Brahma Sutras
by Swami Sivananda

Chapter One: Samanvaya Adhyaya – Section 4 (Sutras 107-134)


In Topic 5, Section 1, it has been shown that as the Pradhana of the Sankhyas is not based on the authority of the scriptures and that as all the Sruti texts refer to an intelligent principle as the first cause, Brahman is the first cause.

The nature of Brahman has been defined in I.1.2. It has been shown that the purport of all Vedanta texts is to set forth the doctrine that Brahman and not the Pradhana, is the cause of the world.

The Sankhyas say that it has not been satisfactorily proved that there is no scriptural authority for the Pradhana, because some Sakhas contain expression which seem to convey the idea of the Pradhana.

This Pada or Section proceeds to deal with the consideration of other Vedic texts which are asserted by the Sankhyas to declare that the Pradhana is the cause of the universe.

The whole of Section 4 gives suitable and cogent answers to all objections raised by the Sankhyas.


The fourth Pada or Section of the first Chapter is specially directed against the Sankhyas. This Section examines some passages from the Upanishads where terms occur which may be mistaken for the names of the insentient matter of Sankhyas. It declares authoritatively that the Vedanta texts lend no support whatsoever to the Sankhya theory of creation or the doctrine of Pradhana. This Section proves that Brahman is the material as well as the efficient cause of the universe.

Adhikarana I:

(Sutras 1-7) discusses the passage in Katha Upanishad I-3-10, 11 where mention is made of the great (Mahat) and the undeveloped (Avyaktam). Avyakta is a synonym for Pradhana in the Sankhya Sastra. 'Mahat' means intellect in Sankhya philosophy. Sri Sankaracharya shows that the term Avyakta denotes the subtle body or Sukshma Sarira as well as the gross body also and the term Mahat Brahman or the Supreme Self.

Adhikarana II:

(Sutras 8-10) shows that according to Sankara the tri-coloured 'Aja' spoken of in the Svetasvatara Upanishad IV.5 is not the Pradhana of the Sankhyas but either that power of the Lord from which the world takes its origin or the primary causal matter first produced by that power.

Adhikarana III:

(Sutras 11-13) shows that the 'Pancha-pancha- janah' mentioned in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad IV-4-17 are not the twenty-five principles of the Sankhyas.

Adhikarana IV:

(Sutras 14-15) shows that although there is conflict as regards the order of creation, scripture does not contradict itself on the all-important point of Brahman i.e., a Being whose essence is intelligence, which is the cause of this universe.

Adhikarana V:

(Sutras 16-18) proves that "He who is the maker of those persons, of whom this is the work" mentioned in Kau. Up. IV-1-19 is not either the Prana (the vital air) or the individual soul, but Brahman.

Adhikarana VI:

(Sutras 19-22) decides that the "Self to be seen, to be heard" etc. (Bri. Up. II-4-5) is the Supreme Self, but not the individual soul. The views of Jaimini, Asmarathya, Audulomi and Kasakritsna are expressed.

Adhikarana VII:

(Sutras 23-27) teaches that Brahman is not only the efficient or operative cause (Nimitta) of the world, but its material cause as well. The world springs from Brahman by way of modification (Parinama Sutra 26).

Adhikarana VIII:

(Sutra 28) shows that the refutation of the Sankhya views is applicable to other theories also such as the atomic theory which says that the world has originated from atoms, etc.

Anumanikadhikaranam: Topic 1 (Sutras 1-7)

The Mahat and Avyakta of the Kathopanishad do not refer to the Sankhya Tattvas.

Anumanikamapyekeshamiti chet na sarirarupakavinyastagrihiter darsayati cha I.4.1 (107)

If it be said that in some (recensions of the Vedas) that which is inferred (i.e. the Pradhana) (is) also (mentioned), (we say) no, because (the word 'Avyakta' occurring in the Katha Upanishad) is mentioned in a simile referred to the body (and means the body itself and not the Pradhana of the (Sankhyas); (the Sruti) also explains (it).

Anumanikam: that which is inferred (i.e., the Pradhana); Api: also; Ekesham: of some branches or school of Srutis or recensions of the text; Iti: thus; Chet: if; Na: No; Sarirarupa-kavinyastagrihiteh: because it is mentioned in a simile referring to the body (Sarira: body, Rupaka: simile, Vinyasta: contained, Grihiteh: because of the reference); Darsayati: (the Srutis) explain; Cha: also, too, and.

The Sankhyas again raise an objection. They say that the Pradhana is also based on scriptural authority, because some Sakhas like the Katha Sakha (school) contain expressions wherein the Pradhana seems to be referred to "Beyond the Mahat there is the Avyakta (the unmanifested or the undeveloped), beyond the Avyakta is the Purusha (Being or Person)" Katha Up. 1-3-11.

The Sankhyas say that the word 'Avyakta' here refers to the Pradhana because the words 'Mahat', 'Avyakta' and 'Purusha' which occur in the same order in the Sankhya philosophy, occur in the Sruti text. Hence they are recognised to be the same categories of the Sankhyas. The Pradhana is called 'undeveloped' because it is destitute of sound and other qualities. It cannot therefore be said that there is no scriptural authority for the Pradhana. We declare that this Pradhana is the cause of the world on the strength of Sruti, Smriti and ratiocination.

This Sutra refutes it thus. The word 'Avyakta' does not refer to the Pradhana. It is used in connection with a simile referring to the body. The immediately preceding part of the Chapter exhibits the simile in which the Self, the body, and so on, are compared to the Lord of a chariot, a charioteer etc. "Know the soul to be the Lord of the chariot, the body to be the chariot, the intellect the charioteer and the mind the reins. The senses they call the horses, the objects of the senses their roads. When the Self is in union with the body, the senses and the mind, then wise people call him the enjoyer" Katha Up. I.3.3-4.

All these things that are referred to in these verses are found in the following: "Beyond the senses there are the objects, beyond the objects there is mind, beyond the mind there is the intellect, the great Self (Mahat) is beyond the intellect. Beyond the great (Mahat) is the Avyakta (the undeveloped), beyond the Avyakta there is the Purusha. Beyond the Purusha there is nothing – this is the goal, the highest path" Katha Up. I.3.10-11.

Now compare these two quotations. In this passage we recognise the senses etc. which in the preceding simile had been compared to horses and so on. The senses, the intellect and the mind are referred to in both passages under the same names. The objects in the second passage are the objects which are in the former passage designated as the roads of the senses. The Mahat of the later text means the cosmic intellect. In the earlier passage intellect is the charioteer. It includes the individual and cosmic intellect. The Atman of the earlier text corresponds to the Purusha of the later text and body of the earlier text corresponds to Avyakta in the later text. Therefore Avyakta means the body here and not the Pradhana. There remains now the body only which had before been compared to the chariot in the earlier text.

Now an objection is raised. How can the body which is manifest, gross and visible (Vyakta) be said to be unmanifest and unevolved? The following Sutra gives a suitable answer.

Sukshmam tu tadarhatvat I.4.2 (108)

But the subtle (body is meant by the term Avyakta) on account of its capability (of being so designated).

Sukshmam: the subtle, the permanent atoms, the causal body; Tu: but; Tad arhatvat: because it can be properly so termed.

An objection to Sutra 1 is refuted.

The Sutra replies that what the term 'Avyakta' denotes is the subtle causal body. Anything subtle may be spoken of as 'undeveloped' or 'unmanifested'. The subtle parts of the elements, the causal substance, i.e., the five uncompounded elements out of which the body is formed may be called so. As they are subtle and not manifest, and as they also transcend sense perception, they can be properly designated by the term 'Avyakta'.

