Ramanuja's Refutation of Advaita
as found in Thibaut's translation of his Brahma sutra Bhasya
formatted from Sacred Texts
Back Home. First Pāda: The Small Siddhānta


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 Vedānta-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 (upāsana) 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 Vedānta-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 Vedānta-texts aim at inculcating is a knowledge other than the mere knowledge of the sense of sentences, and denoted by 'dhyāna,' 'upāsanā' (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' (Kh. 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' (Kh. Up. VIII, 7, 1).

(According to the principle of the oneness of purport of the different sākhās) 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' (viāya; 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' (praām kurvīta) and 'he knows it.' In the same way the clause 'the Self is to be heard' is a mere anuvāda, 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 anuvāda 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 Sūtra also says, 'Repetition more than once, on account of instruction' (Ve. Sū. 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' (Kh. 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' (Kh. 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' (Kh. 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 Vākyakāra. 'Knowledge (vedana) means meditation (upāsana), 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 Vākyakāra then propounds a pūrvapaksha (primā facie view), 'Once he is to make the meditation, the matter enjoined by scripture being accomplished thereby, as in the case of the prayāgas 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 Vākyakāra 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 (pratyakshatā). 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 (bhagavān) 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. Gī. 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 (sākshātkāra), 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 upāsanā (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. Ār. 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 Arguna, and also be entered into' (Bha. Gī. XI, 53, 54); 'That highest Person, O Pārtha, 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. Sū. 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 Sūtrakāra declares in Ve. Sū. IV, 1, 12; 16; III, 4, 33, and other places. The Vākyakāra 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 (abhyāsa), works (kriyā), virtuous conduct (kalyāna), freedom from dejection (anavasāda), absence of exultation (anuddharsha); according to feasibility and scriptural statement.' The Vākyakāra 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 Kāndāla 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 Kh. 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' (Kh. Up. III, 14, 1). Repetition means continued practice. For this point the Bhāshya-kāra quotes an authoritative text from Smriti, viz.: 'Having constantly been absorbed in the thought of that being' (sadā tadbhāvabhāvitah; Bha. Gī.VIII, 6).--By 'works' (kriyā) 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 Brāhmanas seek to know by recitation of the Veda, by sacrifice, by gifts, by penance, by fasting' (Bri. Up. IV, 4, 22).--By virtuous conduct (kalyānāni) 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 Vākyakāra 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' (Īs. Up. II). Here the term 'non-knowledge' denotes the works enjoined on the different castes and āsramas; 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, l2).--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. Gī. 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 āsramas; and hence the systematic enquiry into works (i. e. the Pūrva Mīmāmsā)--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) cannot be accomplished without the study of the Mīmāmsā; 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. nityānityavastuviveka, 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 Pūrva Mīmāmsā-sūtras. And further we must, in this connexion, consider also the meditations on the Udgītha 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.

First Pāda: The Great Pūrvapaksha



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' (Kh. 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' (Kh. 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 Vedānta-sūtras: III, 2, 11; III, 2, 3--the following passages from the Vishnu-purāna: '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-Gītā: '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 avidyā.

'Falsehood' (mithyātva) 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 (avidyā), 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' (Kh, Up. VIII, 3, 1); 'Know Māya to be Prakriti, and the great Lord him who is associated with Māya' (Svet. Up. IV, 10); 'Indra appears manifold through the Māyās' (Bri. Up. II, 5, 19); 'My Māya is hard to overcome' (Bha. Gī. VII, 14); 'When the soul slumbering in beginningless Māyā awakes' (Gau. Kā. I, 16).--These and similar texts teach that it is through beginningless Māyā 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 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--Vāsudeva 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).

Avidyā 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' (Kh. 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 Sanatsugāta, 'Delusion I call death; and freedom from delusion I call immortality' (Sanatsug. 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' (Kh. 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 Sūtrakāra himself will declare 'But as the Self (scriptural texts) acknowledge and make us apprehend (the Lord)' (Ve. Sū. IV, 1, 3). Thus the Vākyakāra 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 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 Gyotishtoma-sacrifice'--are liable to refutation?--True, we reply. As in the case of the Udgātri and Pratihartri breaking the chain (not at the same time, but) in succession 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 Vedānta-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' (Kh. 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 Mīmāmsā principle referred to above--decide that the texts referring to Brahman as devoid of qualities are of greater force, because they are later in older 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 othcr 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 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' (Kh. 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 Taittirīya passage 'The True, knowledge, infinite is Brahman' gives the strict definition.

In agreement with the principle that all sākhās 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 Khāndogya 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 Taittirīya-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, lakshanā)!--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 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; sattā) and perception (or 'consciousness'; anubhūti). 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 (bādhita) 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 (vyāvritti, 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 (bādhita). Individual difference (vyāvritti) 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 svayamprakāsa.

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 (prakāsate) 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 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 ahamkāra.

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 (gada); for non-intelligence invariably accompanies absence of Selfhood (anātmatva); 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 (gada), having its abode in the ahamkāra, 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 ahamkāra 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 ahamkāra, 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 pūrvapaksha 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 Vedānta-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.


22:1 In agreement with the use made of this passage by the Pūrvapakshin, viāna must here be understood in the sense of avidyā. Viānasabdena vividham āyate-neneti karanavyutpattyā-vidyā-bhidhiyate. Sru. Pra.

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.

26:1 The reference is to the point discussed Pū. Mī. Sū. VI, 5, 54 (Gaim. Nyā. Mālā Vistara,).

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.

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

30:1 The theory here referred to is held by some of the Mīmāmsakas. 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.

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

First Pāda: The Great Siddhānta.


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.

First Pāda: There is no proof of non-differenced substance

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.

First Pāda: Sabda proves difference

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.

First Pāda: Pratyaksha--even of the nirvikalpaka kind--proves 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.

First Pāda: The bhedābheda view is untenable

The bhedābheda 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 bhedābheda 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 Sūtrakāra in II, 2, 33.

First Pāda: Inference also teaches difference

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.

First Pāda: Perception does not reveal mere being

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 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 anuvāda, 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 (gāti).--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.


44:1 Colour reveals itself as well as the thing that has colour; knowledge reveals itself as well as the object known; so difference manifests itself as well as the things that differ.

First Pāda: Plurality is not unreal

Plurality is not unreal.

Next as to the assertion that all difference presented in our cognition-as of jars, pieces of cloth and the like--is unreal because such difference does not persist. This view, we maintain, is altogether erroneous, springs in fact from the neglect of distinguishing between persistence and non-persistence on the one hand, and the relation between what sublates and what is sublated on the other hand. Where two cognitions are mutually contradictory, there the latter relation holds good, and there is non-persistence of what is sublated. But jars, pieces of cloth and the like, do not contradict one another, since they are separate in place and time. If on the other hand the non-existence of a thing is cognised at the same time and the same place where and when its existence is cognised, we have a mutual contradiction of two cognitions, and then the stronger one sublates the other cognition which thus comes to an end. But when of a thing that is perceived in connexion with some place and time, the non-existence is perceived in connexion with some other place and time, there arises no contradiction; how then should the one cognition sublate the other? or how can it be said that of a thing absent at one time and place there is absence at other times and places also? In the case of the snake-rope, there arises a cognition of non-existence in connexion with the given place and time; hence there is contradiction, one judgment sublates the other and the sublated cognition comes to an end. But the circumstance of something which is seen at one time and in one place not persisting at another time and in another place is not observed to be invariably accompanied by falsehood, and hence mere non-persistence of this kind does not constitute a reason for unreality. To say, on the other hand, that what is is real because it persists, is to prove what is proved already, and requires no further proof.

First Pāda: Being and consciousness are not one

Being and consciousness are not one.

Hence mere Being does not alone constitute reality. And as the distinction between consciousness and its objects--which rests just on this relation of object and that for which the object is--is proved by perception, the assertion that only consciousness has real existence is also disposed of.

First Pāda: The true meaning of Svayamprakāsatva

The true meaning of Svayamprakāsatva.

We next take up the point as to the self-luminousness of consciousness. The contention that consciousness is not an object holds good for the knowing Self at the time when it illumines (i.e. constitutes as its objects) other things; but there is no absolute rule as to all consciousness never being anything but self-luminous. For common observation shows that the consciousness of one person may become the object of the cognition of another, viz. of an inference founded on the person's friendly or unfriendly appearance and the like, and again that a person's own past states of consciousness become the object of his own cognition--as appears from judgments such as 'At one time I knew.' It cannot therefore be said 'If it is consciousness it is self-proved', nor that consciousness if becoming an object of consciousness would no longer be consciousness; for from this it would follow that one's own past states, and the conscious states of others--because being objects of consciousness--are not themselves consciousness. Moreover, unless it were admitted that there is inferential knowledge of the thoughts of others, there would be no apprehension of the connexion of words and meaning, and this would imply the absolute termination of all human intercourse depending on speech. Nor also would it be possible for pupils to attach themselves to a teacher of sacred lore, for the reason that they had become aware of his wisdom and learning. The general proposition that consciousness does not admit of being an object is in fact quite untenable. The essential 'nature of consciousness or knowledge--consists therein that it shines forth, or manifests itself, through its own being to its own substrate at the present moment; or (to give another definition) that it is instrumental in proving its own object by its own being  Now these two characteristics are established by a person's own state of consciousness and do not vanish when that consciousness becomes the object of another state of consciousness; consciousness remains also in the latter case what it is. Jars and similar things, on the other hand, do not possess consciousness, not because they are objects of consciousness but because they lack the two characteristics stated above. If we made the presence of consciousness dependent on the absence of its being an object of consciousness, we should arrive at the conclusion that consciousness is not consciousness; for there are things--e.g. sky-flowers--which are not objects of consciousness and at the same time are not consciousness. You will perhaps reply to this that a sky-flower's not being consciousness is due not to its not being an object of consciousness, but to its non-existence!--Well then, we rejoin, let us say analogously that the reason of jars and the like not being contradictory to Nescience (i.e. of their being), is their not being of the nature of consciousness, and let us not have recourse to their being objects of consciousness!--But if consciousness is an object of consciousness, we conclude that it also is non-contradictory of Nescience, like a jar!--At this conclusion, we rejoin, you may arrive even on the opposite assumption, reasoning as follows: 'Consciousness is non-contradictory of Nescience, because it is not an object of consciousness, like a sky-flower! All which shows that to maintain as a general principle that something which is an object of consciousness cannot itself be consciousness is simply ridiculous.'


48:1 The comment of the Sru. Pra. on the above definitions runs, with a few additional explanations, as follows: The term 'anubhūti' here denotes knowledge in general, not only such knowledge as is not remembrance (which limited meaning the term has sometimes). With reference to the 'shining forth' it might be said that in this way jars also and similar things know or are conscious because they also shine forth' (viz. in so far as they are known); to exclude jars and the like the text therefore adds 'to its own substrate' (the jar 'shines forth,' not to itself, but to the p. 49 knowing person). There are other attributes of the Self, such as atomic extension, eternity, and so on, which are revealed (not through themselves) but through an act of knowledge different from them; to exclude those the text adds 'through its own being.' In order to exclude past states of consciousness or acts of knowledge, the text adds 'at the present moment.' A past state of consciousness is indeed not revealed without another act of knowledge (representing it), and would thus by itself be excluded; but the text adds this specification (viz. 'at the present moment') on purpose, in order to intimate that a past state of consciousness can be represented by another state--a point denied by the opponent. 'At the present moment' means 'the connexion with the object of knowledge belonging to the present time.' Without the addition of 'to its own substrate' the definition might imply that a state of consciousness is manifest to another person also; to exclude this the clause is added. This first definition might be objected to as acceptable only to those who maintain the svayamprakāsatva-theory (which need not be discussed here); hence a second definition is given.The two clauses 'to its own substrate' and 'at the present moment' have to be supplied in this second definition also. 'Instrumental in bringing about' would apply to staffs, wheels, and such like implements also; hence the text adds 'its own object.' (Staffs, wheels, &c. have no 'objects.') Knowledge depending on sight does not bring about an object depending on hearing; to exclude this notion of universal instrumentality the text specifies the object by the words 'its own.' The clause 'through its own being' excludes the sense organs, which reveal objects not by their own being, but in so far as they give rise to knowledge. The two clauses 'at the present moment' and 'to its own substrate' have the same office in the second definition as in the first.

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First Pāda: Consciousness is not eternal

Consciousness is not eternal.

