I-1 Śrī Bhāshya | Rāmānuja | Great Siddhānta 9
All knowledge is of the Real.
'Those who understand the Veda hold that all cognition has for its object what is real; for. Śruti and Smriti alike teach that everything participates in the nature of everything else. In the scriptural account of creation preceded by intention on the part of the Creator it is said that each of these elements was made tripartite; and this tripartite constitution of all things is apprehended by Perception as well. The red colour in burning fire comes from (primal elementary) fire, the white colour from water, the black colour from earth--in this way Scripture explains the threefold nature of burning fire. In the same way all things are composed of elements of all things. The Vishnu Purāṇa, in its account of creation, makes a similar statement: "The elements possessing various powers and being unconnected could not, without combination, produce living beings, not having mingled in any way. Having combined, therefore, with one another, and entering into mutual associations--beginning with the principle called Mahat, and extending down to the gross elements--they formed an egg," etc. (Vi. Pu. I, 2, 50; 52). This tri-partiteness of the elements the Sūtrakāra also declares (Ve. Sū. III, 1, 3). For the same reason Śruti enjoins the use of Putīka sprouts when no Soma can be procured; for, as the Mimāmsakas explain, there are in the Putīka plant some parts of the Soma plant (Pū. Mī. Sū.); and for the same reason nīvāra grains may be used as a substitute for rice grains. That thing is similar to another which contains within itself some part of that other thing; and Scripture itself has thus stated that in shells, etc., there is contained some silver, and so on. That one thing is called "silver" and another "shell" has its reason in the relative preponderance of one or the other element. We observe that shells are similar to silver; thus perception itself informs us that some elements of the latter actually exist in the former. Sometimes it happens that owing to a defect of the eye the silver-element only is apprehended, not the shell-element, and then the percipient person, desirous of silver, moves to pick up the shell. If, on the other hand, his eye is free from such defect, he apprehends the shell-element and then refrains from action. Hence the cognition of silver in the shell is a true one. In the same way the relation of one cognition being assimilated by another explains itself through the preponderant element, according as the preponderance of the shell-element is apprehended partially or in its totality, and does not therefore depend on one cognition having for its object the false thing and another the true thing. The distinctions made in the practical thought and business of life thus explain themselves on the basis of everything participating in the nature of everything else.'
In dreams, again, the divinity creates, in accordance with the merit or demerit of living beings, things of a special nature, subsisting for a certain time only, and perceived only by the individual soul for which they are meant. In agreement herewith Scripture says, with reference to the state of dreaming, 'There are no chariots in that state, no horses, no roads; then he creates chariots, horses, and roads. There are no delights, no joys, no bliss; then he creates delights, joys, and bliss. There are no tanks, no lakes, no rivers; then he creates tanks, lakes, and rivers. For he is the maker' (Bri. Up. IV, 3, 10). The meaning of this is, that although there are then no chariots, etc., to be perceived by other persons, the Lord creates such things to be perceived by the dreaming person only. 'For he is the maker'; for such creative agency belongs to him who possesses the wonderful power of making all his wishes and plans to come true. Similarly another passage, 'That person who is awake in those who are asleep, shaping one lovely sight after another, that indeed is the Bright, that is Brahman, that alone is called the Immortal. All worlds are contained in it, and no one goes beyond it' (Ka. Up. II, 5, 8).--The Sūtrakāra also, after having in two Sūtras (III, 2, 1; 2) stated the hypothesis of the individual soul creating the objects appearing in dreams, finally decides that that wonderful creation is produced by the Lord for the benefit of the individual dreamer; for the reason that as long as the individual soul is in the samsāra state, its true nature--comprising the power of making its wishes to come true--is not fully manifested, and hence it cannot practically exercise that power. The last clause of the Katha text ('all worlds are contained in it,' etc.) clearly shows that the highest Self only is the creator meant. That the dreaming person who lies in his chamber should go in his body to other countries and experience various results of his merit or demerit--being at one time crowned a king, having at another time his head cut off, and so on--is possible in so far as there is created for him another body in every way resembling the body resting on the bed.