It is also a matter of common occurrence to denote the effect by the cause. Therefore the gross body is referred to here indirectly. Compare for instance the phrase "Mix the Soma with the cow (i.e., milk)" Rigveda IX.40.4. Another scriptural passage also declares "Now all this, i.e., this developed world with names and forms is capable of being designated 'undeveloped' in so far as in a previous state it was in a merely seminal or potential state destitute of names and forms".

In Brihadaranyaka Upanishad I-4-7, the Karana Sarira is called by the term unevolved or Avyakta. Before the world came into manifestation it was in the form of a seed or causal body.

An objection is raised. If the Avyakta is taken to be matter in its subtle state consisting of the causal body, what objection is there to interpret it as the Pradhana of the Sankhya system, because there also Avyakta means matter in subtle state. The following Sutra gives a suitable answer to this objection.

Tadadhinatvat arthavat I.4.3 (109)

On account of its dependence (on the Lord, such a previous seminal condition of the world may be admitted, because such an admission is) reasonable.

Tad: its; Adhinatvat: on account of dependence; Arthavat: having a sense or a meaning subserving an end or purpose; is fitting.

The argument in support of Sutra 1 is continued.

The opponent says. If a suitable causal state of the gross world is admitted it is as good as accepting the Pradhana, for we Sankhyas understand by the term Pradhana, nothing but the antecedent condition of the universe.

The Siddhantin gives the following reply. The Pradhana of the Sankhyas is an independent entity. The subtle causal state admitted here is dependent on the Highest Lord. A previous subtle stage of the universe must necessarily be admitted. It is quite reasonable. For without it the Lord cannot create. It is the potential power of Brahman. The whole Lila is kept up through this power. He could not become active if he were destitute of this potential power. It is the causal potentiality inherent in Brahman. That causal potentiality is of the nature of nescience.

The existence of such a causal potentiality renders it possible that the Jivanmuktas or liberated souls do not take further birth as it is destroyed by perfect knowledge. It is rightly denoted by the term 'undeveloped' (Avyakta). It has the Supreme Lord for its substratum. It is of the nature of an illusion. It is Anirvachaniya or indescribable. You can neither say that it is nor that it is not.

This undeveloped principle is sometimes denoted by the term 'Akasa', ether. "In that Imperishable then, O Gargi, the ether is woven like warp and woof" Bri. Up. III-8-11. Sometimes, again, it is denoted by the term Akshara, the Imperishable. "Higher than the high, Imperishable" Mun. Up. II-1-2.

Just as the illusion of a snake in a rope is not possible merely through ignorance without the substratum – rope, so also the world cannot be created merely by ignorance without the substratum, the Lord. Therefore the subtle causal condition is dependent on the Lord, and yet the Lord is not in the least affected by this ignorance, just as the snake is not affected by the poison. "Know that the Prakriti is Maya and the great Lord the ruler of Maya" Svet. Up. IV-10.

So the Avyakta is a helper (Sahakari) to the Lord in His creation. The Lord creates the universe using it as a means. It is dependent on the Lord. It is not like the Pradhana of the Sankhyas which is an independent entity.

The Lord looks on Maya and energises her. Then she has the power of producing the world. In her own nature she is Jada or insentient.

In the next Sutra the author gives another reason for holding that the 'Avyakta' of the Katha Upanishad is not to be interpreted as Pradhana.

Jneyatvavachanaccha I.4.4 (110)

And because it is not mentioned (that the Avyakta) is to be known (it cannot be the Pradhana of the Sankhyas).

Jneyatva: that is the object to be known; Avachanat: because of non-mention; Cha: and.

The argument in support of Sutra 1 is continued.

According to the Sankhyas, emancipation results when the difference between the Purusha and the Avyakta (Prakriti) is known. For without a knowledge of the nature of the constitutive elements of Pradhana it is impossible to recognise the difference of the soul from them. Hence the Avyakta is to be known according to the Sankhyas. But here there is no question of knowing the Avyakta. Hence it cannot be the Pradhana of the Sankhyas.

It is impossible to hold that knowledge of things which is not taught in the text is of any use to man. For this reason also we hold that the word 'Avyakta' cannot denote the Pradhana.

The Sankhyas call Avyakta or Pradhana the first cause. But the first cause has been stated in the Sruti as the object to be known. In the Sruti 'Avyakta' is not stated to be an object of pursuit. Hence it is not the first cause and consequently, cannot be mistaken for the matter of Sankhyas.

According to the Sankhyas, liberation is attained by knowing that Purusha is different from Prakriti. The knowledge of Prakriti is thus an essential of release. But the Katha Upanishad nowhere mentions that the knowledge of 'Avyakta' is necessary for the final emancipation. Therefore the Avyakta of the Katha Upanishad is not the Prakriti of the Sankhyas.

Nowhere does the scripture declare that Pradhana (Matter) is Jneya (to be known) or Upasya (to be worshipped). What is aimed at as the object of knowledge of adoration in the Srutis is the Supreme seat of Vishnu (Tad Vishnoh paramam padam).

Vadatiti chet na prajno hi prakaranat I.4.5 (111)

And if you maintain that the text does speak (of the Pradhana as an object of knowledge) we deny that; because the intelligent (supreme) Self is meant on account of the general subject matter.

Vadati: the verse or the text states; Iti: thus; Chet: if. Na: no; Prajnah: the intellect supreme; Hi: because; Prakaranat: from the context, because of the general subject-matter of the Chapter.

An objection to Sutra 4 is raised and refuted.

The Sruti says, "He who has perceived that which is without sound, without touch, without form, decay, without taste, eternal, without smell, without beginning, without end, beyond the great (Mahat) and unchangeable, is freed from the jaws of death" Katha Up. II-3-15.

The Sankhyas says that the Pradhana has to be known to attain the final release, because the description given of the entity to be known agrees with the Pradhana, which is also beyond the Mahat (great). Hence we conclude that the Pradhana is denoted by the term 'Avyaktam'.

This Sutra refutes this. It says that by Avyakta, the one beyond Mahat (great) etc., the intelligent Supreme Self is meant, as that is the subject-matter of that Section.

Further the highest Self is spoken of in all Vedantic texts as possessing just those qualities which are mentioned in the passage quoted above viz., absence of sound etc.

Hence it follows that the Pradhana in the text is neither spoken of as the object of knowledge nor denoted by the term 'Avyaktam'.

Even the propounders of the Sankhya philosophy do not state that liberation or release from death is the result of the knowledge of Pradhana. They state that it is due to the knowledge of the sentient Purusha.

The author gives another reason for holding that Pradhana is not meant in the passage of the Katha Upanishad.

Trayanameva chaivamupanyasah prasnascha I.4.6 (112)

And there is question and explanation relating to three things only (not to the Pradhana).

Trayanam: of the three, namely three boons asked by Nachiketas; Eva: only; Cha: and; Evam: thus; Upanyasah: mentioned, (presentation by way of answer); Prasnat: question; Cha: and.

The objection raised in Sutra 5 is further refuted.

In the Katha Upanishad Nachiketas asks Yama three questions only viz., about the fire sacrifice, the individual soul and the Supreme Self. These three things only Yama explains and to them only the questions of Nachiketas refer. Pradhana is not mentioned. Nothing else is mentioned or enquired about. There is no question relative to the Pradhana and hence no scope for any remarks on it. We cannot expect Yama to speak of the Pradhana which has not been enquired into. So Pradhana has no place in the discourse.

