The Vedanta-Sutras with the Commentary by Ramanuja - Sacred Books of the East, Volume 48
by Trans. George Thibaut
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Sacred Books of the East, Volume 48


[Scanned in by Srinivasan Sriram (as part of the initiative). OCRed and proofed at Distributed Proofing by other volunteers; Juliet Sutherland, project manager. Formatting and additional proofreading at by J.B. Hare. This text is in the public domain worldwide. This file may be used for any non-commercial purpose provided this notice is left intact.]





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Index of Quotations

Index of Sanskrit Words

Index of Names and Subjects


Transliteration of Oriental Alphabets adopted for the Translations of the Sacred Books of the East


In the Introduction to the first volume of the translation of the 'Vednta-Stras with Sankara's Commentary' (vol. xxxiv of this Series) I have dwelt at some length on the interest which Rmnuja's Commentary may claim—as being, on the one hand, the fullest exposition of what may be called the Theistic Vednta, and as supplying us, on the other, with means of penetrating to the true meaning of Bdaryana's Aphorisms. I do not wish to enter here into a fuller discussion of Rmnuja's work in either of these aspects; an adequate treatment of them would, moreover, require considerably more space than is at my disposal. Some very useful material for the right understanding of Rmnuju's work is to be found in the 'Analytical Outline of Contents' which Messrs. M. Rangkrya and M. B. Varadarja Aiyangr have prefixed to the first volume of their scholarly translation of the Srbhshya (Madras, 1899).

The question as to what the Stras really teach is a critical, not a philosophical one. This distinction seems to have been imperfectly realised by several of those critics, writing in India, who have examined the views expressed in my Introduction to the translation of Sankara's Commentary. A writer should not be taxed with 'philosophic incompetency,' 'hopeless theistic bias due to early training,' and the like, simply because he, on the basis of a purely critical investigation, considers himself entitled to maintain that a certain ancient document sets forth one philosophical view rather than another. I have nowhere expressed an opinion as to the comparative philosophical value of the systems of Sankara and Rmnuja; not because I have no definite opinions on this point, but because to introduce them into a critical enquiry would be purposeless if not objectionable.

The question as to the true meaning of the Stras is no doubt of some interest; although the interest of problems of this kind may easily be over-estimated. Among the remarks of critics on my treatment of this problem I have found little of solid value. The main arguments which I have set forth, not so much in favour of the adequacy of Rmnuja's interpretation, as against the validity of Sankarkrya's understanding of the Stras, appear to me not to have been touched. I do not by any means consider the problem a hopeless one; but its solution will not be advanced, in any direction, but by those who will be at the trouble of submitting the entire body of the Stras to a new and detailed investigation, availing themselves to the full of the help that is to be derived from the study of all the existing Commentaries.

The present translation of the Srbhshya claims to be faithful on the whole, although I must acknowledge that I have aimed rather at making it intelligible and, in a certain sense, readable than scrupulously accurate. If I had to rewrite it, I should feel inclined to go even further in the same direction. Indian Philosophy would, in my opinion, be more readily and widely appreciated than it is at present, if the translators of philosophical works had been somewhat more concerned to throw their versions into a form less strange and repellent to the western reader than literal renderings from technical Sanskrit must needs be in many passages. I am not unaware of the peculiar dangers of the plan now advocated—among which the most obvious is the temptation it offers to the translator of deviating from the text more widely than regard for clearness would absolutely require. And I am conscious of having failed in this respect in more than one instance. In other cases I have no doubt gone astray through an imperfect understanding of the author's meaning. The fact is, that as yet the time has hardly come for fully adequate translations of comprehensive works of the type of the Srbhshya, the authors of which wrote with reference—in many cases tacit—to an immense and highly technical philosophical literature which is only just beginning to be studied, and comprehended in part, by European scholars.

It gives me great pleasure to acknowledge the help which I have received from various quarters in preparing this translation. Pandit Gangdhara Sstrin, C. I. E., of the Benares Sanskrit College, has, with unwearying kindness and patience, supplied me throughout with comments of his own on difficult sections of the text. Pandit Svmin Rma Misra Sstrin has rendered me frequent assistance in the earlier portion of my task. And to Mr. A. Venis, the learned Principal of the Benares Sanskrit College, I am indebted for most instructive notes on some passages of a peculiarly technical and abstruse character. Nor can I conclude without expressing my sense of obligation to Colonel G. A. Jacob, whose invaluable 'Concordance to the Principal Upanishads' lightens to an incalculable degree the task of any scholar who is engaged in work bearing on the Vednta.






MAY my mind be filled with devotion towards the highest Brahman, the abode of Lakshmi who is luminously revealed in the Upanishads; who in sport produces, sustains, and reabsorbs the entire Universe; whose only aim is to foster the manifold classes of beings that humbly worship him.

The nectar of the teaching of Parsara's son (Vysa),—which was brought up from the middle of the milk-ocean of the Upanishads—which restores to life the souls whose vital strength had departed owing to the heat of the fire of transmigratory existence—which was well guarded by the teachers of old—which was obscured by the mutual conflict of manifold opinions,—may intelligent men daily enjoy that as it is now presented to them in my words.

The lengthy explanation (vritti) of the Brahma-stras which was composed by the Reverend Bodhyana has been abridged by former teachers; according to their views the words of the Stras will be explained in this present work.

1. Then therefore the enquiry into Brahman.

In this Stra the word 'then' expresses immediate sequence; the word 'therefore' intimates that what has taken place (viz. the study of the karmaknda of the Veda) constitutes the reason (of the enquiry into Brahman). For the fact is that the enquiry into (lit.'the desire to know') Brahman—the fruit of which enquiry is infinite in nature and permanent—follows immediately in the case of him who, having read the Veda together with its auxiliary disciplines, has reached the knowledge that the fruit of mere works is limited and non-permanent, and hence has conceived the desire of final release.

The compound 'brahmajijs' is to be explained as 'the enquiry of Brahman,' the genitive case 'of Brahman' being understood to denote the object; in agreement with the special rule as to the meaning of the genitive case, Pnini II, 3, 65. It might be said that even if we accepted the general meaning of the genitive case—which is that of connexion in general—Brahman's position (in the above compound) as an object would be established by the circumstance that the 'enquiry' demands an object; but in agreement with the principle that the direct denotation of a word is to be preferred to a meaning inferred we take the genitive case 'of Brahman' as denoting the object.

The word 'Brahman' denotes the hightest Person (purushottama), who is essentially free from all imperfections and possesses numberless classes of auspicious qualities of unsurpassable excellence. The term 'Brahman' is applied to any things which possess the quality of greatness (brihattva, from the root 'brih'); but primarily denotes that which possesses greatness, of essential nature as well as of qualities, in unlimited fulness; and such is only the Lord of all. Hence the word 'Brahman' primarily denotes him alone, and in a secondary derivative sense only those things which possess some small part of the Lord's qualities; for it would be improper to assume several meanings for the word (so that it would denote primarily or directly more than one thing). The case is analogous to that of the term 'bhagavat [FOOTNOTE 4:1].' The Lord only is enquired into, for the sake of immortality, by all those who are afflicted with the triad of pain. Hence the Lord of all is that Brahman which, according to the Stra, constitutes the object of enquiry. The word 'jijs' is a desiderative formation meaning 'desire to know.' And as in the case of any desire the desired object is the chief thing, the Stra means to enjoin knowledge—which is the object of the desire of knowledge. The purport of the entire Stra then is as follows: 'Since the fruit of works known through the earlier part of the Mmms is limited and non-permanent, and since the fruit of the knowledge of Brahman—which knowledge is to be reached through the latter part of the Mmms—is unlimited and permanent; for this reason Brahman is to be known, after the knowledge of works has previously taken place.'—The same meaning is expressed by the Vrittikra when saying 'after the comprehension of works has taken place there follows the enquiry into Brahman.' And that the enquiry into works and that into Brahman constitute one body of doctrine, he (the Vrittikra) will declare later on 'this Srraka-doctrine is connected with Jaimini's doctrine as contained in sixteen adhyyas; this proves the two to constitute one body of doctrine.' Hence the earlier and the later Mmms are separate only in so far as there is a difference of matter to be taught by each; in the same way as the two halves of the Prva Mmms-stras, consisting of six adhyyas each, are separate [FOOTNOTE 5:1]; and as each adhyya is separate. The entire Mmms-stra—which begins with the Stra 'Now therefore the enquiry into religious duty' and concludes with the Stra '(From there is) no return on account of scriptural statement'— has, owing to the special character of the contents, a definite order of internal succession. This is as follows. At first the precept 'one is to learn one's own text (svdhyya)' enjoins the apprehension of that aggregate of syllables which is called 'Veda,' and is here referred to as 'svdhyya.' Next there arises the desire to know of what nature the 'Learning' enjoined is to be, and how it is to be done. Here there come in certain injunctions such as 'Let a Brahnmana be initiated in his eighth year' and 'The teacher is to make him recite the Veda'; and certain rules about special observances and restrictions—such as 'having performed the upkarman on the full moon of Sravana or Praushthapada according to prescription, he is to study the sacred verses for four months and a half—which enjoin all the required details.

From all these it is understood that the study enjoined has for its result the apprehension of the aggregate of syllables called Veda, on the part of a pupil who has been initiated by a teacher sprung from a good family, leading a virtuous life, and possessing purity of soul; who practises certain special observances and restrictions; and who learns by repeating what is recited by the teacher.

And this study of the Veda is of the nature of a samskra of the text, since the form of the injunction 'the Veda is to be studied' shows that the Veda is the object (of the action of studying). By a samskra is understood an action whereby something is fitted to produce some other effect; and that the Veda should be the object of such a samskara is quite appropriate, since it gives rise to the knowledge of the four chief ends of human action—viz. religious duty, wealth, pleasure, and final release—and of the means to effect them; and since it helps to effect those ends by itself also, viz. by mere mechanical repetition (apart from any knowledge to which it may give rise).

