[FOOTNOTE 44:1. Colour reveals itself as well as the thing that has colour; knowledge reveals itself as well as the object known; so difference manifests itself as well as the things that differ.]
Plurality is not unreal.
Next as to the assertion that all difference presented in our cognition—as of jars, pieces of cloth and the like—is unreal because such difference does not persist. This view, we maintain, is altogether erroneous, springs in fact from the neglect of distinguishing between persistence and non-persistence on the one hand, and the relation between what sublates and what is sublated on the other hand. Where two cognitions are mutually contradictory, there the latter relation holds good, and there is non-persistence of what is sublated. But jars, pieces of cloth and the like, do not contradict one another, since they are separate in place and time. If on the other hand the non-existence of a thing is cognised at the same time and the same place where and when its existence is cognised, we have a mutual contradiction of two cognitions, and then the stronger one sublates the other cognition which thus comes to an end. But when of a thing that is perceived in connexion with some place and time, the non-existence is perceived in connexion with some other place and time, there arises no contradiction; how then should the one cognition sublate the other? or how can it be said that of a thing absent at one time and place there is absence at other times and places also? In the case of the snake-rope, there arises a cognition of non-existence in connexion with the given place and time; hence there is contradiction, one judgment sublates the other and the sublated cognition comes to an end. But the circumstance of something which is seen at one time and in one place not persisting at another time and in another place is not observed to be invariably accompanied by falsehood, and hence mere non-persistence of this kind does not constitute a reason for unreality. To say, on the other hand, that what is is real because it persists, is to prove what is proved already, and requires no further proof.
Being and consciousness are not one.
Hence mere Being does not alone constitute reality. And as the distinction between consciousness and its objects—which rests just on this relation of object and that for which the object is—is proved by perception, the assertion that only consciousness has real existence is also disposed of.
The true meaning of Svayampraksatva.
We next take up the point as to the self-luminousness of consciousness (above, p. 33). The contention that consciousness is not an object holds good for the knowing Self at the time when it illumines (i.e. constitutes as its objects) other things; but there is no absolute rule as to all consciousness never being anything but self-luminous. For common observation shows that the consciousness of one person may become the object of the cognition of another, viz. of an inference founded on the person's friendly or unfriendly appearance and the like, and again that a person's own past states of consciousness become the object of his own cognition—as appears from judgments such as 'At one time I knew.' It cannot therefore be said 'If it is consciousness it is self-proved' (above p. 33), nor that consciousness if becoming an object of consciousness would no longer be consciousness; for from this it would follow that one's own past states, and the conscious states of others— because being objects of consciousness—are not themselves consciousness. Moreover, unless it were admitted that there is inferential knowledge of the thoughts of others, there would be no apprehension of the connexion of words and meaning, and this would imply the absolute termination of all human intercourse depending on speech. Nor also would it be possible for pupils to attach themselves to a teacher of sacred lore, for the reason that they had become aware of his wisdom and learning. The general proposition that consciousness does not admit of being an object is in fact quite untenable. The essential 'nature of consciousness or knowledge—consists therein that it shines forth, or manifests itself, through its own being to its own substrate at the present moment; or (to give another definition) that it is instrumental in proving its own object by its own being [FOOTNOTE 48:1].
Now these two characteristics are established by a person's own state of consciousness and do not vanish when that consciousness becomes the object of another state of consciousness; consciousness remains also in the latter case what it is. Jars and similar things, on the other hand, do not possess consciousness, not because they are objects of consciousness but because they lack the two characteristics stated above. If we made the presence of consciousness dependent on the absence of its being an object of consciousness, we should arrive at the conclusion that consciousness is not consciousness; for there are things—e.g. sky-flowers—which are not objects of consciousness and at the same time are not consciousness. You will perhaps reply to this that a sky-flower's not being consciousness is due not to its not being an object of consciousness, but to its non-existence!—Well then, we rejoin, let us say analogously that the reason of jars and the like not being contradictory to Nescience (i.e. of their being jada), is their not being of the nature of consciousness, and let us not have recourse to their being objects of consciousness!—But if consciousness is an object of consciousness, we conclude that it also is non-contradictory of Nescience, like a jar!—At this conclusion, we rejoin, you may arrive even on the opposite assumption, reasoning as follows: 'Consciousness is non-contradictory of Nescience, because it is not an object of consciousness, like a sky-flower! All which shows that to maintain as a general principle that something which is an object of consciousness cannot itself be consciousness is simply ridiculous.'
[FOOTNOTE 48:1. The comment of the Sru. Pra. on the above definitions runs, with a few additional explanations, as follows: The term 'anubhti' here denotes knowledge in general, not only such knowledge as is not remembrance (which limited meaning the term has sometimes). With reference to the 'shining forth' it might be said that in this way jars also and similar things know or are conscious because they also shine forth' (viz. in so far as they are known); to exclude jars and the like the text therefore adds 'to its own substrate' (the jar 'shines forth,' not to itself, but to the knowing person). There are other attributes of the Self, such as atomic extension, eternity, and so on, which are revealed (not through themselves) but through an act of knowledge different from them; to exclude those the text adds 'through its own being.' In order to exclude past states of consciousness or acts of knowledge, the text adds 'at the present moment.' A past state of consciousness is indeed not revealed without another act of knowledge (representing it), and would thus by itself be excluded; but the text adds this specification (viz. 'at the present moment') on purpose, in order to intimate that a past state of consciousness can be represented by another state—a point denied by the opponent. 'At the present moment' means 'the connexion with the object of knowledge belonging to the present time.' Without the addition of 'to its own substrate' the definition might imply that a state of consciousness is manifest to another person also; to exclude this the clause is added. This first definition might be objected to as acceptable only to those who maintain the svayampraksatva-theory (which need not be discussed here); hence a second definition is given. The two clauses 'to its own substrate' and 'at the present moment' have to be supplied in this second definition also. 'Instrumental in bringing about' would apply to staffs, wheels, and such like implements also; hence the text adds 'its own object.' (Staffs, wheels, &c. have no 'objects.') Knowledge depending on sight does not bring about an object depending on hearing; to exclude this notion of universal instrumentality the text specifies the object by the words 'its own.' The clause 'through its own being' excludes the sense organs, which reveal objects not by their own being, but in so far as they give rise to knowledge. The two clauses 'at the present moment' and 'to its own substrate' have the same office in the second definition as in the first.]
Consciousness is not eternal.
It was further maintained by the prvapakshin that as consciousness is self-established it has no antecedent non-existence and so on, and that this disproves its having an origin. But this is an attempt to prove something not proved by something else that is equally unproved; comparable to a man blind from birth undertaking to guide another blind man! You have no right to maintain the non-existence of the antecedent non-existence of consciousness on the ground that there is nothing to make us apprehend that non-existence; for there is something to make us apprehend it, viz. consciousness itself!—But how can consciousness at the time when it is, make us apprehend its own previous non-existence which is contradictorily opposed to it?—Consciousness, we rejoin, does not necessarily constitute as its objects only what occupies the same time with itself; were it so it would follow that neither the past nor the future can be the object of consciousness. Or do you mean that there is an absolute rule that the Antecedent non-existence of consciousness, if proved, must be contemporaneous with consciousness? Have you then, we ask, ever observed this so as to be able to assert an absolute rule? And if it were observed, that would prove the existence of previous non-existence, not its negation!—The fact, however, is that no person in his senses will maintain the contemporaneous existence of consciousness and its own antecedent non-existence. In the case of perceptive knowledge originating from sensation, there is indeed this limitation, that it causes the apprehension of such things only as are actually present at the same time. But this limitation does not extend to cognitions of all kinds, nor to all instruments of knowledge; for we observe that remembrance, inference, and the magical perception of Yogis apprehend such things also as are not present at the time of apprehension. On this very point there rests the relation connecting the means of knowledge with their objects, viz. that the former are not without the latter. This does not mean that the instrument of knowledge is connected with its object in that way that it is not without something that is present at the time of cognition; but rather that the instrument of knowledge is opposed to the falsehood of that special form in which the object presents itself as connected with some place and time.—This disposes also of the contention that remembrance has no external object; for it is observed that remembrance is related to such things also as have perished.—Possibly you will now argue as follows. The antecedent non-existence of consciousness cannot be ascertained by perception, for it is not something present at the time of perception. It further cannot be ascertained by the other means of knowledge, since there is no characteristic mark (linga) on which an inference could be based: for we do not observe any characteristic mark invariably accompanied by the antecedent non-existence of consciousness. Nor do we meet with any scriptural text referring to this antecedent non-existence. Hence, in the absence of any valid instrument of knowledge, the antecedent non-existence of consciousness cannot be established at all.—If, we reply, you thus, altogether setting aside the force of self-provedness (on which you had relied hitherto), take your stand on the absence of valid means of knowledge, we again must request you to give in; for there is a valid means of knowledge whereby to prove the antecedent non-existence of consciousness, viz. valid non-perception (anupalabdhi).
Moreover, we observe that perceptional knowledge proves its object, be it a jar or something else, to exist only as long as it exists itself, not at all times; we do not, through it, apprehend the antecedent or subsequent existence of the jar. Now this absence of apprehension is due to the fact that consciousness itself is limited in time. If that consciousness which has a jar for its object were itself apprehended as non-limited in time, the object also—the jar—would be apprehended under the same form, i.e. it would be eternal. And if self-established consciousness were eternal, it would be immediately cognised as eternal; but this is not the case. Analogously, if inferential consciousness and other forms of consciousness were apprehended as non-limited in time, they would all of them reveal their objects also as non-limited, and these objects would thus be eternal; for the objects are conform in nature to their respective forms of consciousness.
There is no consciousness without object.
