Nathamuni’s Nyayatattva in Ishwara pariccheda of Nyayasiddhanja.
Professor, Dept. of Nyaya,
National Sanskrit University
(Paper presented in the National Conference on the contribution of Sriman Nathamuni, the great Acharya of Shri Vaishnava literature in commemoration of his 1200th Birth anniversary in collaboration with Srimad Ubhaya Vedanta Acharya Peetham from 17th-19th February, 2023 at Srimad Ubhaya Vedanta Acharya Peetham, JIVA Campus Auditorium, Sriramanagaram, Shamshabad, Telangana.)
अस्मदाचार्यपर्यन्तां वन्दे गुरुपरम्पराम्॥
Kurattazvan records this fact by the verse : the linage of our preceptors
Is commenced from Lord Narayana himself. For the middle ages, later it is continued by Nathamuni and Yamunamuni, and for the present days it is brought up to us by our preceptor Ramanuja.
Further Vedantadeshika declares that the Visistadvaita philosophy has been developed by the three sages : Natha, Yamuna and Ramanuja by their compositions. Up to Nathamuni’s time, this system is propagated in oral tradition. Nathamuni is the first person to record this philosophy into the book-form by his writings, Nyayatattva and yogarahasya. Hence it is called after his name. Vedantadeshika states in his Tattvamuktakalapa , (Adravyasara, sl. 136) that : Visishtadvaita theory is perfect in explaining the meaning of Veda-s, and which clears all the mistakes of other’s views.
दृष्टेऽपह्नुत्यभावात् अनुमितिविषये लाघवस्यानुरोधात्
शास्त्रेणैवावसेये विहतिविरहिते नास्तिकत्वप्रहाणात्।
नाथोपज्ञं प्रवृत्तं बहुभिरुपचितं यामुनेयप्रबन्धैः
त्रातं सम्यग्यतीन्द्रैरिदमखिलतमःकर्शनं दर्शनं नः॥
Nathamuni (823-951 A.D.) alias Sri Ranganathamuni, son of Isvaramuni, born in the year Subhakrit – jyeshtamasa-trayodashi, anuradha nakshatra, i.e. in 823 A.D. in the village Kattumannargudi of Tamilnadu.
At first, Nathamuni was praised by his grandson Yamunacharya in his Stotraratna by three verses:
तस्मै नमो मधुजिदंध्रिसरोजतत्त्वज्ञानानुरागमहिमातिशयातिसीम्ने ।
नाथाय नाथमुनयेऽत्र परत्र चापि नित्यं यदीयचरणौ शरणं मदीयम्॥
लेकेऽवतीर्णपरमार्थसमग्रभक्त्योगाय नाथमुनये यमिनां वराय॥
We can know little more about the personality of Nathamuni, in the writings of Yamunacharya, the grandson of Nathamuni.
Yamunacharya has grate honor to his grandfather, Nathamuni, who has shown him the path of yoga as devotion. At the end of his Stotraratna he prays God to excuse and protect him, remembering his grand father Nathamuni:
जनित्वाहं वंशे महति जगति ख्यातयशसाम् … etc.
पितामहं नाथमुनिं विलोक्य प्रसीद मद्वृत्तमचिन्तयित्वा ।
Yamunacharya, learnt a lot from Nathamuni’s Nyayatattva, basing on which he composed Siddhitraya etc.
He wrote nine works elaborating the Visistadvaita Philosophy, succeeding Nathamuni. They are : Agama-pramanya, Mahapurusha-nirnaya, Siddhi-traya that is three Siddhi texts : Atma-siddhi, Ishvara-siddhi and Samvit-siddhi; Gitartha-sangraha, Sri-stuti that is Kanta-catussloki and Srisha-stuti that is Stotra-ratna.
There is another work called
Kashmiragama-pramanya, composed by Nathamuni, which is not now extent, and known by the reference of Yamuna himself in his Agama-pramanya at the end, as well as Purusha-nirnaya. Here the way, which Yamuna refers to the Kashmiragama-pramanya is similar to his reference to the Purusha-nirnaya, which is decidedly his own work.
सर्वमेतत् पुरुषनिर्णये निपुणतरमुपपादितमिति नेह प्रस्तूयते। (आ.प्रा. पुं. ४५)
यथा चैकायनशाखाया अपौरुषेयत्वं तथा काश्मीरागमप्रामाण्य एव प्रपंचितमिति नेह प्रस्तूयते । (आ.प्रा. पुं. ८५)
Vedantadeshika enumerated eight works of Yamunacharya, in his commentary on Gitarthasangraha-raksha as follows:
मानत्वं भगवन्मतस्य महतः पुंसस्तथा निर्णयः
तिस्रः सिद्धय आत्मसंविदखिलाधीशानतत्त्वाश्रयाः।
गीतार्थस्य च संग्रहः स्तुतियुगं श्रीश्रीशयोरित्यमून्
यद्ग्रन्थाननुसनदधे यतिपतिस्तं यामुनेयं नुमः॥
The Visistadvaitin-s hold three catagories, as Cit, Acit and Ishvara. The materialist and Mimamsaka-s do not accept Ishvara as separate entity. Though the logicians accept Ishvara as different reality from Jiva, and they infer the existence of Ishvara, as god is not perceptible. They also consider that the inference is the primary means of cognition and the verbal testimony is a secondary in accepting Ishvara. They infer that the god is an agent in creating the world, hence he is an instrumental cause.
