Classical Indian Philosophy: The Concept of Causation and MCQs

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The Concept of Causation

  • A cause is defined as an unconditional and invariable antecedent of an effect.
  • The effect is an unconditional and invariable consequent of a cause.

The 3 important characteristics of cause are:

  • The first essential characteristic of a cause is its antecedence. or purvavarti.
  • The second characteristic is its invariability. or nityatapuravrti
  • The third essential characteristic of the cause is its unconditionality or necessity. or ananyathasiddha
  • On the other hand, the effect or karya is defined as the counter-entity. Or, pragabhavapratiyogi.
  • It is a fresh beginning or a new creation.
  • View accepted by; Nyaya-Vaisesika regarding the doctrine of creation.
  • Stark opposite of the doctrine accepted by schools such as Samkhya, Yoga, and Vedanta.
  • Arambha-vada means the effect or karya is non-existent or as at before its creation and it is a new beginning or arambha.
  • It is neither an appearance nor a transformation of the cause.

There are three kinds of causes, namely:

  • Samavayi-karana
  • Asamavayi-karana
  • Nimitta-karana

Samavayi-Karana

It is also known as the inherent cause, or the material cause or upadana.

For example:

  • threads are the inherent cause of the cloth.
  • So, the effect inheres in its material cause or upadana.
  • Like, the cloth inheres in its material cause or the threads.
  • Hence, the effect cannot exist separately from the cause.
  • On the other hand, the cause can exist independently of its effect.
  • So, the material cause is always a substance or dravya.

Asamavayi-Karana

  • It is called the non-inherent cause.
  • It inheres in the material cause or upadana and helps in the production of the effect.

For example:

  • The conjunction of the threads or tantusamyoga.
  • The effect as well as its non-inherent cause both inhere in the material cause or upadana.

Nimitta-Karana

  • It is also known as the efficient cause.
  • It is the power which helps the material cause or upadana to produce an effect.

For example:

  • The weaver is the efficient cause of the cloth.
  • Efficient cause also includes the accessories.
  • For example, in the case of the production of the cloth, the weaver uses the loom, the shuttle, the wheel, the staff members, etc.

MCQs

1. The cause must invariably precede the effect is called

A. purvavarti

B. nityatapuravrti

C. Both A and B

D. None of these

Answer: B

Explanation: The cause must invariably precede the effect is called nityatapuravrti.

2. The conjunction of the threads which inheres in the thread is the non-inherent cause of the cloth, it is called

A. Tantusamyoga

B. Sam yoga

C. Tanturupa

D. All of these

Answer: A

Explanation: The conjunction of the threads (tantusamyoga) inheres in the thread and is the non-inherent cause of the cloth of which the threads are the material cause.

3. Nyaya and Vaisesika school believe in ________ theory of creation

A. Asatkarya-vada

B. Arambha-vada

C. Both A and B

D. Satkaryavada

Answer: C

Explanation: Nyaya and Vaisesika school, both believe in Asatkarya-vada or Arambha-vada.

#vaisesika

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