Chapter Three: Sadhana Adhyaya – Section 2 (Sutras 319-359)
In the preceding Pada or Section the passage of the soul to different spheres and its return has been explained in order to create dispassion or disgust in people who perform sacrifices to obtain heaven. If they have a clear understanding of the fate of the soul they will naturally develop Vairagya and will strive to attain Moksha or the final emancipation.
This section starts with the explanation of the soul's different states, viz., waking, dream, deep sleep. The three states of the soul will be shown to be merely illusory and the identity of the individual soul and the Supreme Soul will be established.
A knowledge of the three states, viz., waking, dreaming and deep sleep, is very necessary for the students of Vedanta. It will help them to understand the nature of the fourth state, viz., Turiya or the state of superconsciousness. For a student of Vedanta, the waking state is as much unreal as the dream state. The state of deep sleep intimates that the nature of the Supreme Soul is Bliss and that Brahman is one without a second, and that the world is unreal. Vedantins make a study of the four states very carefully. They do not ignore dream and deep sleep states whereas the scientists draw their conclusions from the experiences of the waking state only. Hence, their knowledge is limited, partial and incorrect.
In the last section the waking state of the soul has been fully dealt with. Now its dream state is taken up for discussion.
In order to make the students understand the true significance of the Maha-Vakya or the great sentence of the Upanishad "Tat Tvam Asi – Thou art That", this section explains the true nature of "That" and "Thou".
This Section starts with the explanation of the states of dream, deep sleep and so on. Then it discusses the twofold nature of Brahman, one immanent and the other transcendent. Lastly it deals with the relation of Brahman to the individual soul as well as to the world.
(Sutras 1-6) treats of the soul in the dreaming state. The vision in dreams is of a wonderful character. According to Sri Sankara the three first Sutras discuss the question whether the creative activity, attributed to the Jiva or the individual soul in some Sruti texts produces objects as real as those by which the soul in the waking state is surrounded or not.
Sutra 3 says that the creations of the dreaming soul are mere "Maya" or illusion as they do not fully exhibit the nature or character of real objects, as they are wanting in the reality of the waking state.
Sutra 4 intimates that dreams, although mere Maya, yet have a prophetic quality. Some dreams are indicative of future good or bad.
Sutras 5 and 6 say that the soul, although it is identical with the Lord, is not able to produce in dreams a real creation, because its knowledge and power are obscured by its connection with the gross body. The rulership is hidden by ignorance in the Jiva state. It is not possible for the individual soul to dream a good or a bad dream according to his own choice as he in his present state of bondage is ignorant of the future.
(Sutras 7-8) teaches that the soul abides within Brahman in the heart in the state of deep sleep.
(Sutra 9) gives reasons to assume that the soul awakening from sleep is the same that went to sleep. What has been partly done by a person before going to sleep is finished after he wakes up. He has also a sense of self-identity. He has memory of past events. He has memory in the shape of 'I am the person who had gone to sleep and who have now awakened.'
(Sutra 10) explains the nature of a swoon. It intimates that swoon is half death and half deep sleep, a mixture of these two states.
(Sutras 11-21) intimate the nature of Supreme Brahman in which the individual soul is merged in the state of deep sleep.
Sutra 11 declares that Brahman is devoid of distinctive attributes (Nirvisesha). Brahman with attributes is only for the sake of Upasana or pious worship of devotees. It is not its real nature.
Sutra 12 declares that every form due to limiting adjunct is denied of Brahman. In every passage of Sruti identity is affirmed. The Supreme Truth is Oneness. Separateness is for devotion. There is only one Infinite formless essence or Principle in reality.
Sutra 13 says that the whole universe characterised by enjoyers, things to be enjoyed and a ruler has Brahman for its true nature.
Sutra 14 says that the assumption of diversity or plurality is objectionable. Brahman is destitute of all forms.
Sutra 15 says Brahman appears to have forms, as it were. This is due to its connection with its unreal limiting adjuncts, just as the light of the sun appears straight or crooked, as it were, according to the nature of the thing it illumines.
Sutra 16 says that the Sruti (Brihadaranyaka) expressly declares that Brahman is one uniform mass of consciousness or intelligence and has neither inside nor outside.
Sutra 17 says the other scriptural passages and the Smriti also teach that Brahman is without attributes.
Sutra 18 declares that just as the one luminous sun when entering into relation to many different waters is himself rendered multiform by his limiting adjuncts, so also the one Unborn Brahman.
Sutra 19: Here the Purvapakshin objects. There is no similarity of the two things compared as in the case of Brahman any second thing is not apprehended or experienced like water. Brahman is formless and all-pervading. It is not a material thing. Sun has a form. It is a material thing. Water is different from the sun and is at a distance from the sun. Hence the sun may be reflected in the water.
Sutra 20: The objection raised in Sutra 19 is refuted. The similarity is only in point of the participation in the distortion and contortion, in increase and decrease of the image reflected. Brahman participates as it were in the attributes and states of the body and other limiting adjuncts with which it abides. Two things are compared with reference to some particular points or features only.
Sutra 21 says the scriptures declare that the Atman is within the Upadhis or limiting adjuncts.
(Sutras 22-30) teaches that the clause "neti, neti – not this, not this" in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad II.3.6 denies the gross and subtle forms of Brahman given in Bri. Up. II.3.1 and not Brahman itself.
Sutras 23-26 further dwell on Brahman being in reality devoid of all distinctive attributes which are entirely due to the limiting adjuncts or Upadhis.
Sutras 27-28: express the views of the Bhedabhedavadins. They say there is difference as well as non-difference between the individual soul and Brahman. The separateness and oneness is like a serpent in quiescence and motion.
Sutra 29: This Sutra refutes the view of the Bhedabhedavadins and establishes the final truth which has been declared in Sutra 25 viz., that the difference is merely illusory due to fictitious limiting adjuncts and identity or non-difference is the reality.
Sutra 30: Sutra 29 is confirmed. The Sruti in fact expressly denies separateness.
(Sutras 31-37) explains that Brahman is one without a second and expressions which apparently imply something else as existing are only metaphorical.
Brahman is compared to a bridge or a bank or causeway not to indicate that He connects the world with something else beyond Him but to show that He is the protector of the worlds and is also like a causeway, the support of the individuals while crossing over this ocean of life.
He is conceived to be symbolised and located in a limited space for facility of meditation on the part of those who are not very intelligent.
(Sutras 38-41) intimates that the fruit of actions is not as Jaimini thinks, the independent result of actions acting through Apurva, but is dispensed by the Lord. The Lord who is all-pervading is the bestower of fruits of actions, according to merits and demerits.
Sandhyadhikaranam: Topic 1 (Sutras 1-6)
The soul in the dream state.
Sandhye srishtiraha hi III.2.1 (319)
In the intermediate stage (between waking and deep sleep) there is (a real) creation; because (the Sruti) says so.
Sandhye: in the intermediate stage (between waking and deep sleep, i.e., in the dream state); Srishtih: (there is real) creation; Aha: (Sruti) says so; Hi: because.
The state of dream is now considered.
Sutras 1 and 2 are Purvapaksha Sutras and set out the view that what we see in dreams are true creations because of the word 'Srijate' (creates).
The word 'Sandhya' means dream. It is called 'Sandhya' or the intermediate state because it is midway between waking (Jagrat) and the deep sleep state (Sushupti). That place is called the intermediate state or place because it lies there where the two worlds or else the place of waking and the place of deep sleep join.
Scripture declares, "when he falls asleep, there are no chariots, in that state, no horses, no roads, but he himself creates chariots, horses and roads, etc." (Bri. Up. IV.3.9-10). Here a doubt arises whether the creation which takes place in dreams is a real one (Paramarthika) like the creation seen in the waking state or whether it is illusory (Maya).
The Purvapakshin holds that in the dreaming state there is a real creation.
In that intermediate state or dream the creation must be real, because scripture which is authoritative declares it to be so, "He (the individual soul) creates chariots, horses, roads," etc. We, moreover, infer this from the concluding clause, "He indeed is the creator" (Bri. Up. IV.3.10).
Further there is no difference between the experience of the waking state and that of the dream state. Atman in dream gets pleasure by going in a car, hearing music, seeing pleasure-sights and eating sumptuous food even as in the waking state.
Hence the creation of the dream state is real and originates from the Lord Himself, just as ether, etc., sprang from Him.
Nirmataram chaike putradayascha III.2.2 (320)
And some (the followers of one Sakha, namely, the Kathakas) (state that the Supreme Lord is the) Creator; sons, etc., (being the lovely things which He creates).
Nirmataram: Creator, the shaper, the builder, the maker; Cha: and, moreover; Eke: some (followers of the particular Sakhas of the Vedas); Putradayah: sons, etc.; Cha: and, also.
The Purvapakshin or the opponent gives a further argument to show that the creation even in dreams is by the Lord Himself. "He who is awake in us while we are asleep, shaping one lovely thing after another, that is Brahman" (Katha Up. II.2. 8).
'Kama' (lovely things) in this passage means sons, etc., that are so called because they are beloved. The term 'Kama' does not denote mere desires. It is used in this sense in the previous passage also, such as "Ask for all Kamas according to thy wish" (Katha Up. I.1.25). That the word Kama there means sons, etc., we infer from Katha Up. I.1.23, where we find these Kamas described as sons and grandsons, etc.
Even in dreams the Lord Himself creates just as in the case of the waking state. Therefore the world of dreams is also real.
The scripture declares "This is the same as the place of waking, for what he sees while awake the same he sees while asleep" (Bri. Up. IV.3.14). Hence the world of dreams is real.
To this we reply as follows.
Mayamatram tu kartsnyenanabhivyaktasvarupatvat III.2.3 (321)
But it (viz., the dream world) is mere illusion on account of its nature not manifesting itself with the totality (of the attributes of reality).