Nor is there any consciousness devoid of objects; for nothing of this kind is ever known. Moreover, the self-luminousness of consciousness has, by our opponent himself, been proved on the ground that its essential nature consists in illumining (revealing) objects; the self-luminousness of consciousness not admitting of proof apart from its essential nature which consists in the lighting up of objects. And as moreover, according to our opponent, consciousness cannot be the object of another consciousness, it would follow that (having neither an object nor itself being an object) it is something altogether unreal, imaginary.
Nor are you justified in maintaining that in deep sleep, swoon, senselessness and similar states, pure consciousness, devoid of any object, manifests itself. This view is negatived by 'valid non-perception' (see above, p. 52). If consciousness were present in those states also, there would be remembrance of it at the time of waking from sleep or recovery from swoon; but as a matter of fact there is no such remembrance.—But it is not an absolute rule that something of which we were conscious must be remembered; how then can the absence of remembrance prove the absence of previous consciousness?—Unless, we reply, there be some cause of overpowering strength which quite obliterates all impressions—as e.g. the dissolution of the body—the absence of remembrance does necessarily prove the absence of previous consciousness. And, moreover, in the present case the absence of consciousness does not only follow from absence of remembrance; it is also proved by the thought presenting itself to the person risen from sleep, 'For so long a time I was not conscious of anything.'—Nor may it be said that even if there was consciousness, absence of remembrance would necessarily follow from the absence (during deep sleep) of the distinction of objects, and from the extinction of the consciousness of the 'I'; for the non-consciousness of some one thing, and the absence of some one thing cannot be the cause of the non-remembrance of some other thing, of which there had been consciousness. And that in the states in question the consciousness of the 'I' does persist, will moreover be shown further on.
But, our opponent urges, have you not said yourself that even in deep sleep and similar states there is consciousness marked by difference?— True, we have said so. But that consciousness is consciousness of the Self, and that this is affected by difference will be proved further on. At present we are only interested in denying the existence of your pure consciousness, devoid of all objects and without a substrate. Nor can we admit that your pure consciousness could constitute what we call the consciousness of the Self; for we shall prove that the latter has a substrate.
It thus cannot be maintained that the antecedent non-existence of consciousness does not admit of being proved, because consciousness itself does not prove it. And as we have shown that consciousness itself may be an object of consciousness, we have thereby disproved the alleged impossibility of antecedent non-existence being proved by other means. Herewith falls the assertion that the non-origination of consciousness can be proved.
Consciousness is capable of change.
Against the assertion that the alleged non-origination of consciousness at the same time proves that consciousness is not capable of any other changes (p. 36), we remark that the general proposition on which this conclusion rests is too wide: it would extend to antecedent non-existence itself, of which it is evident that it comes to an end, although it does not originate. In qualifying the changes as changes of 'Being,' you manifest great logical acumen indeed! For according to your own view Nescience also (which is not 'Being') does not originate, is the substrate of manifold changes, and comes to an end through the rise of knowledge! Perhaps you will say that the changes of Nescience are all unreal. But, do you then, we ask in reply, admit that any change is real? You do not; and yet it is only this admission which would give a sense to the distinction expressed by the word 'Being' [FOOTNOTE 54:1].
Nor is it true that consciousness does not admit of any division within itself, because it has no beginning (p. 36). For the non-originated Self is divided from the body, the senses, &c., and Nescience also, which is avowedly without a beginning, must needs be admitted to be divided from the Self. And if you say that the latter division is unreal, we ask whether you have ever observed a real division invariably connected with origination! Moreover, if the distinction of Nescience from the Self is not real, it follows that Nescience and the Self are essentially one. You further have yourself proved the difference of views by means of the difference of the objects of knowledge as established by non-refuted knowledge; an analogous case being furnished by the difference of acts of cleaving, which results from the difference of objects to be cleft. And if you assert that of this knowing—which is essentially knowing only—nothing that is an object of knowledge can be an attribute, and that these objects—just because they are objects of knowledge—cannot be attributes of knowing; we point out that both these remarks would apply also to eternity, self-luminousness, and the other attributes of 'knowing', which are acknowledged by yourself, and established by valid means of proof. Nor may you urge against this that all these alleged attributes are in reality mere 'consciousness' or 'knowing'; for they are essentially distinct. By 'being conscious' or 'knowing', we understand the illumining or manifesting of some object to its own substrate (i.e. the substrate of knowledge), by its own existence (i.e. the existence of knowledge) merely; by self-luminousness (or 'self-illuminatedness') we understand the shining forth or being manifest by its own existence merely to its own substrate; the terms 'shining forth', 'illumining', 'being manifest' in both these definitions meaning the capability of becoming an object of thought and speech which is common to all things, whether intelligent or non-intelligent. Eternity again means 'being present in all time'; oneness means 'being defined by the number one'. Even if you say that these attributes are only negative ones, i.e. equal to the absence of non-intelligence and so on, you still cannot avoid the admission that they are attributes of consciousness. If, on the other hand, being of a nature opposite to non-intelligence and so on, be not admitted as attributes of consciousness—whether of a positive or a negative kind—in addition to its essential nature; it is an altogether unmeaning proceeding to deny to it such qualities, as non-intelligence and the like.
We moreover must admit the following alternative: consciousness is either proved (established) or not. If it is proved it follows that it possesses attributes; if it is not, it is something absolutely nugatory, like a sky-flower, and similar purely imaginary things.
[FOOTNOTE 54:1. The Snkara is not entitled to refer to a distinction of real and unreal division, because according to his theory all distinction is unreal.]
Consciousness is the attribute of a permanent Conscious self.
Let it then be said that consciousness is proof (siddhih) itself. Proof of what, we ask in reply, and to whom? If no definite answer can be given to these two questions, consciousness cannot be defined as 'proof'; for 'proof' is a relative notion, like 'son.' You will perhaps reply 'Proof to the Self'; and if we go on asking 'But what is that Self'? you will say, 'Just consciousness as already said by us before.' True, we reply, you said so; but it certainly was not well said. For if it is the nature of consciousness to be 'proof' ('light,' 'enlightenment') on the part of a person with regard to something, how can this consciousness which is thus connected with the person and the thing be itself conscious of itself? To explain: the essential character of consciousness or knowledge is that by its very existence it renders things capable of becoming objects, to its own substrate, of thought and speech. This consciousness (anubhti), which is also termed jna, avagati, samvid, is a particular attribute belonging to a conscious Self and related to an object: as such it is known to every one on the testimony of his own Self—as appears from ordinary judgments such as 'I know the jar,' 'I understand this matter,' 'I am conscious of (the presence of) this piece of cloth.' That such is the essential nature of consciousness you yourself admit; for you have proved thereby its self-luminousness. Of this consciousness which thus clearly presents itself as the attribute of an agent and as related to an object, it would be difficult indeed to prove that at the same time it is itself the agent; as difficult as it would be to prove that the object of action is the agent.
For we clearly see that this agent (the subject of consciousness) is permanent (constant), while its attribute, i. e. consciousness, not differing herein from joy, grief, and the like, rises, persists for some time, and then comes to an end. The permanency of the conscious subject is proved by the fact of recognition, 'This very same thing was formerly apprehended by me.' The non-permanency of consciousness, on the other hand, is proved by thought expressing itself in the following forms, 'I know at present,' 'I knew at a time,' 'I, the knowing subject, no longer have knowledge of this thing.' How then should consciousness and (the conscious subject) be one? If consciousness which changes every moment were admitted to constitute the conscious subject, it would be impossible for us to recognise the thing seen to-day as the one we saw yesterday; for what has been perceived by one cannot be recognised by another. And even if consciousness were identified with the conscious subject and acknowledged as permanent, this would no better account for the fact of recognition. For recognition implies a conscious subject persisting from the earlier to the later moment, and not merely consciousness. Its expression is 'I myself perceived this thing on a former occasion.' According to your view the quality of being a conscious agent cannot at all belong to consciousness; for consciousness, you say, is just consciousness and nothing more. And that there exists a pure consciousness devoid of substrate and objects alike, we have already refuted on the ground that of a thing of this kind we have absolutely no knowledge. And that the consciousness admitted by both of us should be the Self is refuted by immediate consciousness itself. And we have also refuted the fallacious arguments brought forward to prove that mere consciousness is the only reality.—But, another objection is raised, should the relation of the Self and the 'I' not rather be conceived as follows:—In self-consciousness which expresses itself in the judgment 'I know,' that intelligent something which constitutes the absolutely non-objective element, and is pure homogeneous light, is the Self; the objective element (yushmad-artha) on the other hand, which is established through its being illumined (revealed) by the Self is the I—in 'I know'—and this is something different from pure intelligence, something objective or external?
By no means, we reply; for this view contradicts the relation of attribute and substrate of attribute of which we are directly conscious, as implied in the thought 'I know.'
Consider also what follows.—'If the I were not the Self, the inwardness of the Self would not exist; for it is just the consciousness of the I which separates the inward from the outward.
'"May I, freeing myself from all pain, enter on free possession of endless delight?" This is the thought which prompts the man desirous of release to apply himself to the study of the sacred texts. Were it a settled matter that release consists in the annihilation of the I, the same man would move away as soon as release were only hinted at. "When I myself have perished, there still persists some consciousness different from me;" to bring this about nobody truly will exert himself.
'Moreover the very existence of consciousness, its being a consciousness at all, and its being self-luminous, depend on its connexion with a Self; when that connexion is dissolved, consciousness itself cannot be established, not any more than the act of cutting can take place when there is no person to cut and nothing to be cut. Hence it is certain that the I, i.e. the knowing subject, is the inward Self.'
