Maṇimekhalai Home PageV. Other Views on the Philosophical Systems
Maṇimēkhalai in its Historical Setting
IV. The Philosophical Systems Orig: The Philosophical Systems and the conclusions to which they lead.
In this part we propose to deal with the matter contained in chapters XXVII, XXIX, and XXX of the Maṇimēkhalai. These refer respectively to the heretical systems of thought, Buddhist logic and Buddhist teaching as such. Chapter XXVII considers ten systems which ultimately resolve into five different religious systems according to the work itself. The ten referred to are (1) what is generally described as Pramāṇa Vāda of the Vaidika systems, (2) Saiva Vāda,  (3) Brahma Vāda, (4) Nārāyaṇīya Vāda, (5) Vēda Vāda. All these together constituted what Maṇimēkhalai assumed as the heretical systems based on the Veda. Collectively they may go by one name Vaidika Vāda, or the teachings which accepted the Veda.
Then follows the system of the Ājīvaka as taught by Markali, Markali Gōsāla of the Jaina and Buddhist tradition, and the Nigaṇṭha or Nirgrantha, with the chief teacher ‘Arhat worshipped of all the Indras’. The first of these systems is what is generally understood to be distinct from Jainism throughout its history more or less. But in South India, as in the Maṇimēkhalai itself, the two systems are regarded as branches of a common system which is spoken of as that of the Śamaṇas or Amaṇa, the Sanskrit Śramaṇa, which had a wider general significance than the Tamil equivalents.
The authoritative textbook of the Ājīvakas is stated in this work, to be Navakadir, a work the name of which has not come to our notice elsewhere in these discussions. The confusion between Jainism and that of the Ājīvakas has been as old as the Divyavādāna ascribable to the age of Aśoka in the third century B.C.
The Ājīvakas are said to have flourished in a place called Samadaṇḍa in the work Nīlakēśi as yet unpublished. The Maṇimēkhalai seems to regard these two as one system that of the Śamaṇas or Jains. A later Tamil work, Nīlakēśi and the Śaiva canonical work Śivajñānasiddhi state distinctly that the two systems were branches of one. In other places and other conditions the Ājīvakas were confounded For this confusion between the religion of the Jainas and the Ājīvakas there is very good reason. In the matter of externals, the order instituted by Markali Gōsāla, the founder of the Ājīvakas, a body of naked ascetics, resembled the Digambara Jainas. Apart from other similarities in the details of teaching between the two, there is one point where the similarity is very close. People are said to be born in six colours in an ascending order, namely, black, dark blue, yellow, red, golden and white, according to the Ājīvakas. In the process of transmigration people have to pass on in regular ascending order from one to the other till teaching the white birth, they could attain to birthlessness. That is the teaching of the Ājīvakas according to the Maṇimēkhalai; that is the teaching of the Ājīvakas according to Śivajñāna Siddhiar; that is also the teaching of the Jains according to the Jīvakacintāmaṇi (Muttiyilambakam 513, and Naccinārkiniyar’s comment thereon). Such closeness of external appearance and internal conviction would be justification enough if surrounding communities took the one sect for the other. with Buddhists, as in the Kannaḍa country about the time contemporary with Śivajñānasiddhi. 
Then follow the three systems Sāṁkhya treated with some elaboration, Vaiśēṣika, the substance of which is given perhaps a little less fully than Sāṁkhya but equally clearly, and lastly the Bhūtavāda, the atheistic system, treated as almost the same as the Lokāyata of other works. After having heard all that the teachers of these respective systems have had to say in Vañji, Maṇimēkhalai ridicules the last one, and, still in disguise, satisfied herself that she had acquired a competent knowledge of the ‘Five Systems’ notwithstanding the fact that she enquired of the ten teachers and obtained knowledge of their systems.
We already drew attention to the confusion that prevailed between the system of the Ājīvakas and the Jains both being regarded as one in the Tamil country. While the Maṇimēkhalai, in its final passage, seems to include the two in one, it still treats of the two separately to the extent of being regarded, if not as independent, at least as separate systems, which is somewhat unlike the treatment accorded to it in South India in times later than this. But it must be noted here in passing that in the Śilappadhikāram Kaṇṇakī’s father is said to have distributed his wealth among the Ājīvakas of great  penance, and himself became an upāsaka, Canto XXVII. ll. 99-100. his wife having given up life completely by putting an end to herself, as did Kōvalaṉ’s own mother. This is a very important reference inasmuch as the religion of the Ājīvakas, if it could be so described, was undoubtedly practised in South India at the time. One other minor point to note is that the Sāṁkhya system is treated with a certain degree of fullness.
Coming to the Vaidika systems, there is much that would throw light upon the age of the work, although the point has received no attention so far. Taking up the pramāṇa vāda, the first section, there are three authorities specifically quoted, Vēda Vyāsa, Ktakōṭi and Jaimini.
These are slated to have laid down that the valid pramāṇas were ten, eight and six respectively. Interpreted on the basis of the text itself, Vēda Vyāsa must be given credit for the ten, Ktakōṭi for the eight, and Jaimini for the six. This is a point of great importance. The latest translator (the Pāṇini edition) of the Mīmāṁsa Sūtras of Jaimini, Pandit Mohanlal Sandal, makes Jaimini responsible for eight pramāṇas and gives the credit of the reduction to six to Śabara, the commentator, which is obviously a mistake as we shall show.
The Maṇimēkhalai treats of the ten pramāṇas at the commencement of the chapter more or less fully, and they are (1) Kāṭchi (Pratyakṣa); (2) Karuttu (Anumāna); (3) Uvamam (Sans. Upamāna); (4) Āgamam (Sans. Āgama, otherwise called Śabda); (5) Aruttapātti (Sans. Arthāpatti); (6) Iyalbu (Sans. Svabhāva); (7) Aitiham or Ulahurai (Sans. Aitihya); (8) Abhāvam (Sans. Abhāva); (9) Mītchi or Olibu or Olivu (Sans. Pāriśēṣa); (10) Uṇḍāneri or Uḷḷaneṟi (Sans  Sambhava). Vēda Vyāsa’s 10. These are the ten full pramāṇas defined and illustrated and have to be ascribed to Vyāsa.
The Maṇimēkhalai itself winds up the discussion with stating six as the pramāṇas current ‘at the time’ of the composition of the work. They are, the first five and the eighth of the ten recited above. (1) Pratyaksha. (2) Anumāna. (3) Śābda. (4) Upamāna. (5) Arthāpatti. (6) Abhāva. It would be desirable to know what the actual eight pramāṇas are which are ascribed to the other author if the six of Maṇimēkhalai should be recognized as that of Jaimini as we should. To the six given at the end, add Sambhavam and Aitihyam of the ten; and these eight therefore may be ascribed to Ktakōṭi (1) Pratyaksha. (2) Anumāna. (3) Śābda. (4) Upamāna. (5) Arthāpatti. (6) Abhāva. (7) Aitihya. (8) Sambhava. These two groupings are given in the Pāṇini translation, the six under 1.1.5 as those of the commentator; the eight are given in the introduction, in the analysis of Pāda I. These seem really, to be those of Jaimini and Vttikāra respectively, the latter being quoted by Śabarasvāmin. See Keith’s Karma Mīmāṁsa, p. 8, the passage quoted below. whoever he was.