It was further maintained by the pūrvapakshin that as consciousness is self-established it has no antecedent non-existence and so on, and that this disproves its having an origin. But this is an attempt to prove something not proved by something else that is equally unproved; comparable to a man blind from birth undertaking to guide another blind man! You have no right to maintain the non-existence of the antecedent non-existence of consciousness on the ground that there is nothing to make us apprehend that non-existence; for there is something to make us apprehend it, viz. consciousness itself!--But how can consciousness at the time when it is, make us apprehend its own previous non-existence which is contradictorily opposed to it?--Consciousness, we rejoin, does not necessarily constitute as its objects only what occupies the same time with itself; were it so it would follow that neither the past nor the future can be the object of consciousness. Or do you mean that there is an absolute rule that the Antecedent non-existence of consciousness, if proved, must be contemporaneous with consciousness? Have you then, we ask, ever observed this so as to be able to assert an absolute rule? And if it were observed, that would prove the existence of previous non-existence, not its negation!--The fact, however, is that no person in his senses will maintain the contemporaneous existence of consciousness and its own antecedent non-existence. In the case of perceptive knowledge originating from sensation, there is indeed this limitation, that it causes the apprehension of such things only as are actually present at the same time. But this limitation does not extend to cognitions of all kinds, nor to all instruments of knowledge; for we observe that remembrance, inference, and the magical perception of Yogis apprehend such things also as are not present at the time of apprehension. On this very point there rests the relation connecting the means of knowledge with their objects, viz. that the former are not without the latter. This does not mean that the instrument of knowledge is connected with its object in that way that it is not without something that is present at the time of cognition; but rather that the instrument of knowledge is opposed to the falsehood of that special form in which the object presents itself as connected with some place and time.--This disposes also of the contention that remembrance has no external object; for it is observed that remembrance is related to such things also as have perished.--Possibly you will now argue as follows. The antecedent non-existence of consciousness cannot be ascertained by perception, for it is not something present at the time of perception. It further cannot be ascertained by the other means of knowledge, since there is no characteristic mark (linga) on which an inference could be based: for we do not observe any characteristic mark invariably accompanied by the antecedent non-existence of consciousness. Nor do we meet with any scriptural text referring to this antecedent non-existence. Hence, in the absence of any valid instrument of knowledge, the antecedent non-existence of consciousness cannot be established at all.--If, we reply, you thus, altogether setting aside the force of self-provedness (on which you had relied hitherto), take your stand on the absence of valid means of knowledge, we again must request you to give in; for there is a valid means of knowledge whereby to prove the antecedent non-existence of consciousness, viz. valid non-perception (anupalabdhi). Moreover, we observe that perceptional knowledge proves its object, be it a jar or something else, to exist only as long as it exists itself, not at all times; we do not, through it, apprehend the antecedent or subsequent existence of the jar. Now this absence of apprehension is due to the fact that consciousness itself is limited in time. If that consciousness which has a jar for its object were itself apprehended as non-limited in time, the object also--the jar--would be apprehended under the same form, i.e. it would be eternal. And if self-established consciousness were eternal, it would be immediately cognised as eternal; but this is not the case. Analogously, if inferential consciousness and other forms of consciousness were apprehended as non-limited in time, they would all of them reveal their objects also as non-limited, and these objects would thus be eternal; for the objects are conform in nature to their respective forms of consciousness.

First Pāda: There is no consciousness without object

There is no consciousness without object.

Nor is there any consciousness devoid of objects; for nothing of this kind is ever known. Moreover, the self-luminousness of consciousness has, by our opponent himself, been proved on the ground that its essential nature consists in illumining (revealing) objects; the self-luminousness of consciousness not admitting of proof apart from its essential nature which consists in the lighting up of objects. And as moreover, according to our opponent, consciousness cannot be the object of another consciousness, it would follow that (having neither an object nor itself being an object) it is something altogether unreal, imaginary.

Nor are you justified in maintaining that in deep sleep, swoon, senselessness and similar states, pure consciousness, devoid of any object, manifests itself. This view is negativedby 'valid non-perception'. If consciousness were present in those states also, there would be remembrance of it at the time of waking from sleep or recovery from swoon; but as a matter of fact there is no such remembrance.--But it is not an absolute rule that something of which we were conscious must be remembered; how then can the absence of remembrance prove the absence of previous consciousness?--Unless, we reply, there be some cause of overpowering strength which quite obliterates all impressions--as e.g. the dissolution of the body--the absence of remembrance does necessarily prove the absence of previous consciousness. And, moreover, in the present case the absence of consciousness does not only follow from absence of remembrance; it is also proved by the thought presenting itself to the person risen from sleep, 'For so long a time I was not conscious of anything.'--Nor may it be said that even if there was consciousness, absence of remembrance would necessarily follow from the absence (during deep sleep) of the distinction of objects, and from the extinction of the consciousness of the 'I'; for the non-consciousness of some one thing, and the absence of some one thing cannot be the cause of the non-remembrance of some other thing, of which there had been consciousness. And that in the states in question the consciousness of the 'I' does persist, will moreover be shown further on.

But, our opponent urges, have you not said yourself that even in deep sleep and similar states there is consciousness marked by difference?--True, we have said so. But that consciousness is consciousness of the Self, and that this is affected by difference will be proved further on. At present we are only interested in denying the existence of your pure consciousness, devoid of all objects and without a substrate. Nor can we admit that your pure consciousness could constitute what we call the consciousness of the Self; for we shall prove that the latter has a substrate.

It thus cannot be maintained that the antecedent non-existence of consciousness does not admit of being proved, because consciousness itself does not prove it. And as we have shown that consciousness itself may be an object of consciousness, we have thereby disproved the alleged impossibility of antecedent non-existence being proved by other means. Herewith falls the assertion that the non-origination of consciousness can be proved.

First Pāda: Consciousness is capable of change

Consciousness is capable of change.

Against the assertion that the alleged non-origination of consciousness at the same time proves that consciousness is not capable of any other changes (p. 36), we remark that the general proposition on which this conclusion rests is too wide: it would extend to antecedent non-existence itself, of which it is evident that it comes to an end, although it does not originate. In qualifying the changes as changes of 'Being,' you manifest great logical acumen indeed! For according to your own view Nescience also (which is not 'Being') does not originate, is the substrate of manifold changes, and comes to an end through the rise of knowledge! Perhaps you will say that the changes of Nescience are all unreal. But, do you then, we ask in reply, admit that any change is real? You do not; and yet it is only this admission which would give a sense to the distinction expressed by the word 'Being' 1.

Nor is it true that consciousness does not admit of any division within itself, because it has no beginning. For the non-originated Self is divided from the body, the senses, &c., and Nescience also, which is avowedly without a beginning, must needs be admitted to be divided from the Self. And if you say that the latter division is unreal, we ask whether you have ever observed a real division invariably connected with origination! Moreover, if the distinction of Nescience from the Self is not real, it follows that Nescience and the Self are essentially one. You further have yourself proved the difference of views by means of the difference of the objects of knowledge as established by non-refuted knowledge; an analogous case being furnished by the difference of acts of cleaving, which results from the difference of objects to be cleft. And if you assert that of this knowing--which is essentially knowing only--nothing that is an object of knowledge can be an attribute, and that these objects--just because they are objects of knowledge--cannot be attributes of knowing; we point out that both these remarks would apply also to eternity, self-luminousness, and the other attributes of 'knowing', which are acknowledged by yourself, and established by valid means of proof. Nor may you urge against this that all these alleged attributes are in reality mere 'consciousness' or 'knowing'; for they are essentially distinct. By 'being conscious' or 'knowing', we understand the illumining or manifesting of some object to its own substrate (i.e. the substrate of knowledge), by its own existence (i.e. the existence of knowledge) merely; by self-luminousness (or 'self-illuminatedness') we understand the shining forth or being manifest by its own existence merely to its own substrate; the terms 'shining forth', 'illumining', 'being manifest' in both these definitions meaning the capability of becoming an object of thought and speech which is common to all things, whether intelligent or non-intelligent. Eternity again means 'being present in all time'; oneness means 'being defined by the number one'. Even if you say that these attributes are only negative ones, i.e. equal to the absence of non-intelligence and so on, you still cannot avoid the admission that they are attributes of consciousness. If, on the other hand, being of a nature opposite to non-intelligence and so on, be not admitted as attributes of consciousness--whether of a positive or a negative kind--in addition to its essential nature; it is an altogether unmeaning proceeding to deny to it such qualities, as non-intelligence and the like.

We moreover must admit the following alternative: consciousness is either proved (established) or not. If it is proved it follows that it possesses attributes; if it is not, it is something absolutely nugatory, like a sky-flower, and similar purely imaginary things.


54:1 The Sānkara is not entitled to refer to a distinction of real and unreal division, because according to his theory all distinction is unreal.

First Pāda: Consciousness is the attribute of a permanent Conscious self

Consciousness is the attribute of a permanent Conscious self.

Let it then be said that consciousness is proof (siddhih) itself. Proof of what, we ask in reply, and to whom? If no definite answer can be given to these two questions, consciousness cannot be defined as 'proof'; for 'proof' is a relative notion, like 'son.' You will perhaps reply 'Proof to the Self'; and if we go on asking 'But what is that Self'? you will say, 'Just consciousness as already said by us before.' True, we reply, you said so; but it certainly was not well said. For if it is the nature of consciousness to be 'proof' ('light,' 'enlightenment') on the part of a person with regard to something, how can this consciousness which is thus connected with the person and the thing be itself conscious of itself? To explain: the essential character of consciousness or knowledge is that by its very existence it renders things capable of becoming objects, to its own substrate, of thought and speech. This consciousness (anubhūti), which is also termed āna, avagati, samvid, is a particular attribute belonging to a conscious Self and related to an object: as such it is known to every one on the testimony of his own Self--as appears from ordinary judgments such as 'I know the jar,' 'I understand this matter,' 'I am conscious of (the presence of) this piece of cloth.' That such is the essential nature of consciousness you yourself admit; for you have proved thereby its self-luminousness. Of this consciousness which thus clearly presents itself as the attribute of an agent and as related to an object, it would be difficult indeed to prove that at the same time it is itself the agent; as difficult as it would be to prove that the object of action is the agent.

For we clearly see that this agent (the subject of consciousness) is permanent (constant), while its attribute, i. e. consciousness, not differing herein from joy, grief, and the like, rises, persists for some time, and then comes to an end. The permanency of the conscious subject is proved by the fact of recognition, 'This very same thing was formerly apprehended by me.' The non-permanency of consciousness, on the other hand, is proved by thought expressing itself in the following forms, 'I know at present,' 'I knew at a time,' 'I, the knowing subject, no longer have knowledge of this thing.' How then should consciousness and (the conscious subject be one? If consciousness which changes every moment were admitted to constitute the conscious subject, it would be impossible for us to recognise the thing seen to-day as the one we saw yesterday; for what has been perceived by one cannot be recognised by another. And even if consciousness were identified with the conscious subject and acknowledged as permanent, this would no better account for the fact of recognition. For recognition implies a conscious subject persisting from the earlier to the later moment, and not merely consciousness. Its expression is 'I myself perceived this thing on a former occasion.' According to your view the quality of being a conscious agent cannot at all belong to consciousness; for consciousness, you say, is just consciousness and nothing more. And that there exists a pure consciousness devoid of substrate and objects alike, we have already refuted on the ground that of a thing of this kind we have absolutely no knowledge. And that the consciousness admitted by both of us should be the Self is refuted by immediate consciousness itself. And we have also refuted the fallacious arguments brought forward to prove that mere consciousness is the only reality.--But, another objection is raised, should the relation of the Self and the 'I' not rather be conceived as follows:--In self-consciousness which expresses itself in the judgment 'I know,' that intelligent something which constitutes the absolutely non-objective element, and is pure homogeneous light, is the Self; the objective element (yushmad-artha) on the other hand, which is established through its being illumined (revealed) by the Self is the I--in 'I know'--and this is something different from pure intelligence, something objective or external?

By no means, we reply; for this view contradicts the relation of attribute and substrate of attribute of which we are directly conscious, as implied in the thought 'I know.' Consider also what follows.--'If the I were not the Self, the inwardness of the Self would not exist; for it is just the consciousness of the I which separates the inward from the outward.

'"May I, freeing myself from all pain, enter on free possession of endless delight?" This is the thought which prompts the man desirous of release to apply himself to the study of the sacred texts. Were it a settled matter that release consists in the annihilation of the I, the same man would move away as soon as release were only hinted at. "When I myself have perished, there still persists some consciousness different from me;" to bring this about nobody truly will exert himself.

'Moreover the very existence of consciousness, its being a consciousness at all, and its being self-luminous, depend on its connexion with a Self; when that connexion is dissolved, consciousness itself cannot be established, not any more than the act of cutting can take place when there is no person to cut and nothing to be cut. Hence it is certain that the I, i.e. the knowing subject, is the inward Self.'

This scripture confirms when saying 'By what should he know the knowcr?' (Bri. Up. II, 4, 15); and Smriti also, 'Him who knows this they call the knower of the body' (Bha. Gī. XIII, 1). And the Sūtrakāra also, in the section beginning with 'Not the Self on account of scriptural statement' (II, 3, 17), will say 'For this very reason (it is) a knower' (II, 3, 18); and from this it follows that the Self is not mere consciousness.

What is established by consciousness of the 'I' is the I itself, while the not-I is given in the consciousness of the not-I; hence to say that the knowing subject, which is established by the state of consciousness, 'I know,' is the not-I, is no better than to maintain that one's own mother is a barren woman. Nor can it be said that this 'I,' the knowing subject, is dependent on its light for something else. It rather is self-luminous; for to be self-luminous means to have consciousness for one's essential nature. And that which has light for its essential nature does not depend for its light on something else. The case is analogous to that of the flame of a lamp or candle. From the circumstance that the lamp illumines with its light other things, it does not follow either that it is not luminous, or that its luminousness depends on something else; the fact rather is that the lamp being of luminous nature shines itself and illumines with its light other things also. To explain.--The one substance tegas, i.e. fire or heat, subsists in a double form, viz. as light (prabhā), and as luminous matter. Although light is a quality of luminous substantial things, it is in itself nothing but the substance tegas, not a mere quality like e.g. whiteness; for it exists also apart from its substrates, and possesses colour (which is a quality). Having thus attributes different from those of qualities such as whiteness and so on, and possessing illumining power, it is the substance tegas, not anything else (e.g. a quality). Illumining power belongs to it, because it lights up itself and other things. At the same time it is practically treated as a quality because it always has the substance tegas for its substrate, and depends on it. This must not be objected to on the ground that what is called light is really nothing but dissolving particles of matter which proceed from the substance tegas; for if this were so, shining gems and the sun would in the end consume themselves completely. Moreover, if the flame of a lamp consisted of dissolving particles of matter, it would never be apprehended as a whole; for no reason can be stated why those particles should regularly rise in an agglomerated form to the height of four fingers breadth, and after that simultaneously disperse themselves uniformly in all directions--upwards, sideways, and downwards. The fact is that the flame of the lamp together with its light is produced anew every moment and again vanishes every moment; as we may infer from the successive combination of sufficient causes (viz. particles of oil and wick) and from its coming to an end when those causes are completely consumed.

