The Vedanta-Sutras with the Commentary by Sankaracarya eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 748 pages of information about The Vedanta-Sutras with the Commentary by Sankaracarya.

[Footnote 162:  Atra sarvatra vai/s/vanara/s/abdas tada@ngapara/h/.  Go.  An.]

[Footnote 163:  Which unity entitles us to use the passage from the Sat.  Bra. for the explanation of the passage from the Ch.  Up.]



1.  The abode of heaven, earth, and so on (is Brahman), on account of the term ‘own,’ i.e.  Self.

We read (Mu.  Up.  II, 2, 5), ’He in whom the heaven, the earth, and the sky are woven, the mind also with all the vital airs, know him alone as the Self, and leave off other words!  He is the bridge of the Immortal.’—­Here the doubt arises whether the abode which is intimated by the statement of the heaven and so on being woven in it is the highest Brahman or something else.

The purvapakshin maintains that the abode is something else, on account of the expression, ‘It is the bridge of the Immortal.’  For, he says, it is known from every-day experience that a bridge presupposes some further bank to which it leads, while it is impossible to assume something further beyond the highest Brahman, which in Scripture is called ‘endless, without a further shore’ (B/ri/.  Up.  II, 4, 12).  Now if the abode is supposed to be something different from Brahman, it must be supposed to be either the pradhana known from Sm/ri/ti, which, as being the (general) cause, may be called the (general) abode; or the air known from Sruti, of which it is said (B/ri/.  Up.  III, 7, 2, ’Air is that thread, O Gautama.  By air as by a thread, O Gautama, this world and the other world and all beings are strung together’), that it supports all things; or else the embodied soul which, as being the enjoyer, may be considered as an abode with reference to the objects of its fruition.

Against this view we argue with the sutrakara as follows:—­’Of the world consisting of heaven, earth, and so on, which in the quoted passage is spoken of as woven (upon something), the highest Brahman must be the abode.’—­Why?—­On account of the word ‘own,’ i.e. on account of the word ‘Self.’  For we meet with the word ‘Self’ in the passage, ’Know him alone as the Self.’  This term ‘Self’ is thoroughly appropriate only if we understand the highest Self and not anything else.—­(To propound another interpretation of the phrase ‘sva/s/abdat’ employed in the Sutra.) Sometimes also Brahman is spoken of in Sruti as the general abode by its own terms (i.e. by terms properly designating Brahman), as, for instance (Ch.  Up.  VI. 8, 4), ’All these creatures, my dear, have their root in the being, their abode in the being, their rest in the being[164].’—­(Or else we have to explain ‘sva/s/abdena’ as follows), In the passages preceding and following the passage under discussion Brahman is glorified with its own names[165]; cp.  Mu.  Up.  II, 1, 10, ’The Person is all this, sacrifice, penance, Brahman, the highest Immortal,’ and

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