Ktakōṭi is a name which has so far remained little known elsewhere, and I believe up to the present time there has been no other reference in European works to this Ktakōṭi whether it be the name of an author, as presumably we shall have to take it to be, or of a work. The truth may be a combination of both. Maṇimēkhalai has preserved for us the name and this important detail that he was responsible for the formulating of eight alone of the ten pramāṇas as valid. It is therefore of the utmost importance if we could know something about this Ktakōṭi.
The other two are well-known names. It is the science of Mīmāṁsa, one of the  Upāṅgas of the Vēdas, that sets itself up to enquire into the rationale of Vedic sacrifices, etc., and as such feels called upon to enter into knowledge and the nature of knowledge; pramāṇas, being means of cognition, naturally come under its sphere of enquiry. Vēdavyāsa is well known as the author of Uttara Mīmāṁsa, Jaimini is equally well known as the author of Pūrva Mīmāṁsa.
Who is Ktakōṭi then? Light comes from a very unexpected quarter in a work published recently by the late Mahāmahopādhyaya Gaṇapati Sastri of Trivandrum. We find reference to this Ktakōṭi in the Prapañcahdaya, as the work is called, under the chapter heading Upāṅga Prakaraṇam. Chapter iv. pp. 38-50. Prapanchahdayam (Trivandrum Sanskrit Series, XLV). Upāngaprakaraṇam. Tatra sāngōpaṅgasya vēdasya pūrvottarakāṇḍa sambhinnasya aśeṣavākyārtha vicāraparāyaṇam Mīmāṁsa Śāstram. Tadidam vimśatyadhyāya nibaddham. Tatra ṣoḍaśa adhyāya nibaddham Pūrvamimāṁsā Śāstram pūrvakāṇḍasya dharmavicāraparāyaṇam Jaiminiktam; Tadanyadadhyāya Catuṣkam Uttaramīmāṁsa Śāstram uttarakāṇḍasya Brahma vicāraparāyaṇam Vyāsaktam. Tasya viṁśatyadhyāya nibaddhasya Mīmāṁsa Śāstrasya Ktakōṭi nāmadhēyam bhāṣyam Bōdhāyanēna ktam. Tad granthabāhuḷyabhayādupēkṣya kiñcid saṁkṣiptam Upavarṣēṇaktam. Tadapi mandamatīn pratiduṣpratipādam vistīrṇatvādity upēkṣya Ṣoḍaśalakṣaṇa Pūrvamīmāṁsā Śāstramātrasya Dēvasvāminā atisaṁkṣiptam ktam. Bhavadāsēnāpi ktam Jaiminīya bhāṣyam. Punardvikaṇḍē Dharmamīmāṁsā Śāstrēpūrvasya tantrakāṇḍasya Ācārya Śabarasvāminātisamkṣēpēna Saṅkatṣakāṇḍam dvitīyam upēkṣya ktam bhāṣyam. Tathā Dēvatākāṇḍasya Sankarṣēna. Brahmakāṇḍasya Bhagavatpāda, Brahmadatta, Bhāskarādibhirmatabhēdēnapi ktam. Tathā Śābarbhāṣyam vākhyārthamabhēdamabhyupagamya Bhaṭṭa Prabhākarābhyām dvidhā vyākhyātam. Tatra bhāvanā paratvēna Bhatṭakumārēṇa, niyōgaparatayā Prabhākarēṇa. Tasya vimśatyadhyāya nibaddhasya Mīmāṁsā Śāstrasyapratyadhyāyamarthaviśēṣaḥ pradarśyatē. Tatra Mīmāṁsā Śāstrē pramāṇa pramēyavicāraḥ kriyatē. Tatra sāṅgōpāngōvēdaḥ pramāṇam. Pramēyaḥ puruṣārthaḥ. Tasya pramāṇa bhūtasya vēdasya pratyakṣādi laukikapramāṇaiḥ ṣaḍbhiraprāmāṇyam ktakatvānityatva apauruṣēyatva paratantratvādi doṣa kalāpairaśaṅkhya pramaṇyam pratamadhyāyē pratipadyate. Tasya śaivadōṣarahitasya vēdasya bhēdābhēdau dvitiyē. Tatra etc.  This work states that it is the function of the Mīmāṁsa Śāstra to determine the meaning of all that is stated in the Vēda, and is of two parts, Pūrva and Uttara. This Mīmāmsā Śāstram, continues the statement, was a work of twenty chapters of which the first sixteen constitutes the Pūrva Kaṇḍa, which sets itself to enquire into the Dharma and is said to have been made by Jaimini. The remaining part of four chapters forms the latter part, Uttara Mīmāṁsa, and has for its subject an enquiry into Brahmam and was composed by Vyāsa. Then follows the important statement that the science of Mīmāṁsa thus constituted of twenty chapters had a commentary by name Ktakōṭi composed by Bodhāyana. As this commentary was very vast, an abridgement of it was made by Upavarṣa. It is following Upavarṣa that another commentator by name Dēvasvāmin made his commentary upon the sixteen chapters constituting the Pūrva Mīmāṁsa, having regard to the fact that otherwise it was much too large a subject for study. This work is considered a far greater abridgment than that of Upavarṣa.
Another commentator, Bhavadāsa by name, also compiled a commentary on the work of Jaimini. Of these sixteen chapters, chapters constituting the Pūrva Mīmāṁsa or Dharma Kaṇḍa as it is called, the first twelve seem to have dealt with sacrifices proper (Tantra Kaṇḍa). The following four were called Dēvatā Kaṇḍa setting itself up to enquiring into the Dēvatas, invoked by the various mantras of the Vēdas. Of these the first two were commented upon very briefly by Śabarasvāmin.
There was another commentary by Śaṁkarṣaṇa for the whole of the Dēvatā Kaṇḍa (books 13 to 16) apart from  the Brahma Kaṇḍa (books 17 to 20). There were different commentaries on this last according to difference of views by venerable commentators, Bhagavatpāda, Brahmadatta, Bhāskara and others. Following Śabara’s commentary, but differing from him in views, Bhaṭṭa, and Prabhākara composed their own two part commentaries. Bhaṭṭa Kumārila’s commentary follows the bhāvanā, and Prabhākara, niyōga, etc.
