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.
connected meaning of all the Vedanta-texts, that the Lord is the Self of all of us.  Moreover, the doctrines of the pradhana, and so on, being the cause of this world have been refuted as not being scriptural.—­The purport of the second adhyaya, which we now begin, is to refute the objections (to the doctrine established hitherto) which might be founded on Sm/ri/ti and Reasoning, and to show that the doctrines of the pradhana, &c. have only fallacious arguments to lean upon, and that the different Vedanta-texts do not contradict one another with regard to the mode of creation and similar topics.—­The first point is to refute the objections based on Sm/ri/ti.

Your doctrine (the purvapakshin says) that the omniscient Brahman only is the cause of this world cannot be maintained, ’because there results from it the fault of there being no room for (certain) Sm/ri/tis.’  Such Sm/ri/tis are the one called Tantra which was composed by a rishi and is accepted by authoritative persons, and other Sm/ri/tis based on it[253]; for all of which there would be no room if your interpretation of the Veda were the true one.  For they all teach that the non-intelligent pradhana is the independent cause of the world.  There is indeed room (a raison d’etre) for Sm/ri/tis like the Manu-sm/ri/ti, which give information about matters connected with the whole body of religious duty, characterised by injunction[254] and comprising the agnihotra and similar performances.  They tell us at what time and with what rites the members of the different castes are to be initiated; how the Veda has to be studied; in what way the cessation of study has to take place; how marriage has to be performed, and so on.  They further lay down the manifold religious duties, beneficial to man, of the four castes and a/s/ramas[255].  The Kapila Sm/ri/ti, on the other hand, and similar books are not concerned with things to be done, but were composed with exclusive reference to perfect knowledge as the means of final release.  If then no room were left for them in that connexion also, they would be altogether purposeless; and hence we must explain the Vedanta-texts in such a manner as not to bring them into conflict with the Sm/ri/tis mentioned[256].—­But how, somebody may ask the purvapakshin, can the eventual fault of there being left no room for certain Sm/ri/tis be used as an objection against that sense of Sruti which—­from various reasons as detailed under I, 1 and ff.—­has been ascertained by us to be the true one, viz. that the omniscient Brahman alone is the cause of the world?—­Our objection, the purvapakshin replies, will perhaps not appear valid to persons of independent thought; but as most men depend in their reasonings on others, and are unable to ascertain by themselves the sense of Sruti, they naturally rely on Sm/ri/tis, composed by celebrated authorities, and try to arrive at the sense of Sruti with their assistance; while, owing to their esteem for

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The Vedanta-Sutras with the Commentary by Sankaracarya from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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