The injunction as to the study of the Veda thus aims only at the apprehension of the aggregate of syllables (constituting the Veda) according to certain rules; it is in this way analogous to the recital of mantras.

It is further observed that the Veda thus apprehended through reading spontaneously gives rise to the ideas of certain things subserving certain purposes. A person, therefore, who has formed notions of those things immediately, i.e. on the mere apprehension of the text of the Veda through reading, thereupon naturally applies himself to the study of the Mimmsa, which consists in a methodical discussion of the sentences constituting the text of the Veda, and has for its result the accurate determination of the nature of those things and their different modes. Through this study the student ascertains the character of the injunctions of work which form part of the Veda, and observes that all work leads only to non-permanent results; and as, on the other hand, he immediately becomes aware that the Upanishad sections—which form part of the Veda which he has apprehended through reading—refer to an infinite and permanent result, viz. immortality, he applies himself to the study of the Srraka-Mmms, which consists in a systematic discussion of the Vednta-texts, and has for its result the accurate determination of their sense. That the fruit of mere works is transitory, while the result of the knowledge of Brahman is something permanent, the Vedanta-texts declare in many places—'And as here the world acquired by work perishes, so there the world acquired by merit perishes' (Ch. Up. VIII, 1,6); 'That work of his has an end' (Bri. Up. III, 8, 10); 'By non-permanent works the Permanent is not obtained' (Ka. Up. I, 2, 10); 'Frail indeed are those boats, the sacrifices' (Mu. Up. I, 2, 7); 'Let a Brhmana, after he has examined all these worlds that are gained by works, acquire freedom from all desires. What is not made cannot be gained by what is made. To understand this, let the pupil, with fuel in his hand, go to a teacher who is learned and dwells entirely in Brahman. To that pupil who has approached him respectfully, whose mind is altogether calm, the wise teacher truly told that knowledge of Brahman through which he knows the imperishable true Person' (Mu. Up. I, 2, 12, 13). 'Told' here means 'he is to tell.'—On the other hand, 'He who knows Brahman attains the Highest' (Taitt. Up. II, 1, 1); 'He who sees this does not see death' (Ch. Up. VII, 26, 2); 'He becomes a self-ruler' (Ch. Up. VII, 25, 2); 'Knowing him he becomes immortal here' (Taitt. r. III, 12, 7); 'Having known him he passes over death; there is no other path to go' (Svet. Up. VI, 15); 'Having known as separate his Self and the Mover, pleased thereby he goes to immortality' (Svet. Up. I, 6).

But—an objection here is raised—the mere learning of the Veda with its auxiliary disciplines gives rise to the knowledge that the heavenly world and the like are the results of works, and that all such results are transitory, while immortality is the fruit of meditation on Brahman. Possessing such knowledge, a person desirous of final release may at once proceed to the enquiry into Brahman; and what need is there of a systematic consideration of religious duty (i.e. of the study of the Purva Mimms)?—If this reasoning were valid, we reply, the person desirous of release need not even apply himself to the study of the Srraka Mmms, since Brahman is known from the mere reading of the Veda with its auxiliary disciplines.—True. Such knowledge arises indeed immediately (without deeper enquiry). But a matter apprehended in this immediate way is not raised above doubt and mistake. Hence a systematic discussion of the Vednta-texts must he undertaken in order that their sense may be fully ascertained—We agree. But you will have to admit that for the very same reason we must undertake a systematic enquiry into religious duty!

[FOOTNOTE 4:1. 'Bhagavat' denotes primarily the Lord, the divinity; secondarily any holy person.]

[FOOTNOTE 5:1. The first six books of the Prva Mmms-stras give rules for the fundamental forms of the sacrifice; while the last six books teach how these rules are to be applied to the so-called modified forms.]


But—a further objection is urged—as that which has to precede the systematic enquiry into Brahman we should assign something which that enquiry necessarily presupposes. The enquiry into the nature of duty, however, does not form such a prerequisite, since a consideration of the Vedanta-texts may be undertaken by any one who has read those texts, even if he is not acquainted with works.—But in the Vedanta-texts there are enjoined meditations on the Udgtha and the like which are matters auxiliary to works; and such meditations are not possible for him who is not acquainted with those works!—You who raise this objection clearly are ignorant of what kind of knowledge the Srraka Mmms is concerned with! What that sstra aims at is to destroy completely that wrong knowledge which is the root of all pain, for man, liable to birth, old age, and death, and all the numberless other evils connected with transmigratory existence—evils that spring from the view, due to beginningless Nescience, that there is plurality of existence; and to that end the sstra endeavours to establish the knowledge of the unity of the Self. Now to this knowledge, the knowledge of works—which is based on the assumption of plurality of existence—is not only useless but even opposed. The consideration of the Udgtha and the like, which is supplementary to works only, finds a place in the Vednta-texts, only because like them it is of the nature of knowledge; but it has no direct connexion with the true topic of those texts. Hence some prerequisite must be indicated which has reference to the principal topic of the sstra.—Quite so; and this prerequisite is just the knowledge of works; for scripture declares that final release results from knowledge with works added. The Stra-writer himself says further on 'And there is need of all works, on account of the scriptural statement of sacrifices and the like' (Ve. S. III, 4, 26). And if the required works were not known, one could not determine which works have to be combined with knowledge and which not. Hence the knowledge of works is just the necessary prerequisite.—Not so, we reply. That which puts an end to Nescience is exclusively the knowledge of Brahman, which is pure intelligence and antagonistic to all plurality. For final release consists just in the cessation of Nescience; how then can works—to which there attach endless differences connected with caste, srama, object to be accomplished, means and mode of accomplishment, &c.—ever supply a means for the cessation of ignorance, which is essentially the cessation of the view that difference exists? That works, the results of which are transitory, are contrary to final release, and that such release can be effected through knowledge only, scripture declares in many places; compare all the passages quoted above (p. 7).

As to the assertion that knowledge requires sacrifices and other works, we remark that—as follows from the essential contrariety of knowledge and works, and as further appears from an accurate consideration of the words of scripture—pious works can contribute only towards the rise of the desire of knowledge, in so far namely as they clear the internal organ (of knowledge), but can have no influence on the production of the fruit, i.e. knowledge itself. For the scriptural passage concerned runs as follows Brhmanas desire to know him by the study of the Veda, by sacrifice, by gifts,' &c. (Bri. Up. IV, 4, 22).

According to this passage, the desire only of knowledge springs up through works; while another text teaches that calmness, self-restraint, and so on, are the direct means for the origination of knowledge itself. (Having become tranquil, calm, subdued, satisfied, patient, and collected, he is to see the Self within the Self (Bri. Up. IV, 4, 23).)

The process thus is as follows. After the mind of a man has been cleaned of all impurities through works performed in many preceding states of existence, without a view to special forms of reward, there arises in him the desire of knowledge, and thereupon—through knowledge itself originated by certain scriptural texts—'Being only, this was in the beginning, one only without a second' (Ch. Up. VI, I, 2); 'Truth, Knowledge, the Infinite, is Brahman' (Taitt. Up. II, 1); 'Without parts, without actions, calm, without fault, without taint' (Svet. Up. VI, 19); 'This Self is Brahman' (Bri. Up. II, 5, 19); 'Thou art that' (Ch. Up. VI, 9, 7), Nescience comes to an end. Now, 'Hearing,' 'reflection,' and 'meditation,' are helpful towards cognising the sense of these Vedic texts. 'Hearing' (sravana) means the apprehension of the sense of scripture, together with collateral arguments, from a teacher who possesses the true insight, viz. that the Vednta-texts establish the doctrine of the unity of the Self. 'Reflection' (mananam) means the confirmation within oneself of the sense taught by the teacher, by means of arguments showing it alone to be suitable. 'Meditation' (nididhysanam) finally means the constant holding of thai sense before one's mind, so as to dispel thereby the antagonistic beginningless imagination of plurality. In the case of him who through 'hearing,' 'reflection,' and meditation,' has dis-dispelled the entire imagination of plurality, the knowledge of the sense of Vednta-texts puts an end to Nescience; and what we therefore require is a statement of the indispensable prerequisites of such 'hearing,' 'reflection,' and so on. Now of such prerequisites there are four, viz. discrimination of what is permanent and what is non-permanent; the full possession of calmness of mind, self-restraint and similar means; the renunciation of all enjoyment of fruits here below as well as in the next world; and the desire of final release.

Without these the desire of knowledge cannot arise; and they are therefore known, from the very nature of the matter, to be necessary prerequisites. To sum up: The root of bondage is the unreal view of plurality which itself has its root in Nescience that conceals the true being of Brahman. Bondage itself thus is unreal, and is on that account cut short, together with its root, by mere knowledge. Such knowledge is originated by texts such as 'That art thou'; and work is of no help either towards its nature, or its origination, or its fruit (i.e. release). It is on the other hand helpful towards the desire of knowledge, which arises owing to an increase of the element of goodness (sattva) in the soul, due to the destruction of the elements of passion (rajas) and darkness (tamas) which are the root of all moral evil. This use is referred to in the text quoted above, 'Brhmanas wish to know him,' &c. As, therefore, the knowledge of works is of no use towards the knowledge of Brahman, we must acknowledge as the prerequisite of the latter knowledge the four means mentioned above.


To this argumentation we make the following reply. We admit that release consists only in the cessation of Nescience, and that this cessation results entirely from the knowledge of Brahman. But a distinction has here to be made regarding the nature of this knowledge which the Vednta-texts aim at enjoining for the purpose of putting an end to Nescience. Is it merely the knowledge of the sense of sentences which originates from the sentences? or is it knowledge in the form of meditation (upsana) which has the knowledge just referred to as its antecedent? It cannot be knowledge of the former kind: for such knowledge springs from the mere apprehension of the sentence, apart from any special injunction, and moreover we do not observe that the cessation of Nescience is effected by such knowledge merely. Our adversary will perhaps attempt to explain things in the following way. The Vednta-texts do not, he will say, produce that knowledge which makes an end of Nescience, so long as the imagination of plurality is not dispelled. And the fact that such knowledge, even when produced, does not at once and for every one put a stop to the view of plurality by no means subverts my opinion; for, to mention an analogous instance, the double appearance of the moon—presenting itself to a person affected with a certain weakness of vision—does not come to an end as soon as the oneness of the moon has been apprehended by reason. Moreover, even without having come to an end, the view of plurality is powerless to effect further bondage, as soon as the root, i.e. Nescience, has once been cut But this defence we are unable to admit. It is impossible that knowledge should not arise when its means, i.e. the texts conveying knowledge, are once present. And we observe that even when there exists an antagonistic imagination (interfering with the rise of knowledge), information given by competent persons, the presence of characteristic marks (on which a correct inference may be based), and the like give rise to knowledge which sublates the erroneous imagination. Nor can we admit that even after the sense of texts has been apprehended, the view of plurality may continue owing to some small remainder of beginningless imagination. For as this imagination which constitutes the means for the view of plurality is itself false, it is necessarily put an end to by the rise of true knowledge. If this did not take place, that imagination would never come to an end, since there is no other means but knowledge to effect its cessation. To say that the view of plurality, which is the effect of that imagination, continues even after its root has been cut, is mere nonsense. The instance of some one seeing the moon double is not analogous. For in his case the non-cessation of wrong knowledge explains itself from the circumstance that the cause of wrong knowledge, viz. the real defect of the eye which does not admit of being sublated by knowledge, is not removed, although that which would sublate wrong knowledge is near. On the other hand, effects, such as fear and the like, may come to an end because they can be sublated by means of knowledge of superior force. Moreover, if it were true that knowledge arises through the dispelling of the imagination of plurality, the rise of knowledge would really never be brought about. For the imagination of plurality has through gradual growth in the course of beginningless time acquired an infinite strength, and does not therefore admit of being dispelled by the comparatively weak conception of non-duality. Hence we conclude that the knowledge which the Vednta-texts aim at inculcating is a knowledge other than the mere knowledge of the sense of sentences, and denoted by 'dhyna,' 'upsan' (i. e. meditation), and similar terms.

With this agree scriptural texts such as 'Having known it, let him practise meditation' (Bri. Up. IV, 4, 21); 'He who, having searched out the Self, knows it' (Ch. Up. VIII, 7, 1); 'Meditate on the Self as Om' (Mu. Up. II, 2, 6); 'Having known that, he is freed from the jaws of death' (Ka. Up. I, 3, 15); 'Let a man meditate on the Self only as his world' (Bri. Up. I, 4, 15); 'The Self is to be seen, to be heard, to her reflected on, to be meditated on' (Bri. Up. IV, 5, 6); 'That we must search out, that we must try to understand' (Ch. Up. VIII, 7, 1).

(According to the principle of the oneness of purport of the different skhs) all these texts must be viewed as agreeing in meaning with the injunction of meditation contained in the passage quoted from the Bri. Up.; and what they enjoin is therefore meditation. In the first and second passages quoted, the words 'having known' and 'having searched out' (vijya; anuvidya) contain a mere reference to (not injunction of) the apprehension of the meaning of texts, such apprehension subserving meditation; while the injunction of meditation (which is the true purport of the passages) is conveyed by the clauses 'let him practise meditation' (prajm kurvta) and 'he knows it.' In the same way the clause 'the Self is to be heard' is a mere anuvda, i.e. a mere reference to what is already established by other means; for a person who has read the Veda observes that it contains instruction about matters connected with certain definite purposes, and then on his own account applies himself to methodical 'hearing,' in order definitely to ascertain these matters; 'hearing' thus is established already. In the same way the clause 'the Self is to be reflected upon' is a mere anuvda of reflection which is known as a means of confirming what one has 'heard.' It is therefore meditation only which all those texts enjoin. In agreement with this a later Stra also says, 'Repetition more than once, on account of instruction' (Ve. S. IV, I, I). That the knowledge intended to be enjoined as the means of final release is of the nature of meditation, we conclude from the circumstance that the terms 'knowing' and'meditating' are seen to be used in place of each other in the earlier and later parts of Vedic texts. Compare the following passages: 'Let a man meditate on mind as Brahman,' and 'he who knows this shines and warms through his celebrity, fame, and glory of countenance' (Ch. Up. III, 18, 1; 6). And 'He does not know him, for he is not complete,' and 'Let men meditate on him as the Self (Bri. Up. I, 4, 7). And 'He who knows what he knows,' and 'Teach me the deity on which you meditate' (Ch. Up. IV, 1, 6; 2, 2).

'Meditation' means steady remembrance, i.e. a continuity of steady remembrance, uninterrupted like the flow of oil; in agreement with the scriptural passage which declares steady remembrance to be the means of release, 'on the attainment of remembrance all the ties are loosened' (Ch. Up. VII, 26, 2). Such remembrance is of the same character (form) as seeing (intuition); for the passage quoted has the same purport as the following one, 'The fetter of the heart is broken, all doubts are solved, and all the works of that man perish when he has been seen who is high and low' (Mu. Up. II, 2, 8). And this being so, we conclude that the passage 'the Self is to be seen' teaches that 'Meditation' has the character of 'seeing' or 'intuition.' And that remembrance has the character of 'seeing' is due to the element of imagination (representation) which prevails in it. All this has been set forth at length by the Vkyakra. 'Knowledge (vedana) means meditation (upsana), scripture using the word in that sense'; i.e. in all Upanishads that knowledge which is enjoined as the means of final release is Meditation. The Vkyakra then propounds a prvapaksha (prim facie view), 'Once he is to make the meditation, the matter enjoined by scripture being accomplished thereby, as in the case of the prayjas and the like'; and then sums up against this in the words 'but (meditation) is established on account of the term meditation'; that means—knowledge repeated more than once (i.e. meditation) is determined to be the means of Release.— The Vkyakra then goes on 'Meditation is steady remembrance, on the ground of observation and statement.' That means—this knowledge, of the form of meditation, and repeated more than once, is of the nature of steady remembrance.

Such remembrance has been declared to be of the character of 'seeing,' and this character of seeing consists in its possessing the character of immediate presentation (pratyakshat). With reference to remembrance, which thus acquires the character of immediate presentation and is the means of final release, scripture makes a further determination, viz. in the passage Ka. Up. I, 2, 23, 'That Self cannot be gained by the study of the Veda ("reflection"), nor by thought ("meditation"), nor by much hearing. Whom the Self chooses, by him it may be gained; to him the Self reveals its being.' This text says at first that mere hearing, reflection, and meditation do not suffice to gain the Self, and then declares, 'Whom the Self chooses, by him it may be gained.' Now a 'chosen' one means a most beloved person; the relation being that he by whom that Self is held most dear is most dear to the Self. That the Lord (bhagavn) himself endeavours that this most beloved person should gain the Self, he himself declares in the following words, 'To those who are constantly devoted and worship with love I give that knowledge by which they reach me' (Bha. G. X, 10), and 'To him who has knowledge I am dear above all things, and he is dear to me' (VII, 17). Hence, he who possesses remembrance, marked by the character of immediate presentation (skshtkra), and which itself is dear above all things since the object remembered is such; he, we say, is chosen by the highest Self, and by him the highest Self is gained. Steady remembrance of this kind is designated by the word 'devotion' (bhakti); for this term has the same meaning as upsan (meditation). For this reason scripture and smriti agree in making the following declarations, 'A man knowing him passes over death' (Svet. Up. III, 8); 'Knowing him thus he here becomes immortal' (Taitt. r. III, 12,7); 'Neither by the Vedas, nor by austerities, nor by gifts, nor by sacrifice can I be so seen as thou hast seen me. But by devotion exclusive I may in this form be known and seen in truth, O Arjuna, and also be entered into' (Bha. G. XI, 53, 54); 'That highest Person, O Prtha, may be obtained by exclusive devotion' (VIII, 22).