It is clear from this that the Mīmāṁsa Sāstra was regarded as one science of twenty books, though compiled by two authors, Jaimini the first sixteen chapters, and Vyāsa the following four. This division which is quite clear in the Prapañcahdaya itself is made clear beyond doubt in the introduction to Sarva Siddhānta Saṅgraha ascribed to Śankarācārya (Ś1. 20). This work otherwise confirms the description given above of the Mīmāṁsa Śāstra substantially (Ś1. 17-22 idem). The whole work was commented upon by Bodhāyana and the commentary was called Ktakōṭi. This is the commentary on the whole work which was abridged by Upavarṣa. It is after Upavarṣa that the subject came to be divided into two, and Dēvasvāmin was responsible for taking the first sixteen chapters and treating of that portion as Pūrva separately. He was followed in this by Bhavadāsa. Up to the time of Dēvasvāmin therefore, the work was regarded as one. This is a point of very great importance, as the Mīmāṁsa is generally regarded as two in orthodox parlance. The Poem Maṇimēkhalai treats the Mīmāṁsa as one, as does the Viṣṇu Purāṇa, III, VII. and not as two separate Śāstras as in later usage.
Another point has become clear from this, that is, that Ktakōṭi was originally the name of the commentary from which the author himself got the name afterwards.  His real name, however, was Bodhāyana. Bodhāyana wrote a commentary on the whole of the Mīmāṁsa Śāstra of twenty chapters.
Writers on Mīmāṁsa know of a commentary called Vtti, and the commentator is generally spoken as Vttikāra. So far not much has been known of this author and who he was. The Śābara Bhāṣya, the earliest commentary extant, refers to the Vttikāra and Upavarṣa. The Vttikāra has been taken by Jacobi to have been a commentator who followed Upavarṣa because Śabara uses the honorific Bhagavān before Upavarṣa, and not before the Vttikāra. But Keith points out that in other connections Bhagavān and Ācārya are used before the term Vttikāra, which passage Professor Jacobi has overlooked.
Dr. Ganganath Jha tried to identify him with Bhavadāsa. As was pointed out above, Bhavadāsa was the second of the commentators who commented upon the Pūrva Mīmāṁsa alone. Keith says ‘that the extract from the Vttikāra (Kumārila’s comment on ii. 3, 16) proves that an important addition has been made to the teaching of the Mīmāṁsa in the shape of the introduction of discussions of the validity of knowledge and its diverse forms.’ Could we not equate the Vttikāra in these circumstances with Bodhāyana, the author of the Ktakōṭi and is not the commentary Ktakōṭi actually referred to as the Vtti?
Professor Jacobi made the guess that the Vttikāra must be Bodhāyana and the Prapañcahdāya confirms this. The Maṇimēkhalai reference to Ktakōṭi seems to throw welcome light upon the obscurity that has enshrouded the personality of the Vttikāra quoted. What egregious mistakes were made in regard to this Vttikāra becomes clear when the latest work on the subject, Dasgupta’s History of Indian Philosophy refers  to him as having commented upon the Sābara Bhāṣya P. 370. That Jaimini’s Mīmāṁsa Sūtras (which are with us the foundations of Mīmāṁsa) are only a comprehensive and systematic compilation of one school is evident from the references he gives to the views in different matters of other preceding writers who dealt with the subject. These works are not available now, and we cannot say how much of what Jaimini has written is his original work and how much of it borrowed. But it may be said with some degree of confidence that it was deemed so masterly a work at least of one school that it has survived all other attempts that were made before him. Jaimini's Mīmāṁsa Sūtras were probably written about 200 B.C. and are now the groundwork of the Mīmāṁsa system. Commentaries were written on it by various persons such as Bhatmitra (alluded to in Nyāyaratnākara, verse 10 of Ślokavārttika), Bhavadāsa (Pratijñāsūtra 63), Hari and Upavarṣa (mentioned in Śāstradīpikā). It is probable that at least some of these preceded Śābara, the writer of the famous commentaries known as the Śābara-bhāṣya. It is difficult to say anything about the time in which he flourished. Dr. Ganganath Jha would have him about 57 B.C. on the evidence of a current verse which speaks of king Vikramāditya as being the son of Śabarasvāmin by a Kṣatriya wife. This Bhāṣya of Śābara is the basis of the later Mīmāṁsa works. It was commented upon by an unknown person alluded to as Vārttikakāra by Prabhākara and merely referred to as ‘Yathāhuḥ’ (as they say) by Kumārila. Dr. Ganganath Jha says that Prabhākara’s commentary Bhati on the Śābara-bhāṣya was based upon the work of this Vārttikakāra. itself, and the Pāṇini translator of the Pūrva Mīmāṁsa convicts Rāmānuja of error in having treated Bodhāyana as the Vttikāra. He makes the remark that Upavarṣa was the first commentator on the Mīmāṁsa, and offers the remark in a footnote that some are of opinion that Bhavadāsa was the Vttikāra. How unfounded these views are seems clear from the extracts above.
For our present purpose it is clear that the Maṇimēkhalai refers to the Mīmāṁsa Śāstra as one and accepts the six pramāṇas as of Jaimini as current at the time, thus clearly indicating a period before the Śābara Bhāṣya. Vyāsa propounded the ten pramāṇas, Ktakōṭi eight and Jaimini six. These are under reference in the Śābara Bhāṣya and the six are ascribed by mistake to Śabarasvāmin instead of to Jaimini in the Pāṇini office translation of the Mīmāṁsa Śāstra.  The late Dr. G. Thibaut’s remarks on Bodhāyana seem apposite here.
‘It appears that Rāmānuja claims, and by Hindu writers is generally admitted, to follow in his bhāṣya the authority of Bodhāyana, who had composed a vtti on the Sūtras. Thus we read in the beginning of the Śrībhāṣya (Pandit, New Series vii, p. 163)
“Bhagavad-Bodhāyana-ktam vistīrṇām brahmasūtra vttim pūrvacāryaḥ samkikṣipus tan-matānusārēṇa sūtrākṣarāṇi vyākhyāsyantē.”
Whether the Bodhāyana to whom that vtti is ascribed is to be identified with the author of the Kalpa-sūtra, and other works, cannot at present be decided. But that an ancient vtti on the Sūtras connected with Bodhāyana’s name actually existed, there is no reason to doubt. Short quotations from it are met with in a few places in the Śrī-bhāṣya, and, as we have seen above, Śaṁkara’s commentators state that their author’s polemical remarks are directed against the Vttikāra. In addition to Bodhāyana, Rāmānuja appeals to quite a series of ancient teachers, Pūrvācāryas, who carried on the tradition as the teaching of the Vēdānta and the meaning of the Sūtras. Sacred Books of the East, vol. XXXVIII. 268
This makes the position clear that presumably the vttikāra under reference is Bodhāyana, and the Vtti has reference in this context to the Vtti on the Brahma Sūtras. Is this not the Bhagavān Ācārya Vttikāra of the Śābara Bhāṣya ii.3, 16? Śaṁkara, Śankara Bhāshya, pt. II. in the Vēdānta Sūtra iii. 3, 53, states clearly that Upavarṣa wrote on both the texts, Pūrva and Uttara Mīmāṁsa, and Upavarṣa is stated in the Prapañcahdaya to have merely abridged the vast commentary of Bodhāyana’s Ktakōṭi on both the sections of the Mīmāṁsa, both Dharma Kaṇḍa and the Brahma Kaṇḍa.  Does not the Vtti therefore refer to the Ktakōṭi of the Ācārya Bodhāyana, and could we not therefore take the Vttikāra to be Bodhāyana himself?
