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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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This prim facie view is set aside by the Stra. The being characterised in the text as 'bhman' is not the individual Self, but the highest Self, since instruction is given about the bhman in addition to 'serenity' (samprasda). 'Samprasda' denotes the individual soul, as we know from the following text, 'Now that "serenity", having risen from out this body, and having reached the highest light, appears in its true form' (Ch. Up. VIII, 3, 4). Now in the text under discussion instruction is given about a being called 'the True,' and possessing the attribute of 'bhman,' as being something additional to the individual soul; and this being called 'the True' is none other than the highest Brahman. Just as in the series of beings beginning with name and ending with breath, each successive being is mentioned in addition to the preceding one— wherefrom we conclude that it is something really different from what precedes; so that being also which is called 'the True,' and which is mentioned in addition to the individual Self called Prna, is something different from the individual Self, and this being called 'the True' is the same as the Bhman; in other words, the text teaches that the Bhman is the highest Brahman called 'the True.' This the Vrittikra also declares: 'But the Bhman only. The Bhman is Brahman, because in the series beginning with name instruction is given about it subsequently to the individual Self.'

But how do we know that the instruction as to 'the True' is in addition to, and refers to something different from, the being called Prna?—The text, after having declared that he who knows the Prna is an ativdin, goes on, 'But really that one is an ativdin who makes a supreme declaration by means of the True.' The 'but' here clearly separates him who is an ativdin by means of the True from the previous ativdin, and the clause thus does not cause us to recognise him who is ativdin by means of Prna; hence 'the True' which is the cause of the latter ativdin being what he is must be something different from the Prna which is the cause of the former ativdin's quality.—But we have maintained above that the text enjoins the speaking of 'the True' merely as an auxiliary duty for him who knows Prna; and that hence the Prna continues to be the general subject-matter!—This contention is untenable, we reply. The conjunction 'but' shows that the section gives instruction about a new ativdin, and does not merely declare that the ativdin previously mentioned has to speak the truth. It is different with texts such as 'But that one indeed is an Agnihotrin who speaks the truth'; there we have no knowledge of any further Agnihotrin, and therefore must interpret the text as enjoining truthfulness as an obligation incumbent on the ordinary Agnihotrin. In the text under discussion, on the other hand, we have the term 'the True', which makes us apprehend that there is a further ativdin different from the preceding one; and we know that that term is used to denote the highest Brahman, as e.g. in the text, 'The True, knowledge, the Infinite is Brahman.' The ativdin who takes his stand on this Brahman, therefore, must be viewed as different from the preceding ativdin; and a difference thus established on the basis of the meaning and connexion of the different sentences cannot be set aside. An ativdin ('one who in his declaration goes beyond') is one who maintains, as object of his devotion, something which, as being more beneficial to man, surpasses other objects of devotion. The text at first declares that he who knows Prna, i.e. the individual soul, is an ativdin, in so far as the object of his devout meditation surpasses the objects from name up to hope; and then goes on to say that, as that object also is not of supreme benefit to man, an ativdin in the full sense of the term is he only who proclaims as the object of his devotion the highest Brahman, which alone is of supreme unsurpassable benefit to man. 'He who is an ativdin by the True,' i.e. he who is an ativdin characterised by the highest Brahman as the object of his meditation. For the same reason the pupil entreats, 'Sir, may I be an ativdin with the True!' and the teacher replies, 'But we must desire to know the True!'—Moreover, the text, VII, 26, I, 'Prna springs from the Self,' declares the origination from the Self of the being called Prna; and from this we infer that the Self which is introduced as the general subject-matter of the section, in the clause 'He who knows the Self passes beyond death,' is different from the being called Prna.—The contention that, because there is no question and answer as to something greater than Prna, the instruction about the Self must be supposed to come to an end with the instruction about Prna, is by no means legitimate. For that a new subject is introduced is proved, not only by those questions and answers; it may be proved by other means also, and we have already explained such means. The following is the reason why the pupil does not ask the question whether there is anything greater than Prna. With regard to the non- sentient objects extending from name to hope—each of which surpasses the preceding one in so far as it is more beneficial to man—the teacher does not declare that he who knows them is an ativdin; when, however, he comes to the individual soul, there called Prna, the knowledge of whose true nature he considers highly beneficial, he expressly says that 'he who sees this, notes this, understands this is an ativdin' (VII, 15, 4). The pupil therefore imagines that the instruction about the Self is now completed, and hence asks no further question. The teacher on the other hand, holding that even that knowledge is not the highest, spontaneously continues his teaching, and tells the pupil that truly he only is an ativdin who proclaims the supremely and absolutely beneficial being which is called 'the True,' i.e. the highest Brahman. On this suggestion of the highest Brahman the pupil, desirous to learn its true nature and true worship, entreats the teacher, 'Sir, may I become an ativdin by the True!' Thereupon the teacher—in order to help the pupil to become an ativdin,—a position which requires previous intuition of Brahman—enjoins on him meditation on Brahman which is the means to attain intuition ('You must desire to know the True!'); next recommends to him reflection (manana) which is the means towards meditation ('You must desire to understand reflection'); then—taking it for granted that the injunction of reflection implies the injunction of 'hearing' the sacred texts which is the preliminary for reflecting— advises him to cherish faith in Brahman which is the preliminary means towards hearing ('You must desire to understand faith'); after that tells him to practise, as a preliminary towards faith, reliance on Brahman ('You must desire to understand reliance'); next admonishes him, to apply himself to 'action,' i.e. to make the effort which is a preliminary requisite for all the activities enumerated ('You must desire to understand action'). Finally, in order to encourage the pupil to enter on all this, the teacher tells him to recognise that bliss constitutes the nature of that Brahman which is the aim of all his effort ('You must desire to understand bliss'); and bids him to realise that the bliss which constitutes Brahman's nature is supremely large and full ('You must endeavour to understand the "bhman," i.e. the supreme fulness of bliss'). And of this Brahman, whose nature is absolute bliss, a definition is then given as follows,' Where one sees nothing else, hears nothing else, knows nothing else, that is bhman.' This means— when the meditating devotee realises the intuition of this Brahman, which consists of absolute bliss, he does not see anything apart from it, since the whole aggregate of things is contained within the essence and outward manifestation (vibhti) of Brahman. He, therefore, who has an intuitive knowledge of Brahman as qualified by its attributes and its vibhti—which also is called aisvarya, i.e. lordly power—and consisting of supreme bliss, sees nothing else since there is nothing apart from Brahman; and sees, i.e. feels no pain since all possible objects of perception and feeling are of the nature of bliss or pleasure; for pleasure is just that which, being experienced, is agreeable to man's nature.—But an objection is raised, it is an actual fact that this very world is perceived as something different from Brahman, and as being of the nature of pain, or at the best, limited pleasure; how then can it be perceived as being a manifestation of Brahman, as having Brahman for its Self, and hence consisting of bliss?—The individual souls, we reply, which are under the influence of karman, are conscious of this world as different from Brahman, and, according to their individual karman, as either made up of pain or limited pleasure. But as this view depends altogether on karman, to him who has freed himself from Nescience in the form of karman, this same world presents itself as lying within the intuition of Brahman, together with its qualities and vibhti, and hence as essentially blissful. To a man troubled with excess of bile the water he drinks has a taste either downright unpleasant or moderately pleasant, according to the degree to which his health is affected; while the same water has an unmixedly pleasant taste for a man in good health. As long as a boy is not aware that some plaything is meant to amuse him, he does not care for it; when on the other hand he apprehends it as meant to give him delight, the thing becomes very dear to him. In the same way the world becomes an object of supreme love to him who recognises it as having Brahman for its Self, and being a mere plaything of Brahman—of Brahman, whose essential nature is supreme bliss, and which is a treasure-house, as it were, of numberless auspicious qualities of supreme excellence. He who has reached such intuition of Brahman, sees nothing apart from it and feels no pain. This the concluding passages of the text set forth in detail, 'He who sees, perceives and understands this, loves the Self, delights in the Self, revels in the Self, rejoices in the Self; he becomes a Self ruler, he moves and rules in all worlds according to his pleasure. But those who have a different knowledge from this, they are ruled by others, they live in perishable worlds, they do not move in all the worlds according to their liking.' 'They are ruled by others,' means 'they are in the power of karman.' And further on, 'He who sees this does not see death, nor illness, nor pain; he who sees this sees everything and obtains everything everywhere.'

That Brahman is of the nature of supreme bliss has been shown in detail under I, 1, 12 ff.—The conclusion from all this is that, as the text applies the term 'bhman' to what was previously called the Real or True, and which is different from the individual soul there called Prna, the bhman is the highest Brahman.