Mayamatram: mere illusion; Tu: but; Kartsnyena: entirely, fully; Anabhivyaktasvarupatvat: on account of its nature being unmanifested.
The thesis adduced in Sutras 1 and 2 is now criticised.
The word 'tu' (but), discards the view expressed by the two previous Sutras. The world of dreams is not real. It is mere illusion. There is not a particle of reality in it. The nature of the dreamworld does not agree entirely with that of the waking world with respect to time, place, cause and the circumstance of non-refutation. Hence the dream world is not real like the waking world.
In the first place there is in a dream no space for chariots and the like, because those objects cannot possibly find room in the limited confines of the body. If you say that the soul goes out and enjoys objects, how can it go hundreds of miles and return within a few minutes?
In a dream the soul does not leave the body; because if it did, then one who dreams of having gone to London would find himself there on waking, while he went to sleep in Bombay. But as a matter of fact, he awakes in Bombay only.
Further while a man imagines himself in his dream going in his body to another place, the by-standers see the very same body lying on the cot.
Moreover a dreaming person does not see in his dream other places such as they really are. But if he in seeing them did actually go about, they would appear to him like the things he sees in his waking state.
Sruti declares that the dream is within the body, "But when he moves about in dream, he moves about according to his pleasure within his own body" (Bri. Up. II.1.18).
In the second place we notice that dreams are in conflict with the conditions of time. One man who is sleeping at night dreams that it is day. Another man lives during a dream which lasts for ten minutes only, through fifty years. One man sees at night an eclipse of the sun in his dream.
In the third place, the senses which alone can bring the sensation of sight etc., are not functioning in dream. The organs are drawn inward and the dreaming person has no eyes to see chariots and other things. How can he get in the twinkling of an eye materials for making chariots and the like?
In the fourth place the chariots etc., disappear on waking. The chariots etc., disappear even in the course of the dream. The dream itself refutes what it creates, as its end contradicts its beginning. The chariot is suddenly transferred into a man, and a man into a tree.
Scripture itself clearly says that the chariots, etc., of a dream have no real existence. "There are no chariots in that state, no horses, no roads, etc."
Hence the visions in a dream are mere illusion.
The argument that the dream world is real, because it is also a creation of the Supreme Lord like this waking world is not true, because the dream world is not the creation of the Lord, but of the individual soul. The Sruti declares "When he dreams he himself puts the physical body aside and himself creates a dream body in its place" (Bri. Up. IV.3.9.) This passage of the Sruti clearly proves that it is the individual soul who creates the dream world and not the Lord.
Suchakascha hi sruterachakshate cha tadvidah III.2.4 (322)
But (though the dream world is an illusion), yet it is indicative (of the future), for (so we find) in the Sruti, the dream experts also declare this.
Suchaka: Indicative, suggestive; Cha: moreover, and; Hi: because, as for; Sruteh: from the Sruti; Achakshate: say, affirm; Cha: also; Tadvidah: dreamexperts, those who know the secrets of dream.
An argument in support of Sutra 3 is given.
The word 'Tadvid' or expert means those who know how to interpret dreams such as Vyasa, Brihaspati, and the rest.
Well then, as dreams are mere illusion, they do not contain a particle of reality? Not so we reply: because dreams are prophetic of future good and bad fortune. For scripture says "When a man engaged in some sacrifice undertaken for a special wish sees in his dreams a woman, he may infer success from that dream-vision" (Chh. Up. V.2.8). Other scriptural passages declare that certain dreams indicate speedy death, e.g., "If he sees a black man with black teeth, that man will kill him."
Those who understand the science of dreams maintain that "to dream of riding on an elephant and the like is lucky while it is unlucky to dream of riding on a donkey." "Whatever a Brahmin or a god, a bull or a king may tell a person in dream, will doubtless prove true."
Sometimes one gets Mantras in dream. Lord Siva taught Visvamitra in dream the Mantra called Ramaraksha. Visvamitra exactly wrote it out in the morning, when he awoke from sleep.
In all these cases the thing indicated may be real. The indicating dream however, remains unreal as it is refuted by the waking state. The doctrine that the dream itself is mere illusion thus remains uncontradicted.
The word 'creation' in dream in the first Sutra is used in a secondary and figurative sense. The soul's good and bad deeds bring about pleasure and pain enjoyed during dream, by means of dream-experiences. In the waking state the light of the soul operates along with the light of the sun to bring about experiences. The dream state is referred to, to show the self-activity of the soul even after the senses are shut off and there is no operation of external light. It is this fact that is the primary teaching. The reference to creation in dreams is secondary.
The world of dreams is not real in the same sense as the world consisting of ether is real. We must remember that the so-called real creation with its ether, air, etc., is not absolutely real. The world of ether, etc., vanishes into nothing when the individual soul realises its identity with the Supreme Soul.
The dream-creation, however, is stultified every day. That the dream is mere illusion has therefore to be understood very clearly and decisively.
Parabhidhyanattu tirohitam tato hyasya bandhaviparyayau III.2.5 (323)
But by the meditation on the Supreme Lord, that which is hidden (by ignorance, viz., the equality of the Lord and the soul becomes manifest), because from him (the Lord) are its (the soul's) bondage and freedom.
Parabhidhyanat: by meditation on the Supreme Lord; Tu: but; Tirohitam: that which is hidden; Tatah: from Him(the Lord); Hi: for; Asya: his, of the individual soul. Bandhaviparyayau: bondage and its opposite, i.e., freedom.
The Purvapakshin or the opponent says: The individual soul is a part (Amsa) of the Supreme Soul, just as a spark is a part of the fire. Just as fire and spark have in common the powers of burning and giving light, so also the individual soul and the Lord have in common the powers of knowledge and rulership. Therefore the individual soul may by means of his lordship create in the dreaming state chariots and the like at will (Sankalpa) like the Lord.
This Sutra refutes it and says that the soul now is different from the Lord on account of Avidya or ignorance. The rulership is hidden by ignorance in the Jiva state. It becomes manifest only when in the state of meditation on the Lord. This ignorance is dispelled by the knowledge, "I am Brahman", just as through the action of a strong medicine the power of sight of the blind man becomes manifest.
The Sruti declares "when that God is known all fetters fall off; sufferings are destroyed and birth and death cease. From meditating on Him there arises on the dissolution of the body, a third state, that of universal Lordship; he who is alone is satisfied" (Svet. Up. I.11). Till the knowledge dawns the individual soul cannot create at will anything real.
Lordship does not come to man spontaneously. It does not on its own accord reveal itself to all men, as the bondage and freedom of the individual soul come from the Lord. That means: from knowledge of Lord's true nature, i.e., from realisation of God freedom comes; from ignorance of His true nature comes bondage. Till such realisation comes, where is then any power of creation?
Dehayogadva so'pi III.2.6 (324)
And that (viz., the concealment of the soul's rulership) also (results) from its connection with the body.
Dehayogat: from its connection with the body; Va: and, or; Sah: that (the concealment of the soul's rulership); Api: also.
Sutra 5 is amplified here.
Such hiding of power is due to embodiment of the soul. The state of concealment of the soul's knowledge and Lordship is due to its being joined to a body, i.e., to a body, sense-organs, mind, intellect, sense-objects, sensations, etc., on account of ignorance. Just as fire is hidden in wood or ashes, the knowledge and power of the soul are hidden, though the Jiva is really the Supreme Lord. Hence the soul does not itself create. If it can, it will never create unpleasant dreams. No one ever wishes for something unpleasant to himself.
The soul's knowledge and Lordship remain hidden as long as he erroneously thinks himself as the body, etc., as long as he is under the wrong notion of not being distinct from those limiting adjuncts.
Sruti declares that the soul is non-different from the Lord. "It is True, it is the Self, Thou art That, O Svetaketu!" But its knowledge and power are obscured by its connection with the body.
Though the dream-phenomena are like waking phenomena in their having relative reality. The Sruti itself declares that they do not really exist. As the dreams are due to Vasanas acquired during the waking state, the similarity between the dream state and the waking state is declared.
From all this it follows that dreams are mere illusion. They are false.
Tadabhavadhikaranam: Topic 2 (Sutras 7-8)
The soul in dreamless sleep.
Tadabhavo nadishu tat sruteh atmani cha III.2.7 (325)
The absence of that (i.e., of dreams, i.e., dreamless sleep) takes place in the nerves (Nadis or psychic currents) and in the self, as it is known from the Sruti or scriptural statement.
Tadabhavah: absence of that (dreaming) i.e., deep sleep; Nadishu: in the nerves (psychic currents); Tat sruteh: as it is known from the Srutis; Atmani: in the self; Cha: and, also. (Tat: about it.)
The state of dreamless deep sleep is now discussed.
The state of dream has been discussed. We are now going to enquire into the state of deep sleep (Sushupti).
Various Sruti texts describe the soul as resting in deep sleep in nerves (Nadis), in Prana, in the heart, in itself, in Brahman or the Absolute.
In different Sruti passages deep sleep is said to take place under different conditions.
"When a man is asleep reposing and at perfect rest so that he sees no dreams, then he has entered into these Nadis (nerves)" (Chh. Up. VIII.6.3). In another place it is said with reference to the Nadis, "Through them he moves forth and rests in the region of the heart" (Bri. Up. II.1.19). In another place it is said "In these the person is when sleeping, he sees no dream. Then he becomes one with the Prana alone" (Kau. Up. IV.19). In another place it is said "That ether which is within the heart in that he reposes" (Bri. Up. IV.4.22). In Chhandogya Upanishad it is said, "Then he becomes united with that which is, he is gone to his self" (Chh. Up. VI.8.1). In Brihadaranyaka Upanishad it is said "Embraced by the highest Self he knows nothing that is without, nothing that is within" (Bri. Up. IV.3.21). "When this being full of consciousness is asleep... lies in the ether, i.e., the real self which is in the heart" (Bri. Up. II.1.17).