Analogously to the lamp, the Self is essentially intelligent (kid-rūpa), and has intelligence (kaitanya) for its quality. And to be essentially intelligent means to be self-luminous. There are many scriptural texts declaring this, compare e.g. 'As a mass of salt has neither inside nor outside but is altogether a mass of taste, thus indeed that Self has neither inside nor outside but is altogether a mass of knowledge' (Bri. Up. IV, 5, 13); 'There that person becomes self-luminous, there is no destruction of the knowing of the knower' (Bri. Up. IV, 3, 14; 30); 'He who knows, let me smell this, he is the Self (Kh. Up. VIII, 12, 4); 'Who is that Self? That one who is made of knowledge, among the prānas, within the heart, the light, the person' (Bri. Up. IV, 3, 7); 'For it is he who sees, hears, smells, tastes, thinks, considers, acts, the person whose Self is knowledge' (Pr. Up. IV, 9); 'Whereby should one know the knower' (Bri. Up. IV, 5, 15). 'This person knows,' 'The seer does not see death nor illness nor pain' (Kh. Up. VII, 26, 2); 'That highest person not remembering this body into which he was born' (Kh. Up. VIII, 12, 3); 'Thus these sixteen parts of the spectator that go towards the person; when they have readied the person, sink into him' (Pr. Up. VI, 5); 'From this consisting of mind, there is different an interior Self consisting of knowledge' (Taitt. Up. II, 4). And the Sūtrakāra also will refer to the Self as a 'knower' in II, 3, 18. All which shows that the self-luminous Self is a knower, i.e. a knowing subject, and not pure light (non-personal intelligence). In general we may say that where there is light it must belong to something, as shown by the light of a lamp. The Self thus cannot be mere consciousness. The grammarians moreover tell us that words such as 'consciousness,' 'knowledge,' &c., are relative; neither ordinary nor Vedic language uses expressions such as 'he knows' without reference to an object known and an agent who knows.

With reference to the assertion that consciousness constitutes the Self, because it (consciousness) is not non-intelligent (gada), we ask what you understand by this absence of non-intelligence.' If you reply 'luminousness due to the being of the thing itself (i.e. of the thing which is agada)'; we point out that this definition would wrongly include lamps also, and similar things; and it would moreover give rise to a contradiction, since you do not admit light as an attribute, different from consciousness itself. Nor can we allow you to define agadatva as 'being of that nature that light is always present, without any exception,' for this definition would extend also to pleasure, pain, and similar states. Should you maintain that pleasure and so on, although being throughout of the nature of light, are non-intelligent for the reason that, like jars, &c., they shine forth (appear) to something else and hence belong to the sphere of the not-Self; we ask in reply: Do you mean then to say that knowledge appears to itself? Knowledge no less than pleasure appears to some one else, viz. the 'I': there is, in that respect, no difference between the judgment 'I know,' and the judgment 'I am pleased.' Non-intelligence in the sense of appearingness-to-itself is thus not proved for consciousness; and hence it follows that what constitutes the Self is the non-gada 'I' which is proved to itself by its very Being. That knowledge is of the nature of light depends altogether on its connection with the knowing 'I': it is due to the latter, that knowledge, like pleasure, manifests itself to that conscious person who is its substrate, and not to anybody else. The Self is thus not mere knowledge, but is the knowing 'I.'

First Pāda: The view that the conscious subject is something unreal, due to the ahamkāra, cannot be maintained

The view that the conscious subject is something unreal, due to the ahamkāra, cannot be maintained.

We turn to a further point. You maintain that consciousness which is in reality devoid alike of objects and substrate presents itself, owing to error, in the form of a knowing subject, just as mother o' pearl appears as silver; (consciousness itself being viewed as a real substrate of an erroneous imputation), because an erroneous imputation cannot take place apart from a substrate. But this theory is indefensible. If things were as you desciibe them, the conscious 'I' would be cognised as co-ordinate with the state of consciousness 'I am consciousness,' just as the shining thing presenting itself to our eyes is judged to be silver. But the fact is that the state of consciousness presents itself as something apart, constituting a distinguishing attribute of the I, just as the stick is an attribute of Devadatta who carries it. The judgment 'I am conscious' reveals an 'I' distinguished by consciousness; and to declare that it refers only to a state of consciousness--which is a mere attribute--is no better than to say that the judgment 'Devadatta carries a stick' is about the stick only. Nor are you right in saying that the idea of the Self being a knowing agent, presents itself to the mind of him only who erroneously identifies the Self and the body, an error expressing itself in judgments such as 'I am stout,' and is on that account false; for from this it would follow that the consciousness which is erroneously imagined as a Self is also false; for it presents itself to the mind of the same person. You will perhaps rejoin that consciousness is not false because it (alone) is not sublatcd by that cognition which sublates everything else. Well, we reply, then the knowership of the Self also is not false; for that also is not sublatcd. You further maintain that the character of being a knower, i.e. the agent in the action of knowing, does not become the non-changing Self; that being a knower is something implying change, of a non-intelligent kind (gada), and residing in the ahamkāra which is the abode of change and a mere effect of the Unevolved (the Prakriti); that being an agent and so on is like colour and other qualities, an attribute of what is objective; and that if we admit the Self to be an agent and the object of the notion of the 'I,' it also follows that the Self is, like the body, not a real Self but something external and non-intelligent. But all this is unfounded, since the internal organ is, like the body, non-intelligent, an effect of Prakriti, an object of knowledge, something outward and for the sake of others merely; while being a knowing subject constitutes the special essential nature of intelligent beings. To explain. Just as the body, through its objectiveness, outwardness, and similar causes, is distinguished from what possesses the opposite attributes of subjectiveness, inwardness, and so on; for the same reason the ahamkāra also--which is of the same substantial nature as the body--is similarly distinguished. Hence the ahamkāra is no more a knower than it is something subjective; otherwise there would be an evident contradiction. As knowing cannot be attributed to the ahamkāra, which is an object of knowledge, so knowership also cannot be ascribed to it; for of that also it is the object. Nor can it be maintained that to be a knower is something essentially changing. For to be a knower is to be the substrate of the quality of knowledge, and as the knowing Self is eternal, knowledge which is an essential quality of the Self is also eternal. That the Self is eternal will be declared in the Sūtra, II, 3, 17; and in II, 3, 18 the term 'gńa' (knower) will show that it is an essential quality of the Self to be the abode of knowledge. That a Self whose essential nature is knowledge should be the substrate of the (quality of) knowledge--just as gems and the like are the substrate of light--gives rise to no contradiction whatever.

Knowledge (the quality) which is in itself unlimited, is capable of contraction and expansion, as we shall show later on. In the so-called kshetraa--condition of the Self, knowledge is, owing to the influence of work (karman), of a contracted nature, as it more or less adapts itself to work of different kinds, and is variously determined by the different senses. With reference to this various flow of knowledge as due to the senses, it is spoken of as rising and setting, and the Self possesses the quality of an agent. As this quality is not, however, essential, but originated by action, the Self is essentially unchanging. This changeful quality of being a knower can belong only to the Self whose essential nature is knowledge; not possibly to the non-intelligent ahamkāra. But, you will perhaps say, the ahamkāra, although of non-intelligent nature, may become a knower in so far as by approximation to intelligence it becomes a reflection of the latter. How, we ask in return, is this becoming a reflection of intelligence imagined to take place? Does consciousness become a reflection of the ahamkāra, or does the ahamkāra become a reflection of consciousness? The former alternative is inadmissible, since you will not allow to consciousness the quality of being a knower; and so is the latter since, as explained above, the non-intelligent ahamkāra can never become a knower. Moreover, neither consciousness nor the ahamkāra are objects of visual perception. Only things seen by the eye have reflections.--Let it then be said that as an iron ball is heated by contact with fire, so the consciousness of being a knower is imparted to the ahamkāra through its contact with Intelligence.--This view too is inadmissible; for as you do not allow real knowership to Intelligence, knowership or the consciousness of knowership cannot be imparted to the ahamkāra by contact with Intelligence; and much less even can knowership or the consciousness of it be imparted to Intelligence by contact with the essentially non-intelligent ahamkāra. Nor can we accept what you say about 'manifestation.' Neither the ahamkāra, you say, nor Intelligence is really a knowing subject, but the ahamkāra manifests consciousness abiding within itself (within the ahamkāra), as the mirror manifests the image abiding within it. But the essentially non-intelligent ahamkāra evidently cannot 'manifest' the self-luminous Self. As has been said 'That the non-intelligent ahamkāra should manifest the self-luminous Self, has no more sense than to say that a spent coal manifests the Sun.' The truth is that all things depend for their proof on self-luminous consciousness; and now you maintain that one of these things, viz. the non-intelligent ahamkāra--which itself depends for its light on consciousness--manifests consciousness, whose essential light never rises or sets, and which is the cause that proves everything! Whoever knows the nature of the Self will justly deride such a view! The relation of 'manifestation' cannot hold good between consciousness and the ahamkāra for the further reason also that there is a contradiction in nature between the two, and because it would imply consciousness not to be consciousness. As has been said, 'One cannot manifest the other, owing to contradictoriness; and if the Self were something to be manifested, that would imply its being non-intelligent like a jar.' Nor is the matter improved by your introducing the hand and the sunbeams (above, p. 38), and to say that as the sunbeams while manifesting the hand, are at the same time manifested by the hand, so consciousness, while manifesting the ahamkāra, is at the same time itself manifested by the latter. The sunbeams are in reality not manifested by the hand at all. What takes place is that the motion of the sunbeams is reversed (reflected) by the opposed hand; they thus become more numerous, and hence are perceived more clearly; but this is due altogether to the multitude of beams, not to any manifesting power on the part of the hand.

What could, moreover, be the nature of that 'manifestation' of the Self consisting of Intelligence, which would be effected through the ahamkāra? It cannot be origination; for you acknowledge that what is self-established cannot be originated by anything else. Nor can it be 'illumination' (making to shine forth), since consciousness cannot--according to you--be the object of another consciousness. For the same reason it cannot be any action assisting the means of being conscious of consciousness. For such helpful action could be of two kinds only. It would either be such as to cause the connexion of the object to be known with the sense-organs; as e.g. any action which, in the case of the apprehension of a species or of one's own face, causes connexion between the organ of sight and an individual of the species, or a looking-glass. Or it would be such as to remove some obstructive impurity in the mind of the knowing person; of this kind is the action of calmness and self-restraint with reference to scripture which is the means of apprehending the highest reality. Moreover, even if it were admitted that consciousness may be an object of consciousness, it could not be maintained that the 'I' assists the means whereby that consciousness is effected. For if it did so, it could only be in the way of removing any obstacles impeding the origination of such consciousness; analogous to the way in which a lamp assists the eye by dispelling the darkness which impedes the origination of the apprehension of colour. But in the case under discussion we are unable to imagine such obstacles. There is nothing pertaining to consciousness which obstructs the origination of the knowledge of consciousness and which could be removed by the ahamkāra.--There is something, you will perhaps reply, viz. Nescience! Not so, we reply. That Nescience is removed by the ahamkāra cannot be admitted; knowledge alone can put an end to Nescience. Nor can consciousness be the abode of Nescience, because in that case Nescience would have the same abode and the same object as knowledge.

In pure knowledge where there is no knowing subject and no object of knowledge--the so-called 'witnessing' principle (sākshin)--Nescience cannot exist. Jars and similar things cannot be the abode of Nescience because there is no possibility of their being the abode of knowledge, and for the same reason pure knowledge also cannot be the abode of Nescience. And even if consciousness were admitted to be the abode of Nescience, it could not be the object of knowledge; for consciousness being viewed as the Self cannot be the object of knowledge, and hence knowledge cannot terminate the Nescience abiding within consciousness. For knowledge puts an end to Nescience only with regard to its own objects, as in the case of the snake-rope. And the consequence of this would be that the Nescience attached to consciousness could never be destroyed by any one.--If Nescience, we further remark, is viewed as that which can be defined neither as Being nor non-Being, we shall show later on that such Nescience is something quite incomprehensible.--On the other hand, Nescience, if understood to be the antecedent non-existence of knowledge, is not opposed in nature to the origination of knowledge, and hence the dispelling of Nescience cannot be viewed as promoting the means of the knowledge of the Self.--From all this it follows that the ahamkāra cannot effect in any way 'manifestation of consciousness.'