This scripture confirms when saying 'By what should he know the knower?' (Bri. Up. II, 4, 15); and Smriti also, 'Him who knows this they call the knower of the body' (Bha. G. XIII, 1). And the Strakra also, in the section beginning with 'Not the Self on account of scriptural statement' (II, 3, 17), will say 'For this very reason (it is) a knower' (II, 3, 18); and from this it follows that the Self is not mere consciousness.
What is established by consciousness of the 'I' is the I itself, while the not-I is given in the consciousness of the not-I; hence to say that the knowing subject, which is established by the state of consciousness, 'I know,' is the not-I, is no better than to maintain that one's own mother is a barren woman. Nor can it be said that this 'I,' the knowing subject, is dependent on its light for something else. It rather is self-luminous; for to be self-luminous means to have consciousness for one's essential nature. And that which has light for its essential nature does not depend for its light on something else. The case is analogous to that of the flame of a lamp or candle. From the circumstance that the lamp illumines with its light other things, it does not follow either that it is not luminous, or that its luminousness depends on something else; the fact rather is that the lamp being of luminous nature shines itself and illumines with its light other things also. To explain.—The one substance tejas, i.e. fire or heat, subsists in a double form, viz. as light (prabh), and as luminous matter. Although light is a quality of luminous substantial things, it is in itself nothing but the substance tejas, not a mere quality like e.g. whiteness; for it exists also apart from its substrates, and possesses colour (which is a quality). Having thus attributes different from those of qualities such as whiteness and so on, and possessing illumining power, it is the substance tejas, not anything else (e.g. a quality). Illumining power belongs to it, because it lights up itself and other things. At the same time it is practically treated as a quality because it always has the substance tejas for its substrate, and depends on it. This must not be objected to on the ground that what is called light is really nothing but dissolving particles of matter which proceed from the substance tejas; for if this were so, shining gems and the sun would in the end consume themselves completely. Moreover, if the flame of a lamp consisted of dissolving particles of matter, it would never be apprehended as a whole; for no reason can be stated why those particles should regularly rise in an agglomerated form to the height of four fingers breadth, and after that simultaneously disperse themselves uniformly in all directions—upwards, sideways, and downwards. The fact is that the flame of the lamp together with its light is produced anew every moment and again vanishes every moment; as we may infer from the successive combination of sufficient causes (viz. particles of oil and wick) and from its coming to an end when those causes are completely consumed.
Analogously to the lamp, the Self is essentially intelligent (kid-rpa), and has intelligence (kaitanya) for its quality. And to be essentially intelligent means to be self-luminous. There are many scriptural texts declaring this, compare e.g. 'As a mass of salt has neither inside nor outside but is altogether a mass of taste, thus indeed that Self has neither inside nor outside but is altogether a mass of knowledge' (Bri. Up. IV, 5, 13); 'There that person becomes self-luminous, there is no destruction of the knowing of the knower' (Bri. Up. IV, 3, 14; 30); 'He who knows, let me smell this, he is the Self (Ch. Up. VIII, 12, 4); 'Who is that Self? That one who is made of knowledge, among the prnas, within the heart, the light, the person' (Bri. Up. IV, 3, 7); 'For it is he who sees, hears, smells, tastes, thinks, considers, acts, the person whose Self is knowledge' (Pr. Up. IV, 9); 'Whereby should one know the knower' (Bri. Up. IV, 5, 15). 'This person knows,' 'The seer does not see death nor illness nor pain' (Ch. Up. VII, 26, 2); 'That highest person not remembering this body into which he was born' (Ch. Up. VIII, 12, 3); 'Thus these sixteen parts of the spectator that go towards the person; when they have readied the person, sink into him' (Pr. Up. VI, 5); 'From this consisting of mind, there is different an interior Self consisting of knowledge' (Taitt. Up. II, 4). And the Strakra also will refer to the Self as a 'knower' in II, 3, 18. All which shows that the self-luminous Self is a knower, i.e. a knowing subject, and not pure light (non-personal intelligence). In general we may say that where there is light it must belong to something, as shown by the light of a lamp. The Self thus cannot be mere consciousness. The grammarians moreover tell us that words such as 'consciousness,' 'knowledge,' &c., are relative; neither ordinary nor Vedic language uses expressions such as 'he knows' without reference to an object known and an agent who knows.
With reference to the assertion that consciousness constitutes the Self, because it (consciousness) is not non-intelligent (jada), we ask what you understand by this absence of non-intelligence.' If you reply 'luminousness due to the being of the thing itself (i.e. of the thing which is ajada)'; we point out that this definition would wrongly include lamps also, and similar things; and it would moreover give rise to a contradiction, since you do not admit light as an attribute, different from consciousness itself. Nor can we allow you to define ajadatva as 'being of that nature that light is always present, without any exception,' for this definition would extend also to pleasure, pain, and similar states. Should you maintain that pleasure and so on, although being throughout of the nature of light, are non-intelligent for the reason that, like jars, &c., they shine forth (appear) to something else and hence belong to the sphere of the not-Self; we ask in reply: Do you mean then to say that knowledge appears to itself? Knowledge no less than pleasure appears to some one else, viz. the 'I': there is, in that respect, no difference between the judgment 'I know,' and the judgment 'I am pleased.' Non-intelligence in the sense of appearingness-to-itself is thus not proved for consciousness; and hence it follows that what constitutes the Self is the non-jada 'I' which is proved to itself by its very Being. That knowledge is of the nature of light depends altogether on its connection with the knowing 'I': it is due to the latter, that knowledge, like pleasure, manifests itself to that conscious person who is its substrate, and not to anybody else. The Self is thus not mere knowledge, but is the knowing 'I.'
The view that the conscious subject is something unreal, due to the ahamkra, cannot be maintained.
We turn to a further point. You maintain that consciousness which is in reality devoid alike of objects and substrate presents itself, owing to error, in the form of a knowing subject, just as mother o' pearl appears as silver; (consciousness itself being viewed as a real substrate of an erroneous imputation), because an erroneous imputation cannot take place apart from a substrate. But this theory is indefensible. If things were as you describe them, the conscious 'I' would be cognised as co-ordinate with the state of consciousness 'I am consciousness,' just as the shining thing presenting itself to our eyes is judged to be silver. But the fact is that the state of consciousness presents itself as something apart, constituting a distinguishing attribute of the I, just as the stick is an attribute of Devadatta who carries it. The judgment 'I am conscious' reveals an 'I' distinguished by consciousness; and to declare that it refers only to a state of consciousness—which is a mere attribute—is no better than to say that the judgment 'Devadatta carries a stick' is about the stick only. Nor are you right in saying that the idea of the Self being a knowing agent, presents itself to the mind of him only who erroneously identifies the Self and the body, an error expressing itself in judgments such as 'I am stout,' and is on that account false; for from this it would follow that the consciousness which is erroneously imagined as a Self is also false; for it presents itself to the mind of the same person. You will perhaps rejoin that consciousness is not false because it (alone) is not sublatcd by that cognition which sublates everything else. Well, we reply, then the knowership of the Self also is not false; for that also is not sublatcd. You further maintain that the character of being a knower, i.e. the agent in the action of knowing, does not become the non-changing Self; that being a knower is something implying change, of a non-intelligent kind (jada), and residing in the ahamkra which is the abode of change and a mere effect of the Unevolved (the Prakriti); that being an agent and so on is like colour and other qualities, an attribute of what is objective; and that if we admit the Self to be an agent and the object of the notion of the 'I,' it also follows that the Self is, like the body, not a real Self but something external and non-intelligent. But all this is unfounded, since the internal organ is, like the body, non-intelligent, an effect of Prakriti, an object of knowledge, something outward and for the sake of others merely; while being a knowing subject constitutes the special essential nature of intelligent beings. To explain. Just as the body, through its objectiveness, outwardness, and similar causes, is distinguished from what possesses the opposite attributes of subjectiveness, inwardness, and so on; for the same reason the ahamkra also—which is of the same substantial nature as the body—is similarly distinguished. Hence the ahamkra is no more a knower than it is something subjective; otherwise there would be an evident contradiction. As knowing cannot be attributed to the ahamkra, which is an object of knowledge, so knowership also cannot be ascribed to it; for of that also it is the object. Nor can it be maintained that to be a knower is something essentially changing. For to be a knower is to be the substrate of the quality of knowledge, and as the knowing Self is eternal, knowledge which is an essential quality of the Self is also eternal. That the Self is eternal will be declared in the Stra, II, 3, 17; and in II, 3, 18 the term 'ja' (knower) will show that it is an essential quality of the Self to be the abode of knowledge. That a Self whose essential nature is knowledge should be the substrate of the (quality of) knowledge—just as gems and the like are the substrate of light—gives rise to no contradiction whatever.
Knowledge (the quality) which is in itself unlimited, is capable of contraction and expansion, as we shall show later on. In the so-called kshetraja—condition of the Self, knowledge is, owing to the influence of work (karman), of a contracted nature, as it more or less adapts itself to work of different kinds, and is variously determined by the different senses. With reference to this various flow of knowledge as due to the senses, it is spoken of as rising and setting, and the Self possesses the quality of an agent. As this quality is not, however, essential, but originated by action, the Self is essentially unchanging. This changeful quality of being a knower can belong only to the Self whose essential nature is knowledge; not possibly to the non-intelligent ahamkra. But, you will perhaps say, the ahamkra, although of non- intelligent nature, may become a knower in so far as by approximation to intelligence it becomes a reflection of the latter. How, we ask in return, is this becoming a reflection of intelligence imagined to take place? Does consciousness become a reflection of the ahamkra, or does the ahamkra become a reflection of consciousness? The former alternative is inadmissible, since you will not allow to consciousness the quality of being a knower; and so is the latter since, as explained above, the non-intelligent ahamkra can never become a knower. Moreover, neither consciousness nor the ahamkra are objects of visual perception. Only things seen by the eye have reflections.—Let it then be said that as an iron ball is heated by contact with fire, so the consciousness of being a knower is imparted to the ahamkra through its contact with Intelligence.—This view too is inadmissible; for as you do not allow real knowership to Intelligence, knowership or the consciousness of knowership cannot be imparted to the ahamkra by contact with Intelligence; and much less even can knowership or the consciousness of it be imparted to Intelligence by contact with the essentially non- intelligent ahamkra. Nor can we accept what you say about 'manifestation.' Neither the ahamkra, you say, nor Intelligence is really a knowing subject, but the ahamkra manifests consciousness abiding within itself (within the ahamkra), as the mirror manifests the image abiding within it. But the essentially non-intelligent ahamkra evidently cannot 'manifest' the self-luminous Self. As has been said 'That the non-intelligent ahamkra should manifest the self-luminous Self, has no more sense than to say that a spent coal manifests the Sun.' The truth is that all things depend for their proof on self-luminous consciousness; and now you maintain that one of these things, viz. the non-intelligent ahamkra—which itself depends for its light on consciousness—manifests consciousness, whose essential light never rises or sets, and which is the cause that proves everything! Whoever knows the nature of the Self will justly deride such a view! The relation of 'manifestation' cannot hold good between consciousness and the ahamkra for the further reason also that there is a contradiction in nature between the two, and because it would imply consciousness not to be consciousness. As has been said, 'One cannot manifest the other, owing to contradictoriness; and if the Self were something to be manifested, that would imply its being non-intelligent like a jar.' Nor is the matter improved by your introducing the hand and the sunbeams (above, p. 38), and to say that as the sunbeams while manifesting the hand, are at the same time manifested by the hand, so consciousness, while manifesting the ahamkra, is at the same time itself manifested by the latter. The sunbeams are in reality not manifested by the hand at all. What takes place is that the motion of the sunbeams is reversed (reflected) by the opposed hand; they thus become more numerous, and hence are perceived more clearly; but this is due altogether to the multitude of beams, not to any manifesting power on the part of the hand.
What could, moreover, be the nature of that 'manifestation' of the Self consisting of Intelligence, which would be effected through the ahamkra? It cannot be origination; for you acknowledge that what is self- established cannot be originated by anything else. Nor can it be 'illumination' (making to shine forth), since consciousness cannot— according to you—be the object of another consciousness. For the same reason it cannot be any action assisting the means of being conscious of consciousness. For such helpful action could be of two kinds only. It would either be such as to cause the connexion of the object to be known with the sense-organs; as e.g. any action which, in the case of the apprehension of a species or of one's own face, causes connexion between the organ of sight and an individual of the species, or a looking-glass. Or it would be such as to remove some obstructive impurity in the mind of the knowing person; of this kind is the action of calmness and self- restraint with reference to scripture which is the means of apprehending the highest reality. Moreover, even if it were admitted that consciousness may be an object of consciousness, it could not be maintained that the 'I' assists the means whereby that consciousness is effected. For if it did so, it could only be in the way of removing any obstacles impeding the origination of such consciousness; analogous to the way in which a lamp assists the eye by dispelling the darkness which impedes the origination of the apprehension of colour. But in the case under discussion we are unable to imagine such obstacles. There is nothing pertaining to consciousness which obstructs the origination of the knowledge of consciousness and which could be removed by the ahamkra.—There is something, you will perhaps reply, viz. Nescience! Not so, we reply. That Nescience is removed by the ahamkra cannot be admitted; knowledge alone can put an end to Nescience. Nor can consciousness be the abode of Nescience, because in that case Nescience would have the same abode and the same object as knowledge.
In pure knowledge where there is no knowing subject and no object of knowledge—the so-called 'witnessing' principle (skshin)—Nescience cannot exist. Jars and similar things cannot be the abode of Nescience because there is no possibility of their being the abode of knowledge, and for the same reason pure knowledge also cannot be the abode of Nescience. And even if consciousness were admitted to be the abode of Nescience, it could not be the object of knowledge; for consciousness being viewed as the Self cannot be the object of knowledge, and hence knowledge cannot terminate the Nescience abiding within consciousness. For knowledge puts an end to Nescience only with regard to its own objects, as in the case of the snake-rope. And the consequence of this would be that the Nescience attached to consciousness could never be destroyed by any one.—If Nescience, we further remark, is viewed as that which can be defined neither as Being nor non-Being, we shall show later on that such Nescience is something quite incomprehensible.—On the other hand, Nescience, if understood to be the antecedent non- existence of knowledge, is not opposed in nature to the origination of knowledge, and hence the dispelling of Nescience cannot be viewed as promoting the means of the knowledge of the Self.—From all this it follows that the ahamkra cannot effect in any way 'manifestation of consciousness.'
Nor (to finish up this point) can it be said that it is the essential nature of manifesting agents to manifest things in so far as the latter have their abode in the former; for such a relation is not observed in the case of lamps and the like (which manifest what lies outside them). The essential nature of manifesting agents rather lies therein that they promote the knowledge of things as they really are, and this is also the nature of whatever promotes knowledge and the means thereof. Nor is it even true that the mirror manifests the face. The mirror is only the cause of a certain irregularity, viz. the reversion of the ocular rays of light, and to this irregularity there is due the appearance of the face within the mirror; but the manifesting agent is the light only. And it is evident that the ahamkra is not capable of producing an irregularity (analogous to that produced by the mirror) in consciousness which is self-luminous.—And—with regard to the second analogous instance alleged by you—the fact is that the species is known through the individual because the latter is its substrate (as expressed in the general principle, 'the species is the form of the individual'), but not because the individual 'manifests' the species. Thus there is no reason, either real or springing from some imperfection, why the consciousness of consciousness should be brought about by its abiding in the ahamkra, and the attribute of being the knowing agent or the consciousness of that cannot therefore belong to the ahamkra. Hence, what constitutes the inward Self is not pure consciousness but the 'I' which proves itself as the knowing subject. In the absence of egoity, 'inwardness' could not be established for consciousness.
The conscious subject persists in deep sleep.
We now come to the question as to the nature of deep sleep. In deep sleep the quality of darkness prevails in the mind and there is no consciousness of outward things, and thus there is no distinct and clear presentation of the 'I'; but all the same the Self somehow presents itself up to the time of waking in the one form of the 'I,' and the latter cannot therefore be said to be absent. Pure consciousness assumed by you (to manifest itself in deep sleep) is really in no better case; for a person risen from deep sleep never represents to himself his state of consciousness during sleep in the form, 'I was pure consciousness free from all egoity and opposed in nature to everything else, witnessing Nescience'; what he thinks is only 'I slept well.' From this form of reflection it appears that even during sleep the Self. i.e. the 'I,' was a knowing subject and perceptive of pleasure. Nor must you urge against this that the reflection has the following form: 'As now I feel pleasure, so I slept then also'; for the reflection is distinctly not of that kind. [FOOTNOTE 68:1] Nor must you say that owing to the non-permanency of the 'I' its perception of pleasure during sleep cannot connect itself with the waking state. For (the 'I' is permanent as appears from the fact that) the person who has risen from sleep recalls things of which he was conscious before his sleep, 'I did such and such a thing,' 'I observed this or that,' 'I said so or so.'—But, you will perhaps say, he also reflects, 'For such and such a time I was conscious of nothing!'—'And what does this imply?' we ask.—'It implies a negation of everything!'—By no means, we rejoin. The words 'I was conscious' show that the knowing 'I' persisted, and that hence what is negated is only the objects of knowledge. If the negation implied in 'of nothing' included everything, it would also negative the pure consciousness which you hold to persist in deep sleep. In the judgment 'I was conscious of nothing,' the word 'I' clearly refers to the 'I,' i. e. the knowing Self which persists even during deep sleep, while the words 'was conscious of nothing' negative all knowledge on the part of that 'I'; if, now, in the face of this, you undertake to prove by means of this very judgment that knowledge—which is expressly denied—existed at the time, and that the persisting knowing Self did not exist, you may address your proof to the patient gods who give no reply!—But—our opponent goes on to urge—I form the following judgment also: 'I then was not conscious of myself,' and from this I understand that the 'I' did not persist during deep sleep!—You do not know, we rejoin, that this denial of the persistence of the 'I' flatly contradicts the state of consciousness expressed in the judgment 'I was not conscious of myself' and the verbal form of the judgment itself!—But what then is denied by the words 'of myself?—This, we admit, is a reasonable question. Let us consider the point. What is negatived in that judgment is not the knowing 'I' itself, but merely the distinctions of caste, condition of life, &c. which belong to the 'I' at the time of waking. We must distinguish the objects of the several parts of the judgment under discussion. The object of the '(me) myself' is the 'I' distinguished by class characteristics as it presents itself in the waking state; the object of the word 'I' (in the judgment) is that 'I' which consists of a uniform flow of self-consciousness which persists in sleep also, but is then not quite distinct. The judgment 'I did not know myself' therefore means that the sleeper was not conscious of the place where he slept, of his special characteristics, and so on.—It is, moreover, your own view that in deep sleep the Self occupies the position of a witnessing principle with regard to Nescience. But by a witness (skshin) we understand some one who knows about something by personal observation (sksht); a person who does not know cannot be a witness. Accordingly, in scripture as well as in ordinary language a knowing subject only, not mere knowledge, is spoken of as a witness; and with this the Reverend Pnini also agrees when teaching that the word 'skshin' means one who knows in person (P. S. V, 2, 91). Now this witness is nothing else but the 'I' which is apprehended in the judgment 'I know'; and how then should this 'I' not be apprehended in the state of sleep? That which itself appears to the Self appears as the 'I,' and it thus follows that also in deep sleep and similar states the Self which then shines forth appears as the 'I.'
