Brahma Sutras
by Swami Sivananda


Section 3: Antaravijnanadhikaranam: Topic 9 (Sutra 15)

The mention of the mind and intellect does not interfere with the order of creation and reabsorption as they are the products of the elements.

Antara vijnanamanasi kramena tallingaditi chet na aviseshat II.3.15 (231)

If it be said that between (Brahman and the elements) the intellect and the mind (are mentioned, and that therefore their origination and re-absorption are to be placed) somewhere in the series on account of their being inferential signs (whereby the order of the creation of the elements is broken), we say, not so on account of the non-difference (of the intellect and the mind from the elements).

Antara: intervening between, in between; Vijnanamanasi: the intellect and the mind; Kramena: in the order of succession, according to the successive order; Tat lingat: owing to indication of that, as there is indication in Sruti to that effect, because of an inferential mark of this; Iti: thus, this; Chet: if; Na: not, no, not so, the objection cannot stand; Aviseshat: because of no speciality, as there is no speciality mentioned in Sruti about the causation of the elements, because there being no particular difference, on account of non-difference.

A further objection to the causation of the primary elements from Brahman is raised and refuted.

The Sutra consists of two parts namely an objection and its refutation. The objection is "Antara vijnanamanasi kramena tallingat iti chet". The refutation portion is "Na aviseshat".

In the Atharvana (Mundaka Upanishad) in the chapter which treats of the creation occurs the following text: "From this (Brahman) are born Prana, mind, the senses, ether, air, fire, water and earth, the support of all" (II.1.3).

The Purvapakshin or the opponent says: The order of creation which is described in the Mundaka Upanishad contradicts the order of creation of elements described in the Chhandogya Upanishad VI.2.3, and other Srutis.

To this we reply: This is only a serial enumeration of the organs and the elements. It is not certainly a statement as to the order of their origination. The Mundaka text only states that all these are produced from Brahman.

In the Atharva Veda (Mundaka) mind, intellect and the senses are mentioned in the middle of the enumeration of the elements. This does not affect the evolutionary order, because the mind, the intellect and the senses are the effects, of the elements and their involution is included in the involution of the elements.

The intellect, the mind and the senses are products of the elements. Therefore, they can come into being only after the elements are created. The origination and reabsorption of the mind, intellect and the senses are the same as those of the elements as there is no difference between the senses and the elements.

Even if the mind, the intellect and the senses are separate from the elements, the evolutionary order is either the mind and the senses followed by the elements or the elements followed by the mind and the senses. Anyhow they have an orderly evolution.

That the mind, intellect and the organs are modifications of the elements and are of the nature of the elements is proved by Sruti texts like "For the mind, my child, consists of earth, breath or vital force of water, speech of fire" (Chh. Up. VI.6.5).

Hence the Mundaka text which treats of creation does not contradict the order of creation mentioned in the Chhandogya and Taittiriya Upanishads. The origination of the organs does not cause a break in the order of the origination of the elements.

The Purvapakshin again says: that as there is mention in Sruti of the mind and the senses, Akasa and the other elements should not be considered to be created out of Brahman and to dissolve in Brahman but to be created out of and to dissolve in the mind and the senses according to the order of succession, as there is indication in the Mundaka to that effect.

This argument is untenable as there is no speciality mentioned in Sruti about the creation of the elements. The mind, the intellect and the senses have all without exception been stated therein as created out of Brahman.

The word 'Etasmat' of that text is to be read along with every one of these i.e., Prana, mind, etc. Thus "from Him is born Prana, from Him is born mind, from Him are born the senses etc. – Etasmat Pranah, Etasmat Manah", etc.