The case of the white shell being seen as yellow, explains itself as follows. The visual rays issuing from the eye are in contact with the bile contained in the eye, and thereupon enter into conjunction with the shell; the result is that the whiteness belonging to the shell is overpowered by the yellowness of the bile, and hence not apprehended; the shell thus appears yellow, just as if it were gilt. The bile and its yellowness is, owing to its exceeding tenuity, not perceived by the bystanders; but thin though it be it is apprehended by the person suffering from jaundice, to whom it is very near, in so far as it issues from his own eye, and through the mediation of the visual rays, aided by the action of the impression produced on the mind by that apprehension, it is apprehended even in the distant object, viz. the shell.--In an analogous way the crystal which is placed near the rose is apprehended as red, for it is overpowered by the brilliant colour of the rose; the brilliancy of the rose is perceived in a more distinct way owing to its close conjunction with the transparent substance of the crystal.--In the same way the cognition of water in the mirage is true. There always exists water in connexion with light and earth; but owing to some defect of the eye of the perceiving person, and to the mysterious influence of merit and demerit, the light and the earth are not apprehended, while the water is apprehended.--In the case again of the firebrand swung round rapidly, its appearance as a fiery wheel explains itself through the circumstance that moving very rapidly it is in conjunction with all points of the circle described without our being able to apprehend the intervals. The case is analogous to that of the perception of a real wheel; but there is the difference that in the case of the wheel no intervals are apprehended, because there are none; while in the case of the firebrand none are apprehended owing to the rapidity of the movement. But in the latter case also the cognition is true.--Again, in the case of mirrors and similar reflecting surfaces the perception of one's own face is likewise true. The fact is that the motion of the visual rays (proceeding from the eye towards the mirror) is reversed (reflected) by the mirror, and that thus those rays apprehend the person's own face, subsequently to the apprehension of the surface of the mirror; and as in this case also, owing to the rapidity of the process, there is no apprehension of any interval (between the mirror and the face), the face presents itself as being in the mirror.--In the case of one direction being mistaken for another (as when a person thinks the south to be where the north is), the fact is that, owing to the unseen principle (i.e. merit or demerit), the direction which actually exists in the other direction (for a point which is to the north of me is to the south of another point) is apprehended by itself, apart from the other elements of direction; the apprehension which actually takes place is thus likewise true. Similar is the case of the double moon. Here, either through pressure of the finger upon the eye, or owing to some abnormal affection of the eye, the visual rays are divided (split), and the double, mutually independent apparatus of vision thus originating, becomes the cause of a double apprehension of the moon. One apparatus apprehends the moon in her proper place; the other which moves somewhat obliquely, apprehends at first a place close by the moon, and then the moon herself, which thus appears somewhat removed from her proper place. Although, therefore, what is apprehended is the one moon distinguished by connection with two places at the same time--an apprehension due to the double apparatus of vision-- yet, owing to the difference of apprehensions, there is a difference in the character of the object apprehended, and an absence of the apprehension of unity, and thus a double moon presents itself to perception. That the second spot is viewed as qualifying the moon, is due to the circumstance that the apprehension of that spot, and that of the moon which is not apprehended in her proper place, are simultaneous. Now here the doubleness of the apparatus is real, and hence the apprehension of the moon distinguished by connexion with two places is real also, and owing to this doubleness of apprehension, the doubleness of aspect of the object apprehended, i.e. the moon, is likewise real. That there is only one moon constituting the true object of the double apprehension, this is a matter for which ocular perception by itself does not suffice, and hence what is actually seen is a double moon. That, although the two eyes together constitute one visual apparatus only, the visual rays being divided through some defect of the eyes, give rise to a double apparatus--this we infer from the effect actually observed. When that defect is removed there takes place only one apprehension of the moon as connected with her proper place, and thus the idea of one moon only arises. It is at the same time quite clear how the defect of the eye gives rise to a double visual apparatus, the latter to a double apprehension, and the latter again to a doubleness of the object of apprehension.