Here the doubt arises whether the Nadis, etc., mentioned in the above passages are independent from each other and constitute various places for the soul in the state of deep sleep or if they stand in mutual relation so as to refer to one place only.
The Purvapakshin or the opponent holds the former views on account of the various places mentioned serving one and the same purpose. Things which serve the same purpose, e.g., rice and barley do not depend on each other. As all the words which stand for the places enumerated are in the same case, viz., the locative case in the texts, they are coordinate and therefore alternatives. If mutual relation was meant then different case-endings would be used by the Sruti. Hence we conclude that in the state of deep sleep the soul optionally goes to any one of those places, either the Nadis, or that which is, the Prana, the heart, etc.
The Sutra refutes the view of the Purvapakshin and says that they are to be taken as standing in mutual relation indicating the same place. The view that the soul goes to one or another of these is not correct. The truth is that the soul goes through the nerves to the region of the heart and there rests in Brahman.
There is no alternative here. The assertion made above that we are compelled to allow option because the Nadis, etc., serve one and the same purpose is without foundation. The authority of the Srutis is weakened if we allow option between two statements of the Sruti. If you recognise one alternative, the authority of the other alternative is denied.
Further the same case is used where things serve different purposes and have to be combined. We say, e.g., "he sleeps in the palace, he sleeps on a cot." We have to combine the two locatives into one as "He sleeps on a cot in the palace." Even so the different statements have to be combined into one. "The soul goes through the Nadis to the region of the heart and then rests in Brahman." Just as a man goes along the Ganga to the sea so also the soul goes through the Nadis to Brahman. So he attains Svarupa.
Scripture mentions only three places of deep sleep, viz., the Nadis, the pericardium and Brahman. Among these three again Brahman alone is the lasting place of deep sleep. The Nadis and the pericardium, are mere roads leading to it. The 'Puritat' or pericardium is the covering which surrounds the lotus of the heart.
In deep sleep the individual soul rests in Brahman, but there is a thin veil of ignorance between him and the Supreme Soul. Hence he has no direct knowledge of his identity with the Supreme Soul, as in Nirvikalpa Samadhi or superconscious state. The Sruti declares "He becomes united with the True, he is gone to his own (Self)" (Chh. Up. VI.8).
In the Kaushitaki Upanishad (IV.19) the three places are mentioned together: "In these the person is when sleeping he sees no dreams. Then he becomes one with the Prana (Brahman) alone".
Therefore Brahman is the resting place of the soul in deep sleep.
Atah prabodho'smat III.2.8 (326)
Hence the waking from that (viz., Brahman).
Atah: hence; Prabodhah: waking; Asmat: from this (i.e., Brahman).
The mode of waking from deep sleep is now described.
Therefore waking is coming from that state of union with Brahman or Atman.
Brahman is the place of repose of deep sleep. That is the reason why the Sruti texts which treat of deep sleep invariably teach that in the waking state the individual soul returns to waking consciousness from Brahman. The Sruti declares "In the same manner, my child, all these creatures when they have come back from the True do not know that they have come back from the True" (Chh. Up. VI.10.2). This Sruti passage clearly intimates that the Jiva or the individual soul returns from the True or Brahman to the waking state and that the Jiva rests or merges himself in Brahman and not in the Nadis, Hita, etc., during deep sleep. But he does not realise his identity with Brahman in deep sleep as he is enveloped by the evil of ignorance.
Brihadaranyaka Upanishad also declares "When the time comes for the answer to the question 'whence did he come back'?" (II.1.16); the text says, "As small sparks come forth from fire, thus all Pranas come forth from that Self" (II.1.20).
If there were optional places, to which the soul may resort, in deep sleep, the Sruti would teach us that it awakes sometimes from the Nadis, sometimes from the pericardium (Puritat), sometimes from the Self (Brahman).
For this reason also Brahman is the place of deep sleep. The Nadis are only the gateway to Brahman.
Karmanusmritisabdavidhyadhikaranam: Topic 3 (Sutra 9)
The same soul returns from deep sleep.
Sa eva tu karmanusmritisabdavidhibhyah III.2.9 (327)
But the same (soul returns from Brahman after deep sleep) on account of work, remembrance, scriptural text and precept.
Sah eva: the selfsame soul (which went to sleep); Tu: but; Karmanusmritisabdavidhibhyah: on account of Karma or work, memory, scriptural authority and precept; (Sah: he; Eva: only, and no other); Karma: activity, on account of his finishing the action left unfinished; Anusmriti: remembrance, on account of memory of identity; Sabda: from the Sruti; Vidhibhyah: from the commandments.
Here we have to enquire whether the soul when awaking from deep sleep is the same which entered into union with Brahman or another one.
The word 'tu' (but) removes the doubt.
If another self arose from sleep, the consciousness of personal identity (Atmanusmarana) expressed in the words "I am the same as I was before" would not be possible.
The Purvapakshin or the opponent holds that there is no fixed rule on this point. There can be no rule that the same soul arises from Brahman. When a drop of water is poured into a big basin of water, it becomes one with the latter. When we again take out a drop it will be difficult to manage that it should be the very same drop. It is hard to pick it out again. Even so when the individual soul has merged in Brahman in deep sleep it is difficult to say that the self-same Jiva arises from Brahman after deep sleep. Hence some other soul arises after deep sleep from Brahman.
This Sutra refutes this and says that the same soul which in the state of deep sleep entered Brahman again arises from Brahman, after deep sleep, not any other for the following reasons.
The person who wakes from sleep must be the same because what has been partly done by a person before going to sleep is finished after he wakes up. Men finish in the morning what they had left incomplete on the day before. It is not possible that one man should proceed to complete a work half done by another man. If it were not the same soul, then the latter would find no interest in completing the work which has been partly done by another. In the case of sacrifices occupying more than one day, there would be several sacrifices. Hence it would be doubtful to whom the fruit of the sacrifice as promised by the Veda belongs. This would bring stultification of the sacred text. Therefore it is quite clear that it is one and the same man who finishes on the latter day the work begun on the former.
He has also a sense of self-identity. He experiences identity of personality before and after sleep, for if sleep leads to liberation by union with Brahman, sleep will become the means of liberation. Then scriptural instructions would be useless to attain salvation. If the person who goes to sleep is different from the person who rises after sleep, then the commandments of the scriptures with reference to work or knowledge would be meaningless or useless.
The person rising from sleep is the same who went to sleep. If it is not so he could not remember what he had seen, etc., on the day before, because what one man sees another cannot remember. He has memory of past events. One cannot remember what another felt. He has memory or recollection in the shape of "I am the person who had gone to sleep and who have now awakened."
The Sruti texts declare that the same person rises again. "He hastens back again as he came to the place from which he started, to be awake" (Bri. Up. IV.3.16). "All these creatures go day after day into Brahman and yet do not discover Him" (Chh. Up. VIII.3.2). "Whatever these creatures are here whether a tiger, or a lion, or a wolf, or a boar, or a worm, or a midge or a gnat, or a mosquito, that they become again" (Chh. Up. VI.10.2). These and similar texts which appear in the chapters which deal with sleeping and waking have a proper sense only if the self-same soul rises again.
Moreover, if it is not the same soul, Karma and Avidya will have no purpose.
Therefore from all this it follows that the person rising from sleep is the same that went to sleep.
The case of the drop of water is not quite analogous, because a drop of water merges in the basin of water without any adjuncts. Therefore it is lost for ever but the individual soul merges in Brahman with its adjuncts (viz., body, mind, intellect, Prana, sense). So the same Jiva rises again from Brahman on account of the force of Karma and desire.
When the individual soul enters Brahman in deep sleep, he enters like a pot full of salt water with covered mouth plunged into the Ganga. When he awakens from sleep it is the same pot taken out of the river with the same water in it. Similarly the individual soul enveloped by his desires goes to sleep and for the time being puts off all sense-activities and goes to the resting place namely, the Supreme Brahman and again comes out of it in order to get further experiences. He does not become identical with Brahman like the person who has obtained liberation. Thus we hear that the same soul which had gone to sleep awakes again into the same body.
Hence it is an established fact that the same soul awakes from deep sleep.
Mugdhe'rdhasampattyadhikaranam: Topic 4 (Sutra 10)
The nature of swoon.
Mugdhe'rddhasampattih pariseshat III.2.10 (328)
In a swoon (in him who is senseless) there is half union on account of this remaining (as the only alternative left, as the only possible hypothesis).
Mugdhe: in a swoon; Ardhasampattih: partial attainment of the state of deep sleep or death; Pariseshat: on account of the remaining, because of excess, as it is a state in addition to all others.
The state of a swoon is now discussed.
The Purvapakshin says, "There are only three states of a soul while living in the body, viz., waking, dreaming and deep sleep. The soul's passing out of the body is the fourth state or death. The state of swoon cannot be taken as a fifth state. A fifth state is known neither from Sruti nor Smriti."
What is swoon then? Is it a separate state of the soul or is it only one of these states?
It cannot be waking, because he does not perceive external objects, by the senses.
May this case be similar to that of the arrow-maker? Just as the man working in the preparation of an arrow, although awake, is so absorbed in his work that he perceives nothing else, so also the man who is stunned by a blow may be awake but may not perceive anything else as his mind is concentrated on the sensation of pain caused by the blow of a stick.
No, we reply. The case is different owing to the absence of consciousness. The arrow maker says, "I was not conscious of anything but the arrow for such a length of time." The man who returns to consciousness from a swoon says, "I was conscious of nothing. I was shut up in blind darkness for such a length of time." A man who is waking keeps his body straight or upright but the body of a swooning person falls prostrate on the ground. Therefore a man in a swoon is not awake.
He is not dreaming, because he is totally unconscious.
It is not deep sleep because there is happiness in deep sleep whereas there is no happiness in the state of swoon.
He is not dead also, because he continues to breathe and his body is warm. When a man has become senseless and when people are in doubt whether he is alive or dead, they touch the region of his heart in order to find out whether there is warmth in his body or not. They place their hands to his nostrils to find out whether there is breathing or not. If they do not perceive warmth or breath they come to the conclusion that he is dead and take his body to the crematorium to burn it. If there are warmth and breathing they conclude that he is not dead. They sprinkle cold water on his face so that he may come back to consciousness.
The man who has swooned away is not dead, because he comes back to consciousness after some time.
Let us then say that a man who has swooned lies in deep sleep as he is unconscious and at the same time not dead. No, we reply. This is also not possible owing to the different characteristics of the two states.
A man who has swooned does sometimes not breathe for a long time. His body shakes or trembles. His face is dreadful. His eyes are staring wide open. But a sleeping man looks calm, peaceful and happy.
He draws his breath at regular intervals. His eyes are closed. His body does not tremble. A sleeping man may be waked by a gentle stroking with the hand. He who is lying in a state of swoon cannot be wakened even by a blow with a stick. Swoon is due to external causes such as blow on the head with a stick, etc., while sleep is due to fatigue or weariness.
Swoon is only half-union. The man in the state of swoon belongs with one half to the side of deep sleep, with the other half to the side of the other state, i.e., death. It is only half sleep. We do not mean by this that he half enjoys Brahman. We mean that it partly resembles sleep. It is half death, a state almost bordering upon death. In fact it is the door to death. If there is a remnant of Karma he returns to consciousness. Else, he dies.
The man in the state of swoon belongs with one half to the side of deep sleep, with the other half to the side of the other state, i.e., death.
Those who know Brahman say that swoon is half-union. In a swoon the person partially attains the state of deep sleep as there is no consciousness in that state and he returns to consciousness and partially the state of death as he experiences pain and misery which are expressed through distortion of face and limbs.
The objection that no fifth state is commonly acknowledged is without much weight, because as that state occurs occasionally only it may not be generally known. All the same it is known from ordinary experience as well as from the science of Ayurveda. It is a separate state, though it happens occasionally. As it is a mixture of the two states, viz., deep sleep and death it is not considered as a fifth state.
Ubhayalingadhikaranam: Topic 5 (Sutras 11-21)
The nature of Brahman.
Na sthanato'pi parasyobhayalingam sarvatra hi III.2.11 (329)
Not on account of (difference of) place also two-fold characteristics can belong to the Highest; for everywhere (scripture teaches It to be without any difference).
Na: not; Sthanatah: on account of (difference of) place; Api: even; Parasya: of the Highest (i.e., Brahman); Ubhayalingam: two-fold characteristics; Sarvatra: everywhere; Hi: because.
The Sutrakara now proceeds to deal with the nature of Brahman.
In the scriptures we find two kinds of description about Brahman. Some texts describe it as qualified, i.e., with attributes and some as unqualified (without attributes). "From whom all activities, all desires, all odours and all tastes proceed" (Chh. Up. III.14.2). This text speaks of attributes. Again, "It is neither coarse nor fine, neither short nor long, neither redness nor moisture" etc. (Bri. Up. III.8.8). This text speaks of Brahman without attributes.
Are we to assume that both are true of Brahman according as it is or is not connected with limiting adjuncts or Upadhis or have we to assume only one of them as true and the other false? and if so, which is true? and why it is true?
This Sutra says that the Highest Brahman cannot by itself possess double characteristics. In the case of Brahman you cannot say that it has two aspects, viz., with form and attributes, and without form and attributes, i.e., with Upadhis (limiting adjuncts) and without Upadhis, because It is described everywhere as being Nirguna (without attributes).
Both cannot be predicated of one and the same Brahman because it is against experience. One and the same thing cannot have two contradictory natures at the same time. Brahman cannot at the same time have form and be formless.
The redness of a flower reflected in a crystal does not change the nature of the crystal which is colourless. Even so the mere connection of a thing with another does not change its nature. It is an altogether erroneous notion to impute redness to the crystal. The redness of the crystal is unreal. A thing cannot change its real nature. Changes of its real nature means annihilation. Similarly in the case of Brahman, its connection with the limiting adjuncts like earth, etc., is due to ignorance. An Upadhi cannot affect the nature of Brahman, such Upadhi being merely due to Avidya or nescience. The essential character of a thing must always remain the same whatever may be the conditions imposed on it. If however it appears to be altered it is surely due to ignorance.
Therefore we have to accept that Brahman is without attributes, because all Sruti texts whose aim is to represent the nature of Brahman such as "It is without sound, without touch, without form, without decay" (Katha Up. I.3.15) teach that It is free from all attributes.
Brahman with attributes is only for the sake of Upasana or pious worship of devotees; it is not Its real nature.
Na bhedaditi chenna pratyekamatadvachanat III.2.12 (330)
If it be said that it is not so on account of difference (being taught in the scriptures), we reply that it is not so, because with reference to each (such form), the Sruti declares the opposite of that.
Na: not so; Bhedat: on account of difference (being taught in the scriptures); Iti: thus, as, so, this; Chet: if; Na: not so; Pratyekam: with reference to each; Atadvachanat: because of the declaration of opposite of that. (Atad: absence of that; Vachanat: on account of the statement.)
An objection to the preceding Sutra is raised and refuted.
This Sutra consists of two parts namely an objection and its reply. The objection portion is "Bhedat iti chet" and the reply portion is "Na pratyekamatadvachanat".
The Purvapakshin says, "The various Vidyas teach different forms of Brahman. It is said to have four feet (Chh. Up. III.18.2); to consist of sixteen parts or Kalas (Pras. Up. VI.1); to be characterised by dwarfishness (Katha Up. V.3); to have the three worlds for its body (Bri. Up. I.3.22); to be named Vaisvanara (Chh. Up. V.11.2), etc. Hence we must admit that Brahman is also qualified."
This Sutra refutes it and declares that every such form due to limiting adjunct is denied of Brahman in texts like "This bright, immortal being who is in this earth and that bright immortal corporeal being in the body are but the self" (Bri. Up. II.5.1). Such texts clearly indicate that the same self is present in all limiting adjuncts like earth, etc. Therefore there is only oneness. It, therefore cannot be maintained that the conception of Brahman with various forms is taught by the Vedas.
In every passage identity is also affirmed. The Supreme Truth is oneness. Separateness is for devotion. The Sruti declares that the form is not true and that there is only one formless essence or principle in reality.
Api chaivameke III.2.13 (331)
Moreover some (teach) thus.
Api: also; Cha: moreover, and; Evam: thus; Eke: some.
A further argument is given in support of Sutra 11.
Some Sakhas or recensions of the Vedas directly teach that the manifoldness is not true. They pass a critical remark on those who see difference, "He goes from death to death who sees difference, as it were, in it" (Katha Up. I.4.11). "By the mind alone it is to be perceived. There is no diversity in It. He who perceives therein any diversity goes from death to death" (Bri. Up. IV.4.19).
Others also "By knowing the enjoyer, the enjoyed, and the ruler, everything has been declared to be three-fold and this is Brahman" (Svet. Up. I.12), say that the entire world characterised by enjoyers, things to be enjoyed and a ruler has Brahman for its true nature.
Arupavadeva hi tatpradhanatvat III.2.14 (332)
Verily Brahman is only formless on account of that being the main purport (of all texts about Brahman).
Arupavat: without form, formless; Eva: only, indeed, decidedly; Hi: verily, certainly, because; Tatpradhanatvat: on account of that being the main purport of scripture. (Tat: of that; Pradhanatvat: on account of being the chief thing.)
A further argument is given in support of Sutra 11.
We must definitely assert that Brahman is formless and so on. Why? On account of this being the main purport of scriptures. The scriptures declare,"It is neither coarse nor fine, neither short nor long" (Bri. Up. III.8.8). "That which is without sound, without form, without decay" (Katha Up. I.3.15). "He who is called ether is the revealer of all names and forms. That within which names and forms are, that is Brahman" (Chh. Up. VIII.14.1). "That heavenly Person is without body, He is both within and without, not produced" (Mun. Up. II.1.2). "That Brahman is without cause, and without anything inside or outside, this self is Brahman, Omnipresent and Omniscient" (Bri. Up. II.5.19).
These texts aim at teaching Brahman, describe It as formless. If Brahman be understood to have a form then the scriptural passages which describe it as formless would become meaningless. The scriptures have a purport all throughout. On the contrary, the other passages which refer to a Brahman qualified by form do not aim at setting forth the nature of Brahman but rather at enjoying the worship of Brahman.
Therefore Brahman is formless.
As long as those latter texts do not contradict those of the former class they are to be accepted as they stand; where, however, contradictions occur, the texts whose main purport is Brahman must be viewed as having greater force than those of the other kind. This is the reason for our deciding that, although there are two different classes of scriptural texts, Brahman must be held to be altogether formless, not at the same time of an opposite nature. The main Sruti texts declare Brahman to be formless.
The colour and forms are the products of the elements and Brahman is far above the influence of and different from the elements. Hence He is called the colourless or formless. Material colour and form cannot be found in Him when He is far above the subtle material cause as well as above its presiding deity.
Prakasavacchavaiyarthyat III.2.15 (333)
And as light (assumes forms as it were by its contact with things possessing form, so does Brahman take form in connection with Upadhis or limiting adjuncts), because (texts which ascribe form to Brahman) are not meaningless.
Prakasavat: like the light; Cha: and, moreover; Avaiyarthyat: because of not being meaningless.
A further argument is given in support of Sutra 11.
The word 'Cha' (and) is employed to remove the doubt raised above.
If Brahman is formless then all the scriptural texts which treat of Brahman with form would be meaningless, and superfluous. Then all Upasanas of Brahman with form would be useless. How can the worship of such a false Brahman lead to Brahmaloka?
This Sutra explains that they also have a purpose. The light of the sun has no form but it appears to be great or small according to the hole through which it enters a room and yet has the force of dispelling the darkness in the room. Similarly Brahman which is without a form appears to have a form due to limiting adjuncts like earth, body, etc. Just as the light of the sun comes in contact with a finger or some other limiting adjunct and according as the latter is straight or bent, itself becomes straight or bent as it were, so also Brahman assumes, as it were, the form of the earth, and the limiting adjuncts with which it comes into contact. The worship of such an illusory Brahman can help one to attain Brahmaloka which is also illusory from the view-point of the Absolute.
Therefore these texts are not meaningless. They have certainly a purport. All parts of the Veda are equally authoritative and therefore must all be assumed to have a meaning or purpose.
This, however, does not contradict the tenet maintained above, viz., that Brahman though connected with limiting adjuncts does not possess double characteristics, because what is merely due to a limiting adjunct cannot constitute an attribute of a substance. Further the limiting adjuncts are all due to ignorance.
Aha cha tanmatram III.2.16 (334)
And (the Sruti) declares (that Brahman is) that (i.e., intelligence) only.
Aha: (the Sruti) declares; Cha: and, moreover; Tanmatram: that (i.e., intelligent) only.
The force of the word 'Matra' in Tanmatra is to denote exclusiveness.
Scripture declares that Brahman consists of intelligence. "As a lump of salt has neither inside nor outside, but is altogether a mass of saltish taste, thus indeed has that Self neither inside nor outside but is altogether a mass of knowledge" (Bri. Up. IV.3.13). Pure intelligence constitutes its nature. Just as a lump of salt has neither inside nor outside but one and the same saltish taste, not any other taste, so also Brahman has neither inside nor outside any characteristic form but intelligence.
Darsayati chatho api smaryate III.2.17 (335)
(The scripture) also shows (this and) it is likewise stated in Smriti.
Darsayati: (the scripture or Sruti) shows; Cha: and, also; Atho: thus, moreover; Api: also; Smaryate: the Smritis declare or state.
The argument in support of Sutra 11 is continued.
That Brahman is without any attributes is also proved by those scriptural texts also which expressly deny that It possesses any other characteristics, e.g., "Now, therefore, the description of Brahman; not this, not this (neti, neti)" (Bri. Up. II.3.6). There is no other and more appropriate description than this "not this, not this".
Kenopanishad (I.4) declares "It is different from the known, It is also above the unknown". Taittiriya Upanishad (II.9) says "From whence all speech, with the mind, turns away unable to reach it".
The Sruti text which treats of the conversation between Bahva and Vashkali has a similar purport. Vashkali questioned Bahva about the nature of Brahman. Bahva explained it to Vashkali by silence. Bahva said to Vashkali "Learn Brahman, O friend" and became silent. Then on a second and third question he replied "I am teaching you indeed, but you do not understand. That Brahman is Silence."
If Brahman has form, there is no necessity to deny everything and say "Not this, not this."
The same teaching is conveyed by those Smriti texts which deny of Brahman all other characteristics, e.g., "I will proclaim that which is the object of knowledge, knowing which one attains immortality; the Highest Brahman without either beginning or end, which cannot be said either to be or not to be" (Gita XIII.12). "It is unmanifest, unthinkable, and without modification, thus It is spoken of" (Gita II. 25).
Of a similar purpose is another Smriti text. Lord Hari instructed Narada "The cause, O Narada, of your seeing Me endowed with the qualities of all beings is the Maya thrown out by Me; do not cognise Me as being such in reality."
Ata eva chopama suryakadivat III.2.18 (336)
For this very reason (we have with respect to Brahman) comparisons like the images of the sun and the like.
Ata eva: for this very reason; therefore; Cha: also, and; Upama: comparison; Suryakadivat: like the images of the sun and the like.
The argument in support of Sutra 11 is continued.
That Brahman is formless is further established from the similes used with respect to It. As Brahman is of the nature of intelligence, devoid of all difference, transcending speech and mind, as He is formless, homogeneous and as He is described only by denying of Him all other characteristics, the scriptures compare His forms to the images of the sun reflected in the water and the like, meaning thereby that these forms are unreal being due only to limiting adjuncts. "As the one luminous sun enters into relation to many different waters is himself rendered multiform by his limiting adjuncts; so also the one unborn Brahman appears different in different bodies."
Ambuvadagrahanattu na tathatvam III.2.19 (337)
But there is no similarity (of the two things compared since) (in the case of Brahman any second thing) is not apprehended or experienced like water.
Ambuvat: like water; Agrahanat: in the absence of perception, because of non-acceptance, because it cannot be accepted, not being experienced; Tu: but; Na: not, no; Tathatvam: that nature, similarity.
An objection to the preceding Sutra is raised by the Purvapakshin.
An objection is raised by the Purvapakshin that the similarity spoken of in the preceding Sutra is not appropriate or correct. In the above illustration the sun is seen to be separate from the water. Sun has a form. It is a material thing. Water is different from the sun and is at a distance from the sun. Hence the sun may be reflected in the water. But Brahman is formless and all-pervading.
It is not a material thing. All are identical with it. There are no limiting adjuncts different from it and occupying a different place, that can catch its reflection. It is not seen to be separate from the Upadhis or limiting adjuncts.
Brahman is all-pervading. So no object can be at a distance from Him. The sun is reflected in water because of its distance from water. But there can be no such distance between Brahman and any object. Hence reflection in this connection is a meaningless term.
Therefore the instances are not parallel. The comparison is defective.
The next Sutra removes the objection.
Vriddhihrasabhaktvamantarbhavadubhayasamanjasyadevam III.2.20 (338)
As (the highest Brahman) is inside (its limiting adjuncts) It participates in their increase and decrease; owing to the appropriateness (thus resulting) of the two (things compared), it is thus, (i.e., the comparison holds good).
Vriddhihrasabhaktvam: participating in the increase and decrease; Antarbhavat: on account of its being inside; Ubhaya- samanjasyat: on account of the appropriateness in the two cases; Evam: thus. (Vriddhi: increase; Hrasa: decrease; Ubhaya: towards both; Samanjasyat: because of the justness, appropriateness.)
The objection raised in the preceding Sutra is refuted.
The comparison with the reflection of the sun should not be taken on all fours. Whenever two things are compared they are so only with reference to some particular point or feature they have in common. Entire equality of the two can never be demonstrated. If it could be shown, there would be an end of that particular relation which gives rise to the comparison. Exact similitude in all points would mean absolute identity.
The similarity is only in point of the participation in the distortion and contortion in increase and decrease of the image or reflection. The reflected image of the sun dilates when the surface of the water expands; it contracts when the water shrinks; it trembles when the water is agitated; it divides itself when the water is divided. It thus participates in all the attributes and conditions of the water; while the real sun remains all the time the same.
Even so Brahman although in reality uniform and never changing, participates as it were in the attributes and states of the body and the other limiting adjuncts within which It abides. It grows with them as it were, decreases with them as it were and so on. As the two things compared possess certain common features, no objection can be made to the comparison. The comparison is certainly not defective on account of the above similarity in the two cases.
Darsanaccha III.2.21 (339)
And on account of the declaration of scripture.
Darsanat: as it is found to be so, because it is seen, on account of scriptural declaration; Cha: and, also.
A further reason is given to refute the objection raised in Sutra 19.
The scripture moreover declares that the Supreme Brahman enters into the body and other limiting adjuncts. "He made bodies with two feet, He made bodies with four feet. That Highest Brahman first entered the bodies as a bird. He is called the Purusha on account of His dwelling in all bodies" (Bri. Up. II.5.18). "Having entered into them with this luring individual self" (Chh. Up. VI.3.2). For all these reasons the comparison set forth in Sutra 18 is not defective.
Therefore it is established that Brahman is formless, homogeneous, of the nature of intelligence, and without any difference.
Scripture declares that devout meditations on Brahman with form have results of their own viz., either the warding off of calamities, or the gaining of power, or else release by successive steps (Krama Mukti or progressive emancipation).
Prakritaitavattvadhikaranam: Topic 6 (Sutras 22-30)
The Neti-neti text explained.
Prakrtaitavattvam hi pratishedhati tato braviti cha bhuyah III.2.22 (340)
What has been mentioned up to this is denied (by the words "not this, not this" and the Sruti) says something more than that (afterwards).
Prakritaitavattvam: what bas been mentioned up to this; Hi: because, for; Pratishedhati: denies; Tatah: then that, over and above that; Braviti: declares; Cha: and; Bhuyah: something more. (Prakrita: mentioned first, previously stated; Etavattvam: this much.)
In this group of Sutras also the Sutrakara expounds the Nirvisesha (formless) Brahman.
The Sruti declares "There are two forms of Brahman, gross and subtle, the material and the immaterial, the mortal and the immortal, the limited and the unlimited, Sat and Tyat" (Bri. Up. II.3.1).
After describing the two forms of Brahman, the gross consisting of earth, water and fire, and the subtle, consisting of air and ether, the Sruti declares finally "Now, therefore, the description of Brahman; not this, not this" (Bri. Up. II.3. 6).
There arises a doubt whether the double denial in "not this, not this" negates both the world and Brahman, or only one of them.
The Purvapakshin or the opponent maintains that both are denied and consequently Brahman which is false, cannot be the substratum for a universe which is also false. It leads us to Sunyavada. If one only is denied it is proper that Brahman is denied, because It is not seen and therefore Its existence is doubtful and not the universe because we experience it.
This Sutra refutes this view of the Purvapakshin. It is impossible that the phrase "Not so, not so" should negative both, as that would imply the doctrine of a general void. The words "Neti, Neti" cannot be said to deny Brahman as well as its having form, because that would be Sunyavada.
The Sruti affirms Brahman. What is the good of teaching Brahman and saying that it is non-existent? Why smear yourself with mud and then wash it? So Brahman is beyond speech and mind and is eternal, pure and free. It is a mass of consciousness. Therefore the Sruti denies that Brahman has form but not Brahman itself.
What has been described till now, viz., the two forms of Brahman: gross and subtle, is denied by the words, "not this, not this".
Brahman cannot be denied, because that would contradict the introductory phrase of the Chapter. "Shall I tell you Brahman?" (Bri. Up. II.1.1), would show disregard of the threat conveyed in Tait. Up. II.6. "He who knows the Brahman as non-existing becomes himself non-existing," would be opposed to definite assertions such as "He is" "He is to be apprehended" (Katha Up. II.6.13); and would certainly involve a stultification of the whole Vedanta.
The phrase that Brahman transcends all speech and thought does certainly not mean to say that Brahman does not exist, because after the Sruti has established the existence of Brahman in such texts as "He who knows Brahman obtains the Highest", "Truth, Knowledge, Infinity is Brahman". It cannot be supposed all at once to teach its non-existence. Because the common saying is "Better than bathing it is not to touch dirt at all." The Sruti text "From whence all speech with the mind turns away unable to reach it" (Tait. Up. II.4), must therefore be viewed as intimating Brahman.
"Not so, not so" negatives the entire aggregate of effects superimposed on Brahman, but not Brahman which is the basis for all fictitious superimpositions. It denies of Brahman the limited form, material as well as immaterial which in the preceding part of the chapter is described with reference to the gods as well as the body, and also the second form which is produced by the first, is characterised by mental impressions, forms the essence of that which is immaterial, is denoted by the term Purusha.
The double repetition of the negation may either serve the purpose of furnishing special denial of the material as well as the immaterial form of Brahman; or the first 'not so' may negative the aggregate of material elements, while the second denies the aggregate of mental impressions. Or else the repetition may be an emphatic one, intimating that whatever can be thought is not Brahman.
The Sruti denies that Brahman has form but not Brahman itself. It interdicts by two negations the gross and the subtle bodies. Or it interdicts Bhutas (elements) and Vasanas. Or the repetition is for stating the denial of all similar assumptions. So the denial denies the world as superimposed on Brahman and does not deny Brahman itself.
After the negation of Neti Neti, the Sruti goes on to describe in positive terms the further attributes of this Brahman – His name being the True of the true (Satyasya Satyam). Moreover after making such a denial, it affirms the existence of something higher – Anyat Paramasti; Satyasya Satyam – The Truth of Truth. This intimates that Brahman alone is the one reality that exists and is the substratum of the world which is illusory.
'Neti Neti' denies the so-muchness of Brahman, as was described in the preceding Sutras. It says that the material and immaterial is not the whole of Brahman. It is something more than that. The word 'Iti' refers to what has been mentioned immediately before, i.e., the two forms of Brahman, the subject matter of the discussion. Hence it cannot refer to Brahman itself which is not the chief topic of the preceding texts.
The objection viz., Brahman is not experienced and therefore it is Brahman that is denied, has no force. It cannot stand, because the object of the Sruti is to teach about something which is not ordinarily experienced by us. Otherwise its teaching would be superfluous.
We, therefore, decide that the clause "not so, not so", negatives not absolutely everything, but only everything but Brahman.
Tadavyaktamaha hi III.2.23 (341)
That (Brahman) is not manifest, for (so the scripture) says.
Tat: that (i.e., Brahman); Avyaktam: is not manifest; Aha: (so the scripture) says; Hi: for, because.
The character of Brahman is discussed.
This is a Purvapaksha Sutra.
Brahman is beyond the senses, so the Sruti declares. If Brahman exists, then why is It not apprehended by the senses or the mind? Because It is extremely subtle and is the witness of whatever is apprehended i.e., subject in the apprehension. The individual souls are enveloped by ignorance. Hence they are not able to perceive Brahman. The Sruti declares "Brahman is not apprehended by the eye, nor by the speech, nor by the other senses, nor by penance, nor by good works" (Mun. Up. III.1). "That Self is to be described by no, no! He is incomprehensible, for He cannot be comprehended" (Bri. Up. III.9.26). "That which cannot be seen nor apprehended" (Mun. Up. I.1.6).
"When in that which is invisible, incorporeal, undefined, unsupported" (Tait. Up. II.7). Similar statements are made in Smriti passages, e.g., "He is called unevolved, not to be fathomed by thought, unchangeable."
Api cha samradhane pratyakshanumanabhyam III.2.24 (342)
And moreover (Brahman is experienced) in devout meditation (as we know) from the Sruti and Smriti.
Api cha: and moreover; Samradhane: in devout meditation; Pratyakshanumanabhyam: from the Sruti and the Smriti.
The discussion on the characteristic of Brahman is continued.
The word 'Api' sets aside the Purvapaksha. It is used in a deprecative sense. The above Purvapaksha is not even worthy of consideration.
Brahman is exceedingly subtle. Hence He cannot be seen by the physical eyes. He is beyond the senses. But Yogis behold Him in their purified minds. If Brahman is not manifest, then we can never know Him and therefore there will be no freedom.
This Sutra declares that Brahman is not known only to those whose heart is not purified, but those who are endowed with a pure heart realise Brahman in the state of Samadhi when ignorance is annihilated.
This is vouched for by Srutis as well as Smritis. "The Self-existent created the senses with out-going tendencies. Therefore man beholds the external universe but not the internal Self. Some wise man, however, with his eyes closed and wishing for immortality beholds the Self within" (Katha Up. IV.1). "When a man's mind has become purified by the serene light of knowledge, then he sees Him, meditating on Him as without parts" (Mun. Up. III.1.8).
The Smriti also says the same thing "He who is seen as light by the Yogins meditating on Him sleeplessly, with suspended breath, with contented minds and subdued senses, etc., reverence be to Him" and "the Yogins see Him, the august, eternal one!"
Prakasadivacchavaiseshyam prakasascha karmanyabhyasat III.2.25 (343)
And as in the case of (physical) light and the like, there is no difference, so also between Brahman and Its manifestation in activity; on account of the repeated instruction (of the Sruti to that effect).
Prakasadivat: like light and the like; Cha: also, and; Avaiseshyam: similarity, non-difference, non-distinction; Prakasah: Brahman; Cha: and; Karmani: in work; Abhyasat: on account of repeated mention (in the Sruti).
The discussion on the character of Brahman is continued.
The identity of Jiva and Brahman is explained. Just as light, ether, the sun, etc., appear differentiated as it were, through their objects such as fingers, vessels, water, etc., which form the limiting adjuncts while in reality they preserve their essential non-difference, so also the distinction of different selves is due to limiting adjuncts only, while the unity of all selves is natural and original. Through ignorance the individual soul thinks he is different from Brahman, but in reality he is identical with Brahman.
As in the case of light, etc., the self-luminous Brahman appears diverse in meditation and other acts. This is clear from the Sruti saying "Tat Tvam Asi" nine times.
The Vedanta texts insist again and again on the doctrine of the non-difference of the individual soul and the Supreme Soul. The identity of the individual soul with the Supreme Soul is known from repeated instruction of the Sruti in texts like "That Thou art – Tat Tvam Asi", "I am Brahman – Aham Brahma Asmi" which deny difference.
Ato'nantena tatha hi lingam III.2.26 (344)
Therefore (the individual soul becomes one) with the Infinite; for thus the (scripture) indicates.
Atah: hence, therefore; Anantena: with the Infinite; Tatha: thus; Hi: because, for; Lingam: the indication (of the scriptures).
The result of realisation of Brahman is stated here.
By the realisation of Brahman the meditator becomes identical with the Infinite. Ignorance with all its limiting adjuncts vanishes when one attains Brahma Jnana. There is indication to that effect in Sruti, "He who knows the highest Brahman becomes Brahman Himself" (Mun. Up. III.2.9). "Being Brahman he goes to Brahman" (Bri. Up. IV.4.6). If the difference were real, then one could not become Brahman Himself. Difference is only illusory or unreal. Jiva is only a mere shadow or reflection. He is mere appearance. Just as the reflection of the sun in the water gets absorbed in the sun itself when the water dries up, so also the reflected Jiva gets absorbed in Brahman when ignorance is destroyed by the dawn of Knowledge of Brahman.
Ubhayavyapadesattvahikundalavat III.2.27 (345)
But on account of both (i.e., difference and non-difference) being taught (by the Sruti), (the relation of the highest Brahman to the individual soul has to be viewed) like that of the snake to its coils.
Ubhayavyapadesat: on account of both being taught; Tu: but; Ahikundalavat: like that between a serpent and its coils. (Ubhaya: both; Vyapadesat: on account of the declaration of the scripture; Ahi: serpent; Kundalavat: like the coils.)
The discussion on the characteristic of Brahman is resumed.
Sutras 27 and 28 express the views of the Bhedabhedavadins. Sutra 29 gives the real view.
Having established the identity of the individual soul and Brahman the Sutrakara or the author mentions a different view of the same matter. He now proceeds to enquire into the doctrine of difference and non-difference.
Some scriptural texts refer to the Supreme Soul and the individual soul as distinct entities: "Two birds of beautiful plumage, etc." (Mun. Up. III.1.1). This text speaks of difference between the Jiva and Brahman.
In some other texts the Supreme Soul is represented as the object of approach and as the ruler of the individual soul. "Then he sees him meditating on him as without parts" (Mun. Up. III.1.8). "He goes to the Divine Person who is greater than the great" (Mun. Up. III.2.8). "Who rules all beings within."
In other texts again the two are spoken of as non-different. "Thou art That" (Chh. Up. VI.8.7). "I am Brahman" (Bri. Up. I.4.10). "This is thy Self who is within all" (Bri. Up. III.4.1). "He is thy Self, the ruler within, the immortal" (Bri. Up. III.7.15).
