I-1 Śrī Bhāshya | Rāmānuja | 6 : 13-19

Sutra 1,1.13

विकारशब्दान्नेति चेत्, न, प्राचुर्यात् ॥ १३ ॥

vikāraśabdānneti cet, na, prācuryāt || 13 ||

vikāraśabdāt—On account of a word (‘tail’) denoting part; na—is not; iti cet—if it be said; na—not so; prācuryāt—on account of abundance (of terms denoting parts).

13. If it be said (that Brahman) is not (spoken of as an independent entity in the passage) on account of a word (‘tail’) denoting part, (we reply) not so, on account of abundance (of terms denoting parts).

We deny the conclusion of the Pūrvapakshin, on the ground of there being abundance of bliss in the highest Brahman, and 'abundance' being one of the possible meanings of -māyā.--Since bliss such as described in the Taitt. Up.--bliss which is reached by successively multiplying by hundred all inferior kinds of bliss--cannot belong to the individual soul, we conclude that it belongs to Brahman; and as Brahman cannot be an effect, and as -māyā. may have the sense of 'abounding in,' we conclude that the Ānandamāyā is Brahman itself; inner contradiction obliging us to set aside that sense of -māyā which is recommended by regard to 'consequence' and frequency of usage. The regard for consistency, moreover, already has to be set aside in the case of the 'prāṇamāyā'; for in that term -māyā cannot denote 'made of.' The 'prāṇamāyā' Self can only be called by that name in so far as air with its five modifications has (among others) the modification called prāṇa, i.e. breathing out, or because among the five modifications or functions of air prāṇa is the 'abounding,' i.e. prevailing one.--Nor can it be truly said that -māyā is but rarely used in the sense of 'abounding in': expressions such as 'a sacrifice abounding in food' (annamāyā), 'a procession with many carriages' (sakatamayī), are by no means uncommon.--Nor can we admit that to call something 'abounding in bliss' implies the presence of some pain. For 'abundance' precludes paucity on the part of that which is said to abound, but does not imply the presence of what is contrary. The presence or absence of what is contrary has to be ascertained by other means of proof; and in our case we do ascertain the absence of what is contrary to bliss by such means, viz. the clause 'free from evil,' etc. Abundance of bliss on the part of Brahman certainly implies a relation to paucity on the part of some other bliss; and in accordance with this demand the text says 'That is one measure of human bliss,' etc. (II, 8, 1). The bliss of Brahman is of measureless abundance, compared to the bliss of the individual soul.--Nor can it be maintained that the individual soul may be viewed as being an effect of bliss. For that a soul whose essential nature is knowledge and bliss should in any way be changed into something else, as a lump of clay is made into a pot, is an assumption contradicted by all scripture, sacred tradition, and reasoning. That in the Samsāra state the soul's bliss and knowledge are contracted owing to karman will be shown later on.--The Self of bliss therefore is other than the individual soul; it is Brahman itself.

A further reason for this conclusion is supplied by the next Sūtra.

Sutra 1,1.14

तद्धेतुव्यपदेशाच्च ॥ १४ ॥

taddhetuvyapadeśācca || 14 ||

taddhetuvyapadeśāt—Because (It) is declared to be the cause of it; ca—and.

14. And because (Brahman) is declared to be the cause of it (the self consisting of bliss, Brahman cannot be taken as a part of it).

'For who could breathe, who could breathe forth, if that bliss existed not in the ether? He alone causes bliss’ (Taitt. Up. II, 7). This means--He alone is the cause of bliss on the part of the individual souls.--Someone is here designated as the cause of bliss enjoyed by the souls; and we thus conclude that the causer of bliss, who must be other than the souls to which bliss is imparted, is the highest Self abounding in bliss.

In the passage quoted the term 'bliss' denotes him who abounds in bliss, as will be shown later on.--A further reason is given in the next Sūtra.

Sutra 1,1.15

मान्त्रवर्णिकमेव च गीयते ॥ १५ ॥

māntravarṇikameva ca gīyate || 15 ||

māntravarṇikam—That which has been referred to in the Mantra portion; eva—the very same; ca—moreover; gīyate—is sung.

15. Moreover that very Brahman which has been referred to in the Mantra portion is sung (in this Brāhmaṇa passage as the tail).