We have thus proved that all cognition is true. The shortcomings of other views as to the nature of cognition have been set forth at length by other philosophers, and we therefore do not enter on that topic. What need is there, in fact, of lengthy proofs? Those who acknowledge the validity of the different means of knowledge, perception, and so on, and--what is vouched for by sacred tradition--the existence of a highest Brahman--free from all shadow of imperfection, of measureless excellence, comprising within itself numberless auspicious qualities, all-knowing, immediately realising all its purposes--, what should they not be able to prove? That holy highest Brahman--while producing the entire world as an object of fruition for the individual souls, in agreement with their respective good and ill deserts--creates certain things of such a nature as to become common objects of consciousness, either pleasant or unpleasant, to all souls together, while certain other things are created in such a way as to be perceived only by particular persons, and to persist for a limited time only. And it is this distinction--viz. of things that are objects of general consciousness, and of things that are not so--which makes the difference between what is called 'things assimilating' and 'things assimilated.'--Everything is explained hereby.
Neither Scripture nor Smriti and Purāṇa teach Nescience.
The assertion that Nescience--to be defined neither as that which is nor as that which is not--rests on the authority of Scripture is untrue. In passages such as 'hidden by the untrue' (Kh. Up. VIII, 3, 2), the word 'untrue' does not denote the Undefinable; it rather means that which is different from 'ṛita,' and this latter word--as we see from the passage 'enjoying the ṛita' (Ka. Up. 1,3, 1)--denotes such actions as aim at no worldly end, but only at the propitiation of the highest Person, and thus enable the devotee to reach him. The word 'anṛita' therefore denotes actions of a different kind, i.e. such as aim at worldly results and thus stand in the way of the soul reaching Brahman; in agreement with the passage 'they do not find that Brahma-world, for they are carried away by anṛita' (Kh. Up. VIII, 3, 2). Again, in the text 'Then there was neither non-Being nor Being' (Ri. Samh. X, 129, 1), the terms 'being' and 'non-being' denote intelligent and non-intelligent beings in their distributive state. What that text aims at stating is that intelligent and non-intelligent beings, which at the time of the origination of the world are called 'sat' and 'tyat' (Taitt. Up. II, 6), are, during the period of reabsorption, merged in the collective totality of non-intelligent matter which the text denotes by the term 'darkness' (Ri. Samh. X, 129, 3). There is thus no reference whatever to something 'not definable either as being or non-being': the terms 'being' and 'non-being' are applied to different mode; of being at different times. That the term 'darkness' denotes the collective totality of non-intelligent matter appears from another scriptural passage, viz, 'The Non-evolved (avyaktam) is merged in the Imperishable (akṣara), the Imperishable in darkness (tamas), darkness becomes one with the highest divinity.' True, the word 'darkness' denotes the subtle condition of primeval matter (Prakriti), which forms the totality of non-intelligent things; but this very Prakriti is called Māyā--in the text 'Know Prakriti to be Māyā,' and this proves it be something 'undefinable': Not so, we reply; we meet with no passages where the word 'Māyā' denotes that which is undefinable. But the word 'Māyā' is synonymous with 'mithyā,' i.e. falsehood, and hence denotes the Undefinable also. This, too, we cannot admit; for the word 'Māyā' does not in all places refer to what is false; we see it applied e.g. to such things as the weapons of Asuras and Rākṣasas, which are not 'false' but real. 'Māyā,' in such passages, really denotes that which produces various wonderful effects, and it is in this sense that Prakriti is called Māyā. This appears from the passage (Svet. Up. IV, 9) 'From that the "māyin" creates all this, and in that the other one is bound up by māyā.' For this text declares that Prakriti--there called Māyā--produces manifold wonderful creations, and the highest Person is there called 'māyin' because he possesses that power of māyā; not on account of any ignorance or nescience on his part. The latter part of the text expressly says that (not the Lord but) another one, i.e. the individual soul is bound up by māyā; and therewith agrees another text, viz. 'When the soul slumbering in beginningless Māyā awakes' (Gaud. Kā.). Again, in the text 'Indra goes multiform through the Māyās' (Ri. Samh. VI, 47, 18), the manifold powers of Indra are spoken of, and with this agrees what the next verse says, 'he shines greatly as Tvāṣṭri': for an unreal being does not shine. And where the text says 'my Māyā is hard to overcome' (Bha. Gī. VII, 14), the qualification given there to Māyā, viz. 'consisting of the gunas,' shows that what is meant is Prakriti consisting of the three gunas.--All this shows that Scripture does not teach the existence of a 'principle called Nescience, not to be defined either as that which is or that which is not.'
