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The Vedanta-Sutras with the Commentary by Ramanuja - Sacred Books of the East, Volume 48
by Trans. George Thibaut
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'That from whence these beings are born, by which, when born, they live, into which they enter when they die, endeavour to know that; that is Brahman' (Taitt. Up. III, 1). From this scriptural text we ascertain that Brahman is the cause of the origination, and so on, of the world. After this we learn from a Purna text ('He should make the Veda grow by means of Itihsa and Purna; the Veda fears that a man of little reading may do it harm') that the Veda should be made to grow by Itihsa and Purna. By this 'making to grow' we have to understand the elucidation of the sense of the Vedic texts studied by means of other texts, promulgated by men who had mastered the entire Veda and its contents, and by the strength of their devotion had gained full intuition of Vedic truth. Such 'making to grow' must needs be undertaken, since the purport of the entire Veda with all its Skhs cannot be fathomed by one who has studied a small part only, and since without knowing that purport we cannot arrive at any certitude.

The Vishnu Purna relates how Maitreya, wishing to have his knowledge of Vedic matters strengthened by the holy Parsara, who through the favour of Pulastya and Vasishtha had obtained an insight into the true nature of the highest divinity, began to question Parsara, 'I am desirous to hear from thee how this world originated, and how it will again originate in future, and of what it consists, and whence proceed animate and inanimate things; how and into what it has been resolved, and into what it will in future be resolved?' &c. (Vi. Pu. I, 1). The questions asked refer to the essential nature of Brahman, the different modes of the manifestation of its power, and the different results of propitiating it. Among the questions belonging to the first category, the question 'whence proceed animate and inanimate things?' relates to the efficient and the material cause of the world, and hence the clause 'of what the world consists' is to be taken as implying a question as to what constitutes the Self of this world, which is the object of creation, sustentation, and dissolution. The reply to this question is given in the words 'and the world is He.' Now the identity expressed by this clause is founded thereon that he (i.e. Brahman or Vishnu) pervades the world as its Self in the character of its inward Ruler; and is not founded on unity of substance of the pervading principle and the world pervaded. The phrase 'consists of' (-maya) does not refer to an effect (so that the question asked would be as to the causal substance of which this world is an effect), for a separate question on this point would be needless. Nor does the—maya express, as it sometimes does-e.g. in the case of prana-maya [FOOTNOTE 92:1], the own sense of the word to which it is attached; for in that case the form of the reply 'and the world is He' (which implies a distinction between the world and Vishnu) would be inappropriate; the reply would in that case rather be 'Vishnu only.' What 'maya' actually denotes here is abundance, prevailingness, in agreement with Pnini, V, 4, 21, and the meaning is that Brahman prevails in the world in so far as the entire world constitutes its body. The co-ordination of the two words 'the world' and 'He' thus rests on that relation between the two, owing to which the world is the body of Brahman, and Brahman the Self of the world. If, on the other hand, we maintained that the sstra aims only at inculcating the doctrine of one substance free from all difference, there would be no sense in all those questions and answers, and no sense in an entire nastra devoted to the explanation of that one thing. In that case there would be room for one question only, viz. 'what is the substrate of the erroneous imagination of a world?' and for one answer to this question, viz. 'pure consciousness devoid of all distinction!'—And if the co-ordination expressed in the clause 'and the world is he' was meant to set forth the absolute oneness of the world and Brahman, then it could not be held that Brahman possesses all kinds of auspicious qualities, and is opposed to all evil; Brahman would rather become the abode of all that is impure. All this confirms the conclusion that the co-ordination expressed in that clause is to be understood as directly teaching the relation between a Self and its body.—The sloka, 'From Vishnu the world has sprung: in him he exists: he is the cause of the subsistence and dissolution of this world: and the world is he' (Vi. Pu. I, 1, 35), states succinctly what a subsequent passage—beginning with 'the highest of the high' (Vi. Pu. I, 2, 10)—sets forth in detail. Now there the sloka,'to the unchangeable one' (I, 2, 1), renders homage to the holy Vishnu, who is the highest Brahman in so far as abiding within his own nature, and then the text proceeds to glorify him in his threefold form as Hiranyagarbha, Hari, and Sankara, as Pradhna, Time, and as the totality of embodied souls in their combined and distributed form. Here the sloka, 'Him whose essential nature is knowledge' (I, 2, 6), describes the aspect of the highest Self in so far as abiding in the state of discrete embodied souls; the passage cannot therefore be understood as referring to a substance free from all difference. If the sstra aimed at teaching that the erroneous conception of a manifold world has for its substrate a Brahman consisting of non-differenced intelligence, there would be room neither for the objection raised in I, 3, I ('How can we attribute agency creative and otherwise to Brahman which is without qualities, unlimited, pure, stainless?') nor for the refutation of that objection, 'Because the powers of all things are the objects of (true) knowledge excluding all (bad) reasoning, therefore there belong to Brahman also such essential powers as the power of creating, preserving, and so on, the world; just as heat essentially belongs to fire [FOOTNOTE 94:1].' In that case the objection would rather be made in the following form: 'How can Brahman, which is without qualities, be the agent in the creation, preservation, and so on, of the world?' and the answer would be, 'Creation by Brahman is not something real, but something erroneously imagined.'—The purport of the objection as it stands in the text is as follows: 'We observe that action creative and otherwise belongs to beings endowed with qualities such as goodness, and so on, not perfect, and subject to the influence of karman; how then can agency creative, and so on, be attributed to Brahman which is devoid of qualities, perfect, not under the influence of karman, and incapable of any connexion with action?' And the reply is, 'There is nothing unreasonable in holding that Brahman as being of the nature described above, and different in kind from all things perceived, should possess manifold powers; just as fire, which is different in kind from water and all other material substances, possesses the quality of heat and other qualities.' The slokas also, which begin with the words 'Thou alone art real' (Vi. Pu. I, 4, 38 ff.), do not assert that the whole world is unreal, but only that, as Brahman is the Self of the world, the latter viewed apart from Brahman is not real. This the text proceeds to confirm, 'thy greatness it is by which all movable and immovable things are pervaded.' This means—because all things movable and immovable are pervaded by thee, therefore all this world has thee for its Self, and hence 'there is none other than thee' and thus thou being the Self of all art alone real. Such being the doctrine intended to be set forth, the text rightly says, 'this all-pervasiveness of thine is thy greatness'; otherwise it would have to say, 'it is thy error.' Were this latter view intended, words such as 'Lord of the world,' 'thou,' &c., could not, moreover, be taken in their direct sense, and there would arise a contradiction with the subject-matter of the entire chapter, viz. the praise of the Holy one who in the form of a mighty boar had uplifted in play the entire earth.—Because this entire world is thy form in so far as it is pervaded as its Self by thee whose true nature is knowledge; therefore those who do not possess that devotion which enables men to view thee as the Self of all, erroneously view this world as consisting only of gods, men, and other beings; this is the purport of the next sloka, 'this which is seen.'—And it is an error not only to view the world which has its real Self in thee as consisting of gods, men, and so on, but also to consider the Selfs whose true nature is knowledge as being of the nature of material beings such as gods, men, and the like; this is the meaning of the next sloka, 'this world whose true nature is knowledge.'—Those wise men, on the other hand, who have an insight into the essentially intelligent Self, and whose minds are cleared by devotion—the means of apprehending the Holy one as the universal Self—, they view this entire world with all its manifold bodies—the effects of primeval matter—as thy body—a body the Self of which is constituted by knowledge abiding apart from its world-body; this is the meaning of the following sloka: 'But those who possess knowledge,' &c.—If the different slokas were not interpreted in this way, they would be mere unmeaning reiterations; their constitutive words could not be taken in their primary sense; and we should come into conflict with the sense of the passages, the subject-matter of the chapter, and the purport of the entire sstra. The passage, further, 'Of that Self although it exists in one's own and in other bodies, the knowledge is of one kind' (Vi. Pu. II, 14, 31 ff.), refers to that view of duality according to which the different Selfs—although equal in so far as they are all of the essence of knowledge—are constituted into separate beings, gods, men, &c., by their connexion with different portions of matter all of which are modifications of primary matter, and declares that view to be false. But this does not imply a denial of the duality which holds good between matter on the one hand and Self on the other: what the passage means is that the Self which dwells in the different material bodies of gods, men, and so on, is of one and the same kind. So the Holy one himself has said, 'In the dog and the low man eating dog's flesh the wise see the same'; 'Brahman, without any imperfection, is the same' (Bha. G. V, 18, 19). And, moreover, the clause 'Of the Self although existing in one's own and in other bodies' directly declares that a thing different from the body is distributed among one's own and other bodies.

