II-1 Śrī Bhāshya | Rāmānuja | 6 : 15-20

Sutra 2,1.15

भावे चोपलब्धेः ॥ १५ ॥

bhāve copalabdheḥ || 15 ||

bhāve—On the existence; ca—and; upalabdheḥ—is experienced.

15. And (because) on the existence (of the cause) is (the effect) experienced.

This means--because gold which is the cause is perceived in the existence of its effects, such as earrings and the like; i.e. on account of the recognition of gold which expresses itself in the judgment 'this earring is gold.' We do not on the other hand perceive the presence of clay, and so on, in gold, and so on. The case of the cause and the effect is thus analogous to that of the child and the youth: the word 'effect' denotes nothing else but the causal substance which has passed over into a different condition. He also who holds the effect to be a new thing acknowledges that the effect is connected with a different state, and as this different state suffices to account for the difference of ideas and words, we are not entitled to assume a new substance which is not perceived. Nor must it be said that the recognition of the gold in the earring is due to generic nature (the two things being different, but having the same generic nature); for we perceive no new substance which could be the abode of the generic character. What we actually perceive is one and the same substance possessing the generic characteristics of gold, first in the causal state and then in the effected state. Nor again can it be said that even on the supposition of difference of substance, recognition of the cause in the effect results from the continuity of the so-called intimate cause (samavāyi-kāra,ina). For where there is difference of substances we do not observe that mere continuity of the abode gives rise to the recognition (of one substance) in the other substance residing in that abode.-But in the case of certain effects, as e.g. scorpions and other vermin which originate from dung, that recognition of the causal substance, i.e. dung (to which you refer as proving the identity of cause and effect), is not observed to take place!--You misstate the case, we reply; here also we do recognise in the effect that substance which is the primal cause, viz. earth.--But in smoke, which is the effect of fire, we do not recognise fire!--True! but this does not disprove our case. Fire is only the operative cause of smoke; for smoke originates from damp fuel joined with fire. That smoke is the effect of damp fuel is proved thereby, as well as that both have smell (which shows them to be alike of the substance of earth).--As thus the identity of the substance is perceived in the effect also, we are entitled to conclude that the difference of ideas and terms rests on difference of state only. The effect, therefore, is non-different from the cause.-- This is so for the following reason also.

Sutra 2,1.16

सत्त्वाच्चापरस्य ॥ १६ ॥

sattvāccāparasya || 16 ||

sattvāt—On account of (its) existing; ca—and; aparasya—of the posterior.

16. And on account of the posterior (i.e. the effect, which comes into being after the cause) existing (as the cause before creation).

On account of the existence of the posterior, i.e. the effect existing in the cause--for this reason also the effect is non-different from the cause. For in ordinary language as well as in the Veda the effect is spoken of in terms of the cause; as when we say, 'all these things--jars, platters, etc.--were clay only this morning'; or when the Veda says, 'Being only was this in the beginning.'  

Sutra 2,1.17

असद्व्यपदेशान्नेति चेत्, न, धर्मान्तरेण वाक्यशेषात् ॥ १७ ॥

asadvyapadeśānneti cet, na, dharmāntareṇa vākyaśeṣāt || 17 ||

asat-vyapadeśāt—On account of its being described as non-existent; na—not; iti cet—if it be said; na—no; dharmāntareṇa—by another characteristic; vākyaśeṣāt—from the latter part of the text.

17. If it be said that on account of (the effect) being described as non-existent (before creation) (the conclusion of the previous Sutra is) not (true); (we say) not so, (it being described) by another characteristic (as is seen) from the latter part of the text.  

Sutra 2,1.18

युक्तेः शब्दान्तराच्च ॥ १८ ॥

yukteḥ śabdāntarācca || 18 ||

yukteḥ—From reasoning; śabdāntarāt—from another Śruti text; ca—and.

18. From reasoning and another Śruti text (this relation between cause and effect is established).

The assertion that ordinary speech as well as the Veda acknowledges the existence of the effect in the cause cannot be upheld 'on account of the designation of (the effect as) the non-existent.' For the Veda says, 'Non-being only was this in the beginning' (Kh. Up. III, 19, 1); 'Non-being indeed was this in the beginning' (Taitt. Up. II, 6. 1); 'In the beginning truly this was not anything whatever.' And in ordinary language we say 'In the morning all this--jars, platters, and so on,--was not.'--This objection the Sūtra proceeds to refute. 'Not so, on account of such designation being due to another attribute.' The designation of the effected substance as the non-existent is due to the effect having at an earlier time a different quality, i.e. a different constitution; not to its being, as you think, absolutely non-existing. The quality different from the quality of existence is non-existence; that is to say, of the world designated as this, the quality of existence is constituted by name and form, while the quality of non-existence consists in the subtle state opposed to name and form.--But how is this known?--'From the complementary passage, from Reasoning, and from another text.' The complementary passage is the one following on the last text quoted above, viz. 'that Non-existent formed the resolve "may I be". The resolve referred to in this complementary text serving as an inferential sign to determine that the Non-existence spoken of is other than absolute Non-existence, we, on the basis of the observation that all the three texts quoted treat of the same matter, conclude that in the other two texts also the Non-existent has to be understood in the same sense. 'From Reasoning.' Reasoning shows Being and Non-being to be attributes of things. The possession, on the part of clay, of a certain shape, a broad base, a belly-shaped body, and so on, is the cause of our thinking and saying 'the jar exists,' while the connexion, on the part of the clay, with a condition opposed to that of a jar is the cause of our thinking and saying 'the jar does not exist.' A condition of the latter kind is e. g.--the clay's existing in the form of two separate halves of a jar, and it is just this and similar conditions of the clay which account for our saying that the jar does not exist. We do not perceive any non-existence of the jar different from the kind of non-existence described; and as the latter sufficiently accounts for all current ideas and expressions as to non-existence, there is no occasion to assume an additional kind of non- existence.--And also 'from another text.' The text meant is that often quoted, 'Being only was this in the beginning.' For there the view of the absolute non-being of the effect is objected to, 'But how could it be thus?' etc., and then the decision is given that from the beginning the world was 'being.' This matter is clearly set forth in the text 'This was then undistinguished; it became distinguished by name and form' (Bri. Up. I, 4, 7).

The next two Sūtras confirm the doctrine of the non-difference of the effect from the cause by two illustrative instances.

Sutra 2,1.19

पटवच्च ॥ १९ ॥

paṭavacca || 19 ||

paṭavat—Like cloth; ca—and.

19. And like a piece of cloth.

As threads when joined in a peculiar cross-arrangement are called a piece of cloth, thus acquiring a new name, a new form, and new functions, so it is with Brahman also.

Sutra 2,1.20

यथा च प्राणादिः ॥ २० ॥

yathā ca prāṇādiḥ || 20 ||

yathā—As; ca—and; prāṇādiḥ—in the case of Prāṇas.

20. And as in the case of the different Prāṇas.

As the one air, according as it undergoes in the body different modifications, acquires a new name, new characteristics, and new functions, being then called prāṇa, apāna, and so on; thus the one Brahman becomes the world, with its manifold moving and non- moving beings.--The non-difference of the world from Brahman, the highest cause, is thus fully established.

Here terminates the 'ārambhaṇa' Adhikaraṇa.