Chapter Two: Avirodha Adhyaya – Section 1 (Sutras 135-171)
Smriti-nyaya-virodha-parihara forms the topic of the first Pada. The Smritivirodha is dealt with in Sutras 1-3 and 12 also. The Nyayavirodha is treated in the rest of the Sutras. Pada (Section) 2 attacks the various Darsanas or systems of philosophy on their own grounds. The Third and Fourth Padas aim at establishing a unity of purport in the apparently divergent and inconsistent cosmological and psychological thoughts of the several Vedanta passages. Thus the title Avirodha or absence of contradiction given to the chapter is quite appropriate.
It has been shown in the First Chapter that the Omniscient Lord of all is the cause of the origin of the world just as clay is the material cause of pots etc., and gold of golden ornaments. It has been conclusively proved also in the First Chapter that all the Vedanta texts treat of Brahman as the First Cause and that Brahman is the import of all the Vedanta texts. This was established by the Samanvaya.
Just as the magician is the cause of the subsistence of the magical illusion, so also Brahman is the cause of the subsistence of this universe by His Rulership. Just as the four classes of creatures are reabsorbed into the earth, so also, projected world is finally reabsorbed into His essence during Pralaya or dissolution.
It has been further proved also that the Lord is the Self of all beings.The doctrine of Pradhana being the cause of the world has been refuted in the First Chapter as it is not based on the authority of the scriptures.
In this Section the arguments based on reasoning against the doctrine which speaks of Brahman as the First Cause are refuted. Further arguments which claim their authoritativeness from the Smritis to establish the doctrine of Pradhana and the theory of the atoms are refuted in this Section.
Previously it has been proved on the authority of Sruti that the matter or Pradhana is not the cause of the world. The First Chapter has proved that all the Vedantic texts unanimously teach that there is only one cause of the universe, viz., Brahman, whose nature is intelligence. It has also been proved that there is no scriptural text which can be used to establish systems opposed to the Vedanta, more particularly the Sankhya system.
The first two Padas of the Second Chapter refute any objections which may be raised against the Vedanta doctrine on purely speculative grounds apart from the authority of the Srutis. They also show that no system that cannot be reconciled with the Vedanta can be established in a satisfactory manner.
Section I (Pada) of the Second Chapter proves by arguments that Brahman is the cause of the world and removes all objections that may be levelled against such conclusion.
(Sutras 1-2) refutes the objection of the Sankhyas that the accepting of the system of Vedanta involves the rejection of the Sankhya doctrine which constitutes a part of Smriti and so has claims or consideration. The Vedanta replies that the acceptance of the Sankhya Smriti would force us to reject other Smritis such as the Manu Smriti which are opposed to the doctrine of the Sankhyas. The Veda does not confirm the Sankhya Smriti but only those Smritis which teach that the universe takes its origin from an intelligent creator or intelligent primary cause (Brahman).
(Sutra 3) extends the same line of argumentation to the Yoga-Smriti. It discards the theory of the Yoga philosophy of Patanjali regarding the cause of the world.
(Sutras 4-5) raises an objection that as Brahman and the world are not similar in nature and properties, one being sentient, etc., and the other insentient, etc., Brahman cannot be the cause of the universe.
(Sutras 6-7) refutes the objection by stating that there are instances in the world of generation of the inanimate from the animate as, for instance, the production of hair from the living body, also of the animate from the inanimate as, for instance, the birth of scorpions and other insects from cow-dung. They prove that it is not necessary that the cause and the caused should be similar in all respects.
(Sutra 8) raises an objection that at the time of general dissolution, when the effect (world) is merged in the cause (Brahman), the latter must be contaminated by the former.
(Sutra 9) refutes the objection by showing that there are direct instances to the contrary, just as the products of the earth such as jars etc., at the time of dissolution do not change earth into their own nature; but, on the contrary, they are themselves changed into the substance of earth.
Adhikarana III, Adhikarana IV, Adhikarana IX:
(Sutras 10-11), (Sutra 12), (Sutra 29) show that arguments directed against the view that Brahman is the cause of the world may be levelled against the opponents as well, such as the Sankhyas and the Vaiseshikas, because in the Sankhya system, the nameless Pradhana produces all names and forms and in the Vaiseshika system invisible and formless atoms unite and form a visible world. The Sutras state that arguments may be prolonged without any conclusion being arrived at and that the conclusion of the Vedas only is to be respected. All the views which are antagonistic to the Vedas are ruthlessly refuted.
Adhikarana V:(Sutra 13) teaches that although the enjoying souls and the objects are in reality nothing but Brahman, yet they may practically be held apart, just as in ordinary life we hold apart and distinguish as separate individual things, the waves, the ripples and foam of the ocean although they are in essence identical and only sea water.
(Sutras 14-20) treats of the non-difference of the effect from the cause, a doctrine of the Vedanta which is defended by the followers of the Vedanta against the Vaiseshikas. According to the Vaiseshikas, the effect is something different from the cause.
(Sutras 21-22) refutes the objection that Brahman in the form of the individual soul is subject to pleasure and pain by showing that though Brahman assumes the form of the individual soul, yet He transcends the latter and remains untainted by any property of Jiva whom He controls from within. Though the individual soul or Jiva is no other than Brahman Himself, yet Brahman remains the absolute Lord and as such above pleasure and pain. Jiva is a slave of Avidya. Brahman is the controller of Maya. When Jiva is freed from Avidya, he becomes identical with Brahman.
(Sutras 23-25) shows that Brahman, although devoid of material and instruments of action, may yet create the world through His Sat-Sankalpa or will power, just as gods by their mere power of volition create palaces, animals and the like and milk by itself turns into curds.
(Sutras 26-29) explains that Brahman does not entirely transform Himself into the universe though He is without parts. Although He projects the world from Himself, yet He remains one and undivided. The world is unreal. The change is only apparent like the snake is the rope but not real. Brahman is not exhausted in the creation.
(Sutras 30-31) teaches that Brahman, although devoid of instruments of action, is able to create the universe by means of the diverse powers He possesses.
(Sutras 32-33) explains that Brahman has no motive in creating the world but projects the universe out of mere sporting impulse which is inherent in Him.
(Sutras 34-36) justifies Brahman from the charges of partiality and cruelty which are brought against Him owing to the inequality of position and fate of the various persons and the universal suffering in the world. Brahman acts as a creator and dispenser with reference to the merit and demerit of the individual souls.
(Sutra 37) sums up the preceding arguments and states that all the attributes of Brahman, viz., Omniscience, Omnipotence and the like, are found appropriate in Brahman alone and none else and are such as to capacitate Him for the creation of the universe. Brahman is, therefore, the cause of the world.
Smrityadhikaranam: Topic 1 (Sutras 1-2)
Refutation of Smritis not based on Srutis.
Smrityanavakasadoshaprasanga iti chet na anyasmrityanavakasadoshaprasangat II.1.1 (135)
If it be objected that (from the doctrine of Brahman being the cause of the world) there would result the defect of there being no room for certain Smritis (we say) no, because (by the rejection of that doctrine) there would result the defect of want of room for some other Smriti.
Smriti: the Sankhya philosophy; Anavakasa: no room; Dosha: defect; Prasangat: Result, chance; Iti: thus; Chet: if; Na: not; Anyasmriti: other Smritis; Anavakasadoshaprasangat: because there would result the defect of want of room for other Smritis.
The conclusion arrived at in Chapter I – Section IV, that Brahman is the cause of the world is corroborated by Smritis other than Sankhya. The earliest and the most orthodox of these Smritis is the Smriti written by Manu.
If you say that one set of Smritis will be ignored if it is said that Pradhana is not the cause of the world, will not another set of Smritis like Manu Smriti which is based on the Srutis and therefore more authoritative be ignored if you say that Brahman is not the cause? We have shown that the Sruti declares Brahman to be the cause. Only such Smritis which are in full agreement with the Sruti are authoritative. What if Kapila and others are Siddhas? Siddhi (perfection) depends on Dharma and Dharma depends on the Vedas. No Siddha is authoritative if his view is contrary to that of the Sruti. Smritis which are opposed to the Vedas should be rejected ruthlessly.
Kapila acknowledges a plurality of selfs. He does not admit the doctrine of there being one universal Self. The system of Kapila contradicts the Vedas, not only the assumption of an independent Pradhana but also by its hypothesis of a plurality of selfs. We cannot explain the Vedanta texts in such a manner as not to bring them into conflict with Kapila Smriti. Kapila Smriti contradicts the Srutis. Hence it should be disregarded.
The verse V-2 of Svetasvatara Upanishad does not refer to Kapila founder of Sankhya philosophy. It refers to a different being altogether. The verse really means "He who before the creation of the world produced the golden coloured Brahma (Kapila) in order to maintain the universe". The word Kapila means here 'golden coloured' and is another name for Brahma called Hiranygarbha.
Itaresham chanupalabdheh II.1.2 (136)
And there being no mention (in the scriptures) of others (i.e., the effects of the Pradhana according to the Sankhya system), (the Sankhya system cannot be authoritative).
Itaresham: of others; Cha: and; Anupalabdheh: there being no mention.
An argument in support of Sutra 1 is given.
Further such principles as Mahat etc., which are said to be products of Pradhana are perceived neither in the Veda nor in ordinary experience. On the other hand the elements and the senses are found in the Veda and in the world and hence may be referred to in the Smriti. Hence such words as Mahat etc., found in Smritis do not refer to products of Pradhana but to other categories revealed in the Sruti. See I.4.1.
There is no mention of the other categories of the Sankhyas anywhere in the Vedas. Therefore the Sankhya system cannot be authoritative.
Sankaracharya has proved that by the word Mahat we have to understand either the cosmic intellect or Hiranyagarbha or the individual soul, but in no case the Mahat of the Sankhya philosophy i.e., the first product of the Prakriti.