Nor (to finish up this point) can it be said that it is the essential nature of manifesting agents to manifest things in so far as the latter have their abode in the former; for such a relation is not observed in the case of lamps and the like (which manifest what lies outside them). The essential nature of manifesting agents rather lies therein that they promote the knowledge of things as they really are, and this is also the nature of whatever promotes knowledge and the means thereof. Nor is it even true that the mirror manifests the face. The mirror is only the cause of a certain irregularity, viz. the reversion of the ocular rays of light, and to this irregularity there is due the appearance of the face within the mirror; but the manifesting agent is the light only. And it is evident that the ahamkāra is not capable of producing an irregularity (analogous to that produced by the mirror) in consciousness which is self-luminous.--And--with regard to the second analogous instance alleged by you--the fact is that the species is known through the individual because the latter is its substrate (as expressed in the general principle, 'the species is the form of the individual'), but not because the individual 'manifests' the species. Thus there is no reason, either real or springing from some imperfection, why the consciousness of consciousness should be brought about by its abiding in the ahamkāra, and the attribute of being the knowing agent or the consciousness of that cannot therefore belong to the ahamkāra. Hence, what constitutes the inward Self is not pure consciousness but the 'I' which proves itself as the knowing subject. In the absence of egoity, 'inwardness' could not be established for consciousness.

First Pāda: The conscious subject persists in deep sleep

The conscious subject persists in deep sleep.

We now come to the question as to the nature of deep sleep. In deep sleep the quality of darkness prevails in the mind and there is no consciousness of outward things, and thus there is no distinct and clear presentation of the 'I'; but all the same the Self somehow presents itself up to the time of waking in the one form of the 'I,' and the latter cannot therefore be said to be absent. Pure consciousness assumed by you (to manifest itself in deep sleep) is really in no better case; for a person risen from deep sleep. never represents to himself his state of consciousness during sleep in the form, 'I was pure consciousness free from all egoity and opposed in nature to everything else, witnessing Nescience'; what he thinks is only 'I slept well.' From this form of reflection it appears that even during sleep the Self. i.e. the 'I,' was a knowing subject and perceptive of pleasure. Nor must you urge against this that the reflection has the following form: 'As now I feel pleasure, so I slept then also'; for the reflection is distinctly not of that kind. 1 Nor must you say that owing to the non-permanency of the 'I' its perception of pleasure during sleep cannot connect itself with the waking state. For (the 'I' is permanent as appears from the fact that) the person who has risen from sleep recalls things of which he was conscious before his sleep, 'I did such and such a thing,' 'I observed this or that,' 'I said so or so.'--But, you will perhaps say, he also reflects, 'For such and such a time I was conscious of nothing!'--'And what does this imply?' we ask.--'It implies a negation of everything!'--By no means, we rejoin. The words 'I was conscious' show that the knowing 'I' persisted, and that hence what is negated is only the objects of knowledge. If the negation implied in 'of nothing' included everything, it would also negative the pure consciousness which you hold to persist in deep sleep. In the judgment 'I was conscious of nothing,' the word 'I' clearly refers to the 'I,' i.e. the knowing Self which persists even during deep sleep, while the words 'was conscious of nothing' negative all knowledge on the part of that 'I'; if, now, in the face of this, you undertake to prove by means of this very judgment that knowledge--which is expressly denied--existed at the time, and that the persisting knowing Self did not exist, you may address your proof to the patient gods who give no reply!--But--our opponent goes on to urge--I form the following judgment also: 'I then was not conscious of myself,' and from this I understand that the 'I' did not persist during deep sleep!--You do not know, we rejoin, that this denial of the persistence of the 'I' flatly contradicts the state of consciousness expressed in the judgment 'I was not conscious of myself' and the verbal form of the judgment itself!--But what then is denied by the words 'of myself?--This, we admit, is a reasonable question. Let us consider the point. What is negatived in that judgment is not the knowing 'I' itself, but merely the distinctions of caste, condition of life, &c. which belong to the 'I' at the time of waking. We must distinguish the objects of the several parts of the judgment under discussion. The object of the '(me) myself' is the 'I' distinguished by class characteristics as it presents itself in the waking state; the object of the word 'I' (in the judgment) is that 'I' which consists of a uniform flow of self-consciousness which persists in sleep also, but is then not quite distinct. The judgment 'I did not know myself' therefore means that the sleeper was not conscious of the place where he slept, of his special characteristics, and so on.--It is, moreover, your own view that in deep sleep the Self occupies the position of a witnessing principle with regard to Nescience. But by a witness (sākshin) we understand some one who knows about something by personal observation (sākshāt); a person who does not know cannot be a witness. Accordingly, in scripture as well as in ordinary language a knowing subject only, not mere knowledge, is spoken of as a witness; and with this the Reverend Pānini also agrees when teaching that the word 'sākshin' means one who knows in person (Pā. Sū. V, 2, 91). Now this witness is nothing else but the 'I' which is apprehended in the judgment 'I know '; and how then should this 'I' not be apprehended in the state of sleep? That which itself appears to the Self appears as the 'I,' and it thus follows that also in deep sleep and similar states the Self which then shines forth appears as the 'I.'


68:1 I. e. the reflection as to the perception of pleasure refers to the past state of sleep only, not to the present moment of reflection.

First Pāda: The conscious subject persists in the state of release

The conscious subject persists in the state of release.

To maintain that the consciousness of the 'I' does not persist in the state of final release is again altogether inappropriate. It in fact amounts to the doctrine--only expressed in somewhat different words--that final release is the annihilation of the Self. The 'I' is not a mere attribute of the Self so that even after its destruction the essential nature of the Self might persist--as it persists on the cessation of ignorance; but it constitutes the very nature of the Self. Such judgments as 'I know', 'Knowledge has arisen in me', show, on the other hand, that we are conscious of knowledge as a mere attribute of the Self.--Moreover, a man who suffering pain, mental or of other kind--whether such pain be real or due to error only--puts himself in relation to pain--'I am suffering pain'--naturally begins to reflect how he may once for all free himself from all these manifold afflictions and enjoy a state of untroubled ease; the desire of final release thus having arisen in him he at once sets to work to accomplish it. If, on the other hand, he were to realise that the effect of such activity would be the loss of personal existence, he surely would turn away as soon as somebody began to tell him about 'release'. And the result of this would be that, in the absence of willing and qualified pupils, the whole scriptural teaching as to final release would lose its authoritative character.--Nor must you maintain against this that even in the state of release there persists pure consciousness; for this by no means improves your case. No sensible person exerts himself under the influence of the idea that after he himself has perished there will remain some entity termed 'pure light!'--What constitutes the 'inward' Self thus is the 'I', the knowing subject.

This 'inward' Self shines forth in the state of final release also as an 'I'; for it appears to itself. The general principle is that whatever being appears to itself appears as an 'I'; both parties in the present dispute establish the existence of the transmigrating Self on such appearance. On the contrary, whatever does not appear as an 'I', does not appear to itself; as jars and the like. Now the emancipated Self does thus appear to itself, and therefore it appears as an 'I'. Nor does this appearance as an 'I' imply in any way that the released Self is subject to Nescience and implicated in the Samsāra; for this would contradict the nature of final release, and moreover the consciousness of the 'I' cannot be the cause of Nescience and so on. Nescience (ignorance) is either ignorance as to essential nature, or the cognition of something under an aspect different from the real one (as when a person suffering from jaundice sees all things yellow); or cognition of what is altogether opposite in nature (as when mother o' pearl is mistaken for silver). Now the 'I' constitutes the essential nature of the Self; how then can the consciousness of the 'I,' i.e. the consciousness of its own true nature, implicate the released Self in Nescience, or, in the Samsāra? The fact rather is that such consciousness destroys Nescience, and so on, because it is essentially opposed to them. In agreement with this we observe that persons like the rishi Vāmadeva, in whom the intuition of their identity with Brahman had totally destroyed all Nescience, enjoyed the consciousness of the personal 'I'; for scripture says, 'Seeing this the rishi Vāmadeva understood,I was Manu and the Sun' (Bri. Up. I, 4, 10). And the highest Brahman also, which is opposed to all other forms of Nescience and denoted and conceived as pure Being, is spoken of in an analogous way; cp. 'Let me make each of these three deities,' &c. (Kh. Up. VI, 3, 3); 'May I be many, may I grow forth' (Kh. Up. VI, 2, 3); 'He thought, shall I send forth worlds?' (Ait. Ār. II, 4, 1, 1); and again, 'Since I transcend the Destructible, and am higher also than the Indestructible, therefore I am proclaimed in the world and in the Veda as the highest Person' (Bha. Gī. XV, 18); 'I am the Self, O Gūdākesa.' (Bha. Gī. X, 20); 'Never was I not' (Bha. Gī. II, 12); 'I am the source and the destruction of the whole world' (Bha. Gī. VII, 6); 'I am the source of all; from me proceeds everything' (Bha. Gī. X, 8); 'I am he who raises them from the ocean of the world of death' (Bha. Gī. XII, 7); 'I am the giver of seed, the father' (Bha. Gī. XIV, 4); 'I know the things past' (Bha. Gī. VII, 26).--But if the 'I' (aham) constitutes the essential nature of the Self, how is it that the Holy One teaches the principle of egoity (ahamkāra) to belong to the sphere of objects, 'The great elements, the ahamkāra, the understanding (buddhi), and the Unevolved' (Bha. Gī. XIII, 5)?--As in all passages, we reply, which give information about the true nature of the Self it is spoken of as the 'I', we conclude that the 'I' constitutes the essential nature of the inward Self. Where, on the other hand, the Holy One declares the ahamkāra--a special effect of the Unevolved--to be comprised within the sphere of the Objective, he means that principle which is called ahamkāra, because it causes the assumption of Egoity on the part of the body which belongs to the Not-self. Such egoity constitutes the ahamkāra also designated as pride or arrogance, which causes men to slight persons superior to themselves, and is referred to by scripture in many places as something evil. Such consciousness of the 'I' therefore as is not sublated by anything else has the Self for its object; while, on the other hand, such consciousness of the 'I' as has the body for its object is mere Nescience. In agreement with this the Reverend Parāsara has said, 'Hear from me the essential nature of Nescience; it is the attribution of Selfhood to what is not the Self.' If the Self were pure consciousness then pure consciousness only, and not the quality of being a knowing subject, would present itself in the body also, which is a Not-self wrongly imagined to be a Self. The conclusion therefore remains that the Self is nothing but the knowing 'I'. Thus it has been said, 'As is proved by perception, and as also results from reasoning and tradition, and from its connexion with ignorance, the Self presents itself as a knowing 'I'. And again,'That which is different from body, senses, mind, and vital airs; which does not depend on other means; which is permanent, pervading, divided according to bodies-that is the Self blessed in itself.' Here 'not dependent on other means' means 'self-luminous'; and 'pervading' means 'being of such a nature as to enter, owing to excessive minuteness, into all non-sentient things.'

First Pāda: In cases of Scripture conflicting with Perception, Scripture is not stronger. The True cannot be known through the Untrue

In cases of Scripture conflicting with Perception, Scripture is not stronger. The True cannot be known through the Untrue.

With reference to the assertion that Perception, which depends on the view of plurality, is based on some defect and hence admits of being otherwise accounted for--whence it follows that it is sublated by Scripture; we ask you to point out what defect it is on which Perception is based and may hence be accounted for otherwise.--' The beginningless imagination of difference' we expect you to reply.--But, we ask in return, have you then come to know by some other means that this beginningless imagination of difference, acting in a manner analogous to that of certain defects of vision, is really the cause of an altogether perverse view of things?--If you reply that this is known just from the fact that Perception is in conflict with Scripture, we point out that you are reasoning in a circle: you prove the defectiveness of the imagination of plurality through the fact that Scripture tells us about a substance devoid of all difference; and at the same time you prove the latter point through the former. Moreover, if Perception gives rise to perverse cognition because it is based on the imagination of plurality, Scripture also is in no better case--for it is based on the very same view.--If against this you urge that Scripture, although based on a defect, yet sublates Perception in so far as it is the cause of a cognition which dispels all plurality apprehended through Perception, and thus is later in order than Perception; we rejoin that the defectiveness of the foundation of Scripture having once been recognised, the circumstance of its being later is of no avail. For if a man is afraid of a rope which he mistakes for a snake his fear does not come to an end because another man, whom he considers to be in error himself, tells him 'This is no snake, do not be afraid.' And that Scripture is founded on something defective is known at the very time of hearing Scripture, for the reflection (which follows on hearing) consists in repeated attempts to cognise the oneness of Brahman--a cognition which is destructive of all the plurality apprehended through the first hearing of the Veda.--We further ask, 'By what means do you arrive at the conclusion that Scripture cannot possibly be assumed to be defective in any way, while defects may be ascribed to Perception'? It is certainly not Consciousness--self-proved and absolutely devoid of all difference--which enlightens you on this point; for such Consciousness is unrelated to any objects whatever, and incapable of partiality to Scripture. Nor can sense-perception be the source of your conviction; for as it is founded on what is defective it gives perverse information. Nor again the other sources of knowledge; for they are all based on sense-perception. As thus there are no acknowledged means of knowledge to prove your view, you must give it up. But, you will perhaps say, we proceed by means of the ordinary empirical means and objects of knowledge!--What, we ask in reply, do you understand by 'empirical'?--What rests on immediate unreflective knowledge, but is found not to hold good when tested by logical reasoning!--But what is the use, we ask, of knowledge of this kind? If logical reasoning refutes something known through some means of knowledge, that means of knowledge is no longer authoritative!--Now you will possibly argue as follows: 'Scripture as well as Perception is founded on Nescience; but all the same Perception is sublated by Scripture. For as the object of Scripture, i.e. Brahman, which is one and without a second, is not seen to be sublated by any ulterior cognition, Brahman, i.e. pure non-differenced Consciousness, remains as the sole Reality.'--But here too you are wrong, since we must decide that something which rests on a defect is unreal, although it may remain unrefuted. We will illustrate this point by an analogous instance. Let us imagine a race of men afflicted with a certain special defect of vision, without being aware of this their defect, dwelling in some remote mountain caves inaccessible to all other men provided with sound eyes. As we assume all of these cave dwellers to be afflicted with the same defect of vision, they, all of them, will equally see and judge bright things, e.g. the moon, to be double. Now in the case of these people there never arises a subsequent cognition sublating their primitive cognition; but the latter is false all the same, and its object, viz., the doubleness of the moon, is false likewise; the defect of vision being the cause of a cognition not corresponding to reality.--And so it is with the cognition of Brahman also. This cognition is based on Nescience, and therefore is false, together with its object, viz. Brahman, although no sublating cognition presents itself.--This conclusion admits of various expressions in logical form. 'The Brahman under dispute is false because it is the object of knowledge which has sprung from what is affected with Nescience; as the phenomenal world is.' 'Brahman is false because it is the object of knowledge; as the world is.' 'Brahman is false because it is the object of knowledge, the rise of which has the Untrue for its cause; as the world is.'

