II-2 Śrī Bhāshya | Rāmānuja | 1


Topic 1 - Refutation of the Sānkhya’s theory of the Pradhāna as the First Cause

Sutra 2,2.1

रचनानुपपत्तेश्च नानुमान ॥ १ ॥

racanānupapatteśca nānumānam || 1 ||

racanānupapatteḥ—Because of the impossibility of design; ca—and; na—not; anumānam—that which is inferred.

1. And that which is inferred (i.e. the Pradhāna of the Sānkhyas can) not (be the First Cause) because (in that case it is) not possible (to account for the) design (found in the creation).

Sutra 2,2.2

प्रवृत्तेश्च ॥ २ ॥

pravṛtteśca || 2 ||

pravṛtteḥ—Of a tendency; ca—and.

2. And on account of (the impossibility of such) a tendency (to create).

The Sūtras have so far set forth the doctrine that the highest Brahman is the cause of the origination and so on of the world, and have refuted the objections raised by others. They now, in order to safeguard their own position, proceed to demolish the positions held by those very adversaries. For otherwise it might happen that some slow-witted persons, unaware of those other views resting on mere fallacious arguments, would imagine them possibly to be authoritative, and hence might be somewhat shaken in their belief in the Vedic doctrine. Another pāda therefore is begun to the express end of refuting the theories of others. The beginning is made with the theory of Kapila, because that theory has several features, such as the view of the existence of the effect in the cause, which are approved of by the followers of the Veda, and hence is more likely, than others, to give rise to the erroneous view of its being the true doctrine. The Sūtras I, 1, 5 and ff. have proved only that the Vedic texts do not set forth the Sānkhya view, while the task of the present pāda is to demolish that view itself: the Sūtras cannot therefore be charged with needless reiteration.

The outline of the Sānkhya doctrine is as follows. 'There is the fundamental Prakriti, which is not an effect; there are the seven effects of Prakriti, viz. the Mahat and so on, and the sixteen effects of those effects; and there is the soul, which is neither Prakriti nor effect'--such is the comprehensive statement of the principles. The entity called 'fundamental Prakriti' is constituted by the three substances called Sattva, Ragas, and Tamas, (when) in a state of complete equipoise, none of the three being either in defect or in excess; the essential nature of those three consists respectively in pleasure, pain, and dullness; they have for their respective effects lightness and illumination, excitement and mobility, heaviness and obstruction; they are absolutely non-perceivable by means of the senses, and to be defined and distinguished through their effects only. Prakriti, consisting in the equipoise of Sattva, Ragas, and Tamas is one, itself non-sentient but subserving the enjoyment and final release of the many sentient beings, eternal, all-pervading, ever active, not the effect of anything, but the one general cause. There are seven Principles which are the effects of Prakriti and the causal substances of everything else; these seven are the Mahat, the ahaṁkāra, the subtle matter (tanmātra) of sound, the subtle matter of touch, the subtle matter of colour, the subtle matter of taste, and the subtle matter of smell. The ahaṁkāra is threefold, being either modified (vaikārika), or active (taijasa), or the originator of the elements (bhūtādi).

The vaikārika is of sattva-nature and the originator of the sense--organs; the bhūtādi is of tamas--nature. and the cause of those subtle matters (tanmātra) which in their turn are the cause of the gross elements; the taijasa is of the nature of rajas, and assists the other two. The five gross elements are the ether and so on; the five intellectual senses are hearing and so on; the five organs of action are speech and so on. With the addition of the internal organ (manas) these are the sixteen entities which are mere effects.-- The soul, not being capable of any change, is not either the causal matter or the effect of anything. For the same reason it is without attributes, consisting of mere intelligence, eternal, non-active, all- pervading, and different in each body. Being incapable of change and non-active, it can neither be an agent nor an enjoyer; but although this is so, men in their confusion of mind, due to the closeness to each other of Prakriti and the soul, erroneously attribute to Prakriti the intelligence of the soul, and to the soul the activity of Prakriti--just as the redness of the rose superimposes itself on the crystal near it,--and thus consider the soul to be an 'I' and an enjoyer. Fruition thus results from ignorance, and release from knowledge of the truth. This their theory the Sānkhyas prove by means of perception, inference, and authoritative tradition. Now with regard to those matters which are proved by perception, we Vedāṅtins have no very special reason for dissenting from the Sānkhyas; and what they say about their authoritative tradition, claiming to be founded on the knowledge of all-knowing persons such as Kapila, has been pretty well disproved by us in the first adhyāya. If, now, we further manage to refute the inference which leads them to assume the Pradhāna as the cause of the--world, we shall have disestablished their whole theory. We therefore proceed to give this refutation.