It is not only because Sankhya teaches that Pradhana is the author of creation which makes it unauthoritative, but it teaches other doctrines also which have no foundation in the Vedas. It teaches that souls are pure consciousness and all-pervading, that bondage and freedom is the work of Prakriti. It further teaches that there is no Supreme Self, the Lord of all. It also maintains that Pranas are merely forms of the functions of the five senses and have no separate existence of their own. All these heterodox doctrines are to be found there. Hence the Sankhya system cannot be authoritative.
Yogapratyuktyadhikaranam: Topic 2 (Sutra 3)
Refutation of Yoga.
Etena yogah pratyuktah II.1.3 (137)
By this the Yoga philosophy is (also) refuted.
Etena: by this viz., by the refutation of the Sankhya Smriti; Yogah: the Yoga philosophy; Pratyuktah: is (also) refuted.
The Yoga philosophy of Patanjali is refuted here. Yoga is called "Sesvara-Sankhya".
The Purvapakshin says: The Yoga system is given in the Upanishads also, like the Svetavatara Upanishad etc. "Holding his head, neck, trunk erect" etc. Svet. Up. II-8. "The Self is to be heard, to be thought of, to be meditated upon" Bri. Up. II-4-5. "This the firm holding back of the senses is what is called Yoga" Katha Up. II-3-11. "Having received this knowledge and the whole rule of Yoga" Katha. Up. II-3-18. Yoga is an aid to the concentration of mind. Without concentration one cannot have knowledge of Brahman. Hence Yoga is a means to knowledge. As the Yoga Smriti is based on the Srutis, it is authoritative. The Yoga Smriti acknowledges the Pradhana which is the First Cause.
For the same reason as adduced against the Sankhya system, the Yoga philosophy by Patanjali is also refuted as it also accepts the theory that Prakriti is the cause of the universe.
This Sutra remarks that by the refutation of the Sankhya Smriti the Yoga Smriti also is to be considered as refuted because the Yoga philosophy also recognises, in opposition to scripture, a Pradhana as the independent cause of the world and the great principle etc., as its effects although the Veda or common experience is not in favour of these views.
Though the Smriti is partly authoritative it should be rejected as it contradicts the Srutis on other topics.
Although there are many Smritis which treat of the soul, we have directed our attention to refute the Sankhya and Yoga, because they are widely known as offering the means for attaining the highest end of man. Moreover, they have obtained the appreciation of many great persons. Further their position is strengthened by Sruti "He who has known that cause which is to be apprehended by Sankhya and Yoga he is freed from all fetters" Svet. Up. VI-13.
We say that the highest goal of man cannot be attained by the knowledge of the Sankhya Smriti, or Yoga practice. Sruti clearly says that the final emancipation or the supreme beatitude can only be obtained by the knowledge of the unity of the Self which is conveyed by the Veda. "Only the man who knows Brahman crosses over Death, there is no other path to go" Svet. Up. III-8.
The Sankhya and Yoga systems maintain duality. They do not discern the unity of the Self. In the text cited "That cause which is to be known by Sankhya and Yoga", the terms 'Sankhya' and 'Yoga' denote Vedic knowledge and meditation as these terms are used in a passage standing close to other passages which refer to Vedic knowledge.
We certainly allow room for those portions of the two systems which do not contradict the Veda. The Sankhyas say, "The soul is free from all qualities (Asanga)." This is in harmony with the Veda which declares that Purusha is essentially pure. "For that person is not attached to anything" Bri. Up. IV-3-16.
The Yoga prescribes retirement from the concerns of life (Nivritti) for the wandering Sannyasin. This is corroborated by the Sruti. "Then the Parivrajaka with orange robe, shaven, without any possession" etc. Jabala Upanishad. IV-7.
Their reasoning is acceptable to the extent to which it leads to Self-realisation.
The above remarks will serve as a reply to the claims of all argumentative Smritis. We hold that the truth can be realised nor known from the Vedanta texts only, "None who does not know the Veda perceives the great one" Taittiriya Brahmana III-12.9.7.
"I now ask thee that Person taught in the Upanishads" Bri. Up. III-9-2.
Na Vilakshanatvadhikaranam: Topic 3 (Sutras 4-11)
Brahman can be the cause of the universe, although It is of a contrary nature from the universe.
Na vilakshanatvadasya tathatvam cha sabdat II.1.4 (138)
(The objector says that) Brahman cannot be the cause of the world, because this (the world) is of a different nature (from Brahman) and its being so (different from Brahman) (is known) from the scriptures.
Na: not (i.e. Brahman is not the cause of the world); Vilakshanatvat: because of difference in nature; Asya: its (i.e. of this world); Tathatvam: its being so; Cha: and; Sabdat: from the word, from the Sruti.
There are eight Sutras in this Adhikarana. The first and the second express the Purvapaksha (objection) and the others express the true doctrine (Siddhanta).
The objections founded on Smriti against the doctrine of Brahman being the efficient and the material cause of the universe have been refuted. We now proceed to refute those founded on reasoning.
Some plausible objections against Brahman being the cause of the world are raised in this Sutra and the subsequent one.
The objector says: Brahman is intelligence. Brahman is pure. But the universe is material, insentient and impure. Therefore, it is different from the nature of Brahman. Hence, Brahman cannot be the cause of this world.
The effect must be of the same nature as the cause. The effect is only cause in another form. The cause and effect cannot be entirely of a different nature. The intelligent and sentient Brahman cannot produce non-intelligent, insentient, material universe. If Brahman is taken to be the cause of the world, the nature of the two must be similar. But they appear to be quite different in essence or nature. Hence, Brahman cannot be the cause of the world.
The difference in nature is also known from the statements of Sruti, "Brahman became intelligence as well as non-intelligence (world)" (Taittiriya Upanishad, Brahmananda Valli, Sixth Anuvaka – Vijnanam cha avijnanam cha abhavat). Therefore, Brahman cannot be the cause of the material universe. Brahman, which is pure spirit, cannot be the cause of this universe, which is impure matter. The world which consists of pain, pleasure and illusion cannot be derived from Brahman.
Abhimanivyapadesastu viseshanugatibhyam II.1.5 (139)
But the reference is to the presiding deities (of the organs) on account of the special characterisation and also from the fact of a deity so presiding.
Abhimani: the presiding deity (of the organs and the elements); Vyapadesah: an expression, an indication, pointing out of, denotation of; Tu: but; Visesha: specific adjunct, on account of distinction, because of so being qualified; Anugatibhyam: the act of pervading; Viseshanugatibhyam: from the specific adjunct as well as from the fact of pervading, on account of their entering.
This Sutra meets an objection to Sutra 4. The word 'Tu' (but) discards the doubt raised.
Whenever an inanimate object is described in Smriti as behaving like animate beings, we are to understand that it is an indication of a deity presiding over it. In the case of actions like speaking, disputing, and so on, which require intelligence, the scriptural texts do not denote the mere material elements and organs but rather the intelligent deities which preside over each organ viz., speech, etc.
You will find in Kaushitaki Upanishad: "The deities contending with each other for who was the best." "All the deities recognised the pre-eminence in Prana" (Kau. Up. II-14). The Kaushitakins make express use of the word "deities" in order to exclude the idea of the mere material organs being meant. Aitareya Aranyaka (II-2-4) says, "Agni having become speech entered the mouth". This shows that each organ is connected with its own presiding deity.
There is a text in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (VI-I-7) which says, "These organs quarrelled over their respective greatness."
The texts of Chhandogya Upanishad also show the existence of such presiding deities. "The fire thought and produced water." This indicates that the inanimate object may be called God having reference to its presiding deity. The thought spoken of is that of the Highest Deity which is connected with the effects as a superintending principle. All these strengthen the hypothesis that the texts refer to the superintending deities.
From all this, we have to conclude that this universe is different in nature from Brahman. Therefore, the Universe cannot have Brahman for its material cause.
The next Sutra gives a very suitable reply to the objection raised by the Purvapakshin or the objector.
Drishyate tu II.1.6 (140)
But it (such organisation of life from matter) is also seen.
Drishyate: is seen; Tu: but.
Objection raised in Sutras 4 and 5 are now refuted.
The word 'but' discards the Purvapaksha. 'But' refutes the Purvapakshin's or objector's views expressed in the last Sutra, viz., that this universe cannot have originated from Brahman, because it is different in character. For we see that from man who is intelligent, non-intelligent things such as hair and nails originate, and that from non-intelligent matter such as cow-dung, scorpions etc., are produced. So the objections raised in Sutras 4 and 5 are not valid. Hence it is quite possible that this material universe could be produced by an intelligent Being, Brahman. Origination of insentient creation from the sentient Creator is not unreasonable.
The Mundaka Upanishad says "Just as the spider stretches forth and gathers together its threads, as herbs grow out of the earth, as from a living man comes out the hair, so also from the Imperishable comes out this universe" (I.1.7).
The objector may say that the body of a man is the cause of the hair and nails and not the man, and the cow-dung is the cause of the body of the scorpion, etc. Even then, there is difference in character between the cause, the dung and the effect, the body of the scorpion, in so far as some non-intelligent matter (the body) is the abode of an intelligent principle (the soul of the scorpion), which the other non-intelligent matter (the cow-dung) is not. They are not similar in all respects. If they were, then there would be nothing like cause and effect. If you expect to find all the aspects of Brahman in the world, then what is the difference between cause and effect?
The cause and its effects are not similar in all respects, but something in the cause is found in the effect also, just as clay in the lump is found in the jar also, though the shape, etc., of the two vary. The very relationship of cause and effect implies that there is some difference between the two. Some qualities of the cause, Brahman, such as existence and intelligence, are found in Its effect, the universe. All objects in the universe exist. The universe gets this quality from Brahman, which is Existence itself. Further the intelligence of Brahman illumines the entire world. The two qualities of Brahman, viz., existence and intelligence, are found in the universe. Hence it is quite proper to take Brahman as the cause of this universe, though there may be some difference in other respects between them.
Asaditi chet na pratishedhamatratvat II.1.7 (141)
If it be said (that the world, the effect, would then be) non-existent (before its origination or creation), (we say) no, because it is a mere negation (without any basis).