8. And on account of the suitability of the attributes.

The attributes also which the text ascribes to the bhman suit the highest Self only. So immortality ('The Bhman is immortal,' VII, 24, 1); not being based on something else ('it rests in its own greatness'); being the Self of all ('the bhman is below,' &c., 'it is all this'); being that which produces all ('from the Self there springs breath,' &c. ). All these attributes can be reconciled with the highest Self only.— The Prvapakshin has pointed to the text which declares the 'I' to be the Self of all (VII, 25, 1); but what that text really teaches is meditation on Brahman under the aspect of the 'I.' This appears from the introductory clause 'Now follows the instruction with regard to the I.' That of the 'I,' i.e. the individual Self, also the highest Self is the true Self, scripture declares in several places, so e.g. in the text about the inward Ruler (Bri. Up. III, 7). As therefore the individual soul finds its completion in the highest Self only, the word 'I' also extends in its connotation up to the highest Self; and the instruction about the 'I' which is given in the text has thus for its object meditation on the highest Self in so far as having the individual Self for its body. As the highest Self has all beings for its body and thus is the Self of all, it is the Self of the individual soul also; and this the text declares in the passage beginning 'Now follows the instruction about the Self,' and ending 'Self is all this.' In order to prove this the text declares that everything originates from the highest Self which forms the Self of the individual soul also, viz. in the passage 'From the Self of him who sees this, perceives this, knows this, there springs breath,' &c.—that means: breath and all other beings spring from the highest Self which abides within the Self of the meditating devotee as its inner ruler. Hence, the text means to intimate, meditation should be performed on the 'I,' in order thus firmly to establish the cognition that the highest Self has the 'I,' i.e. the individual soul for its body.

It is thus an established conclusion that the bhman is the highest Self. Here terminates the adhikarana of 'fulness.'



9. The Imperishable (is Brahman), on account of its supporting that which is the end of ether.

The Vjasaneyins, in the chapter recording the questions asked by Grg, read as follows: 'He said, O Grg, the Brhmanas call that the Imperishable. It is neither coarse nor fine, neither short nor long, it is not red, not fluid, it is without a shadow,' &c. (Bri. Up. III, 8, 8). A doubt here arises whether that Imperishable be the Pradhna, or the individual soul, or the highest Self.—The Pradhna, it may be maintained in the first place. For we see that in passages such as 'higher than that which is higher than the Imperishable' the term 'Imperishable' actually denotes the Pradhna; and moreover the qualities enumerated, viz. not being either coarse or fine, &c., are characteristic of the Pradhna.—But, an objection is raised, in texts such as 'That knowledge by which the Imperishable is apprehended' (Mu. Up. I, 1, 5), the word 'Imperishable' is seen to denote the highest Brahman!—In cases, we reply, where the meaning of a word may be determined on the basis either of some other means of proof or of Scripture, the former meaning presents itself to the mind first, and hence there is no reason why such meaning should not be accepted.—But how do you know that the ether of the text is not ether in the ordinary sense?—From the description, we reply, given of it in the text, 'That above the heavens,' &c. There it is said that all created things past, present and future rest on ether as their basis; ether cannot therefore be taken as that elementary substance which itself is comprised in the sphere of things created. We therefore must understand by 'ether' matter in its subtle state, i.e. the Pradhna; and the Imperishable which thereupon is declared to be the support of that Pradhna, hence cannot itself be the Pradhna.—Nor is there any force in the argument that a sense established by some other means of proof presents itself to the mind more immediately than a sense established by Scripture; for as the word 'akshara' (i.e. the non-perishable) intimates its sense directly through the meaning of its constituent elements other means of proof need not be regarded at all.

Moreover Yjavalkya had said previously that the ether is the cause and abode of all things past, present and future, and when Grg thereupon asks him in what that ether 'is woven,' i.e. what is the causal substance and abode of ether, he replies 'the Imperishable.' Now this also proves that by the 'Imperishable' we have to understand the Pradhna which from other sources is known to be the causal substance, and hence the abode, of all effected things whatsoever.

This prim facie view is set aside by the Stra. The 'Imperishable' is the highest Brahman, because the text declares it to support that which is the end, i. e. that which lies beyond ether, viz. unevolved matter (avykritam). The ether referred to in Grg's question is not ether in the ordinary sense, but what lies beyond ether, viz. unevolved matter, and hence the 'Imperishable' which is said to be the support of that 'unevolved' cannot itself be the 'unevolved,' i.e. cannot be the Pradhna. Let us, then, the Prvapakshin resumes, understand by the 'Imperishable,' the individual soul; for this may be viewed as the support of the entire aggregate of non-sentient matter, inclusive of the elements in their subtle condition; and the qualities of non-coarseness, &c., are characteristic of that soul also. Moreover there are several texts in which the term 'Imperishable' is actually seen to denote the individual soul; so e.g. 'the non-evolved' is merged in the 'Imperishable'; 'That of which the non-evolved is the body; that of which the Imperishable is the body'; 'All the creatures are the Perishable, the non-changing Self is called the Imperishable' (Bha. G. XV, 16).

To this alternative prim facie view the next Stra replies.



10. And this (supporting) (springs) from command.

The text declares that this supporting of ether and all other things proceeds from command. 'In the command of that Imperishable sun and moon stand, held apart; in the command of that Imperishable heaven and earth stand, held apart,' &c. Now such supreme command, through which all things in the universe are held apart, cannot possibly belong to the individual soul in the state either of bondage or of release. The commanding 'Imperishable' therefore is none other than the supreme Person.



11. And on account of the exclusion of (what is of) another nature (than Brahman).

Another nature, i. e. the nature of the Pradhna, and so on. A supplementary passage excludes difference on the part of the Imperishable from the supreme Person. 'That Imperishable, O Grg, is unseen but seeing; unheard but hearing; unthought but thinking; unknown but knowing. There is nothing that sees but it, nothing that hears but it, nothing that thinks but it, nothing that knows but it. In that Imperishable, O Grg, the ether is woven, warp and woof.' Here the declaration as to the Imperishable being what sees, hears, &c. excludes the non-intelligent Pradhna; and the declaration as to its being all- seeing, &c. while not seen by any one excludes the individual soul. This exclusion of what has a nature other than that of the highest Self thus confirms the view of that Self being meant.—Or else the Stra may be explained in a different way, viz. 'On account of the exclusion of the existence of another.' On this alternative the text 'There is nothing that sees but it,' &c., is to be understood as follows: 'while this Imperishable, not seen by others but seeing all others, forms the basis of all things different from itself; there is no other principle which, unseen by the Imperishable but seeing it, could form its basis,' i.e. the text would exclude the existence of any other thing but the Imperishable, and thus implicitly deny that the Imperishable is either the Pradhna or the individual Self.—Moreover the text 'By the command of that Imperishable men praise those who give, the gods follow the Sacrficer, the fathers the Darv-offering,' declares the Imperishable to be that on the command of which there proceed all works enjoined by Scripture and Smriti. such as sacrificing, giving, &c., and this again shows that the Imperishable must be Brahman, the supreme Person. Again, the subsequent passus, 'Whosoever without knowing that Imperishable,' &c., declares that ignorance of the Imperishable leads to the Samsra, while knowledge of it helps to reach Immortality: this also proves that the Imperishable is the highest Brahman.—Here terminates the adhikarana of 'the Imperishable.'



12. On account of his being designated as the object of seeing, he (i.e. the highest Self) (is that object).

The followers of the Atharva-veda, in the section containing the question asked by Satyakma, read as follows: 'He again who meditates with this syllable Aum of three Mtrs on the highest Person, he comes to light and to the sun. As a snake frees itself from its skin, so he frees himself from evil. He is led up by the Sman verses to the Brahma- world; he sees the person dwelling in the castle who is higher than the individual souls concreted with bodies and higher (than those)' (Pra. Up. V, 2). Here the terms 'he meditates' and 'he sees' have the same sense, 'seeing' being the result of devout meditation; for according to the principle expressed in the text (Ch. Up. III, 14) 'According as man's thought is in this world,' what is reached by the devotee is the object of meditation; and moreover the text exhibits the same object, viz. 'the highest Person' in connexion with both verbs.

The doubt here presents itself whether the highest Person in this text be the so-called four-faced Brahm, the Lord of the mundane egg who represents the individual souls in their collective aspect, or the supreme Person who is the Lord of all.—The Prvapakshin maintains the former view. For, he argues, on the introductory question, 'He who here among men should meditate until death on the syllable Om, what would he obtain by it?' The text first declares that he who meditates on that syllable as having one Mtr, obtains the world of men; and next, that he who meditates on it as having two Mtrs obtains the world of the atmosphere. Hence the Brahma-world, which the text after that represents as the object reached by him who meditates on Om as having three syllables, must be the world of Brahm Katurmukha who is constituted by the aggregate of the individual souls. What the soul having reached that world sees, therefore is the same Brahm Katurmukha; and thus only the attribute 'etasmj' jvaghant part param' is suitable; for the collective soul, i. e. Brahm Katurmukha, residing in the Brahma-world is higher (para) than the distributive or discrete soul (jva) which is concreted (ghan-bhta) with the body and sense-organs, and at the same time is higher (para) than these. The highest Person mentioned in the text, therefore, is Brahma Katurmukha; and the qualities mentioned further on, such as absence of decay, &c., must be taken in such a way as to agree with that Brahm.

To this prim facie view the Stra replies that the object of seeing is He, i.e. the highest Self, on account of designation. The text clearly designates the object of seeing as the highest Self. For the concluding sloka, which refers to that object of seeing, declares that 'by means of the Omkra he who knows reaches that which is tranquil, free from decay, immortal, fearless, the highest'—all which attributes properly belong to the highest Self only, as we know from texts such as 'that is the Immortal, that is the fearless, that is Brahman' (Ch. Up. IV, 15, i). The qualification expressed in the clause 'etasmj jva.—ghant,' &c. may also refer to the highest Self only, not to Brahm Katurmukha; for the latter is himself comprehended by the term 'jvaghana.' For that term denotes all souls which are embodied owing to karman; and that Katurmukha is one of those we know from texts such as 'He who first creates Brahm' (Svet. Up. VI, 18). Nor is there any strength in the argument that, since the Brahma-world mentioned in the text is known to be the world of Katurmukha, as it follows next on the world of the atmosphere, the being abiding there must needs be Katurmukha. We rather argue as follows—as from the concluding clause 'that which is tranquil, free from decay,' &c., we ascertain that the object of intuition is the highest Brahman, the Brahma-world spoken of as the abode of the seeing devotee cannot be the perishable world of Brahm Katurmukha. A further reason for this conclusion is supplied by what the text says about 'him who is freed from all evil being led up by the Sman verses to the world of Brahman'; for the place reached by him who is freed from all evil cannot be the mere abode of Katurmukha. Hence also the concluding sloka says with reference to that Brahma-world 'that which the wise teach': what the wise see and teach is the abode of the highest, of Vishnu; cp. the text 'the wise ever see that highest abode of Vishnu.' Nor is it even strictly true that the world of Brahm follows on the atmosphere, for the svarga-world and several others lie between the two.

We therefore shortly explain the drift of the whole chapter as follows. At the outset of the reply given to Satyakma there is mentioned, in addition to the highest (para) Brahman, a lower (apara) Brahman. This lower or effected (krya) Brahman is distinguished as twofold, being connected either with this terrestrial world or yonder, non-terrestrial, world. Him who meditates on the Pranava as having one syllable, the text declares to obtain a reward in this world—he reaches the world of men. He, on the other hand, who meditates on the Pranava as having two syllables is said to obtain his reward in a super-terrestrial sphere—he reaches the world of the atmosphere. And he finally who, by means of the trisyllabic Pranava which denotes the highest Brahman, meditates on this very highest Brahman, is said to reach that Brahman, i. e. the supreme Person.—The object of seeing is thus none other than the highest Self.— Here terminates the adhikarana of the 'object of seeing.'



13. The small (ether) (is Brahman), on account of the subsequent (arguments).

The Chandogas have the following text, 'Now in that city of Brahman there is the palace, the small lotus, and in it that small ether. Now what is within that small ether that is to be sought for, that is to be understood' (Ch. Up. VIII, 1, 1).—The question here arises whether that small ether (space) within the lotus of the heart be the material clement called ether, or the individual Self, or the highest Self.—The first view presenting itself is that the element is meant, for the reason that the word 'ether' is generally used in that sense; and because the clause 'what is within that small ether' shows that the ether mentioned constitutes the abode of something else that is to be enquired into.—This view is set aside by the Stra. The small ether within the heart is the highest Brahman, on account of the subsequent reasons, contained in clauses of the same section. The passage 'That Self which is free from evil, free from old age, free from death, free from grief, free from hunger and thirst, whose wishes and purposes come true' (VIII, 7, 1) ascribes to that small ether qualities—such as unconditioned Selfhood, freedom from evil, &c.—which clearly show that ether to be the highest Brahman. And this conclusion is confirmed by what other texts say about him who knows the small ether attaining the power of realising his own wishes,'Those who depart from hence having come to know the Self and those real wishes, for them there is freedom in all worlds'; and 'whatever object he desires, by his mere will it comes to him; having obtained it he is happy' (Ch, Up. VIII, 1, 6; 2, 9). If moreover the ether within the heart were the elemental ether, the comparison instituted in the passage 'As large as that (elemental) ether is, so large is this ether within the heart' would be wholly inappropriate. Nor must it be said that that comparison rests on the limitation of the ether within the heart (so that the two terms compared would be the limited elemental ether within the heart, and the universal elemental ether); for there still would remain the inappropriate assertion that the ether within the heart is the abode of heaven, earth and all other things.—But, an objection is raised, also on the alternative of the small ether being the highest Brahman, the comparison to the universal elemental ether is unsuitable; for scripture explicitly states that the highest Self is (not as large but) larger than everything else, 'larger than the earth, larger than the sky,' &c. (Ch. Up. III, 14, 3). Not so, we reply; what the text says as to the ether within the heart being as large as the universal ether is meant (not to make a conclusive statement as to its extent but only) to negative that smallness of the ether which is established by its abiding within the heart. Similarly we say 'the sun moves with the speed of an arrow'; the sun indeed moves much faster than an arrow, but what our assertion means is merely that he does not move slowly.—But, a further doubt is started, the passage 'That Self which is free from sin,' &c. does not appear to refer back to the small ether within the heart. For the text makes a distinction between that ether and that within that ether which it declares to be the due object of search and enquiry. This latter object therefore is the topic of discussion, and when the text says later on 'That Self, free from sin, &c. is to be searched out' we must understand it to refer to the same object of search.—This would be so, we reply, if the text did not distinguish the small ether and that which abides within it; but as a matter of fact it does distinguish the two. The connexion is as follows. The text at first refers to the body of the devotee as the city of Brahman, the idea being that Brahman is present therein as object of meditation; and then designates an organ of that body, viz. the small lotus-shaped heart as the palace of Brahman. It then further refers to Brahman—the all knowing, all powerful, whose love towards his devotees is boundless like the ocean—as the small ether within the heart, meaning thereby that Brahman who for the benefit of his devotees is present within that palace should be meditated upon as of minute size, and finally—in the clause 'that is to be searched out'—enjoins as the object of meditation that which abides in that Brahman, i.e. on the one hand, its essential freedom from all evil qualities, and on the other the whole treasure of its auspicious qualities, its power of realising its wishes and so on. The 'that' (in 'that is to be searched out') enjoins as objects of search the small ether, i.e. Brahman itself as well as the qualities abiding within it.— But how, it may be asked, do you know that the word 'that' really refers to both, viz. the highest Brahman, there called 'small ether,' and the qualities abiding in it, and that hence the clause enjoins an enquiry into both these entities?—Listen, attentively, we reply, to our explanation! The clause 'As large as this ether is, so large is this ether within the heart' declares the exceeding greatness of the small ether; the clause 'Both heaven and earth are contained within it' up to 'lightning and stars' declares that same small ether to be the abode of the entire world; and the clause 'And whatever there is for him in this world, and whatever there is not, all that is contained within it' declares that whatever objects of enjoyment there are for the devotee in this world, and whatever other objects there are not for him, i.e. are merely wishes but not obtained by him, all those objects are contained within that same small ether. The text next declares that that small ether, although dwelling within the heart which is a part of the body, is not affected by the body's old age and decay, for being extremely minute it is not capable of change; and adds 'that true being is the Brahman-city,' i.e. that Reality which is the cause of all is the city called Brahman, i.e. the abode of the entire Universe. The following clause 'in it all desires are contained' again referring to the small ether ('in it') declares that in it all desires, i.e. all desirable qualities are contained. The text next proceeds to set forth that the small ether possesses Selfhood and certain desirable auspicious qualities-this is done in the passage 'It is the Self free from sin' &c. up to 'whose purposes realise themselves.' The following section—'And as here on earth' down to 'for them there is freedom in all the worlds'— declares that those who do not know those eight qualities and the Self, called 'small ether,' which is characterised by them, and who perform actions aiming at objects of enjoyment different from that Self, obtain perishable results only, and do not attain the power of realising their wishes; while those on the other hand who know the Self called 'small ether' and the qualities abiding within it, through the grace of that very same highest Self, obtain all their wishes and the power of realising their purposes. On the ground of this connected consideration of the whole chapter we are able to decide that the text enjoins as the object of search and enquiry both the highest Brahman and the whole body of auspicious qualities abiding within it. This the Vkyakra also renders clear in the passage beginning 'In the text "what is within that" there is designation of wishes (i.e. desirable qualities).'—For all these reasons the small ether is the highest Brahman.



14. On account of the going and of the word; for thus it is seen; and (there is) an inferential sign.

'As people who do not know the country walk again and again over a gold treasure' &c., 'thus do all these creatures day after day go into that Brahma-world' (Ch. Up. VIII, 3, 2). The circumstance, here stated, of all individual souls going to a place which the qualification 'that' connects with the subject-matter of the whole chapter, i.e. the small ether; and the further circumstance of the goal of their going being called the Brahma-world, also prove that the small ether is none other than the highest Brahman.—But in what way do these two points prove what they are claimed to prove?—'For thus it is seen'; the Stra adds. For we see it stated in other texts, that all individual souls go daily to Brahman, viz. in the state of deep sleep, 'All these creatures having become united with the True do not know that they are united with the True'; 'Having come back from the True they know not that they have come back from the True' (Ch. Up. VI, 9, 2; 10, 2). And in the same way we see that the word 'Brahma-world' denotes the highest Brahman; so e.g. 'this is the Brahma-world, O King' (Bri. Up. IV, 3, 32).—The Stra subjoins a further reason. Even if the going of the souls to Brahman were not seen in other texts, the fact that the text under discussion declares the individual souls to abide in Brahman in the state of deep sleep, enjoying freedom from all pain and trouble just as if they were merged in the pralaya state, is a sufficient 'inferential sign' to prove that the 'small ether' is the highest Brahman. And similarly the term 'Brahma-world' as exhibited in the text under discussion, if understood as denoting co-ordination (i.e. 'that world which is Brahman'), is sufficient to prove by itself that the 'small ether'—to which that term is applied—is the highest Brahman; it therefore is needless to appeal to other passages. That this explanation of 'Brahma-world' is preferable to the one which understands by Brahma-world 'the world of Brahman' is proved by considerations similar to those by which the P. M. Stras prove that 'Nishda-sthapati' means a headman who at the same time is a Nishda.—Another explanation of the passage under discussion may also be given. What is said there about all these creatures daily 'going into the Brahma-world,' may not refer at all to the state of deep sleep, but rather mean that although 'daily going into the Brahman-world,' i. e. although at all time moving above the small ether, i. e. Brahman which as the universal Self is everywhere, yet all these creatures not knowing Brahman do not find, i.e. obtain it; just as men not knowing the place where a treasure is hidden do not find it, although they constantly pass over it. This constant moving about on the part of ignorant creatures on the surface, as it were, of the small ether abiding within as their inward Ruler, proves that small ether to be the highest Brahman. That the highest Brahman abides within as the inner Self of creatures which dwell in it and are ruled by it, we are told in other texts also, so e.g. in the Antarymin-brhmana. 'He who dwells in the Self, within the Self, whom the Self does not know, of whom the Self is the body, who rules the Self within; unseen but seeing, unheard but hearing' (Bri. Up. III, 7, 22; 23).—On this interpretation we explain the last part of the Stra as follows. Even if other texts did not refer to it, this daily moving about on the part of ignorant creatures, on the ether within the heart— which the comparison with the treasure of gold shows to be the supreme good of man—, is in itself a sufficient proof for the small ether being Brahman.



15. And on account of there being observed in that (small ether), supporting which is a greatness of that (i. e. Brahman).

In continuation of the passage 'It is the Self free from Sin,' &c., which refers to the small ether, the text says: 'it is a bank, a limitary support, that these worlds may not be confounded.' What the text here says about the small ether supporting the world proves it to be the highest Brahman; for to support the world is the glory of Brahman. Compare 'He is the Lord of all, the king of all things, the protector of all things. He is a bank and a boundary, so that these worlds may not be confounded' (Bri. Up. IV, 4, 22); 'By the command of that Imperishable, O Grg, heaven and earth stand, held apart' (Bri. Up. III, 8, 9). Now this specific greatness of the highest Brahman, which consists in its supporting the world, is also observed in the small ether—which proves the latter to be none other than Brahman.



16. And on account of the settled meaning.

The word 'ether,' moreover, is known to have, among other meanings, that of Brahman. Compare 'For who could breathe, who could breathe forth, if that ether were not bliss?' (Taitt. Up. II, 7); 'All these beings take their rise from the ether' (Ch. Up. I, 9, 1). It has to be kept in view that in the text under discussion the meaning 'Brahman' is supported by what is said about the qualities of the small ether—viz. freedom from sin, &c.—and hence is stronger than the other meaning—, according to which ksa signifies the elemental ether.

So far the Stras have refuted the view of the small ether being the element. They now enter on combating the notion that the small ether may possibly be the individual soul.



17. If it be said that on account of reference to the other one he is meant; we say no, on account of impossibility.

An objection is raised to the argumentation that, on account of complementary passages, the small ether must be explained to mean the highest Self.

For, the objector says, a clear reference to him who is 'other' than the highest Self, i.e. to the individual soul, is contained in the following passage (VIII, 12, 3): 'Thus does that serenity (samprasda), having risen from this body and approached the highest light, appear in its own form.' 'That is the Self,' he said. 'That is the immortal, the fearless, this is Brahman' (VIII, 7, 3?). We admit that for the different reasons stated above the ether within the heart cannot be the elemental ether; but owing to the force of the intimations conveyed by the complementary passages just quoted, we must adopt the view that what is meant is the individual soul. And as the word 'ksa' may be connected with praksa (light), it may be applied to the individual soul also.—This view is set aside by the Stra. The small ether cannot be the individual soul because the qualities attributed in the text to the former, viz. freedom from sin, &c., cannot possibly belong to the individual soul.



18. Should it be said that from a subsequent passage (it appears that the individual Soul is meant); rather (the soul) in so far as its true nature has become manifest.

The Prvapakshin now maintains that we ascertain from a subsequent declaration made by Prajpati that it is just the individual Soul that possesses freedom from sin and the other qualities enumerated. The whole teaching of Prajpati, he says, refers to the individual Soul only. Indra having heard that Prajpati had spoken about a Self free from sin, old age, &c., the enquiry into which enables the soul to obtain all worlds and desires, approaches Prajpati with the wish to learn the true nature of that Self which should be enquired into. Prajpati thereupon, wishing to test the capacity of his pupil for receiving true instruction, gives him successive information about the embodied soul in the state of waking, dream and dreamless sleep. When he finds that Indra sees no good in instruction of this kind and thus shows himself fit to receive instruction about the true nature of the disembodied Self, he explains to him that the body is a mere abode for a ruling Self; that that bodiless Self is essentially immortal; and that the soul, as long as it is joined to a body due to karman, is compelled to experience pleasure and pain corresponding to its embodied state, while it rises above all this when it has freed itself from the body (VIII, 12, 1). He then continues: 'Thus that serenity having risen from this body and approached the highest light, appears in its own form'; thus teaching him the true nature, free from a body, of the individual soul. He next informs him that the 'highest light' which the soul reaches is the supreme Person ('That is the supreme Person'), and that the soul having reached that highest light and freed itself from what obscured its own true nature, obtains in the world of Brahman whatever enjoyments it desires, and is no longer connected with a body springing from karman and inseparable from pain and pleasure, or with anything else that causes distress. ('He moves about there laughing,' &c.). He next illustrates the connexion with a body, of the soul in the Samsra state, by means of a comparison: 'Like as a horse attached to a cart,' &c. After that he explains that the eye and the other sense-organs are instruments of knowledge, colour, and so on, the objects of knowledge, and the individual Self the knowing subject; and that hence that Self is different from the body and the sense-organs ('Now where the sight has entered' up to 'the mind is his divine eye'). Next he declares that, after having divested itself of the body and the senses, the Self perceives all the objects of its desire by means of its 'divine eye,' i. e. the power of cognition which constitutes its essential nature ('He by means of the divine eye,' &c.). He further declares that those who have true knowledge know the Self as such ('on that Self the devas meditate'); and in conclusion teaches that he who has that true knowledge of the Self obtains for his reward the intuition of Brahman—which is suggested by what the text says about the obtaining of all worlds and all desires ('He obtains all worlds and all desires,' &c., up to the end of the chapter).—It thus appears that the entire chapter proposes as the object of cognition the individual soul free from sin, and so on. The qualities, viz. freedom from guilt, &c., may thus belong to the individual Self, and on this ground we conclude that the small ether is the individual Self.

This view the second half of the Stra sets aside. The two sections, that which treats of the small ether and that which contains the teaching of Prajpati, have different topics. Prajpati's teaching refers to the individual soul, whose true nature, with its qualities such as freedom from evil, &c., is at first hidden by untruth, while later on, when it has freed itself from the bondage of karman, risen from the body, and approached the highest light, it manifests itself in its true form and then is characterised by freedom from all evil and by other auspicious qualities. In the section treating of the small ether, on the other hand, we have to do with the small ether, i.e. the highest Brahman, whose true nature is never hidden, and which therefore is unconditionally characterised by freedom from evil, and so on.— Moreover, the daharksa-section ascribes to the small ether other attributes which cannot belong to the individual Self even 'when its true nature has manifested itself.' The small ether is there called a bank and support of all worlds; and one of its names,'satyam,' is explained to imply that it governs all sentient and non-sentient beings. All this also proves that the small ether is none other than the highest Self. That the individual soul, 'even when its true nature is manifest,' cannot be viewed as a bank and support of the worlds, &c., we shall show under IV, 4.

But if this is so, what then is the meaning of the reference to the individual soul which is made in the section treating of the small ether, viz. in the passage, 'Now that serene being, which after having risen from this body,' &c. (VIII, 3, 4)?

To this question the next Stra replies.



19. And the reference has a different meaning.

The text in question declares that the released individual soul when reaching the highest light, i.e. Brahman, which is free from all sin, and so on, attains its true nature, which is characterised by similar freedom from sin, and so on. Now this reference to the individual soul, as described in the teaching of Prajpati, has the purpose of giving instruction (not about the qualities of the individual soul, but) about the nature of that which is the cause of the qualities of the individual soul, i.e. the qualities specially belonging to the supreme Person. The reason why, in the section containing the teaching of Prajpati, information is given as to the true nature of the released individual soul is that such knowledge assists the doctrine referring to the small ether. For the individual Self which wishes to reach Brahman must know his own true nature also, so as to realise that he, as being himself endowed with auspicious qualities, will finally arrive at an intuition of the highest Brahman, which is a mass of auspicious qualities raised to the highest degree of excellence. The cognition of the soul's own true nature is itself comprised in the result of the meditation on Brahman, and the results which are proclaimed in the teaching of Prajpati ('He obtains all worlds and all wishes'; 'He moves about there laughing,' &c.) thus really are results of the knowledge of the small ether.



20. If it be said, owing to the scriptural declaration of smallness; that has been explained.

The text describes the ether within the heart as being of small compass, and this agrees indeed with the individual soul which elsewhere is compared to the point of an awl, but not with Brahman, which is greater than everything.—The reply to this objection has virtually been given before, viz. under I, 2, 7, where it is said that Brahman may be viewed as of small size, for the purpose of devout meditation.

It thus remains a settled conclusion that the small ether is none other but the highest Person who is untouched by even a shadow of imperfection, and is an ocean of infinite, supremely exalted, qualities—knowledge, strength, lordly power, &c. The being, on the other hand, which in the teaching of Prajpati is described as first having a body due to karman— as we see from passages such as 'they strike it as it were, they cut it as it were'—and as afterwards approaching the highest light, and then manifesting its essential qualities, viz. freedom from sin, &c., is the individual soul; not the small ether (or Brahman).

The next Stra supplies a further reason for this conclusion.



21. And on account of the imitation of that.

The individual soul, free from bondage, and thus possessing the qualities of freedom from sin, &c., cannot be the small ether, i.e. the highest Brahman, because it is stated to 'imitate,' i.e. to be equal to that Brahman. The text making that statement is Mu. Up. III, 1, 3, 'When the seer (i.e. the individual soul) sees the brilliant maker, the Lord, the Person who has his source in Brahman; then becoming wise and shaking off good and evil, he reaches the highest equality, free from passions.' The being to which the teaching of Prajpati refers is the 'imitator,' i. e. the individual soul; the Brahman which is 'imitated' is the small ether.



22. The same is declared by Smriti also.

Smriti also declares that the transmigrating soul when reaching the state of Release 'imitates,' i.e. attains supreme equality of attributes with the highest Brahman. 'Abiding by this knowledge they, attaining to equality of attributes with me, are not born again at the time of creation, nor are they affected by the general dissolution of the world' (Bha. G. XIV, 2).

Some maintain that the last two Stras constitute a separate adhikarana (head of discussion), meant to prove that the text Mu. Up. II, 2, 10 ('After him the shining one, everything shines; by the light of him all this is lighted'), refers to the highest Brahman. This view is, however, inadmissible, for the reason that with regard to the text quoted no prvapaksha can arise, it having been proved under I, 2, 21 ff., and 1,3, 1, ff., that the whole section of which that text forms part is concerned with Brahman; and it further having been shown under I, 1, 24 ff., that Brahman is apprehended under the form of light.—The interpretation moreover does not fit in with the wording of the Stras.— Here terminates the adhikarana of the 'small one.'



23. On account of the term, the one measured.

We read in the Kathavall 'The Person of the size of a thumb stands in the middle of the Self, as lord of the past and the future, and henceforward fears no more'; 'That Person of the size of a thumb is like a light without smoke,' &c. (Ka. Up. II, 4, 1; 13). And 'The Person not larger than a thumb, the inner Self, is always settled in the heart of men' (Ka. Up. II, 6, 17). A doubt here arises whether the being measured by the extent of a span be the individual soul or the highest Self.—The Prvapakshin maintains the former view; for, he says, another scriptural text also declares the individual soul to have that measure, 'the ruler of the vital airs moves through his own works, of the size of a thumb, brilliant like the sun, endowed with purposes and egoity' (Svet. Up. V, 7; 8). Moreover, the highest Self is not anywhere else, not even for the purpose of meditation, represented as having the size of a thumb. It thus being determined that the being of the length of a thumb is the individual Self, we understand the term 'Lord,' which is applied to it, as meaning that it is the Lord of the body, the sense-organs, the objects and the instruments of fruition.—Of this view the Stra disposes, maintaining that the being a thumb long can be none but the highest Self, just on account of that term. For lordship over all things past and future cannot possibly belong to the individual Self, which is under the power of karman.—But how can the highest Self be said to have the measure of a thumb?—On this point the next Stra satisfies us.



24. But with reference to the heart, men being qualified.

In so far as the highest Self abides, for the purpose of devout meditation, in the heart of the devotee—which heart is of the measure of a thumb—it may itself be viewed as having the measure of a thumb. The individual soul also can be said to have the measure of a thumb only in so far as dwelling within the heart; for scripture directly states that its real size is that of the point of a goad, i.e. minute. And as men only are capable of devout meditation, and hence alone have a claim on scripture, the fact that the hearts of other living creatures also, such as donkeys, horses, snakes, &c., have the same size, cannot give rise to any objection.—The discussion of this matter will be completed later on [FOOTNOTE 326:1].



25. Also beings above them (i.e. men), Bdaryana thinks, on account of possibility.

In order to prove that the highest Brahman may be viewed as having the size of a thumb, it has been declared that the scriptural texts enjoining meditation on Brahman are the concern of men. This offers an opportunity for the discussion of the question whether also other classes of individual souls, such as devas, are qualified for knowledge of Brahman. The Prvapakshin denies this qualification in the case of gods and other beings, on the ground of absence of capability. For, he says, bodiless beings, such as gods, are incapable of the accomplishment of meditation on Brahman, which requires as its auxiliaries the seven means enumerated above (p. 17)—This must not be objected to on the ground of the devas, and so on, having bodies; for there is no means of proof establishing such embodiedness. We have indeed proved above that the Vednta-texts may intimate accomplished things, and hence are an authoritative means for the cognition of Brahman; but we do not meet with any Vednta-text, the purport of which is to teach that the devas, and so on, possess bodies. Nor can this point be established through mantras and arthavda texts; for these are merely supplementary to the injunctions of actions (sacrificial, and so on), and therefore have a different aim. And the injunctions themselves prove nothing with regard to the devas, except that the latter are that with a view to which those actions are performed. In the same way it also cannot be shown that the gods have any desires or wants (to fulfil or supply which they might enter on meditation of Brahman). For the two reasons above we therefore conclude that the devas, and so on, are not qualified for meditation on Brahman.—This view is contradicted by the Stra. Such meditation is possible in the case of higher beings also Bdaryana thinks; on account of the possibility of want and capacity on their part also. Want and wish exist in their case since they also are liable to suffering, springing from the assaults, hard to be endured, of the different kinds of pain, and since they also know that supreme enjoyment is to be found in the highest Brahman, which is untouched by the shadow even of imperfection, and is a mass of auspicious qualities in their highest perfection. 'Capability', on the other hand, depends on the possession of a body and sense-organs of whatever degree of tenuity; and that the devas, from Brahma downward, possess a body and sense-organs, is declared in all the Upanishads, in the chapters treating of creation and the chapters enjoining meditation. In the Chndogya, e.g. it is related how the highest Being having resolved on creation, evolved the aggregate of non-sentient matter with its different kinds, and then produced the fourfold multitude of living creatures, each having a material body corresponding to its karman, and a suitable name of its own. Similarly, all the other scriptural accounts of creation declare that there are four classes of creatures—devas, men, animals, and non-moving beings, such as plants—and the difference of these classes depends on the individual Selfs being joined to various bodies capacitating them to experience the results of their works, each in that one of the fourteen worlds—beginning with the world of Brahm—which is the suitable place for retribution. For in themselves, apart from bodies, the individual Selfs are not distinguished as men, gods, and so on. In the same way the story of the devas and Asuras approaching Prajpati with fuel in their hands, staying with him as pupils for thirty-two years, &c. (Ch. Up. VIII, 7 ff.), clearly shows that the devas possess bodies and sense- organs. Analogously, mantras and arthavdas, which are complementary to injunctions of works, contain unmistakeable references to the corporeal nature of the gods ('Indra holding in his hand the thunderbolt'; 'Indra lifted the thunderbolt', &c.); and as the latter is not contradicted by any other means of proof it must be accepted on the authority stated. Nor can it be said that those mantras and arthavdas are really meant to express something else (than those details mentioned above), in so far, namely, as they aim at proclaiming or glorifying the action with which they are connected; for those very details subserve the purpose of glorification, and so on, and without them glorification is not possible. For we praise or glorify a thing by declaring its qualities; if such qualities do not exist all glorification lapses. It cannot by any means be maintained that anything may be glorified by the proclamation of its qualities, even if such qualities do not really exist. Hence the arthavdas which glorify a certain action, just thereby intimate the real existence of the qualities and details of the action. The mantras again, which are prescribed in connexion with the actions, serve the purpose of throwing light on the use to be derived from the performance of the actions, and this they accomplish by making statements as to the particular qualities, such as embodiedness and the like, which belong to the devas and other classes of beings. Otherwise Indra, and so on, would not be remembered at the time of performance; for the idea of a divinity presents itself to the mind only in connexion with the special attributes of that divinity. In the case of such qualities as are not established by other means of proof, the primary statement is made by the arthavda or the mantra: the former thereby glorifies the action, and the latter proclaims it as possessing certain qualities or details; and both these ends are accomplished by making statements as to the gods, &c., possessing certain qualities, such as embodiedness and the like. In the case, again, of certain qualities being already established by other means of proof, the mantras and arthavdas merely refer to them (as something already known), and in this way perform their function of glorification and elucidation. And where, thirdly, there is a contradiction between the other means of knowledge and what mantras and arthavdas state (as when, e.g. a text of the latter kind says that 'the sacrificial post is the sun'), the intention of the text is metaphorically to denote, by means of those apparently unmeaning terms, certain other qualities which are not excluded by the other means of knowledge; and in this way the function of glorification and elucidation is again accomplished. Now what the injunction of a sacrificial action demands as its supplement, is a statement as to the power of the divinity to whom the sacrifice is offered; for the performance which scripture enjoins on men desirous of certain results, is itself of a merely transitory nature, and hence requires some agent capable of bringing about, at some future time, the result desired as, e.g. the heavenly world. 'Vyu is the swiftest god; he (the sacrificer) approaches Vyu with his own share; the god then leads him to prosperity' (Taitt. Samh. I, 2, 1); 'What he seeks by means of that offering, may he obtain that, may he prosper therein, may the gods favourably grant him that' (Taitt. Br. III, 5, 10, 5); these and similar arthavdas and mantras intimate that the gods when propitiated by certain sacrificial works, give certain rewards and possess the power to do so; and they thus connect themselves with the general context of scripture as supplying an evidently required item of information. Moreover, the mere verb 'to sacrifice' (yaj), as denoting worship of the gods, intimates the presence of a deity which is to be propitiated by the action called sacrifice, and thus constitutes the main element of that action. A careful consideration of the whole context thus reveals that everything which is wanted for the due accomplishment of the action enjoined is to be learned from the text itself, and that hence we need not have recourse to such entities as the 'unseen principle' (aprva), assumed to be denoted by, or to be imagined in connexion with, the passages enjoining certain actions. Hence the dharmasstras, itihsas, and purnas also, which are founded on the different brhmanas, mantras and arthavdas, clearly teach that Brahma and the other gods, as well as the Asuras and other superhuman beings, have bodies and sense-organs, constitutions of different kinds, different abodes, enjoyments, and functions.—Owing to their having bodies, the gods therefore are also qualified for meditation on Brahman.