Nor again is such Nescience to be assumed for the reason that otherwise the scriptural statements of the unity of all being would be unmeaning. For if the text 'Thou art that,' be viewed as teaching the unity of the individual soul and the highest Self, there is certainly no reason, founded on unmeaningness, to ascribe to Brahman, intimated by the word 'that'--which is all-knowing, etc.--Nescience, which is contradictory to Brahman's nature.--Itihāsa and Purāṇa also do not anywhere teach that to Brahman there belongs Nescience.
But, an objection is raised, the Vishnu Purāṇa, in the śloka, 'The stars are Vishnu,' etc. (II, 12, 38), first refers to Brahman as one only, and comprising all things within itself; thereupon states in the next śloka that this entire world, with all its distinctions of hills, oceans, etc., is sprung out of the 'ajñāna' of Brahman, which in itself is pure 'jñāna,' i.e. knowledge; thereupon confirms the view of the world having sprung from ajñāna by referring to the fact that Brahman, while abiding in its own nature, is free from all difference (sl. 40); proves in the next two ślokas the non-reality of plurality by a consideration of the things of this world; sums up, in the following śloka, the unreality of all that is different from Brahman; then (43) explains that action is the root of that ajñāna which causes us to view the one uniform Brahman as manifold; thereupon declares the intelligence constituting Brahman's nature to be free from all distinction and imperfection (44); and finally teaches (45) that Brahman so constituted, alone is truly real, while the so-called reality of the world is merely conventional.--This is not, we reply, a true representation of the drift of the passage. The passage at the outset states that, in addition to the detailed description of the world given before, there will now be given a succinct account of another aspect of the world not yet touched upon. This account has to be understood as follows. Of this universe, comprising intelligent and non-intelligent beings, the intelligent part--which is not to be reached by mind and speech, to be known in its essential nature by the Self only, and, owing to its purely intelligential character, not touched by the differences due to Prakriti--is, owing to its imperishable nature, denoted as that which is; while the non-intelligent, material; part which, in consequence of the actions of the intelligent beings undergoes manifold changes, and thus is perishable, is denoted as that which is not. Both parts, however, form the body of Vāsudeva, i.e. Brahman, and hence have Brahman for their Self. The text therefore says (37), 'From the waters which form the body of Vishnu was produced the lotus- shaped earth, with its seas and mountains': what is meant is that the entire Brahma-egg which has arisen from water constitutes the body of which Vishnu is the soul. This relation of soul and body forms the basis of the statements of co-ordination made in the next śloka (38), 'The stars are Vishnu,' etc.; the same relation had been already declared in numerous previous passages of the Purāṇa ('all this is the body of Hari,' etc.). All things in the world, whether they are or are not, are Vishnu's body, and he is their soul. Of the next śloka, 'Because the Lord has knowledge for his essential nature,' the meaning is 'Because of the Lord who abides as the Self of all individual souls, the essential nature is knowledge only--while bodies divine, human, etc., have no part in it--, therefore all non-intelligent things, bodies human and divine, hills, oceans, etc., spring from his knowledge, i.e. have their root in the actions springing from the volitions of men, gods, etc., in whose various forms the fundamental intelligence manifests itself. And since non-intelligent matter is subject to changes corresponding to the actions of the individual souls, it may be called 'non-being,' while the souls are 'being.'--This the next śloka further explains 'when knowledge is pure,' etc. The meaning is 'when the works which are the cause of the distinction of things are destroyed, then all the distinctions of bodies, human or divine, hills, oceans, etc.--all which are objects of fruition for the different individual souls-- pass away.' Non-intelligent matter, as entering into various states of a non-permanent nature, is called 'non-being'; while souls, the nature of which consists in permanent knowledge, are called 'being.' On this difference the next śloka insists (41). We say 'it is' of that thing which is of a permanently uniform nature, not connected with the idea of beginning, middle and end, and which hence never becomes the object of the notion of non-existence; while we say 'it is not' of non-intelligent matter which constantly passes over into different states, each later state being out of connexion with the earlier state. The constant changes to which non-intelligent matter is liable are illustrated in the next śloka, 'Earth is made into a jar,' etc. And for this reason, the subsequent śloka goes on to say that there is nothing but knowledge. This fundamental knowledge or intelligence is, however, variously connected with manifold individual forms of being due to karman, and hence the text adds: 'The one intelligence is in many ways connected with beings whose minds differ, owing to the difference of their own acts' (sl 43, second half). Intelligence, pure, free from stain and grief, etc., which constitutes the intelligent element of the world, and unintelligent matter--these two together constitute the world, and the world is the body of Vāsudeva; such is the purport of śloka 44.--The next śloka sums up the whole doctrine; the words 'true and untrue' there denote what in the preceding verses had been called 'being' and 'non-being'; the second half of the śloka refers to the practical plurality of the world as due to karman.