Asat: non-existence; Iti chet: if it be said; Na: no; Pratishedhamatratvat: because of denial, as it simply denies.
An objection to Sutra 6 is raised and refuted.
The opponent says that if Brahman which is intelligent, pure and devoid of qualities such as sound and so on, is the cause of the universe which is of an opposite nature, i.e., non-intelligent, impure, possessing the qualities of sound, etc., it follows that the effect, i.e., the world, was non-existent before its actual origination, because Brahman was then the only existence. This means that something which was non-existing is brought into existence, which is not accepted by the Vedantins who maintain the doctrine of the effect existing in the cause already.
The objection raised by the opponent is no real objection. It has no force on account of its being a mere negation.
This Sutra refutes the objection raised by the opponent. It declares that this negation is a mere statement without any objective validity. If you negative the existence of the effect previous to its actual origination, your negation is a mere negation without any object to be negatived. The effect certainly exists in the cause before its origination and also after it. The effect can never exist independently, apart from the cause either before or after creation. The Sruti says, "Whosoever looks for anything elsewhere than in Brahman is abandoned by everything" (Bri. Up. II-4-6).
Therefore, the universe exists in Brahman even before creation. It is not absolutely non-existent.
Apitau tadvatprasangadasamanjasam II.1.8 (142)
On account of the consequence that at the time of Pralaya or great dissolution (the cause becomes) like that (i.e., like the effect), the doctrine maintained hitherto (that Brahman is the cause of the universe) is absurd.
Apitau: at the time of Pralaya or the great dissolution; Tadvat: like that, like the effect; Prasangat: on account of the consequences; Asamanjasam: inconsistent, absurd.
A plausible objection against Brahman being the cause of the world is raised here.
The Purvapakshin or the opponent raises further objections.
During dissolution the effect, i.e., the world, is absorbed in the cause, the Brahman. Consequently, it follows that the cause becomes like the effect. The cause is affected by the nature of the effect. The evils of defects inherent in the effect will taint the cause. Brahman must be affected by the nature of the world, just as water is affected by the salt which is dissolved in it, just as the whole food is scented by the pungent smell of asafoetida when it is mixed with any condiment. He would become impure and would no more be the Omniscient cause of the universe as the Upanishads hold. He must become insentient, gross, limited, like the world, which is absurd. Brahman, therefore, cannot be the cause of the world.
There is another objection also. During dissolution all things have gone into a state of oneness with Brahman. All distinctions pass at the time of reabsorption into the state of non-distinction. Then there would be no special cause left at the time of a new beginning of the universe. Consequently, the new world could not arise with all the distinctions of enjoying souls, objects to be enjoyed, etc. There will be no factor bringing about creation again.
The third objection is, if in spite of this a new creation is possible, then even the liberated souls or the Muktas who have become one with Brahman, will be dragged into rebirth.
It cannot be said that the universe remains distinct from the Highest Brahman even in the state of reabsorption or dissolution, because in that case it would be no dissolution at all. The effect existing separate from the cause is not possible.
Hence the Vedanta doctrine of Brahman being the cause of the universe is objectionable as it leads to all sorts of absurdities.
The next Sutra gives a suitable reply to this.
Na tu drishtantabhavat II.1.9 (143)
But not (so) on account of the existence of illustrations.
Na: not; Tu: but; Drishtantabhavat: on account of illustrations.
The objection raised in Sutra 8 is refuted.
By the word 'tu' (but) the possibility of the objection is set aside.
The objections have no force. Why should an effect which is resolved into the cause again affect the cause by introducing the defects of the effect? When the effect is involved in the cause, it does not at all taint the cause by its effects. There are innumerable instances. If a good ornament is melted into gold, how can the peculiarities of form of the ornament appear in the gold?
When a jar made up of clay is broken and reabsorbed into its original substance, i.e., clay, it does not impart to it its special features or qualities. It does not turn the earth into pots and pitchers but it is itself transformed as earth. The four-fold complex of organic beings which springs from the earth does not impart its qualities to the latter at the time of re-absorption.
Reabsorption cannot occur at all if the effect, when resolving back into its causal substance, continues to subsist there with all its individual properties.
Despite the non-difference of cause and effect, the effect has its self in the cause but not the cause in the effect. The effect is of the nature of the cause and not the cause the nature of the effect. Therefore the qualities of the effect cannot touch the cause.
Instead of Brahman being transformed into the world, the world is transformed into Brahman, being merged in Him at the time of its dissolution. Hence there cannot be any objection to Brahman being accepted as the cause of the world on the ground suggested in Sutra 8.
Though the world is full of misery, etc., yet Brahman is all pure, etc. He remains always untouched by evil. As youth, childhood and old age belong to the body only and not to the Self, as blindness and deafness etc., belong to the senses and not to the Self, so the defects of the world do not belong to Brahman and do not pervade the pure Brahman.
If cause and effect are separate as you say, there will be no involution at all. As cause and effect are one and the same, the objection that the defects of the effect will affect the cause is not peculiar to involution alone. If what the Purvapakshin says is correct, the defect will affect the cause even now. That the identity of cause and effect of Brahman and the universe, holds good indiscriminately with regard to all time, not only the time of involution or reabsorption is declared in many scriptural passages, as for instance – This everything is that Self (Bri. Up. II.4.6). The Self is all this (Chh. Up. VII.25.2). The Immortal Brahman is this before (Mun. Up. II.2.11). All this is Brahman (Chh. Up. III.14.1).
If it is said that the defects are the effects of superimposition of Avidya or nescience and cannot affect the cause, this explanation will apply to involution also.
Cobra is not affected by the poison. A magician is not affected by the magical illusion produced by himself, because it is unreal. Even so Brahman is not affected by Maya. The world is only an illusion or appearance. Brahman appears as this universe, just as a rope appears as the snake. Therefore Brahman is unaffected by Maya or the world illusion. No one is affected by his dream-creations or the illusory visions of his dream, because they do not accompany the waking state and the state of dreamless sleep. Similarly the Eternal Witness of all states of consciousness is not affected by the world or Maya.
Equally baseless is the second objection. There are parallel instances with reference to this also. In the state of deep sleep, you do not see anything. The soul enters into an essential condition of non-distinction. There is no diversity, but as soon as you wake up you behold the world of diversity. The old stage of distinction comes again, as ignorance or Avidya is not destroyed. Chhandogya Upanishad says, "All these creatures when they have become merged in the True, know not that they are merged in the True. Whatever these creatures are here, whether a lion, or a wolf, or a boar or a worm or a gnat or a mosquito, that they become again" (Chh. Up. VI-9-2 & 3).
A similar phenomenon takes place during Pralaya or dissolution. The power of distinction remains in a potential state as Avidya or Nescience in the state of dissolution also. So long as the basic Avidya or ignorance is there, creation or evolution will follow involution just as a man wakes up after sleep.
The liberated souls will not be born again because in their case wrong knowledge or ignorance has been completely destroyed by perfect knowledge of Brahman.
The view held by the Purvapakshin that even at the time of reabsorption the world should remain distinct from Brahman is not admitted by the Vedantins.
In conclusion it can be correctly said that the system founded on the Upanishads is in every way unobjectionable.
Svapakshadosacca II.1.10 (144)
And because the objections (raised by the Sankhya against the Vedanta doctrine) apply to his (Sankhya) view also.
Svapakshadoshat: because of the objections, to his own view; Cha: and.
The objections raised in Sutras 4 and 8 are levelled against the opponents.
Now the tables are turned on the objector. The objections raised by him (the Sankhya) to the doctrines of Vedanta are applicable to his theory as well. In his doctrine of causation also, the world of forms and sounds takes its origin from Pradhana and Prakriti which has no form or sound. Thus the cause is different from the effect here also. In the state of reabsorption or dissolution, all objects merge into Pradhana and become one with it.
There is pervasion into the Pradhana of all the effects of the world. It is admitted by the Sankhyas also that at the time of reabsorption the effect passes back into the state of non-distinction from the cause, and so the objection raised in Sutra 8 applies to Pradhana also. The Sankhya will have to admit that before the actual beginning, the effect was non-existent. Whatever objections that are raised against Vedanta in this respect are in fact true of the Sankhyas. That Brahman is the cause of the world, which is admitted by Sruti, cannot be thrown out by this sort of vain reasoning. Vedanta is based on the Srutis. Hence the doctrine of Vedanta is authoritative and infallible. Therefore it must be admitted. Further, the Vedantic view is preferable, because the objections have also been answered from the viewpoint of Vedanta. It is not possible to answer them from the viewpoint of the Sankhya.
Tarkapratishthanadapi anyathanumeyamiti chet evamapyanirmoksha prasangah II.1.11 (145)
If it be said that in consequence of the non-finality of reasoning we must frame our conclusions otherwise; (we reply that) thus also there would result non-release.
Tarka: reasoning, argument; Apratishthanat: because of not having any fixity or finality; Api: also; Anyatha: otherwise; Anumeyam: to be inferred, to be ascertained, by arguing; Iti chet: if it be said, even thus in this way; Api: even; Anirmoksha: want of release, absence of the way out; Prasangah: consequence.
Objections raised in Sutras 4 and 8 are further refuted.
Great thinkers like Kapila and Kanada are seen to refute each other. Logic has no fixity or finality. The deductions of one reasoner are overthrown by another. What one man establishes through reason can be refuted by another man more intelligent and ingenious than he. Neither analogy nor syllogism can apply to the soul. Conclusions arrived at by mere argumentation, however well-reasoned, and not based on any authoritative statement, cannot be accepted as final as there still remains the chance of their being refuted by more expert sophists. Hence, the conclusion of Sruti alone must be accepted.
Without showing any regard to reasoning we must believe Brahman to be the material cause of the universe, because the Upanishad teaches so.
The conclusions of Vedanta are based on the Srutis which are infallible and authoritative. Reasoning which has no sure basis cannot overthrow the conclusions of Vedanta.