[FOOTNOTE 326:1. The 'pramitdhikarana' is resumed in Stra 41.]



26. If it be said that there results a contradiction to work; we deny this, on account of the observation of the assumption of several (bodies).

An objection here presents itself. If we admit the gods to have bodies, a difficulty arises at the sacrifices, as it is impossible that one and the same corporeal Indra—who is at the same time invited by many sacrificers 'come, O Indra', 'come, O Lord of the red horses,' &c.— should be present at all those places. And that the gods, Agni and so on, really do come to the sacrifices is proved by the following scriptural text: 'To whose sacrifice do the gods go, and to whose not? He who first receives the gods, sacrifices to them on the following day' (Taitt. Samh. I, 6, 7, 1). In refutation of this objection the Sutra points out that there is seen, i.e. recorded, the assumption of several bodies at the same time, on the part of beings endowed with special powers, such as Saubhari.



27. If it be said (that a contradiction will result) with regard to words; we say no, since beings originate from them (as appears) from perception and inference.

Well then let us admit that there is no difficulty as far as sacrifices are concerned, for the reason stated in the preceding Stra. But another difficulty presents itself with regard to the words of which the Veda consists. For if Indra and the other gods are corporeal beings, it follows that they are made up of parts and hence non-permanent. This implies either that the Vedic words denoting them—not differing therein from common worldly words such as Devadatta—are totally devoid of meaning during all those periods which precede the origination of the beings called Indra and so on, or follow on their destruction; or else that the Veda itself is non-permanent, non-eternal.—This objection is not valid, the Stra points out, for the reason that those beings, viz. Indra and so on, again and again originate from the Vedic words. To explain. Vedic words, such as Indra and so on, do not, like the word Devadatta and the like, denote, on the basis of convention, one particular individual only: they rather denote by their own power particular species of beings, just as the word 'cow' denotes a particular species of animals. When therefore a special individual of the class called Indra has perished, the creator, apprehending from the Vedic word 'Indra' which is present to his mind the class characteristics of the beings denoted by that word, creates another Indra possessing those very same characteristics; just as the potter fashions a new jar, on the basis of the word 'jar' which is stirring in his mind.—But how is this known?—'Through perception and inference,' i.e. through Scripture and Smriti. Scripture says, e.g. 'By means of the Veda Prajpati evolved names and forms, the being and the non-being'; and 'Saying "bhh" (earth) he created the earth; saying "bhuvah" he created the air,' and so on; which passages teach that the creator at first bethinks himself of the characteristic make of a thing, in connexion with the word denoting it, and thereupon creates an individual thing characterised by that make. Smriti makes similar statements; compare, e. g. 'In the beginning there was sent forth by the creator, divine speech—beginningless and endless—in the form of the Veda, and from it there originated all creatures'; and 'He, in the beginning, separately created from the words of the Veda the names and works and shapes of all things'; and 'The names and forms of beings, and all the multiplicity of works He in the beginning created from the Veda.' This proves that from the corporeality of the gods, and so on, it follows neither that the words of the Veda are unmeaning nor that the Veda itself is non-eternal.



28. And for this very reason eternity (of the Veda).

As words such as Indra and Vasishtha, which denote gods and Rishis, denote (not individuals only, but) classes, and as the creation of those beings is preceded by their being suggested to the creative mind through those words; for this reason the eternity of the Veda admits of being reconciled with what scripture says about the mantras and kndas (sections) of the sacred text having 'makers' and about Rishis seeing the hymns; cp. such passages as 'He chooses the makers of mantras'; 'Reverence to the Rishis who are the makers of mantras'; 'That is Agni; this is a hymn of Visvmitra.' For by means of these very texts Prajpati presents to his own mind the characteristics and powers of the different Rishis who make the different sections, hymns, and mantras, thereupon creates them endowed with those characteristics and powers, and appoints them to remember the very same sections, hymns, &c. The Rishis being thus gifted by Prajpati with the requisite powers, undergo suitable preparatory austerities and finally see the mantras, and so on, proclaimed by the Vasishthas and other Rishis of former ages of the world, perfect in all their sounds and accents, without having learned them from the recitation of a teacher. There is thus no conflict between the eternity of the Veda and the fact that the Rishis are the makers of its sections, hymns, and so on. A further objection is raised. Let it be admitted that after each pralaya of the kind called 'contingent' (naimittika), Prajpati may proceed to create new Indras, and so on, in the way of remembering on the basis of the Veda the Indras, and so on, of preceding periods. In the case, on the other hand, of a pralaya of the kind called elemental (prkritika), in which the creator, Prajpati himself, and words—which are the effects of the elemental ahankra— pass away, what possibility is there of Prajpati undertaking a new creation on the basis of Vedic words, and how can we speak of the permanency of a Veda which perishes? He who maintains the eternity of the Veda and the corporeality of gods, and so on, is thus really driven to the hypothesis of the course of mundane existence being without a beginning (i.e. not preceded by a pralaya).—Of this difficulty the next Stra disposes.



29. And on account of the equality of names and forms there is no contradiction, even in the renovation (of the world); as appears from— Sruti and Smriti.

On account of the sameness of names and forms, as stated before, there is no difficulty in the way of the origination of the world, even in the case of total pralayas. For what actually takes place is as follows. When the period of a great pralaya draws towards its close, the divine supreme Person, remembering the constitution of the world previous to the pralaya, and forming the volition 'May I become manifold' separates into its constituent elements the whole mass of enjoying souls and objects of enjoyment which, during the pralaya state, had been merged in him so as to possess a separate existence (not actual but) potential only, and then emits the entire world just as it had been before, from the so-called Mahat down to the Brahman-egg, and Hiranyagarbha (Prajpati). Having thereupon manifested the Vedas in exactly the same order and arrangement they had had before, and having taught them to Hiranyagarbha, he entrusts to him the new creation of the different classes of beings, gods, and so on, just as it was before; and at the same time abides himself within the world so created as its inner Self and Ruler. This view of the process removes all difficulties. The superhuman origin and the eternity of the Veda really mean that intelligent agents having received in their minds an impression due to previous recitations of the Veda in a fixed order of words, chapters, and so on, remember and again recite it in that very same order of succession. This holds good both with regard to us men and to the highest Lord of all; there however is that difference between the two cases that the representations of the Veda which the supreme Person forms in his own mind are spontaneous, not dependent on an impression previously made.