[FOOTNOTE 68:1. I. e. the reflection as to the perception of pleasure refers to the past state of sleep only, not to the present moment of reflection.]
The conscious subject persists in the state of release.
To maintain that the consciousness of the 'I' does not persist in the state of final release is again altogether inappropriate. It in fact amounts to the doctrine—only expressed in somewhat different words— that final release is the annihilation of the Self. The 'I' is not a mere attribute of the Self so that even after its destruction the essential nature of the Self might persist—as it persists on the cessation of ignorance; but it constitutes the very nature of the Self. Such judgments as 'I know', 'Knowledge has arisen in me', show, on the other hand, that we are conscious of knowledge as a mere attribute of the Self.—Moreover, a man who suffering pain, mental or of other kind— whether such pain be real or due to error only—puts himself in relation to pain—'I am suffering pain'—naturally begins to reflect how he may once for all free himself from all these manifold afflictions and enjoy a state of untroubled ease; the desire of final release thus having arisen in him he at once sets to work to accomplish it. If, on the other hand, he were to realise that the effect of such activity would be the loss of personal existence, he surely would turn away as soon as somebody began to tell him about 'release'. And the result of this would be that, in the absence of willing and qualified pupils, the whole scriptural teaching as to final release would lose its authoritative character.—Nor must you maintain against this that even in the state of release there persists pure consciousness; for this by no means improves your case. No sensible person exerts himself under the influence of the idea that after he himself has perished there will remain some entity termed 'pure light!'—What constitutes the 'inward' Self thus is the 'I', the knowing subject.
This 'inward' Self shines forth in the state of final release also as an 'I'; for it appears to itself. The general principle is that whatever being appears to itself appears as an 'I'; both parties in the present dispute establish the existence of the transmigrating Self on such appearance. On the contrary, whatever does not appear as an 'I', does not appear to itself; as jars and the like. Now the emancipated Self does thus appear to itself, and therefore it appears as an 'I'. Nor does this appearance as an 'I' imply in any way that the released Self is subject to Nescience and implicated in the Samsra; for this would contradict the nature of final release, and moreover the consciousness of the 'I' cannot be the cause of Nescience and so on. Nescience (ignorance) is either ignorance as to essential nature, or the cognition of something under an aspect different from the real one (as when a person suffering from jaundice sees all things yellow); or cognition of what is altogether opposite in nature (as when mother o' pearl is mistaken for silver). Now the 'I' constitutes the essential nature of the Self; how then can the consciousness of the 'I,' i.e. the consciousness of its own true nature, implicate the released Self in Nescience, or, in the Samsra? The fact rather is that such consciousness destroys Nescience, and so on, because it is essentially opposed to them. In agreement with this we observe that persons like the rishi Vmadeva, in whom the intuition of their identity with Brahman had totally destroyed all Nescience, enjoyed the consciousness of the personal 'I'; for scripture says, 'Seeing this the rishi Vmadeva understood,I was Manu and the Sun' (Bri. Up. I, 4, 10). And the highest Brahman also, which is opposed to all other forms of Nescience and denoted and conceived as pure Being, is spoken of in an analogous way; cp. 'Let me make each of these three deities,' &c. (Ch. Up. VI, 3, 3); 'May I be many, may I grow forth' (Ch. Up. VI, 2, 3); 'He thought, shall I send forth worlds?' (Ait. r. II, 4, 1, 1); and again, 'Since I transcend the Destructible, and am higher also than the Indestructible, therefore I am proclaimed in the world and in the Veda as the highest Person' (Bha. G. XV, 18); 'I am the Self, O Gdkesa.' (Bha. G. X, 20); 'Never was I not' (Bha. G. II, 12); 'I am the source and the destruction of the whole world' (Bha. G. VII, 6); 'I am the source of all; from me proceeds everything' (Bha. G. X, 8); 'I am he who raises them from the ocean of the world of death' (Bha. G. XII, 7); 'I am the giver of seed, the father' (Bha. G. XIV, 4); 'I know the things past' (Bha. G. VII, 26).—But if the 'I' (aham) constitutes the essential nature of the Self, how is it that the Holy One teaches the principle of egoity (ahamkra) to belong to the sphere of objects, 'The great elements, the ahamkra, the understanding (buddhi), and the Unevolved' (Bha. G. XIII, 5)?—As in all passages, we reply, which give information about the true nature of the Self it is spoken of as the 'I', we conclude that the 'I' constitutes the essential nature of the inward Self. Where, on the other hand, the Holy One declares the ahamkra—a special effect of the Unevolved—to be comprised within the sphere of the Objective, he means that principle which is called ahamkra, because it causes the assumption of Egoity on the part of the body which belongs to the Not-self. Such egoity constitutes the ahamkra also designated as pride or arrogance, which causes men to slight persons superior to themselves, and is referred to by scripture in many places as something evil. Such consciousness of the 'I' therefore as is not sublated by anything else has the Self for its object; while, on the other hand, such consciousness of the 'I' as has the body for its object is mere Nescience. In agreement with this the Reverend Parsara has said, 'Hear from me the essential nature of Nescience; it is the attribution of Selfhood to what is not the Self.' If the Self were pure consciousness then pure consciousness only, and not the quality of being a knowing subject, would present itself in the body also, which is a Not-self wrongly imagined to be a Self. The conclusion therefore remains that the Self is nothing but the knowing 'I'. Thus it has been said, 'As is proved by perception, and as also results from reasoning and tradition, and from its connexion with ignorance, the Self presents itself as a knowing 'I'. And again,'That which is different from body, senses, mind, and vital airs; which does not depend on other means; which is permanent, pervading, divided according to bodies-that is the Self blessed in itself.' Here 'not dependent on other means' means 'self-luminous'; and 'pervading' means 'being of such a nature as to enter, owing to excessive minuteness, into all non-sentient things.'
In cases of Scripture conflicting with Perception, Scripture is not stronger. The True cannot be known through the Untrue.
With reference to the assertion (p. 24 ff.) that Perception, which depends on the view of plurality, is based on some defect and hence admits of being otherwise accounted for—whence it follows that it is sublated by Scripture; we ask you to point out what defect it is on which Perception is based and may hence be accounted for otherwise.—' The beginningless imagination of difference' we expect you to reply.— But, we ask in return, have you then come to know by some other means that this beginningless imagination of difference, acting in a manner analogous to that of certain defects of vision, is really the cause of an altogether perverse view of things?—If you reply that this is known just from the fact that Perception is in conflict with Scripture, we point out that you are reasoning in a circle: you prove the defectiveness of the imagination of plurality through the fact that Scripture tells us about a substance devoid of all difference; and at the same time you prove the latter point through the former. Moreover, if Perception gives rise to perverse cognition because it is based on the imagination of plurality, Scripture also is in no better case—for it is based on the very same view.—If against this you urge that Scripture, although based on a defect, yet sublates Perception in so far as it is the cause of a cognition which dispels all plurality apprehended through Perception, and thus is later in order than Perception; we rejoin that the defectiveness of the foundation of Scripture having once been recognised, the circumstance of its being later is of no avail. For if a man is afraid of a rope which he mistakes for a snake his fear does not come to an end because another man, whom he considers to be in error himself, tells him 'This is no snake, do not be afraid.' And that Scripture is founded on something defective is known at the very time of hearing Scripture, for the reflection (which follows on hearing) consists in repeated attempts to cognise the oneness of Brahman—a cognition which is destructive of all the plurality apprehended through the first hearing of the Veda.—We further ask, 'By what means do you arrive at the conclusion that Scripture cannot possibly be assumed to be defective in any way, while defects may be ascribed to Perception'? It is certainly not Consciousness—self-proved and absolutely devoid of all difference—which enlightens you on this point; for such Consciousness is unrelated to any objects whatever, and incapable of partiality to Scripture. Nor can sense-perception be the source of your conviction; for as it is founded on what is defective it gives perverse information. Nor again the other sources of knowledge; for they are all based on sense-perception. As thus there are no acknowledged means of knowledge to prove your view, you must give it up. But, you will perhaps say, we proceed by means of the ordinary empirical means and objects of knowledge!—What, we ask in reply, do you understand by 'empirical'?—What rests on immediate unreflective knowledge, but is found not to hold good when tested by logical reasoning!—But what is the use, we ask, of knowledge of this kind? If logical reasoning refutes something known through some means of knowledge, that means of knowledge is no longer authoritative!—Now you will possibly argue as follows: 'Scripture as well as Perception is founded on Nescience; but all the same Perception is sublated by Scripture. For as the object of Scripture, i.e. Brahman, which is one and without a second, is not seen to be sublated by any ulterior cognition, Brahman, i.e. pure non-differenced Consciousness, remains as the sole Reality.'—But here too you are wrong, since we must decide that something which rests on a defect is unreal, although it may remain unrefuted. We will illustrate this point by an analogous instance. Let us imagine a race of men afflicted with a certain special defect of vision, without being aware of this their defect, dwelling in some remote mountain caves inaccessible to all other men provided with sound eyes. As we assume all of these cave dwellers to be afflicted with the same defect of vision, they, all of them, will equally see and judge bright things, e.g. the moon, to be double. Now in the case of these people there never arises a subsequent cognition sublating their primitive cognition; but the latter is false all the same, and its object, viz., the doubleness of the moon, is false likewise; the defect of vision being the cause of a cognition not corresponding to reality.— And so it is with the cognition of Brahman also. This cognition is based on Nescience, and therefore is false, together with its object, viz. Brahman, although no sublating cognition presents itself.—This conclusion admits of various expressions in logical form. 'The Brahman under dispute is false because it is the object of knowledge which has sprung from what is affected with Nescience; as the phenomenal world is.' 'Brahman is false because it is the object of knowledge; as the world is.' 'Brahman is false because it is the object of knowledge, the rise of which has the Untrue for its cause; as the world is.'