Mahadvaccha I.4.7 (113)

And (the case of the term Avyakta) is like that of the term Mahat.

Mahadvat: like the Mahat; Cha: and.

An argument in support of Sutra 1 is given. Just as in the case of Mahat, Avyakta also is used in the Vedas in a sense different from that attached to it in the Sankhya.

The Sankhyas use the term 'Mahat' (the great one) to denote the first born entity, the intellect. The term has a different meaning in the Vedic texts. In the Vedic texts it is connected with the word Self. Thus we see in such passages as the following – "The great Self is beyond the intellect" (Katha Up. I-3-10), "The great Omnipresent Self" (Katha Up. I-2-22), "I know the great person" (Svet. Up. III-8). We therefore, conclude that the term 'Avyakta' also where it occurs in the Srutis, cannot denote the Pradhana. Though the Avyakta may mean the Pradhana or Prakriti in the Sankhya philosophy, it means something different in the Sruti texts. So the Pradhana is not based on scriptural authority, but is a mere conclusion of inference.

Mahat is the Buddhi of the Sankhyas. But in the Katha Upanishad the Mahat is said to be higher than Buddhi. "Buddheratma mahan parah." So the Mahat of the Kathopanishad is different from the Mahat of the Sankhyas.

Chamasadhikaranam: Topic 2 (Sutras 8-10)

The Aja of Svetasvatara Upanishad does not mean Pradhana.

Chamasavadaviseshat I.4.8 (114)

(It cannot be maintained that 'Aja' means the Pradhana) because no special characteristic is stated, as in the case of the cup.

Chamasavat: like a cup; Aviseshat: because there is no special characteristic.

An expression from the Svetasvatara Upanishad is now taken up for discussion in support of Sutra 1.

The author next refutes another wrong interpretation given by the Sankhyas of a verse from the Svetasvatara Upanishad.

We find in the Svetasvatara Upanishad IV-5, "There is one 'Aja' red, white and black in colour, producing manifold offspring of the same nature."

Here a doubt arises whether this 'Aja' refers to the Pradhana of the Sankhyas or to the subtle elements fire, water, earth. The Sankhyas maintain that 'Aja' here means the Pradhana, the unborn. The words red, white and black refer to its three constituents, the Gunas, Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. She is called 'unborn'. She is not an effect. She is said to produce manifold offspring by her own unaided effort.

This Sutra refutes this. The Mantra taken by itself is not able to give assertion what the Sankhya doctrine is meant. There is no basis for such a special assertion in the absence of special characteristics. The case is analogous to that of the cup mentioned in the Mantra, "There is a cup having its mouth below and its bottom above" Bri. Up. II-2-3. It is impossible to decide from the text itself what kind of cup is meant. Similarly it is not possible to fix the meaning of 'Aja' from the text alone.

But in connection with the Mantra about the cup we have a supplementary passage from which we learn what kind of cup is meant. "What is called the cup having its mouth below and its bottom above is the skull." Similarly, here we have to refer this passage to supplementary texts to fix the meaning of Aja. We should not assert that it means the Pradhana.

Where can we learn what special being is meant by the word 'Aja' of the Svetasvatara Upanishad? To this question the following Sutra gives a suitable answer.

Jyotirupakrama tu tatha hyadhiyata eke I.4.9 (115)

But (the elements) beginning with light (are meant by the term Aja), because some read so in their text.

This is explanatory to Sutra 8.

Jyotirupakrama: elements beginning with light; Tu: but; Tatha: thus; Hi: because; Adhiyate: some read, some recensions have a reading; Eke: some.

By the term 'Aja' we have to understand the causal matter from which fire, water and earth have sprung. The matter begins with light i.e., comprises fire, water and earth. The word 'tu' (but) gives emphasis to the assertion. One Sakha assigns to them red colour etc. "The red colour is the colour of fire, white colour is the colour of water, black colour is the colour of earth" Chh. Up. VI-2-4, 4-1.

This passage fixes the meaning of the word 'Aja'. It refers to fire, earth and water from which the world has been created. It is not the Pradhana of the Sankhyas which consists of the three Gunas. The words red, white, black primarily denote special colours. They can be applied to the three Gunas of the Sankhyas in a secondary sense only. When doubtful passages have to be interpreted, the passages whose sense is beyond doubt are to be used. This is generally a recognised rule.

In the Svetasvatara Upanishad in Chapter I we find that Aja is used along with the word "Devatma Sakti – the divine power." Therefore Aja does not mean Pradhana.

The creative power is Brahman's inherent energy, which emanates from Him during the period of creation. Prakriti herself is born of Brahman. Therefore Aja in its literal sense of 'unborn' cannot apply to Prakriti or Pradhana. Lord Krishna says, "Mama yonir mahad Brahma – My womb is the great Brahman, in that I place the germ thence cometh forth the birth of all beings, O Bharata." This shows that Prakriti herself is produced from the Lord.

Kalpanopadesaccha madhvadivadavirodhah I.4.10 (116)

And on account of the statement of the assumption (of a metaphor) there is nothing contrary to reason (in Aja denoting the causal matter) as in the case of honey (denoting the sun in Madhu Vidya for the sake of meditation) and similar cases.

Kalpana: the creative power of thought; Upadesat: from teaching; Cha: and; Madhvadivat: as in the case of honey etc.; Avirodhah: no incongruity.

The argument in support of Sutra 8 is continued.

The Purvapakshin says, "The term Aja denotes something unborn. How can it refer to the three causal elements of the Chhandogya Upanishad, which are something created? This is contrary to reason."

The Sutra says: There is no incongruity. The source of all beings viz., fire, water and earth is compared to a she-goat by way of metaphor. Some she-goat might be partly red, partly white and partly black. She might have many young goats resembling her in colour. Some he-goat might love her and lie by her side, while some other he-goat might abandon her after having enjoyed her. Similarly the universal causal matter which is tri-coloured on account of its comprising fire, water and earth produces many inanimate and animate beings like unto itself and is enjoyed by the souls who are bound by Avidya or ignorance, while it is renounced by those souls who have attained true knowledge of the Brahman.

The words 'like honey' in the Sutra mean that just as the sun although not being honey is represented as honey (Chh. Up. III.1), and speech as cow (Bri. Up. V-8), and the heavenly world etc., as the fires (Bri. Up. VI-2.9). So here the causal matter though not being a tri-coloured she-goat, is metaphorically or figuratively represented as one. Hence there is nothing incongruous in using the term 'Aja' to denote the aggregate of fire, water and earth. 'Aja' does not mean 'unborn'. The description of Nature as an Aja is an imaginative way of teaching a Truth. The sun is the honey of the gods, though the sun is not mere honey.

Sankhyopasangrahadhikaranam: Topic 3 (Sutras 11-13)

The five-fold-five (Pancha-panchajanah) does not refer to the twenty-five Sankhyan categories.

Na sankhyopasangrahadapi nanabhavadatirekaccha I.4.11 (117)

Even from the statement of the number (five-fold-five i.e., twenty-five categories by the Sruti it is) not (to be understood that the Sruti refers to the Pradhana) on account of the differences (in the categories and the excess over the number of the Sankhyan categories).

Na: not; Sankhya: number; Upasangrahat: from statement; Api: even; Nanabhavat: on account of the differences; Atirekat: on account of excess; Cha: and.

This Sutra discusses whether the twenty-five principles of the Sankhyan philosophy are admitted by the Sruti.