Nor does the passage 'If there is some other (para) different (anya) from me,' &c. (Vi. Pu. II, 13, 86) intimate the oneness of the Self; for in that case the two words 'para' and 'anya' would express one meaning only (viz. 'other' in the sense of 'distinct from'). The word 'para' there denotes a Self distinct from that of one's own Self, and the word 'anya' is introduced to negative a character different from that of pure intelligence: the sense of the passage thus is 'If there is some Self distinct from mine, and of a character different from mine which is pure knowledge, then it can be said that I am of such a character and he of a different character'; but this is not the case, because all Selfs are equal in as far as their nature consists of pure knowledge.—Also the sloka beginning 'Owing to the difference of the holes of the flute' (Vi. Pu. II, 14, 32) only declares that the inequality of the different Selfs is owing not to their essential nature, but to their dwelling in different material bodies; and does not teach the oneness of all Selfs. The different portions of air, again, passing through the different holes of the flute—to which the many Selfs are compared—are not said to be one but only to be equal in character; they are one in character in so far as all of them are of the nature of air, while the different names of the successive notes of the musical scale are applied to them because they pass out by the different holes of the instrument. For an analogous reason the several Selfs are denominated by different names, viz. gods and so on. Those material things also which are parts of the substance fire, or water, or earth, are one in so far only as they consist of one kind of substance; but are not absolutely one; those different portions of air, therefore, which constitute the notes of the scale are likewise not absolutely one. Where the Purna further says 'He (or "that") I am and thou art He (or "that"); all this universe that has Self for its true nature is He (or "that"); abandon the error of distinction' (Vi. Pu. II, 16, 23); the word 'that' refers to the intelligent character mentioned previously which is common to all Selfs, and the co-ordination stated in the two clauses therefore intimates that intelligence is the character of the beings denoted 'I' and 'Thou'; 'abandon therefore,' the text goes on to say, 'the illusion that the difference of outward form, divine and so on, causes a corresponding difference in the Selfs.' If this explanation were not accepted (but absolute non-difference insisted upon) there would be no room for the references to difference which the passages quoted manifestly contain.

Accordingly the text goes on to say that the king acted on the instruction he had received, 'he abandoned the view of difference, having recognised the Real.'—But on what ground do we arrive at this decision (viz. that the passage under discussion is not meant to teach absolute non-duality)?—On the ground, we reply, that the proper topic of the whole section is to teach the distinction of the Self and the body—for this is evident from what is said in an early part of the section, 'as the body of man, characterised by hands, feet, and the like,' &c. (Vi. Pu. II, 13, 85).—For analogous reasons the sloka 'When that knowledge which gives rise to distinction' &c. (Vi. Pu. VI, 7, 94) teaches neither the essential unity of all Selfs nor the oneness of the individual Self and the highest Self. And that the embodied soul and the highest Self should be essentially one, is no more possible than that the body and the Self should be one. In agreement herewith Scripture says, 'Two birds, inseparable friends, cling to the same tree. One of them eats the sweet fruit, the other looks on without eating' (Mu. Up. III, 1, 1). 'There are two drinking their reward in the world of their own works, entered into the cave, dwelling on the highest summit. Those who know Brahman call them shade and light,' &c. (Ka. Up. I, 3, 1). And in this sstra also (i.e. the Vishnu Purna) there are passages of analogous import; cp. the stanzas quoted above, 'He transcends the causal matter, all effects, all imperfections such as the gunas' &c.

The Stras also maintain the same doctrine, cp. I, 1, 17; I, 2, 21; II, 1, 22; and others. They therein follow Scripture, which in several places refers to the highest and the individual soul as standing over against each other, cp. e.g. 'He who dwells in the Self and within the Self, whom the Self does not know, whose body the Self is, who rules the Self from within' (Bri. Up. III, 7, 22); 'Embraced by the intelligent Self (Bri. Up. IV, 3, 21); 'Mounted by the intelligent Self (IV, 3, 35). Nor can the individual Self become one with the highest Self by freeing itself from Nescience, with the help of the means of final Release; for that which admits of being the abode of Nescience can never become quite incapable of it. So the Purna says, 'It is false to maintain that the individual Self and the highest Self enter into real union; for one substance cannot pass over into the nature of another substance.' Accordingly the Bhagavad Gt declares that the released soul attains only the same attributes as the highest Self. 'Abiding by this knowledge, they, attaining to an equality of attributes with me, do neither come forth at the time of creation, nor are troubled at the time of general destruction' (XIV, 2). Similarly our Purna says, 'That Brahman leads him who meditates on it, and who is capable of change, towards its own being (tmabhva), in the same way as the magnet attracts the iron' (Vi. Pu. VI, 7, 30). Here the phrase 'leads him towards his own being' means 'imparts to him a nature like his own' (not 'completely identifies him with itself'); for the attracted body does not become essentially one with the body attracting.

The same view will be set forth by the Strakra in IV, 4, 17; 21, and I, 3, 2. The Vritti also says (with reference to S. IV, 4, 17) 'with the exception of the business of the world (the individual soul in the state of release) is equal (to the highest Self) through light'; and the author of the Dramidabhshya says, 'Owing to its equality (syujya) with the divinity the disembodied soul effects all things, like the divinity.' The following scriptural texts establish the same view, 'Those who depart from hence, after having known the Self and those true desires, for them there is freedom in all the worlds' (Ch. Up. VIII, 1, 6); 'He who knows Brahman reaches the Highest' (Taitt. Up. II, 1); 'He obtains all desires together with the intelligent Brahman' (Taitt. Up. II, 1, 1); 'Having reached the Self which consists of bliss, he wanders about in these worlds having as much food and assuming as many forms as he likes' (Taitt. Up. III, 10, 5); 'There he moves about' (Ch. Up. VIII, 12, 3); 'For he is flavour; for only after having perceived a flavour can any one perceive pleasure' (Taitt. Up. II, 7); 'As the flowing rivers go to their setting in the sea, losing name and form; thus he who knows, freed from name and form, goes to the divine Person who is higher than the high' (Mu. Up. III, 2, 8); 'He who knows, shaking off good and evil, reaches the highest oneness, free from stain' (Mu. Up. III, 1, 3).

The objects of meditation in all the vidys which refer to the highest Brahman, are Brahman viewed as having qualities, and the fruit of all those meditations. For this reason the author of the Stras declares that there is option among the different vidys—cp. Ve. S. III, 3, II; III., 3, 59. In the same way the Vkyakra teaches that the qualified Brahman only is the object of meditation, and that there is option of vidys; where he says '(Brahman) connected (with qualities), since the meditation refers to its qualities.' The same view is expressed by the Bhshyakra in the passage beginning 'Although he who bases himself on the knowledge of Being.'—Texts such as 'He knows Brahman, he becomes Brahman' (Mu. Up. III, 2, 9) have the same purport, for they must be taken in connexion with the other texts (referring to the fate of him who knows) such as 'Freed from name and form he goes to the divine Person who is higher than the high'; 'Free from stain he reaches the highest oneness' (Mu. Up. III, 2, 8; III, 1,3); 'Having approached the highest light he manifests himself in his own shape' (Kh. Up. VIII, 3, 4). Of him who has freed himself from his ordinary name and form, and all the distinctions founded thereon, and has assumed the uniform character of intelligence, it may be said that he is of the character of Brahman.—Our Purna also propounds the same view. The sloka (VI, 7, 91), 'Knowledge is the means to obtain what is to be obtained, viz. the highest Brahman: the Self is to be obtained, freed from all kinds of imagination,' states that that Self which through meditation on Brahman, is freed from all imagination so as to be like Brahman, is the object to be attained. (The three forms of imagination to be got rid of are so- called karma-bhvan, brahma-bhvan and a combination of the two. See Vi. Pu. VI, 7.) The text then goes on, 'The embodied Self is the user of the instrument, knowledge is its instrument; having accomplished Release— whereby his object is attained—he may leave off.' This means that the Devotee is to practise meditation on the highest Brahman until it has accomplished its end, viz. the attainment of the Self free from all imagination.—The text continues, 'Having attained the being of its being, then he is non-different from the highest Self; his difference is founded on Nescience only.' This sloka describes the state of the released soul. 'Its being' is the being, viz. the character or nature, of Brahman; but this does not mean absolute oneness of nature; because in this latter case the second 'being' would be out of place and the sloka would contradict what had been said before. The meaning is: when the soul has attained the nature of Brahman, i.e. when it has freed itself from all false imagination, then it is non-different from the highest Self. This non-difference is due to the soul, as well as the highest Self, having the essential nature of uniform intelligence. The difference of the soul—presenting itself as the soul of a god, a man, &c.—from the highest Self is not due to its essential nature, but rests on the basis of Nescience in the form of work: when through meditation on Brahman this basis is destroyed, the difference due to it comes to an end, and the soul no longer differs from the highest Self. So another text says, 'The difference of things of one nature is due to the investing agency of outward works; when the difference of gods, men, &c., is destroyed, it has no longer any investing power' (Vi. Pu. II, 14, 33).—The text then adds a further explanation, 'when the knowledge which gives rise to manifold difference is completely destroyed, who then will produce difference that has no real existence?' The manifold difference is the distinction of gods, men, animals, and inanimate things: compare the saying of Saunaka:'this fourfold distinction is founded on false knowledge.' The Self has knowledge for its essential nature; when Nescience called work—which is the cause of the manifold distinctions of gods, men, &c.—has been completely destroyed through meditation on the highest Brahman, who then will bring about the distinction of gods, & c., from the highest Self—a distinction which in the absence of a cause cannot truly exist.—That Nescience is called karman (work) is stated in the same chapter of the Purna (st. 61—avidy karmasamja).

The passage in the Bhagavad Gt, 'Know me to be the kshetraja' (XIII, 2), teaches the oneness of all in so far as the highest Self is the inward ruler of all; taken in any other sense it would be in conflict with other texts, such as 'All creatures are the Perishable, the unchanging soul is the Imperishable; but another is the highest Person' (Bha. G. XV, 16). In other places the Divine one declares that as inward Ruler he is the Self of all: 'The Lord dwells in the heart of all creatures' (XVIII, 61), and 'I dwell within the heart of all' (XV, 15). and 'I am the Self which has its abode within all creatures' (X, 20). The term 'creature' in these passages denotes the entire aggregate of body, &c., up to the Self.—Because he is the Self of all, the text expressly denies that among all the things constituting his body there is any one separate from him,'There is not anything which is without me' (X, 39). The place where this text occurs is the winding up of a glorification of the Divine one, and the text has to be understood accordingly. The passage immediately following is 'Whatever being there is, powerful, beautiful, or glorious, even that know thou to have sprung from a portion of my glory; pervading this entire Universe by a portion of mine I do abide' (X, 41; 42).