You will now perhaps set forth the following analogy. States of dreaming consciousness—such as the perception of elephants and the like in one's dreams—are unreal, and yet they are the cause of the knowledge of real things, viz. good or ill fortune (portended by those dreams). Hence there is no reason why Scripture—although unreal in so far as based on Nescience—should not likewise be the cause of the cognition of what is real, viz. Brahman.—The two cases are not parallel, we reply. The conscious states experienced in dreams are not unreal; it is only their objects that are false; these objects only, not the conscious states, are sublated by the waking consciousness. Nobody thinks 'the cognitions of which I was conscious in my dream are unreal'; what men actually think is 'the cognitions are real, but the things are not real.' In the same way the illusive state of consciousness which the magician produces in the minds of other men by means of mantras, drugs, &c., is true, and hence the cause of love and fear; for such states of consciousness also are not sublated. The cognition which, owing to some defect in the object, the sense organ, &c., apprehends a rope as a snake is real, and hence the cause of fear and other emotions. True also is the imagination which, owing to the nearness of a snake, arises in the mind of a man though not actually bitten, viz. that he has been bitten; true also is the representation of the imagined poison, for it may be the cause of actual death. In the same way the reflection of the face in the water is real, and hence enables us to ascertain details belonging to the real face. All these states of consciousness are real, as we conclude from their having a beginning and actual effects.—Nor would it avail you to object that in the absence of real elephants, and so on, the ideas of them cannot be real. For ideas require only some substrate in general; the mere appearance of a thing is a sufficient substrate, and such an appearance is present in the case in question, owing to a certain defect. The thing we determine to be unreal because it is sublated; the idea is non-sublated, and therefore real.
Nor can you quote in favour of your view—of the real being known through the unreal—the instance of the stroke and the letter. The letter being apprehended through the stroke (i.e. the written character) does not furnish a case of the real being apprehended through the unreal; for the stroke itself is real.—But the stroke causes the idea of the letter only in so far as it is apprehended as being a letter, and this 'being a letter' is untrue!—Not so, we rejoin. If this 'being a letter' were unreal it could not be a means of the apprehension of the letter; for we neither observe nor can prove that what is non-existent and indefinable constitutes a means.—Let then the idea of the letter constitute the means!—In that case, we rejoin, the apprehension of the real does not spring from the unreal; and besides, it would follow therefrom that the means and what is to be effected thereby would be one, i.e. both would be, without any distinction, the idea of the letter only. Moreover, if the means were constituted by the stroke in so far as it is not the letter, the apprehension of all letters would result from the sight of one stroke; for one stroke may easily be conceived as not being any letter.—But, in the same way as the word 'Devadatta' conventionally denotes some particular man, so some particular stroke apprehended by the eye may conventionally symbolise some particular letter to be apprehended by the ear, and thus a particular stroke may be the cause of the idea of a particular letter!—Quite so, we reply, but on this explanation the real is known through the real; for both stroke and conventional power of symbolisation are real. The case is analogous to that of the idea of a buffalo being caused by the picture of a buffalo; that idea rests on the similarity of picture and thing depicted, and that similarity is something real. Nor can it be said (with a view to proving the prvapaksha by another analogous instance) that we meet with a cognition of the real by means of the unreal in the case of sound (sabda) which is essentially uniform, but causes the apprehension of different things by means of difference of tone (nda). For sound is the cause of the apprehension of different things in so far only as we apprehend the connexion of sound manifesting itself in various tones, with the different things indicated by those various tones [FOOTNOTE 77:1]. And, moreover, it is not correct to argue on the ground of the uniformity of sound; for only particular significant sounds such as 'ga,' which can be apprehended by the ear, are really 'sound.'—All this proves that it is difficult indeed to show that the knowledge of a true thing, viz. Brahman, can be derived from Scripture, if Scripture—as based on Nescience—is itself untrue.
Our opponent may finally argue as follows:—Scripture is not unreal in the same sense as a sky-flower is unreal; for antecedently to the cognition of universal non-duality Scripture is viewed as something that is, and only on the rise of that knowledge it is seen to be unreal. At this latter time Scripture no longer is a means of cognising Brahman, devoid of all difference, consisting of pure Intelligence; as long on the other hand as it is such a means, Scripture is; for then we judge 'Scripture is.'—But to this we reply that if Scripture is not (true), the judgment 'Scripture is' is false, and hence the knowledge resting on false Scripture being false likewise, the object of that knowledge, i.e. Brahman itself, is false. If the cognition of fire which rests on mist being mistaken for smoke is false, it follows that the object of that cognition, viz. fire itself, is likewise unreal. Nor can it be shown that (in the case of Brahman) there is no possibility of ulterior sublative cognition; for there may be such sublative cognition, viz. the one expressed in the judgment 'the Reality is a Void.' And if you say that this latter judgment rests on error, we point out that according to yourself the knowledge of Brahman is also based on error. And of our judgment (viz. 'the Reality is a Void') it may truly be said that all further negation is impossible.—But there is no need to continue this demolition of an altogether baseless theory.
[FOOTNOTE 77:1. And those manifestations of sound by means of various tones are themselves something real.]
No scriptural texts teach a Brahman devoid of all difference.
We now turn to the assertion that certain scriptural texts, as e.g. 'Being only was this in the beginning,' are meant to teach that there truly exists only one homogeneous substance, viz. Intelligence free from all difference.—This we cannot allow. For the section in which the quoted text occurs, in order to make good the initial declaration that by the knowledge of one thing all things are known, shows that the highest Brahman which is denoted by the term 'Being' is the substantial and also the operative cause of the world; that it is all-knowing, endowed with all powers; that its purposes come true; that it is the inward principle, the support and the ruler of everything; and that distinguished by these and other good qualities it constitutes the Self of the entire world; and then finally proceeds to instruct Svetaketu that this Brahman constitutes his Self also ('Thou art that'). We have fully set forth this point in the Vedrtha-samgraha and shall establish it in greater detail in the present work also, in the so-called rambhana-adhikarana.—In the same way the passage 'the higher knowledge is that by which the Indestructible is apprehended, &c.' (Mu. Up. I, 1, 5) first denies of Brahman all the evil qualities connected with Prakriti, and then teaches that to it there belong eternity, all-pervadingness, subtilty, omnipresence, omniscience, imperishableness, creativeness with regard to all beings, and other auspicious qualities. Now we maintain that also the text 'True, knowledge, infinite is Brahman', does not prove a substance devoid of all difference, for the reason that the co-ordination of the terms of which it consists explains itself in so far only as denoting one thing distinguished by several attributes. For 'co-ordination' (smndhikaranya, lit.'the abiding of several things in a common substrate') means the reference (of several terms) to one thing, there being a difference of reason for the application (of several terms to one thing). Now whether we take the several terms,' True','Knowledge','Infinite', in their primary sense, i. e. as denoting qualities, or as denoting modes of being opposed to whatever is contrary to those qualities; in either case we must needs admit a plurality of causes for the application of those several terms to one thing. There is however that difference between the two alternatives that in the former case the terms preserve their primary meaning, while in the latter case their denotative power depends on so-called 'implication' (lakshan). Nor can it be said that the opposition in nature to non-knowledge, &c.(which is the purport of the terms on the hypothesis of lakshan), constitutes nothing more than the essential nature (of one non-differenced substance; the three terms thus having one purport only); for as such essential nature would be sufficiently apprehended through one term, the employment of further terms would be purposeless. This view would moreover be in conflict with co-ordination, as it would not allow of difference of motive for several terms applied to one thing. On the other hand it cannot be urged against the former alternative that the distinction of several attributes predicated of one thing implies a distinction in the thing to which the attributes belong, and that from this it follows that the several terms denote several things—a result which also could not be reconciled with 'co-ordination'; for what 'co-ordination' aims at is just to convey the idea of one thing being qualified by several attributes. For the grammarians define 'coordination' as the application, to one thing, of several words, for the application of each of which there is a different motive.