That of such steady remembrance sacrifices and so on are means will be declared later on (Ve. S. III, 4, 26). Although sacrifices and the like are enjoined with a view to the origination of knowledge (in accordance with the passage 'They desire to know,' Bri. Up. IV, 4, 22), it is only knowledge in the form of meditation which—being daily practised, constantly improved by repetition, and continued up to death—is the means of reaching Brahman, and hence all the works connected with the different conditions of life are to be performed throughout life only for the purpose of originating such knowledge. This the Strakra declares in Ve. S. IV, 1, 12; 16; III, 4, 33, and other places. The Vkyakra also declares that steady remembrance results only from abstention, and so on; his words being 'This (viz. steady remembrance = meditation) is obtained through abstention (viveka), freeness of mind (vimoka), repetition (abhysa), works (kriy), virtuous conduct (kalyna), freedom from dejection (anavasda), absence of exultation (anuddharsha); according to feasibility and scriptural statement.' The Vkyakra also gives definitions of all these terms. Abstention (viveka) means keeping the body clean from all food, impure either owing to species (such as the flesh of certain animals), or abode (such as food belonging to a Kndla or the like), or accidental cause (such as food into which a hair or the like has fallen). The scriptural passage authorising this point is Ch. Up. VII, 26, 'The food being pure, the mind becomes pure; the mind being pure, there results steady remembrance.' Freeness of mind (vimoka) means absence of attachment to desires. The authoritative passage here is 'Let him meditate with a calm mind' (Ch. Up. III, 14, 1). Repetition means continued practice. For this point the Bhshya-kra quotes an authoritative text from Smriti, viz.: 'Having constantly been absorbed in the thought of that being' (sad tadbhvabhvitah; Bha. G. VIII, 6).—By 'works' (kriy) is understood the performance, according to one's ability, of the five great sacrifices. The authoritative passages here are 'This person who performs works is the best of those who know Brahman' (Mu. Up. III, 1, 4); and 'Him Brhmanas seek to know by recitation of the Veda, by sacrifice, by gifts, by penance, by fasting' (Bri. Up. IV, 4, 22).—By virtuous conduct (kalynni) are meant truthfulness, honesty, kindness, liberality, gentleness, absence of covetousness. Confirmatory texts are 'By truth he is to be obtained' (Mu. Up. III, 1, 5) and 'to them belongs that pure Brahman-world' (Pr. Up. I, 16).—That lowness of spirit or want of cheerfulness which results from unfavourable conditions of place or time and the remembrance of causes of sorrow, is denoted by the term 'dejection'; the contrary of this is 'freedom from dejection.' The relevant scriptural passage is 'This Self cannot be obtained by one lacking in strength' (Mu. Up. III, 2, 4).—'Exultation' is that satisfaction of mind which springs from circumstances opposite to those just mentioned; the contrary is 'absence of exultation.' Overgreat satisfaction also stands in the way (of meditation). The scriptural passage for this is 'Calm, subdued,' &c. (Bri. Up. IV, 4, 23).—What the Vkyakra means to say is therefore that knowledge is realised only through the performance of the duly prescribed works, on the part of a person fulfilling all the enumerated conditions.

Analogously another scriptural passage says 'He who knows both knowledge and non-knowledge together, overcoming death by non-knowledge reaches the Immortal through knowledge' (s. Up. II). Here the term 'non-knowledge' denotes the works enjoined on the different castes and sramas; and the meaning of the text is that, having discarded by such works death, i.e. the previous works antagonistic to the origination of knowledge, a man reaches the Immortal, i.e. Brahman, through knowledge. The non-knowledge of which this passage speaks as being the means of overcoming death can only mean that which is other than knowledge, viz. prescribed works. The word has the same sense in the following passage: 'Firm in traditional knowledge he offered many sacrifices, leaning on the knowledge of Brahman, so as to pass beyond death by non-knowledge' (Vi. Pu. VI, 6, 12).—Antagonistic to knowledge (as said above) are all good and evil actions, and hence—as equally giving rise to an undesirable result—they may both be designated as evil. They stand in the way of the origination of knowledge in so far as they strengthen the elements of passion and darkness which are antagonistic to the element of goodness which is the cause of the rise of knowledge. That evil works stand in the way of such origination, the following scriptural text declares: 'He makes him whom he wishes to lead down from these worlds do an evil deed' (Ka. Up. III, 8). That passion and darkness veil the knowledge of truth while goodness on the other hand gives rise to it, the Divine one has declared himself, in the passage 'From goodness springs knowledge' (Bha. G. XIV, 17). Hence, in order that knowledge may arise, evil works have to be got rid of, and this is effected by the performance of acts of religious duty not aiming at some immediate result (such as the heavenly world and the like); according to the text 'by works of religious duty he discards all evil.' Knowledge which is the means of reaching Brahman, thus requires the works prescribed for the different sramas; and hence the systematic enquiry into works (i. e. the Prva Mmms)—from which we ascertain the nature of the works required and also the transitoriness and limitation of the fruits of mere works—forms a necessary antecedent to the systematic enquiry into Brahman. Moreover the discrimination of permanent and non-permanent things, &c. (i.e. the tetrad of 'means' mentioned above, p. 11) cannot be accomplished without the study of the Mmms; for unless we ascertain all the distinctions of fruits of works, means, modes of procedure and qualification (on the part of the agent) we can hardly understand the true nature of works, their fruits, the transitoriness or non-transitoriness of the latter, the permanence of the Self, and similar matters. That those conditions (viz. nitynityavastuviveka, sama, dama, &c.) are 'means' must be determined on the basis of viniyoga ('application' which determines the relation of principal and subordinate matters—angin and anga); and this viniyoga which depends on direct scriptural statement (sruti), inferential signs (linga), and so on, is treated of in the third book of the Prva Mmms-stras. And further we must, in this connexion, consider also the meditations on the Udgtha and similar things—which, although aiming at the success of works, are of the nature of reflections on Brahman (which is viewed in them under various forms)—and as such have reference to knowledge of Brahman. Those works also (with which these meditations are connected) aim at no special results of their own, and produce and help to perfect the knowledge of Brahman: they are therefore particularly connected with the enquiry into Brahman. And that these meditations presuppose an understanding of the nature of works is admitted by every one.



Brahman, which is pure intelligence and opposed to all difference, constitutes the only reality; and everything else, i.e. the plurality of manifold knowing subjects, objects of knowledge, and acts of knowledge depending on those two, is only imagined on (or 'in') that Brahman, and is essentially false.

'In the beginning, my dear, there was that only which is, one only without a second' (Ch. Up. VI, 2, 1); 'The higher knowledge is that by which the Indestructible is apprehended' (Mu. Up. I, 1, 5); 'That which cannot be seen nor seized, which has no eyes nor ears, no hands nor feet, the permanent, the all-pervading, the most subtle, the imperishable which the wise regard as the source of all beings' (Mu. Up. I, 1, 6); 'The True, knowledge, the Infinite is Brahman' (Taitt. Up. II, 1); 'He who is without parts, without actions, tranquil, without fault, without taint' (Svet. Up. VI, 19); 'By whom it is not thought, by him it is thought; he by whom it is thought knows it not. It is not known by those who know it, known by those who do not know it' (Ke. Up. II, 3); 'Thou mayest not see the seer of sight; thou mayest not think the thinker of thought' (Bri. Up. III, 4, 2); 'Bliss is Brahman' (Taitt. Up. III, 6, 1); 'All this is that Self' (Bri. Up. IV, 5, 7); 'There is here no diversity whatever' (Bri. Up. IV, 4, 19); 'From death to death goes he who sees any difference here' (Ka. Up. II, 4, 10); 'For where there is duality as it were, there one sees the other'; 'but where the Self has become all of him, by what means, and whom, should he see? by what means, and whom, should he know?' (Bri. Up. IV, 5, 15); 'the effect is a name merely which has its origin in speech; the truth is that (the thing made of clay) is clay merely' (Ch. Up. VI, 1, 4); 'for if he makes but the smallest distinction in it there is fear for him' (Taitt. Up. II, 7);— the two following Vednta-stras: III, 2, 11; III, 2, 3—the following passages from the Vishnu-purna: 'In which all difference vanishes, which is pure Being, which is not the object of words, which is known by the Self only—that knowledge is called Brahman' (VI, 7, 53); 'Him whose essential nature is knowledge, who is stainless in reality'; 'Him who, owing to erroneous view, abides in the form of things' (I, 2, 6); 'the Reality thou art alone, there is no other, O Lord of the world!— whatever matter is seen belongs to thee whose being is knowledge; but owing to their erroneous opinion the non-devout look on it as the form of the world. This whole world has knowledge for its essential nature, but the Unwise viewing it as being of the nature of material things are driven round on the ocean of delusion. Those however who possess true knowledge and pure minds see this whole world as having knowledge for its Self, as thy form, O highest Lord!' (Vi. Pu. I, 4, 38 ff.).—'Of that Self, although it exists in one's own and in other bodies, the knowledge is of one kind, and that is Reality; those who maintain duality hold a false view' (II, 14, 31); 'If there is some other one, different from me, then it can be said, "I am this and that one is another"' (II, 13, 86); 'As owing to the difference of the holes of the flute the air equally passing through them all is called by the names of the different notes of the musical scale; so it is with the universal Self' (II, 14, 32); 'He is I; he is thou; he is all: this Universe is his form. Abandon the error of difference. The king being thus instructed, abandoned the view of difference, having gained an intuition of Reality' (II, 16, 24). 'When that view which gives rise to difference is absolutely destroyed, who then will make the untrue distinction between the individual Self and Brahman?' (VI, 7, 94).—The following passages from the Bhagavad-Gt: 'I am the Self dwelling within all beings' (X, 20); 'Know me to be the soul within all bodies' (XIII, 2); 'Being there is none, movable or immovable, which is without me' (X, 39).— All these and other texts, the purport of which clearly is instruction as to the essential nature of things, declare that Brahman only, i.e. non-differenced pure intelligence is real, while everything else is false.

The appearance of plurality is due to avidy.

'Falsehood' (mithytva) belongs to what admits of being terminated by the cognition of the real thing—such cognition being preceded by conscious activity (not by mere absence of consciousness or knowledge). The snake, e.g. which has for its substrate a rope or the like is false; for it is due to an imperfection (dosha) that the snake is imagined in (or 'on') the rope. In the same way this entire world, with its distinctions of gods, men, animals, inanimate matter, and so on, is, owing to an imperfection, wrongly imagined in the highest Brahman whose substance is mere intelligence, and therefore is false in so far as it may be sublated by the cognition of the nature of the real Brahman. What constitutes that imperfection is beginningless Nescience (avidy), which, hiding the truth of things, gives rise to manifold illusions, and cannot be defined either as something that is or as something that is not.—'By the Untrue they are hidden; of them which are true the Untrue is the covering' (Ch, Up. VIII, 3, 1); 'Know Mya to be Prakriti, and the great Lord him who is associated with Mya' (Svet. Up. IV, 10); 'Indra appears manifold through the Mys' (Bri. Up. II, 5, 19); 'My Mya is hard to overcome' (Bha. G. VII, 14); 'When the soul slumbering in beginningless My awakes' (Gau. K. I, 16).—These and similar texts teach that it is through beginningless My that to Brahman which truly is pure non-differenced intelligence its own nature hides itself, and that it sees diversity within itself. As has been said, 'Because the Holy One is essentially of the nature of intelligence, the form of all, but not material; therefore know that all particular things like rocks, oceans, hills and so on, have proceeded from intelligence [FOOTNOTE 22:1] But when, on the cessation of all work, everything is only pure intelligence in its own proper form, without any imperfections; then no differences— the fruit of the tree of wishes—any longer exist between things. Therefore nothing whatever, at any place or any time, exists apart from intelligence: intelligence, which is one only, is viewed as manifold by those whose minds are distracted by the effects of their own works. Intelligence pure, free from stain, free from grief, free from all contact with desire and other affections, everlastingly one is the highest Lord—Vsudeva apart from whom nothing exists. I have thus declared to you the lasting truth of things—that intelligence only is true and everything else untrue. And that also which is the cause of ordinary worldly existence has been declared to you' (Vi. Pu. II, 12, 39, 40, 43-45).

Avidy is put an end to by true Knowledge.

Other texts declare that this Nescience comes to an end through the cognition of the essential unity of the Self with Brahman which is nothing but non-differenced intelligence. 'He does not again go to death;' 'He sees this as one;' 'He who sees this does not see death' (Ch. Up. VI, 27); 'When he finds freedom from fear and rest in that which is invisible, incorporeal, undefined, unsupported, then he has obtained the fearless' (Taitt. Up. II, 7); 'The fetter of the heart is broken, all doubts are solved and all his works perish when he has been beheld who is high and low' (Mu. Up. II, 2, 8); 'He knows Brahman, he becomes Brahman only' (Mu. Up. III, 2, 9); 'Knowing him only a man passes over death; there is no other path to go' (Svet. Up. III, 8). In these and similar passages, the term 'death' denotes Nescience; analogously to the use of the term in the following words of Sanatsujta, 'Delusion I call death; and freedom from delusion I call immortality' (Sanatsuj. II, 5). The knowledge again of the essential unity and non-difference of Brahman— which is ascertained from decisive texts such as 'The True, knowledge, the Infinite is Brahman' (Taitt. Up. II, 1); 'Knowledge, bliss is Brahman' (Bri. Up. III, 9, 28)—is confirmed by other passages, such as 'Now if a man meditates on another deity, thinking the deity is one and he another, he does not know' (Bri. Up. I, 4, 10); 'Let men meditate upon him as the Self (Bri. Up. I, 4, 7); 'Thou art that' (Ch. Up. VI, 8, 7); 'Am I thou, O holy deity? and art thou me, O holy deity?'; 'What I am that is he; what he is that am I.'—This the Strakra himself will declare 'But as the Self (scriptural texts) acknowledge and make us apprehend (the Lord)' (Ve. S. IV, 1, 3). Thus the Vkyakra also, 'It is the Self—thus one should apprehend (everything), for everything is effected by that.' And to hold that by such cognition of the oneness of Brahman essentially false bondage, together with its cause, comes to an end, is only reasonable.

Scripture is of greater force than Perception

But, an objection is raised—how can knowledge, springing from the sacred texts, bring about a cessation of the view of difference, in manifest opposition to the evidence of Perception?—How then, we rejoin, can the knowledge that this thing is a rope and not a snake bring about, in opposition to actual perception, the cessation of the (idea of the) snake?—You will perhaps reply that in this latter case there is a conflict between two forms of perception, while in the case under discussion the conflict is between direct perception and Scripture which is based on perception. But against this we would ask the question how, in the case of a conflict between two equal cognitions, we decide as to which of the two is refuted (sublated) by the other. If—as is to be expected—you reply that what makes the difference between the two is that one of them is due to a defective cause while the other is not: we point out that this distinction holds good also in the case of Scripture and perception being in conflict. It is not considerations as to the equality of conflicting cognitions, as to their being dependent or independent, and so on, that determine which of the two sublates the other; if that were the case, the perception which presents to us the flame of the lamp as one only would not be sublated by the cognition arrived at by inference that there is a succession of different flames. Wherever there is a conflict between cognitions based on two different means of knowledge we assign the position of the 'sublated one' to that which admits of being accounted for in some other way; while that cognition which affords no opening for being held unauthoritative and cannot be accounted for in another way, is the 'sublating one [FOOTNOTE 25:1].' This is the principle on which the relation between 'what sublates' and 'what is sublated' is decided everywhere. Now apprehension of Brahman—which is mere intelligence, eternal, pure, free, self-luminous—is effected by Scripture which rests on endless unbroken tradition, cannot therefore be suspected of any, even the least, imperfection, and hence cannot be non-authoritative; the state of bondage, on the other hand, with its manifold distinctions is proved by Perception, Inference, and so on, which are capable of imperfections and therefore may be non-authoritative. It is therefore reasonable to conclude that the state of bondage is put an end to by the apprehension of Brahman. And that imperfection of which Perception—through which we apprehend a world of manifold distinctions—may be assumed to be capable, is so-called Nescience, which consists in the beginningless wrong imagination of difference.—Well then—a further objection is raised—let us admit that Scripture is perfect because resting on an endless unbroken tradition; but must we then not admit that texts evidently presupposing the view of duality, as e.g. 'Let him who desires the heavenly world offer the Jyotishtoma-sacrifice'—are liable to refutation?—True, we reply. As in the case of the Udgtri and Pratihartri breaking the chain (not at the same time, but) in succession [FOOTNOTE 26:1], so here also the earlier texts (which refer to duality and transitory rewards) are sublated by the later texts which teach final release, and are not themselves sublated by anything else.

The texts which represent Brahman as devoid of qualities have greater force

The same reasoning applies to those passages in the Vednta-texts which inculcate meditation on the qualified Brahman, since the highest Brahman is without any qualities.—But consider such passages as 'He who cognises all, who knows all' (Mu. Up. I, 1, 9); 'His high power is revealed as manifold, as essential, acting as force and knowledge' (Svet. Up. VI, 8); 'He whose wishes are true, whose purposes are true' (Ch. Up. VIII, 1, 5); how can these passages, which clearly aim at defining the nature of Brahman, be liable to refutation?—Owing to the greater weight, we reply, of those texts which set forth Brahman as devoid of qualities. 'It is not coarse, not fine, not short, not long' (Bri. Up. III, 8, 8); 'The True, knowledge, infinite is Brahman' (Taitt. Up. II, 1); 'That which is free from qualities,' 'that which is free from stain'—these and similar texts convey the notion of Brahman being changeless, eternal intelligence devoid of all difference; while the other texts—quoted before—teach the qualified Brahman. And there being a conflict between the two sets of passages, we—according to the Mmms principle referred to above—decide that the texts referring to Brahman as devoid of qualities are of greater force, because they are later in order [FOOTNOTE 27:1] than those which speak of Brahman as having qualities. Thus everything is settled. The text Taitt. Up. II, 1 refers to Brahman as devoid of qualities.

But—an objection is raised—even the passage 'The True, knowledge, infinite is Brahman' intimates certain qualities of Brahman, viz. true being, knowledge, infinity!—Not so, we reply. From the circumstance that all the terms of the sentence stand in co-ordination, it follows that they convey the idea of one matter (sense) only. If against this you urge that the sentence may convey the idea of one matter only, even if directly expressing a thing distinguished by several qualities; we must remark that you display an ignorance of the meaning of language which appears to point to some weakmindedness on your part. A sentence conveys the idea of one matter (sense) only when all its constitutive words denote one and the same thing; if, on the other hand, it expresses a thing possessing several attributes, the difference of these attributes necessarily leads to a difference in meaning on the part of the individual words, and then the oneness of meaning of the sentence is lost.—But from your view of the passage it would follow that the several words are mere synonyms!—Give us your attention, we reply, and learn that several words may convey one meaning without being idle synonyms. From the determination of the unity of purport of the whole sentence [FOOTNOTE 27:2] we conclude that the several words, applied to one thing, aim at expressing what is opposite in nature to whatever is contrary to the meanings of the several words, and that thus they have meaning and unity of meaning and yet are not mere synonyms. The details are as follows. Brahman is to be defined as what is contrary in nature to all other things. Now whatever is opposed to Brahman is virtually set aside by the three words (constituting the definition of Brahman in the Taittiriya-text). The word 'true' (or 'truly being') has the purport of distinguishing Brahman from whatever things have no truth, as being the abodes of change; the word 'knowledge' distinguishes Brahman from all non-sentient things whose light depends on something else (which are not self-luminous); and the word 'infinite' distinguishes it from whatever is limited in time or space or nature. Nor is this 'distinction' some positive or negative attribute of Brahman, it rather is just Brahman itself as opposed to everything else; just as the distinction of white colour from black and other colours is just the true nature of white, not an attribute of it. The three words constituting the text thus have a meaning, have one meaning, and are non-synonymous, in so far as they convey the essential distinction of one thing, viz. Brahman from everything else. The text thus declares the one Brahman which is self-luminous and free from all difference. On this interpretation of the text we discern its oneness in purport with other texts, such as 'Being only this was in the beginning, one only, without a second.' Texts such as 'That from whence these beings are born' (Taitt. Up. III, 1); 'Being only this was in the beginning' (Ch. Up. VI, 2, 1); 'Self alone was this in the beginning' (Bri. Up. I, 4, 1), &c., describe Brahman as the cause of the world; and of this Brahman the Taittirya passage 'The True, knowledge, infinite is Brahman' gives the strict definition.