The Sankhya or Purvapakshin failed in his attempt to base his doctrine on the text which speaks of the 'Aja'. He again comes forward and points to another text. "He in whom the five groups of five and the ether rest, Him alone I believe to be the Self; I who know believe Him to be Brahman" (Bri. Up. IV-4-17). Now five-times-five makes twenty-five. This is exactly the number of the Sankhya Tattvas or principles. The doctrine of Pradhana rests on a scriptural basis. Here is the scriptural authority for our philosophy.

This Sutra refutes such an assumption. Panchapanchajanah, five-five-people cannot denote the twenty-five categories of the Sankhyas. The Sankhya categories have each their individual difference. There are no attributes in common to each pentad. The Sankhya categories cannot be divided into groups of five of any basis of similarity, because all the twenty-five principles or Tattvas differ from each other.

This is further not possible 'on account of the excess'. The ether is mentioned as a separate category. This will make the number twenty-six in all. This is not in accordance with the theory of the Sankhyas.

From the mere enumeration of the number 25 we cannot say that the reference is to the twenty-five Sankhya categories and that hence the Sankhya doctrine has the sanction of the Vedas.

The passage refers to Atma also. Then the total number will be twenty-seven. Atma is described as the basis of the others. Therefore it cannot be one of the twenty-five principles.

The principles of Sankhya philosophy are propounded as independent of Purusha. But here the categories are known to be entirely dependent on Brahman or Atma who is said to be the mainstay of them all. So they cannot be accepted as the independent principles of Sankhya.

The word Panchajanah is a group denoting term. It is the special name belonging to all the members of that group. The group consists of five members, each of whom is called a Panchajanah. Therefore the phrase 'Pancha-panchajanah' does not mean five times five beings but five beings. Every one of whom is called a Panchajanah. It is just like the phrase Saptarshi, which denotes the constellation Ursa Major, consisting of seven stars. The word Saptarshi is a special name of everyone of these stars. When we say seven Saptarshis we do not mean seven times-seven stars but seven stars each one of whom is called a Saptarshi. Therefore 'Pancha-pancha-janah' does not mean five times five products, but five people every one of whom is called a Panchajanah. The twenty-five Tattvas of the Sankhyas are these: 1, Prakriti; 2-8, seven modifications of Prakriti viz., Mahat etc., which are causal substances, as well as effects; 9-24 sixteen effects; the 25 is the soul which is neither a causal substance nor an effect.

Who then are these beings called Panchajanah? The following Sutra gives the reply.

Pranadayo vakyaseshat I.4.12 (118)

(The Panchajanah or the five people referred to are) the vital force etc., (as is seen) from the complementary passage.

Pranadayah: the Prana and the rest; Vakyaseshat: because of the complementary passage.

The Sutra is explanatory to Sutra 11.

The text in which the Panchajanah are mentioned is followed by another one in which the vital force and four other things are mentioned in order to describe the nature of Brahman. "They who know the Prana of Prana (the breath of breath), the eye of the eye, the ear of the ear, the food of the food, the mind of mind etc." (Bri. Madhya. IV-4-21).

The five people refer to the Prana and the other four of the text and are mentioned for the purpose of describing the nature of Brahman.

The Sankhya asks how can the word 'people' be applied to the breath, the eye, the ear and so on? How we ask in return, can it be applied to your categories? In both cases the common meaning of the term 'people' is applied to the Pranas in the text, "These are the five persons of Brahman" (Chh. Up. III-13-6). "Breath is father, breath is mother" (Chh. Up. VII-15-1).

The objector says. This is possible only in the recension of the Madhyandinas, who read the additional word 'Annasya Annam'. But in Kanva recension that phrase 'annasya annam' is omitted. We have only four. This objection is answered by the author in the following Sutra.

Jyotishaikeshamasatyanne I.4.13 (119)

In the text of some (the Kanva recension) where food is not mentioned (the number five is made up) by 'light' (mentioned in the previous verse).

Jyotisha: by light; Ekesham: of some texts or recensions, i.e., of the Kanvas; Asati: in the absence of; Anne: food.

The argument in support of Sutra 11 is continued.

"The immortal light of lights the gods worship as longevity" Bri. Up. IV-4-10. Although food is not mentioned in the text cited in the last Sutra, according to the Kanva recension of the Satapatha Brahmana, yet the four of that verse, together with 'light' mentioned in the text quoted above, would make the five people.

We have proved herewith that scriptures offer no basis for the doctrine of the Pradhana. It will be shown later on that this doctrine cannot be proved either by Smriti or by ratiocination.

Karanatvadhikaranam: Topic 4 (Sutras 14-15)

Brahman is the First cause.

Karanatvena chakasadishu yathavyapadishtokteh I.4.14 (120)

Although there is a conflict of the Vedanta texts as regards the things created such as ether and so on, there is no such conflict with respect to Brahman as the First Cause, on account of His being represented in one text as described in other texts.

Karanatvena: as the (First) cause; Cha: and; Akasadishu: with reference to Akasa and the rest; Yatha: as; Vyapadishta: taught in different Srutis; Ukteh: because of the statement.

The doubt that may arise from Sutra 13 that different Srutis may draw different conclusions as to the cause of the universe is removed by this Sutra.

In the preceding part of the work the proper definition of Brahman has been given. It has been shown that all the Vedanta texts have Brahman for their common topic. It has been proved also that there is no scriptural authority for the doctrine of the Pradhana. But now the Sankhya raises a new objection.

He says: It is not possible to prove either that Brahman is the cause of the origin etc., of the universe or that all the Vedanta texts refer to Brahman; because the Vedanta passages contradict one another. All the Vedanta texts speak of the successive steps of the creation in different order. In reality they speak of different creations. Thus in Tait. Up. II-1-1 we find that creation proceeds from Self or Brahman "From the Self sprang Akasa, from Akasa air" etc. This passage shows that the cause of creation is Atman. In another place it is said that the creation began with fire (Chh. Up. VI-2-3). In another place, again, it is said "The person created breath and from breath faith" (Pras. Up. IV-4); in another place, again, that the Self created these worlds, the water above the heaven, light, the mortal (earth) and the water below the earth (Aitareya Aranyaka II-4-1-2, 3). There no order is stated at all. Somewhere it is said that the creation originated from the non-existent (Asat). "In the beginning there was the non-existent (Asat); from it was born what exists" (Tait. Up. II-7). "In the beginning there was the non-existent; it became existent; it grew" (Chh. Up. III-19-1). In another place it is said "Others say, in the beginning there was that only which is not; but how could it be thus, my dear? How could that which is to be born of that which is not" (Chh. Up. VI-2-1& 2).

In another place Sat is said to be the cause of the universe "Sat alone was in the beginning" Chh. Up. VI-2-1. In another place, again, the creation of the world is spoken of as having taken place spontaneously. Again we find that Avyakta is said to be the cause of the world "Now all this was then Avyakrita (undeveloped). It became developed by name and form" Bri. Up. 1-4-7. Thus the Upanishads are not consistent, as regards the cause of the universe. Thus it is not possible to ascertain that Brahman alone is taught in the Upanishads as the cause of the world. As many discrepancies are observed, the Vedanta texts cannot be accepted as authorities for determining the cause of the universe. We must accept some other cause of the world resting on the authority of Sruti and reasoning.

It is possible to say that Pradhana alone is taught to be the cause of the world as we find from the passage of the Bri. Up. already quoted above. Further the words Sat, and Asat, Prana, Akasa and Avyakrita can very well be applied to Pradhana, because some of them such as Akasa, Prana are the effects of Pradhana, while others are the names of Pradhana itself. All these terms cannot be applied to Brahman.

