17. Even on the aggregate with its two causes, there is non-establishment of that.
We so far have refuted the Vaiseshikas, who hold the doctrine of atoms constituting the general cause. Now the followers of Buddha also teach that the world originates from atoms, and the Sûtras therefore proceed to declare that on their view also the origination, course, and so on, of the world cannot rationally be accounted for. These Bauddhas belong to four different classes. Some of them hold that all outward things, which are either elements (bhûta) or elemental (bhautika), and all inward things which are either mind (kitta) or mental (kaitta),--all these things consisting of aggregates of the atoms of earth, water, fire and air--are proved by means of Perception as well as Inference. Others hold that all external things, earth, and so on, are only to be inferred from ideas (vigñâna). Others again teach that the only reality are ideas to which no outward things correspond; the (so-called) outward things are like the things seen in dreams. The three schools mentioned agree in holding that the things admitted by them have a momentary existence only, and do not allow that, in addition to the things mentioned, viz. elements and elemental things, mind and mental things, there are certain further independent entities such as ether, Self, and so on.--Others finally assert a universal void, i.e. the non-reality of everything.
The Sûtras at first dispose of the theory of those who acknowledge the real existence of external things. Their opinion is as follows. The atoms of earth which possess the qualities of colour, taste, touch and smell; the atoms of water which possess the qualities of colour, taste and touch; the atoms of fire which possess the qualities of colour and touch; and the atoms of air which possess the quality of touch only, combine so as to constitute earth, water, fire and air; and out of the latter there originate the aggregates called bodies, sense-organs, and objects of sense-organs. And that flow of ideas, which assumes the form of the imagination of an apprehending agent abiding within the body,is what constitutes the so-called Self. On the agencies enumerated there rests the entire empiric world.--On this view the Sûtra remarks, 'Even on the aggregate with its two causes, there is non-establishment of that'. That aggregate which consists of earth and the other elements and of which the atoms are the cause; and that further aggregate which consists of bodies, sense-organs and objects, and of which the elements are the cause--on neither of these two aggregates with their twofold causes can there be proved establishment of that, i.e. can the origination of that aggregate which we call the world be rationally established. If the atoms as well as eaith and the other elements are held to have a momentary existence only, when, we ask, do the atoms which perish within a moment, and the elements, move towards combination, and when do they combine? and when do they become the 'objects of states of consciousness'? and when do they become the abodes of the activities of appropriation, avoidance and so on (on the part of agents)? and what is the cognising Self? and with what objects does it enter into contact through the sense-organs? and which cognising Self cognises which objects, and at what time? and which Self proceeds to appropriate which objects, and at what time? For the sentient subject has perished, and the object of sensation has perished; and the cognising subject has perished, and the object cognised has perished. And how can one subject cognise what has been apprehended
through the senses of another? and how is one subject to take to itself what another subject has cognised? And should it be said that each stream of cognitions is one (whereby a kind of unity of the cognising subject is claimed to be established), yet this affords no sufficient basis for tne ordinary notions and activities of life, since the stream really is nothing different from the constituent parts of the stream (all of which are momentary and hence discrete).--That in reality the Ego constitutes the Self and is the knowing subject, we have proved previously.