As thus difference and non-difference are equally vouched for by the Sruti texts, the acceptation of absolute non-difference would render Futile all those texts which speak of difference. Therefore we have to take that their relation is one of difference and non-difference, as between a serpent and its coils. As a serpent it is one non-different, but if we look at the coils, hood, erect posture, and so on, there is difference.
Even so there is difference as well as non-difference between the individual soul and Brahman. The difference between them prior to emancipation is real. The Jiva becomes identical with Brahman only when his ignorance is destroyed by the dawn of knowledge of Brahman.
Their separateness and oneness is like a serpent in quiescence and motion.
Prakasasrayavadva tejastvat III.2.28 (346)
Or like (the relation of) light and its substratum, on account of both being luminous.
Prakasasrayavat: like light and its substratum; Va: or; Tejastvat: on account of both being luminous.
The relation between Brahman and the individual soul also is discussed.
Or else the relation of the two may be viewed as follows. Another illustration is given to establish the theory of difference and non-difference. Just as the light of the sun and its substratum, i.e., the sun itself, are not absolutely different, because they both consist of fire and yet are spoken of as different, so also the individual soul and the Supreme Soul (Brahman).
The light and the sun are both luminous. Hence they are non-different. They are different owing to their varying extensity. Similarly is the relation between the individual soul and the Supreme Soul one of difference and non-difference. The former is limited and the latter is all-pervading.
Purvavadva III.2.29 (347)
Or (the relation between the two, i.e., Jiva and Brahman is) as (given) before.
Purvavat: as before; Va: or.
Or it may be as stated in Sutra 25. This last is the real view, because if the individual soul is another state of Brahman or a ray of Brahman, such inherent limitation will never disappear. The Sruti affirms identity and states the feature of diversity which is due to Avidya.
The two previous Sutras express the view of Bhedabhedavadins who maintain the doctrine of difference and non-difference.
This Sutra refutes the view of Bhedabhedavadins and establishes the final truth which has been declared in Sutra 25, viz., that the difference is merely illusory, and identity or non-difference is the reality.
If the bondage of the soul is due to Avidya or ignorance only, final liberation is possible. But if the soul is really bound, whether the soul be regarded as a certain condition or state of the Supreme Soul or Brahman, as stated in Sutra 27, or as a part of the Supreme Soul, as expressed in Sutra 28 – its real bondage cannot be destroyed. Thus the scriptural doctrine of final liberation becomes purposeless and absurd.
If the difference is real it can never come to an end. All the scriptural instructions with regard to the final emancipation will be meaningless. Bondage is only the idea of separateness. If separateness is real there can be no final release at all. But if the difference is due to nescience or ignorance, then knowledge of Brahman or Brahma-Jnana can annihilate it. Then the Supreme Reality or Brahman, the non-difference may be realised.
It cannot be said that the Sruti equally teaches difference and non-difference. The Sruti aims at establishing non-difference only. It merely refers to difference as something known from other sources of knowledge, viz., perception, etc.
Hence the views expressed in Sutras 27 and 28 are not certainly correct. The view given in Sutra 25 alone is correct.
The conclusion is that the soul is not different from the Supreme Soul or Brahman as explained in Sutra 25.
Pratishedhaccha III.2.30 (348)
And on account of the denial.
Pratishedhat: on account of denial; Cha: and, moreover.
Sutra 29 is confirmed.
The Sruti in fact expressly denies separateness.
The conclusion arrived at above is confirmed by the fact of scripture expressly denying that there exists any intelligent being apart from Brahman or the Supreme Soul. "There is no other Seer but He – Nanyato'sti Drashta" (Bri. Up. III.7.23).
The same conclusion follows from those passages which deny the existence of a world apart from Brahman, and thus leave Brahman alone remaining, viz., "Now then the teaching – not this, not this" (Bri. Up. II.3.6). "That Brahman is without cause and without effect, without anything inside or outside" (Bri. Up. II.5.19).
It is now an established fact that there is no other entity but Brahman. Therefore there is only one Brahman without any difference at all.
Paradhikaranam: Topic 7 (Sutras 31-37)
Brahman is one without a second.
Paramatah setunmanasambandha-bhedavyapadesebhyah III.2.31 (349)
(There is something) Superior to this (Brahman) on account of terms denoting a bank, measure, connection and difference (used with respect to It).
Param: greater; Atah: for this, than this (Brahman); Setunmanasambandhabhedavyapadesebhyah: on account of terms denoting a bridge, measure, connection and difference. (Setu: a bridge; Unmana: dimensions; Sambandha: relation; Bheda: difference; Vyapadesebhyah: from the declarations.)
It may be said that there must be something higher than Brahman because Brahman is described as a bridge, or as limited or as attained by man or as different from man.
There arises now the doubt on account of the conflicting nature of various scriptural statements whether something exists beyond Brahman or not.
The Purvapakshin holds that some entity must be admitted apart from Brahman, because Brahman is spoken of as being a bank, as having size, as being connected, as being separated. As a bank it is spoken of in the passage "The Self is a bank, a boundary" (Chh. Up. VIII.4.1). The term bank intimates that there exists something apart from Brahman, just as there exists something different from an ordinary bank. The same conclusion is confirmed by the words "Having passed the bank" (Chh. Up. VIII.4.2). In ordinary life a man after having crossed a bank, reaches some place which is not a bank, let us say a forest. So we must understand that a man after having crossed, i.e., passed beyond Brahman, reaches something which is not Brahman.
As having size Brahman is spoken of in the following passages "This Brahman has four feet (quarters), eight hoofs, sixteen parts" (Chh. Up. III.18.2). Now it is well known from ordinary experience that wherever an object, e.g., a coin has a definite limited size, there exists something different from that object. Therefore we must assume that there also exists something different from Brahman.
Brahman is declared to be connected in the following passages. "Then he is united with the True" (Chh. Up. VI.8.1). "The embodied self is embraced by the Supreme Self" (Bri. Up. IV.3.21). We observe that non-measured things are connected with the things measured, e.g., men with a town. Scripture declares that the individual souls are in the state of deep sleep connected with Brahman. Therefore we conclude that beyond Brahman there is something unmeasured.
The same conclusion is confirmed by those texts which state difference. "Now that golden person who is seen within the sun." The text refers to a Lord residing in the sun and then mentions a Lord residing in the eye distinct from the former: "Now the person who is seen within the eye."
The Sruti declares "The Atman is to be seen" etc. There is a seer and there is the seen. There is difference.
All these indicate that Brahman is not one without a second, and that there exists something different from Brahman.
Samanyattu III.2.32 (350)
But (Brahman is called a bank etc.) on account of similarity.
Samanyat: on account of similarity; Tu: but.
The objection raised in the preceding Sutra is refuted here.
The word 'tu' (but) removes the doubt. It sets aside the previously established conclusion.
There can exist nothing different from Brahman. Brahman is called the bank, etc., because He resembles it in a certain respect. He is the support of all while crossing over this ocean of the world, just as a bank is a great protection or help in crossing a canal.
There can exist nothing different from Brahman as we are not able to observe a proof for such existence. All things proceed from Brahman. The Sruti says that by knowing Brahman everything will be known. How then can there be any other entity? Bridge or bank means like a bridge or bank.
Brahman is called a bank on account of similarity, not because there exists something beyond Him. If the mere fact of Brahman being called a bank implied the existence of something beyond Him as in the case of an ordinary bank, we should also be forced to conclude that Brahman is made of earth and stones. This would go against the scriptural doctrine that Brahman is not something produced.
Brahman is called a bank because it resembles a bank in certain respects. Just as a bank dams back the water and makes the boundary of adjacent fields, so also Brahman supports the world and its boundaries.
In the clause quoted above "Having passed that bank" the verb 'to pass' cannot be taken in the sense of 'going beyond' but must rather mean 'to reach fully'. "Having passed the bank" means "having attained Brahman fully" and not having crossed it just as we say of a student "he has passed in the grammar" meaning thereby that he has fully mastered it.
Buddhyarthah padavat III.2.33 (351)
(The statement as to Brahman having size) is for the sake of easy comprehension (i.e., Upasana or devout meditation); just like (four) feet.
Buddhyarthah: for the sake of easy comprehension; Padavat: just like (four) feet.
The statements as to the size of Brahman "Brahman has four feet," "It has sixteen digits," etc., are meant for the sake of Upasana or devout meditation, because it is difficult to understand the Infinite, most subtle, all-pervading Brahman. In order to facilitate pious meditation on the part of less intelligent people four feet etc., are ascribed to Brahman.
The description of Brahman as having a limited form (Shodasakala, 16 parts) is for the sake of meditation just as Padas, i.e., speech etc., are described in respect of mind.
Just as mind conceived as the personal manifestation of Brahman is imagined to have the organ of speech, nose, eyes and ears as its four feet, so also Brahman is imagined as having size, etc., for facility of meditation but not in reality.
"Practise meditation, taking the mind as Brahman," – this is the form of worship with the aid of the constituents of the individual soul – "This Brahman is of four feet, namely, the speech as a foot, the chief vital energy as a foot, the eyes as a foot, and the ears as a foot" (Chh. Up. III.18.1-2).
Sthanaviseshat prakasadivat III.2.34 (352)
(The statements concerning connection and difference with respect to Brahman) are due to special places: as in the case of light and the like.
Sthanaviseshat: on account of special places; Prakasavat: like light and the like.
Sutra 33 is further confirmed.
The statements regarding connection and difference are made with a view to difference of place. The statements regarding difference are made with reference to limiting adjuncts (Buddhi, etc.) only and not to any difference in the nature of Brahman.
When the cognition of difference which is produced by Brahman's connection with different places i.e., with the Buddhi and the other limiting adjuncts, ceases owing to the cessation of those limiting adjuncts themselves, connection with the Supreme Self is metaphorically said to take place; but that is done with a view to the limiting adjuncts only, not with a view to any limitation on the part of Brahman.
This is similar to the case of light and the like. The light of the sun also is differentiated by its connection with limiting adjuncts. The light is said to be divided on account of these adjuncts. It is said to enter into connection or union when the adjuncts are removed.
We see two moons on account of an eye-disease. We see only one when the disease is removed.
Light is really one but we speak of light inside a room and light outside it. The distinction is due to limiting adjuncts. The light inside the room may be said to be united with the light in general when the room is destroyed.
Other examples of the effect of limiting adjuncts are furnished by the ether entering into connection with the eyes of needles and the like.
Upapattescha III.2.35 (353)
And it is reasonable.
Upapatteh: as it becomes reasonable; Cha: also, and.
Further only such a connection as described above is possible. Because scriptural passages such as "He is gone to his self" (Chh. Up. VI.8.1) declare that the connection of the soul with the Supreme Soul is one of essential nature. The essential nature of a thing is imperishable. Hence the connection cannot be like that of the inhabitants with the town.
The connection can only be explained with reference to an observation owing to ignorance of the true nature of the soul.
Similarly the difference referred to by scripture cannot be real but due to ignorance, because many texts declare that there exists only one Brahman.
Scripture teaches that the one ether is made manifold as it were by its connection with different places. "The ether which is outside man is the ether which is inside man, and the ether within the heart" (Chh. Up. III.12.7).
Hence connection and difference are not to be taken as real, but only metaphorically.
Tathanyapratishedhat III.2.36 (354)
Similarly on account of the express denial of all other things (there is nothing but Brahman).
Tatha: similarly; Anyapratishedhat: on account of the express denial of all other things. (Anya: any other, of the other; Pratishedhat: owing to the denial, or prohibition or negation.)
Further the Sruti denies expressly that there is any other entity besides Brahman. (Brahmaivedam Sarvam; Atmaivedam Sarvam). Brahman is described as the innermost of all.
Having thus refuted the arguments of the Purvapakshin, the author or Sutrakara in conclusion strengthens his view by a further reason.
A great number of Vedic passages distinctly deny the existence of anything else besides Brahman. "He indeed is below; I am below; the Self is below" etc. (Chh. Up. VII.25.1.2). "Whosoever looks for anything elsewhere than in the Self was abandoned by everything" (Bri. Up. II.4.6). "Brahman alone is all this" (Mun. Up. II.2.11). "The Self is all this" (Chh. Up. VII.25.2). "In it there is no diversity" (Bri. Up. IV.4.19). "He to whom there is nothing superior, from whom there is nothing different" (Svet. Up. III.9). "This is the Brahman without cause and without effect, without anything inside or outside" (Bri. Up. II.5.19). That there is no other self within the Highest Self follows from that scriptural passage which teaches Brahman to be within everything (Bri. Up. II.5.19).
Therefore Brahman is one without a second.
Anena sarvagatatvamayamasabdadibhyah III.2.37 (355)
By this the Omnipresence (of Brahman is established) in accordance with the scriptural statements regarding (Brahman's) extent.
Anena: by this; Sarvagatatvam: all-pervadingness; Ayama: (regarding Brahman's) extent; Sabdadibhyah: from scriptural statements.
By the rejecting of the taking of the description as bridge or bank etc., in their actual sense, it is clear that Brahman has all-pervadingness. Such Omnipresence is clear also from such words as Ayama. If you take the description as bridge etc., in their actual sense but not in the figurative sense, Brahman will become limited, and consequently not eternal. But the Sruti and Smriti describe Brahman as unlimited and all-pervasive. The word Ayama means pervasive. The all-pervadingness of Brahman follows from the very fact that it is one without a second.
That Brahman is Omnipresent follows from the texts proclaiming its extent. "As large as this ether is, so large is that ether within the heart" (Chh. Up. VIII.1.3). "Like the ether, he is Omnipresent and eternal." "He is greater than the sky, greater than the ether" (Sat. Br. X.6.3.2). "He is eternal, Omnipresent, firm, immovable" (Gita. II.24).
Phaladhikaranam: Topic 8 (Sutras 38-41)
The Lord is the giver of the fruits of actions.
Phalamata upapatteh III.2.38 (356)
From Him (the Lord) are the fruits of actions, for that is reasonable.
Phalam: the fruit; Atah: from Him only; Upapatteh: for that is reasonable.
Another characteristic of Brahman is established.
The Mimamsakas hold that the Karma (work) and not the Lord gives the fruits of one's actions.
The Sutra refutes it and declares that the fruits of one's work viz., pain, pleasure and a mixture of the two, come only from the Lord.
The Lord of all who knows all the differences of place and time alone is capable of bestowing fruits in accordance with the merit of the agents. Karma is insentient and short-lived. It ceases to exist as soon as it is done. It cannot therefore bestow the fruits of actions at a future date according to one's merit.
How can fruit which is positive result from such non-existence?
You cannot say that Karma died after generating the fruit which attaches itself to the doer in due time, because it is called fruit only when it is enjoyed.
You cannot say also that Karma generates Apurva which gives fruit. Apurva is Achetana (non-sentient). It cannot act unless moved by some intelligent being. It cannot, therefore, bestow rewards and punishments. Further there is no proof whatever for the existence of such an Apurva.
Therefore the fruits of actions come to men from Isvara or the Lord only, who is Eternal, Omnipotent, Omniscient, All-compassionate.
Srutatvaccha III.2.39 (357)
And because the Sruti so teaches.
Srutatvat: because the Sruti so teaches, from the declaration of the Sruti to that effect; Cha: also, and.
The preceding Sutra is strengthened on the support of Sruti.
The Sruti also declares that the fruits of actions come from the Lord. "This indeed is the great, unborn Self, the giver of food, and the giver of wealth (the fruit of one's work)" (Bri. Up. IV.4.24).
Dharmam Jaiminirata eva III.2.40 (358)
Jaimini thinks for the same reasons (viz., scriptural authority and reasoning, on the same ground as stated in Sutras 38 and 39) that religious merit (is what brings about the fruits of actions).
Dharmam: practice of religious duties, religious merits; Jaiminih: the sage Jaimini; Ata eva: for the same reasons.
An objection is raised to Sutras 38 and 39.
The view of the Sutras 38 and 39 is being criticised.
Jaimini says that Dharma gives fruits of actions as Sruti and reason support such a view.
Scripture, Jaimini argues, proclaims injunctions such as the following one "He who is desirous of the heavenly world is to sacrifice". It is admitted that every scriptural injunction has an object. Therefore it is reasonable to think that the scripture itself brings about the fruit or the result, i.e., the attainment of the heavenly world. If this were not so, nobody would perform sacrifices and thereby scriptural injunctions would be rendered purposeless.
But it may be objected that an action cannot produce a result at a future time as it is destroyed.
Jaimini says: A deed cannot produce result at some future time, unless before passing away, it gives birth to some unseen result. We, therefore, assume that there exists some extraordinary principle called Apurva which is produced by the Karma before it is destroyed. The result is produced at some future time on account of this Apurva.
This hypothesis removes all difficulties. But on the contrary it is impossible that the Lord should effect the fruits of Karmas. Because one uniform cause (Isvara) cannot cause variety of effects. He will have partiality and cruelty; and Karma will become purposeless, i.e., if the deed itself cannot bring about its own fruit, it would be useless to perform it at all.
For all these reasons the result springs from the action only, whether meritorious or non-meritorious. (This is the view of Jaimini).
Purvam Baadarayano hetuvyapadesat III.2.41 (359)
But Baadarayana thinks the former (i.e., the Lord to be the cause of the fruits of action) on account of His being declared to be the cause (of the actions themselves).
Purvam: the former, i. e., the Lord as the giver of the fruits of actions; Tu: but; Baadarayanah: Baadarayana, the framer of the Sutras (holds); Hetuvyapadesat: on account of His being declared the cause (of the actions themselves).
The view of Jaimini expressed in Sutra 40 is refuted by citing a contrary one.
The word 'Tu' (but) refutes the view of Sutra 40. It sets aside the view of the fruit being produced either by the mere action or the mere Apurva.
The sage Baadarayana holds the former, i.e., the Lord is the Dispenser of the fruit of actions. The Sruti clearly states that all rewards whether heaven or union with the Lord come from Him, "He takes one to a purer world by virtue of one's piety – Punyena punyam lokam nayati". Also Katha Upanishad (I.2.23) declares "He gives Himself away to whomsoever He chooses – Yamevaisha vrinute tena labhyah".
Baadarayana says that the Lord bestows the fruits of deeds because Sruti says that the Lord induces the doing of actions and gives the fruits thereof. As the Lord acts according to the variety of Karmas, he can produce and give a variety of results and has no partiality and cruelty, and Karma will not become purposeless.
The Lord is the causal agent with reference to all actions whether good or evil. Kaushitaki Upanishad (III.8) declares "He makes him whom He wishes to lead up from these worlds do a good deed and the same makes him whom He wishes to lead down from these worlds do a bad deed."
The same is said in Bhagavad Gita (VII.21-22), "Whichever divine form a devotee wishes to worship with faith, to that form I render his faith steady. Holding that faith he strives to propitiate the deity and obtains from it the benefits he desires, as ordained by Me."
Moreover all Vedanta texts declare that the Lord is the only cause of all creations. The Lord creates all beings in forms and conditions corresponding to and retributive of their former Karmas. Hence the Lord is the cause of all fruits of actions. As the Lord has regard for the merit and demerit of the souls, the objections raised above that a uniform cause is incapable of producing various effects, etc., are without any foundation.
To sum up, the nature of the Supreme Brahman has been described. Brahman has been shown to be formless, self-luminous and without difference. It has been established through "Neti-Neti" "not this, not this" doctrine that Brahman is one without a second. It has been conclusively proved that the Lord is the Dispenser of the fruits of Karmas of the people.
Thus ends the Second Pada (Section II) of the Third Adhyaya (Chapter III) of the Brahma Sutras or the Vedanta Philosophy.