Dharmakīrti's Criticism of Anityatva in the Sāṅkhya Theory

Journal of Indian Philosophy 39 (4-5):553-569 (2011)
In his Pramāṇaviniścaya 3, Dharmakīrti criticizes the view of the Sāṅkhyas that the word anityatva (“impermanence”) means a process of transformation ( pariṇāma ) of primordial matter ( pradhāna ). In this connection, he deals with the following two explanations of transformation: (1) the disappearance ( tirodhāna ) of the previous dharma of an entity ( dharmin/dravya ) and (2) the cessation ( nivṛtti ) of the previous state ( avasthā ) of an entity ( avasthātṛ ). In response to these explanations, he proves that whenever a transformation takes place, the previous entity is destroyed, and therefore, impermanence does not mean transformation, but only destruction ( vināśa ). His criticism is basically along the same lines as Vasubandhu’s arguments found in the Abhidharmakośabhāṣya . However, because of developments in the theory of transformation, Vasubandhu’s criticism allows room for a retort from the Sāṅkhya. For this reason, Dharmakīrti augments Vasubandhu’s theory in order to make it sustainable against the more developed Sāṅkhya theory
Keywords Dharmakīrti  Sāṅkhya  Yuktidīpikā  Vasubandhu   Anityatva   Pariṇāma   Tirodhāna   Avasthā
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