All this clearly proves that the authoritative books do not teach the doctrine of one non-differenced substance; that they do not teach that the universe of things is false; and that they do not deny the essential distinction of intelligent beings, non-intelligent things, and the Lord.

[FOOTNOTE 92:1. 'Prnamaya' is explained as meaning 'prana' only.]

[FOOTNOTE 94:1. The sense in which this sloka has to be taken is 'As in ordinary life we ascribe to certain things (e.g. gems, mantras) certain special powers because otherwise the effects they produce could not be accounted for; so to Brahman also,' &c.]



The theory of Nescience cannot be proved.

We now proceed to the consideration of Nescience.—According to the view of our opponent, this entire world, with all its endless distinctions of Ruler, creatures ruled, and so on, is, owing to a certain defect, fictitiously superimposed upon the non-differenced, self-luminous Reality; and what constitutes that defect is beginningless Nescience, which invests the Reality, gives rise to manifold illusions, and cannot be denned either as being or non-being. Such Nescience, he says, must necessarily be admitted, firstly on the ground of scriptural texts, such as 'Hidden by what is untrue' (Ch. Up. VIII, 3, 2), and secondly because otherwise the oneness of the individual souls with Brahman—which is taught by texts such as 'Thou are that'—cannot be established. This Nescience is neither 'being,' because in that case it could not be the object of erroneous cognition (bhrama) and sublation (bdha); nor is it 'non-being,' because in that case it could not be the object of apprehension and sublation [FOOTNOTE 102:1]. Hence orthodox Philosophers declare that this Nescience falls under neither of these two opposite categories.

Now this theory of Nescience is altogether untenable. In the first place we ask, 'What is the substrate of this Nescience which gives rise to the great error of plurality of existence?' You cannot reply 'the individual soul'; for the individual soul itself exists in so far only as it is fictitiously imagined through Nescience. Nor can you say 'Brahman'; for Brahman is nothing but self-luminous intelligence, and hence contradictory in nature to Nescience, which is avowedly sublated by knowledge.

'The highest Brahman has knowledge for its essential nature: if Nescience, which is essentially false and to be terminated by knowledge, invests Brahman, who then will be strong enough to put an end to it?'

'What puts an end to Nescience is the knowledge that Brahman is pure knowledge!'—'Not so, for that knowledge also is, like Brahman, of the nature of light, and hence has no power to put an end to Nescience.—And if there exists the knowledge that Brahman is knowledge, then Brahman is an object of knowledge, and that, according to your own teaching, implies that Brahman is not of the nature of consciousness.'

To explain the second of these slokas.—If you maintain that what sublates Nescience is not that knowledge which constitutes Brahman's essential nature, but rather that knowledge which has for its object the truth of Brahman being of such a nature, we demur; for as both these kinds of knowledge are of the same nature, viz. the nature of light, which is just that which constitutes Brahman's nature, there is no reason for making a distinction and saying that one knowledge is contradictory of Nescience, and the other is not. Or, to put it otherwise—that essential nature of Brahman which is apprehended through the cognition that Brahman is knowledge, itself shines forth in consequence of the self-luminous nature of Brahman, and hence we have no right to make a distinction between that knowledge which constitutes Brahman's nature, and that of which that nature is the object, and to maintain that the latter only is antagonistic to Nescience.—Moreover (and this explains the third sloka), according to your own view Brahman, which is mere consciousness, cannot be the object of another consciousness, and hence there is no knowledge which has Brahman for its object. If, therefore, knowledge is contradictory to non-knowledge (Nescience), Brahman itself must be contradictory to it, and hence cannot be its substrate. Shells (mistaken for silver) and the like which by themselves are incapable of throwing light upon their own true nature are not contradictory to non-knowledge of themselves, and depend, for the termination of that non-knowledge, on another knowledge (viz. on the knowledge of an intelligent being); Brahman, on the other hand, whose essential nature is established by its own consciousness, is contradictorily opposed to non-knowledge of itself, and hence does not depend, for the termination of that non-knowledge, on some other knowledge.—If our opponent should argue that the knowledge of the falsity of whatever is other than Brahman is contradictory to non- knowledge, we ask whether this knowledge of the falsity of what is other than Brahman is contradictory to the non-knowledge of the true nature of Brahman, or to that non-knowledge which consists in the view of the reality of the apparent world. The former alternative is inadmissible; because the cognition of the falsity of what is other than Brahman has a different object (from the non-knowledge of Brahman's true nature) and therefore cannot be contradictory to it; for knowledge and non-knowledge are contradictory in so far only as they refer to one and the same object. And with regard to the latter alternative we point out that the knowledge of the falsity of the world is contradictory to the non- knowledge which consists in the view of the reality of the world; the former knowledge therefore sublates the latter non-knowledge only, while the non-knowledge of the true nature of Brahman is not touched by it.— Against this it will perhaps be urged that what is here called the non- knowledge of the true nature of Brahman, really is the view of Brahman being dual in nature, and that this view is put an end to by the cognition of the falsity of whatever is other than Brahman; while the true nature of Brahman itself is established by its own consciousness.— But this too we refuse to admit. If non-duality constitutes the true nature of Brahman, and is proved by Brahman's own consciousness, there is room neither for what is contradictory to it, viz. that non-knowledge which consists in the view of duality, nor for the sublation of that non- knowledge.—Let then non-duality be taken for an attribute (not the essential nature) of Brahman!—This too we refuse to admit; for you yourself have proved that Brahman, which is pure Consciousness, is free from attributes which are objects of Consciousness.—From all this it follows that Brahman, whose essential nature is knowledge, cannot be the substrate of Nescience: the theory, in fact, involves a flat contradiction.

When, in the next place, you maintain that Brahman, whose nature is homogeneous intelligence, is invested and hidden by Nescience, you thereby assert the destruction of Brahman's essential nature. Causing light to disappear means either obstructing the origination of light, or else destroying light that exists. And as you teach that light (consciousness) cannot originate, the 'hiding' or 'making to disappear' of light can only mean its destruction.—Consider the following point also. Your theory is that self-luminous consciousness, which is without object and without substrate, becomes, through the influence of an imperfection residing within itself, conscious of itself as connected with innumerous substrata and innumerous objects.—Is then, we ask, that imperfection residing within consciousness something real or something unreal?—The former alternative is excluded, as not being admitted by yourself. Nor can we accept the latter alternative; for if we did we should have to view that imperfection as being either a knowing subject, or an object of knowledge, or Knowing itself. Now it cannot be 'Knowing,' as you deny that there is any distinction in the nature of knowing; and that 'Knowing,' which is the substrate of the imperfection, cannot be held to be unreal, because that would involve the acceptance of the Mdhyamika doctrine, viz. of a general void [FOOTNOTE 106:1].

And if knowers, objects of knowledge and knowing as determined by those two are fictitious, i.e. unreal, we have to assume another fundamental imperfection, and are thus driven into a regressuss in infinitum.—To avoid this difficulty, it might now be said that real consciousness itself, which constitutes Brahman's nature, is that imperfection.—But if Brahman itself constitutes the imperfection, then Brahman is the basis of the appearance of a world, and it is gratuitous to assume an additional avidy to account for the vorld. Moreover, as Brahman is eternal, it would follow from this hypothesis that no release could ever take place. Unless, therefore, you admit a real imperfection apart from Brahman, you are unable to account for the great world-error.

What, to come to the next point, do you understand by the inexplicability (anirvakaniyat) of Nescience? Its difference in nature from that which is, as well as that which is not! A thing of such kind would be inexplicable indeed; for none of the means of knowledge apply to it. That is to say—the whole world of objects must be ordered according to our states of consciousness, and every state of consciousness presents itself in the form, either of something existing or of something non-existing. If, therefore, we should assume that of states of consciousness which are limited to this double form, the object can be something which is neither existing nor non-existing, then anything whatever might be the object of any state of consciousness whatever.

