नाभावः, उपलब्धेः ॥ २८ ॥
nābhāvaḥ, upalabdheḥ || 28 ||
na—not; abhāvaḥ—non-existence; upalabdheḥ—on account of their being experienced.
28. Non-existence (of things external) is not (true), on account of their being experienced.
From this Sutra begins the refutation of the Idealists among the Bauddhas, according to whom only ideas exist and nothing else.
According to them the external world is nonexistent. Does it mean that the objective world is absolutely non-existent like the horns of a hare, or does it mean that it is unreal even as the world seen in a dream is unreal. The Sutra refutes the former view. In that case we could not have experienced it. The external world is an object of experience through the senses, and cannot therefore be altogether non-existent like the horns of a hare. The Buddhist may say that he does not affirm that he is conscious of no object, but only that what is seen in his consciousness alone shines as something external. But then the very nature of consciousness itself proves the existence of external things different from consciousness, for men are conscious of things or objects of perception, and nobody is conscious of his perception merely. The very fact that the Bauddhas say that the internal cognition appears ‘as something external’ shows that the external world is real. If it were not real, the comparison ‘like something external’ would be meaningless. No one says that Devadatta is like the son of a barren woman.