You will now perhaps set forth the following analogy. States of dreaming consciousness--such as the perception of elephants and the like in one's dreams--are unreal, and yet they are the cause of the knowledge of real things, viz. good or ill fortune (portended by those dreams). Hence there is no reason why Scripture--although unreal in so far as based on Nescience--should not likewise be the cause of the cognition of what is real, viz. Brahman.--The two cases are not parallel, we reply. The conscious states experienced in dreams are not unreal; it is only their objects that are false; these objects only, not the conscious states, are sublated by the waking consciousness. Nobody thinks 'the cognitions of which I was conscious in my dream are unreal'; what men actually think is 'the cognitions are real, but the things are not real.' In the same way the illusive state of consciousness which the magician produces in the minds of other men by means of mantras, drugs, &c., is true, and hence the cause of love and fear; for such states of consciousness also are not sublated. The cognition which, owing to some defect in the object, the sense organ, &c., apprehends a rope as a snake is real, and hence the cause of fear and other emotions. True also is the imagination which, owing to the nearness of a snake, arises in the mind of a man though not actually bitten, viz. that he has been bitten; true also is the representation of the imagined poison, for it may be the cause of actual death. In the same way the reflection of the face in the water is real, and hence enables us to ascertain details belonging to the real face. All these states of consciousness are real, as we conclude from their having a beginning and actual effects.--Nor would it avail you to object that in the absence of real elephants, and so on, the ideas of them cannot be real. For ideas require only some substrate in general; the mere appearance of a thing is a sufficient substrate, and such an appearance is present in the case in question, owing to a certain defect. The thing we determine to be unreal because it is sublated; the idea is non-sublated, and therefore real.

Nor can you quote in favour of your view--of the real being known through the unreal--the instance of the stroke and the letter. The letter being apprehended through the stroke (i.e. the written character) does not furnish a case of the real being apprehended through the unreal; for the stroke itself is real.--But the stroke causes the idea of the letter only in so far as it is apprehended as being a letter, and this 'being a letter' is untrue!--Not so, we rejoin. If this 'being a letter' were unreal it could not be a means of the apprehension of the letter; for we neither observe nor can prove that what is non-existent and indefinable constitutes a means.--Let then the idea of the letter constitute the means!--In that case, we rejoin, the apprehension of the real does not spring from the unreal; and besides, it would follow therefrom that the means and what is to be effected thereby would be one, i.e. both would be, without any distinction, the idea of the letter only. Moreover, if the means were constituted by the stroke in so far as it is not the letter, the apprehension of all letters would result from the sight of one stroke; for one stroke may easily be conceived as not being any letter.--But, in the same way as the word 'Devadatta' conventionally denotes some particular man, so some particular stroke apprehended by the eye may conventionally symbolise some particular letter to be apprehended by the ear, and thus a particular stroke may be the cause of the idea of a particular letter!--Quite so, we reply, but on this explanation the real is known through the real; for both stroke and conventional power of symbolisation are real. The case is analogous to that of the idea of a buffalo being caused by the picture of a buffalo; that idea rests on the similarity of picture and thing depicted, and that similarity is something real. Nor can it be said (with a view to proving the pūrvapaksha by another analogous instance) that we meet with a cognition of the real by means of the unreal in the case of sound (sabda) which is essentially uniform, but causes the apprehension of different things by means of difference of tone (nāda). For sound is the cause of the apprehension of different things in so far only as we apprehend the connexion of sound manifesting itself in various tones, with the different things indicated by those various tones 1. And, moreover, it is not correct to argue on the ground of the uniformity of sound; for only particular significant sounds such as 'ga,' which can be apprehended by the ear, are really 'sound.'--All this proves that it is difficult indeed to show that the knowledge of a true thing, viz. Brahman, can be derived from Scripture, if Scripture--as based on Nescience--is itself untrue.

Our opponent may finally argue as follows:--Scripture is not unreal in the same sense as a sky-flower is unreal; for antecedently to the cognition of universal non-duality Scripture is viewed as something that is, and only on the rise of that knowledge it is seen to be unreal. At this latter time Scripture no longer is a means of cognising Brahman, devoid of all difference, consisting of pure Intelligence; as long on the other hand as it is such a means, Scripture is; for then we judge 'Scripture is.'--But to this we reply that if Scripture is not (true), the judgment 'Scripture is' is false, and hence the knowledge resting on false Scripture being false likewise, the object of that knowledge, i.e. Brahman itself, is false. If the cognition of fire which rests on mist being mistaken for smoke is false, it follows that the object of that cognition, viz. fire itself, is likewise unreal. Nor can it be shown that (in the case of Brahman) there is no possibility of ulterior sublative cognition; for there may be such sublative cognition, viz. the one expressed in the judgment 'the Reality is a Void.' And if you say that this latter judgment rests on error, we point out that according to yourself the knowledge of Brahman is also based on error. And of our judgment (viz. 'the Reality is a Void') it may truly be said that all further negation is impossible.--But there is no need to continue this demolition of an altogether baseless theory.


77:1 And those manifestations of sound by means of various tones are themselves something real.

First Pāda: No scriptural texts teach a Brahman devoid of all difference

No scriptural texts teach a Brahman devoid of all difference.

We now turn to the assertion that certain scriptural texts, as e.g. 'Being only was this in the beginning,' are meant to teach that there truly exists only one homogeneous substance, viz. Intelligence free from all difference.--This we cannot allow. For the section in which the quoted text occurs, in order to make good the initial declaration that by the knowledge of one thing all things are known, shows that the highest Brahman which is denoted by the term 'Being' is the substantial and also the operative cause of the world; that it is all-knowing, endowed with all powers; that its purposes come true; that it is the inward principle, the support and the ruler of everything; and that distinguished by these and other good qualities it constitutes the Self of the entire world; and then finally proceeds to instruct Svetaketu that this Brahman constitutes his Self also ('Thou art that'). We have fully set forth this point in the Vedārtha-samgraha and shall establish it in greater detail in the present work also, in the so-called ārambhana-adhikarana.--In the same way the passage 'the higher knowledge is that by which the Indestructible is apprehended, &c.' (Mu. Up. I, 1, 5) first denies of Brahman all the evil qualities connected with Prakriti, and then teaches that to it there belong eternity, all-pervadingness. subtilty, omnipresence, omniscience, imperishableness, creativeness with regard to all beings, and other auspicious qualities. Now we maintain that also the text 'True, knowledge, infinite is Brahman', does not prove a substance devoid of all difference, for the reason that the co-ordination of the terms of which it consists explains itself in so far only as denoting one thing distinguished by several attributes. For 'co-ordination' (sāmānādhikaranya, lit.'the abiding of several things in a common substrate') means the reference (of several terms) to one thing, there being a difference of reason for the application (of several terms to one thing). Now whether we take the several terms,' True','Knowledge','Infinite', in their primary sense, i.e. as denoting qualities, or as denoting modes of being opposed to whatever is contrary to those qualities; in either case we must needs admit a plurality of causes for the application of those several terms to one thing. There is however that difference between the two alternatives that in the former case the terms preserve their primary meaning, while in the latter case their denotative power depends on so-called 'implication' (lakshanā). Nor can it be said that the opposition in nature to non-knowledge,&c.(which is the purport of the terms on the hypothesis of lakshanā), constitutes nothing more than the essential nature (of one non-differenced substance; the three terms thus having one purport only); for as such essential nature would be sufficiently apprehended through one term, the employment of further terms would be purposeless. This view would moreover be in conflict with co-ordination, as it would not allow of difference of motive for several terms applied to one thing. On the other hand it cannot be urged against the former alternative that the distinction of several attributes predicated of one thing implies a distinction in the thing to which the attributes belong, and that from this it follows that the several terms denote several things--a result which also could not be reconciled with 'co-ordination'; for what 'co-ordination' aims at is just to convey the idea of one thing being qualified by several attributes. For the grammarians define 'coordination' as the application, to one thing, of several words, for the application of each of which there is a different motive.

You have further maintained the following view:--In the text 'one only without a second', the phrase 'without a second' negatives all duality on Brahman's part even in so far as qualities are concerned. We must therefore, according to the principle that all Sākhās convey the same doctrine, assume that all texts which speak of Brahman as cause, aim at setting forth an absolutely non-dual substance. Of Brahman thus indirectly defined as a cause, the text 'The True, knowledge, infinite is Brahman,' contains a direct definition; the Brahman here meant to be defined must thus be devoid of all qualities. Otherwise, moreover, the text would be in conflict with those other texts which declare Brahman to be without qualities and blemish.--But this also cannot be admitted. What the phrase 'without a second' really aims at intimating is that Brahman possesses manifold powers, and this it does by denying the existence of another ruling principle different from Brahman. That Brahman actually possesses manifold powers the text shows further on, 'It thought, may I be many, may I grow forth,' and 'it sent forth fire,' and so on.--But how are we to know that the mere phrase 'without a second' is meant to negative the existence of all other causes in general?--As follows, we reply. The clause 'Being only this was in the beginning, one only,' teaches that Brahman when about to create constitutes the substantial cause of the world. Here the idea of some further operative cause capable of giving rise to the effect naturally presents itself to the mind, and hence we understand that the added clause 'without a second' is meant to negative such an additional cause. If it were meant absolutely to deny all duality, it would deny also the eternity and other attributes of Brahman which you yourself assume. You in this case make just the wrong use of the principle of all the--Sākhās containing the same doctrine; what this principle demands is that the qualities attributed in all--Sākhās to Brahman as cause should be taken over into the passage under discussion also. The same consideration teaches us that also the text 'True, knowledge', &c., teaches Brahman to possess attributes; for this passage has to be interpreted in agreement with the texts referring to Brahman as a cause. Nor does this imply a conflict with the texts which declare Brahman to be without qualities; for those texts are meant to negative the evil qualities depending on Prakriti.--Those texts again which refer to mere knowledge declare indeed that knowledge is the essential nature of Brahman, but this does not mean that mere knowledge constitutes the fundamental reality. For knowledge constitutes the essential nature of a knowing subject only which is the substrate of knowledge, in the same way as the sun, lamps, and gems are the substrate of Light. That Brahman is a knowing subject all scriptural texts declare; cp. 'He who is all knowing' (Mu. Up. I, 1, 9); 'It thought' (Kh. Up.VI, 2, 3); 'This divine being thought' (Kh. Up. VI, 3, 2); 'He thought, let me send forth the worlds' (Ait. Ār. II,4, 1, 2); 'He who arranges the wishes--as eternal of those who are not eternal, as thinker of (other) thinkers, as one of many' (Ka. Up. II, 5, 13); 'There are two unborn ones--one who knows, one who does not know--one strong, the other weak' (Svet. Up. I, 9); 'Let us know Him, the highest of Lords, the great Lord, the highest deity of deities, the master of masters, the highest above the god, the lord of the world, the adorable one' (Svet. Up. VI, 7); 'Of him there is known no effect (body) or instrument; no one is seen like unto him or better; his high power is revealed as manifold, forming his essential nature, as knowledge, strength, and action' (Svet. Up. VI, 8); 'That is the Self, free from sin, ageless, deathless, griefless, free from hunger and thirst, whose wishes are true, whose purposes are true' (Kh. Up. VIII, 1, 5). These and other texts declare that to Brahman, whose essential nature is knowledge, there belong many excellent qualities--among which that of being a knowing subject stands first, and that Brahman is free from all evil qualities. That the texts referring to Brahman as free from qualities, and those which speak of it as possessing qualities, have really one and the same object may be inferred from the last of the passages quoted above; the earlier part of which--'free from sin,' up to 'free from thirst'--denies of Brahman all evil qualities, while its latter part--'whose wishes are true,' and so on--asserts of its certain excellent qualities. As thus there is no contradiction between the two classes of texts, there is no reason whatever to assume that either of them has for its object something that is false.--With regard to the concluding passage of the Taittiriya-text, 'from whence all speech, together with the mind, turns away, unable to reach it 1,' we point out that with the passage 'From terror of it the wind blows,' there begins a declaration of the qualities of Brahman, and that the next section 'one hundred times that human bliss,' &c., makes statements as to the relative bliss enjoyed by the different classes of embodied souls; the concluding passage 'He who knows the bliss of that Brahman from whence all speech, together with the mind, turns away unable to reach it,' hence must be taken as proclaiming with emphasis the infinite nature of Brahman's auspicious qualities. Moreover, a clause in the chapter under discussion--viz. 'he obtains all desires, together with Brahman the all-wise' (II, 1)--which gives information as to the fruit of the knowledge of Brahman clearly declares the infinite nature of the qualities of the highest all-wise Brahman. The desires are the auspicious qualities of Brahman which are the objects of desire; the man who knows Brahman obtains, together with Brahman, all qualities of it. The expression 'together with' is meant to bring out the primary importance of the qualities; as also described in the so-called dahara-vidyā (Kh. Up. VIII, 1). And that fruit and meditation are of the same character (i.e. that in meditations on Brahman its qualities are the chief matter of meditation, just as these qualities are the principal point in Brahman reached by the Devotee) is proved by the text 'According to what a man's thought is in this world, so will he be after he has departed this life' (Kh. Up. III, 14, 1). If it be said that the passage 'By whom it is not thought by him it is thought', 'not understood by those who understand' (Ke. Up. II, 3), declares Brahman not to be an object of knowledge; we deny this, because were it so, certain other texts would not teach that final Release results from knowledge; cp. 'He who knows Brahman obtains the Highest' (Taitt. Up. II, 1, 1); 'He knows Brahman, he becomes Brahman.' And, moreover, the text 'He who knows Brahman as non-existing becomes himself non-existing; he who knows Brahman as existing, him we know himself as existing' (Taitt Up. II, 6, 1), makes the existence and non-existence of the Self dependent on the existence and non-existence of knowledge which has Brahman for its object. We thus conclude that all scriptural texts enjoin just the knowledge of Brahman for the sake of final Release. This knowledge is, as we already know, of the nature of meditation, and what is to be meditated on is Brahman as possessing qualities. (The text from the Ke. Up. then explains itself as follows:--) We are informed by the passage 'from whence speech together with mind turns away, being unable to reach it', that the infinite Brahman with its unlimited excellences cannot be defined either by mind or speech as being so or so much, and from this we conclude the Kena text to mean that Brahman is not thought and not understood by those who understand it to be of a definitely limited nature; Brahman in truth being unlimited. If the text did not mean this, it would be self-contradictory, parts of it saying that Brahman is not thought and not understood, and other parts, that it is thought and is understood.