Against this our opponent may now argue as follows:—There is, after all, something, called avidy, or ajna, or by some other name, which is a positive entity (bhva), different from the antecedent non-existence of knowledge; which effects the obscuration of the Real; which is the material cause of the erroneous superimposition on the Real, of manifold external and internal things; and which is terminated by the cognition of the true nature of the one substance which constitutes Reality. For this avidy is apprehended through Perception as well as Inference. Brahman, in so far as limited by this avidy, is the material cause of the erroneous superimposition—upon the inward Self, which in itself is changeless pure intelligence, but has its true nature obscured by this superimposition—of that plurality which comprises the ahamkra, all acts of knowledge and all objects of knowledge. Through special forms of this defect (i.e. avidy) there are produced, in this world superimposed upon Reality, the manifold special superimpositions presenting themselves in the form of things and cognitions of things—such as snakes (superimposed upon ropes), silver (superimposed on shells), and the like. Avidy constitutes the material cause of this entire false world; since for a false thing we must needs infer a false cause. That this avidy or ajna (non-knowledge) is an object of internal Perception, follows from the fact that judgments such as 'I do not know', 'I do not know either myself or others,' directly present themselves to the mind. A mental state of this kind has for its object not that non- knowledge which is the antecedent non-existence of knowledge—for such absence of knowledge is ascertained by the sixth means of proof (anupalabdhi); it rather is a state which presents its object directly, and thus is of the same kind as the state expressed in the judgment 'I am experiencing pleasure.' Even if we admit that 'absence of something' (abhva) can be the object of perception, the state of consciousness under discussion cannot have absence of knowledge in the Self for its object. For at the very moment of such consciousness knowledge exists; or if it does not exist there can be no consciousness of the absence of knowledge. To explain. When I am conscious that I am non-knowing, is there or is there not apprehension of the Self as having non-existence of knowledge for its attribute, and of knowledge as the counterentity of non-knowledge? In the former case there can be no consciousness of the absence of knowledge, for that would imply a contradiction. In the latter case, such consciousness can all the less exist, for it presupposes knowledge of that to which absence of knowledge belongs as an attribute (viz. the Self) and of its own counterentity, viz. knowledge. The same difficulty arises if we view the absence of knowledge as either the object of Inference, or as the object of the special means of proof called 'abhva' (i.e. anupalabdhi). If, on the other hand, non-knowledge is viewed (not as a merely negative, but) as a positive entity, there arises no contradiction even if there is (as there is in fact) at the same time knowledge of the Self as qualified by non-knowledge, and of knowledge as the counterentity of non-knowledge; and we therefore must accept the conclusion that the state of consciousness expressed by 'I am non-knowing,' has for its object a non- knowledge which is a positive entity.—But, a Nescience which is a positive entity, contradicts the witnessing consciousness, whose nature consists in the lighting up of the truth of things! Not so, we reply. Witnessing consciousness has for its object not the true nature of things, but Nescience; for otherwise the lighting up (i.e. the consciousness) of false things could not take place. Knowledge which has for its object non-knowledge (Nescience), does not put an end to that non-knowledge. Hence there is no contradiction (between kaitanya and ajana).—But, a new objection is raised, this positive entity, Nescience, becomes an object of witnessing Consciousness, only in so far as it (Nescience) is defined by some particular object (viz. the particular thing which is not known), and such objects depend for their proof on the different means of knowledge. How then can that Nescience, which is defined by the 'I' (as expressed e. g. in the judgment, 'I do not know myself'), become the object of witnessing Consciousness?—There is no difficulty here, we reply. All things whatsoever are objects of Consciousness, either as things known or as things not known. But while the mediation of the means of knowledge is required in the case of all those things which, as being non-intelligent (jada), can be proved only in so far as being objects known (through some means of knowledge), such mediation is not required in the case of the intelligent (ajada) inner Self which proves itself. Consciousness of Nescience is thus possible in all cases (including the case 'I do not know myself'), since witnessing Consciousness always gives definition to Nescience.—From all this it follows that, through Perception confirmed by Reasoning, we apprehend Nescience as a positive entity. This Nescience, viewed as a positive entity, is also proved by Inference, viz. in the following form: All knowledge established by one of the different means of proof is preceded by something else, which is different from the mere antecedent non- existence of knowledge; which hides the object of knowledge; which is terminated by knowledge; and which exists in the same place as knowledge; because knowledge possesses the property of illumining things not illumined before;—just as the light of a lamp lit in the dark illumines things.—Nor must you object to this inference on the ground that darkness is not a substance, but rather the mere absence of light, or else the absence of visual perception of form and colour, and that hence darkness cannot be brought forward as a similar instance proving Nescience to be a positive entity. For that Darkness must be considered a positive substance follows, firstly, from its being more or less dense, and secondly, from its being perceived as having colour.

To all this we make the following reply. Neither Perception alone, nor Perception aided by Reasoning, reveals to us a positive entity, Nescience, as implied in judgments such as 'I am non-knowing,' 'I know neither myself nor others.' The contradiction which was urged above against the view of non-knowledge being the antecedent non-existence of knowledge, presents itself equally in connexion with non-knowledge viewed as a positive entity. For here the following alternative presents itself—the inner Reality is either known or not known as that which gives definition to Nescience by being either its object or its substrate. If it be thus known, then there is in it no room for Nescience which is said to be that which is put an end to by the cognition of the true nature of the Inner Reality. If, on the other hand, it be not thus known, how should there be a consciousness of Nescience in the absence of that which defines it, viz. knowledge of the substrate or of the object of Nescience?—Let it then be said that what is contradictory to non-knowledge is the clear presentation of the nature of the inner Self, and that (while there is consciousness of ajna) we have only an obscure presentation of the nature of the Self; things being thus, there is no contradiction between the cognition of the substrate and object of Nescience on the one side, and the consciousness of ajna on the other.—Well, we reply, all this holds good on our side also. Even if ajna means antecedent non-existence of knowledge, we can say that knowledge of the substrate and object of non-knowledge has for its object the Self presented obscurely only; and thus there is no difference between our views—unless you choose to be obstinate!

Whether we view non-knowledge as a positive entity or as the antecedent non-existence of knowledge, in either case it comes out as what the word indicates, viz. non-knowledge. Non-knowledge means either absence of knowledge, or that which is other than knowledge, or that which is contradictory to knowledge; and in any of these cases we have to admit that non-knowledge presupposes the cognition of the nature of knowledge. Even though the cognition of the nature of darkness should not require the knowledge of the nature of light, yet when darkness is considered under the aspect of being contrary to light, this presupposes the cognition of light. And the non-knowledge held by you is never known in its own nature but merely as 'non-knowledge,' and it therefore presupposes the cognition of knowledge no less than our view does, according to which non-knowledge is simply the negation of knowledge. Now antecedent non-existence of knowledge is admitted by you also, and is an undoubted object of consciousness; the right conclusion therefore is that what we are conscious of in such judgments as 'I am non-knowing,' &c., is this very antecedent non-existence of knowledge which we both admit.

It, moreover, is impossible to ascribe to Brahman, whose nature is constituted by eternal free self-luminous intelligence, the consciousness of Nescience; for what constitutes its essence is consciousness of itself. If against this you urge that Brahman, although having consciousness of Self for its essential nature, yet is conscious of non-knowledge in so far as its (Brahman's) nature is hidden; we ask in return what we have to understand by Brahman's nature being hidden. You will perhaps say 'the fact of its not being illumined.' But how, we ask, can there be absence of illumination of the nature of that whose very nature consists in consciousness of Self, i.e. self-illumination? If you reply that even that whose nature is consciousness of Self may be in the state of its nature not being illumined by an outside agency, we point out that as according to you light cannot be considered us an attribute, but constitutes the very nature of Brahman, it would— illumination coming from an external agency—follow that the very nature of Brahman can be destroyed from the outside. This we have already remarked.—Further, your view implies on the one hand that this non- knowledge which is the cause of the concealment of Brahman's nature hides Brahman in so far as Brahman is conscious of it, and on the other hand that having hidden Brahman, it becomes the object of consciousness on the part of Brahman; and this evidently constitutes a logical see-saw. You will perhaps say [FOOTNOTE 111:1] that it hides Brahman in so far only as Brahman is conscious of it. But, we point out, if the consciousness of ajna takes place on the part of a Brahman whose nature is not hidden, the whole hypothesis of the 'hiding' of Brahman's nature loses its purport, and with it the fundamental hypothesis as to the nature of ajnna; for if Brahman may be conscious of ajnna (without a previous obscuration of its nature by ajnna) it may as well be held to be in the same way conscious of the world, which, by you, is considered to be an effect of ajnna.

How, further, do you conceive this consciousness of ajnna on Brahman's part? Is it due to Brahman itself, or to something else? In the former case this consciousness would result from Brahman's essential nature, and hence there would never be any Release. Or else, consciousness of ajnna constituting the nature of Brahman, which is admittedly pure consciousness, in the same way as the consciousness of false silver is terminated by that cognition which sublates the silver, so some terminating act of cognition would eventually put an end to Brahman's essential nature itself.—On the second alternative we ask what that something else should be. If you reply 'another ajnna,' we are led into a regressus in infinitum.—Let it then be said [FOOTNOTE 112:1] that ajnna having first hidden Brahman then becomes the object of its consciousness. This, we rejoin, would imply that ajnna acting like a defect of the eye by its very essential being hides Brahman, and then ajnna could not be sublated by knowledge. Let us then put the case as follows:—Ajnna, which is by itself beginningless, at the very same time effects Brahman's witnessing it (being conscious of it), and Brahman's nature being hidden; in this way the regressus in infinitum and other difficulties will be avoided.—But this also we cannot admit; for Brahman is essentially consciousness of Self, and cannot become a witnessing principle unless its nature be previously hidden.—Let then Brahman be hidden by some other cause!—This, we rejoin, would take away from ajnna its alleged beginninglessness, and further would also lead to an infinite regress. And if Brahman were assumed to become a witness, without its essential nature being hidden, it could not possess—what yet it is maintained to possess—the uniform character of consciousness of Self.—If, moreover, Brahman is hidden by avidy, does it then not shine forth at all, or does it shine forth to some extent? On the former alternative the not shining forth of Brahman—whose nature is mere light— reduces it to an absolute non-entity. Regarding the latter alternative we ask, 'of Brahman, which is of an absolutely homogeneous nature, which part do you consider to be concealed, and which to shine forth?' To that substance which is pure light, free from all division and distinction, there cannot belong two modes of being, and hence obscuration and light cannot abide in it together.—Let us then say that Brahman, which is homogeneous being, intelligence, bliss, has its nature obscured by avidy, and hence is seen indistinctly as it were.—But how, we ask, are we to conceive the distinctness or indistinctness of that whose nature is pure light? When an object of light which has parts and distinguishing attributes appears in its totality, we say that it appears distinctly; while we say that its appearance is indistinct when some of its attributes do not appear. Now in those aspects of the thing which do not appear, light (illumination) is absent altogether, and hence we cannot there speak of indistinctness of light; in those parts on the other hand which do appear, the light of which they are the object is distinct. Indistinctness is thus not possible at all where there is light. In the case of such things as are apprehended as objects, indistinctness may take place, viz. in so far as some of their distinguishing attributes are not apprehended. But in Brahman, which is not an object, without any distinguishing attributes, pure light, the essential nature of which it is to shine forth, indistinctness which consists in the non-apprehension of certain attributes can in no way be conceived, and hence not be explained as the effect of avidy.

