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.
in the books of other sakhas also.  But already at a very early period, at any rate long before the composition of the Vedanta-sutras in their present form, the Vedic theologians must have apprehended the truth that, in whatever regards sacrificial acts, one sakha may indeed safely follow its own texts, disregarding the texts of all other sakhas; that, however, all texts which aim at throwing light on the nature of Brahman and the relation to it of the human soul must somehow or other be combined into one consistent systematical whole equally valid for the followers of all Vedic schools.  For, as we have had occasion to remark above, while acts may be performed by different individuals in different ways, cognition is defined by the nature of the object cognised, and hence can be one only, unless it ceases to be true cognition.  Hence the attempts, on the one hand, of discarding by skilful interpretation all contradictions met with in the sacred text, and, on the other hand, of showing what sections of the different Upanishads have to be viewed as teaching the same matter, and therefore must be combined in one meditation.  The latter is the special task of the present pada.

Adhik.  I and II (1-4; 5) are concerned with the question whether those vidyas, which are met with in identical or similar form in more than one sacred text, are to be considered as constituting several vidyas, or one vidya only. Sa@nkara remarks that the question affects only those vidyas whose object is the qualified Brahman; for the knowledge of the non-qualified Brahman, which is of an absolutely uniform nature, can of course be one only wherever it is set forth.  But things lie differently in those cases where the object of knowledge is the sagu/n/am brahma or some outward manifestation of Brahman; for the qualities as well as manifestations of Brahman are many.  Anticipating the subject of a later adhikara/n/a, we may take for an example the so-called Sa/nd/ilyavidya which is met with in Ch.  Up.  III, 14, again—­in an abridged form—­in B/ri/.  Up.  V, 6, and, moreover, in the tenth book of the Satapathabrahma/n/a (X, 6, 3).  The three passages enjoin a meditation on Brahman as possessing certain attributes, some of which are specified in all the three texts (as, for instance, manomayatva, bharupatva), while others are peculiar to each separate passage (pra/n/a/s/ariratva and satyasa/m/kalpatva, for instance, being mentioned in the Chandogya Upanishad and Satapatha-brahma/n/a, but not in the B/ri/hadara/n/yaka Upanishad, which, on its part, specifies sarvava/s/itva, not referred to in the two other texts).  Here, then, there is room for a doubt whether the three passages refer to one object of knowledge or not.  To the devout Vedantin the question is not a purely theoretical one, but of immediate practical interest.  For if the three texts are to be held apart, there are three different meditations to be gone through;

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