In some passages we find that Atman and Brahman are also said to be the cause of the world; but these two terms can be applied to Pradhana also. The literal meaning of the word 'Atman' is all-pervading. Pradhana is all-pervading. Brahman literally means that which is pre-eminently great (Brihat). Pradhana may be called Brahman also. Pradhana is called Asat in its aspect of modified things and it is called Sat or being in its causal or eternal aspect. Pradhana is called Prana as it is an element produced from it. Thinking etc., may also apply to Pradhana in a metaphorical sense, meaning the commencement of action. So when the Upanishad says "It thought, let me become many", it means, that Pradhana started the action of multiplication. Therefore all the Upanishad passages relating to creation harmonise better with the theory of Pradhana being the creator than of Brahman.

The Siddhantin gives the following reply. Although the Vedanta texts may be conflicting with regard to the order of the things created such as ether and so on, yet they uniformly declare that Brahman is the First Cause. The Vedantic passages which are concerned with setting forth the cause of the world are in harmony throughout. It cannot be said that the conflict of statements regarding the universe affects the statements regarding the cause i.e., Brahman. It is not the main object of the Vedanta texts to teach about creation. Therefore it would not even matter greatly. The chief purpose of the Srutis is to teach that Brahman is the First Cause. There is no conflict regarding this.

The teacher will reconcile later on these conflicting passages also which refer to the universe.

Samakarshat I.4.15 (121)

On account of the connection (with passages treating of Brahman, non-existence does not mean absolute Non-existence)

Samakarshat: from its connection with a distant expression.

Some texts from the Taittiriya, the Chhandogya and Brihadaranyaka Upanishads are taken up for discussion.

The Sankhyas raise another objection. They say: There is a conflict with reference to the first cause, because some texts declare that the Self created these worlds (Ait. Ar. II-4-1-2-3). Some Vedanta passages declare that creation originated from non-existence (Tait. II-7). Again in some passages existence is taught as the First Cause (Chh. Up. VI-1-2). Some Srutis speak of spontaneous creation. It cannot be said that the Srutis refer to Brahman uniformly as the First Cause owing to the conflicting statements of the Vedanta texts.

The Siddhantin gives the following reply. We read in the Tait. Up. II-7 "This was indeed non-existence in the beginning." Non-existence here does not mean absolute non-existence. It means undifferentiated existence. In the beginning existence was undifferentiated into name and form. Taittriya Upanishad says "He who knows Brahman as non-existing becomes himself non-existing. He who knows Brahman as existing, him we know himself as existing" Tait. Up. II-6. It is further elaborated by means of the series of sheaths viz., the sheath of food etc. represented as the inner self of everything. This same Brahman is again referred to in the clause. He wished 'May I be many'. This clearly intimates that Brahman created the whole universe.

The term 'Being' ordinarily denotes that which is differentiated by means and forms. The term 'Non-being' denotes the same substance previous to its differentiation. Brahman is called 'Non-being' previously to the origination of the world in a secondary sense.

We read in Chh. Up. VI-2-2 "How can that which is created from non-existence be?" This clearly denies such a possibility.

"Now this was then undeveloped" (Bri. Up. I-4-7) does not by any means assert that the evolution of the world took place without a ruler, because it is connected with another passage where it is said, "He has entered here to the very tips of the finger-nails" (Bri. Up. I-4-7). 'He' refers to the Ruler. Therefore we have to take that the Lord, the Ruler, developed what was undeveloped.

Another scriptural text also describes that the evolution of the world took place under the superintendence of a Ruler. "Let me now enter these beings with this loving Self, and let me then evolve names and forms" Chh. Up. VI-3-2.

Although there is a reaper it is said "The corn-field reaps itself." It is said also "The village is being approached." Here we have to supply "by Devadatta or somebody else."

Brahman is described in one place as existence. In another place it is described as the Self of all. Therefore it is a settled conclusion that all Vedanta texts uniformly point to Brahman as the First Cause. Certainly there is no conflict on this point.

Even in the passage that declares Asat i.e. non-being to be the cause there is a reference to Sat i.e. Being. Even the text that describes Asat as the Causal force ends by referring to Sat.

The doubt about the meaning of a word or passage can be removed by reference to its connection with a distant passage in the same text, for such connection is found to exist in the different passages of Sruti. The exact meaning of such words as 'Asat' which means non-entity, apparently, 'Avyakrita' which means apparently non-manifest Pradhana of Sankhya, is thus ascertained to be Brahman. Compare the Srutis: "He desired, I will be many I will manifest myself" Tait. Up. II-6-2. The meaning of the word Asat of the second passage is ascertained to be Brahman by reference to the first passage where the same question namely the state of the universe before creation is answered in a clearer way.

The meaning of the word Avyakrita in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad I-4-7 in the passage (thus therefore, that was the undifferentiated) is ascertained to be the Brahman as still undeveloped by a reference to the passage (the same is pervading all through and through down to the tips of the nails of the fingers and the toes). Avyaka is recognised in the last passage more clearly by the words 'Sa esha' (the same-self one).

The Pradhana of the Sankhyas does not find a place anywhere in the passages which treat about the cause of the world. The words 'Asat' 'Avyakrita' also denote Brahman only.

The word 'Asat' refers to Brahman which is the subject under discussion in the previous verse. Before the creation, the distinction of names and forms did not exist. Brahman also then did not exist in the sense that He was not connected with names and forms. As he has then no name and form, he is said to be Asat or non-existent.

The word 'Asat' cannot mean matter or non-being, because in this very passage we find that the description given of it can apply only to Brahman.

Brahman is not 'Asat' in the literal meaning of that word. The seer of the Upanishad uses it in a sense totally distinct from its ordinary denotation.

Balakyadhikaranam: Topic 5 (Sutras 16-18)

He who is the maker of the Sun, Moon, etc. is Brahman and not Prana or the individual soul.

Jagadvachitvat I.4.16 (122)

(He whose work is this is Brahman) because (the 'work') denotes the world.

Jagat: the world; Vachitvat: because of the denotation.

A passage from the Kaushitaki Upanishad is now taken up for discussion.

In the Kaushitaki Brahmana the sage Balaki promises to teach Brahman by saying "I shall tell you Brahman", and he goes on to describe sixteen things as Brahman, beginning with the Sun. All these are set aside by the King Ajatasatru who says, none of them is Brahman. When Balaki is silenced, Ajatasatru gives the teaching about Brahman in these words: "O Balaki! He who is the maker of those persons whom you mentioned and whose work is the visible universe – is alone to be known."

We read in the Kaushitaki Upanishad in the dialogue between Balaki and Ajatasatru "O Balaki, He who is the maker of those persons whom you mentioned, and whose work is this (visible universe) is alone to be known" (Kau. Up. IV-19).

A doubt arises now whether what is here said as the object of knowledge is the individual soul or the Prana or Brahman, the Supreme Self. The Purvapakshin holds that the vital force or Prana is meant, because he says the clause "of whom this is the work" points to the activity of motion and that activity rests on Prana. Secondly, we meet with the term 'Prana' in a complementary passage. "Then he becomes one with the Prana alone" Kau. Up. IV-20. The word 'Prana' denotes the vital force. This is well known. Thirdly, Prana is the maker of all the persons, the person in the Sun, the person in the moon etc. We know from another scriptural text that the Sun and other deities are only differentiations of Prana, "Who is that one God in whom all other gods are contained? Prana and he is Brahman, and they call him That' (Bri. Up. III-9-9).