We, moreover, must ask the following question: 'Is this indistinctness which you consider an effect of avidy put an end to by the rise of true knowledge or not?' On the latter alternative there would be no final release. In the former case we have to ask of what nature Reality is. 'It is of an essentially clear and distinct nature.' Does this nature then exist previously (to the cessation of indistinctness), or not? If it does, there is no room whatever either for indistinctness the effect of avidy, or for its cessation. If it does not previously exist, then Release discloses itself as something to be effected, and therefore non- eternal.—And that such non-knowledge is impossible because there is no definable substrate for it we have shown above.—He, moreover, who holds the theory of error resting on a non-real defect, will find it difficult to prove the impossibility of error being without any substrate; for, if the cause of error may be unreal, error may be supposed to take place even in case of its substrate being unreal. And the consequence of this would be the theory of a general Void.

The assertion, again, that non-knowledge as a positive entity is proved by Inference, also is groundless. But the inference was actually set forth!—True; but it was set forth badly. For the reason you employed for proving ajna is a so-called contradictory one (i.e. it proves the contrary of what it is meant to prove), in so far as it proves what is not desired and what is different from ajna (for what it proves is that there is a certain knowledge, viz. that all knowledge resting on valid means of proof has non-knowledge for its antecedent). (And with regard to this knowledge again we must ask whether it also has non- knowledge for its antecedent.) If the reason (relied on in all this argumentation) does not prove, in this case also, the antecedent existence of positive non-knowledge, it is too general (and hence not to be trusted in any case). If, on the other hand, it does prove antecedent non-knowledge, then this latter non-knowledge stands in the way of the non-knowledge (which you try to prove by inference) being an object of consciousness, and thus the whole supposition of ajna as an entity becomes useless.

The proving instance, moreover, adduced by our opponent, has no proving power; for the light of a lamp does not possess the property of illumining things not illumined before. Everywhere illumining power belongs to knowledge only; there may be light, but if there is not also Knowledge there is no lighting up of objects. The senses also are only causes of the origination of knowledge, and possess no illumining power. The function of the light of the lamp on the other hand is a merely auxiliary one, in so far as it dispels the darkness antagonistic to the organ of sight which gives rise to knowledge; and it is only with a view to this auxiliary action that illumining power is conventionally ascribed to the lamp.—But in using the light of the lamp as a proving instance, we did not mean to maintain that it possesses illumining power equal to that of light; we introduced it merely with reference to the illumining power of knowledge, in so far as preceded by the removal of what obscures its object!—We refuse to accept this explanation. Illumining power does not only mean the dispelling of what is antagonistic to it, but also the defining of things, i.e. the rendering them capable of being objects of empirical thought and speech; and this belongs to knowledge only (not to the light of the lamp). If you allow the power of illumining what was not illumined, to auxiliary factors also, you must first of all allow it to the senses which are the most eminent factors of that kind; and as in their case there exists no different thing to be terminated by their activity, (i.e. nothing analogous to the ajna to be terminated by knowledge), this whole argumentation is beside the point.

There are also formal inferences, opposed to the conclusion of the prvapakshin.—Of the ajna under discussion, Brahman, which is mere knowledge, is not the substrate, just because it is ajna; as shown by the case of the non-knowledge of the shell (mistaken for silver) and similar cases; for such non-knowledge abides within the knowing subject.— The ajna under discussion does not obscure knowledge, just because it is ajna; as shown by the cases of the shell, &c.; for such non- knowledge hides the object.—Ajna is not terminated by knowledge, because it does not hide the object of knowledge; whatever non-knowledge is terminated by knowledge, is such as to hide the object of knowledge; as e.g. the non-knowledge of the shell.—Brahman is not the substrate of ajna, because it is devoid of the character of knowing subject; like jars and similar things.—Brahman is not hidden by ajna, because it is not the object of knowledge; whatever is hidden by non-knowledge is the object of knowledge; so e.g. shells and similar things.—Brahman is not connected with non-knowledge to be terminated by knowledge, because it is not the object of knowledge; whatever is connected with non-knowledge to be terminated by knowledge is an object of knowledge; as e.g. shells and the like. Knowledge based on valid means of proof, has not for its antecedent, non-knowledge other than the antecedent non-existence of knowledge; just because it is knowledge based on valid proof; like that valid knowledge which proves the ajna maintained by you.—Knowledge does not destroy a real thing, because it is knowledge in the absence of some specific power strengthening it; whatever is capable of destroying things is—whether it be knowledge or ajna—strengthened by some specific power; as e.g. the knowledge of the Lord and of Yogins; and as the ajna consisting in a pestle (the blow of which destroys the pot).

Ajna which has the character of a positive entity cannot be destroyed by knowledge; just because it is a positive entity, like jars and similar things.

But, it now may be said, we observe that fear and other affections, which are positive entities and produced by previous cognitions, are destroyed by sublative acts of cognition!—Not so, we reply. Those affections are not destroyed by knowledge; they rather pass away by themselves, being of a momentary (temporary) nature only, and on the cessation of their cause they do not arise again. That they are of a momentary nature only, follows from their being observed only in immediate connexion with the causes of their origination, and not otherwise. If they were not of a temporary nature, each element of the stream of cognitions, which are the cause of fear and the like, would give rise to a separate feeling of fear, and the result would be that there would be consciousness of many distinct feelings of fear (and this we know not to be the case).—In conclusion we remark that in defining right knowledge as 'that which has for its antecedent another entity, different from its own antecedent non-existence,' you do not give proof of very eminent logical acuteness; for what sense has it to predicate of an entity that it is different from nonentity?—For all these reasons Inference also does not prove an ajna which is a positive entity. And that it is not proved by Scripture and arthpatti, will be shown later on. And the reasoning under S. II, 1, 4. will dispose of the argument which maintains that of a false thing the substantial cause also must be false.

We thus see that there is no cognition of any kind which has for its object a Nescience of 'inexplicable' nature.—Nor can such an inexplicable entity be admitted on the ground of apprehension, erroneous apprehension and sublation (cp. above, p. 102). For that only which is actually apprehended, can be the object of apprehension, error and sublation, and we have no right to assume, as an object of these states of consciousness, something which is apprehended neither by them nor any other state of consciousness.—'But in the case of the shell, &c., silver is actually apprehended, and at the same time there arises the sublating consciousness "this silver is not real," and it is not possible that one thing should appear as another; we therefore are driven to the hypothesis that owing to some defect, we actually apprehend silver of an altogether peculiar kind, viz. such as can be defined neither as real nor as unreal.'—This also we cannot allow, since this very assumption necessarily implies that one thing appears as another. For apprehension, activity, sublation, and erroneous cognition, all result only from one thing appearing as another, and it is not reasonable to assume something altogether non-perceived and groundless. The silver, when apprehended, is not apprehended as something 'inexplicable,' but as something real; were it apprehended under the former aspect it could be the object neither of erroneous nor of sublative cognition, nor would the apprehending person endeavour to seize it. For these reasons you (the anirva-kaniyatva-vdin) also must admit that the actual process is that of one thing appearing as another.

Those also who hold other theories as to the kind of cognition under discussion (of which the shell, mistaken for silver, is an instance) must—whatsoever effort they may make to avoid it—admit that their theory finally implies the appearing of one thing as another. The so- called asatkhyti-view implies that the non-existing appears as existing; the tmakhyti-view, that the Self—which here means 'cognition'— appears as a thing; and the akhyti-view, that the attribute of one thing appears as that of another, that two acts of cognition appear as one, and—on the view of the non-existence of the object—that the non- existing appears as existing [FOOTNOTE 118:1].

Moreover, if you say that there is originated silver of a totally new inexplicable kind, you are bound to assign the cause of this origination. This cause cannot be the perception of the silver; for the perception has the silver for its object, and hence has no existence before the origination of the silver. And should you say that the perception, having arisen without an object, produces the silver and thereupon makes it its object, we truly do not know what to say to such excellent reasoning!—Let it then be said that the cause is some defect in the sense-organ.—This, too, is inadmissible; for a defect abiding in the percipient person cannot produce an objective effect.—Nor can the organs of sense (apart from defects) give rise to the silver; for they are causes of cognitions only (not of things cognised). Nor, again, the sense-organs in so far as modified by some defect; for they also can only produce modifications in what is effected by them, i.e. cognition. And the hypothesis of a beginningless, false ajna constituting the general material cause of all erroneous cognitions has been refuted above.

How is it, moreover, that this new and inexplicable thing (which you assume to account for the silver perceived on the shell) becomes to us the object of the idea and word 'silver,' and not of some other idea and term, e.g. of a jar?—If you reply that this is due to its similarity to silver, we point out that in that case the idea and the word presenting themselves to our mind should be that of 'something resembling silver.' Should you, on the other hand, say that we apprehend the thing as silver because it possesses the generic characteristics of silver, we ask whether these generic characteristics are real or unreal. The former alternative is impossible, because something real cannot belong to what is unreal; and the latter is impossible because something unreal cannot belong to what is real.