We have the following references to Ktakōṭi in other places. The first is in Śaṁkara’s Samyamī Nāmamālā, ix. of Burnell’s Catalogue of Manuscripts in the Tanjore Library, p. 47. Here occurs the verse:–
Hālabhūtistu pavarṣaḥ Ktakōṭi Kaviś-ca saḥ.
This half śloka occurs in the dictionary Vaijayanti as line 308 on page 95, of Oppert’s edition. In the Trikaṇḍaśēṣa, Brahmavarga, śloka 23, also contains the name:
Upavarṣō Hālabhūtiḥ Ktakōṭir Ayācitaḥ.
In both these cases it will be seen that the name in either form Ktakōṭi Kavi or Ktakōṭi is identified with Upavarṣa. But the reference in the Vaijayantī and the Samyamīnāmamālā seems to indicate, in the light of the Prapañcahdaya extract, Upavarṣa’s abridgment of the vast commentary Ktakōṭi, notwithstanding the fact that the particle Kavi is omitted in the Trikaṇḍaśēṣa quotation. Sucaritamiśra’s Kāśika, a commentary on the Śloka-Vārttika contains the following reference in a discussion on the pramāṇas:–
Nyāyavistarē hi prasiddha sādharmyāt sādhya sādhanam upamānam ity uktam.
Tataḥ Pārāśarya matēna arthāpattir udāhtā,
Tad-uttarakālam Tan-matānusāriṇā Ktakōṭinā uktatvāt.
In the spōṭavāda Ibid., 294. I am indebted to the Pandits of the Government Oriental Manuscripts Library for some of these references. of the same work occurs the following:–
Atra bhāṣyakārēṇa kaha sabdaḥ iti pṣṭvā gakāraukāra visarjanīyā iti 
Bhagavān Upavarṣa matēna Uttaram dattam.
Tatra Upavarṣasya ētad darśanam napunar-asyēti bhrānti nirākaraṇārtham āha Pratyakṣa iti.
From these references in Indian Literature that I have been able to collect, it comes out clearly that Upavarṣa is the most quoted author in regard to the commentary on both Pūrva and Uttara Mīmāṁsa. He is referred to even by the name Ktakōṭi itself, sometimes with the particle kavi (meaning writer), sometimes without. In deciding the question whether Upavarṣa and the Vttikāra are the same, it is almost clear from the references given by Professor Keith himself that the two have to be regarded as distinct. Karma Mīmāṁsa by Keith, pp. 7, 8. ‘It is, therefore, not improbable that he is also in error in finding any reference to the Vijñānavāda, for the passage seems to deal with one topic only, and that the Śūnyavāda. It follows, accordingly, that the date of the Vttikāra was probably not later than the fourth century A. D. since, had he lived later, he would hardly have omitted an explicit discussion of the tenets of the idealistic school of Buddhism. The name of the Vttikāra is uncertain. The conjecture that he was Bhavadāsa mentioned in one place by Kumārila, may be dismissed as wholly without support. The current opinion makes him to be Upavarṣa, who we know from Śaṅkara (Vēdānta Sūtra, in. 3, 53) wrote on both the texts. To this the objection has been brought that in the passage cited from the Vttikāra by Śabarasvāmin there is a reference to Upavarṣa with the epithet Bhagavat, implying that he was in the eyes of the Vttikāra an author of venerable authority. It is probable, however, that the citation from the Vttikāra is only a resume not a verbatim quotation, and that Śabarasvāmin is responsible for the reference to Upavarṣa, the Vttikāra’s proper name, and for this view support may be derived from the mode in which the Vttikāra and Upavarṣa are referred to by Kumārila elsewhere (ii. 3, 16). If this view is rejected, it is possible that he is Bodhāyana, who certainly wrote on the Vēdānta Sūtra, but this theory is a bare and unnecessary conjecture, seeing that Bodhāyana nowhere else appears as a Mīmāṁsa authority. Of other presumably early commentators we hear of Bhatmitra and Hari, but there is no reason to identify either of these with the Vttikāra. The extract from the Vttikāra proves that an important addition has been made to the teaching of the Mīmāṁsam in the shape of the introduction of discussions of the validity of knowledge and its diverse forms.’
The Prapañcahdaya  statement is indubitably clear that Upavarṣa’s services consisted in merely abridging the commentary Ktakōṭi, and therefore the author of the Ktakōṭi must be different from him. The point of importance for us is whether the Ktakōṭi under reference is the Ktakōṭikavi-Upavarṣa or Bodhāyana, who was actually the author of the original work Ktakōṭi on both the sections of the Mīmāṁsa, Pūrva and Uttara.
The fact that the Maṇimēkhalai places Ktakōṭi on a footing with the authors of the Mīmāṁsa, Vēdavyāsa and Jaimini, and the importance that it attaches to his position as one formulating eight pramāṇas as against the ten of Vēdavyāsa, and the six of Jaimini, it would be fairer to regard him as Bodhāyana rather than Upavarṣa.
From the extract quoted above from Sucaritamiśra’s Kāśika, Ktakōṭi came after Vyāsa Pārāśarya in point of time, and was Vyāsa’s follower in point of teaching. Whether it be the one or the other, the Maṇimēkhalai knows of the Mīmāṁsa only as a single system and it does not know of it as two separate systems, as it had come to be recognized later.
One point before passing out of this discussion, and that is, that the six systems, as current at the time, are recited in the Maṇimēkhalai as Lōkāyata, Bauddha, Sāṁkhya, Naiyāyika, Vaiśēṣika and Mīmāṁsa. There are several points to note in regard to this list of six.
The orthodox systems accepted nowadays consist of three pairs; Vaiśēṣika and Nyāya, Sāṁkhya and Yōga, and the two Mīmāṁsas, Pūrva and Uttara. These are the accepted Vaidika systems. The Maṇimēkhalai recital differs in the following particulars. Mīmāṁsa is still treated as one; that means that the work must have been composed at a time when the Ktakōṭi and the Upavarṣa commentaries were holding the field, and the division of  Dēvasvāmin had not come into existence.