Or the passage refers to the individual soul as the object of knowledge. A subsequent passage contains an inferential mark of the individual soul, "As the master feeds with his people, nay as his people feed on the master, thus does this conscious Self feed with the other selfs" Kau. Up. IV-20. As the individual soul is the support of the Prana, it may itself be called Prana. We thus conclude that the passage under discussion refers either to the individual soul or to the chief Prana but not to the Lord of whom it does not contain any inferential marks whatsoever.

The Sutra refutes all these and says it is Brahman that is referred to the maker in the text; because Brahman is taught here "I shall teach you Brahman." Again 'this' which means the world, is his 'work.' This clearly points out that the 'he' is Brahman only.

The reference in the Kaushitaki Brahmana passage is to the Supreme Lord because of the reference to the world. The activity referred to is the world of which the Lord is the Creator.

Therefore the maker is neither Prana nor the individual soul, but the Highest Lord. It is affirmed in all Vedanta texts that the Maker of the world is the Supreme Lord.

Jivamukhyapranalinganneti chet tad vyakhyatam I.4.17 (123)

If it be said that on account of the inferential marks of the individual soul and the chief Prana (Brahman is) not (referred to by the word 'matter' in the passage quoted), (we reply) that has already been explained.

Jiva: the individual soul; Mukhyaprana: the chief vital air; Lingat: because of the inferential marks; Na iti: not thus; Chet: if; Tat: that; Yyakhyatam: has already been explained.

An objection to Sutra 16 is raised and refuted. The objection has already been disposed of under I-1-31.

In the Sutra I-1-31 which dealt with the topic of the dialogue between Indra and Pratardana, this objection was raised and answered. All those arguments would apply here also. It was shown there that when a text is interpreted as referring to Brahman on the ground of a comprehensive survey of its initial and concluding clauses, all other inferential marks which point to other topics, such as Jiva or Prana etc., must be so interpreted that they may be in harmony with the main topic.

Here also the initial clause refers to Brahman in the sentence "Shall I tell you Brahman?" The concluding clause is "Having overcome all evils, he obtains pre-eminence among all beings, sovereignty and supremacy, yea, he who knows this". Thus the initial and concluding clauses here also refer to Brahman. If in the middle of this text we find any mark from which Jiva or any other topic may be inferred, we must so interpret the passage as to refer to Brahman, in order to avoid contradiction.

This topic is not redundant as it is already taught in Sutra I-1-31, because the chief point discussed here is the word 'Karma' which is liable to misinterpretation. Therefore this Adhikarana certainly teaches something new.

The word Prana occurs in the sense of Brahman in the passage "The mind settles down on Prana" Chh. Up. VI-8-2.

Anyartham tu Jaiminih prasnavyakhyanabhyamapi chaivameke I.4.18 (124)

But Jaimini thinks that (the reference to the individual soul in the text) has another purpose on account of the question and the reply; moreover, thus some also (the Vajasaneyins) (read in their text or recension).

Anyartham: for another purpose; Tu: but; Jaiminih: Jaimini; Prasna-vyakhyanabhyam: from the question and the reply; Api: also; Cha: and; Evam: in this way; Eke: others, other Srutis

An argument in support of Sutra 16 is given.

Even the reference to the individual soul has a different purpose i.e. aims at intimating Brahman.

After Ajatasatru has taught Balaki by waking the sleeping man, that the soul is different from the Prana or the vital air, he asks the following question: "Balaki, where did the person here sleep? Where was he? Whence came he thus back?" Kau. Up. IV. 19. These questions clearly refer to something different from the individual soul. And so likewise does the answer (Kau. Up. IV.20) say that the individual soul is merged in Brahman in deep sleep.

When sleeping he sees no dream, then he becomes one with that Prana alone, and 'from that Self all Pranas proceed, each towards its place, from the Pranas the gods, from the gods the worlds".

This conversation occurs in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad. It clearly refers to the individual soul by means of the term "the person consisting of cognition" (Vijnanamaya) and distinguishes from it the Highest Self. "Where was then the person consisting of cognition? and from whence did he thus come back?" (Bri. Up. II-1-16) and later on, in the reply to the above question, declares that 'the person consisting of cognition lies in the ether within the heart'. We already know that the word 'ether' denotes the supreme seat for instance in the passage above the "small ether within the lotus of the heart" (Chh. Up. VIII-1-1).

Vakyanvayadhikaranam: Topic 6 (Sutras 19-22)

The Atman to be seen through hearing etc., of the Bri. Up. II-4-5 is Brahman and not Jivatma.

Vakyanvayat I.4.19 (125)

(The Self to be seen, to be heard etc., is the Supreme Self) on account of the connected meaning of the sentences.

Vakyanvayat: On account of the connected meaning of the sentences.

A passage from the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad is now taken up for discussion.

From the synthetic study of the context it is clear that the reference is to the Supreme Self.

We read in the Maitreyi-Brahmana of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad the following passage: "Verily a husband is not dear that you may love the husband etc., but that you may love the Self, therefore everything is dear. Verily the Self is to be seen, to be heard, to be reflected and to be meditated upon, O Maitreyi! When the Self has been seen, heard, reflected and realised or known, then all this is known" Bri. Up. IV-5-6.

Here a doubt arises whether that which is represented as the object to be seen, to be heard and so on is the individual soul or the Supreme Self.

The Purvapakshin says: The Self is by the mention of dear things such as husband and so on, indicated as the enjoyer. From this it appears that the text refers to the individual soul.

This Sutra refutes this and says that in this passage the highest Self is referred to, and not the individual soul. In the whole Section Brahman is treated. Maitreyi says to her husband Yajnavalkya: "What should I do with the wealth by which I do not become immortal? What my Lord knoweth tell that to me." Thereupon Yajnavalkya expounds to her the knowledge of the Self. Scripture and Smriti declare that immortality can be attained only by the knowledge of the Supreme Self. Then Yajnavalkya teaches her the knowledge of the Self. Finally the Section concludes with "Thus far goes immortality."

Immortality cannot be attained by the knowledge of the individual soul, but only by the knowledge of the Highest Self or Brahman. Therefore Brahman alone is the subject matter of the passage under discussion. Brahman alone is to be seen or realised through hearing, reflection and meditation.

Yajnavalkya declares that the Self is the centre of the whole world with the objects, the senses and the mind, that it has neither inside nor outside, that it is altogether a mass of knowledge. It follows from all this that what the text represents as the object of sight and so on is the Supreme Self.

Further it is said in the text that by the knowledge of the Self everything is known. This clearly intimates that the Self is Brahman only because how can the knowledge of finite Jiva or individual soul give us knowledge of everything?

Pratijnasiddherlingamasmarathyah I.4.20 (126)

(The fact that the individual soul is taught as the object of realisation is an) indicatory mark which is proof of the proposition; so Asmarathya thinks.

Pratijnasiddheh: because of the proof of the proposition; Lingam: indicatory mark; Asmarathyah: the sage Asmarathya.

An argument in support of Sutra 19 is given. The indication is that the individual soul is not different from Brahman, the Ultimate Cause, of which it is a ray. Hence to know Brahman, the Cause, is to know all that.

If the individual were quite different from Brahman, then by the knowledge of Brahman everything else would not be known. The initial statement aims at representing the individual soul or Jiva and the Supreme Self as non-different for the purpose of fulfilling the promise made. The non-difference between Brahman and the individual soul establishes the proposition, "When the Self is known all this is known", "All this is that Self".

Asmarathya is of opinion that the passages 'Atmani vijnate sarvamidam vijnatam bhavati' and 'Idam sarvam yadayamatma' prove the aspect of identity of the individual soul and the Supreme Self, because only then can be attained what is promised i.e., that by the knowledge of Brahman everything can be attained. I-4-20.