Now all these ślokas do not contain a single word supporting the doctrine of a Brahman free from all difference; of a principle called Nescience abiding within Brahman and to be defined neither as that which is nor as that which is not; and of the world being wrongly imagined, owing to Nescience. The expressions 'that which is' and 'that which is not' (sl 35), and 'satya' (true) and 'asatya' (untrue; sl 45), can in no way denote something not to be defined either as being or non-being. By 'that which is not' or 'which is untrue,' we have to understand not what is undefinable, but that which has no true being, in so far as it is changeable and perishable. Of this character is all non-intelligent matter. This also appears from the instance adduced in sl 42: the jar is something perishable, but not a thing devoid of proof or to be assimilated by true knowledge. 'Non-being' we may call it, in so far as while it is observed at a certain moment in a certain form it is at some other moment observed in a different condition. But there is no contradiction between two different conditions of a thing which are perceived at different times; and hence there is no reason to call it something futile (dukkhā) or false (mithyā), etc.
Scripture does not teach that Release is due to the knowledge of a non-qualified Brahman.--the meaning of 'tat tvam asi.'
Nor can we admit the assertion that Scripture teaches the cessation of avidyā to spring only from the cognition of a Brahman devoid of all difference. Such a view is clearly negated by passages such as the following: 'I know that great person of sun-like lustre beyond darkness; knowing him a man becomes immortal, there is no other path to go' (Svet. Up. III, 8); 'All moments sprang from lightning, the Person--none is lord over him, his name is great glory--they who know him become immortal' (Mahānā. Up. I, 8-11). For the reason that Brahman is characterised by difference all Vedic texts declare that final release results from the cognition of a qualified Brahman. And that even those texts which describe Brahman by means of negations really aim at setting forth a Brahman possessing attributes, we have already shown above.
In texts, again, such as 'Thou art that,' the co-ordination of the constituent parts is not meant to convey the idea of the absolute unity of a non-differenced substance: on the contrary, the words 'that' and 'thou' denote a Brahman distinguished by difference. The word 'that' refers to Brahman omniscient, etc., which had been introduced as the general topic of consideration in previous passages of the same section, such as 'It thought, may I be many'; the word 'thou,' which stands in co-ordination to 'that,' conveys the idea of Brahman in so far as having for its body the individual souls connected with non-intelligent matter. This is in accordance with the general principle that co-ordination is meant to express one thing subsisting in a twofold form. If such doubleness of form (or character) were abandoned, there could be no difference of aspects giving rise to the application of different terms, and the entire principle of co-ordination would thus be given up. And it would further follow that the two words co-ordinated would have to be taken in an implied sense (instead of their primary direct meaning). Nor is there any need of our assuming implication (lakṣaṇa) in sentences such as 'this person is that Devadatta (known to me from former occasions)'; for there is no contradiction in the cognition of the oneness of a thing connected with the past on the one hand, and the present on the other, the contradiction that arises from difference of place being removed by the accompanying difference of time. If the text 'Thou art that' were meant to express absolute oneness, it would, moreover, conflict with a previous statement in the same section, viz. 'It thought, may I be many'; and, further, the promise (also made in the same section) that by the knowledge of one thing all things are to be known could not be considered as fulfilled. It, moreover, is not possible (while, however, it would result from the absolute oneness of 'tat' and 'tvam') that to Brahman, whose essential nature is knowledge, which is free from all imperfections, omniscient, comprising within itself all auspicious qualities, there should belong Nescience; and that it should be the substrate of all those defects and afflictions which spring from Nescience. If, further, the statement of co-ordination ('thou art that') were meant to assimilate (the previously existing wrong notion of plurality), we should have to admit that the two terms 'that' and 'thou' have an implied meaning, viz. in so far as denoting, on the one hand, one substrate only, and, on the other, the cessation of the different attributes (directly expressed by the two terms); and thus implication and the other shortcomings mentioned above would cling to this interpretation as well. And there would be even further difficulties. When we form the assimilative judgment 'this is not silver,' the sublation is founded on an independent positive judgment, viz. 'this is a shell': in the case under discussion, however, the sublation would not be known (through an independent positive judgment), but would be assumed merely on the ground that it cannot be helped. And, further, there is really no possibility of sublation, since the word 'that' does not convey the idea of an attribute in addition to the mere substrate. To this it must not be objected that the substrate was previously concealed, and that hence it is the special function of the word 'that' to present the substrate in its non- concealed aspect; for if, previously to the assimilative judgment, the substrate was not evident (as an object of consciousness), there is no possibility of its becoming the object either of an error or its sublation.