But we need not extend any further this refutation of an altogether ill- founded theory.

[FOOTNOTE 102:1. 'Nescience' is sublated (refuted) by the cognition of Brahman, and thereby shown to have been the object of erroneous cognition: it thus cannot be 'being,' i.e. real. Nor can it be altogether unreal, 'non-being,' because in that case it could not be the object either of mental apprehension or of sublation.]

[FOOTNOTE 106:1. If the imperfection inhering in Consciousness is itself of the nature of consciousness, and at the same time unreal, we should have to distinguish two kinds of Consciousness—which is contrary to the fundamental doctrine of the oneness of Consciousness. And if, on the other hand, we should say that the Consciousness in which the imperfection inheres is of the same nature as the latter, i.e. unreal, we are landed in the view of universal unreality.]

[FOOTNOTE 111:1. Allowing the former view of the question only.]

[FOOTNOTE 112:1. Adopting the latter view only; see preceding note.]

[FOOTNOTE 118:1. For a full explanation of the nature of these 'khytis,' see A. Venis' translation of the Vednta Siddhnta Muktvali (Reprint from the Pandit, p. 130 ff.).]



All knowledge is of the Real.

'Those who understand the Veda hold that all cognition has for its object what is real; for Sruti and Smriti alike teach that everything participates in the nature of everything else. In the scriptural account of creation preceded by intention on the part of the Creator it is said that each of these elements was made tripartite; and this tripartite constitution of all things is apprehended by Perception as well. The red colour in burning fire comes from (primal elementary) fire, the white colour from water, the black colour from earth—in this way Scripture explains the threefold nature of burning fire. In the same way all things are composed of elements of all things. The Vishnu Purna, in its account of creation, makes a similar statement: "The elements possessing various powers and being unconnected could not, without combination, produce living beings, not having mingled in any way. Having combined, therefore, with one another, and entering into mutual associations— beginning with the principle called Mahat, and extending down to the gross elements—they formed an egg," &c. (Vi. Pu. I, 2, 50; 52). This tripartiteness of the elements the Strakra also declares (Ve. S. III, 1, 3). For the same reason Sruti enjoins the use of Putka sprouts when no Soma can be procured; for, as the Mmmsakas explain, there are in the Putka plant some parts of the Soma plant (P. M. S.); and for the same reason nvra grains may be used as a substitute for rice grains. That thing is similar to another which contains within itself some part of that other thing; and Scripture itself has thus stated that in shells, &c., there is contained some silver, and so on. That one thing is called "silver" and another "shell" has its reason in the relative preponderance of one or the other element. We observe that shells are similar to silver; thus perception itself informs us that some elements of the latter actually exist in the former. Sometimes it happens that owing to a defect of the eye the silver-element only is apprehended, not the shell-element, and then the percipient person, desirous of silver, moves to pick up the shell. If, on the other hand, his eye is free from such defect, he apprehends the shell-element and then refrains from action. Hence the cognition of silver in the shell is a true one. In the same way the relation of one cognition being sublated by another explains itself through the preponderant element, according as the preponderance of the shell-element is apprehended partially or in its totality, and does not therefore depend on one cognition having for its object the false thing and another the true thing. The distinctions made in the practical thought and business of life thus explain themselves on the basis of everything participating in the nature of everything else.'

In dreams, again, the divinity creates, in accordance with the merit or demerit of living beings, things of a special nature, subsisting for a certain time only, and perceived only by the individual soul for which they are meant. In agreement herewith Scripture says, with reference to the state of dreaming, 'There are no chariots in that state, no horses, no roads; then he creates chariots, horses, and roads. There are no delights, no joys, no bliss; then he creates delights, joys, and bliss. There are no tanks, no lakes, no rivers; then he creates tanks, lakes, and rivers. For he is the maker' (Bri. Up. IV, 3, 10). The meaning of this is, that although there are then no chariots, &c., to be perceived by other persons, the Lord creates such things to be perceived by the dreaming person only. 'For he is the maker'; for such creative agency belongs to him who possesses the wonderful power of making all his wishes and plans to come true. Similarly another passage, 'That person who is awake in those who are asleep, shaping one lovely sight after another, that indeed is the Bright, that is Brahman, that alone is called the Immortal. All worlds are contained in it, and no one goes beyond it' (Ka. Up. II, 5, 8).—The Strakra also, after having in two Stras (III, 2, 1; 2) stated the hypothesis of the individual soul creating the objects appearing in dreams, finally decides that that wonderful creation is produced by the Lord for the benefit of the individual dreamer; for the reason that as long as the individual soul is in the samsra state, its true nature—comprising the power of making its wishes to come true—is not fully manifested, and hence it cannot practically exercise that power. The last clause of the Katha text ('all worlds are contained in it,' &c.) clearly shows that the highest Self only is the creator meant. That the dreaming person who lies in his chamber should go in his body to other countries and experience various results of his merit or demerit—being at one time crowned a king, having at another time his head cut off, and so on—is possible in so far as there is created for him another body in every way resembling the body resting on the bed.

The case of the white shell being seen as yellow, explains itself as follows. The visual rays issuing from the eye are in contact with the bile contained in the eye, and thereupon enter into conjunction with the shell; the result is that the whiteness belonging to the shell is overpowered by the yellowness of the bile, and hence not apprehended; the shell thus appears yellow, just as if it were gilt. The bile and its yellowness is, owing to its exceeding tenuity, not perceived by the bystanders; but thin though it be it is apprehended by the person suffering from jaundice, to whom it is very near, in so far as it issues from his own eye, and through the mediation of the visual rays, aided by the action of the impression produced on the mind by that apprehension, it is apprehended even in the distant object, viz. the shell.—In an analogous way the crystal which is placed near the rose is apprehended as red, for it is overpowered by the brilliant colour of the rose; the brilliancy of the rose is perceived in a more distinct way owing to its close conjunction with the transparent substance of the crystal.—In the same way the cognition of water in the mirage is true. There always exists water in connexion with light and earth; but owing to some defect of the eye of the perceiving person, and to the mysterious influence of merit and demerit, the light and the earth are not apprehended, while the water is apprehended.—In the case again of the firebrand swung round rapidly, its appearance as a fiery wheel explains itself through the circumstance that moving very rapidly it is in conjunction with all points of the circle described without our being able to apprehend the intervals. The case is analogous to that of the perception of a real wheel; but there is the difference that in the case of the wheel no intervals are apprehended, because there are none; while in the case of the firebrand none are apprehended owing to the rapidity of the movement. But in the latter case also the cognition is true.—Again, in the case of mirrors and similar reflecting surfaces the perception of one's own face is likewise true. The fact is that the motion of the visual rays (proceeding from the eye towards the mirror) is reversed (reflected) by the mirror, and that thus those rays apprehend the person's own face, subsequently to the apprehension of the surface of the mirror; and as in this case also, owing to the rapidity of the process, there is no apprehension of any interval (between the mirror and the face), the face presents itself as being in the mirror.—In the case of one direction being mistaken for another (as when a person thinks the south to be where the north is), the fact is that, owing to the unseen principle (i. e. merit or demerit), the direction which actually exists in the other direction (for a point which is to the north of me is to the south of another point) is apprehended by itself, apart from the other elements of direction; the apprehension which actually takes place is thus likewise true. Similar is the case of the double moon. Here, either through pressure of the finger upon the eye, or owing to some abnormal affection of the eye, the visual rays are divided (split), and the double, mutually independent apparatus of vision thus originating, becomes the cause of a double apprehension of the moon. One apparatus apprehends the moon in her proper place; the other which moves somewhat obliquely, apprehends at first a place close by the moon, and then the moon herself, which thus appears somewhat removed from her proper place. Although, therefore, what is apprehended is the one moon distinguished by connection with two places at the same time—an apprehension due to the double apparatus of vision—yet, owing to the difference of apprehensions, there is a difference in the character of the object apprehended, and an absence of the apprehension of unity, and thus a double moon presents itself to perception. That the second spot is viewed as qualifying the moon, is due to the circumstance that the apprehension of that spot, and that of the moon which is not apprehended in her proper place, are simultaneous. Now here the doubleness of the apparatus is real, and hence the apprehension of the moon distinguished by connexion with two places is real also, and owing to this doubleness of apprehension, the doubleness of aspect of the object apprehended, i.e. the moon, is likewise real. That there is only one moon constituting the true object of the double apprehension, this is a matter for which ocular perception by itself does not suffice, and hence what is actually seen is a double moon. That, although the two eyes together constitute one visual apparatus only, the visual rays being divided through some defect of the eyes, give rise to a double apparatus—this we infer from the effect actually observed. When that defect is removed there takes place only one apprehension of the moon as connected with her proper place, and thus the idea of one moon only arises. It is at the same time quite clear how the defect of the eye gives rise to a double visual apparatus, the latter to a double apprehension, and the latter again to a doubleness of the object of apprehension.

We have thus proved that all cognition is true. The shortcomings of other views as to the nature of cognition have been set forth at length by other philosophers, and we therefore do not enter on that topic. What need is there, in fact, of lengthy proofs? Those who acknowledge the validity of the different means of knowledge, perception, and so on, and— what is vouched for by sacred tradition—the existence of a highest Brahman—free from all shadow of imperfection, of measureless excellence, comprising within itself numberless auspicious qualities, all-knowing, immediately realising all its purposes—, what should they not be able to prove? That holy highest Brahman—while producing the entire world as an object of fruition for the individual souls, in agreement with their respective good and ill deserts—creates certain things of such a nature as to become common objects of consciousness, either pleasant or unpleasant, to all souls together, while certain other things are created in such a way as to be perceived only by particular persons, and to persist for a limited time only. And it is this distinction—viz. of things that are objects of general consciousness, and of things that are not so—which makes the difference between what is called 'things sublating' and 'things sublated.'—Everything is explained hereby.