That Brahman which is described in the mantra, 'True Being, knowledge, infinite is Brahman,' is proclaimed as the Self abounding in bliss. And that Brahman is the highest Brahman, other than the individual soul; for the passage 'He who knows Brahman attains the Highest' refers to Brahman as something to be obtained by the individual soul, and the words 'On this the following verse is recorded' show that the verse is related to that same Brahman. The mantra thus is meant to render clear the meaning of the Brāhmaṇa passage. Now the Brahman to be reached by the meditating Devotee must be something different from him. The same point is rendered clear by all the following Brāhmaṇa passages and mantras: 'from that same Self sprang ether,' and so on. The Self abounding in bliss therefore is other than the individual soul.

Here an opponent argues as follows:--We indeed must acknowledge that the object to be reached is something different from the meditating Devotee; but the fact is that the Brahman described in the mantra does not substantially differ from the individual soul; that Brahman is nothing but the soul of the Devotee in its pure state, consisting of mere non-differenced intelligence, free from all shade of Nescience. To this pure condition it is reduced in the mantra describing it as true Being, knowledge, infinite. A subsequent passage, 'that from which all speech, with the mind, turns away, unable to reach it' (II. 9), expresses this same state of non-differentiation, describing it as lying beyond mind and speech. It is this therefore to which the mantra refers, and the Self of bliss is identical with it.--To this view the next Sūtra replies.

Sutra 1,1.16

नेतरोऽनुपपत्तेः ॥ १६ ॥

netaro'nupapatteḥ || 16 ||

na—Not; itaraḥ—the other (Jiva); anupapatteḥ—on account of impossibility.

16. (Brahman and) not the other (the individual soul, is meant here) on account of the impossibility (of that assumption).

The other than the highest Self, i.e. the one called Jīva, even in the state of release, is not that Self which the mantra describes; for this is not possible. For to a Self of that kind unconditioned intelligence (such as is, in the mantra, ascribed to Brahman; cp. the term 'vipaśchitā') cannot belong. Unconditioned intelligence is illustrated by the power of all one's purposes realising themselves; as expressed in the text 'He desired, may I be many, may I grow forth.' Intelligence (vipaśchithvam, i.e. power of insight into various things) does indeed belong to the soul in the state of release; but as in the Samsāra state the same soul is devoid of such insight, we cannot ascribe to it non-conditioned intelligence. And if the released soul is viewed as being mere non-differenced intelligence, it does not possess the capacity of seeing different things, and hence cannot of course possess vipaśchithva in the sense stated above. That, however, the existence of a substance devoid of all difference cannot be proved by any means of knowledge, we have already shown before. Again, if the clause 'from whence speech returns,' etc., were meant to express that speech and mind return from Brahman, this could not mean that the Real is devoid of all difference, but only that mind and speech are not means for the knowledge of Brahman. And from this it would follow that Brahman is something altogether empty, futile. Let us examine the context. The whole section, beginning with 'He who knows Brahman reaches Brahman,' declares that Brahman is all- knowing, the cause of the world, consisting of pure bliss, the cause of bliss in others; that through its mere wish it creates the whole universe comprising matter and souls; that entering into the universe of created things it constitutes their Self; that it is the cause of fear and fearlessness; that it rules Vāyu Āditya and other divine beings; that its bliss is ever so much superior to all other bliss; and many other points. Now, all at once, the clause 'from whence speech returns' is said to mean that neither speech nor mind applies to Brahman, and that thus there are no means whatever of knowing Brahman! This is idle talk indeed! In the clause '(that) from which speech returns,' the relative pronoun 'from which' denotes bliss; this bliss is again explicitly referred to in the clause 'knowing the bliss of Brahman'--the genitive 'of Brahman' intimating that the bliss belongs to Brahman; what then could be the meaning of this clause which distinctly speaks of a knowledge of Brahman, if Brahman had at the same time to be conceived as transcending all thought and speech? What the clause really means rather is that if one undertakes to state the definite amount of the bliss of Brahman--the superabundance of which is illustrated by the successive multiplications with hundred--mind and speech have to turn back powerless, since no such definite amount can be assigned. He who knows the bliss of Brahman as not to be defined by any definite amount, does not fear anything.--That, moreover, the all-wise being referred to in the mantra is other than the individual soul in the state of release, is rendered perfectly clear by what--in passages such as 'it desired,' etc.--is said about its effecting, through its mere volition, the origination and subsistence of the world, its being the inner Self of the world, and so on.

 Sutra 1,1.17

भेदव्यपदेशाच्च ॥ १७ ॥

bhedavyapadeśācca || 17 ||

bhedavyapadeśāt—On account of the declaration of difference; ca—and.