Reason has its own province and scope. It is useful in certain secular matters but in matters transcendental such as the existence of Brahman, final release, life beyond, the pronouncements of human intellect can never be perfectly free from doubt, because these are matters which are beyond the scope of intellect. Even if there is to be any finality of reasoning, it will not bring about any finality of doctrine with reference to the soul, because the soul cannot be experienced by the senses. Brahman cannot be an object of perception or of inference based on perception. Brahman is inconceivable and consequently unarguable. Kathopanishad says, "This knowledge is not to be obtained by argument, but it is easy to understand it, O Nachiketas, when taught by a teacher who beholds no difference" (I.2.9).
The opponent says: You cannot say that no reasoning whatever is well-founded because even the judgment about reasoning is arrived at through reasoning. You yourself can see that reasoning has no foundation on reasoning only. Hence the statement that reasoning has never a sure basis is not correct. Further, if all reasoning were unfounded, human life would have to come to an end. You must reason correctly and properly.
We remark against this argument of the opponent that thus also then results "want of release". Although reasoning is well-founded with respect to certain things, with regard to the matter in hand there will result "want of release".
Those sages who teach about the final emancipation of the soul, declare that it results from perfect knowledge. Perfect knowledge is always uniform. It depends upon the thing itself. Whatever thing is permanently of one and the same nature is acknowledged to be the true thing. Knowledge that pertains to this is perfect or true knowledge. Mutual conflict of men's opinions is not possible in the case of true or perfect knowledge. But the conclusions of reasoning can never be uniform. The Sankhyas maintain through reasoning that Pradhana is the cause of the universe. The Naiyayikas arrive through reasoning that the Paramanus or atoms are the cause of the world. Which to accept? How, therefore, can knowledge which is based on reasoning, and whose object is not something always uniform, be true of perfect knowledge? We cannot come to a definite, positive conclusion through reasoning independent of the Srutis. The Veda is eternal. It is the source of knowledge. It has for its object firmly established things. Knowledge which is founded on the Veda cannot be denied at all by any of the logicians of the past, present or future. As the truth cannot be known through reasoning there will be no liberation.
We have thus established that perfection can be attained through knowledge of Brahman with the aid of Upanishads or the Srutis. Perfect knowledge is not possible without the help of the Srutis. Disregard of Srutis will lead to absence of final emancipation. Reasoning which goes against the scriptures is no proof of knowledge.
Our final position is that the intelligent Brahman must be regarded as the cause and substratum of the universe on the ground of scripture and of reasoning subordinate to scripture.
Sishtaparigrahadhikaranam: Topic 4 (Sutra 12)
Kanada and Gautama refuted.
Etena sishtaparigraha api vyakhyatah II.1.12 (146)
By this (i.e. by the arguments against the Sankhyas) (those other theories) not accepted by the wise or competent persons are explained or refuted.
Etena: by this (by the above reasoning, by what has been said against Sankhya); Sishtaparigrahah: not accepted by the wise or competent persons; Api: also; Vyakhyatah: are explained or refuted.
Other views or theories not accepted by the Vedas are refuted.
Sishtah – the remaining systems like those of the "Atomists" trained, i.e., trained in the Vedas.
Sishtaparigrahah – all other views or systems of thought not accepted by those who are well instructed in the Vedas; all the different views or systems contrary to the Vedas.
Aparigrahah means those systems which do not acknowledge or accept (Parigraha) the Vedas as authority on these matters, but which rely on reason alone and which are not countenanced by the Veda.
All the different views or systems of thought which are contrary to the Vedas and which are not accepted by the disciplined and the wise are refuted by what is said against Sankhya, i.e., by the same arguments.
Like the theory of those who say that Pradhana or Prakriti is the cause of the world, the theories of those who postulate atoms as the cause are refuted by those who know the truths of scripture, like Manu or Vyasa, trained in the correct way of knowing them. The doctrine of the Pradhana deserves to be refuted first as it stands near to the Vedic system, and is supported by somewhat strong and weighty arguments. Further, it has to a certain extent been adopted by some authorities who follow the Veda. If the most dangerous enemy is conquered, the minor enemies are already conquered. Even so, if the Sankhya doctrine is refuted, all other systems are already refuted also.
The Sutra teaches that by the demolition of the Sankhya doctrine given above, the remaining theories not comprised within the Vedas are also refuted, such as the theories of Kanada, Gautama, Akshapada, Buddhists, etc., because they are opposed to the Vedas on these points. The reasons are the same as in the case of Sankhya.
As regards the nature of the atom, there is no unanimity of opinion. Kanada and Gautama maintain it to be permanent, while the four schools of Buddhas hold it to be impermanent. The Vaibhashika Bauddhas hold that the atoms are momentary but have an objective existence (Kshanikam artha-bhutam). The Yogachara Bauddhas maintain it to be merely cognitional (Jnanarupam). The Madhyamikas hold it to be fundamentally void (Sunya-rupam). The Jains hold it to be real and unreal (Sad-asad-rupam).
Bhoktrapattyadhikaranam: Topic 5 (Sutra 13)
The distinctions of enjoyer and enjoyed do not oppose unity.
Bhoktrapatteravibhagaschet syallokavat II.1.13 (147)
If it be said (that if Brahman be the cause then) on account of (the objects of enjoyment) turning into the enjoyer, non-distinction (between the enjoyer and the objects enjoyed) would result, we reply that such distinction may exist nevertheless as is experienced commonly in the world.
Bhoktri: one who enjoys and suffers; Apatteh: from the objections, if it be objected; Avibhagah: non-distinction; Chet: if it be said; Syat: may exist; Lokavat: as is experienced in the world.
Another objection based on reasoning is raised against Brahman being the cause and refuted.
The distinction between the enjoyer (the Jiva or the individual soul) and the objects of enjoyment is well known from ordinary experience. The enjoyers are intelligent, embodied souls while sound and the like are the objects of enjoyment. Ramakrishna for instance, is an enjoyer while the mango which he eats is an object of enjoyment. If Brahman is the material cause of the universe, then the world, the effect would be non-different from Brahman. The Jiva and Brahman being identical, the difference between the subject and the object would be annihilated, as the one would pass over into the other. Consequently, Brahman cannot be held to be the material cause of the universe, as it would lead to the sublation of the well-established distinction between the enjoyer and the objects of enjoyment.
If you say that the doctrine of Brahman being the cause of the world will lead to the enjoyer or spirit becoming one with the object of enjoyment (matter), we reply that such differentiation is appropriate in our case also, as instances are found in the universe in the case of ocean, its waves, foams and bubbles and of the Sun and its light. The ocean waves, foams and bubbles are one and yet diverse in the universe. Similarly, are the Brahman and the world. He created and entered into the creation. He is one with them, just as the ether in the sky and the ether in the pot are one although they appear to be separate.
Therefore it is possible to have difference and non-difference in things at the same time owing to the name and form. The enjoyers and the objects of enjoyment do not pass over into each other and yet they are not different from the Supreme Brahman. The enjoyers and objects of enjoyment are not different from the viewpoint of Brahman but they are different as enjoyers and objects enjoyed. There is no contradiction in this.
The conclusion is that the distinction of enjoyers and objects of enjoyment is possible, although both are non-different from Brahman, their Highest Cause, as the instance of the ocean, and its waves, foams and bubbles demonstrates.
Arambhanadhikaranam: Topic 6 (Sutras 14-20)
The world (effect) is non-different from Brahman (the cause).
Tadananyatvamarambhanasabdadibhyah II.1.14 (148)
The non-difference of them (i.e., of cause and effect) results from such terms as 'origin' and the like.
Tat: (its, of the universe); Ananyatvam: non-difference; Arambhana sabdadibhyah: from words like 'origin', etc.
That the effect is not different from the cause is shown here.
In Sutra 13, the Sutrakara spoke from the point of view of Parinamavada and refuted the objection raised by the opponent that Brahman cannot be the material cause as it contradicts perception. In Parinamavada, Brahman actually undergoes transformation or modification. Now the same objection is overthrown from the view point of Vivartavada. In Vivartavada there is only apparent modification. Rope appears as a snake. It is not transformed into an actual snake. This is the doctrine of Advaita of Sri Sankara.
In the previous Sutra the simile of the ocean and the waves was stated, accepting the apparent variety of objects. But in reality, cause and effect are one even now. This is clear from the word 'Arambhana' (beginning), just as by knowing a lump of clay, all clay will be known. Name is only a verbal modification. The true being is only clay. A pot is only clay even now. Similarly, the world is only Brahman even now. It is wrong to say that oneness and manifoldness are both true as in the case of ocean and waves, etc. The word 'eva' in 'Mrittiketyeva' shows that all diversity is unreal. The soul is declared to be one with Brahman.
The objector or Purvapakshin says: 'If there is only one Truth viz., Brahman, the diverse objects of perception will be negated. The ethical injunction will become useless. All the texts embodying injunctions and prohibitions will lose their purport if the distinction on which their validity depends does not really exist. Moreover, the science of liberation of the soul will have no reality, if the distinction of teacher and the student on which it depends is not real. There would be no bondage and hence no liberation. As the science of the soul itself is unreal, it cannot lead to the Reality. If the doctrine of release is untrue, how can we maintain the truth of the absolute unity of the Self?
But these objects have no force because the whole phenomenal existence is regarded as true as long as the knowledge of Brahman has not arisen, just as the dream creatures are regarded to be true till the waking state arrives. When we wake up after dreams, we know the dream world to be false but the knowledge of dreams is not false. Moreover, even dreams sometimes forebode the imminent reality of death. The reality of realisation of Brahman cannot be said to be illusory because it destroys ignorance and leads to the cessation of illusion.
Bhave chopalabdheh II.1.15 (149)
And (because) only on the existence (of the cause) (the effect) is experienced.
Bhave: on the existence; Cha: and; Upalabdheh: is experienced.
The argument begun in Sutra 14 as to how it follows that the effect (world) is inseparable from its material cause, Brahman, is continued.