In agreement with the principle that all skhs teach the same doctrine we have to understand that, in all the texts which speak of Brahman as cause, Brahman must be taken as being 'without a second', i.e. without any other being of the same or a different kind; and the text which aims at defining Brahman has then to be interpreted in accordance with this characteristic of Brahman, viz. its being without a second. The statement of the Chndogya as to Brahman being without a second must also be taken to imply that Brahman is non-dual as far as qualities are concerned; otherwise it would conflict with those passages which speak of Brahman as being without qualities and without stain. We therefore conclude that the defining Taittirya-text teaches Brahman to be an absolutely homogeneous substance.

But, the above explanation of the passage being accepted, it follows that the words 'true being,' 'knowledge,' &c., have to be viewed as abandoning their direct sense, and merely suggesting a thing distinct in nature from all that is opposite (to what the three words directly denote), and this means that we resort to so-called implication (implied meaning, lakshan)!—What objection is there to such a proceeding? we reply. The force of the general purport of a sentence is greater than that of the direct denotative power of the simple terms, and it is generally admitted that the purport of grammatical co-ordination is oneness (of the matter denoted by the terms co-ordinated).—But we never observe that all words of a sentence are to be understood in an implied sense!—Is it then not observed, we reply, that one word is to be taken in its implied meaning if otherwise it would contradict the purport of the whole sentence? And if the purport of the sentence, which is nothing but an aggregate of words employed together, has once been ascertained, why should we not take two or three or all words in an implied sense—just as we had taken one—and thus make them fit in with the general purport? In agreement herewith those scholars who explain to us the sense of imperative sentences, teach that in imperative sentences belonging to ordinary speech all words have an implied meaning only (not their directly denotative meaning). For, they maintain, imperative forms have their primary meaning only in (Vedic) sentences which enjoin something not established by other means; and hence in ordinary speech the effect of the action is conveyed by implication only. The other words also, which form part of those imperative sentences and denote matters connected with the action, have their primary meaning only if connected with an action not established by other means; while if connected with an ordinary action they have a secondary, implied, meaning only [FOOTNOTE 30:1]. Perception reveals to us non-differenced substance only

We have so far shown that in the case of a conflict between Scripture and Perception and the other instruments of knowledge, Scripture is of greater force. The fact, however, is that no such conflict is observed to exist, since Perception itself gives rise to the apprehension of a non-differenced Brahman whose nature is pure Being.—But how can it be said that Perception, which has for its object things of various kinds— and accordingly expresses itself in judgments such as 'Here is a jar,' 'There is a piece of cloth'—causes the apprehension of mere Being? If there were no apprehension of difference, all cognitions would have one and the same object, and therefore would give rise to one judgment only— as takes place when one unbroken perceptional cognition is continued for some time.—True. We therefore have to enquire in what way, in the judgment 'here is a jar,' an assertion is made about being as well as some special form of being. These implied judgments cannot both be founded on perception, for they are the results of acts of cognition occupying different moments of time, while the perceptional cognition takes place in one moment (is instantaneous). We therefore must decide whether it is the essential nature of the jar, or its difference from other things, that is the object of perception. And we must adopt the former alternative, because the apprehension of difference presupposes the apprehension of the essential nature of the thing, and, in addition, the remembrance of its counterentities (i.e. the things from which the given thing differs). Hence difference is not apprehended by Perception; and all judgments and propositions relative to difference are founded on error only.

Difference—bheda—does not admit of logical definition

The Logicians, moreover, are unable to give a definition of such a thing as 'difference.' Difference cannot in the first place be the essential nature (of that which differs); for from that it would follow that on the apprehension of the essential nature of a thing there would at once arise not only the judgment as to that essential nature but also judgments as to its difference from everything else.—But, it may be objected to this, even when the essential nature of a thing is apprehended, the judgment 'this thing is different from other things' depends on the remembrance of its counterentities, and as long as this remembrance does not take place so long the judgment of difference is not formed!—Such reasoning, we reply, is inadmissible. He who maintains that 'difference' is nothing but 'essential nature' has no right to assume a dependence on counterentities since, according to him, essential nature and difference are the same, i.e. nothing but essential nature: the judgment of difference can, on his view, depend on counterentities no more than the judgment of essential nature does. His view really implies that the two words 'the jar' and 'different' (in the judgment 'the jar is different') are synonymous, just as the words 'hasta' and 'kara' are (both of which mean 'hand').

Nor, in the second place, can 'difference' be held to be an attribute (dharma). For if it were that, we should have to assume that 'difference' possesses difference (i.e. is different) from essential nature; for otherwise it would be the same as the latter. And this latter difference would have to be viewed as an attribute of the first difference, and this would lead us on to a third difference, and so in infinitum. And the view of 'difference' being an attribute would further imply that difference is apprehended on the apprehension of a thing distinguished by attributes such as generic character and so on, and at the same time that the thing thus distinguished is apprehended on the apprehension of difference; and this would constitute a logical seesaw.— 'Difference' thus showing itself incapable of logical definition, we are confirmed in our view that perception reveals mere 'Being' only.

Moreover, it appears that in states of consciousness such as 'Here is a jar,' 'There is a piece of cloth,' 'The jar is perceived,' 'The piece of cloth is perceived,' that which constitutes the things is Being (existence; satt) and perception (or 'consciousness'; anubhti). And we observe that it is pure Being only which persists in all states of cognition: this pure Being alone, therefore, is real. The differences, on the other hand, which do not persist, are unreal. The case is analogous to that of the snake-rope. The rope which persists as a substrate is real, while the non-continuous things (which by wrong imagination are superimposed on the rope) such as a snake, a cleft in the ground, a watercourse, and so on, are unreal.

But—our adversary objects—the instance is not truly analogous. In the case of the snake-rope the non-reality of the snake results from the snake's being sublated (bdhita) by the cognition of the true nature of the substrate 'This is a rope, not a snake'; it does not result from the non-continuousness of the snake. In the same way the reality of the rope does not follow from its persistence, but from the fact of its being not sublated (by another cognition). But what, we ask, establishes the non-reality of jars and pieces of cloth?—All are agreed, we reply, that we observe, in jars and similar things, individual difference (vyvritti, literally 'separation,' 'distinction'). The point to decide is of what nature such difference is. Does it not mean that the judgment 'This is a jar' implies the negation of pieces of cloth and other things? But this means that by this judgment pieces of cloth and other things are sublated (bdhita). Individual difference (vyvritti) thus means the cessation (or absence), due to sublation, of certain objects of cognition, and it proves the non-reality of whatever has non-continuous existence; while on the other hand, pure Being, like the rope, persists non-sublated. Hence everything that is additional to pure Being is non-real.—This admits of being expressed in technical form. 'Being' is real because it persists, as proved by the case of the rope in the snake-rope; jars and similar things are non-real because they are non-continuous, as proved by the case of the snake that has the rope for its substrate.

From all this it follows that persisting consciousness only has real being; it alone is.

Being and consciousness are one. Consciousness is svayampraksa.

But, our adversary objects, as mere Being is the object of consciousness, it is different therefrom (and thus there exists after all 'difference' or 'plurality').—Not so, we reply. That there is no such thing as 'difference,' we have already shown above on the grounds that it is not the object of perception, and moreover incapable of definition. It cannot therefore be proved that 'Being' is the object of consciousness. Hence Consciousness itself is 'Being'—that which is.—This consciousness is self-proved, just because it is consciousness. Were it proved through something else, it would follow that like jars and similar things it is not consciousness. Nor can there be assumed, for consciousness, the need of another act of consciousness (through which its knowledge would be established); for it shines forth (praksate) through its own being. While it exists, consciousness—differing therein from jars and the like—is never observed not to shine forth, and it cannot therefore be held to depend, in its shining forth, on something else.—You (who object to the above reasoning) perhaps hold the following view:—even when consciousness has arisen, it is the object only which shines forth—a fact expressed in sentences such as: the jar is perceived. When a person forms the judgment 'This is a jar,' he is not at the time conscious of a consciousness which is not an object and is not of a definite character. Hence the existence of consciousness is the reason which brings about the 'shining forth' of jars and other objects, and thus has a similar office as the approximation of the object to the eye or the other organs of sense (which is another condition of perceptive consciousness). After this the existence of consciousness is inferred on the ground that the shining forth of the object is (not permanent, but) occasional only [FOOTNOTE 34:1]. And should this argumentation be objected to on the ground of its implying that consciousness—which is essentially of the nature of intelligence— is something non-intelligent like material things, we ask you to define this negation of non-intelligence (which you declare to be characteristic of consciousness). Have we, perhaps, to understand by it the invariable concomitance of existence and shining forth? If so, we point out that this invariable concomitance is also found in the case of pleasure and similar affections; for when pleasure and so on exist at all, they never are non-perceived (i.e. they exist in so far only as we are conscious of them). It is thus clear that we have no consciousness of consciousness itself—just as the tip of a finger, although touching other things, is incapable of touching itself.

All this reasoning, we reply, is entirely spun out of your own fancy, without any due consideration of the power of consciousness. The fact is, that in perceiving colour and other qualities of things, we are not aware of a 'shining forth' as an attribute of those things, and as something different from consciousness; nor can the assumption of an attribute of things called 'light,' or 'shining forth,' be proved in any way, since the entire empirical world itself can be proved only through consciousness, the existence of which we both admit. Consciousness, therefore, is not something which is inferred or proved through some other act of knowledge; but while proving everything else it is proved by itself. This may be expressed in technical form as follows— Consciousness is, with regard to its attributes and to the empirical judgments concerning it, independent of any other thing, because through its connexion with other things it is the cause of their attributes and the empirical judgments concerning them. For it is a general principle that of two things that which through its connexion with the other is the cause of the attributes of—and the empirical judgments about—the latter, is itself independent of that other as to those two points. We see e.g. that colour, through its conjunction with earth and the like, produces in them the quality of visibility, but does not itself depend for its visibility on conjunction with colour. Hence consciousness is itself the cause of its own 'shining forth,' as well as of the empirically observed shining forth of objects such as jars and the like.