17. And on account of the declaration of difference (between the two, i.e. the one referred to in the passage, “The self consisting of bliss” etc. and the individual soul, the latter cannot be the one referred to in the passage).

The part of the chapter--beginning with the words 'From that same Self there sprang ether'--which sets forth the nature of the Brahman referred to in the mantra, declares its difference from the individual soul, no less than from the Selves consisting of food, breath, and mind, viz. in the clause 'different from this which consists of knowledge, is the other inner Self which consists of bliss.'--Through this declaration of difference from the individual soul we know that the Self of bliss referred to in the mantra is other than the individual soul.

Sutra 1,1.18

कामाच्च नानुमानापेक्षा ॥ १८ ॥

kāmācca nānumānāpekṣā || 18 ||

kāmāt—On account of the word ‘bliss’, literally ‘desire’, (denoting Brahman); ca—and; nānumānāpekṣā—(Ānandamāyā also) cannot be inferred as Brahman.

18. And on account of the word ‘bliss’, literally ‘desire’, (referring to Brahman), (you) cannot infer (Ānanda-maya is also Brahman, since the suffix ‘mayat’ is used to denote modification).

In order that the individual soul which is enthralled by Nescience may operate as the cause of the world, it must be connected with non-sentient matter, called by such names as pradhāna, or ānumānika (that which is inferred). For such is the condition for the creative energy of Brahmā and similar beings. Our text, on the other hand, teaches that the creation of the aggregate of sentient and non-sentient things results from the mere wish of a being free from all connexion with non-sentient matter, 'He desired, may I be many, may I grow forth;' 'He sent forth all, whatever there is' (Taitt. Up. II, 6). We thus understand that that Self of bliss which sends forth the world does not require connexion with non-sentient matter called ānumānika, and hence conclude that it is other than the individual soul.--A further reason is stated in the next Sūtra.

 Sutra 1,1.19

अस्मिन्नस्य च तद्योगं शास्ति ॥ १९ ॥

asminnasya ca tadyogaṃ śāsti || 19 ||

asmin—In this; asya—its (the Jiva’s); ca—also; tadyogaṃ—mergence as that; śāsti—teaches.

19. (The Vedas) also teach of its (the Jīva’s) becoming (on the dawning of Knowledge) one with this (referred to in the passage under discussion).

'A flavour he is indeed; having obtained a flavour this one enjoys bliss' (Taitt. Up. II, 7). This text declares that this one, i.e. the so-called individual soul, enjoys bliss through obtaining the Ānandamāyā, here called 'flavour.' Now to say that any one is identical with that by obtaining which he enjoys bliss, would be madness indeed.--It being thus ascertained that the Self of bliss is the highest Brahman, we conclude that in passages such as 'if that bliss were not in the ether' (Taitt. Up. II, 7). and 'knowledge, bliss is Brahman' (Bri. Up. III, 9, 28), the word 'ānanda' denotes the 'Ānandamāyā'; just as vijñāna means the vijñānamaya. It is for the same reason (viz. of ānanda meaning the same as Ānandamāyā) that the clause 'he who knows the bliss of Brahman' exhibits Brahman as being connected with ānanda, and that the further clause 'he who knows this reaches the Self of bliss,' declares the reaching of the Self of bliss to be the fruit of the knowledge of bliss. In the subsequent anuvāka also, in the clauses 'he perceived that food is Brahman,' 'he perceived that breath is Brahman,' etc. (III, i; 2, etc.), the words 'food,' 'breath,' and so on, are meant to suggest the Self made of food, the Self made of breath, etc., mentioned in the preceding anuvāka; and hence also in the clause 'he perceived that bliss is Brahman,' the word 'bliss' must be understood to denote the Self of bliss. Hence, in the same anuvāka, the account of the fate after death of the man who knows concludes with the words 'having reached the Self of bliss' (III, 10,5). It is thus finally proved that the highest Brahman--which in the previous Adhikaraṇa had to be shown to be other than the so-called Pradhāna--is also other than the being called individual soul.--This concludes the topic of the Ānandamāyā.

A new doubt here presents itself.--It must indeed be admitted that such individual souls as possess only a moderate degree of merit are unable to accomplish the creation of the world by their mere wish, to enjoy supreme bliss, to be the cause of fearlessness, and so on; but why should not beings like Āditya and Prajāpati, whose merit is extraordinarily great, be capable of all this?--Of this suggestion the next Sūtra disposes.