Yoga Sutra 4.16 it is not dependent on a single mind

Sūtra IV.16

It is not dependent on a single mind, for when it was not giving rise to valid cognition in that mind, what would it be?

If the thing were dependent on a single mind, when that mind was not focused on it, or was inhibited, the thing would not be in contact with it and would not be an object to any other mind either. So that thing would not produce any valid cognition, and would be essentially unknown. What would it be at that time? Again, why would it rise again to be connected with that mind? (Further) its parts which were not being cognized, would not exist. As the back would not exist, the front ought not to exist either.

It is not dependent on a single mind, for when it was not giving rise to valid cognition in that mind, what would it be? To begin with, it is not dependent on a single mind, for supposing it were, If the thing were dependent on a single mind, when that mind on which the particular thing depended was not focused on it, when it was engaged with something else, or was inhibited, disappeared, the thing would not be in contact with it, with that mind which had valid cognition of it, and would not be an object to any other mind either, for it is supposed to be dependent on the single mind alone. So that thing would not produce any valid cognition, and would be essentially unknown, the mind that could know it being entirely inhibited. What would it be at that time? It could not be anything at all, for since it is known by that mind (alone), without the latter it would not come to exist through it.

(Opponent) The knowing mind is inhibited, so this too is inhibited similarly, because it is after all momentary. No further explanation is needed.

(Answer) Not so, because it would be the end of all worldly life, and also there would be nothing to determine what happened. ‘This is fire: do not touch it. Take this, give that’ – this sort of worldly exchange would be ended, because the thing would disappear along with its concomitant mind.

(Opponent) Something absolutely similar to it, produced in the chain (of instants of vijñāna-consciousness) would suffice for worldly life.

(Answer) Here again, who is to determine that from that very chain, there will be something which may be experienced as the same thing, and become the object of a further valid cognition? There is no ground for the determination.

In any case, as the thing depends on only the single mind, at the time of worldly life, what supports as an object a particular idea of the one party, will have no relation with ideas of the other party, for the thing is not supposed to be dependent on a plurality of minds. So when we are asked: ‘Take this; give that!’ how are we going to carry it out?

Nor would a pupil living with the teacher be able to co-operate in the passing on of instruction and so on. Thus a thing cannot be dependent on a single mind, for when the cognizing mind was absent or otherwise engaged, the (existence of) the thing would be undetermined.

Again, why would it the thing rise again to be connected with that mind? There is no reason why it should arise from that chain (of instants), as we have pointed out.

Further, its that thing’s parts which were not being cognized not becoming the object of an idea of that single mind would not exist. For one part would be an object dependent on that mind, but another part would not be. Then as the back would not exist, the front which is before one ought (logically) not to exist either.

(Opponent) Well, on the principle of the Crow and the Palmyra Fruit (by a rare chance, the fruit falls from a high branch and kills the bird), a number of minds could come together simultaneously, so that the thing would emerge at the same time for them all.

(Answer) This is refuted by the point that if the back of a thing does not exist, then its front (logically) does not exist either. Nor could the sea of worldly affairs, made up of permanent relations, be navigated on the basis of chance conjunctions like the Crow and the Palmyra Fruit. All the defects in the contentions of the Consciousness-only doctrine are exactly the same here.

Therefore a thing is self-sufficient, common to all men, and minds, self-sufficient, function for their respective Puruṣa-s. From conjunction of the two comes perception, which is experience for Puruṣa.

Therefore thus a thing is self-sufficient, common to all men, since the affairs of the world as a whole are feasible only on this basis, and the minds function for their respective Puruṣa-s. From conjunction of the two things and minds comes perception, which is experience for Puruṣa. So Puruṣa is the experiencer, mind is the instrument, and the thing is its field, namely the object; the categories of experiencer, instrument and object, are distinct.

(Opponent) How does experience of Puruṣa come from conjunction of mind and objects?

(Answer) He replies: For him who claims either that there is no thing apart from mind, or that the thing is wholly dependent on mind, there cannot be some objects known and some unknown. (However:)

 

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