The Vedanta-Sutras with the Commentary by Sankaracarya eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 597 pages of information about The Vedanta-Sutras with the Commentary by Sankaracarya.

The Sa@nkhyas, to make a beginning with them, argue as follows.—­Just as jars, dishes, and other products which possess the common quality of consisting of clay are seen to have for their cause clay in general; so we must suppose that all the outward and inward (i.e. inanimate and animate) effects which are endowed with the characteristics of pleasure, pain, and dulness[314] have for their causes pleasure, pain, and dulness in general.  Pleasure, pain, and dulness in their generality together constitute the threefold pradhana.  This pradhana which is non-intelligent evolves itself spontaneously into multiform modifications[315], in order thus to effect the purposes (i.e. enjoyment, release, and so on) of the intelligent soul.—­The existence of the pradhana is to be inferred from other circumstances also, such as the limitation of all effects and the like[316].

Against this doctrine we argue as follows.—­If you Sankhyas base your theory on parallel instances merely, we point out that a non-intelligent thing which, without being guided by an intelligent being, spontaneously produces effects capable of subserving the purposes of some particular person is nowhere observed in the world.  We rather observe that houses, palaces, couches, pleasure-grounds, and the like—­things which according to circumstances are conducive to the obtainment of pleasure or the avoidance of pain—­are made by workmen endowed with intelligence.  Now look at this entire world which appears, on the one hand, as external (i.e. inanimate) in the form of earth and the other elements enabling (the souls) to enjoy the fruits of their various actions, and, on the other hand, as animate, in the form of bodies which belong to the different classes of beings, possess a definite arrangement of organs, and are therefore capable of constituting the abodes of fruition; look, we say, at this world, of which the most ingenious workmen cannot even form a conception in their minds, and then say if a non-intelligent principle like the pradhana is able to fashion it!  Other non-intelligent things such as stones and clods of earth are certainly not seen to possess analogous powers.  We rather must assume that just as clay and similar substances are seen to fashion themselves into various forms, if worked upon by potters and the like, so the pradhana also (when modifying itself into its effects) is ruled by some intelligent principle.  When endeavouring to determine the nature of the primal cause (of the world), there is no need for us to take our stand on those attributes only which form part of the nature of material causes such as clay, &c., and not on those also which belong to extraneous agents such as potters, &c.[317] Nor (if remembering this latter point) do we enter into conflict with any means of right knowledge; we, on the contrary, are in direct agreement with Scripture which teaches that an intelligent cause exists.—­For the reason detailed in the above, i.e. on account of the impossibility

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