Now as regards the assertion that the text 'Thou mayest not see the seer of seeing; thou mayest not think the thinker of thinking' (Bri. Up. III, 5, 2), denies the existence of a seeing and thinking subject different from mere seeing and thinking--This view is refuted by the following interpretation. The text addresses itself to a person who has formed the erroneous opinion that the quality of consciousness or knowledge does not constitute the essential nature of the knower, but belongs to it only as an adventitious attribute, and tells him 'Do not view or think the Self to be such, but consider the seeing and thinking Self to have seeing and thinking for its essential nature.'--Or else this text may mean that the embodied Self which is the seer of seeing and the thinker of thinking should be set aside, and that only the highest Self--the inner Self of all beings--should be meditated upon.--Otherwise a conflict would arise with texts declaring the knowership of the Self, such as 'whereby should he know the knower?' (Bri. Up. IV, 5, 15).

Your assertion that the text 'Bliss is Brahman' (Taitt. Up. III, 6, 1) proves pure Bliss to constitute the essential nature of Brahman is already disposed of by the refutation of the view that knowledge (consciousness) constitutes the essential nature of Brahman; Brahman being in reality the substrate only of knowledge. For by bliss we understand a pleasing state of consciousness. Such passages as 'consciousness, bliss is Brahman,' therefore mean 'consciousness--the essential character of which is bliss--is Brahman.' On this identity of the two things there rests that homogeneous character of Brahman, so much insisted upon by yourself. And in the same way as numerous passages teach that Brahman, while having knowledge for its essential nature, is at the same time a knowing subject; so other passages, speaking of Brahman as something separate from mere bliss, show it to be not mere bliss but a subject enjoying bliss; cp. 'That is one bliss of Brahman' (Taitt. Up. II, 8, 4); 'he knowing the bliss of Brahman' (Taitt. Up. II, 9, 1). To be a subject enjoying bliss is in fact the same as to be a conscious subject.

We now turn to the numerous texts which, according to the view of our opponent, negative the existence of plurality.--'Where there is duality as it were' (Bri. Up. IV, 5, 15); 'There is not any plurality here; from death to death goes he who sees here any plurality' (Bri. Up. IV, 4, 19); 'But when for him the Self alone has become all, by what means, and whom, should he see?' (Bri. Up. IV, 5, 15) &c.--But what all these texts deny is only plurality in so far as contradicting that unity of the world which depends on its being in its entirety an effect of Brahman, and having Brahman for its inward ruling principle and its true Self. They do not, on the other hand, deny that plurality on Brahman's part which depends on its intention to become manifold--a plurality proved by the text 'May I be many, may I grow forth' (Kh. Up. VI, 2, 3). Nor can our opponent urge against this that, owing to the denial of plurality contained in other passages this last text refers to something not real; for it is an altogether laughable assertion that Scripture should at first teach the doctrine, difficult to comprehend, that plurality as suggested by Perception and the other means of Knowledge belongs to Brahman also, and should afterwards negative this very doctrine!

Nor is it true that the text 'If he makes but the smallest "antaram" (i.e. difference, interval, break) in it there is fear for him' (Taitt. Up. II, 7) implies that he who sees plurality within Brahman encounters fear. For the other text 'All this is Brahman; let a man meditate with calm mind on all this as beginning, ending and breathing in it, i.e. Brahman' (Kh. Up. III, 14, 1) teaches directly that reflection on the plurality of Brahman is the cause of peace of mind. For this passage declares that peace of mind is produced by a reflection on the entire world as springing from, abiding within, and being absorbed into Brahman, and thus having Brahman for its Self; and as thus the view of Brahman constituting the Self of the world with all its manifold distinctions of gods, men, animals, inanimate matter and so on, is said to be the cause of peace of mind, and, consequently, of absence of fear, that same view surely cannot be a cause of fear!--But how then is it that the Taitt. text declares that 'there is fear for him'?--That text, we reply, declares in its earlier part that rest in Brahman is the cause of fearlessness ('when he finds freedom from fear, rest, in that which is invisible, incorporeal, undefined, unsupported; then he has obtained fearlessness'); its latter part therefore means that fear takes place when there is an interval, a break, in this resting in Brahman. As the great Rishi says 'When Vāsudeva is not meditated on for an hour or even a moment only; that is loss, that is great calamity, that is error, that is change.'

The Sūtra III, 2, ii does not, as our opponent alleges, refer to a Brahman free from all difference, but to Brahman as possessing attributes--as we shall show in its place. And the Sūtra IV, 2, 3 declares that the things seen in dreams are mere 'Māyā' because they differ in character from the things perceived in the waking state; from which it follows that the latter things are real.


82:1 Which passage appears to refer to a nirguna brahman, whence it might be inferred that the connected initial passage--'Satyam anam,' &c.--has a similar purport.

First Pāda: Nor do Smriti and Purāna teach such a doctrine

Nor do Smriti and Purāna teach such a doctrine.

Nor is it true that also according to Smriti and Purānas only non-differenced consciousness is real and everything else unreal.--'He who knows me as unborn and without a beginning, the supreme Lord of the worlds' (Bha. Gī. X, 3); 'All beings abide in me, I abide not in them. Nay, the beings abide not in me--behold my lordly power. My Self bringing forth the beings supports them but does not abide in them' (Bha. Gī. IX, 4, 5); 'I am the origin and the dissolution of the entire world; higher than I there is nothing else: on me all this is strung as pearls on a thread' (Bha. Gī. VII, 6, 7); 'Pervading this entire Universe by a portion (of mine) I abide' (Bha. Gī. X, 42); 'But another, the highest Person, is called the highest Self who, pervading the three worlds supports them, the eternal Lord. Because I transcend the Perishable and am higher than the Imperishable even, I am among the people and in the Veda celebrated as the supreme Person' (Bha. Gī. XV, 17, 18).

'He transcends the fundamental matter of all beings, its modifications, properties and imperfections; he transcends all investing (obscuring) influences, he who is the Self of all. Whatever (room) there is in the interstices of the world is filled by him; all auspicious qualities constitute his nature. The whole creation of beings is taken out of a small part of his power. Assuming at will whatever form he desires he bestows benefits on the whole world effected by him. Glory, strength, dominion, wisdom, energy, power and other attributes are collected in him, Supreme of the supreme in whom no troubles abide, ruler over high and low, lord in collective and distributive form, non-manifest and manifest, universal lord, all-seeing, all-knowing, all-powerful, highest Lord. The knowledge by which that perfect, pure, highest, stainless homogeneous (Brahman) is known or perceived or comprehended--that is knowledge: all else is ignorance' (Vishnu Purāna VI, 5, 82-87).--'To that pure one of mighty power, the highest Brahman to which no term is applicable, the cause of all causes, the name "Bhagavat" is suitable. The letter bha implies both the cherisher and supporter; the letter ga the leader, mover and creator. The two syllables bhaga indicate the six attributes--dominion, strength, glory, splendour, wisdom, dispassion. That in him--the universal Self, the Self of the beings--all beings dwell and that he dwells in all, this is the meaning of the letter va. Wisdom, might, strength, dominion, glory, without any evil qualities, are all denoted by the word bhagavat. This great word bhagavat is the name of Vāsudeva who is the highest Brahman--and of no one else. This word which denotes persons worthy of reverence in general is used in its primary sense with reference to Vāsudeva only; in a derived sense with regard to other persons' (Vi. Pu. VI, 5, 72 ff.); 'Where all these powers abide, that is the form of him who is the universal form: that is the great form of Hari. That form produces in its sport forms endowed with all powers, whether of gods or men or animals. For the purpose of benefiting the worlds, not springing from work (karman) is this action of the unfathomable one; all-pervading, irresistible' (Vi. Pu. VI, 7, 69-71); 'Him who is of this kind, stainless, eternal, all-pervading, imperishable, free from all evil, named Vishnu, the highest abode' (Vi. Pu. I, 22,53); 'He who is the highest of the high, the Person, the highest Self, founded on himself; who is devoid of all the distinguishing characteristics of colour, caste and the like; who is exempt from birth, change, increase, decay and death; of whom it can only be said that he ever is. He is everywhere and in him everything abides; hence he is called Vāsudeva by those who know. He is Brahman, eternal, supreme, imperishable, undecaying; of one essential nature and ever pure, as free from all defects. This whole world is Brahman, comprising within its nature the Evolved and the Unevolved; and also existing in the form of the Person and in that of time' (Vi. Pu. I, 2, 10-14); 'The Prakriti about which I told and which is Evolved as well as Unevolved, and the Person--both these are merged in the highest Self. The highest Self is the support of all, the highest Lord; as Vishnu he is praised in the Vedas and the Vedānta-texts' (Vi. Pu. VI, 4, 38, 39). 'Two forms are there of that Brahman, one material, the other immaterial. These two forms, perishable and imperishable, are within all things: the imperishable one is the highest Brahman, the perishable one this whole world. As the light of a fire burning in one place spreads all around, so the energy of the highest Brahman constitutes this entire world' (Vi. Pu. I, 23,53-55). 'The energy of Vishnu is the highest, that which is called the embodied soul is inferior; and there is another third energy called karman or Nescience, actuated by which the omnipresent energy of the embodied soul perpetually undergoes the afflictions of worldly existence. Obscured by Nescience the energy of the embodied soul is characterised in the different beings by different degrees of perfection' (Vi. Pu. VI, 7, 61-63).

These and other texts teach that the highest Brahman is essentially free from all imperfection whatsoever, comprises within itself all auspicious qualities, and finds its pastime in originating, preserving, reabsorbing, pervading, and ruling the universe; that the entire complex of intelligent and non-intelligent beings (souls and matter) in all their different estates is real, and constitutes the form, i.e. the body of the highest Brahman, as appears from those passages which co-ordinate it with Brahman by means of terms such as sarīra (body), rūpa (form), tanu (body), amsa. (part), sakti (power), vibhūti (manifestation of power), and so on;--that the souls which are a manifestation of Brahman's power exist in their own essential nature, and also, through their connexion with matter, in the form of embodied souls (kshetraa);--and that the embodied souls, being engrossed by Nescience in the form of good and evil works, do not recognise their essential nature, which is knowledge, but view themselves as having the character of material things.--The outcome of all this is that we have to cognise Brahman as carrying plurality within itself, and the world, which is the manifestation of his power, as something real.