The Maṇimēkhalai includes Lōkāyatam and Bauddham among the Vaidika systems. It has not treated of Lōkāyata in this chapter unless we take Lōkāyata and Bhūtavāda as synonymous as indicated in the text, the latter including the former. It would seem strange that the Bauddha religion should be included among the systems to which the Vaidika pramāṇas applied. According to Mahāmahopādhyaya Haraprasad Śāstri all early Buddhists from Buddha to Vasubandhu were indebted to Akṣapāda for their pramāṇas, or instruments of right knowledge. But it is so stated here. The various systems quoted in a commentary on the Vijñānamātra Śāstra later than Aśvagosha’s time It is not precisely known how many philosophical schools, called tīrthakas by Buddhists, were flourishing just at the time of Aśvaghoṣa. The Nirvāna Sūtra and the Vimala Kīrttinirdēsa Sūtra mention six of them which were existing at the time of the Buddha, (1) Purāṇa Kaśyapa, (2) Maskarin Gosāliputra, (3) Sañjaya Vairaṭṭiputra, (4) Ajita Kēśakambaḷa, (5) Kakuda Kātyāyana, (6) Nirgranta Jñātiputra. In a commentary on the Vijñānamātra Śāstra however, which is a later production than this discourse, twelve different tīrthaka schools are enumerated. They are (1) the Sāṁkhya school, (2) the Vaiśēṣika school, (3) the school which believes in Mahēśvara as the creator, (4) the school which believed in Mahābrahmā as the creator, (5) the school which maintains that Time is the creator, (6) the school which maintains that Space is the creator, (7) the school which maintains that Water is the creator, (8) the school which says that the world exists by itself, (9) the school which says that the creation comes from the quarters, (10) the school which maintains that the Ego is the principle of existence, (11) the school which maintains the immortality of articulate sounds, i.e., the Mīmāṁsa school, (12) the Lōkāyata school, an Indian Materialism. For further references see Dr. Enryo Inouye’s Gedo Tetsugaku (Philosophical systems of the Tirthakas 1897, Tokyo, Japan). (Aśvaghoṣa’s Awakening of the Faith, p.110, Note 2.) show a certain similarity to the recital in the Maṇimēkhalai, and perhaps they are both of them referable to about the same time.
One other significant feature is that the Yoga system as such is not in reference in the chapter at all. Sāṁkhya is treated by itself, and without any association with  Yoga, as in the orthodox acceptation of the six systems. Professor Jacobi was inclined to take it that among the various Sūtra J.A.O.S. 1911, pp. 1-29. systems the Yoga system of Patañjali is the latest and refers the system to about the fifth century. That seems supported by the fact that the Yoga system finds no mention in the treatment of the heretical systems in Maṇimēkhalai.
Professor Jacobi also held that the Sāṁkhya system was comparatively late, the contrary seems inferable from the recital in the Maṇimēkhalai. Hence chapter XXVII of the Maṇimēkhalai is of the greatest importance to the history of Indian culture, Sanskritic as well as Dravidian, and an attempt at arriving at an approximately correct age for the classic is not a mere fad of the student of research but is of the utmost importance to any correct understanding of the character of Indian development as a whole.
[Introduction to Book XXIX]
Chapter XXIX introduces us to the Buddhist system of thought though not to the actual teaching of Buddhism itself. Like the sister systems, this has also its own particular method of enquiry into the validity of knowledge and the actual means of attaining to valid knowledge. It is therefore essential to a correct understanding of the actual teaching of Buddhism that prevailed at the time that a preliminary enquiry should be made into knowledge and the means of attaining to that knowledge by a logically valid method. Chapter XXIX of the Maṇimēkhalai therefore presents us with a treatise on Buddhist logic as taught in the schools of Buddhism at Kāñcī or more generally in the Tamil country. It would, therefore, be very useful if we could understand the treatise as a whole first and then compare it with treatises of other authors, otherwise known to us, if  possible of the same locality, or of systems that prevailed in the near vicinity. Luckily for us we have some knowledge of a well-known propounder of Buddhism who hailed from Kāñcī, but controverting all over India, and who had left behind treatises on the subject, which though considered, till within very recent times, to have been entirely lost to India, have been preserved in Tibet and China in correct and complete translations. Quite recently one or two of these have been discovered in manuscript in India itself and are likely to be made available in a complete form soon.
The chapter begins with the statement that the recognized teacher of Buddhism is Jinēndra which is another name for Buddha, and this name should not be confounded with Jina Vardhamāna or Mahāvīra, the founder of Jainism. According to this teacher the accepted pramāṇas are only two, Pratyakṣa and Anumāna. It is generally assumed that the Buddhists always recognized only two pramāṇas which, on the face of it, seems a very unlikely position. Pratyakṣam Kalpanāpoḍam Nāma Jātyādyasamyuttam. A certain number of pramāṇas must have been enunciated and applied, and each system, Buddhism among them, must have examined these, and recognized only those that seemed valid by a method of inclusion or by that of rejection. It will be clear from the Maṇimēkhalai that the other four pramāṇas were also current at the time which were alike applicable to Buddhism; Mah. Pandit Haraprasad Śāstri. J.B. and O.R.S., vol. viii, p. 23. For we know distinctly from Chinese and Japanese sources that Analogy and Authority were great polemical instruments in the hands of the early Buddhists, i.e., all early Buddhists from Buddha to Vasubandhu were indebted to Akṣapāda for their pramāṇas or polemical instruments of right knowledge. Maitreya discarded Analogy, and Dignāga discarded Authority, and made Nyāya pure logic, in the English sense of the term.’ and of these six, Buddhist teachers actually  selected two by the method of inclusion. Pratyakṣa (Suṭṭuṇarvu) is defined ‘they say Śuṭṭuṇarvu is Pratyakṣa, and leave out of consideration Nāma, Jāti, Guṇa and Kriyā, name, class, quality, and action as these could be included in Anumāna.’ Dignāga defined it in his Pramāṇa Samucchaya, as that which is free from illusory experience, and unconnected with name, genus, etc. Book XXVII. 11. 83-85. Real perception, inference, authority, analogy, presumption and absence, these and these alone are the pramāṇas now current. For real the term used is ‘mey’ – true, that is, free from error – ‘Kalpanāpoḍam.’
Anumāna is said in the work to be of three kinds: Kāraṇa, Kārya and Sāmānya, following the other schools of Hindu thought. It is also described as liable to error. But one of these Kārya Anumāna is stated to be unerring. So far the Maṇimēkhalai. Dignāga regards Anumāna as of two kinds: (1) Svārtha, for one’s own knowledge; (2) Parārtha, for the purpose of convincing others. Pram. Sam. Dignāga comes round, after an analysis, to the opinion that the second is really included in the first as there could be no effort at convincing others without being convinced oneself. Maṇimēkhalai deals with only the first part, convincing oneself, without any reference whatsoever to the second. According to Dignāga, Anumāna is defined as ‘the understanding of the meaning by a reason’ almost exactly the kārya-Anumāna of the Maṇimēkhalai: Pratyakṣam Kalpanāpoḍam, Anumānam lingāt Arthadarśanam. Nyāya Pravēśa. The Maṇimēkhalai states generally that the other pramāṇas, obviously those referred to as six at the end of Pramāṇavāda of book XXVII, are capable of inclusion in Anumāna. ‘All the remaining pramāṇas being capable of inclusion in Anumāna may be regarded as such.’ Dignāga on the contrary considers  two other pramāṇas only, namely, Upamāna and Śabda, of the four pramāṇas according to the logicians, particularly, Vātsyāyana, and rejects both as not valid treating each separately. This means that Dignāga is criticizing Vātsyāyana, while the Maṇimēkhalai belongs to a period when Vātsyāyana’s teaching had not come into vogue.