-- Nor can we allow you to say that, previously to sublation, the substrate was non-concealed in so far as (i.e. was known as) the object of error, for in its 'non-concealed' aspect the substrate is opposed to all error, and when that aspect shines forth there is no room either for error or sublation.--The outcome of this is that as long as you do not admit that there is a real attribute in addition to the mere substrate, and that this attribute is for a time hidden, you cannot show the possibility either of error or sublation. We add an illustrative instance. That with regard to a man there should arise the error that he is a mere low-caste hunter is only possible on condition of a real additional attribute--e.g. the man's princely birth--being hidden at the time; and the cessation of that error is brought about by the declaration of this attribute of princely birth, not by a mere declaration of the person being a man: this latter fact being evident need not be declared at all, and if it is declared it assimilates no error.--If, on the other hand, the text is understood to refer to Brahman as having the individual souls for its body, both words ('that' and 'thou') keep their primary denotation; and, the text thus making a declaration about one substance distinguished by two aspects, the fundamental principle of 'co-ordination' is preserved, On this interpretation the text further intimates that Brahman--free from all imperfection and comprising within itself all auspicious qualities--is the internal ruler of the individual souls and possesses lordly power. It moreover satisfies the demand of agreement with the teaching of the previous part of the section, and it also fulfils the promise as to all things being known through one thing, viz. in so far as Brahman having for its body all intelligent and non-intelligent beings in their gross state is the effect of Brahman having for its body the same things in their subtle state. And this interpretation finally avoids all conflict with other scriptural passages, such as 'Him the great Lord, the highest of Lords' (Svet. Up. VI, 7); 'His high power is revealed as manifold' (ibid. VI, 8); 'He that is free from sin, whose wishes are true, whose purposes are true' (Kh. Up. VIII, 7, 1), and so on.
But how, a question may be asked, can we decide, on your interpretation of the text, which of the two terms is meant to make an original assertion with regard to the other?--The question does not arise, we reply; for the text does not mean to make an original assertion at all, the truth which it states having already been established by the preceding clause, 'In that all this world has its Self.' This clause does make an original statement--in agreement with the principle that 'Scripture has a purport with regard to what is not established by other means'--that is, it predicates of 'all this,' i.e. this entire world together with all individual souls, that 'that,' i.e. Brahman is the Self of it. The reason of this the text states in a previous passage, 'All these creatures have their root in that which is, their dwelling and their rest in that which is'; a statement which is illustrated by an earlier one (belonging to a different section), viz. 'All this is Brahman; let a man meditate with calm mind on this world as beginning, ending, and breathing in Brahman' (Kh. Up. III. 14, 1). Similarly other texts also teach that the world has its Self in Brahman, in so far as the whole aggregate of intelligent and non- intelligent beings constitutes Brahman's body. Compare 'Abiding within, the ruler of beings, the Self of all'; 'He who dwells in the earth, different from the earth, whom the earth does not know, whose body the earth is, who rules the earth within--he is thy Self, the ruler within, the immortal. He who dwells in the Self,'etc. (Bri. Up. III, 7,3; 22); 'He who moving within the earth, and so on--whose body is death, whom death does not know, he is the Self of all beings, free from sin, divine, the one God, Nārāyaṇa' (Subāl. Up. VII, 1); 'Having created that he entered into it; having entered it he became sat and tyat' (Taitt. Up. II, 6). And also in the section under discussion the passage 'Having entered into them with this living Self let me evolve names and forms,' shows that it is only through the entering into them of the living soul whose Self is Brahman, that all things possess their substantiality and their connexion with the words denoting them. And as this passage must be understood in connexion with Taitt. Up. II, 6 (where the 'sat' denotes the individual soul) it follows that the individual soul also has Brahman for its Self, owing to the fact of Brahman having entered into it.--From all this it follows that the entire aggregate of things, intelligent and non-intelligent, has its Self in Brahman in so far as it constitutes Brahman's body. And as, thus, the whole world different from Brahman derives its substantial being only from constituting Brahman's body, any term denoting the world or something in it conveys a meaning which has its proper consummation in Brahman only: in other words all terms whatsoever denote Brahman in so far as distinguished by the different things which we associate with those terms on the basis of ordinary use of speech and etymology.--The text 'that art thou' we therefore understand merely as a special expression of the truth already propounded in the clause 'in that all this has its Self.'