You have further maintained the following view:—In the text 'one only without a second', the phrase 'without a second' negatives all duality on Brahman's part even in so far as qualities are concerned. We must therefore, according to the principle that all Skhs convey the same doctrine, assume that all texts which speak of Brahman as cause, aim at setting forth an absolutely non-dual substance. Of Brahman thus indirectly defined as a cause, the text 'The True, knowledge, infinite is Brahman,' contains a direct definition; the Brahman here meant to be defined must thus be devoid of all qualities. Otherwise, moreover, the text would be in conflict with those other texts which declare Brahman to be without qualities and blemish.—But this also cannot be admitted. What the phrase 'without a second' really aims at intimating is that Brahman possesses manifold powers, and this it does by denying the existence of another ruling principle different from Brahman. That Brahman actually possesses manifold powers the text shows further on, 'It thought, may I be many, may I grow forth,' and 'it sent forth fire,' and so on.—But how are we to know that the mere phrase 'without a second' is meant to negative the existence of all other causes in general?—As follows, we reply. The clause 'Being only this was in the beginning, one only,' teaches that Brahman when about to create constitutes the substantial cause of the world. Here the idea of some further operative cause capable of giving rise to the effect naturally presents itself to the mind, and hence we understand that the added clause 'without a second' is meant to negative such an additional cause. If it were meant absolutely to deny all duality, it would deny also the eternity and other attributes of Brahman which you yourself assume. You in this case make just the wrong use of the principle of all the—Skhs containing the same doctrine; what this principle demands is that the qualities attributed in all—Skhs to Brahman as cause should be taken over into the passage under discussion also. The same consideration teaches us that also the text 'True, knowledge', &c., teaches Brahman to possess attributes; for this passage has to be interpreted in agreement with the texts referring to Brahman as a cause. Nor does this imply a conflict with the texts which declare Brahman to be without qualities; for those texts are meant to negative the evil qualities depending on Prakriti.—Those texts again which refer to mere knowledge declare indeed that knowledge is the essential nature of Brahman, but this does not mean that mere knowledge constitutes the fundamental reality. For knowledge constitutes the essential nature of a knowing subject only which is the substrate of knowledge, in the same way as the sun, lamps, and gems are the substrate of Light. That Brahman is a knowing subject all scriptural texts declare; cp. 'He who is all knowing' (Mu. Up. I, 1, 9); 'It thought' (Ch. Up. VI, 2, 3); 'This divine being thought' (Ch. Up. VI, 3, 2); 'He thought, let me send forth the worlds' (Ait. r. II,4, 1, 2); 'He who arranges the wishes—as eternal of those who are not eternal, as thinker of (other) thinkers, as one of many' (Ka. Up. II, 5, 13); 'There are two unborn ones—one who knows, one who does not know—one strong, the other weak' (Svet. Up. I, 9); 'Let us know Him, the highest of Lords, the great Lord, the highest deity of deities, the master of masters, the highest above the god, the lord of the world, the adorable one' (Svet. Up. VI, 7); 'Of him there is known no effect (body) or instrument; no one is seen like unto him or better; his high power is revealed as manifold, forming his essential nature, as knowledge, strength, and action' (Svet. Up. VI, 8); 'That is the Self, free from sin, ageless, deathless, griefless, free from hunger and thirst, whose wishes are true, whose purposes are true' (Ch. Up. VIII, 1, 5). These and other texts declare that to Brahman, whose essential nature is knowledge, there belong many excellent qualities—among which that of being a knowing subject stands first, and that Brahman is free from all evil qualities. That the texts referring to Brahman as free from qualities, and those which speak of it as possessing qualities, have really one and the same object may be inferred from the last of the passages quoted above; the earlier part of which—'free from sin,' up to 'free from thirst'—denies of Brahman all evil qualities, while its latter part—'whose wishes are true,' and so on—asserts of its certain excellent qualities. As thus there is no contradiction between the two classes of texts, there is no reason whatever to assume that either of them has for its object something that is false.—With regard to the concluding passage of the Taittiriya-text, 'from whence all speech, together with the mind, turns away, unable to reach it [FOOTNOTE 82:1],' we point out that with the passage 'From terror of it the wind blows,' there begins a declaration of the qualities of Brahman, and that the next section 'one hundred times that human bliss,' &c., makes statements as to the relative bliss enjoyed by the different classes of embodied souls; the concluding passage 'He who knows the bliss of that Brahman from whence all speech, together with the mind, turns away unable to reach it,' hence must be taken as proclaiming with emphasis the infinite nature of Brahman's auspicious qualities. Moreover, a clause in the chapter under discussion—viz. 'he obtains all desires, together with Brahman the all-wise' (II, 1)—which gives information as to the fruit of the knowledge of Brahman clearly declares the infinite nature of the qualities of the highest all-wise Brahman. The desires are the auspicious qualities of Brahman which are the objects of desire; the man who knows Brahman obtains, together with Brahman, all qualities of it. The expression 'together with' is meant to bring out the primary importance of the qualities; as also described in the so-called dahara- vidy (Ch. Up. VIII, 1). And that fruit and meditation are of the same character (i.e. that in meditations on Brahman its qualities are the chief matter of meditation, just as these qualities are the principal point in Brahman reached by the Devotee) is proved by the text 'According to what a man's thought is in this world, so will he be after he has departed this life' (Ch. Up. III, 14, 1). If it be said that the passage 'By whom it is not thought by him it is thought', 'not understood by those who understand' (Ke. Up. II, 3), declares Brahman not to be an object of knowledge; we deny this, because were it so, certain other texts would not teach that final Release results from knowledge; cp. 'He who knows Brahman obtains the Highest' (Taitt. Up. II, 1, 1); 'He knows Brahman, he becomes Brahman.' And, moreover, the text 'He who knows Brahman as non-existing becomes himself non-existing; he who knows Brahman as existing, him we know himself as existing' (Taitt Up. II, 6, 1), makes the existence and non-existence of the Self dependent on the existence and non-existence of knowledge which has Brahman for its object. We thus conclude that all scriptural texts enjoin just the knowledge of Brahman for the sake of final Release. This knowledge is, as we already know, of the nature of meditation, and what is to be meditated on is Brahman as possessing qualities. (The text from the Ke. Up. then explains itself as follows:—) We are informed by the passage 'from whence speech together with mind turns away, being unable to reach it', that the infinite Brahman with its unlimited excellences cannot be defined either by mind or speech as being so or so much, and from this we conclude the Kena text to mean that Brahman is not thought and not understood by those who understand it to be of a definitely limited nature; Brahman in truth being unlimited. If the text did not mean this, it would be self-contradictory, parts of it saying that Brahman is not thought and not understood, and other parts, that it is thought and is understood.
Now as regards the assertion that the text 'Thou mayest not see the seer of seeing; thou mayest not think the thinker of thinking' (Bri. Up. III, 5, 2), denies the existence of a seeing and thinking subject different from mere seeing and thinking—This view is refuted by the following interpretation. The text addresses itself to a person who has formed the erroneous opinion that the quality of consciousness or knowledge does not constitute the essential nature of the knower, but belongs to it only as an adventitious attribute, and tells him 'Do not view or think the Self to be such, but consider the seeing and thinking Self to have seeing and thinking for its essential nature.'—Or else this text may mean that the embodied Self which is the seer of seeing and the thinker of thinking should be set aside, and that only the highest Self—the inner Self of all beings—should be meditated upon.—Otherwise a conflict would arise with texts declaring the knowership of the Self, such as 'whereby should he know the knower?' (Bri. Up. IV, 5, 15).
Your assertion that the text 'Bliss is Brahman' (Taitt. Up. III, 6, 1) proves pure Bliss to constitute the essential nature of Brahman is already disposed of by the refutation of the view that knowledge (consciousness) constitutes the essential nature of Brahman; Brahman being in reality the substrate only of knowledge. For by bliss we understand a pleasing state of consciousness. Such passages as 'consciousness, bliss is Brahman,' therefore mean 'consciousness—the essential character of which is bliss—is Brahman.' On this identity of the two things there rests that homogeneous character of Brahman, so much insisted upon by yourself. And in the same way as numerous passages teach that Brahman, while having knowledge for its essential nature, is at the same time a knowing subject; so other passages, speaking of Brahman as something separate from mere bliss, show it to be not mere bliss but a subject enjoying bliss; cp. 'That is one bliss of Brahman' (Taitt. Up. II, 8, 4); 'he knowing the bliss of Brahman' (Taitt. Up. II, 9, 1). To be a subject enjoying bliss is in fact the same as to be a conscious subject.
We now turn to the numerous texts which, according to the view of our opponent, negative the existence of plurality.—'Where there is duality as it were' (Bri. Up. IV, 5, 15); 'There is not any plurality here; from death to death goes he who sees here any plurality' (Bri. Up. IV, 4, 19); 'But when for him the Self alone has become all, by what means, and whom, should he see?' (Bri. Up. IV, 5, 15) &c.—But what all these texts deny is only plurality in so far as contradicting that unity of the world which depends on its being in its entirety an effect of Brahman, and having Brahman for its inward ruling principle and its true Self. They do not, on the other hand, deny that plurality on Brahman's part which depends on its intention to become manifold—a plurality proved by the text 'May I be many, may I grow forth' (Ch. Up. VI, 2, 3). Nor can our opponent urge against this that, owing to the denial of plurality contained in other passages this last text refers to something not real; for it is an altogether laughable assertion that Scripture should at first teach the doctrine, difficult to comprehend, that plurality as suggested by Perception and the other means of Knowledge belongs to Brahman also, and should afterwards negative this very doctrine!
Nor is it true that the text 'If he makes but the smallest "antaram" (i. e. difference, interval, break) in it there is fear for him' (Taitt. Up. II, 7) implies that he who sees plurality within Brahman encounters fear. For the other text 'All this is Brahman; let a man meditate with calm mind on all this as beginning, ending and breathing in it, i.e. Brahman' (Ch. Up. III, 14, 1) teaches directly that reflection on the plurality of Brahman is the cause of peace of mind. For this passage declares that peace of mind is produced by a reflection on the entire world as springing from, abiding within, and being absorbed into Brahman, and thus having Brahman for its Self; and as thus the view of Brahman constituting the Self of the world with all its manifold distinctions of gods, men, animals, inanimate matter and so on, is said to be the cause of peace of mind, and, consequently, of absence of fear, that same view surely cannot be a cause of fear!—But how then is it that the Taitt. text declares that 'there is fear for him'?—That text, we reply, declares in its earlier part that rest in Brahman is the cause of fearlessness ('when he finds freedom from fear, rest, in that which is invisible, incorporeal, undefined, unsupported; then he has obtained fearlessness'); its latter part therefore means that fear takes place when there is an interval, a break, in this resting in Brahman. As the great Rishi says 'When Vsudeva is not meditated on for an hour or even a moment only; that is loss, that is great calamity, that is error, that is change.'
The Stra III, 2, ii does not, as our opponent alleges, refer to a Brahman free from all difference, but to Brahman as possessing attributes—as we shall show in its place. And the Stra IV, 2, 3 declares that the things seen in dreams are mere 'My' because they differ in character from the things perceived in the waking state; from which it follows that the latter things are real.
[FOOTNOTE 82:1. Which passage appears to refer to a nirguna brahman, whence it might be inferred that the connected initial passage—'Satyam janam,' &c.—has a similar purport.]
Nor do Smriti and Purna teach such a doctrine.