Consciousness is eternal and incapable of change.

This self-luminous consciousness, further, is eternal, for it is not capable of any form of non-existence—whether so—called antecedent non-existence or any other form. This follows from its being self-established. For the antecedent non-existence of self-established consciousness cannot be apprehended either through consciousness or anything else. If consciousness itself gave rise to the apprehension of its own non-existence, it could not do so in so far as 'being,' for that would contradict its being; if it is, i.e. if its non-existence is not, how can it give rise to the idea of its non-existence? Nor can it do so if not being; for if consciousness itself is not, how can it furnish a proof for its own non-existence? Nor can the non-existence of consciousness be apprehended through anything else; for consciousness cannot be the object of anything else. Any instrument of knowledge proving the non-existence of consciousness, could do so only by making consciousness its object—'this is consciousness'; but consciousness, as being self-established, does not admit of that objectivation which is implied in the word 'this,' and hence its previous non-existence cannot be proved by anything lying outside itself.

As consciousness thus does not admit of antecedent non-existence, it further cannot be held to originate, and hence also all those other states of being which depend on origination cannot be predicated of it.

As consciousness is beginningless, it further does not admit of any plurality within itself; for we observe in this case the presence of something which is contrary to what invariably accompanies plurality (this something being 'beginninglessness' which is contrary to the quality of having a beginning—which quality invariably accompanies plurality). For we never observe a thing characterised by plurality to be without a beginning.—And moreover difference, origination, &c., are objects of consciousness, like colour and other qualities, and hence cannot be attributes of consciousness. Therefore, consciousness being essentially consciousness only, nothing else that is an object of consciousness can be its attribute. The conclusion is that consciousness is free from difference of any kind.

The apparent difference between Consciousness and the conscious subject is due to the unreal ahamkra.

From this it further follows that there is no substrate of consciousness—different from consciousness itself—such as people ordinarily mean when speaking of a 'knower.' It is self-luminous consciousness itself which constitutes the so-called 'knower.' This follows therefrom also that consciousness is not non-intelligent (jada); for non-intelligence invariably accompanies absence of Selfhood (antmatva); hence, non-intelligence being absent in consciousness, consciousness is not non-Self, that means, it is the Self.

But, our adversary again objects, the consciousness which expresses itself in the judgment 'I know,' proves that the quality of being a 'knower' belongs to consciousness!—By no means, we reply. The attribution to consciousness of this quality rests on error, no less than the attribution, to the shell, of the quality of being silver. Consciousness cannot stand in the relation of an agent toward itself: the attribute of being a knowing agent is erroneously imputed to it—an error analogous to that expressed in the judgment 'I am a man,' which identifies the Self of a person with the outward aggregate of matter that bears the external characteristics of humanity. To be a 'knower' means to be the agent in the action of knowing; and this is something essentially changeful and non-intelligent (jada), having its abode in the ahamkra, which is itself a thing subject to change. How, on the other hand, could such agency possibly belong to the changeless 'witness' (of all change, i.e. consciousness) whose nature is pure Being? That agency cannot be an attribute of the Self follows therefrom also that, like colour and other qualities, agency depends, for its own proof, on seeing, i.e. consciousness.

That the Self does not fall within the sphere (is not an object of), the idea of 'I' is proved thereby also that in deep sleep, swoon, and similar states, the idea of the 'I' is absent, while the consciousness of the Self persists. Moreover, if the Self were admitted to be an agent and an object of the idea of 'I,' it would be difficult to avoid the conclusion that like the body it is non-intelligent, something merely outward ('being for others only, not for itself') and destitute of Selfhood. That from the body, which is the object of the idea of 'I,' and known to be an agent, there is different that Self which enjoys the results of the body's actions, viz. the heavenly word, and so on, is acknowledged by all who admit the validity of the instruments of knowledge; analogously, therefore, we must admit that different from the knower whom we understand by the term 'I,' is the 'witnessing' inward Self. The non-intelligent ahamkra thus merely serves to manifest the nature of non-changing consciousness, and it effects this by being its abode; for it is the proper quality of manifesting agents to manifest the objects manifested, in so far as the latter abide in them. A mirror, e.g., or a sheet of water, or a certain mass of matter, manifests a face or the disc of the moon (reflected in the mirror or water) or the generic character of a cow (impressed on the mass of matter) in so far as all those things abide in them.—In this way, then, there arises the erroneous view that finds expression in the judgment 'I know.'—Nor must you, in the way of objection, raise the question how self-luminous consciousness is to be manifested by the non-intelligent ahamkra, which rather is itself manifested by consciousness; for we observe that the surface of the hand, which itself is manifested by the rays of sunlight falling on it, at the same time manifests those rays. This is clearly seen in the case of rays passing through the interstices of network; the light of those rays is intensified by the hand on which they fall, and which at the same time is itself manifested by the rays.

It thus appears that the 'knowing agent,' who is denoted by the 'I,' in the judgment 'I know,' constitutes no real attribute of the Self, the nature of which is pure intelligence. This is also the reason why the consciousness of Egoity does not persist in the states of deep sleep and final release: in those states this special form of consciousness passes away, and the Self appears in its true nature, i.e. as pure consciousness. Hence a person who has risen from deep, dreamless sleep reflects, 'Just now I was unconscious of myself.'

Summing up of the prvapaksha view.

As the outcome of all this, we sum up our view as follows.—Eternal, absolutely non-changing consciousness, whose nature is pure non-differenced intelligence, free from all distinction whatever, owing to error illusorily manifests itself (vivarttate) as broken up into manifold distinctions—knowing subjects, objects of knowledge, acts of knowledge. And the purpose for which we enter on the consideration of the Vednta-texts is utterly to destroy what is the root of that error, i.e. Nescience, and thus to obtain a firm knowledge of the oneness of Brahman, whose nature is mere intelligence—free, pure, eternal.

[FOOTNOTE 22:1. In agreement with the use made of this passage by the Prvapakshin, vijna must here be understood in the sense of avidy. Vijnasabdena vividham jyate-neneti karanavyutpatty-vidy-bhidhiyate. Sru. Pra.]

[FOOTNOTE 25:1. The distinction is illustrated by the different views Perception and Inference cause us to take of the nature of the flame of the lamp. To Perception the flame, as long as it burns, seems one and the same: but on the ground of the observation that the different particles of the wick and the oil are consumed in succession, we infer that there are many distinct flames succeeding one another. And we accept the Inference as valid, and as sublating or refuting the immediate perception, because the perceived oneness of the flame admits of being accounted for 'otherwise,' viz. on the ground of the many distinct flames originating in such rapid succession that the eye mistakes them for one. The inference on the other hand does not admit of being explained in another way.]

[FOOTNOTE 26:1. The reference is to the point discussed P. M. S. VI, 5, 54 (Jaim. Ny. Ml Vistara, p. 285).]

[FOOTNOTE 27:1. The texts which deny all qualities of Brahman are later in order than the texts which refer to Brahman as qualified, because denial presupposes that which is to be denied.]

[FOOTNOTE 27:2. The unity of purport of the sentence is inferred from its constituent words having the same case-ending.]

[FOOTNOTE 30:1. The theory here referred to is held by some of the Mmmsakas. The imperative forms of the verb have their primary meaning, i.e. the power of originating action, only in Vedic sentences which enjoin the performance of certain actions for the bringing about of certain ends: no other means of knowledge but the Veda informing us that such ends can be accomplished by such actions. Nobody, e.g. would offer a soma sacrifice in order to obtain the heavenly world, were he not told by the Veda to do so. In ordinary life, on the other hand, no imperative possesses this entirely unique originative force, since any action which may be performed in consequence of a command may be prompted by other motives as well: it is, in technical Indian language, established already, apart from the command, by other means of knowledge. The man who, e.g. is told to milk a cow might have proceeded to do so, apart from the command, for reasons of his own. Imperatives in ordinary speech are therefore held not to have their primary meaning, and this conclusion is extended, somewhat unwarrantably one should say, to all the words entering into an imperative clause.]

[FOOTNOTE 34:1. Being not permanent but occasional, it is an effect only, and as such must have a cause.]


This entire theory rests on a fictitious foundation of altogether hollow and vicious arguments, incapable of being stated in definite logical alternatives, and devised by men who are destitute of those particular qualities which cause individuals to be chosen by the Supreme Person revealed in the Upanishads; whose intellects are darkened by the impression of beginningless evil; and who thus have no insight into the nature of words and sentences, into the real purport conveyed by them, and into the procedure of sound argumentation, with all its methods depending on perception and the other instruments of right knowledge. The theory therefore must needs be rejected by all those who, through texts, perception and the other means of knowledge—assisted by sound reasoning—have an insight into the true nature of things.

There is no proof of non-differenced substance.

To enter into details.—Those who maintain the doctrine of a substance devoid of all difference have no right to assert that this or that is a proof of such a substance; for all means of right knowledge have for their object things affected with difference.—Should any one taking his stand on the received views of his sect, assert that the theory of a substance free from all difference (does not require any further means of proof but) is immediately established by one's own consciousness; we reply that he also is refuted by the fact, warranted by the witness of the Self, that all consciousness implies difference: all states of consciousness have for their object something that is marked by some difference, as appears in the case of judgments like 'I saw this.' And should a state of consciousness—although directly apprehended as implying difference—be determined by some fallacious reasoning to be devoid of difference, this determination could be effected only by means of some special attributes additional to the quality of mere Being; and owing to these special qualities on which the determination depends, that state of consciousness would clearly again be characterised by difference. The meaning of the mentioned determination could thus only be that of a thing affected with certain differences some other differences are denied; but manifestly this would not prove the existence of a thing free from all difference. To thought there at any rate belongs the quality of being thought and self-illuminatedness, for the knowing principle is observed to have for its essential nature the illumining (making to shine forth) of objects. And that also in the states of deep sleep, swoon, &c., consciousness is affected with difference we shall prove, in its proper place, in greater detail. Moreover you yourself admit that to consciousness there actually belong different attributes such as permanency (oneness, self-luminousness, &c. ), and of these it cannot be shown that they are only Being in general. And even if the latter point were admitted, we observe that there takes place a discussion of different views, and you yourself attempt to prove your theory by means of the differences between those views and your own. It therefore must be admitted that reality is affected with difference well established by valid means of proof.