Then the other instruments of knowledge, according to the Maṇimēkhalai, are Pakṣa, Hētu, Dṣṭānta, Upanaya and Nigamana. The work proceeds to define each and illustrates it by examples. These are obviously the five limbs (avayava) of a syllogism as accepted by the Naiyāyikas of the Brahmanical systems. The five names according to them are Pratijña, Hētu, Udāharaṇa, Upanaya, Nigamana. It will be seen that only the names of one and three differ from the Maṇimēkhalai recital, in the sense of using different words, synonymous though they are. After dealing with the first three elaborately, defining and illustrating, the Maṇimēkhalai comes to the conclusion that the connected Upanaya and Nigamana may both be included in Dṣṭānta, and as such, are not considered separately. Then the work proceeds to consider the good and the bad applications of the three Pakṣa, Hētu, and Dṣṭānta.
Dignāga, on the contrary, starts with the statement ‘demonstration and refutation together with their fallacies are useful in arguing with others, and perception and inference together with their fallacies are useful for self-understanding. Seeing these I compiled the Śāstra’ (Introduction to the Nyāyapravēśa). He proceeds to state clearly that Pakṣa, Hētu and Dṣṭānta are the three limbs of a syllogism, and it is by means of these that knowledge is imparted clearly to a questioner who does not understand it already, and enforces the position by the following statement: ‘That these three are therefore  generally spoken of as the three limbs of a syllogism.’ Nyāyapravēśa is quoted in a very recently published work Tatvasaṁgraha in the Gaikwad’s Oriental Series. It is worth observing in regard to this that the Maṇimēkhalai considers the five limbs and states that the last two can be included in the third, while the Nyāyapravēśa apparently does not find it necessary to consider the last two at all. The current opinion is that Dignāga was the logician who reduced the five-limbed syllogism of Gautama and Vātsyāyana to one of three limbs only, thus giving it the form of an Aristotelian syllogism. ‘The most important service Dignāga did was by reducing the five members of a syllogism as propounded by Akṣapāda and Vātsyāyana to three, thereby giving it a form more similar to the Aristotelian Syllogism of three members.’ Tattvasaṅgraha, vol. I. introd., pp. LXXIII-LXXIV. He is also believed to be the first author to have proved the invalidity of Upamāna and Śābda as proofs, while the Maṇimēkhalai merely states that the two may be included in the third without in any way asserting their invalidity. This point of difference between the two should also be noted.
A pakṣa is valid when it contains a minor term explicitly stated and a major term also similarly stated, and a statement that the predicate will actually differ in other application, as for example, the statement that sound is non-eternal. In this the dharma or predicate is either eternal or non-eternal. The hētu or liṅga or sādhana is the connecting term, the middle term of modern logic, which appears in three forms; either it is attributed to the subject, or it is ascribed to an example by analogy, or it is denied to the contrary. Sapakṣa or homogeneous statement is that which is contained in a general statement giving to another subject a predicate  which is the same as that of the pakṣa itself. If the character of being non-eternal should be ascribed to śabda, the sapakṣa would be like the pot, etc., which are also non-eternal. To state that which is contrary, as, whatever is not non-eternal is not a product like ether (ākāśa), the capacity of being made and of appearing as a product are features which are found in the pakṣa as well as in the sapakṣa, but are not found in the vipakṣa. These constitute the hētu or the reason for the character of being non-eternal.
This is what is expounded almost in the same terms in the Nyāyapravēśa; liṅgasyatrairūpyam, the middle term must possess three characteristics, namely,
(1) the whole of the minor term, Pakṣa, must be connected with the middle term as in the example.
Sound is non-eternal
Because it is a product like a pot,
But unlike ether (ākāśa).
In this, product, which is the middle term, contains the whole of sound, which is the minor term.
(2) All things denoted by the middle term must be homogeneous with things denoted by the major term, as in the example, all things produced are non-eternal, as a pot.
(3) None of the things heterogeneous from the major term must be a thing denoted by the middle term, as in the example, nothing that is not non-eternal is a product as ether.
Valid Dṣṭānta is of two kinds, either homogeneous (sādharmya) or heterogeneous (vaidkarmya). That which is homogeneous is where there is similarity of character, there is also a similarity of attribute, e.g. non-eternal like a pot where the example is similar to the pot. An example is heterogeneous as where the predicate does not exist, the reason also does not exist.  Similarly the three, Pakṣa, Hētu and Dṣṭānta could be fallacious. These are respectively called Pakkappōn, that which looks like a pakṣa; Hētuppōli, that which looks like hētu; and Dṣṭāntappōli that which looks like Dṣṭānta.
Of these Pakkappōli (fallacious thesis) is of nine kinds: (1) a thesis incompatible with Pratyakṣa or direct perception; (2) a thesis (pakṣa) incompatible with inference (Anumāna); (3) a thesis incompatible with one’s own statement (Suvacana-viruddham in the text, obviously for Svāvacana); (4) a thesis incompatible with what is generally accepted as true (Lōka-viruddham) (5) a thesis incompatible with accepted tradition, (Āgama-viruddham); (6) a thesis with an unfamiliar attribute or predicate or a major term (Aprasiddha-viśēṣaṇa); (7) a thesis with an unfamiliar minor term (Aprasiddha-viśēṣyam); (8) a thesis with an unfamiliar major and minor term (Aprasiddha-ubhayam); (9) and a thesis already accepted by one but unacceptable to the opponent (Aprasiddha sambhandham).
Of these the first is incompatible with what is directly perceived as when it is said that sound is not audible to the ear. Anumāna-viruddham is contradictory to inference as in saying that a pot is eternal when it is known to be non-eternal being a product. The third thesis is contradicting one’s own statement as when one asserts the barrenness of his own mother. The fourth Lōka-viruddham is incompatibility with what is recognized by all, as when seeing the moon one says that it is not the moon, (5) Āgama-viruddham is when it goes against the accepted authoritative book of one’s own faith, as when a Vaiśēṣika, who believes in the non-eternality of things, ascribes the character of being eternal to that which according to him is non-eternal. (6) Aprasiddha-viśēṣaṇa is that which is  incompatible with the predicate of the opponent, as when a Bauddha tells a Sāṁkhya that sound is destructible not knowing that he is a believer in the non-destructibility of sound. (7) Aprasiddha-viśēṣya is where the subject or the minor term is unfamiliar to the opponent as when a Sāṁkhya addressing a Bauddha states that the soul is capable of animation, the Bauddha being one who does not believe in the existence of a soul, the statement proves to be incompatible with his own conviction. (8) Aprasiddha-ubhayam consists in both the minor term and the major term being incompatible as when a Vaiśēṣika addressing a Bauddha asserts that for happiness and all that is associated with it, the cause is the soul; the Bauddha not believing in soul, nor accepting any connection with it of happiness, neither of them is compatible with his position. Lastly (9) Aprasiddha sambandham consists in the assertion of what is the actual conviction of the opponent, as when to a Bauddha it is put that sound is non-eternal, the Bauddha believing that it is non-eternal, it is superfluous to prove it to him.