Neither Scripture nor Smriti and Purna teach Nescience.

The assertion that Nescience—to be defined neither as that which is nor as that which is not—rests on the authority of Scripture is untrue. In passages such as 'hidden by the untrue' (Ch. Up. VIII, 3, 2), the word 'untrue' does not denote the Undefinable; it rather means that which is different from 'rita,' and this latter word—as we see from the passage 'enjoying the rita' (Ka. Up. 1,3, 1)—denotes such actions as aim at no worldly end, but only at the propitiation of the highest Person, and thus enable the devotee to reach him. The word 'anrita' therefore denotes actions of a different kind, i.e. such as aim at worldly results and thus stand in the way of the soul reaching Brahman; in agreement with the passage 'they do not find that Brahma-world, for they are carried away by anrita' (Ch. Up. VIII, 3, 2). Again, in the text 'Then there was neither non-Being nor Being' (Ri. Samh. X, 129, 1), the terms 'being' and 'non-being' denote intelligent and non-intelligent beings in their distributive state. What that text aims at stating is that intelligent and non-intelligent beings, which at the time of the origination of the world are called 'sat' and 'tyat' (Taitt. Up. II, 6), are, during the period of reabsorption, merged in the collective totality of non-intelligent matter which the text denotes by the term 'darkness' (Ri. Samh. X, 129, 3). There is thus no reference whatever to something 'not definable either as being or non-being': the terms 'being' and 'non-being' are applied to different mode; of being at different times. That the term 'darkness' denotes the collective totality of non-intelligent matter appears from another scriptural passage, viz, 'The Non-evolved (avyaktam) is merged in the Imperishable (akshara), the Imperishable in darkness (tamas), darkness becomes one with the highest divinity.' True, the word 'darkness' denotes the subtle condition of primeval matter (prakriti), which forms the totality of non- intelligent things; but this very Prakriti is called My—in the text 'Know Prakriti to be My,' and this proves it be something 'undefinable': Not so, we reply; we meet with no passages where the word 'My' denotes that which is undefinable. But the word 'My' is synonymous with 'mithy,' i.e. falsehood, and hence denotes the Undefinable also. This, too, we cannot admit; for the word 'My' does not in all places refer to what is false; we see it applied e.g. to such things as the weapons of Asuras and Rkshasas, which are not 'false' but real. 'My,' in such passages, really denotes that which produces various wonderful effects, and it is in this sense that Prakriti is called My. This appears from the passage (Svet. Up. IV, 9) 'From that the "myin" creates all this, and in that the other one is bound up by my.' For this text declares that Prakriti—there called My—produces manifold wonderful creations, and the highest Person is there called 'myin' because he possesses that power of my; not on account of any ignorance or nescience on his part. The latter part of the text expressly says that (not the Lord but) another one, i.e. the individual soul is bound up by my; and therewith agrees another text, viz. 'When the soul slumbering in beginningless My awakes' (Gaud. K.). Again, in the text 'Indra goes multiform through the Mys' (Ri. Samh. VI, 47, 18), the manifold powers of Indra are spoken of, and with this agrees what the next verse says, 'he shines greatly as Tvashtri': for an unreal being does not shine. And where the text says 'my My is hard to overcome' (Bha. G. VII, 14), the qualification given there to My, viz. 'consisting of the gunas,' shows that what is meant is Prakriti consisting of the three gunas.—All this shows that Scripture does not teach the existence of a 'principle called Nescience, not to be defined either as that which is or that which is not.'

Nor again is such Nescience to be assumed for the reason that otherwise the scriptural statements of the unity of all being would be unmeaning. For if the text 'Thou art that,' be viewed as teaching the unity of the individual soul and the highest Self, there is certainly no reason, founded on unmeaningness, to ascribe to Brahman, intimated by the word 'that'—which is all-knowing, &c.—Nescience, which is contradictory to Brahman's nature.—Itihsa and Purna also do not anywhere teach that to Brahman there belongs Nescience.

But, an objection is raised, the Vishnu Purna, in the sloka, 'The stars are Vishnu,' &c. (II, 12, 38), first refers to Brahman as one only, and comprising all things within itself; thereupon states in the next sloka that this entire world, with all its distinctions of hills, oceans, &c., is sprung out of the 'ajna' of Brahman, which in itself is pure 'jna,' i.e. knowledge; thereupon confirms the view of the world having sprung from ajna by referring to the fact that Brahman, while abiding in its own nature, is free from all difference (sl. 40); proves in the next two slokas the non-reality of plurality by a consideration of the things of this world; sums up, in the following sloka, the unreality of all that is different from Brahman; then (43) explains that action is the root of that ajna which causes us to view the one uniform Brahman as manifold; thereupon declares the intelligence constituting Brahman's nature to be free from all distinction and imperfection (44); and finally teaches (45) that Brahman so constituted, alone is truly real, while the so- called reality of the world is merely conventional.—This is not, we reply, a true representation of the drift of the passage. The passage at the outset states that, in addition to the detailed description of the world given before, there will now be given a succinct account of another aspect of the world not yet touched upon. This account has to be understood as follows. Of this universe, comprising intelligent and non- intelligent beings, the intelligent part—which is not to be reached by mind and speech, to be known in its essential nature by the Self only, and, owing to its purely intelligential character, not touched by the differences due to Prakriti—is, owing to its imperishable nature, denoted as that which is; while the non-intelligent, material; part which, in consequence of the actions of the intelligent beings undergoes manifold changes, and thus is perishable, is denoted as that which is not. Both parts, however, form the body of Vsudeva, i.e. Brahman, and hence have Brahman for their Self. The text therefore says (37), 'From the waters which form the body of Vishnu was produced the lotus-shaped earth, with its seas and mountains': what is meant is that the entire Brahma-egg which has arisen from water constitutes the body of which Vishnu is the soul. This relation of soul and body forms the basis of the statements of co-ordination made in the next sloka (38), 'The stars are Vishnu,' &c.; the same relation had been already declared in numerous previous passages of the Purna ('all this is the body of Hari,' &c.). All things in the world, whether they are or are not, are Vishnu's body, and he is their soul. Of the next sloka, 'Because the Lord has knowledge for his essential nature,' the meaning is 'Because of the Lord who abides as the Self of all individual souls, the essential nature is knowledge only—while bodies divine, human, &c., have no part in it—, therefore all non-intelligent things, bodies human and divine, hills, oceans, &c., spring from his knowledge, i.e. have their root in the actions springing from the volitions of men, gods, &c., in whose various forms the fundamental intelligence manifests itself. And since non-intelligent matter is subject to changes corresponding to the actions of the individual souls, it may be called 'non-being,' while the souls are 'being.'—This the next sloka further explains 'when knowledge is pure,' &c. The meaning is 'when the works which are the cause of the distinction of things are destroyed, then all the distinctions of bodies, human or divine, hills, oceans, &c.—all which are objects of fruition for the different individual souls—pass away.' Non-intelligent matter, as entering into various states of a non-permanent nature, is called 'non-being'; while souls, the nature of which consists in permanent knowledge, are called 'being.' On this difference the next sloka insists (41). We say 'it is' of that thing which is of a permanently uniform nature, not connected with the idea of beginning, middle and end, and which hence never becomes the object of the notion of non-existence; while we say 'it is not' of non-intelligent matter which constantly passes over into different states, each later state being out of connexion with the earlier state. The constant changes to which non- intelligent matter is liable are illustrated in the next sloka, 'Earth is made into a jar,' &c. And for this reason, the subsequent sloka goes on to say that there is nothing but knowledge. This fundamental knowledge or intelligence is, however, variously connected with manifold individual forms of being due to karman, and hence the text adds: 'The one intelligence is in many ways connected with beings whose minds differ, owing to the difference of their own acts' (sl 43, second half). Intelligence, pure, free from stain and grief, &c., which constitutes the intelligent element of the world, and unintelligent matter—these two together constitute the world, and the world is the body of Vsudeva; such is the purport of sloka 44.—The next sloka sums up the whole doctrine; the words 'true and untrue' there denote what in the preceding verses had been called 'being' and 'non-being'; the second half of the sloka refers to the practical plurality of the world as due to karman.

Now all these slokas do not contain a single word supporting the doctrine of a Brahman free from all difference; of a principle called Nescience abiding within Brahman and to be defined neither as that which is nor as that which is not; and of the world being wrongly imagined, owing to Nescience. The expressions 'that which is' and 'that which is not' (sl 35), and 'satya' (true) and 'asatya' (untrue; sl 45), can in no way denote something not to be defined either as being or non-being. By 'that which is not' or 'which is untrue,' we have to understand not what is undefinable, but that which has no true being, in so far as it is changeable and perishable. Of this character is all non-intelligent matter. This also appears from the instance adduced in sl 42: the jar is something perishable, but not a thing devoid of proof or to be sublated by true knowledge. 'Non-being' we may call it, in so far as while it is observed at a certain moment in a certain form it is at some other moment observed in a different condition. But there is no contradiction between two different conditions of a thing which are perceived at different times; and hence there is no reason to call it something futile (tuchcha) or false (mithy), &c.