This being so, it appears that those as well who hold the theory of the absolute unity of one non- differenced substance, as those who teach the doctrine of bhedābheda (co-existing difference and non- difference), and those who teach the absolute difference of several substances, give up all those scriptural texts which teach that Brahman is the universal Self. With regard to the first-mentioned doctrine, we ask 'if there is only one substance; to what can the doctrine of universal identity refer?'--The reply will perhaps be 'to that very same substance.'--But, we reply, this point is settled already by the texts defining the nature of Brahman, and there is nothing left to be determined by the passages declaring the identity of everything with Brahman.--But those texts serve to dispel the idea of fictitious difference!--This, we reply, cannot, as has been shown above, be effected by texts stating universal identity in the way of co-ordination; and statements of co-ordination, moreover, introduce into Brahman a doubleness of aspect, and thus contradict the theory of absolute oneness.--The bhedābheda view implies that owing to Brahman's connexion with limiting adjuncts (upādhi) all the imperfections resulting therefrom--and which avowedly belong to the individual soul--would manifest themselves in Brahman itself; and as this contradicts the doctrine that the Self of all is constituted by a Brahman free from all imperfection and comprising within itself all auspicious qualities, the texts conveying that doctrine would have to be disregarded. If, on the other hand, the theory be held in that form that 'bhedābheda' belongs to Brahman by its own nature (not only owing to an upādhi), the view that Brahman by its essential nature appears as individual soul, implies that imperfections no less than perfections are essential to Brahman, and this is in conflict with the texts teaching that everything is identical with Brahman free from all imperfections.--For those finally who maintain absolute difference, the doctrine of Brahman being the Self of all has no meaning whatsoever--for things absolutely different can in no way be one--and this implies the abandonment of all Vedānta-texts together.
Those, on the other hand, who take their stand on the doctrine, proclaimed by all Upanishads, that the entire world forms the body of Brahman, may accept in their fullness all the texts teaching the identity of the world with Brahman. For as genus (gāti) and quality (guṇa), so substances (dravya) also may occupy the position of determining attributes (viśeṣaṇa), in so far namely as they constitute the body of something else. Enunciations such as 'the Self (soul) is, according to its works, born either (as) a god, or a man, or a horse, or a bull,' show that in ordinary speech as well as in the Veda co-ordination has to be taken in a real primary (not implied) sense. In the same way it is also in the case of generic character and of qualities the relation of 'mode' only (in which generic character and qualities stand to substances) which determines statements of co-ordination, such as 'the ox is broken-horned,' 'the cloth is white.' And as material bodies bearing the generic marks of humanity are definite things, in so far only as they are modes of a Self or soul, enunciations of co-ordination such as 'the soul has been born as a man, or a eunuch, or a woman,' are in every way appropriate. What determines statements of co-ordination is thus only the relation of 'mode' in which one thing stands to another, not the relation of generic character, quality, and so on, which are of an exclusive nature (and cannot therefore be exhibited in co-ordination with substances). Such words indeed as denote substances capable of subsisting by themselves occasionally take suffixes, indicating that those substances form the distinguishing attributes of other substances--as when from daṇḍa, 'staff,' we form dandin, 'staff-bearer'; in the case, on the other hand, of substances not capable of subsisting and being apprehended apart from others, the fact of their holding the position of attributes is ascertained only from their appearing in grammatical co-ordination.--But, an objection is raised, if it is supposed that in sentences such as 'the Self is born, as god, man, animal,' etc., the body of a man, god, etc., stands towards the Self in the relation of a mode, in the same way as in sentences such as 'the ox is broken- horned,' 'the cloth is white,' the generic characteristic and the quality stand in the relation of modes to the substances ('cow,' 'cloth') to which they are grammatically co-ordinated; then there would necessarily be simultaneous cognition of the mode, and that to which the mode belongs, i.e. of the body and the Self; just as there is simultaneous cognition of the generic character and the individual. But as a matter of fact this is not the case; we do not necessarily observe a human, divine, or animal body together with the Self. The co-ordination expressed in the form 'the Self is a man,' is therefore an 'implied' one only (the statement not admitting of being taken in its primary literal sense).