The effect is perceived only when the cause is present in it; otherwise not. A pot or cloth will exist even if the potter or the weaver is absent, but it will not exist if the clay or thread is absent. This proves that the effect is not different from the cause. The Chhandogya Upanishad says, "All these created things, O my son, originate from Sat, i.e., Brahman, rest in Him and eventually dissolve in Him" (VI-8-4).
The objector says: There is no recognition of fire in the smoke. The smoke being the effect of fire, ought to show fire in it. To this we reply that smoke is really the effect of damp fuel. The damp fuel comes in contact with fire and throws off its earthly particles in the form of smoke. The smoke and the fuel are identical. We can recognise the fuel in the smoke. This is proved by the fact that the smoke has smell just as the fuel has. The smoke is generally of the same nature as that of the fuel.
The phenomena of the universe manifest only because Brahman exists. They cannot certainly appear without Brahman. Therefore the world (effect) is not different from Brahman, the cause.
Sattvaccavarasya II.1.16 (150)
And on account of the posterior (i.e., the effect which comes after the cause) existing (as the cause before creation).
Sattvat: Because of the existence; Cha: and; Avarasya: of the posterior, i.e., of the effect as it comes after the cause, i.e., of the world.
The argument begun in Sutra 14 is continued.
The scripture says that the effect (the world) existed in its causal aspect (Brahman) before the creation.
"In the beginning, my dear, Sadeva somyedamagra asit, this was only existence" (Chh. Up). "Atma va idam eka agra asit, verily in the beginning this was Self, one only" (Ait. Ar. 2.4.1). "Brahma va idamagra asit. Before creation, this universe existed as Brahman" (Bri. Up. 1.4.10).
The Upanishads declare that the universe had its being in the cause, Brahman, before creation. It was one with Brahman. As the world was non-different from the cause before creation, it continues to be non-different after creation also.
The effect (world) is non-different from the cause (Brahman) because it is existent in the cause, identically even, prior to its manifestation, though in time it is posterior.
A thing which does not exist in another thing by the self of the latter is not produced from that other thing. For instance, oil is not produced from sand. We can get oil from the groundnut because it exists in the seed, though in latency, but not from sand, because it does not exist in it. The existence is the same both in the world and in Brahman. As everything exists in Brahman, so it can come out of it.
Brahman is in all time neither more nor less than that which is. So the effect also (the world) is in all time only that which is. That which is, is one only. Hence the effect is non-different from the cause.
Asadvyapadesanneti chet na dharmantarena vakyaseshat II.1.17 (151)
If it be said that on account of (the effect) being described as that which is not, (the effect does) not (exist before creation), we reply 'not so', because the term 'that which is not' denotes another characteristic or attribute (as is seen) from the latter part of the text.
Asadvyapadesat: on account of its being described as non-existent; Na: not; Iti chet: if it be said; Na: no; Dharmantarena: by another attribute or characteristic; Vakyaseshat: from the latter part of the text or passage, because of the complementary passage.
The argument that the world had no existence before creation is refuted.
From the word 'Asat', literally meaning non-existence, in the Sruti, it may be argued that before creation the world had no existence. But that argument cannot stand as the latter part of the same text uses epithets other than "non-existent" to describe the condition of the world before creation. We understand from this that the world was existent before creation. This is established by reasoning also because something cannot come out of nothing and also by clear statements on other texts of Sruti. "Asad va idam agra asit" – Asat was this verily in the beginning (Tait. Up. II-7-1).
"Asat eva agre asit" – This universe was at first but non-existent. Asat indeed was this in the beginning. From it verily proceeded the Sat (Chh. Up. III.19.1). The latter part of the passage is "Tatsadasit" (That was existent). The word 'non-existent' (asat) does not certainly mean absolute non-existence, but that the universe did not exist in a gross, differentiated state. It existed in an extremely subtle unmanifested state. It was not differentiated. It had not yet developed name and form. The world was projected. Then it became gross, and developed name and form. You can get the meaning if you go through the latter part of the passage 'It became existent.' "It grew."
It is absurd to say that non-existence (Asat) existed. Therefore, Sat means manifest, i.e. having name and form, whereas Asat simply means fine, subtle and unmanifested. 'Asat' refers to another attribute of the effect, namely non-manifestation. The words Sat and Asat refer to two attributes of one and the same object, namely to its gross or manifested condition and subtle or unmanifested condition.
Asad va idamagra asit. Tato vai sadajayata. Tadatmanam svayamkuruta. Tasmat tatsukritamuchyata ita. Yadvai tatsukritam. Asat indeed was this in the beginning. From it verily proceeded the Sat. That made itself its Self. Therefore, it is said to be self-made.
The words "Asat made itself its Self" clears up any doubt as to the real meaning of the word "that". If the word "Asat" meant absolute non-existence, then there will be a contradiction in terms, because non-existence can never make itself the Self of anything. The word "Asit" or "was" becomes absurd when applied to "Asat" because absolute non-existence can never be said to exist and 'was' means 'existed'. An absolute non-existence can have no relation with time past or present. Further, it cannot have any agency also as we find in the passage, "It made itself its Self." Hence the word 'Asat' should be explained as a subtle state of an object.
Yukteh sabdantaracca II.1.18 (152)
From reasoning and from another Sruti text (the same is clear. This relation between cause and effect is established.)
Yukteh: from reasoning; Sabda-antarat: from another Sruti text; Cha: and.
That the effect exists before its origination and is non-different from the cause follows from reasoning and also from a further scriptural passage or another text of the Vedas.
The same fact is clear from logic or reasoning also. Otherwise, everything could have been produced from anything. If non-being is the cause, then why should there be an inevitable sequence? Why should curds be produced from milk and not from mud? It is impossible even within thousands of years to bring about an effect which is different from its cause. Particular causes produce particular effects only. This is a power in the cause which produces the effect. The relation of cause and effect (e.g., the relation of mud and pot) is a relation of identity. The cause of our thinking and saying 'the pot exists' is the fact that the lump of clay assumes a particular form of a neck, hollow belly, etc., while the material remains as clay only. On the contrary we think and say 'the jar does not exist', when the clay pot is broken into pieces. Hence existence and non-existence show only their different conditions. Non-existence in this connection does not mean absolute non-existence. This is reasoning or Yukti.
Just as an actor puts on many disguises and is yet the same man, so also the Ultimate Cause (Brahman) appears as these diverse objects and yet is the same.
Hence the cause exists before the effects and is non-different from the effect.
The effect exists in the cause in an unmanifested state. It is manifested during creation. That is all. An absolutely non-existent thing like the horns of a hare can never come into existence. The cause cannot produce altogether a new thing which was not existing in it already.
Further, we find from the well-known passage of the Chhandogya Upanishad, "In the beginning, my dear, there was only existence, one without a second" (Chh. Up. VI-2-1), that the effect exists even before creation and is non-different from its cause.
The author now gives some illustrations in order to confirm the doctrine that effect is identical with the cause.
Patavacca II.1.19 (153)
And like a piece of cloth.
Patavat: like a piece of cloth; Cha: and.
An example in support of Sutra 17 is presented.
Just as a rolled or folded piece of cloth is subsequently unrolled or unfolded, so also the world which rested unmanifested before creation becomes afterwards manifested. The world is like a folded cloth before creation. It is like a cloth that is spread out after creation. A folded cloth is not seen as a cloth till it is spread out. The threads are not seen as a cloth till they are woven. Even so, the effect is in the cause and is identical with the cause. In the folded state you cannot make out whether it is a cloth or anything else. But when it is spread out you can clearly know that it is a cloth. In the state of dissolution (Pralaya) the world exists in a seed state or potential condition in Brahman.
There are no names and forms. The universe is in an undifferentiated or unmanifested state. It takes a gross form after creation. The names and forms are differentiated and manifested.
As a piece of cloth is not different from the threads, so the effect (world) is not different from its cause (Brahman).
The word "Cha" (and) of the Sutra shows that other illustrations like the seed and the tree may also be given here.
When the cloth is folded, you do not know of what definite length and width it is. But when it is unfolded you know all these particulars. You also know that the cloth is not different from the folded object. The effect, the piece of cloth, is unmanifested as long as it exists in its cause, i.e., the threads. It becomes manifest and is clearly seen on account of the operations of shuttle, loom, weaver, etc.
The conclusion is that the effect is not different from the cause.
Yatha cha pranadi II.1.20 (154)
And as in the case of the different Pranas or Vital airs.
Yatha: as; Cha: and; Pranadi: in the case of Pranas or vital airs.
Another illustration in support of Sutra 17 is presented.
The word 'Cha' (and) in the Sutra shows that the last illustration of the piece of cloth and the present one of life functions should be read together as one illustration.
When the five different vital airs are controlled by the practice of Pranayama, they merge in the chief Prana, the cause which regulates breathing. Mere life only is maintained. All other functions such as bending and stretching of the limbs etc., are stopped. This shows that the various vital airs, the effects, are not different from their cause, the chief Prana. The different vital airs are only modifications of the chief or Mukhyaprana. So is the case with all effects. They are not different from the cause.
Thus it is established that the effect, the world, is identical with its cause, Brahman. Therefore, by knowing Brahman everything is known. As the whole world is an effect of Brahman and non-different from it, the promise held out in the scriptural text 'what is not heard is heard, what is not perceived is perceived, what is not known is known' (Chh. Up. VI.I.3) is fulfilled.
Itaravyapadesadhikaranam: Topic 7 (Sutras 21-23)
Brahman does not create evil.
Itaravyapadesaddhitakaranadidoshaprasaktih II.1.21 (155)
On account of the other (i.e., the individual soul) being stated (as non-different from Brahman) there would arise (in Brahman) the faults of not doing what is beneficial and the like.
Itaravypadesat: on account of the other being stated (as non-different from Brahman); Hitakaranadidoshaprasaktih: defects of not doing what is beneficial and the like would arise.
(Itara: other than being Brahman, i.e. the individual soul; Vyapadesat: from the designation, from the expression; Hita: good, beneficial; Akaranadi: not creating, etc.; Dosha: imperfection, defect, faults; Prasaktih: result, consequence.)