Scripture does not teach that Release is due to the knowledge of a non- qualified Brahman.—the meaning of 'tat tvam asi.'

Nor can we admit the assertion that Scripture teaches the cessation of avidy to spring only from the cognition of a Brahman devoid of all difference. Such a view is clearly negatived by passages such as the following: 'I know that great person of sun-like lustre beyond darkness; knowing him a man becomes immortal, there is no other path to go' (Svet. Up. III, 8); 'All moments sprang from lightning, the Person—none is lord over him, his name is great glory—they who know him become immortal' (Mahn. Up. I, 8-11). For the reason that Brahman is characterised by difference all Vedic texts declare that final release results from the cognition of a qualified Brahman. And that even those texts which describe Brahman by means of negations really aim at setting forth a Brahman possessing attributes, we have already shown above.

In texts, again, such as 'Thou art that,' the co-ordination of the constituent parts is not meant to convey the idea of the absolute unity of a non-differenced substance: on the contrary, the words 'that' and 'thou' denote a Brahman distinguished by difference. The word 'that' refers to Brahman omniscient, &c., which had been introduced as the general topic of consideration in previous passages of the same section, such as 'It thought, may I be many'; the word 'thou,' which stands in co- ordination to 'that,' conveys the idea of Brahman in so far as having for its body the individual souls connected with non-intelligent matter. This is in accordance with the general principle that co-ordination is meant to express one thing subsisting in a twofold form. If such doubleness of form (or character) were abandoned, there could be no difference of aspects giving rise to the application of different terms, and the entire principle of co-ordination would thus be given up. And it would further follow that the two words co-ordinated would have to be taken in an implied sense (instead of their primary direct meaning). Nor is there any need of our assuming implication (lakshan) in sentences [FOOTNOTE 130:1] such as 'this person is that Devadatta (known to me from former occasions)'; for there is no contradiction in the cognition of the oneness of a thing connected with the past on the one hand, and the present on the other, the contradiction that arises from difference of place being removed by the accompanying difference of time. If the text 'Thou art that' were meant to express absolute oneness, it would, moreover, conflict with a previous statement in the same section, viz. 'It thought, may I be many'; and, further, the promise (also made in the same section) that by the knowledge of one thing all things are to be known could not be considered as fulfilled. It, moreover, is not possible (while, however, it would result from the absolute oneness of 'tat' and 'tvam') that to Brahman, whose essential nature is knowledge, which is free from all imperfections, omniscient, comprising within itself all auspicious qualities, there should belong Nescience; and that it should be the substrate of all those defects and afflictions which spring from Nescience. If, further, the statement of co-ordination ('thou art that') were meant to sublate (the previously existing wrong notion of plurality), we should have to admit that the two terms 'that' and 'thou' have an implied meaning, viz. in so far as denoting, on the one hand, one substrate only, and, on the other, the cessation of the different attributes (directly expressed by the two terms); and thus implication and the other shortcomings mentioned above would cling to this interpretation as well. And there would be even further difficulties. When we form the sublative judgment 'this is not silver,' the sublation is founded on an independent positive judgment, viz. 'this is a shell': in the case under discussion, however, the sublation would not be known (through an independent positive judgment), but would be assumed merely on the ground that it cannot be helped. And, further, there is really no possibility of sublation, since the word 'that' does not convey the idea of an attribute in addition to the mere substrate. To this it must not be objected that the substrate was previously concealed, and that hence it is the special function of the word 'that' to present the substrate in its non-concealed aspect; for if, previously to the sublative judgment, the substrate was not evident (as an object of consciousness), there is no possibility of its becoming the object either of an error or its sublation.—Nor can we allow you to say that, previously to sublation, the substrate was non-concealed in so far as (i. e. was known as) the object of error, for in its 'non-concealed' aspect the substrate is opposed to all error, and when that aspect shines forth there is no room either for error or sublation.—The outcome of this is that as long as you do not admit that there is a real attribute in addition to the mere substrate, and that this attribute is for a time hidden, you cannot show the possibility either of error or sublation. We add an illustrative instance. That with regard to a man there should arise the error that he is a mere low-caste hunter is only possible on condition of a real additional attribute—e.g. the man's princely birth—being hidden at the time; and the cessation of that error is brought about by the declaration of this attribute of princely birth, not by a mere declaration of the person being a man: this latter fact being evident need not be declared at all, and if it is declared it sublates no error.—If, on the other hand, the text is understood to refer to Brahman as having the individual souls for its body, both words ('that' and 'thou') keep their primary denotation; and, the text thus making a declaration about one substance distinguished by two aspects, the fundamental principle of 'co-ordination' is preserved, On this interpretation the text further intimates that Brahman—free from all imperfection and comprising within itself all auspicious qualities—is the internal ruler of the individual souls and possesses lordly power. It moreover satisfies the demand of agreement with the teaching of the previous part of the section, and it also fulfils the promise as to all things being known through one thing, viz. in so far as Brahman having for its body all intelligent and non-intelligent beings in their gross state is the effect of Brahman having for its body the same things in their subtle state. And this interpretation finally avoids all conflict with other scriptural passages, such as 'Him the great Lord, the highest of Lords' (Svet. Up. VI, 7); 'His high power is revealed as manifold' (ibid. VI, 8); 'He that is free from sin, whose wishes are true, whose purposes are true' (Ch. Up. VIII, 7, 1), and so on.

But how, a question may be asked, can we decide, on your interpretation of the text, which of the two terms is meant to make an original assertion with regard to the other?—The question does not arise, we reply; for the text does not mean to make an original assertion at all, the truth which it states having already been established by the preceding clause, 'In that all this world has its Self.' This clause does make an original statement—in agreement with the principle that 'Scripture has a purport with regard to what is not established by other means'—that is, it predicates of 'all this,' i.e. this entire world together with all individual souls, that 'that,' i.e. Brahman is the Self of it. The reason of this the text states in a previous passage, 'All these creatures have their root in that which is, their dwelling and their rest in that which is'; a statement which is illustrated by an earlier one (belonging to a different section), viz. 'All this is Brahman; let a man meditate with calm mind on this world as beginning, ending, and breathing in Brahman' (Ch. Up. III. 14, 1). Similarly other texts also teach that the world has its Self in Brahman, in so far as the whole aggregate of intelligent and non-intelligent beings constitutes Brahman's body. Compare 'Abiding within, the ruler of beings, the Self of all'; 'He who dwells in the earth, different from the earth, whom the earth does not know, whose body the earth is, who rules the earth within—he is thy Self, the ruler within, the immortal. He who dwells in the Self,'&c. (Bri. Up. III, 7,3; 22); 'He who moving within the earth, and so on—whose body is death, whom death does not know, he is the Self of all beings, free from sin, divine, the one God, Nryana' (Subl. Up. VII, 1); 'Having created that he entered into it; having entered it he became sat and tyat' (Taitt. Up. II, 6). And also in the section under discussion the passage 'Having entered into them with this living Self let me evolve names and forms,' shows that it is only through the entering into them of the living soul whose Self is Brahman, that all things possess their substantiality and their connexion with the words denoting them. And as this passage must be understood in connexion with Taitt. Up. II, 6 (where the 'sat' denotes the individual soul) it follows that the individual soul also has Brahman for its Self, owing to the fact of Brahman having entered into it.—From all this it follows that the entire aggregate of things, intelligent and non- intelligent, has its Self in Brahman in so far as it constitutes Brahman's body. And as, thus, the whole world different from Brahman derives its substantial being only from constituting Brahman's body, any term denoting the world or something in it conveys a meaning which has its proper consummation in Brahman only: in other words all terms whatsoever denote Brahman in so far as distinguished by the different things which we associate with those terms on the basis of ordinary use of speech and etymology.—The text 'that art thou' we therefore understand merely as a special expression of the truth already propounded in the clause 'in that all this has its Self.'

This being so, it appears that those as well who hold the theory of the absolute unity of one non-differenced substance, as those who teach the doctrine of bhedbheda (co-existing difference and non-difference), and those who teach the absolute difference of several substances, give up all those scriptural texts which teach that Brahman is the universal Self. With regard to the first-mentioned doctrine, we ask 'if there is only one substance; to what can the doctrine of universal identity refer?'—The reply will perhaps be 'to that very same substance.'—But, we reply, this point is settled already by the texts defining the nature of Brahman [FOOTNOTE 134:1], and there is nothing left to be determined by the passages declaring the identity of everything with Brahman.—But those texts serve to dispel the idea of fictitious difference!—This, we reply, cannot, as has been shown above, be effected by texts stating universal identity in the way of co-ordination; and statements of co- ordination, moreover, introduce into Brahman a doubleness of aspect, and thus contradict the theory of absolute oneness.—The bhedbheda view implies that owing to Brahman's connexion with limiting adjuncts (updhi) all the imperfections resulting therefrom—and which avowedly belong to the individual soul—would manifest themselves in Brahman itself; and as this contradicts the doctrine that the Self of all is constituted by a Brahman free from all imperfection and comprising within itself all auspicious qualities, the texts conveying that doctrine would have to be disregarded. If, on the other hand, the theory be held in that form that 'bhedbheda' belongs to Brahman by its own nature (not only owing to an updhi), the view that Brahman by its essential nature appears as individual soul, implies that imperfections no less than perfections are essential to Brahman, and this is in conflict with the texts teaching that everything is identical with Brahman free from all imperfections.—For those finally who maintain absolute difference, the doctrine of Brahman being the Self of all has no meaning whatsoever—for things absolutely different can in no way be one—and this implies the abandonment of all Vednta-texts together.

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