When now the text, in the sloka 'where all difference has vanished' (Vi. Pu. VI, 7, 53), declares that the Self, although connected with the different effects of Prakriti, such as divine, human bodies, and so on, yet is essentially free from all such distinctions, and therefore not the object of the words denoting those different classes of beings, but to be defined as mere knowledge and Being; to be known by the Self and not to be reached by the mind of the practitioner of Yoga (yogayug); this must in no way be understood as denying the reality of the world.--But how is this known?--As follows, we reply. The chapter of the Purāna in which that sloka occurs at first declares concentration (Yoga) to be the remedy of all the afflictions of the Samsāra; thereupon explains the different stages of Yoga up to the so-called pratyāhāra (complete restraining of the senses from receiving external impressions); then, in order to teach the attainment of the 'perfect object' (subhāsraya) required for dhāranā, declares that the highest Brahman, i. e. Vishnu, possesses two forms, called powers (sakti), viz. a denned one (mūrta) and an undefined one (amūrta); and then teaches that a portion of the 'defined' form, viz. the embodied soul (kshetraa), which is distinguished by its connexion with matter and involved in Nescience--that is termed 'action,' and constitutes a third power--is not perfect. The chapter further teaches that a portion of the undefined form which is free from Nescience called action, separated from all matter, and possessing the character of pure knowledge, is also not the 'perfect object,' since it is destitute of essential purity; and, finally, declares that the 'perfect object' is to be found in that defined form which is special to Bhagavat, and which is the abode of the three powers, viz. that non-defined form which is the highest power, that non-defined form which is termed embodied soul, and constitutes the secondary (apara) power, and Nescience in the form of work--which is called the third power, and is the cause of the Self, which is of the essence of the highest power, passing into the state of embodied soul. This defined form (which is the 'perfect object') is proved by certain Vedānta-texts, such as 'that great person of sun-like lustre' (Svet. Up. III, 8). We hence must take the sloka, 'in which all differences vanish,' &c., to mean that the pure Self (the Self in so far as knowledge only) is not capable of constituting the 'perfect object.' Analogously two other passages declare 'Because this cannot be reflected upon by the beginner in Yoga, the second (form) of Vishnu is to be meditated upon by Yogins-the highest abode.' 'That in which all these powers have their abode, that is the other great form of Hari, different from the (material) Visva form.'

In an analogous manner, Parāsara declares that Brahmā, Katurmukha, Sanaka, and similar mighty beings which dwell within this world, cannot constitute the 'perfect object' because they are involved in Nescience; after that goes on to say that the beings found in the Samsāra are in the same condition--for they are essentially devoid of purity since they reach their true nature, only later on, when through Yoga knowledge has arisen in them--; and finally teaches that the essential individual nature of the highest Brahman, i.e. Vishnu, constitutes the 'perfect object.' 'From Brahmā down to a blade of grass, all living beings that dwell within this world are in the power of the Samsāra due to works, and hence no profit can be derived by the devout from making them objects of their meditation. They are all implicated in Nescience, and stand within the sphere of the Samsāra; knowledge arises in them only later on, and they are thus of no use in meditation. Their knowledge does not belong to them by essential nature, for it comes to them through something else. Therefore the stainless Brahman which possesses essential knowledge,' &c. &c.--All this proves that the passage 'in which all difference vanishes' does not mean to deny the reality of the world.

Nor, again, does the passage 'that which has knowledge for its essential nature' (Vi. Pu. 1,2,6) imply that the whole complex of things different from knowledge is false; for it declares only that the appearance of the Self--the essential nature of which is knowledge--as gods, men, and so on, is erroneous. A declaration that the appearance of mother o' pearl as silver is founded on error surely does not imply that all the silver in the world is unreal!--But if, on the ground of an insight into the oneness of Brahman and the world--as expressed in texts where the two appear in co-ordination--a text declares that it is an error to view Brahman, whose essential nature is knowledge, under the form of material things, this after all implies that the whole aggregate of things is false!--By no means, we rejoin. As our sįstra distinctly teaches that the highest Brahman, i. e. Vishnu, is free from all imperfections whatsoever, comprises within himself all auspicious qualities, and reveals his power in mighty manifestations, the view of the world's reality cannot possibly be erroneous. That information as to the oneness of two things by means of co-ordination does not allow of sublation (of either of the two), and is non-contradictory, we shall prove further on. Hence also the sloka last referred to does not sublate the reality of the world.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


92:1 'Prānamaya' is explained as meaning 'prana' only.

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

First Pāda: The theory of Nescience cannot be proved

The theory of Nescience cannot be proved.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


102:1 'Nescience' is sublated (refuted) by the cognition of Brahman, p. 103 and thereby shown to have been the object of erroneous cognition: it thus cannot be 'being,' i.e. real. Nor can it be altogether unreal, 'non-being,' because in that case it could not be the object either of mental apprehension or of sublation.

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

111:1 Allowing the former view of the question only.

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

118:1 For a full explanation of the nature of these 'khyātis,' see A. Venis' translation of the Vedānta Siddhānta Muktāvali (Reprint from the Pandit, p. 130 ff.).

First Pāda: All knowledge is of the Real

All knowledge is of the Real.

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

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

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

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

First Pāda: Neither Scripture nor Smriti and Purāna teach Nescience

Neither Scripture nor Smriti and Purāna teach Nescience.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Those, on the other hand, who take their stand on the doctrine, proclaimed by all Upanishads, that the entire world forms the body of Brahman, may accept in their fulness all the texts teaching the identity of the world with Brahman. For as genus (gāti) and quality (guna), so substances (dravya) also may occupy the position of determining attributes (viseshana), in so far namely as they constitute the body of something else. Enunciations such as 'the Self (soul) is, according to its works, born either (as) a god, or a man, or a horse, or a bull,' show that in ordinary speech as well as in the Veda co-ordination has to be taken in a real primary (not implied) sense. In the same way it is also in the case of generic character and of qualities the relation of 'mode' only (in which generic character and qualities stand to substances) which determines statements of co-ordination, such as 'the ox is broken-horned,' 'the cloth is white.' And as material bodies bearing the generic marks of humanity are definite things, in so far only as they are modes of a Self or soul, enunciations of co-ordination such as 'the soul has been born as a man, or a eunuch, or a woman,' are in every way appropriate. What determines statements of co-ordination is thus only the relation of 'mode' in which one thing stands to another, not the relation of generic character, quality, and so on, which are of an exclusive nature (and cannot therefore be exhibited in co-ordination with substances). Such words indeed as denote substances capable of subsisting by themselves occasionally take suffixes, indicating that those substances form the distinguishing attributes of other substances--as when from danda, 'staff,' we form dandin, 'staff-bearer'; in the case, on the other hand, of substances not capable of subsisting and being apprehended apart from others, the fact of their holding the position of attributes is ascertained only from their appearing in grammatical co-ordination.--But, an objection is raised, if it is supposed that in sentences such as 'the Self is born, as god, man, animal,' &c., the body of a man, god, &c., stands towards the Self in the relation of a mode, in the same way as in sentences such as 'the ox is broken-horned,' 'the cloth is white,' the generic characteristic and the quality stand in the relation of modes to the substances ('cow,' 'cloth') to which they are grammatically co-ordinated; then there would necessarily be simultaneous cognition of the mode, and that to which the mode belongs, i.e. of the body and the Self; just as there is simultaneous cognition of the generic character and the individual. But as a matter of fact this is not the case; we do not necessarily observe a human, divine, or animal body together with the Self. The co-ordination expressed in the form 'the Self is a man,' is therefore an 'implied' one only (the statement not admitting of being taken in its primary literal sense).--This is not so, we reply. The relation of bodies to the Self is strictly analogous to that of class characteristics and qualities to the substances in which they inhere; for it is the Self only which is their substrate and their final cause (prayogana), and they are modes of the Self. That the Self only is their substrate, appears from the fact that when the Self separates itself from the body the latter perishes; that the Self alone is their final cause, appears from the fact that they exist to the end that the fruits of the actions of the Self may be enjoyed; and that they are modes of the Self, appears from the fact that they are mere attributes of the Self manifesting itself as god, man, or the like. These are just the circumstances on account of which words like 'cow' extend in their meaning (beyond the class characteristics) so as to comprise the individual also. Where those circumstances are absent, as in the case of staffs, earrings, and the like, the attributive position is expressed (not by co-ordination but) by means of special derivative forms--such as dandin (staff-bearer), kundalin (adorned with earrings). In the case of bodies divine, human, &c., on the other hand, the essential nature of which it is to be mere modes of the Self which constitutes their substrate and final cause, both ordinary and Vedic language express the relation subsisting between the two, in the form of co-ordination, 'This Self is a god, or a man,' &c. That class characteristics and individuals are invariably observed together, is due to the fact of both being objects of visual perception; the Self, on the other hand, is not such, and hence is not apprehended by the eye, while the body is so apprehended. Nor must you raise the objection that it is hard to understand how that which is capable of being apprehended by itself can be a mere mode of something else: for that the body's essential nature actually consists in being a mere mode of the Self is proved--just as in the case of class characteristics and so on--by its having the Self only for its substrate and final cause, and standing to it in the relation of a distinguishing attribute. That two things are invariably perceived together, depends, as already observed, on their being apprehended by means of the same apparatus, visual or otherwise. Earth is naturally connected with smell, taste, and so on, and yet these qualities are not perceived by the eye; in the same way the eye which perceives the body does not perceive that essential characteristic of the body which consists in its being a mere mode of the Self; the reason of the difference being that the eye has no capacity to apprehend the Self. But this does not imply that the body does not possess that essential nature: it rather is just the possession of that essential nature on which the judgment of co-ordination ('the Self is a man, god,' &c.) is based. And as words have the power of denoting the relation of something being a mode of the Self, they denote things together with this relation.--But in ordinary speech the word 'body' is understood to mean the mere body; it does not therefore extend in its denotation up to the Self!--Not so, we reply. The body is, in reality, nothing but a mode of the Self; but, for the purpose of showing the distinction of things, the word 'body' is used in a limited sense. Analogously words such as 'whiteness,' 'generic character of a cow,' 'species,''quality,' are used in a distinctive sense (although 'whiteness' is not found apart from a white thing, of which it is the prakāra, and so on). Words such as 'god,' 'man,' &c., therefore do extend in their connotation up to the Self. And as the individual souls, distinguished by their connexion with aggregates of matter bearing the characteristic marks of humanity, divine nature, and so on, constitute the body of the highest Self, and hence are modes of it, the words denoting those individual souls extend in their connotation up to the very highest Self. And as all intelligent and non-intelligent beings are thus mere modes of the highest Brahman, and have reality thereby only, the words denoting them are used in co-ordination with the terms denoting Brahman.--This point has been demonstrated by me in the Vedārthasamgraha. A Sūtra also (IV, 1, 3) will declare the identity of the world and Brahman to consist in the relation of body and Self; and the Vākyakāra too says 'It is the Self--thus everything should be apprehended.'


130:1 Which are alleged to prove that sāmānādhikaranya is to be explained on the basis of lakshanā.

134:1 Such as 'The True, knowledge,' &c.

First Pāda: Summary statement as to the way in which different scriptural texts are to reconciled

Summary statement as to the way in which different scriptural texts are to reconciled.

The whole matter may be summarily stated as follows. Some texts declare a distinction of nature between non-intelligent matter, intelligent beings, and Brahman, in so far as matter is the object of enjoyment, the souls the enjoying subjects, and Brahman the ruling principle. 'From that the Lord of Māyā creates all this; in that the other one is bound up through that Māyā' (Svet. Up. IV, 9); 'Know Prakriti to be Māyā, and the great Lord the ruler of Māyā' (10); 'What is perishable is the Pradhāna, the immortal and imperishable is Hara: the one God rules the Perishable and the Self' (Svet Up. I, 10)--In this last passage the clause'the immortal and imperishable is Hara,' refers to the enjoying individual soul, which is called 'Hara,' because it draws (harati) towards itself the pradhāna as the object of its enjoyment.--' He is the cause, the lord of the lords of the organs, and there is of him neither parent nor lord' (Svet. Up. VI, 9); 'The master of the pradhāna and of the individual souls' (Svet. Up. VI, 16); 'The ruler of all, the lord of the Selfs, the eternal, blessed, undecaying one' (Mahānār. Up. XI, 3); 'There are two unborn ones, one knowing, the other not knowing, one a ruler, the other not a ruler' (Svet. Up. 1, 9); 'The eternal among the non-eternal, the intelligent one among the intelligent, who though one fulfils the desires of many' (Svet. Up. VI, 13); 'Knowing the enjoyer, the object of enjoyment and the Mover' (Svet. Up. I, 12); 'One of them eats the sweet fruit, the other looks on without eating' (Svet. Up. IV, 6); 'Thinking that the Self is different from the Mover, blessed by him he reaches Immortality' (Svet. Up. I, 6); 'There is one unborn female being, red, white, and black, uniform but producing manifold offspring. There is one unborn male being who loves her and lies by her; there is another who leaves her after he has enjoyed her' (Svet. Up. IV, 5). 'On the same tree man, immersed, bewildered, grieves on account of his impotence; but when he sees the other Lord contented and knows his glory, then his grief passes away' (Svet. Up. IV, 9).--Smriti expresses itself similarly.--'Thus eightfold is my nature divided. Lower is this Nature; other than this and higher know that Nature of mine which constitutes the individual soul, by which this world is supported' (Bha. Gì. VII, 4, 5). 'All beings at the end of a Kalpa return into my Nature, and again at the beginning of a Kalpa do I send them forth. Resting on my own Nature again and again do I send forth this entire body of beings, which has no power of its own. being subject to the power of nature' (Bha. Gī. IX, 7, 8); 'With me as supervisor Nature brings forth the movable and the immovable, and for this reason the world ever moves round' (Bha. Gī. IX, 10}; 'Know thou both Nature and the Soul to be without beginning' (XIII, 19); 'The great Brahman is my womb, in which I place the embryo, and thence there is the origin of all beings' (XIV, 3). This last passage means--the womb of the world is the great Brahman, i.e. non-intelligent matter in its subtle state, commonly called Prakriti; with this I connect the embryo, i.e. the intelligent principle. From this contact of the non-intelligent and the intelligent, due to my will, there ensues the origination of all beings from gods down to lifeless things.