To the question whence all this is known, the Stra replies 'from Scripture and Smriti.' The scriptural passage is 'He who first creates Brahm and delivers the Vedas to him' (Svet. Up. VI, 18). And as to Smriti we have the following statement in Manu, 'This universe existed in the shape of darkness, &c.—He desiring to produce beings of many kinds from his own body, first with a thought created the waters and placed his seed in them. That seed became a golden egg equal to the sun in brilliancy; in that he himself was born as Brahm, the progenitor of the whole world' (Manu I, 5; 8-9). To the same effect are the texts of the Paurnikas, 'From the navel of the sleeping divinity there sprung up a lotus, and in that lotus there was born Brahma fully knowing all Vedas and Vedngas. And then Brahm was told by him (the highest Divinity), 'Do thou create all beings, O Great-minded one'; and the following passage, 'From the highest Nryana there was born the Four-faced one.'— And in the section which begins 'I will tell the original creation,' we read 'Because having created water (nra) I abide within it, therefore my name shall be Nryana. There I lie asleep in every Kalpa, and as I am sleeping there springs from my navel a lotus, and in that lotus there is born the Four-faced one, and I tell him "Do thou, Great-minded one, create all beings."'—Here terminates the adhikarana of 'the deities.'



30. On account of the impossibility (of qualification for the madhuvidy, &c.) (Jaimini maintains the non-qualification (of gods, &c.).)

So far it has been proved that also the gods, and so on, are qualified for the knowledge of Brahman. But a further point here presents itself for consideration, viz. whether the gods are qualified or not to undertake those meditations of which they themselves are the objects. The Stra states as a prvapaksha view held by Jaimini, that they are not so qualified, for the reason that there are no other dityas, Vasus, and so on, who could be meditated on by the dityas and Vasus themselves; and that moreover for the dityas and Vasus the qualities and position of those classes of deities cannot be objects of desire, considering that they possess them already. The so-called Madhuvidy (Ch. Up. III) represents as objects of devout meditation certain parts of the sun which are being enjoyed by the different classes of divine beings, Vasus, dityas, and so on—the sun being there called 'madhu.' i.e. honey or nectar, on account of his being the abode of a certain nectar to be brought about by certain sacrificial works to be known from the Rig-veda, and so on; and as the reward of such meditation the text names the attainment of the position of the Vasus, dityas, and so on.



31. And on account of (meditating on the part of the gods) being in the Light.

'Him the devas meditate upon as the light of lights, as immortal time' (Bri. Up. IV, 4, 16). This text declares that the meditation of the gods has for its object the Light, i.e. the highest Brahman. Now this express declaration as to the gods being meditating devotees with regard to meditations on Brahman which are common to men and gods, implies a denial of the gods being qualified for meditations on other objects. The conclusion therefore is that the Vasus, and so on, are not qualified for meditations on the Vasus and other classes of deities.



32. But Bdaryana (maintains) the existence (of qualification); for there is (possibility of such).

The Reverend Bdaryana thinks that the dityas, Vasus, and so on, are also qualified for meditations on divinities. For it is in their case also possible that their attainment of Brahman should be viewed as preceded by their attainment of Vasu-hood or ditya-hood, in so far, namely, as they meditate on Brahman as abiding within themselves. They may be Vasus and dityas in the present age of the world, but at the same time be desirous of holding the same position in future ages also. In the Madhuvidy we have to distinguish two sections, concerned respectively with Brahman in its causal and its effected state. The former section, extending from the beginning up to 'when from thence he has risen upwards,' enjoins meditation on Brahman in its condition as effect, i.e. as appearing in the form of creatures such as the Vasus, and so on; while the latter section enjoins meditation on the causal Brahman viewed as abiding within the sun as its inner Self. The purport of the whole vidy is that he who meditates on Brahman in this its twofold form will in a future age of the world enjoy Vasu-hood, and will finally attain Brahman in its causal aspect, i.e. the very highest Brahman. From the fact that the text, 'And indeed to him who thus knows the Brahma-upanishad, the sun does not rise and does not set; for him there is day once and for all,' calls the whole Madhuvidy a 'Brahma'— upanishad, and that the reward declared is the attainment of Vasu-hood, and so on, leading up to the attainment of Brahman, we clearly are entitled to infer that the meditations which the text enjoins, viz. on the different parts of the sun viewed as objects of enjoyment for the Vasus, and so on, really are meant as meditations on Brahman as abiding in those different forms. Meditation on the Vasus and similar beings is thus seen to be possible for the Vasus themselves. And as Brahman really constitutes the only object of meditation, we also see the appropriateness of the text discussed above, 'On him the gods meditate as the light of lights.' The Vrittikra expresses the same opinion, 'For there is possibility with regard to the Madhu-vidy, and so on, Brahman only being the object of meditation everywhere.'—Here terminates the adhikarana of 'honey.'

The Stras now enter on a discussion of the question whether the Sdras also are qualified for the knowledge of Brahman.

The Prvapakshin maintains that they are so qualified; for qualification, he says, depends on want and capacity, and both these are possible in the case of Sdras also. The Sdra is not indeed qualified for any works depending on a knowledge of the sacred fires, for from such knowledge he is debarred; but he possesses qualification for meditation on Brahman, which after all is nothing but a certain mental energy. The only works prerequisite for meditation are those works which are incumbent on a man as a member of a caste or srama, and these consist, in the Sdra's case, in obedience to the higher castes. And when we read 'therefore the Sdra is not qualified for sacrifices,' the purport of this passage is only to make a confirmatory reference to something already settled by reason, viz. that the Sdra is not qualified for the performance of sacrifices which cannot be accomplished by one not acquainted with the sacred fires (and not to deny the Sdra's competence for devout meditation).—But how can meditation on Brahman be undertaken by a man who has not studied the Vedas, inclusive of the Vednta, and hence knows nothing about the nature of Brahman and the proper modes of meditation?—Those also, we reply, who do not study Veda and Vednta may acquire the requisite knowledge by hearing Itihsas and Purnas; and there are texts which allow Sdras to become acquainted with texts of that kind; cp. e.g. 'one is to make the four castes to hear texts, the Brhmana coming first.' Moreover, those Purnas and Itihsas make mention of Sdras, such as Vidura, who had a knowledge of Brahman. And the Upanishads themselves, viz. in the so-called Samvarga-vidy, show that a Sdra is qualified for the knowledge of Brahman; for there the teacher Raikva addresses Jnasruti, who wishes to learn from him, as Sdra, and thereupon instructs him in the knowledge of Brahman (Ch. Up. IV, 2, 3). All this proves that Sdras also have a claim to the knowledge of Brahman.

This conclusion we deny, on the ground of the absence of capability. It is impossible that the capability of performing meditations on Brahman should belong to a person not knowing the nature of Brahman and the due modes of meditation, and not qualified by the knowledge of the requisite preliminaries of such meditation, viz. recitation of the Veda, sacrifices, and so on. Mere want or desire does not impart qualification to a person destitute of the required capability. And this absence of capability is due, in the Sdra's case, to absence of legitimate study of the Veda. The injunctions of sacrificial works naturally connect themselves with the knowledge and the means of knowledge (i.e. religious ceremonies and the like) that belong to the three higher castes, for these castes actually possess the knowledge (required for the sacrifices), owing to their studying the Veda in agreement with the injunction which prescribes such study for the higher castes; the same injunctions do not, on the other hand, connect themselves with the knowledge and means of knowledge belonging to others (than members of the three higher castes). And the same naturally holds good with regard to the injunctions of meditation on Brahman. And as thus only such knowledge as is acquired by study prompted by the Vedic injunction of study supplies a means for meditation on Brahman, it follows that the Sdra for whom that injunction is not meant is incapable of such meditation. Itihsas and Purnas hold the position of being helpful means towards meditation in so far only as they confirm or support the Veda, not independently of the Veda. And that Sdras are allowed to hear Itihsas and Purnas is meant only for the end of destroying their sins, not to prepare them for meditation on Brahman. The case of Vidura and other Sdras having been 'founded on Brahman,' explains itself as follows:—Owing to the effect of former actions, which had not yet worked themselves out, they were born in a low caste, while at the same time they possessed wisdom owing to the fact that the knowledge acquired by them in former births had not yet quite vanished.

(On these general grounds we object to Sdras being viewed as qualified for meditation on Brahman.) The Stra now refutes that argument, which the Prvapakshin derives from the use of the word 'Sdra' in the Samvarga-vidy.



33. (That) grief of him (arose), this is intimated by his (Jnasruti's) resorting to him (Raikva) on hearing a disrespectful speech about himself.