Nor is it true that also according to Smriti and Purnas only non- differenced consciousness is real and everything else unreal.—'He who knows me as unborn and without a beginning, the supreme Lord of the worlds' (Bha. G. X, 3); 'All beings abide in me, I abide not in them. Nay, the beings abide not in me—behold my lordly power. My Self bringing forth the beings supports them but does not abide in them' (Bha. G. IX, 4, 5); 'I am the origin and the dissolution of the entire world; higher than I there is nothing else: on me all this is strung as pearls on a thread' (Bha. G. VII, 6, 7); 'Pervading this entire Universe by a portion (of mine) I abide' (Bha. G. X, 42); 'But another, the highest Person, is called the highest Self who, pervading the three worlds supports them, the eternal Lord. Because I transcend the Perishable and am higher than the Imperishable even, I am among the people and in the Veda celebrated as the supreme Person' (Bha. G. XV, 17, 18).
'He transcends the fundamental matter of all beings, its modifications, properties and imperfections; he transcends all investing (obscuring) influences, he who is the Self of all. Whatever (room) there is in the interstices of the world is filled by him; all auspicious qualities constitute his nature. The whole creation of beings is taken out of a small part of his power. Assuming at will whatever form he desires he bestows benefits on the whole world effected by him. Glory, strength, dominion, wisdom, energy, power and other attributes are collected in him, Supreme of the supreme in whom no troubles abide, ruler over high and low, lord in collective and distributive form, non-manifest and manifest, universal lord, all-seeing, all-knowing, all-powerful, highest Lord. The knowledge by which that perfect, pure, highest, stainless homogeneous (Brahman) is known or perceived or comprehended—that is knowledge: all else is ignorance' (Vishnu Purna VI, 5, 82-87).—'To that pure one of mighty power, the highest Brahman to which no term is applicable, the cause of all causes, the name "Bhagavat" is suitable. The letter bha implies both the cherisher and supporter; the letter ga the leader, mover and creator. The two syllables bhaga indicate the six attributes—dominion, strength, glory, splendour, wisdom, dispassion. That in him—the universal Self, the Self of the beings—all beings dwell and that he dwells in all, this is the meaning of the letter va. Wisdom, might, strength, dominion, glory, without any evil qualities, are all denoted by the word bhagavat. This great word bhagavat is the name of Vsudeva who is the highest Brahman—and of no one else. This word which denotes persons worthy of reverence in general is used in its primary sense with reference to Vsudeva only; in a derived sense with regard to other persons' (Vi. Pu. VI, 5, 72 ff.); 'Where all these powers abide, that is the form of him who is the universal form: that is the great form of Hari. That form produces in its sport forms endowed with all powers, whether of gods or men or animals. For the purpose of benefiting the worlds, not springing from work (karman) is this action of the unfathomable one; all-pervading, irresistible' (Vi. Pu. VI, 7, 69- 71); 'Him who is of this kind, stainless, eternal, all-pervading, imperishable, free from all evil, named Vishnu, the highest abode' (Vi. Pu. I, 22,53); 'He who is the highest of the high, the Person, the highest Self, founded on himself; who is devoid of all the distinguishing characteristics of colour, caste and the like; who is exempt from birth, change, increase, decay and death; of whom it can only be said that he ever is. He is everywhere and in him everything abides; hence he is called Vsudeva by those who know. He is Brahman, eternal, supreme, imperishable, undecaying; of one essential nature and ever pure, as free from all defects. This whole world is Brahman, comprising within its nature the Evolved and the Unevolved; and also existing in the form of the Person and in that of time' (Vi. Pu. I, 2, 10-14); 'The Prakriti about which I told and which is Evolved as well as Unevolved, and the Person—both these are merged in the highest Self. The highest Self is the support of all, the highest Lord; as Vishnu he is praised in the Vedas and the Vednta-texts' (Vi. Pu. VI, 4, 38, 39). 'Two forms are there of that Brahman, one material, the other immaterial. These two forms, perishable and imperishable, are within all things: the imperishable one is the highest Brahman, the perishable one this whole world. As the light of a fire burning in one place spreads all around, so the energy of the highest Brahman constitutes this entire world' (Vi. Pu. I, 23,53-55). 'The energy of Vishnu is the highest, that which is called the embodied soul is inferior; and there is another third energy called karman or Nescience, actuated by which the omnipresent energy of the embodied soul perpetually undergoes the afflictions of worldly existence. Obscured by Nescience the energy of the embodied soul is characterised in the different beings by different degrees of perfection' (Vi. Pu. VI, 7, 61-63).
These and other texts teach that the highest Brahman is essentially free from all imperfection whatsoever, comprises within itself all auspicious qualities, and finds its pastime in originating, preserving, reabsorbing, pervading, and ruling the universe; that the entire complex of intelligent and non-intelligent beings (souls and matter) in all their different estates is real, and constitutes the form, i.e. the body of the highest Brahman, as appears from those passages which co-ordinate it with Brahman by means of terms such as sarra (body), rpa (form), tanu (body), amsa (part), sakti (power), vibhti (manifestation of power), and so on;—that the souls which are a manifestation of Brahman's power exist in their own essential nature, and also, through their connexion with matter, in the form of embodied souls (kshetraja);—and that the embodied souls, being engrossed by Nescience in the form of good and evil works, do not recognise their essential nature, which is knowledge, but view themselves as having the character of material things.—The outcome of all this is that we have to cognise Brahman as carrying plurality within itself, and the world, which is the manifestation of his power, as something real.
When now the text, in the sloka 'where all difference has vanished' (Vi. Pu. VI, 7, 53), declares that the Self, although connected with the different effects of Prakriti, such as divine, human bodies, and so on, yet is essentially free from all such distinctions, and therefore not the object of the words denoting those different classes of beings, but to be defined as mere knowledge and Being; to be known by the Self and not to be reached by the mind of the practitioner of Yoga (yogayuj); this must in no way be understood as denying the reality of the world.— But how is this known?—As follows, we reply. The chapter of the Purna in which that sloka occurs at first declares concentration (Yoga) to be the remedy of all the afflictions of the Samsra; thereupon explains the different stages of Yoga up to the so-called pratyhra (complete restraining of the senses from receiving external impressions); then, in order to teach the attainment of the 'perfect object' (subhsraya) required for dhran, declares that the highest Brahman, i. e. Vishnu, possesses two forms, called powers (sakti), viz. a denned one (mrta) and an undefined one (amrta); and then teaches that a portion of the 'defined' form, viz. the embodied soul (kshetraja), which is distinguished by its connexion with matter and involved in Nescience— that is termed 'action,' and constitutes a third power—is not perfect. The chapter further teaches that a portion of the undefined form which is free from Nescience called action, separated from all matter, and possessing the character of pure knowledge, is also not the 'perfect object,' since it is destitute of essential purity; and, finally, declares that the 'perfect object' is to be found in that defined form which is special to Bhagavat, and which is the abode of the three powers, viz. that non-defined form which is the highest power, that non-defined form which is termed embodied soul, and constitutes the secondary (apara) power, and Nescience in the form of work—which is called the third power, and is the cause of the Self, which is of the essence of the highest power, passing into the state of embodied soul. This defined form (which is the 'perfect object') is proved by certain Vednta-texts, such as 'that great person of sun-like lustre' (Svet. Up. III, 8). We hence must take the sloka, 'in which all differences vanish,' &c., to mean that the pure Self (the Self in so far as knowledge only) is not capable of constituting the 'perfect object.' Analogously two other passages declare 'Because this cannot be reflected upon by the beginner in Yoga, the second (form) of Vishnu is to be meditated upon by Yogins- the highest abode.' 'That in which all these powers have their abode, that is the other great form of Hari, different from the (material) Visva form.'
In an analogous manner, Parsara declares that Brahm, Katurmukha, Sanaka, and similar mighty beings which dwell within this world, cannot constitute the 'perfect object' because they are involved in Nescience; after that goes on to say that the beings found in the Samsra are in the same condition—for they are essentially devoid of purity since they reach their true nature, only later on, when through Yoga knowledge has arisen in them—; and finally teaches that the essential individual nature of the highest Brahman, i.e. Vishnu, constitutes the 'perfect object.' 'From Brahm down to a blade of grass, all living beings that dwell within this world are in the power of the Samsra due to works, and hence no profit can be derived by the devout from making them objects of their meditation. They are all implicated in Nescience, and stand within the sphere of the Samsra; knowledge arises in them only later on, and they are thus of no use in meditation. Their knowledge does not belong to them by essential nature, for it comes to them through something else. Therefore the stainless Brahman which possesses essential knowledge,' &c. &c.—All this proves that the passage 'in which all difference vanishes' does not mean to deny the reality of the world.
Nor, again, does the passage 'that which has knowledge for its essential nature' (Vi. Pu. 1,2,6) imply that the whole complex of things different from knowledge is false; for it declares only that the appearance of the Self—the essential nature of which is knowledge—as gods, men, and so on, is erroneous. A declaration that the appearance of mother o' pearl as silver is founded on error surely does not imply that all the silver in the world is unreal!—But if, on the ground of an insight into the oneness of Brahman and the world—as expressed in texts where the two appear in co-ordination—a text declares that it is an error to view Brahman, whose essential nature is knowledge, under the form of material things, this after all implies that the whole aggregate of things is false!—By no means, we rejoin. As our sstra distinctly teaches that the highest Brahman, i. e. Vishnu, is free from all imperfections whatsoever, comprises within himself all auspicious qualities, and reveals his power in mighty manifestations, the view of the world's reality cannot possibly be erroneous. That information as to the oneness of two things by means of co-ordination does not allow of sublation (of either of the two), and is non-contradictory, we shall prove further on. Hence also the sloka last referred to does not sublate the reality of the world.