Non-intelligent matter and intelligent beings--holding the relative positions of objects of enjoyment and enjoying subjects, and appearing in multifarious forms--other scriptural texts declare to be permanently connected with the highest Person in so far as they constitute his body, and thus are controlled by him; the highest Person thus constituting their Self. Compare the following passages: 'He who dwells in the earth and within the earth, whom the earth does not know, whose body the earth is, and who rules the earth within, he is thy Self, the ruler within, the immortal,' &c. (Bri. Up. III, 7, 3-23); 'He who moves within the earth, whose body the earth is, &c.; he who moves within death, whose body death is,' &c.(Subāla Up. VII, 1). In this latter passage the word 'death' denotes what is also called 'darkness,' viz. non-intelligent matter in its subtle state; as appears from another passage in the same Upanishad,'the Imperishable is merged in darkness.' And compare also 'Entered within, the ruler of creatures, the Self of all' (Taitt. Ār. III, 24).

Other texts, again, aim at teaching that the highest Self to whom non-intelligent and intelligent beings stand in the relation of body, and hence of modes, subsists in the form of the world, in its causal as well as in its effected aspect, and hence speak of the world in this its double aspect as that which is (the Real); so e.g. 'Being only this was in the beginning, one only without a second--it desired, may I be many, may I grow forth--it sent forth fire,' &c., up to 'all these creatures have their root in that which is,' &c., up to 'that art thou, O Svetaketu' (Kh. Up. VI, 2-8); 'He wished, may I be many,' &c., up to 'it became the true and the untrue' (Taitt. Up. II, 6). These sections also refer to the essential distinction of nature between non-intelligent matter, intelligent beings, and the highest Self which is established by other scriptural texts; so in the Khāndogya passage, 'Let me enter those three divine beings with this living Self, and let me then evolve names and forms'; and in the Taitt. passage, 'Having sent forth that he entered into it; having entered it he became sat and tyat, knowledge and (what is) without knowledge, the true and the untrue,' &c. These two passages evidently have the same purport, and hence the soul's having its Self in Brahman--which view is implied in the Kh. passage--must be understood as resting thereon that the souls (together, with matter) constitute the body of Brahman as asserted in the Taitt. passage ('it became knowledge and that which is without knowledge,' i.e. souls and matter). The same process of evolution of names and forms is described elsewhere also, 'All this was then unevolved; it became evolved by form and name' (Bri. Up. I, 4, 7). The fact is that the highest Self is in its causal or in its 'effected' condition, according as it has for its body intelligent and non-intelligent beings either in their subtle or their gross state; the effect, then, being non-different from the cause, and hence being cognised through the cognition of the cause, the result is that the desired 'cognition of all things through one' can on our view be well established. In the clause 'I will enter into these three divine beings with this living Self,' &c., the term 'the three divine beings' denotes the entire aggregate of non-sentient matter, and as the text declares that the highest Self evolved names and forms by entering into matter by means of the living souls of which he is the Self, it follows that all terms whatsoever denote the highest Self as qualified by individual Selfs, the latter again being qualified by non-sentient matter. A term which denotes the highest Self in its causal condition may therefore be exhibited in co-ordination with another term denoting the highest Self in its 'effected' state, both terms being used in their primary senses. Brahman, having for its modes intelligent and non-intelligent things in their gross and subtle states, thus constitutes effect and cause, and the world thus has Brahman for its material cause (upādāna). Nor does this give rise to any confusion of the essential constituent elements of the great aggregate of things. Of some parti-coloured piece of cloth the material cause is threads white, red, black, &c.; all the same, each definite spot of the cloth is connected with one colour only white e.g., and thus there is no confusion of colours even in the 'effected' condition of the cloth. Analogously the combination of non-sentient matter, sentient beings, and the Lord constitutes the material cause of the world, but this does not imply any confusion of the essential characteristics of enjoying souls, objects of enjoyment, and the universal ruler, even in the world's 'effected' state. There is indeed a difference between the two cases, in so far as the threads are capable of existing apart from one another, and are only occasionally combined according to the volition of men, so that the web sometimes exists in its causal, sometimes in its effected state; while non-sentient matter and sentient beings in all their states form the body of the highest Self, and thus have a being only as the modes of that--on which account the highest Self may, in all cases, be denoted by any term whatsoever. But the two cases are analogous, in so far as there persists a distinction and absence of all confusion, on the part of the constituent elements of the aggregate. This being thus, it follows that the highest Brahman, although entering into the 'effected' condition, remains unchanged--for its essential nature does not become different--and we also understand what constitutes its 'effected' condition, viz. its abiding as the Self of non-intelligent and intelligent beings in their gross condition, distinguished by name and form. For becoming an effect means entering into another state of being.

Those texts, again, which speak of Brahman as devoid of qualities, explain themselves on the ground of Brahman being free from all touch of evil. For the passage, Kh. Up. VIII, 1, 5--which at first negatives all evil qualities 'free from sin, from old age, from death, from grief, from hunger and thirst', and after that affirms auspicious qualities 'whose wishes and purposes come true'--enables us to decide that in other places also the general denial of qualities really refers to evil qualities only.--Passages which declare knowledge to constitute the essential nature of Brahman explain themselves on the ground that of Brahman--which is all-knowing, all-powerful, antagonistic to all evil, a mass of auspicious qualities--the essential nature can be defined as knowledge (intelligence) only--which also follows from the 'self-luminousness' predicated of it. Texts, on the other hand, such as 'He who is all-knowing' (Mu. Up. I, 1, 9); 'His high power is revealed as manifold, as essential, acting as force and knowledge' (Svet. Up. VI, 8);; 'Whereby should he know the knower' (Bri. Up. II, 4, 14), teach the highest Self to be a knowing subject. Other texts, again, such as 'The True, knowledge, infinite is Brahman' (Taitt. Up. II, 1, 1), declare knowledge to constitute its nature, as it can be denned through knowledge only, and is self-luminous. And texts such as 'He desired, may I be many' (Taitt. Up. II, 6); 'It thought, may I be many; it evolved itself through name and form' (Kh. Up. VI, 2), teach that Brahman, through its mere wish, appears in manifold modes. Other texts, again, negative the opposite view, viz. that there is a plurality of things not having their Self in Brahman. 'From death to death goes he who sees here any plurality'; 'There is here not any plurality' (Bri. Up. IV, 4, 19); 'For where there is duality as it were' (Bri. Up. II, 4, 14). But these texts in no way negative that plurality of modes--declared in passages such as 'May I be many, may I 'grow forth'--which springs from Brahman's will, and appears in the distinction of names and forms. This is proved by clauses in those 'negativing' texts themselves, 'Whosoever looks for anything elsewhere than in the Self', 'from that great Being there has been breathed forth the Rig-veda,' &c. (Bri. Up. II, 4, 6, 10).-- On this method of interpretation we find that the texts declaring the essential distinction and separation of non-sentient matter, sentient beings, and the Lord, and those declaring him to be the cause and the world to be the effect, and cause and effect to be identical, do not in any way conflict with other texts declaring that matter and souls form the body of the Lord, and that matter and souls in their causal condition are in a subtle state, not admitting of the distinction of names and forms while in their 'effected' gross state they are subject to that distinction. On the other hand, we do not see how there is any opening for theories maintaining the connexion of Brahman with Nescience, or distinctions in Brahman due to limiting adjuncts (upādhi)--such and similar doctrines rest on fallacious reasoning, and flatly contradict Scripture.

There is nothing contradictory in allowing that certain texts declare the essential distinction of matter, souls, and the Lord, and their mutual relation as modes and that to which the modes belong, and that other texts again represent them as standing in the relation of cause and effect, and teach cause and effect to be one. We may illustrate this by an analogous case from the Karmakānda. There six separate oblations to Agni, and so on, are enjoined by separate so-called originative injunctions; these are thereupon combined into two groups (viz. the new moon and the full-moon sacrifices) by a double clause referring to those groups, and finally a so-called injunction of qualification enjoins the entire sacrifice as something to be performed by persons entertaining a certain wish. In a similar way certain Vedānta-texts give instruction about matter, souls, and the Lord as separate entities ('Perishable is the pradhāna, imperishable and immortal Hara,' &c., Svet Up. I, 10; and others); then other texts teach that matter and souls in all their different states constitute tbc body of the highest Person, while the latter is their Self ('Whose body the earth is,' &c.); and finally another group of texts teaches--by means of words such as 'Being,' 'Brahman,' 'Self,' denoting the highest Self to which the body belongs--that the one highest Self in its causal and effected states comprises within itself the triad of entities which had been taught in separation ('Being only this was in the beginning'; 'In that all this has its Self; 'All this is Brahman').--That the highest Self with matter and souls for its body should be simply called the highest Self, is no more objectionable than that that particular form of Self which is invested with a human body should simply be spoken of as Self or soul--as when we say 'This is a happy soul.'

First Pāda: Nescience cannot be terminated by the simple act of cognising Brahman as the universal self

Nescience cannot be terminated by the simple act of cognising Brahman as the universal self.

The doctrine, again, that Nescience is put an end to by the cognition of Brahman being the Self of all can in no way be upheld; for as bondage is something real it cannot be put an end to by knowledge. How, we ask, can any one assert that bondage--which consists in the experience of pleasure and pain caused by the connexion of souls with bodies of various kind, a connexion springing from good or evil actions--is something false, unreal? And that the cessation of such bondage is to be obtained only through the grace of the highest Self pleased by the devout meditation of the worshipper, we have already explained. As the cognition of universal oneness which you assume rests on a view of things directly contrary to reality, and therefore is false, the only effect it can have is to strengthen the ties of bondage. Moreover, texts such as 'But different is the highest Person' (Bha. Gī. XV, 17), and 'Having known the Self and the Mover as separate' (Svet. Up. I, 6), teach that it is the cognition of Brahman as the inward ruler different from the individual soul, that effects the highest aim of man, i.e. final release. And, further, as that 'bondage-terminating' knowledge which you assume is itself unreal, we should have to look out for another act of cognition to put an end to it.--But may it not be said that this terminating cognition, after having put an end to the whole aggregate of distinctions antagonistic to it, immediately passes away itself, because being of a merely instantaneous nature?--No, we reply. Since its nature, its origination, and its destruction are all alike fictitious, we have clearly to search for another agency capable of destroying that avidyā which is the cause of the fiction of its destruction!--Let us then say that the essential nature of Brahman itself is the destruction of that cognition!--From this it would follow, we reply, that such 'terminating' knowledge would not arise at all; for that the destruction of what is something permanent can clearly not originate!--Who moreover should, according to you, be the cognising subject in a cognition which has for its object the negation of everything that is different from Brahman?--That cognising subject is himself something fictitiously superimposed on Brahman!--This may not be, we reply: he himself would in that case be something to be negatived, and hence an object of the 'terminating' cognition; he could not therefore be the subject of cognition!--Well, then, let us assume that the essential nature of Brahman itself is the cognising subject!--Do you mean,we ask in reply, that Brahman's being the knowing subject in that 'terminating' cognition belongs to Brahman's essential nature, or that it is something fictitiously superimposed on Brahman? In the latter case that superimposition and the Nescience founded on it would persist, because they would not be objects of the terminating cognition, and if a further terminating act of knowledge were assumed, that also would possess a triple aspect (viz. knowledge, object known, and subject knowing), and we thus should be led to assume an infinite series of knowing subjects. If, on the other band, the essential nature of Brahman itself constitutes the knowing subject, your view really coincides with the one held by us. 1 And if you should say that the terminating knowledge itself and the knowing subject in it are things separate from Brahman and themselves contained in the sphere of what is to be terminated by that knowledge, your statement would be no less absurd than if you were to say 'everything on the surface of the earth has been cut down by Devadatta with one stroke'--meaning thereby that Devadatta himself and the action of cutting down are comprised among the things cut down!--The second alternative, on the other hand--according to which the knowing subject is not Brahman itself, but a knower superimposed upon it--would imply that that subject is the agent in an act of knowledge resulting in his own destruction; and this is impossible since no person aims at destroying himself. And should it be said that the destruction of the knowing agent belongs to the very nature of Brahman itself 1, it would follow that we can assume neither plurality nor the erroneous view of plurality, nor avidyā as the root of that erroneous view.--All this confirms our theory, viz. that since bondage springs from agnāna in the form of an eternal stream of karman, it can be destroyed only through knowledge of the kind maintained by us. Such knowledge is to be attained only through the due daily performance of religious duties as prescribed for a man's caste and āsrama, such performance being sanctified by the accompanying thought of the true nature of the Self, and having the character of propitiation of the highest Person. Now, that mere works produce limited and non-permanent results only, and that on the other hand works not aiming at an immediate result but meant to please the highest Person, bring about knowledge of the character of devout meditation, and thereby the unlimited and permanent result of the intuition of Brahman being the Self of all--these are points not to be known without an insight into the nature of works, and hence, without this, the attitude described--which is preceded by the abandonment of mere works--cannot be reached. For these reasons the enquiry into Brahman has to be entered upon after the enquiry into the nature of works.


146:1 According to which Brahman is not ānam, but ātri.

147:1 And, on that account, belongs to what constitutes man's highest aim.

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