The sparks that proceed from a fire are not absolutely different from the fire as they are of the nature of the fire. They are not absolutely non-different from the fire, because in that case they could be distinguished neither from the fire nor from each other. Similarly the individual souls also, which are the effects of Brahman, are neither absolutely different from Brahman, because that would mean that they are not of the nature of intelligence; nor absolutely non-different from Brahman, because in that case they could not be distinguished from each other; and because if they were identical with Brahman, and therefore Omniscient, it would be useless to give them any instruction. Therefore the individual souls are somehow different from Brahman and somehow non-different. This doctrine of Asmarathya is known as "Bhedabhedavada". This is the opinion of the sage Asmarathya.

Utkramishyata evambhavadityaudulomih I.4.21 (127)

The initial statement identifies the individual soul with Brahman or the Supreme Self because the soul, when it will depart (from the body), is such (i.e. one with the Supreme Self); thus Audulomi thinks.

Utkramishyata: of him who would pass away from the body; Evam bhavat: because of this condition; Iti: thus; Audulomih: the sage Audulomi.

The argument in support of Sutra 19 is continued.

Jiva or the individual soul which is associated with its different limiting adjuncts viz., body, senses and mind, attains freedom through meditation and knowledge. When it rises from the body i.e., when it is free and has no body-consciousness, it realises that it is identical with Brahman. Therefore it is represented as non-different from the Supreme Self. This is the opinion of the teacher Audulomi.

We read in the Srutis also "that serene being arising from this body, appears in its own form as soon as it has approached the Highest Light" Chh. Up. VIII-12-3. Mundakopanishad says "As the flowing rivers vanish in the sea, having lost their name and form, so also the sage, freed from name and form, goes to the Divine Person who is greater than the great" Mun. Up. III-2-8.

The individual soul is absolutely different from the Supreme Self. It is conditioned by the different limiting adjuncts viz., body, senses, mind and intellect. But it is spoken of in the Upanishads as non-different from the Supreme Self because it may pass out of the body and become one with the Supreme Self, after having purified itself by means of meditation and knowledge. The text of the Upanishad thus transfers a future state of non-difference to that time when difference actually exists. This doctrine advocated by Audulomi – which holds that difference between the individual soul and Brahman in the state of ignorance is a reality – is a Satyabhedavada.

Avasthiteriti Kasakritsnah I.4.22 (128)

(The initial statement is made) because (the Supreme Self) exists in the condition (of the individual soul); so the Sage Kasakritsna thinks.

Avasthiteh: because of the existence; Iti: thus (holds); Kasakritsnah: the sage Kasakritsna.

The argument in support of Sutra 19 is continued.

The individual soul or Jiva is quite different in nature from Brahman or the Supreme Self. It is not possible for the individual soul to be one with Brahman in the state of emancipation. Therefore the teacher Kasakritsna thinks that the Highest Self Itself exists as the individual soul. As the Supreme Self exists also in the condition of the individual soul, the Sage Kasakritsna is of opinion that the initial statement which aims at intimating the non-difference of the two is possible.

Brahman of the Supreme Self and the individual soul are absolutely non-different. The apparent difference is due to Upadhis or limiting vehicles or adjuncts which are only products of Avidya or ignorance. The difference is illusory or unreal from the absolute or transcendental view point. Therefore it follows that everything else is known by the knowledge of the Self or Brahmajnana.

That the Supreme Self only is that which appears as the individual soul is obvious from the Brahmana-passage "Let me enter into them with this living Self and evolve names and forms."

Sutra 20 means that, the affirmation that "by knowing It everything is known", shows the individual soul and the Supreme Self are non-different. Sutra 21 means the identity of the soul and the Supreme Self, refers to the state of attainment of the Supreme Self by the purified and perfected soul. Sutra 22 means that even now the Supreme Self is the individual soul. It is not that the individual soul is dissolved or merged in the Supreme Self. Our erroneous sense of diversity and separateness is lost or dissolved but the soul, which is in reality the Supreme Self (or the one Atman which alone exists), exists for ever.

Of these three opinions, the one held by Kasakritsna is in accordance with the Scripture, because it agrees with what all the Vedanta texts teach.

According to the statement of Asmarathya, the soul is not absolutely different from the Supreme Self. His declaration indicates by the expression "Owing to the fulfilment of the promise", that there is a certain relation of cause and effect between the Supreme Self and the individual soul. The promise is made in the two passages "when the Self is known, all this is known" and "all this is that Self." According to Asmarathya the individual soul is a product of the Highest Self. Therefore the knowledge of the cause gives rise to the knowledge of everything. If the Soul and the Supreme Self are non-different, the promise that through the "knowledge of one everything becomes known" can be fulfilled.

According to the view of Audulomi the difference and non-difference of the two depend on difference of condition; the individual soul is only a state of the highest Self or Brahman. The view of Asmarathya and Audulomi cannot stand.

Jivahood is an unreality. It is a creation of Avidya or nescience. The individual soul is identical with Brahman in essence. On account of ignorance we feel that we are conditioned or limited by the false, illusory Upadhis and that we are different from Brahman. Really the individual soul is neither created nor destroyed. If the Jivahood is a reality it can never be destroyed and liberation would be impossible. If the individual soul becomes one with Brahman or the Highest Self when it attains freedom or the final emancipation, then Jivahood is illusory. The origin of the souls from the Supreme Self like sparks from the fire is not real creation. It must be viewed only with reference to the limiting adjuncts.

The objector says: the passage, 'Rising from out of these elements he vanishes again after them. When he has departed there is no more knowledge', indicates the final annihilation of the soul, but not its oneness with the Supreme Self.

We reply, this is incorrect. The passage means to say only that all sense perception ceases when the soul departs from the body, not that the Self is annihilated. The passage intimates that the eternally unchanging Self which is one mass of knowledge or consciousness cannot certainly perish but by means of true knowledge of the Self, disconnection with the elements and the sense organs, which are the products of ignorance, has taken place.

The individual soul and the Supreme Self differ in name only. It is a settled conclusion that perfect knowledge produces absolute oneness of the two. The Self is called by many different names but it is One only. Perfect knowledge is the door to Moksha or the final emancipation. Moksha is not something effected and non-eternal, It is eternal and is not different from the eternally unchanging, immortal, pure Brahman who is One without a second. Those who state that there is distinction between the individual and the Supreme Self are not in harmony with the true sense of the Vedanta texts.

Prakrtyadhikaranam: Topic 7 (Sutra 23-27)

Brahman is both the efficient and the material cause.

Prakritischa pratijna drishtantanuparodhat I.4.23 (129)

(Brahman is) the material cause also on account of (this view) not being in conflict with the proposition and the illustrations (quoted in the Sruti).

Prakritih: the material cause; Cha: also; Pratijna: the proposition; Drishtanta: illustrations; Anuparodhat: on account of this not being in conflict.

This Sutra states that Brahman is the efficient as well as the material cause of the universe.

Brahman has been defined as that from which proceed the origin, sustenance and dissolution of this universe. Now a doubt arises whether Brahman is the material cause like clay or gold, or the efficient or operative causality like potter or goldsmith.

The Purvapakshin or the objector holds that Brahman is the only operative or the efficient cause of the world, as in texts like, "He reflected, he created Prana" Pras. Up. VI.3 & 4. Observation and experience intimate that the action of operative causes only such as potters and the like is preceded by thinking or reflection. It is, therefore, quite correct that we should regard the creator also in the same light. The creator is declared as the 'Lord'. Lords such as kings are known only as operative causes. The Supreme Lord must be regarded as an operative cause.