--This is not so, we reply. The relation of bodies to the Self is strictly analogous to that of class characteristics and qualities to the substances in which they inhere; for it is the Self only which is their substrate and their final cause (prayojana), and they are modes of the Self. That the Self only is their substrate, appears from the fact that when the Self separates itself from the body the latter perishes; that the Self alone is their final cause, appears from the fact that they exist to the end that the fruits of the actions of the Self may be enjoyed; and that they are modes of the Self, appears from the fact that they are mere attributes of the Self manifesting itself as god, man, or the like. These are just the circumstances on account of which words like 'cow' extend in their meaning (beyond the class characteristics) so as to comprise the individual also. Where those circumstances are absent, as in the case of staffs, earrings, and the like, the attributive position is expressed (not by co-ordination but) by means of special derivative forms--such as dandin (staff-bearer), kundalin (adorned with earrings). In the case of bodies divine, human, etc., on the other hand, the essential nature of which it is to be mere modes of the Self which constitutes their substrate and final cause, both ordinary and Vedic language express the relation subsisting between the two, in the form of co-ordination, 'This Self is a god, or a man,' etc. That class characteristics and individuals are invariably observed together, is due to the fact of both being objects of visual perception; the Self, on the other hand, is not such, and hence is not apprehended by the eye, while the body is so apprehended. Nor must you raise the objection that it is hard to understand how that which is capable of being apprehended by itself can be a mere mode of something else: for that the body's essential nature actually consists in being a mere mode of the Self is proved--just as in the case of class characteristics and so on--by its having the Self only for its substrate and final cause, and standing to it in the relation of a distinguishing attribute. That two things are invariably perceived together, depends, as already observed, on their being apprehended by means of the same apparatus, visual or otherwise. Earth is naturally connected with smell, taste, and so on, and yet these qualities are not perceived by the eye; in the same way the eye which perceives the body does not perceive that essential characteristic of the body which consists in its being a mere mode of the Self; the reason of the difference being that the eye has no capacity to apprehend the Self. But this does not imply that the body does not possess that essential nature: it rather is just the possession of that essential nature on which the judgment of co-ordination ('the Self is a man, god,' etc.) is based. And as words have the power of denoting the relation of something being a mode of the Self, they denote things together with this relation.--But in ordinary speech the word 'body' is understood to mean the mere body; it does not therefore extend in its denotation up to the Self!--Not so, we reply. The body is, in reality, nothing but a mode of the Self; but, for the purpose of showing the distinction of things, the word 'body' is used in a limited sense. Analogously words such as 'whiteness,' 'generic character of a cow,' 'species,' 'quality,' are used in a distinctive sense (although 'whiteness' is not found apart from a white thing, of which it is the prakāra, and so on). Words such as 'god,' 'man,' etc., therefore do extend in their connotation up to the Self. And as the individual souls, distinguished by their connexion with aggregates of matter bearing the characteristic marks of humanity, divine nature, and so on, constitute the body of the highest Self, and hence are modes of it, the words denoting those individual souls extend in their connotation up to the very highest Self. And as all intelligent and non-intelligent beings are thus mere modes of the highest Brahman, and have reality thereby only, the words denoting them are used in co-ordination with the terms denoting Brahman.--This point has been demonstrated by me in the Vedārtha-saṁgraha. A Sūtra also (IV, 1, 3) will declare the identity of the world and Brahman to consist in the relation of body and Self; and the Vākyakāra too says 'It is the Self--thus everything should be apprehended.'