Śāttaṉār similarly takes up the fallacious hētu or the fallacious middle term, and states that they are of three kinds: (1) Asiddham or unproved, (2) Anaikāntikam or uncertain, (3) Viruddham or contradictory. Then he shows that the first is of four kinds: (1) Ubhayāsiddham, (2) Anyathāsiddham, (3) Siddhāsiddham and (4) Āśrayāsiddham. Similarly, the second is of six kinds: (1) Sādāraṇam, (2) Asādāraṇam, (3) Sapakkaikadēśaviruddha-Vipakkavyāpi, (4) Vipakkaikadēśaviruddha-Sapakkavyāpi,(5) Upaiyikadēśaviruddhi, and (6) Viruddha-Vyabhicāri.
The third, Viruddham, is similarly of four kinds: (1) Where in the statement of the Pakṣa or dharmin, the major term is contradictory to the Sādhana or the  middle term, (2) where the Dharmaviśēṣa or the attribute or the predicate implied in the major term is contradictory to the middle term Sādhana, (3) where the form of the minor term is contradictory to the Sādhana or the middle term, and (4) when the predicate implied in the minor term is contradictory to the Sādhana or the middle term. These are similarly illustrated as in the others.
Then he passes on to the fallacious example, Dṣṭānta ābhāsa. He divides the Dṣṭānta into two:–
(1) homogeneous, and (2) heterogeneous.
Of these the former falls into five parts:–
(1) Sādhanadharmavikalam or imperfect middle.
(2) Sādhyadharmavikalam or defective major term.
(3) Ubhayadharmavikalam or defective major and middle.
(4) Ananvayam or non-concomitance and
(5) Viparīta-anvayam or contrary concomitance.
The latter or heterogeneous example is similarly of five kinds:–
(1) Sādhya-avyāvtti (not heterogeneous from the opposite of major term).
(2) Sādhana-avyāvtti (not heterogeneous from the opposite of middle term).
(3) Ubhaya-avyāvtti (heterogeneous from neither the opposite of the middle term nor the opposite of the major term).
(4) Avyatirēka (a heterogeneous example showing the absence of disconnection between the middle term and the major term).
(5) Viparītavyatirēka (a heterogeneous example showing the absence of an inverse disconnection between the middle term and the major term).
These again are fully explained and illustrated, the  definitions and illustrations alike being almost identifiable with what is given in the Nyāyapravēśa of Dignāga.
Having thus explained the whole position, the author concluded ‘in the manner expounded above, understand clearly the fallacious character of the inference that is produced by the fallacious character of the reasoning. Thus distinguishing truth and falsehood by the method taught above, understand without doubt and on due consideration what is truth.’
This seems on the face of it, merely to be an exhortation to the pupil to understand the truth, and thus must be held to invalidate the inference that, since the exposition has taken the form of syllogistic argument, it is intended to carry conviction to others rather than to convince oneself. The fact of an argument being thrown into a syllogistic form need not necessarily involve the obligation that the argument is intended to convince others. It may be thrown into that syllogistic form for convincing oneself, irrespective of any consideration to argue and convince others. The discussion of syllogism and syllogistic form notwithstanding, the explicit statement of the author seems to imply that he was primarily concerned that each individual must so examine the arguments to convince himself. As such, the chapter seems to involve no more than the Svārtha form of inference of Dignāga, and has nothing whatever to do with the Parārtha form of inference that Dignāga for some reason had to consider and conclude that it is already involved in the Svārtha.
Taking a complete view of the chapter in comparison with such knowledge as we have of the works of Dignāga on logic, it seems clearly arguable that the Buddhist saint Aṟavaṇa Aḍigaḷ who taught in the Tamil  country and in Kāñcī in the latter days of his life, taught the logic that ultimately found its most illustrious exponent in Dignāga. It may be possible to argue that Aṟavaṇa Aḍigaḷ in chapter XXIX of the Maṇimēkhalai is merely expounding the logic taught by Dignāga and therefore followed him in point of time. If we had no valid reason against this, the chapter is certainly open to that inference, although, as I have pointed out above, there are points in it which would seem clearly a transition from the school of Akṣapāda (and Vātsyāyana) to that of Dignāga, and apart from the valid evidence going against this inference, there is enough in the system of logic expounded in chapter XXIX to justify the inference that Dignāga belonged to this school, and ultimately codified the teaching in the form in which he has given it out to the world.
It must be remembered that Dignāga was a native of Kāñcī. Even if he was not born there he lived there for a considerable length of time in the early stages of his life. He went afterwards to northern India to learn from Vasubandhu who was long resident in Ayodhya. Dignāga is actually said to have gone there in the Tibetan sources of his life, but we are not told what exactly he learnt from Vasubandhu. It is not likely that he went to Vasubandhu to learn logic. From Vasubandhu he learnt perhaps the Yogācāra Philosophy of Buddhism to which there is no reference in chapter XXX of Maṇimēkhalai. He went from Vasubandhu to Nālanda, and from there he proceeded on a controversial tour and ultimately went to Kāñcī to settle down as a teacher there though according to one account he died in Orissa.
Vasubandhu’s time must now be taken to be contemporary with the reign of Samudragupta and Chandragupta, his son, and Dignāga could not be far  removed from him. A.D. 400 would be the ultimate downward limit for him, and the school of logic in Kāñcī representing the teachings of Aṟavaṇa Aḍigaḷ in the poem must have had anterior existence. Other considerations of a historical character, and even the cultural details contained in the Brahmanical sections of the book, seem to indicate a period considerably anterior to Dignāga as the period of the work. Hence the conclusion seems borne in upon us that the Maṇimēkhalai represents a school of logic from which Dignāga sprang, not a school of logic which expounded Dignāga’s teaching.
[Introduction to Book XXX]
Book XXX of the Maṇimēkhalai takes the form of the teaching of the essentials of Buddhism such as it was understood to be by the author Śāttaṉār, or such as was prevalent in the Tamil country at the time. It begins with laying down, as a necessary preparation for it, that one should be prepared to make gifts freely to worthy people and adopt a conduct of righteousness in life, thus exhibiting in practice the two qualities of Dāna and Sīla, the first two of the ten Buddhist perfections (Pāramitas). Then the noviciate should put himself unreservedly under the direction of the three jewels by a frank declaration of such resignation into dependence upon the three jewels Buddha, Dharma and Saṅgha.
Thus Aṟavaṇa Aḍigaḷ began his teaching with how the Buddha came into the world and how he attained to enlightenment, and begins to expound the discovery that he made of the ‘Four Truths,’ suffering, origin of suffering, cessation of suffering, and the way to bring about cessation of suffering, a truth which according to this teacher had been taught by a succession of venerable Buddhas before. The realization of these ‘Four Truths’ could only be  achieved by overcoming the chain of causes and conditions incorporated in the twelve nidānas. These twelve are so related to each other as cause and effect that the cessation of the one necessarily brings about the cessation of the following. We are told that these may be regarded in the relation of subjects and of attributes as the attributes could not exist if the subjects themselves cease to exist.