From what the text says about Jnasruti Pautryana having been taunted by a flamingo for his want of knowledge of Brahman, and having thereupon resorted to Raikva, who possessed the knowledge of Brahman, it appears that sorrow (suk) had taken possession of him; and it is with a view to this that Raikva addresses him as Sdra. For the word Sdra, etymologically considered, means one who grieves or sorrows (sokati). The appellation 'sdra' therefore refers to his sorrow, not to his being a member of the fourth caste. This clearly appears from a consideration of the whole story. Jnasruti Pautryana was a very liberal and pious king. Being much pleased with his virtuous life, and wishing to rouse in him the desire of knowing Brahman, two noble-minded beings, assuming the shape of flamingoes, flew past him at night time, when one of them addressed the other, 'O Bhallksha. the light of Jnasruti has spread like the sky; do not go near that it may not burn thee.' To this praise of Jnasruti the other flamingo replied, 'How can you speak of him, being what he is, as if he were Raikva "sayuktvn"?' i.e. 'how can you speak of Jnasruti, being what he is, as if he were Raikva, who knows Brahman and is endowed with the most eminent qualities? Raikva, who knows Brahman, alone in this world is truly eminent. Janasruti may be very pious, but as he does not know Brahman what quality of his could produce splendour capable of burning me like the splendour of Raikva?' The former flamingo thereupon asks who that Raikva is, and its companion replies, 'He in whose work and knowledge there are comprised all the works done by good men and all the knowledge belonging to intelligent creatures, that is Raikva.' Jnasruti, having heard this speech of the flamingo—which implied a reproach to himself as being destitute of the knowledge of Brahman, and a glorification of Raikva as possessing that knowledge—at once sends his door-keeper to look for Raikva; and when the door-keeper finds him and brings word, the king himself repairs to him with six hundred cows, a golden necklace, and a carriage yoked with mules, and asks him to teach him the deity on which he meditates, i.e. the highest deity. Raikva, who through the might of his Yoga-knowledge is acquainted with everything that passes in the three worlds, at once perceives that Jnasruti is inwardly grieved at the slighting speech of the flamingo, which had been provoked by the king's want of knowledge of Brahman, and is now making an effort due to the wish of knowing Brahman; and thus recognises that the king is fit for the reception of that knowledge. Reflecting thereupon that a knowledge of Brahman may be firmly established in this pupil even without long attendance on the teacher if only he will be liberal to the teacher to the utmost of his capability, he addresses him: 'Do thou take away (aphara) (these things), O Sdra; keep (the chariot) with the cows for thyself.' What he means to say is, 'By so much only in the way of gifts bestowed on me, the knowledge of Brahman cannot be established in thee, who, through the desire for such knowledge, art plunged in grief'—the address 'O Sdra' intimating that Raikva knows Jnasruti to be plunged in grief, and on that account fit to receive instruction about Brahman. Jnasruti thereupon approaches Raikva for a second time, bringing as much wealth as he possibly can, and moreover his own daughter. Raikva again intimates his view of the pupil's fitness for receiving instruction by addressing him a second time as 'Sdra,' and says, 'You have brought these, O Sdra; by this mouth only you made me speak,' i.e. 'You now have brought presents to the utmost of your capability; by this means only you will induce me, without lengthy service on your part, to utter speech containing that instruction about Brahman which you desire.'— Having said this he begins to instruct him.—We thus see that the appellation 'sdra' is meant to intimate the grief of Jnasruti—which grief in its turn indicates the king's fitness for receiving instruction; and is not meant to declare that Jnasruti belongs to the lowest caste.



34. And on account of (Jnasruti ) kshattriya-hood being understood.

The first section of the vidy tells us that Jnasruti bestowed much wealth and food; later on he is represented as sending his door-keeper on an errand; and in the end, as bestowing on Raikva many villages— which shows him to be a territorial lord. All these circumstances suggest Jnasruti's being a Kshattriya, and hence not a member of the lowest caste.—The above Stra having declared that the kshattriya-hood of Jnasruti is indicated in the introductory legend, the next Stra shows that the same circumstance is indicated in the concluding legend.



35. On account of the inferential sign further on, together with Kaitraratha.

The kshattriya-hood of Jnasruti is further to be accepted on account of the Kshattriya Abhipratrin Kaitraratha, who is mentioned further on in this very same Samvargavidy which Raikva imparts to Jnasruti.—But why?— As follows. The section beginning 'Once a Brahmakrin begged of Saunaka Kpeya and Abhipratrin Kkshaseni while being waited on at their meal,' and ending 'thus do we, O Brahmakrin, meditate on that being,' shows Kpeya, Abhipratrin, and the Brahmakrin to be connected with the Samvarga-vidy. Now Abhipratrin is a Kshattriya, the other two are Brhmanas. This shows that there are connected with the vidy, Brhmanas, and from among non-Brhmanas, a Kshattriya only, but not a Sdra. It therefore appears appropriate to infer that the person, other than the Brhmana Raikva, who is likewise connected with this vidy, viz. Jnasruti, is likewise a Kshattriya, not a Sdra.—But how do we know that Abhipratrin is a Kaitraratha and a Kshattriya? Neither of these circumstances is stated in the legend in the Samvarga-vidy! To this question the Stra replies, 'on account of the inferential mark.' From the inferential mark that Saunaka Kpeya and Abhipratrin Kkshaseni are said to have been sitting together at a meal we understand that there is some connexion between Abhipratrin and the Kpeyas. Now another scriptural passage runs as follows: 'The Kpeyas made Kaitraratha perform that sacrifice' (Tnd Br. XX, 12, 5), and this shows that one connected with the Kpeyas was a Kaitraratha; and a further text shows that a Kaitraratha is a Kshattriya. 'from him there was descended a Kaitraratha who was a prince.' All this favours the inference that Abhipratrin was a Kaitraratha and a Kshattriya.

So far the Stras have shown that there is no inferential mark to prove what is contradicted by reasoning, viz. the qualification of the Sdras. The next Stra declares that the non-qualification of the Sdra proved by reasoning is confirmed by Scripture and Smriti.



36. On account of the reference to ceremonial purifications, and on account of the declaration of their absence.

In sections the purport of which is to give instruction about Brahman the ceremony of initiation is referred to, 'I will initiate you; he initiated him' (Ch. Up. IV, 4). And at the same time the absence of such ceremonies in the case of Sdras is stated: 'In the Sdra there is not any sin, and he is not fit for any ceremony' (Manu X, 126); and 'The fourth caste is once born, and not fit for any ceremony' (Manu X, 4).



37. And on account of the procedure, on the ascertainment of the non- being of that.

That a Sdra is not qualified for knowledge of Brahman appears from that fact also that as soon as Gautama has convinced himself that Jbla, who wishes to become his pupil, is not a Sdra, he proceeds to teach him the knowledge of Brahman.



38. And on account of the prohibition of hearing, studying, and performance of (Vedic) matter.

The Sdra is specially forbidden to hear and study the Veda and to perform the things enjoined in it. 'For a Sdra is like a cemetery, therefore the Veda must not be read in the vicinity of a Sdra;' 'Therefore the Sdra is like a beast, unfit for sacrifices.' And he who does not hear the Veda recited cannot learn it so as to understand and perform what the Veda enjoins. The prohibition of hearing thus implies the prohibition of understanding and whatever depends on it.



39. And on account of Smriti.

Smriti also declares this prohibition of hearing, and so on. 'The ears of him who hears the Veda are to be filled with molten lead and lac; if he pronounces it his tongue is to be slit; if he preserves it his body is to be cut through.' And 'He is not to teach him sacred duties or vows. '—It is thus a settled matter that the Sdras are not qualified for meditations on Brahman.

We must here point out that the non-qualification of Sdras for the cognition of Brahman can in no way be asserted by those who hold that a Brahman consisting of pure non-differenced intelligence constitutes the sole reality; that everything else is false; that all bondage is unreal; that such bondage may be put an end to by the mere cognition of the true nature of Reality—such cognition resulting from the hearing of certain texts; and that the cessation of bondage thus effected constitutes final Release. For knowledge of the true nature of Reality, in the sense indicated, and the release resulting from it, may be secured by any one who learns from another person that Brahman alone is real and that everything else is falsely superimposed on Brahman. That the cognition of such truth can be arrived at only on the basis of certain Vedic texts, such as 'Thou art that,' is a restriction which does not admit of proof; for knowledge of the truth does not depend on man's choice, and at once springs up in the mind even of an unwilling man as soon as the conditions for such origination are present. Nor can it be proved in any way that bondage can be put an end to only through such knowledge of the truth as springs from Vedic texts; for error comes to an end through the knowledge of the true nature of things, whatever agency may give rise to such knowledge. True knowledge, of the kind described, will spring up in the mind of a man as soon as he hears the non-scriptural declaration, 'Brahman, consisting of non-differenced intelligence, is the sole Reality; everything else is false,' and this will suffice to free him from error. When a competent and trustworthy person asserts that what was mistaken for silver is merely a sparkling shell, the error of a Sdra no less than of a Brhmana comes to an end; in the same way a Sdra also will free himself from the great cosmic

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