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The Vedanta Sutras, commentary by Sankaracharya (SBE34), tr. by George Thibaut [1890] at

20. (Nor can there be a causal relation between Nescience, &c.), because on the origination of the subsequent (moment) the preceding one ceases to be.

We have hitherto argued that Nescience, and so on, stand in a causal relation to each other merely, so that they cannot be made to account for the existence of aggregates; we are now going to prove that they cannot even be considered as efficient causes of the subsequent members of the series to which they belong.

Those who maintain that everything has a momentary existence only admit that when the thing existing in the second moment  1 enters into being the thing existing in the first moment ceases to be. On this admission it is impossible to establish between the two things the relation of cause and effect, since the former momentary existence which ceases or has ceased to be, and so has entered into the state of non-existence, cannot be the cause of the later momentary existence.--Let it then be said that the former momentary existence when it has reached its full development becomes the cause of the later momentary existence.--That also is impossible; for the assumption that a fully developed existence exerts a further energy, involves the conclusion that it is connected with a second moment (which contradicts the doctrine of universal momentariness).--Then let the mere existence of the antecedent entity constitute its

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causal energy,--That assumption also is fruitless, because we cannot conceive the origination of an effect which is not imbued with the nature of the cause (i.e. in which the nature of the cause does not continue to exist). And to assume that the nature of the cause does continue to exist in the effect is impossible (on the Bauddha doctrine), as that would involve the permanency of the cause, and thus necessitate the abandonment of the doctrine of general non-permanency.--Nor can it be admitted that the relation of cause and effect holds good without the cause somehow giving its colouring to the effect; for that doctrine might unduly be extended to all cases 1.--Moreover, the origination and cessation of things of which the Bauddha speaks must either constitute a thing's own form or another state of it, or an altogether different thing. But none of these alternatives agrees with the general Bauddha principles. If, in the first place, origination and cessation constituted the form of a thing, it would follow that the word 'thing' and the words 'origination' and 'cessation' are interchangeable (which is not the case).--Let then, secondly, the Bauddha says, a certain difference be assumed, in consequence of which the terms 'origination' and 'cessation' may denote the initial and final states of that which in the intermediate state is called thing.--In that case, we reply, the thing will be connected with three moments, viz. the initial, the intermediate, and the final one, so that the doctrine of general momentariness will have to be abandoned.--Let then, as the third alternative, origination and cessation be altogether different from the thing, as much as a buffalo is from a horse.--That too cannot be, we reply; for it would lead to the conclusion that the thing, because altogether disconnected with origination and cessation, is everlasting. And the same conclusion would be led up to, if we understood by the origination and cessation of a thing merely its perception and non-perception; for the latter are attributes of the percipient mind only, not of the thing itself.--Hence

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we have again to declare the Bauddha doctrine to be untenable.


407:1 Bauddhânâm kshanapadena ghatâdir eva padârtho vyavahriyate na tu tadatinktah kaskit kshano nâma hâlo#sti. Brahmâvidyâbh.

408:1 And whereupon then could be established the difference of mere efficient causes such as the potter's staff, &c., and material causes such as clay, &c.?

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