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.

Adhik.  VII (13) demonstrates that the origination of one element from another is due, not to the latter in itself, but to Brahman acting in it.

Adhik.  VIII (14) teaches that the reabsorption of the elements into Brahman takes place in the inverse order of their emission.

Adhik.  IX (15) remarks that the indicated order in which the emission and the reabsorption of the elementary substances take place is not interfered with by the creation and reabsorption of the organs of the soul, i.e. the sense organs and the internal organ (manas); for they also are of elemental nature, and as such created and retracted together with the elements of which they consist.

The remainder of the pada is taken up by a discussion of the nature of the individual soul, the jiva.—­Adhik.  X (16) teaches that expressions such as ‘Devadatta is born,’ ‘Devadatta has died,’ strictly apply to the body only, and are transferred to the soul in so far only as it is connected with a body.

Adhik.  XI (17) teaches that the individual soul is, according to Scripture, permanent, eternal, and therefore not, like the ether and the other elements, produced from Brahman at the time of creation.—­This Sutra is of course commented on in a very different manner by Sa@nkara on the one hand and Ramanuja on the other.  According to the former, the jiva is in reality identical—­and as such co-eternal—­with Brahman; what originates is merely the soul’s connexion with its limiting adjuncts, and that connexion is moreover illusory.—­According to Ramanuja, the jiva is indeed an effect of Brahman, but has existed in Brahman from all eternity as an individual being and as a mode (prakara) of Brahman.  So indeed have also the material elements; yet there is an important distinction owing to which the elements may be said to originate at the time of creation, while the same cannot be said of the soul.  Previously to creation the material elements exist in a subtle condition in which they possess none of the qualities that later on render them the objects of ordinary experience; hence, when passing over into the gross state at the time of creation, they may be said to originate.  The souls, on the other hand, possess at all times the same essential qualities, i.e. they are cognizing agents; only, whenever a new creation takes place, they associate themselves with bodies, and their intelligence therewith undergoes a certain expansion or development (vikasa); contrasting with the unevolved or contracted state (sanko/k/a) which characterised it during the preceding pralaya.  But this change is not a change of essential nature (svarupanyathabhava) and hence we have to distinguish the souls as permanent entities from the material elements which at the time of each creation and reabsorption change their essential characteristics.

Project Gutenberg
The Vedanta-Sutras with the Commentary by Sankaracarya from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook