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losophical school, was Gotama, if, indeed, he was not the most ancient of all; for his wife Ahalya was, according to Indian legends, restored to a human shape by the great Rama; and a sage of his name, whom we have no reason to suppose a different personage, is frequently mentioned in the Veda itself; to his rational doctrines, those of Canada were in general conformable; and the philosophy of them both is usually called Nyaya, or logical, a title aptly bestowed; for it seems to be a system of metaphysics and logick, better accommodated than any other anciently known in India, to the natural reason and common sense of mankind; admitting the actual existence of material substance in the popular acceptation of the word matter, and comprising not only a body of sublime dialectics, but an artificial method of reasoning, with distinct names for the three parts of a proposition, and even for those of a regular syllogism. Here I cannot refrain from introducing a singular tradition, which prevailed, according to the well
informed author of the Dabistan, in the Panjab and several Persian provinces, that, among other Indian curiosities, which Callisthenes transmitted to his uncle,* was a
*We presume that Sir William Jones, by his uncle, means Aristotle. Callisthenes was born about 365 years before the Christian æra, at Olynthus, in Thrace, a town originally founded by a Grecian colony from Eubæa. His mother, Hero, it appears, was a near relation of Aristotle, but whether a sister, or not, is uncertain. Aristotle sent for him to Athens, where he was educated under his immediate inspection. He carried him, with him, to the court of Macedon, when he went thither as preceptor to Alexander, and left him there. Callisthenes accompanied Alexander in his expedition into the east. Though endowed with talents, he seems to have been proud, intolerant, contradictory, and insolent, even sometimes towards his sovereign. He was accused of having entered into the conspiracy of Hermolaus against Alexander. The guilt of Hermolaus and some other conspirators being proved, they were stoned to death, at the city of Cariata, in Bactria. Callisthenes was afterwards tried and condemned. Some authors have alleged that he was innocent; others have insisted that he was guilty, and especially Arrian, who wrote from the authority of Aristobulus and Ptolemy Lagus, who were present at the time. But it is said that, instead of being put to death by the executioner, he was
technical system of logic, which the Brahmins had communicated to the inquisitive Greek, and which the Mohammedan writer supposes to have been the ground-work of the famous Aristotelian method: if this be true, it is one of the most interesting facts, that I have met with in Asia; and if it be false, it is very extraordinary that such a
confined in a cage placed on a carriage that followed the army, and that he thus miserably ended his life. Justin pretends, that he died by poison, which at his own request was secretly conveyed to him by Lysimachus. But what appears certain, is, that he was accused of treason and tried, and that his death, in whichever way it happened, was in consequence of his condemnation. But instead of referring the reader to the numerous ancient authors who have mentioned Callisthenes, we recommend to him the perusal of an article on his life and writings, by M. [l'Abbé Sevin, in Mémoires de l'Academie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres, tom. viii. p. 126.
To learned readers, the above, and some other notes, may appear superfluous; but they are inserted with the view of saving the trouble of inquiry to those who may be less informed concerning the subjects mentioned, or who may not possess the opportunity of consulting the authorities referred to.
story should have been fabricated either by the candid Mohsani Fani, or by the simple Parsis Pandits, with whom he had conversed; but, not having had leisure to study the Nyaya Sastra, I can only assure you, that I have frequently seen perfect syllogisms in the philosophical writings of the Brahmins, and have often heard them used in their verbal controversies. Whatever might have been the merit or age of Gotama, yet the most celebrated Indian school is that, with which I began, founded by Vyasa, and supported in most respects by his pupil Jaimini, whose dissent on a few points is mentioned by his master with respectful moderation; their several systems are frequently distinguished by the names of the first and second Mimansa, a word, which, like Nyaya, denotes the operations and conclusions of reason; but the tract of Vyasa has in general the appellation of Vedanta, or the scope and end of the Veda, on the texts of which, as they were understood by the philosopher who collected them, his doctrines are principally grounded.
The fundamental tenet of the Vedanti school, to which in a more modern age the incomparable Sancara was a firm and illustrious adherent, consisted, not in denying the existence of matter, that is, of solidity, impenetrability, and extended figure, (to deny which would be lunacy,) but, in correcting the popular notion of it, and in contending, that it has no essence independent of mental perception, that existence and perceptibility are convertible terms, that external appearances and sensa tions are illusory, and would vanish into nothing, if the divine energy, which alone sustains them, were suspended but for a moment; an opinion, which Epicharmus* and Plato seem to have adopted, and which has been maintained in the present century with great elegance, but with little public applause; partly because it has been mis
* A Pythagorean philosopher and poet, born in Sicily, under the reign of the first Hieron, and the first who there introduced regular dramatic works on the stage. Plato is supposed to have borrowed from his writings.