Sabda proves difference.

As to sound (speech; sabda) it is specially apparent that it possesses the power of denoting only such things as are affected with difference. Speech operates with words and sentences. Now a word (pada) originates from the combination of a radical element and a suffix, and as these two elements have different meanings it necessarily follows that the word itself can convey only a sense affected with difference. And further, the plurality of words is based on plurality of meanings; the sentence therefore which is an aggregate of words expresses some special combination of things (meanings of words), and hence has no power to denote a thing devoid of all difference.—The conclusion is that sound cannot be a means of knowledge for a thing devoid of all difference.

Pratyaksha—even of the nirvikalpaka kind—proves difference.

Perception in the next place—with its two subdivisions of non-determinate (nirvikalpaka) and determinate (savikalpaka) perception—also cannot be a means of knowledge for things devoid of difference. Determinate perception clearly has for its object things affected with difference; for it relates to that which is distinguished by generic difference and so on. But also non-determinate perception has for its object only what is marked with difference; for it is on the basis of non-determinate perception that the object distinguished by generic character and so on is recognised in the act of determinate perception. Non-determinate perception is the apprehension of the object in so far as destitute of some differences but not of all difference. Apprehension of the latter kind is in the first place not observed ever to take place, and is in the second place impossible: for all apprehension by consciousness takes place by means of some distinction 'This is such and such.' Nothing can be apprehended apart from some special feature of make or structure, as e.g. the triangularly shaped dewlap in the case of cows. The true distinction between non-determinate and determinate perception is that the former is the apprehension of the first individual among a number of things belonging to the same class, while the latter is the apprehension of the second, third, and so on, individuals. On the apprehension of the first individual cow the perceiving person is not conscious of the fact that the special shape which constitutes the generic character of the class 'cows' extends to the present individual also; while this special consciousness arises in the case of the perception of the second and third cow. The perception of the second individual thus is 'determinate' in so far as it is determined by a special attribute, viz. the extension, to the perception, of the generic character of a class—manifested in a certain outward shape—which connects this act of perception with the earlier perception (of the first individual); such determination being ascertained only on the apprehension of the second individual. Such extension or continuance of a certain generic character is, on the other hand, not apprehended on the apprehension of the first individual, and perception of the latter kind thence is 'non-determinate.' That it is such is not due to non-apprehension of structure, colour, generic character and so on, for all these attributes are equally objects of sensuous perception (and hence perceived as belonging to the first individual also). Moreover that which possesses structure cannot be perceived apart from the structure, and hence in the case of the apprehension of the first individual there is already perception of structure, giving rise to the judgment 'The thing is such and such.' In the case of the second, third, &c., individuals, on the other hand, we apprehend, in addition to the thing possessing structure and to the structure itself, the special attribute of the persistence of the generic character, and hence the perception is 'determinate.' From all this it follows that perception never has for its object that which is devoid of all difference.

The bhedbheda view is untenable.

The same arguments tend to refute the view that there is difference and absence of difference at the same time (the so-called bhedbheda view). Take the judgment 'This is such and such'; how can we realise here the non-difference of 'being this' and 'being such and such'? The 'such and such' denotes a peculiar make characterised, e.g. by a dewlap, the 'this' denotes the thing distinguished by that peculiar make; the non-difference of these two is thus contradicted by immediate consciousness. At the outset the thing perceived is perceived as separate from all other things, and this separation is founded on the fact that the thing is distinguished by a special constitution, let us say the generic characteristics of a cow, expressed by the term 'such and such.' In general, wherever we cognise the relation of distinguishing attribute and thing distinguished thereby, the two clearly present themselves to our mind as absolutely different. Somethings—e.g. staffs and bracelets—appear sometimes as having a separate, independent existence of their own; at other times they present themselves as distinguishing attributes of other things or beings (i.e. of the persons carrying staffs or wearing bracelets). Other entities—e.g. the generic character of cows—have a being only in so far as they constitute the form of substances, and thus always present themselves as distinguishing attributes of those substances. In both cases there is the same relation of distinguishing attribute and thing distinguished thereby, and these two are apprehended as absolutely different. The difference between the two classes of entities is only that staffs, bracelets, and similar things are capable of being apprehended in separation from other things, while the generic characteristics of a species are absolutely incapable thereof. The assertion, therefore, that the difference of things is refuted by immediate consciousness, is based on the plain denial of a certain form of consciousness, the one namely—admitted by every one—which is expressed in the judgment 'This thing is such and such.'—This same point is clearly expounded by the Strakra in II, 2, 33.

Inference also teaches difference.

Perception thus having for its object only what is marked by difference, inference also is in the same case; for its object is only what is distinguished by connexion with things known through perception and other means of knowledge. And thus, even in the case of disagreement as to the number of the different instruments of knowledge, a thing devoid of difference could not be established by any of them since the instruments of knowledge acknowledged by all have only one and the same object, viz. what is marked by difference. And a person who maintains the existence of a thing devoid of difference on the ground of differences affecting that very thing simply contradicts himself without knowing what he does; he is in fact no better than a man who asserts that his own mother never had any children.

Perception does not reveal mere being.

In reply to the assertion that perception causes the apprehension of pure Being only, and therefore cannot have difference for its object; and that 'difference' cannot be defined because it does not admit of being set forth in definite alternatives; we point out that these charges are completely refuted by the fact that the only objects of perception are things distinguished by generic character and so on, and that generic character and so on—as being relative things—give at once rise to the judgment as to the distinction between themselves and the things in which they inhere. You yourself admit that in the case of knowledge and in that of colour and other qualities this relation holds good, viz. that something which gives rise to a judgment about another thing at the same time gives rise to a judgment about itself; the same may therefore be admitted with regard to difference [FOOTNOTE 44:1].

For this reason the charge of a regressus in infinitum and a logical seesaw (see above, p. 32) cannot be upheld. For even if perceptive cognition takes place within one moment, we apprehend within that moment the generic character which constitutes on the one hand the difference of the thing from others, and on the other hand the peculiar character of the thing itself; and thus there remains nothing to be apprehended in a second moment.

Moreover, if perception made us apprehend only pure Being judgments clearly referring to different objects—such as 'Here is a jar,' 'There is a piece of cloth'—would be devoid of all meaning. And if through perception we did not apprehend difference—as marked by generic character, &c., constituting the structure or make of a thing, why should a man searching for a horse not be satisfied with finding a buffalo? And if mere Being only were the object of all our cognitions, why should we not remember, in the case of each particular cognition, all the words which are connected with all our cognitions? And further, if the cognition of a horse and that of an elephant had one object only, the later cognition would cause us to apprehend only what was apprehended before, and there being thus no difference (of object of cognition) there would be nothing to distinguish the later state of cognition from remembrance. If on the other hand a difference is admitted for each state of consciousness, we admit thereby that perception has for its objects things affected with difference.

If all acts of cognition had one and the same object only, everything would be apprehended by one act of cognition; and from this it would follow that there are no persons either deaf or blind!

Nor does, as a matter of fact, the eye apprehend mere Being only; for what it does apprehend is colour and the coloured thing, and those other qualities (viz. extension, &c.), which inhere in the thing together with colour. Nor does feeling do so; for it has for its objects things palpable. Nor have the ear and the other senses mere Being for their object; but they relate to what is distinguished by a special sound or taste or smell. Hence there is not any source of knowledge causing us to apprehend mere Being. If moreover the senses had for their object mere Being free from all difference, it would follow that Scripture which has the same object would (not be originative of knowledge but) perform the function of a mere anuvda, i.e. it would merely make statements about something, the knowledge of which is already established by some other means. And further, according to your own doctrine, mere Being, i.e. Brahman, would hold the position of an object with regard to the instruments of knowledge; and thus there would cling to it all the imperfections indicated by yourself—non-intelligent nature, perishableness and so on.—From all this we conclude that perception has for its object only what is distinguished by difference manifesting itself in generic character and so on, which constitute the make or structure of a thing. (That the generic character of a thing is nothing else but its particular structure follows) from the fact that we do not perceive anything, different from structure, which could be claimed as constituting the object of the cognition that several individuals possess one and the same general form. And as our theory sufficiently accounts for the ordinary notions as to generic character, and as moreover even those who hold generic character to be something different from structure admit that there is such a thing as (common) structure, we adhere to the conclusion that generic character is nothing but structure. By 'structure' we understand special or distinctive form; and we acknowledge different forms of that kind according to the different classes of things. And as the current judgments as to things being different from one another can be explained on the basis of the apprehension of generic character, and as no additional entity is observed to exist, and as even those who maintain the existence of such an additional thing admit the existence of generic character, we further conclude that difference (bheda) is nothing but generic character (jti).— But if this were so, the judgment as to difference would immediately follow from the judgment as to generic character, as soon as the latter is apprehended! Quite true, we reply. As a matter of fact the judgment of difference is immediately formulated on the basis of the judgment as to generic character. For 'the generic character' of a cow, e.g., means just the exclusion of everything else: as soon as that character is apprehended all thought and speech referring to other creatures belonging to the same wider genus (which includes buffaloes and so on also) come to an end. It is through the apprehension of difference only that the idea of non-difference comes to an end.

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