The discussions on the relation of the world to Brahman have been finished now. The question of the relation of the individual soul to Brahman is being raised by way of an objection in this Sutra.
In the previous Adhikarana, the oneness of the effect (world) with its cause (Brahman) has been established.
In this Sutra, the opponent or Purvapakshin raises an objection. He says, that if Brahman is the cause of the world, there is inappropriateness in that view because the scripture describes Jiva as being Brahman and, therefore, he will not cause harm to himself such as birth, death, old age, disease, by getting into the person of the body. A being which is itself absolutely pure, cannot take this altogether impure body as forming part of its Self.
The scripture declares the other, i.e., the embodied soul to be one with Brahman, "That is the Self". "Thou art That, O Svetaketu" (Chh. Up. VI.8.7). By stating that the individual soul is one with Brahman, there arises room for finding out a fault in the wisdom of Brahman, that He is not doing good to Himself by creating suffering and pain on account of repeated births and deaths for Himself. Will any one do what is harmful and unpleasant to himself? Will he not remember that he created the world? Will he not destroy it as the cause of his suffering? Brahman would have created a very beautiful world where everything would have been pleasant for the individual soul without the least pain or suffering. That is not so. Hence, Brahman is not the cause of the world as Vedanta maintains. As we see that what would be beneficial is not done, the hypothesis of the world having come out of an Intelligent Cause (Brahman) is not acceptable.
Adhikam tu bhedanirdesat II.1.22 (156)
But (Brahman, the Creator, is) something more (than the individual soul) on account of the statement in the Srutis (of difference) between the individual soul (and Brahman).
Adhikam: something more, greater than the Jiva; Tu: but; Bhedanirdesat: because of the pointing out of differences on account of the statement of difference. (Bheda: difference; Nirdesat: because of the pointing out).
The objection raised in Sutra 21 is refuted.
The word 'tu' (but) refutes the objection of the last Sutra. It discards the Purvapakha.
The Creator of the world is Omnipotent. He is not the imprisoned, embodied soul. The defects mentioned in the previous Sutra such as doing what is not beneficial and the like do not attach to that Brahman because as eternal freedom is His characteristic nature, there is nothing either beneficial to be done by Him or non-beneficial to be avoided by Him. Moreover, there is no obstruction to His knowledge and power, because He is Omniscient and Omnipotent. He is a mere witness. He is conscious of the unreality of the world and Jiva. He has neither good nor evil. Hence the creation of a universe of good and evil by Him is unobjectionable.
The Jiva is of a different nature. The defects mentioned in the previous Sutra belong to the Jiva only, so long as he is in a state of ignorance. The Srutis clearly point out the difference between the individual soul and the Creator in texts like "Verily, the Self is to be seen, to be heard, to be reflected and to be meditated upon" (Bri. Up. II.4.5). All these differences are imaginary or illusory on account of ignorance. When the individual soul attains knowledge of Brahman, he remembers his identity with Brahman. Then the whole phenomenon of plurality which springs from wrong knowledge disappears. There is neither the embodied soul nor the creator.
This Brahman is superior to the individual soul. The individual soul is not the creator of this universe. Hence the objection raised in Sutra 21 cannot stand. The possibility of faults clinging to Brahman is excluded.
Though Brahman assumes the form of the individual soul, yet He is not exhausted thereby. But He remains as something more, i.e., as the controller of the individual soul. This is obvious from the distinction pointed out in the Sruti. Hence there is no occasion for the fault spoken of in Sutra 21.
Asmadivacca tadanupapattih II.1.23 (157)
And because the case is similar to that of stones, etc., (produced from the same earth), the objection raised is untenable.
Asmadivat: like stone, etc.; Cha: and; Tat anupapattih: its untenability, unreasonableness, impossibility; (Tat: of that; Tasya: its, of the objection raised in Sutra 21).
The objection raised in Sutra 21 is further refuted.
The objector may say that Brahman which is Knowledge and Bliss and unchangeable cannot be the cause of a universe of diversity, of good and bad. This objection cannot stand, because we see that from the same material earth, stones of different values like diamonds, lapis lazuli, crystals and also ordinary stones are produced. From the seeds which are placed in one and the same ground various plants are seen to spring up, such as sandalwood and cucumbers, which show the greatest difference in their leaves, blossoms, fruits, fragrance, juice, etc. One and the same food produces various effects such as blood, hair, nail, etc. So also, one Brahman also may contain in itself the distinction of the individual selves and the highest Self and may produce various effects. So also from Brahman which is Bliss and Knowledge, a world of good and evil can be created.
Hence the objection imagined by others against the doctrine of Brahman being the cause of the world cannot be maintained.
Moreover, the scripture declares that all effects have their origin in speech only. The dreaming man is one but the dream pictures are many. These are hinted at by the word 'Cha' of the Sutra.
Upasamharadarsanadhikaranam: Topic 8 (Sutras 24-25)
Brahman is the cause of the world.
Upasamharadarsananneti chenna kshiravaddhi II.1.24 (158)
If you object that Brahman without instruments cannot be the cause of the universe, because an agent is seen to collect materials for any construction, (we say) no, because (it is) like milk (turning into curds).
Upasamharadarsanat: because collection of materials is seen; Na: not; Iti chet: if it be said; Na: no; Kshiravat: like milk; Hi: because, as.
Darsanat: because of the seeing; Iti: thus; Chet: if; Vat: like, has the force of an instrumental case here. (See Sutra of Panini, Tena tulyam kriya etc.)
An objection that materials are necessary for the creation of the world is refuted.
Though Brahman is devoid of materials and instruments, He is yet the cause of the universe. If you object that an efficient cause like a potter is seen to use instruments and therefore Brahman cannot be the material cause as also the efficient cause, we reply that it is like milk turning into curds.
The objector, Purvapakshin, says: Workmen are found to collect materials to do their works. Brahman also must have required materials wherewith to create the world, but there was no other thing than Brahman before creation. He is one without a second. He could not have brought out His work of creation as there was no material, just as a potter could not have made his pots, if there had been no materials like earth, water, staffs, wheels, etc., before him.
This objection has no force. Materials are not required in every case. For instance, milk is itself transformed into curd. In milk no external agency is needed to change it into curds. If you say that in the case of milk heat is necessary for curdling the milk, we reply that heat merely accelerates the process of curdling. The curdling occurs through the inherent capacity of the milk. You cannot turn water into curds by the application of heat. The milk's capability of turning into curd is merely completed by the cooperation of auxiliary means.
Brahman manifests Himself in the form of the universe by His inscrutable power. He simply wills. The whole universe comes into being. Why cannot the Omnipotent Infinite Brahman create the world by His will-power (Sankalpa) alone without instruments and extraneous aids?
Brahman is Omnipotent and Infinite. Hence no extraneous aid or instrument is necessary for Him to create this world.
Thus Sruti also declares "There is no effect and no instrument known of Him, no one is seen like unto or better. His high power is revealed as manifold and inherent, acting as force and knowledge" (Svet. Up. VI.8).
Therefore, Brahman, although one only, is able to transform Himself as this universe of diverse effects without any instrument or extraneous aid, on account of His infinite powers.
Devadivadapi loke II.1.25 (159)
(The case of Brahman creating the world is) like that of gods and other beings in the world (in ordinary experience).
Devadivat: like gods and others (saints); Api: even, also; Loke: in the world.
The word 'vat' has the force of sixth case here. Another reading is 'Iti' (thus), instead of 'Api'.
The argument in support of Sutra 24 is brought forward.
An objector (or Purvapakshin) says: 'The example of milk turning into curds is not appropriate as it is an insentient thing. Intelligent agents like potters begin to do their work after providing themselves with a complete set of instruments. How then can it be said that Brahman, an intelligent Being, can do His work of creation without any auxiliary, without the aid of any constituent materials?' We reply, 'like gods and others.'
We see also that in the world gods and sages create particular things such as palaces, chariots, etc., by force of will, without external aid. Why cannot the Omnipotent Creator create the world by His will-power (Sat Sankalpa) or His infinite power of Maya?
Just as the spider projects out of itself the threads of its web, just as the female crane conceives without a male from hearing the sound of thunder, just as the lotus wanders from one lake to another without any means of conveyance so also the intelligent Brahman creates the world by itself without external instruments or aid.
The case of Brahman is different from that of potters and similar agents. No extraneous means is necessary for Brahman for creation. There is limitation in the creation of pots. The creation of Brahman cannot be limited by the conditions observed in the creation of pots. Brahman is Omnipotent.
Kritsnaprasaktyadhikaranam: Topic 9 (Sutras 26-29)
Brahman is the material cause of the universe, though He is without parts.
Kritsnaprasaktirniravayavatvasabdakopo va II.1.26 (160)
Either the consequence of the entire (Brahman undergoing change) has to be accepted, or else a violation of the texts declaring Brahman to be without parts (if Brahman is the material cause of the world).
Kritsnaprasaktih: possibility of the entire (Brahman being modified); Niravayavatvasabdakopat: contradiction of the scriptural statement that Brahman is without parts; Va: or, otherwise.
(Kritsna: entire, full, total; complete; Prasaktih: exigency, employment; activity; Niravayava: without parts, without form, without members, indivisible; Sabda: word, text, expressions in Sruti; Kopat: contradiction, violation, incongruity, stultification; Va: or.)
An objection that Brahman is not the material cause of the world, is raised in the Sutra.
The objector says that if the entire Brahman becomes the world, then no Brahman will remain distinct from the world and that if a part of Brahman becomes the world, the scriptural texts which declare Brahman to be without parts will be violated.
If Brahman is without parts and yet the material cause of the universe, then we have to admit that the entire Brahman becomes modified into the universe. Hence there will be no Brahman left but only the effect, the universe. Further, it will go against the declaration of the Sruti text that Brahman is unchangeable.
