107. Tuṣyatu durjana-nyāya
“Let the wicked be happy” is the import of this nyāya. When the point raised by an opponent is impertinent, the debater agrees to it in a serious manner and when he counters it this nyāya finds use. “Very good; let’s assume what you say is true for a moment. But what would you say about the following then?”, this is the import of this nyāya.
Tṛṇa here means bamboo; araṇi is the instrument used as part of the yajña to kindle agni. Maṇi here means a convex lens. Using any of these, we can start a fire. When asked what is the cause of the fire, all the three can be the answer, we cannot limit the cause and say only one of them can be the cause. For the agni originating from the bamboo it is the bamboo which is the cause. Likewise for the other two.
When the activity can happen due to multiple causes, it is wrong to adamantly argue that only one among them is the cause.
"वह्नित्वावच्छिन्नं प्रति तृणादिष्वन्यतमस्यैव कारणत्वं नाभ्युपेयेते परस्परव्यभिचारात् । यत्र कार्यकारणभावबाहुल्यं कार्यतावच्छेदकं कारणतावच्छेदकं च नाना तत्रास्य प्रवृत्तिः"
A man goes around with a vessel filled with oil. The vessel filled up to the brim. He shouldn’t spill even a drop of oil. If he spills he will be punished by death! Such a situation demands utmost care! When such situations are to be described, this nyāya is used.
Paṭa means a cloth. Even when it is burnt, its shape remains for a while. Likewise if we burn paper. If something is destroyed beyond redemption but still exists somewhat vaguely, this nyāya is used to describe such instances. Once the cabinet resigns, the governor asks the same to continue as an acting cabinet till the election is conducted and a new government is elected. Such a cabinet of ministers is called the ‘Shadow cabinet’. We can say that such a cabinet exists like the dagdhapaṭa!
When a vedāntin has attained the state of jīvanmukti, he has the firm conviction that everything is but a mere manifestation of the saccidānanda. But till he can cast away his mortal body he has to indulge in the mundane activities of the samsāra. In such a state, do they have a distinction between the body parts, the food, the drink etc? Or not? For this the answer the vedāntins provide is as follows, “For the jīvanmukta the distinction would exist like the dagdhapaṭa. Even when the material is burnt, the discernment that it is ‘material’ would exist for transaction’s sake.”
Seeds which have been burnt would never germinate. When the cause is destroyed the effect can never materialize. When the foot is pierced by a thorn, it causes pain. Once the thorn is removed, there is no cause for the pain. Like the ‘cakrabhramaṇa-nyāya’ the pain might linger for a while but there is no cause for new pain.
The karma accumulated by a being through puṇya and pāpa causes it to be born. Because the puṇya and pāpa can be overcome only by experiencing them. To experience them a body is needed. Thus a being acquires a body, i.e. takes birth. Once karma is destroyed there is no body there is no world. A verse in ‘syādvādamañjarī’ is as follows:
दग्धे बीजे यथात्यन्तं प्रादुर्भवति नाङ्कुरः ।
कर्मबीजे तथा दग्धे न रोहति भवाङ्कुरः ॥
“If the seed is burnt it doesn’t sprout, likewise the seed of karma when burnt doesn’t result in the sprout that is the samsāra.”
The couple are poor; winter is raging; there is only one rug, that too is small, both are sharing the same. It doesn’t cover their body fully. If the wife tugs on it the husband finds himself exposed to the cold, likewise the wife! It is not big enough for two people! When helping someone leads to inadvertently hurting someone else, this nyāya is used. In any śāstra when a lakṣaṇa is being honed, however you fine tune it, you cannot get rid of the flaw then this nyāya is used to describe it. This resembles the other nyāya called ‘ubhayataspāśā rajjuḥ’.
A snake can be beaten to death with a stick. A snake once ventured into a fool’s house. He knew he could kill it with a stick. He searched for one; couldn’t find one. Instead he found an axe. He could have used that. But he was searching for a stick! To get a stick, he went out to cut some wood. By the time he returned the snake was nowhere to be seen! If someone fails to work as per the situation this nyāya is used.
Apūpikā is a delicacy made from the flour, it can be a roti. Such delicacies were tied to a stick. The stick was chewed up by rats. What would be the state of the rotis? It's evident that they have been eaten by the rats. If they can chew up the stick rotis couldn’t have been difficult. Thus when one activity follows the other by inference, this nyāya is used to describe it.
“Devadatta is a well-built fellow. He doesn’t eat anything during the day.”, if such a statement is made, we can infer that he eats in the night. Because one cannot be well-built without eating. If one doesn’t eat during the day it is evident that he is eating during the night. People opine that this can be inferred. There is another nyāya called kaimutika which works similarly. Kimuta means, up to what extent? How much needs to be said?
This has been used in Kuvalayānanda in Kāvyārthāpatti alaṅkāra-prakaraṇa.
“स जितस्त्वन्मुखेनेन्दुः का वार्ता सरसीरुहाम्”
“The moon is defeated by your face. What to tell about the lotuses?”
Since the moon makes the lotuses wither, he is more powerful. So defeating the moon implies that the lotuses are defeated too. This is evident by daṇḍāpūpikā-nyāya
This can be realised in a slightly different manner. The rotis were hanging on the stick. A thief stole the stick. There is no need to explicitly state that the rotis also became his property; it is evident.
This is the thirteenth part of the multi-part translation of the Kannada book "Sandarbha Sukti" by Mahamahopadhyaya Vidwan Dr. N Ranganatha Sharma. Thanks to Dr. Sharada Chaitra for granting us permission to translate this wonderful work. The original in Kannada can be read here