उभयथा च दोषात् ॥ १६ ॥
ubhayathā ca doṣāt || 16 ||
ubhayathā—In either case; ca—and; doṣāt—because of.
16. And because of defects in either case (the atomic theory is untenable).
The four gross elements earth, water, fire, and air are produced from atoms. Now these elements are different as regards qualities. Earth, for example, has the qualities of touch, taste, smell, and colour, while water has only three of these, fire only two, and air one. If we suppose that their respective atoms also possess the same number of qualities as they, then while an atom of air has one quality, an atom of earth will have four qualities. Possessing four qualities it will be bigger in size, for our experience says that an increase of qualities cannot take place without an increase of size, and consequently it would cease to be atomic. If, on the other hand, we take them all to possess the same number of qualities, then there cannot be any difference in the qualities of the products, the elements, according to the principle that the qualities of the cause are reproduced in its effects. In either case, the Vaiseshika doctrine is defective and therefore inadmissible.