If on the contrary it is said that a portion of Brahman only becomes the universe, then we will have to accept that Brahman is made up of parts, which is denied by the scriptural texts. The passages are, "He who is without parts, without actions, tranquil, without fault, without taint" (Svet. Up. VI.19). "That heavenly person is without body, He is both without and within, not produced" (Mun. Up. II.1.2). "That great Being is endless, unlimited, consisting of nothing but Knowledge" (Bri. Up. II.4.12). "He is to be described by No, No" (Bri. Up. III.9.26). "It is neither coarse nor fine" (Bri. Up. III.8-8). All these passages deny the existence of parts or distinctions in Brahman.
Whatever has form is perishable and so Brahman also will become perishable or non-eternal.
Also if the universe is Brahman, where is the need for any command to see (Drastavya)? The texts which exhort us to strive to see Brahman become purposeless, because the effects of Brahman may be seen without any effort and apart from them no Brahman exists. Finally, the texts which declare Brahman to be unborn are contradicted thereby.
Hence Brahman cannot be the material cause of the universe. This objection is refuted in the next Sutra.
Srutestu sabdamulatvat II.1.27 (161)
But (this is not so) on account of scriptural passages and on account of (Brahman) resting on scripture (only).
Sruteh: from Sruti, as it is stated in Sruti, on account of scriptural texts; Tu: but; Sabdamulatvat: on account of being based on the scripture, as Sruti is the foundation.
(Sabda: word, revelation, Sruti; Mula: foundation.)
The objection raised in Sutra 25 is refuted.
The entire Brahman does not become the world because the scripture declares so, and Brahman can be known only through the source of scripture.
The word 'tu' (but) discards the objection. It refutes the view of the previous Sutra. These objections have no force because we rely on the Sruti or scripture.
The entire Brahman does not undergo change, although the scriptures declare that the universe takes its origin from Brahman. Sruti says, "one foot (quarter) of Him is all beings, and three feet are what is immortal in heaven."
Moreover, we are one with Brahman in deep sleep as stated by the scripture. How could that happen if the entire Brahman has become the world?
Further, the scripture declares that we can realise Brahman in the heart. How could that be if the entire Brahman has become the world?
Moreover, the possibility of Brahman becoming the object of perception by means of the senses is denied while its effects may thus be perceived.
The scriptural texts declare Brahman to be without parts. Then how could a part become manifest? We reply that it is only the result of Avidya.
Are there two moons if on account of a defect of your vision you see two moons? You must rely on scriptures alone but not on logic for knowing what is beyond the mind.
Brahman rests exclusively on the Srutis or scriptures. The sacred scriptures alone, but not the senses, are authoritative regarding Brahman. Hence we will have to accept the declarations of the Srutis without the least hesitation.
The scriptural texts declare on the one hand that not the entire Brahman changes into its effects and on the other hand, that Brahman is without parts. Even certain ordinary things such as gems, spells, herbs, etc., possess powers which produce diverse opposite effects on account of difference of time, place, occasion and so on. No one is able to find out by mere reflection the number of these powers, their favouring conditions, their objects, their purposes, etc., without the help of instruction. When such is the case with ordinary things, how much more impossible is it to conceive without the aid of scripture the true nature of Brahman with its powers unfathomable by thought? The scripture declares "Do not apply reasoning to what is unthinkable."
Hence the Srutis or the scriptures alone are authority in matters supersensuous. We will have to accept that both these opposite views expressed by the scriptures are true, though it does not stand to reason. It must be remembered that the change in Brahman is only apparent and not real. Brahman somehow appears as this universe, just as rope appears as the snake. Brahman becomes the basis of the entire, apparent universe with its changes, but it remains at the same time unchanged in its true and real nature.
Atmani chaivam vichitrascha hi II.1.28 (162)
And because in the individual soul also (as in gods, magicians, in dreams) various (creation exists). Similarly (with Brahman also).
Atmani: in the individual soul; Cha: also, and; Evam: thus; Vichitrah: diverse, manifold, variegated; Cha: and, also; Hi: because.
The objection raised in Sutra 26 is further refuted by an illustration.
There is no reason to find fault with the doctrine that there can be a manifold creation in the one Self without destroying its character. In the dream state, we see such diverse and wonderful creation in ourselves. "There are no chariots in that dreaming state, no horses, no roads, but he himself creates chariots, horses and roads" (Bri. Up. IV.3.10), and yet the individual character of the self is not affected by it. This does not lessen or affect our integrity of being.
In ordinary life too multiple creations, elephants, horses and the like are seen to exist in gods, magicians, without any change in themselves, without interfering with the unity of their being. Similarly, a multiple creation may exist in Brahman also without divesting it of its character of unity. The diverse creation originates from Brahman through Its inscrutable power of Maya and Brahman Itself remains unchanged.
The second 'cha' (also, and) is in order to indicate that when such wonderful things are believed by us as the dreams, the powers of the gods and the magicians, why should we hesitate to believe in the mysterious powers of Brahman? The word 'hi' implies that the facts above mentioned are well known in the scriptures.
Svapakshadoshacca II.1.29 (163)
And on account of the opponent's own view being subject to these very objections.
Svapaksha: in one's own view; Doshat: because of the defects; Cha: also, and.
The objection raised in Sutra 26 is further refuted.
The argument raised in Sutra 26 cannot stand, because the same charge can be levelled against the objector's side also.
The objection raised by you will equally apply to your doctrine that the formless (impartite) Infinite Pradhana or Prakriti void of sound and other qualities creates the world. The Sankhyas may say, "We do not mention that our Pradhana is without parts. Pradhana is only a state of equipoise of the three Gunas, Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. Pradhana forms a whole containing the three Gunas as its parts. We reply that such a partiteness does not remove the objection in hand since Sattva, Rajas and Tamas are each of them equally impartite.
Each Guna by itself assisted by the two other Gunas, constitutes the material cause of that part of the world which resembles it in its nature. Hence, the objection lies against the Sankhya view likewise.
As reasoning is always unstable, if you are inclined to believe in the Pradhana's being in fact capable of partition, then it follows that the Pradhana cannot be eternal.
Let it then be said that the various powers of the Pradhana to which the variety of its effects are pointing are its parts. Well, we reply, those diverse potencies are admitted by us also as we see the cause of the world in Brahman. The same objection applies also to your atomic theory.
The same objections can be levelled against the doctrine of the world having originated from atoms. The atom is not made up of parts. When one atom combines with another atom, it must enter into combination with its whole extent with another. It cannot enter into partial contact with another. There will be entire interpenetration. Hence, there could be no further increase in the size. The compound of two atoms would not occupy more space than one atom. The result of the conjunction would be a mere atom. But if you hold that the atom enters into the combination with a part only, that would go against the assumption of the atoms having no parts.
If the Pradhana is taken to be the cause of the universe as the Sankhyas maintain, in that case also the view of the Sankhyas will be equally subject to the objections raised against the Vedantic view of Brahman as the cause of the universe, as the Pradhana, too, is without parts. As for the propounder of the Brahma theory, he has already refuted the objection directed against his own view.
Sarvopetadhikaranam: Topic 10 (Sutras 30-31)
Sarvopeta cha taddarsanat II.1.30 (164)
And (Brahman is) endowed with all (powers), because it is seen (from the scriptures).
Sarvopeta: endowed with all powers, all-powerful; Cha: also, and; Taddarsanat: because it is seen (from the scriptures).
(Sarva: all; Upeta: endowed with, possessed with; Tat: that, the possession of such powers.)
The objection in Sutra 26 is further refuted.
Brahman is Omnipotent as is clear from the scriptures. Hence it is perfectly within His powers to manifest Himself as the world and to be at the same time beyond it.
The objector (Purvapakshin) says: We see that men who have a physical body are endowed with powers. But Brahman has no body. Hence He cannot be in the possesssion of such powers.
This has no force. This Sutra gives proof of Brahman being endowed with Maya Sakti. Various scriptural texts declare that Brahman possesses all powers. "He to whom all actions, desires, all odours, all tastes belong, he who embraces all this, who never speaks, and is never surprised" (Chh. Up. III.14.4). "He who desires what is true and imagines what is true" (Chh. Up. VIII.7.1). "He who knows all in its totality and cognises all in its details" (Mun. Up. I.1.9). "By the command of that Imperishable, O Gargi, sun and moon stand apart" (Bri. Up. III.8.9). "The great Lord is the Mayin (the Ruler of Maya)" (Svet. Up. IV.10) and other similar passages.
Vikaranatvanneti chet taduktam II.1.31 (165)
If it be said that because (Brahman) is devoid of organs, (it is) not (able to create), (we reply that) this has already been explained.
Vikaranatvat: because of want of organs of action and perception; Na: not; Iti: thus; Chet: if; Tat: that, that objection; Uktam: has been explained or answered.
Another objection to Brahman being the cause of the world is refuted.
The opponent says: "Brahman is destitute of organs. Hence, though He is all-powerful, He cannot create. Scripture declares, "He is without eyes, without ears, without speech, without mind" (Bri. Up. III.8.8). Further Srutis say, "Not this, Not this." This precludes all attributes. We know from Mantras and Arthavadas, etc., that the gods and other intelligent beings, though endowed with all powers, are able to create because they are furnished with bodily instruments of action.
The Sutra consists of an objection and its reply. The objection portion is 'Vikaranatvanneti chet' and the reply portion is 'Taduktam.'
Even though Brahman has no eyes or ears, or hands or feet, He is Omnipotent. That has been explained above in Sutras II.1.4 and II.1.25. He assumes different forms through Avidya or Maya. With respect to Brahman, the scripture alone is the authority, but not reason. The scripture declares that Brahman, though destitute of organs, possesses all capacities and powers, "Grasps without hands, moves swiftly without feet, sees without eyes and hears without ears" (Svet. Up. III.19). Though Brahman is devoid of all attributes, yet He is endowed with all powers through Avidya or Maya.
Prayojanatvadhikaranam: Topic 11 (Sutras 32-33)
Final end of Creation.
Na prayojanavattvat II.1.32 (166)
(Brahman is) not (the creator of the universe) on account of (every activity) having a motive.