Usually the cause is defined as karya-niyata-purvavarti, that is a material which compelsarily existed earlier to the effect, and that is divided into three types viz. samavayi, asamavayi and nimitta. Samavayi-karana is the partial material / avayava dravya; asamavayi-karana is the contact of each two members of the partial material / avayava-dvaya-samyoga that is guna, and the nimitta-karana / instrumental cause is karta – the agent of an effect.
Naiyayika-s, consider these three causes are different from each other. In their view, the God is an instrumental cause to the world. The inference of God, is like this : “Kshity-ankyra-adikam sakartrkam, karyatvat, ghatavat.” That is : all the material world has an agent, as it is an effect, just like a pot. The pot is found that the mud is as its material cause, and the potter, the maker of the pot, is the instrumental cause, as an agent. Infact the mud and the potter both are different from each other. Just like we accept the potter to make a pot, an agent in creating the world, also is to be accepted. Without considering an agent, any effect is not possible. As we do not find any one of the jiva-s, in creating the entire world, we have to accept god as a creator of this created world. So Logicians primarily infer the existence of god, and secondly accept the Sruti also as a means of cognition in God, referring Sruti : “धाता यथापूर्वमकल्पयत्”, “द्यावापृथिवी जनयन् देव एको विश्वस्य कर्ता भवनस्य गोप्ता” etc.
Visishtadvaitin-s condemn this view, and hold that God himself is only cause of the world, without any other association. They consider the God by Sruti / the verbal testimony and they hold that God alone is the entire cause in creation of the world.
अभिन्ननिमित्तोपीदानकारण – the inseparable cause that is material as well as instrumental. In order to hold this theory Nathamuni, composed the text Nyayatattva, Yamuna composed Isvarasiddhi, and Vedantadeshika elaborated in Tattvamuktakalapa, Nyayaparisuddhi & Nyayasiddhanja.
अवधीर्याक्षपादादि न्यबन्धि न्यायपद्धतिः॥
(न्यायपरिशुद्धिः, १–१–६, पु. १४)
Vedantadeshika mentions that the Atmasiddhi is the digest of Nyayatattva. न्यायतत्त्वशास्त्रप्रकरणं हि आत्मसिद्धिः। (न्यायसिद्धांजनम्, पु. २४३)
Vedantadeshika has frequently quoted the passages from Nyayatattva, in his works : Tattvatika (2), Tattvamuktakalapa
(5), Nyayaparisuddhi (6), and Nyayasiddhanjana (31). Totally 44 times.
By the quotations of Vedantadeshika we can estimate that Nyayatattva is an elaborated text, which is widely devided into Pada-s : प्रमातृपाद, प्रमेयपाद, कपणपाद etc. and each pada consists of several Adhikarana-s. Further Vedantadeshika frequently mentions Nyayatattva in his works as a Sastra.
Vedantadeshika in Ishwara-pariccheda of Nyaya-siddhanjana, deals with the nature of Ishwara, fully following Nathamuni and Yamunamuni.
Yamuna in his Atmasidhi, boldly establish that the Sruti alone is the means of cognition in accepting both Jiva and Isvara. He doesnt admit inference as means of cognition even in establishing the existance of Jiva.
आनुमानिकीमप्यात्मसिद्धिमश्रद्धधानाः श्रौतीमेव तां श्रोत्रियाः संगिरन्ते। (आत्मसिद्धिः, पु. १३९)
न्यायसिद्धांजने ईश्वरपरिच्छेदे ईश्वरानुमानप्रयोजननिरासप्रकरणे वेदान्तदेशिकाः न्यायतत्त्वात् उदाजह्रुः। “ननु तर्हि रचनानुपपत्तेश्च (२–२–१) इत्यादिसूत्रं तद्भाष्यं च कथं संघटेत? न्यायतत्त्वे च पिरमातृपादे चेतनस्यैव कर्तृत्वप्रतिपादनप्रकरणे “ननु वायुः भूरेणूनां संघातं करेति।” इत्यादिना परिचेद्य, दत्तमुत्तरम् — “उच्यते । कर्तृ–करण–कर्माणीति त्रीणि कारणानि क्रियाविशिष्टानि। तेषामन्यतमाभावे क्किया न युज्येत।” इत्यादि। अत्रापि ईश्वरानुमानानुमतिर्दृष्टा।” इति। (पु. २२५)
“उपादानत्कारणवं च परिणामास्पदत्वमेव” इति वेदार्थसंग्रहानुसारात् अवस्थाश्रय उपादानम्। आगन्तुकोऽपृथक्सिद्धो धर्मोऽवस्था। विशेषतस्तु उत्तरोत्तरावस्थाविशिष्टस्वरूपापेक्षया तदनुगुणनियतपूर्वभाव्यवस्थाविशिष्टं तदेव वस्तूपादानम्। घटत्वावस्थाविशिष्टमृद्द्कव्यापेक्षया पिण्डत्वावस्थाविशिष्टं तदेव द्रव्यम्।
परिणामौन्मुख्यातिरिक्तेन आकारेण अपेक्षितं कारणं निमित्तकारणम्। असमवायीति अवान्तरविभागस्तु नास्मदीयैरभ्युरगतः, पारिभाषिकत्वात्।
(न्यायसिद्धांजनम्, ईश्वरपरिच्छेदः, पु. २२६,२२७)
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