyapin (nonspatial) asakriya (stable) eka (simple) anasrita (unsupported) alihga (nonmergent) anavayava (nonparts) aparatantra (independent) (3) (jna) (avyakta (prakrti) (vyakta) hetumat (caused) anitya (temporal) avydpin (spatial) sakriya (unstable) aneka (complex) isrita (supported) linga (mergent) avayava (parts) paratantra (contingent) vyakta)

Predicates of the second part

Predicates from Karikas XVII-XIX


triguna atrigunas (no gunas) (having three gunas) avivekin vivekin (undifferentiated) (differentiated) a-visaya visaya (an object) (nonobject) asamanya samanya (verbally characterizable) (uncharacterized) acetana cetana (unconscious) (conscious) prasavadharmin aprasavadharmin (productive) (unproductive) sdksitva (witnessing) kaivalya (isolation) madhyasthya (indifference) drastrtva(presupposition of experience) akartrbhdva(inactivity) bhoktrbhiva (presupposition of subjectivity) bahutva(plurality)

If the "mathematical" paradigm discussed earlier is reminiscent of Pythagoreanism, then this final "dyadic" or "contrastive feature" paradigm, at least with respect to purusa, is somewhat reminiscent of medieval "negative theology" and older traditions of Neoplatonism. Hence, the parallel with Johannes Scottus Eriugena's Periphyseonmay be more than a curious similarity. There may be, in other words, a deeper intellectual affinity, possibly as a result of historical contact in the Hellenistic era or possibly as a result of a common Indo-European cultural heritage. (Regarding possible historical contact in the Hellenistic era, if I may be permitted another parenthetical observation, it would appear that classical Samkhya or older traditions of Samkhya-Yoga can be usefully com-

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As is wellknown,a number andNeoplatonism. of paredto Neo-Pythagoreanism scholarshave suggestedpossible links betweenancient Greek reflectionand Indianthought,usuallyarguingfor possiblelinks betweenGreekthoughtand theancientUpanisads. My ownviewis thatsuchlinkageis quitelikelybuthardly the through murkyambiguityof Upanisadicthought.A more likely point of contactwouldhavebeenthroughthe ancienttraditions of Siamkhya andYoga, both of which traditionswere taking shape after the third centuryB.C. and receivedtechnicalformulationin the thirdand fourthcenturiesA.D. Sramkhya is perhapsthe oldest traditionof Indianphilosophy; it has interesting affinities withearlyBuddhist it was from linked ancient times with traditions of thought; asceticsandwandering most important, its earlytraditions sadhus; and,perhaps were taking shape preciselyat the time when the first contacts with Greek of the fourth centurypurthoughtcould have occurred.The Samkhyakdrikd to be a or of an older called the "sastitantra," or ports summary digest system of andthisoldersystemcouldeasilyhavebeenin existence system "sixty-topics,"
between the second century B.C. and the first two centuries A.D. Moreover,

Samkhyaphilosophy,along with another ancient traditionof thought, the to be the theoretical basisof ancientIndianmedicine, andwe Vaisesika, appears know from the carefulwork of Jean Filliozat that Indianand Greekmedical were alreadyin contact at the Persiancourts from the fifth and practitioners fourth centuriesB.C. onward. It is quite possible, therefore,that notions of and Yoga could have beenknownin the Mediterranean worldof the Samkhya Hellenisticera, or possiblyearlier.Moreover,the point of contact could well havebeenthroughtraditions of ancientmedicalspeculation, and mathematics, language-subject matterswhich would have had considerable practicaland theoreticalinterest for both sides in any cross-culturalencounter. Unforevidenceto documentsuch encounters. We know tunately,thereis insufficient Plotinus and only that the vague culturalmemoriesthat Neo-Pythagoreans, the Neoplatonists,variousGnostic groups,and otherssomehowlearnedwere important thingsfrom India.) to our "eccentric let me conclude however, Returning, ghostin the machine," what to be to by pulling together Sramkhya appears wanting say about its "eccentric on based the set forthin this paper. ghost" paradigmatic approaches Consciousness or purusais a contentless"something," essentialto experience and the worldbut not involveddirectlyin the transactions or manifestations of the world.It is a simple"presence" in the one that enlivens the world, (sdksitva) intellect,ego, and mind but one that has no karaka-function-a mysterious silencethat makes speakingpossiblebut is itself unutterable. It is outside the realmof causality, outsideof spaceand time,inactive,utterlysimple,unrelated, uninvolved in emergenceor transformation,without parts, completely independent,apart from the three gunas, transcendentyet always immanent, the presupposition of discrimination or differentiation, neitheran object nor


a subject, unintelligible or verbally uncharacterizable, unproductive, a pure witness whose only relation to prakrti is sheer presence, utterly isolated, completely indifferent, the ground of being, nonagent, and present in the "awareness" of all sentient beings as not being that awareness. For Sramkhya, what is irreducibly important is the simple fact of our presence to ourselves. The authentic mystery in our existence, that before which we must become silent, that in the light of which all wonder begins, and that which enables us to see that there is something rather than nothing, is, according to Sarikhya, our presence to ourselves-a presence which is at one and the same time a radical foundation for experience and a radical foundation for freedom.