Na: not (i.e. Brahman cannot be the creator); Prayojana- vattvat: on account of having motive.
Another objection to Brahman being the cause of the world is raised.
The objector says: "In this world, everybody does a work with some motive. He does any work to satisfy his desire. There is also a scriptural passage that confirms this result of common experience, 'Verily, everything is not dear that you may love everything, but that you may love the Self, therefore everything is dear' (Bri. Up. II.4.5). But Brahman is all-full, self-sufficient and self-contained. He has nothing to gain by the creation. Therefore He cannot engage Himself in such a useless creation. Hence, Brahman cannot be the cause of the universe."
The undertaking of creating this world with all its details is indeed a weighty one. If Brahman desires creation to fulfil a wish, then He cannot be an eternally happy, perfect being with no unfulfilled desires. If He has no desire, then He will not wish to create and so there will be no creation. It cannot be said that He creates without purpose, like a senseless man in a state of frenzy. That would certainly contradict His Omniscience.
Hence the doctrine of the creation proceeding from an intelligent Being (Brahman) is untenable.
Lokavattu lilakaivalyam II.1.33 (167)
But (Brahman's creative activity) is mere sport, such as is seen in the world (or ordinary life).
Lokavat: as in the world, as in ordinary life; Tu: but; Lilakaivalyam: mere pastime.
(Lila: sport, play; Kaivalyam: merely; Lilamatram: mere pastime.)
The objection raised in Sutra 32 is replied to.
The word 'tu' (but) removes the above obejction.
Brahman has created the world not out of any desire or motive. It is simply His pastime, proceeding from His own nature, which is inherent in and inseparable from Him, as it is seen also in the world that sometimes a rich man or a prince, does some action without any motive or purpose, simply out of a sportive impulse. Just as children play out of mere fun, or just as men breathe without any motive or purpose, because it is their very nature, just as a man full of cheerfulness when awakening from sound sleep, begins to dance about without any objective, but from mere exuberance of spirit, so also Brahman engages Himself in creating this world not out of any purpose or motive, but out of sporting or Lila or play proceeding from His own nature.
Although the creation of this universe appears to us a weighty and difficult undertaking, it is mere play to the Lord, whose power is infinite or limitless.
If in ordinary life we may possibly by close scrutiny detect some subtle motive even for sportful action (playing at a game of balls is not altogether motiveless, because the prince gets some pleasure by the play), we cannot do so with regard to the actions of the Lord. The scripture declares that all wishes are fulfilled in the Lord and that He is all-full, self-contained and self-sufficient.
It should not be forgotten however that there is no creation from the standpoint of the Absolute, because name and form are due to Avidya or ignorance and because Brahman and Atman are really one.
The opponent again raises an objection. The theory that Brahman is the creator is open to the objection that He is either partial or cruel, because some men enjoy happiness and others suffer misery. Hence this theory is not a congruous one. This objection is removed by the following Sutra.
Vaisamyanairghrinyadhikaranam: Topic 12 (Sutras 34-36)
Brahman is neither partial nor cruel.
Vaishamyanairghrinye na sapekshatvat tatha hi darsayati II.1.34 (168)
Partiality and cruelty cannot (be ascribed to Brahman) on account of His taking into consideration (other reasons in that matter viz., merit and demerit of the souls), for so (scripture) declares.
Vaishamya: inequality, partiality; Nairghrinye: cruelty, unkindness; Na: not (cannot be ascribed to Brahman); Sapekshatvat: because of dependence upon, as it is dependent on something else, i.e., upon the Karma of the souls; Tatha: so; Hi: because; Darsayati: the scripture declares.
The accusation that Brahman is partial and cruel in His creation of the world is removed.
Some are created poor, some rich. Therefore Brahman or the Lord is partial to some. He makes people suffer. Therefore He is cruel. For these two reasons Brahman cannot be the cause of the world. This objection is untenable. The Lord cannot be accused of inequality and cruelty, because enjoyment and suffering of the individual soul are determined by his own previous good and bad actions. Sruti also declares. "A man becomes virtuous by his virtuous deeds and sinful by his sinful acts – Punyo vai punyena karmana bhavati, papah papena" (Bri. Up. III.2.13).
The grace of the Lord is like rain which brings the potency of each seed to manifest itself according to its nature. The variety of pain and pleasure is due to variety of Karma.
The position of the Lord is to be regarded as similar to that of Parjanya, the giver of rain. Parjanya is the common cause of the production of rice, barley and other plants. The difference between the various species is due to the diverse potentialities lying hidden in the respective seeds. Even so, the Lord is the common cause of the creation of gods, men, etc. The differences between these classes of beings are due to the different merit belonging to the individual souls.
Scripture also declares, "The Lord makes him whom He wishes to lead up from these worlds do a good action. The Lord makes Him whom He wishes to lead down do a bad action" (Kau. Up. III.8). "A man becomes good by good work, bad by bad work" (Bri. Up. III.2.13). Smriti also declares that the Lord metes out rewards and punishments only in consideration of the specific actions of beings. 'I serve men in the way in which they approach Me.' (Bhagavad Gita IV.11).
Na karmavibhagaditi chet na anaditvat II.1.35 (169)
If it be objected that it (viz., the Lord's having regard to merit and demerit) is not possible on account of the non-distinction (of merit and demerit before creation), (we say) no, because of (the world) being without a beginning.
Na: not; Karmavibhagat: because of the non-distinction of work (before creation); Iti chet: if it be said, if it be objected in this way; Na: no, the objection cannot stand; Anaditvat: because of beginninglessness.
An objection against Sutra 34 is raised and refuted.
The Sutra consists of two parts, viz., an objection and its reply. The objective portion is 'Na karmavibhagaditi chet' and the reply portion is 'Na anaditvat'.
An objection is raised now. The Sruti says, "Being only this was in the beginning, one without a second." There was no distinction of works before creation of the world. There was only the absolutely One Real Being or Brahman. The creation at the beginning of one man as rich and of another as poor and unhappy cannot certainly depend on the respective previous good or bad deeds. The first creation must have been free from inequalities.
This objection cannot stand. The creation of the world is also without a beginning. There was never a time that may be said to be an absolute beginning. The question of first creation cannot arise. Creation and destruction of the world following each other continually by rotation is without any beginning and end. The condition of individual souls in any particular cycle of creation is predetermined by their actions in the previous cycle.
It cannot be said that there could be no Karma prior to creation, which causes the diversity of creation, because Karma is Anadi (beginningless). Creation is only the shoot from a pre-existing seed of Karma.
As the world is without a beginning, merit and inequality are like seed and sprout. There is an unending chain of the relation of cause and effect as in the case of the seed and the sprout. Therefore, there is no contradiction present in the Lord's creative activity.
Upapadyate chapyupalabhyate cha II.1.36 (170)
And (that the world – and also Karma – is without a beginning) is reasonable and is also seen (from the scriptures).
Upapadyate: is proved by reasoning, is reasonable that it should be so; Cha: and; Api: and, also, assuredly; Upalabhyate: is seen, is found in Sruti or Scriptures; Cha: also, and.
Karma is Anadi (beginningless). This is logical and is supported by scripture. By reasoning also it can be deduced that the world must be beginningless. Because, if the world did not exist in a potential or seed state, then an absolutely non-existing thing would be produced during creation. There is also the possibility of liberated persons being reborn again. Further, people would be enjoying and suffering without having done anything to deserve it. As there would exist no determining cause of the unequal dispensation of pleasure and pain, we should have to submit or assert to the doctrine of rewards and punishments being allotted without reference to previous virtues and vicious deeds. There will be effect without a cause. This is certainly absurd. When we assume effect without a cause, there could be no law at all with reference to the purpose or regularity of creation. The Sruti declares that creation is 'Anadi' (beginningless).
Moreover, mere Avidya (ignorance) which is homogeneous (Ekarupa), cannot cause the heterogeneity of creation. It is Avidya diversified by Vasanas due to Karma that can have such a result. Avidya needs the diversity of individual past work to produce varied results. Avidya may be the cause of inequality if it be considered as having regard to demerit accruing from action produced by the mental suppression of wrath, hatred and other afflicting passions.
The scriptures also posit the existence of the universe in former cycles or Kalpas in texts like, "The creator fashioned the sun and the moon as before" (Rig Veda Samhita, X-190-3). Hence partiality and cruelty cannot be ascribed to the Lord.
Sarvadharmopapattyadhikaranam: Topic 13 (Sutra 37)
Saguna Brahman necessary for creation.
Sarvadharmopapattescha II.1.37 (171)
And because all the qualities (required for the creation of the world) are reasonably found (only in Brahman) He must be admitted to be the cause of the universe.
Sarva: all; Dharma: attributes, qualities; Upapatteh: because of the reasonableness, because of being proved; Cha: and, also.
Another reason to prove that Brahman is the cause of the world is brought forward.
The objector says: Material cause undergoes modification as the effect. Such a cause is endowed with the attributes. Brahman cannot be the material cause of the universe as He is attributeless. This Sutra gives a suitable answer to this objection.
There is no real change in Brahman but there is an apparent modification in Brahman on account of His inscrutable power of Maya.
Brahman appears as this universe, just as rope appears as snake. All the attributes needed in the cause for the creation (such as Omnipotence, Omniscience) are possible in Brahman on account of the power of Maya. Hence, Brahman is the material cause of this universe through apparent change. He is also the efficient cause of this universe.
Therefore it is established that Brahman is the cause of the universe. The Vedantic system founded upon the Upanishads is not open to any objection. Thus it follows that the whole creation proceeds from Para Brahman.
In the Vedantic theory as hitherto demonstrated, viz., that Brahman is the material and the efficient cause of the world – the objection alleged by our opponents such as difference of character and the like have been refuted by the great Teacher. He brings to a conclusion the section principally devoted to strengthen his own theory. The chief aim of the next chapter will be to refute the opinions held by other teachers.
Thus ends the First Pada (Section 1) of the Second Adhyaya (Chapter II) of the Brahma Sutras or the Vedanta Philosophy.