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Causality: The Central Philosophy of Buddhism by David J. Kalupahana

By David J. Kalupahana

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Extra resources for Causality: The Central Philosophy of Buddhism

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They appear to be the product of reasoning as well as of religious experience. Of the two methods, it was by the former that the concept of G od and creation, as it appears in the Vedas and the Brahmanas, seems to have been arrived at. The argument from religious experience was mostly adduced during the period of the later Upanisads. The process of reasoning by which the conception of God was arrived at in the Vedas and the Brahmanas involved two types of arguments, namely, the cosmological and the teleological, or the argument from design.

The use of the word samyak is extremely im portant in that it points to the absence of any incongruity or inconsistency. To understand the full significance of the statement above, it should be examined in the light of the rest of M akkhali G osala’s teaching. We have already seen that the Svabhavavadins advocated plurality and the classification o f this plurality according to the resemblance the elements bear to one another. 66 Moreover, Buddhagosa does not consider the words satta, pana, bhuta and jiva, occurring in the statement of M akkhali’s teaching, as syn­ onyms but as references to different types of existence: satta pana bhuta jiva = = = = camels, buffaloes, donkeys, etc.

109 The other argument, the teleological argument, or the argu­ Vedic Theories o f Causation 17 ment from design, appears to be the basis of the conception of the creator God found in the hymn addressed to Visvakarman. 111 But this criticism does not hold in the case o f the Vedic conception, for according to the hymn, the original substance out of which the universe was fashioned derives its being from the creator God. 113 M ost of the theories of creation in the Rgveda include mechan­ ical and organic views of creation.

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