This Sutra refutes this prima facie view of the Purvapakshin. Brahman is also the material cause of this universe. The term 'cha' (also) indicates that Brahman is the efficient cause as well. Only if Brahman is the material cause of the universe it is possible to know everything through the knowledge of Brahman. "Have you ever asked for that instruction by which that which is not heard becomes heard; that which is not perceived, perceived; that which is not known, known?" (Chh. Up. IV.1-2), which declare that the effects are not different from their efficient cause, because we know from ordinary experience that the carpenter is different from the house he has built.

The illustrations referred to here are "My dear, as by one lump of clay all that is made of clay is known, the modification i.e., the effect being a name merely which has its origin in speech, while the truth is that it is clay merely" etc. (Chh. Up. VI-14). These texts clearly indicate that Brahman is the material cause of the universe, otherwise they would be meaningless.

Promising statements are made in other places also. For instance "What is that through which if it is known everything else becomes known," Mun. Up. I.1.3. "When the Self has been seen, heard, perceived and known then all this is known" (Bri. Up. IV-5-6). All these promissory statements and illustrative instances which are to be found in all Vedanta texts prove that Brahman is also the material cause.

There is no other guiding being than Brahman. We have to conclude from this that Brahman is the efficient cause at the same time. Lumps of clay and pieces of gold are dependent on extraneous operative causes such as potters and goldsmiths in order to shape themselves into vessels and ornaments; but outside Brahman as material cause there is no other operative or efficient cause to which the material cause could look, because the scripture says that Brahman was One without a second previous to creation. Who else could be an efficient or operative cause when there was nothing else?

If that were admitted that there is a guiding principle different from the material cause, in that case everything cannot be known through one thing. Consequently the promissory statements and the illustrations would be stultified.

Therefore Brahman is the efficient cause, because there is no other ruling principle. He is the material cause as well because there is no other substance from which the universe can take its origin.

For the sake of harmony between the proposition to be established and illustrations given therein, we conclude that Brahman is the material cause of the world. The text expressly declares Him to be the efficient or operative cause as well.

Abhidhyopadesacca I. 4.24 (130)

On account of the statement of will or reflection (to create on the part of the Supreme Self, It is the material cause).

Abidhya: will, reflection; Upadesat: on account of instruction or teaching or statement; Cha: also, and.

An argument in support of Sutra 23 is given "He wished or thought may I be many, may I grow forth". In this text the desire and reflection indicate that Brahman is the efficient cause.

"May I be many" shows that Brahman Himself became many. Therefore He is the material cause as well.

He willed to manifest Himself as many i.e., as the universe.

He willed to evolve the universe out of Himself. This intimates that He is at once the material and the efficient cause of creation.

Sakshaccobhayamnanat I.4.25 (131)

And because the Sruti states that both (the origin and the dissolution of the universe) have Brahman for their material cause.

Sakshat: direct; Cha: also; Ubhayamnanat: because the Sruti states both.

The argument in support of Sutra 23 is continued.

This Sutra provides a further argument for Brahman's being the general material cause.

That from which a thing takes its origin and into which it is withdrawn, and absorbed is its material cause. This is well known. Thus the earth, for instance, is the material cause of rice, barley and the like. "All these things take their origin from the Akasa (Brahman) alone and return into the Akasa" Chh. Up. I-9-1.

"That from which these things are produced, by which, when produced they live, and into which they enter at their dissolution – try to know that. That is Brahman" Tait. Up. III.1. These Upanishadic passages indicate clearly that Brahman is the material cause also.

The word 'Sakshat' (direct) in the Sutra shows that there is no other material cause, but that all this originated from the Akasa (Brahman) only. Observation and experience teach that effects are not re-absorbed into anything else but their material cause.

Atmakriteh parinamat I.4.26 (132)

(Brahman is the material cause of the world) because it created Itself by undergoing modification.

Atmakriteh: created itself; Parinamat: by undergoing modification.

The argument in support of Sutra 23 is continued.

We read in the Tait. Up. II-7 "That Itself manifested Itself." This intimates that Brahman alone created the world out of Itself, which is possible only by undergoing modification. This represents the Self as the object of action as well as the agent. So He is the Karta (creator-agent) and Karma (creation). He becomes the creation by means of Parinama (evolution or modification).

The word 'Itself' intimates the absence of any other operative cause but the Self. The modification is apparent (Vivarta), according to Sri Sankaracharya. It is real, according to Sri Ramanujacharya. The world is unreal in the sense that it is not permanent. It is an illusion in the sense it has only a phenomenal existence, it has no existence separate from Brahman.

Yonischa hi giyate I.4.27 (133)

And because (Brahman) is called the source.

Yoni: the womb, the source, the origin; Cha: and; Hi: because; Giyate: is called.

The argument in support of Sutra 23 is continued.

Brahman is the material cause of the universe, also because He is stated in Sruti to be the source of the universe.

We read in Mundaka Upanishad III-1-3, "The Maker, the Lord, the Person, who has his source in Brahman" and "that which the wise regard as the Source of all beings" Mun. Up. I- 1-6.

Achintyam-avyaktam-ananta rupam, sivam, prasantam amritam brahmayonim; Tamadimadhyantavihinam-ekam vibhum chid-anandam-arupam-adbhutam – He is incomprehensible, unspeak- able, infinite in form, all-good, all-peace, immortal, the parent of the universe, without beginning, middle and end, without rival, all-pervading, all-consciousness, all-bliss, invisible, and inscrutable – this indicates that Brahman is the material cause of the world.

The word Yoni or womb always denotes the material cause, as in the sentence "the earth is the Yoni or womb of herbs and trees."

It is thus proved or established that Brahman is the material cause of the universe.

Sarvavyakhyanadhikaranam: Topic 8 (Sutra 28)

The arguments which refute the Sankhyas refute the others also.

Etena sarve vyakhyata vyakhyatah I.4.28 (134)

By this all (the doctrines concerning the origin of the world which are opposed to the Vedanta texts) are explained.

Etena: by this, by what has been said; Sarve: all; Vyakhyatah: are explained.

The argument is concluded in this Sutra.

By what has been said in the foregoing Sutras it is to be understood that the teaching of all the Srutis, even those that have not been discussed points to Brahman, the only cause of the world.

By thus disproving the doctrine of Pradhana being the cause of the world all have been refuted. By overthrowing the chief disputant others are overthrown just as by defeating the commander all the others are also defeated. Thus those who attribute creation to atoms and other theorists are all defeated.

All doctrines that speak of two separate causes are refuted. The atomic theory and other theories are not based on scriptural authority. They contradict many scriptural texts.

The Sankhya doctrine according to which the Pradhana is the cause of the universe, has in the Sutras beginning with I.1.5 been again and again brought forward and refuted.

The doctrine of Pradhana stands somewhat near to the Vedanta doctrine as it admits the non-difference of cause and effect like the Vedanta doctrine. Further, it has been accepted by some of the authors of the Dharma Sutras such as Devala and others. Moreover the Vedanta texts contain some passages which to some people who are endowed with dull intellect may appear to contain inferential marks pointing to it. For all these reasons the commentator has taken special trouble to refute the Pradhana doctrine. He has not directed his special attention to the atomic and other theories.

The repetition of the phrase 'are explained' shows that the Chapter ends here.

It is proved that Brahman is the material as well as the efficient cause of the universe.

Thus ends the Fourth Pada (Section 4) of the First Adhyaya (Chapter I) of the Brahma Sutras or the Vedanta Philosophy.

Here ends Chapter I