These nidānas are then expounded fully, and each one of these is actually explained in the way both the Northern and the Southern schools of Buddhism actually do. The exposition seems actually to follow closely that of the Sarvāstivādīns and the Sautrāntikas. Ignorance is explained as the chief cause of it all. It consists in a want of capacity in oneself to perceive truth, and in the capacity for deluding oneself in believing that which could not be perceived, on the authority of others. The ultimate result of this leads to a cycle of births in the six different worlds of beings, of which the first three are respectively, Dēva, Brahma, and the human; the next three, animal life, the spirit world and the netherworld itself.
Good deeds take one to birth in the first three, and evil deeds to that in the following three. Removal of ignorance therefore would remove all else as of consequence. These twelve nidānas are divided into four sections with three joints as in the Sarvāstivādīn Karma phenomenology. These again are divided into past, present and future.
‘Desire, attachment and ignorance, these and the birth resulting therefrom, constitute action in the present and cause future birth.
Consciousness, name and form, organs of sense, contact, sensation, birth, age, disease and death, these are consequential experiences in life, both present and future. These are full of evil, of deeds, and of consequences resulting from these deeds, and thus constitute suffering.’ 
As such these are regarded as impermanent, coming thus to the first cardinal statement of Buddha’s teaching, ‘Everything is impermanent’, ‘sarvam anityam’. Results from this suffering are said to be becoming, when one understands that there is nothing like a soul in anything existing.
This brings us to the second cardinal principle of Buddhism, ‘Everything is without a soul’, ‘sarvam anātmakam’. ‘Consciousness, name and form, the organs of sense, contact, sensation, birth, disease, age and death, with the resulting anxiety and helplessness, these constitute disease and suffering. The causes of these are ignorance, action, desire, attachment and the collection of deeds.’ It is this attachment that brings about suffering and death. If this attachment should be given up, it brings about cessation of birth, and bliss, ‘Nirvāṇam alone is blissful peace’, Nirvāṇamēvaśāntam’. Thus are expounded the ‘Four Truths’.
One statement in the course of this deserves closer attention, that is, the statement that in anything existent, there is nothing like a soul. It is as a general statement the same as ‘sarvam anātmakam’, but somewhat narrower in its application as it is actually stated in this context as well as in a passage following near the end of the chapter. 11. 177-254 Here the statement ‘anātmakam’ seems to imply the negation of individual souls in things existing, and not in its further development of a common soul which is believed to be a refinement introduced by Harivarma (A.D. cir. 250), the chief disciple of Kumāralabdha, the founder of the Sātyasiddhi school.
Then follows the question of theological method, then an exposition of the five skandhas. The  skandhas and their manifestations, it is taught, are caused by desire, anger and illusion, and could be got rid of by getting rid of these three. Each one of these is to be examined separately, its real nature understood and adhesion to it got rid of. An examination would thus show that everything is impermanent, full of suffering, without a soul and unclean. By so understanding it, desire must be given up. The best attitude of mind is attained in the realization of friendliness to all living beings, kindliness to creatures, and joy at the well-being of all, and these must therefore be cultivated. Illusion is got rid of by hearing ‘Śruti’; by mentation, Cētanā; experiencing in mind – Bhāvanā; realizing in vision – Darśana. By practising these steadily one can get rid of darkness of mind. Maṇimēkhalai is then said to have agreed to doing so and set up as an ascetic tāpasi, which put her on the high road to Nirvāṇa.
In this chapter, Aṟavaṇa Aḍigaḷ follows the mainlines of karma phenomenology as taught in the school of the Sarvāstivādīns and what South Indian Tamilians describe as the teaching of the school of the Sautrāntikas. There is no hint of any element of the teaching of the school of the Vijñānavādīn in it of which Dignāga was a shining exponent and even other teachers from Kāñcī down to the days of Dharmapāla were distinctly exponents of that school. As was pointed out already, there is nothing that could be regarded as a reference to the Śūnyavāda and the Madhyamika school; nor even of the characteristic teachings of the Sātyasiddhi school, a transition as it were between the Hīnayāna and the Mahāyāna in the doctrine of anātma is actually referred to here. This again seems to give us a clear indication that the time of Aṟavaṇa Aḍigaḷ, or the author Śāttaṉār, could not be referred to a  time when the most distinguished teacher in Kāñcī was a shining light of the Vijñānavāda school. It must, however, be noted here that, according to Hiuen-Tsang [Xuan Zang], the prevalent form of Buddhism in Kāñcī was the Sthaviravāda.
There is yet another school associated intimately with Kāñcī to which reference may be made here. The Chinese know of a school of Buddhism called the Dhyāna School which seems to have had a continuous existence in China since the days of its introduction in the sixth century to the present time. This is called in Japanese Yen-shu. This was introduced into China by an Indian priest called Bodhidharma. ‘He was the third son of a king of Kāñcī in South India. He came to China in A.D. 527.’ ‘This school does not cling for support to any particular portion of the Tripiṭaka, but rather takes up whatever is excellent in the various portions of the sacred canon, not without subjecting it to a critical examination. The Dhyāna school moreover believes that the human tongue is too weak to give expression to the highest truths. As a natural consequence of such a belief, its adherents disclaim attachment to Sacred Books as their final authority. But nevertheless they respect the canon regarding it as an efficient instrument conducing to the attainment of enlightenment.’ There is no indication of anything like this teaching in the Buddhism of Maṇimēkhalai. If Bodhidharma went to China in A.D. 527, his teaching must have been fairly well known about A.D. 500. Perhaps this may give a slight indication that the teaching of Aṟavaṇa Aḍigaḷ must have been earlier than A.D. 500.
It may be stated in conclusion that the teaching of Buddhism as embodied in Book XXX is enforced by Śāttaṉār at least in three other places in the course of the  work. He puts it once in the mouth of Aṟavaṇa Aḍigaḷ himself in Book XXIV where he taught it to the queen; he puts it into the mouth of the spirit of ‘the statue in the pillar’ in Book XXI, and he puts it again into the mouth of the image of Kaṇṇakī addressing Maṇimēkhalai as on the previous occasion. In all this it is the same teaching that is given detail for detail. That the teaching followed was that of the Sautrāntika is in clear evidence where Kaṇṇakī is made to tell Maṇimēkhalai, ‘having learnt in this old city the wise teaching of those that profess the various religions, and after feeling convinced that they do not expound the path of truth, you will then accept “the path of the Piṭakas of the Great One”, and follow it without transgression.’ This makes it as clear as it is possible to expect in the circumstances, that the teaching of Buddhism embodied in the Maṇimēkhalai is the Sautrāntika form of Buddhism, and by no means the Vijñānavāda with which the names of Dignāga and the succession of his pupils down to Dharmapāla are intimately associated.
Maṇimekhalai Home PageV. Other Views on the Philosophical Systems
last updated: June 2017