प्रतिसंख्याप्रतिसंख्यानिरोधाप्राप्तिः, अविच्छेदात् ॥ २२ ॥
pratisaṃkhyāpratisaṃkhyānirodhāprāptiḥ, avicchedāt || 22 ||
pratisaṃkhyā (nirodha)-apratisaṃkhyānirodha-aprāptiḥ—Conscious destruction and unconscious destruction would be impossible; avicchedāt—owing to non-interruption.
22. Conscious and unconscious destruction would be impossible owing to non-interruption.
The Bauddhas maintain that universal destruction is ever going on, and that this destruction is of two kinds, conscious and unconscious. The former depends upon an act of thought, as when a jar is broken by a man with a stick, while the latter is the natural decay of things. The Sutra says that either kind of destruction would be impossible, for it must refer either to the series of momentary existences or to the single members of that series. The series is continuous and can never be stopped. Why? Because the last momentary existence before such destruction must be assumed either to produce its effect or not to produce it. If it does then the series would continue and will not be destroyed. If it does not produce the effect, the last momentary existence ceases to be a fact at all, for according to the Bauddhas existence (Satta) means causal efficiency. Again the non-existence of the last momentary existence would lead backward to the non-existence of the previous momentary existence and so on of the whole series.
Again these two kinds of destruction cannot be found in the individual members of the series also. For owing to the momentary existence of each member no conscious destruction of it is possible. Neither can it be unconscious destruction, since the individual member is not altogether destroyed; for when a pot is destroyed we find the existence of the clay in the sherds. Even in those cases where it seems to vanish, as when a drop of water disappears on account of heat, we can infer that it continues to exist in some other form, viz. as steam.