On this point the Sānkhyas reason as follows. It must necessarily be admitted that the entire world has one cause only; for if effects were assumed to originate from several causes we should never arrive at an ultimate cause. Assume that parts such as e.g. threads produce a whole (i.e. in the case of threads, a piece of cloth) in the way of their being joined together by means of their six sides, which are parts of the threads. You must then further assume that the threads themselves are in the same way produced by their parts, having a similar constitution. And these parts again by their parts, until you reach the atoms; these also must be assumed to produce their immediate effects by being joined together with their six sides, for otherwise solid extension (prathiman) could not be brought about. And then the atoms also as being wholes, consisting of parts 1, must be viewed as produced by their parts, and these again by their parts and so on, so that we never arrive at an ultimate cause. In order therefore to establish such an ultimate cause we must have recourse to the hypothesis of the general cause being constituted by one substance, which possesses the power of transforming itself in various different ways, without at the same time forfeiting its own essential nature, and which forms the general substrate for an infinity of different effects, from the Mahat downwards. This one general cause is the Pradhāna constituted by the equipoise of the three guṇas. The reasons for the assumption of this Pradhāna are as follows:--'On account of the limitedness of particular things; of connexion (anvaya); of activity proceeding from special power; and of the difference and non-difference of cause and effect--the Non-evolved (Pradhāna) is the general cause of this many-natured Universe' (vaiśvarūpya) (Sānkhya Kā. I, 15; 16).--The term 'vaiśvarūpya' denotes that which possesses all forms, i.e. the entire world with its variously constituted parts--bodies, worlds, and so on. This world, which on account of its variegated constitution must be held to be an effect, has for its cause the Unevolved (avyakta = Prakriti), which is of the same nature as the world. Why so? Because it is an effect; for we perceive that every effect is different from its special cause--which has the same nature as the effect--and at the same time is non-different. Such effected things as e.g. a jar and a gold ornament are different from their causes, i.e. clay and gold, which have the same nature as the effects, and at the same time non-different. Hence the manifold-natured world originates from the Pradhāna which has the same nature, and is again merged in it: the world thus has the Pradhāna alone for its cause. This Pradhāna is constituted by the equipoise of the three guṇas, and thus is a cause possessing a nature equal to that of its effect, i.e. the world; for the world is of the nature of pleasure, pain, and dullness, which consist of sattva, ragas, and tamas respectively. The case is analogous to that of a jar consisting of clay; of that also the cause is none other than the substance clay. For in every case observation shows that only such causal substances as are of the same nature as the effects possess that power which is called the origination of the effect. That the general cause can be found only in the unevolved Pradhāna, which consists of the three guṇas in a state of equipoise and is unlimited with regard to space as well as time, follows from the limitedness of the particular things, viz. the Mahat, the ahaṁkāra, and so on. These latter things are limited like jars and so on, and hence incapable of originating the entire world. Hence it follows that this world, consisting of the three guṇas, has for its only cause the Pradhāna, which is constituted by those three guṇas in a state of equipoise.

Against this argumentation the Sūtra says, 'Not that which is inferred, on account of the impossibility of construction, and on account of activity.'--'Inference' means 'that which is inferred,' i.e. the Pradhāna. The Pradhāna postulated by you is not capable of constructing this manifold-natured world, because while itself being non-intelligent it is not guided by an intelligent being understanding its nature. Whatever is of this latter kind is incapable of producing effects; as e.g. wood and the like by themselves are not capable of constructing a palace or a carriage. As it is matter of observation that non-intelligent wood, not guided by an intelligent agent understanding its nature, cannot produce effects; and as it is observed that if guided by such an agent matter does enter on action so as to produce effects; the Pradhāna, which is not ruled by an intelligent agent, cannot be the general cause. The 'and' in the Sūtra is meant to add as a further argument that 'presence' (anvaya) has no proving force. For whiteness present in cows and so on is not invariably accompanied by the quality of being the cause of the class characteristics of cows. Nor must it be said that qualities such as whiteness, although present in the effect, may not indeed be causes, but that substances such as gold and the like which are present in certain effects are invariably accompanied by the quality of being causes, and that hence also the substances called sattva, ragas, and tamas, which are found present in all effects, are proved to be the causes of all those effects. For sattva and so on are attributes of substances, but not themselves substances. Sattva and so on are the causes of the lightness, light, etc.. belonging to substances such as earth and the like, and hence distinctive attributes of the essential nature of those substances, but they are not observed to be present in any effects in a substantial form, as clay, gold, and other substances are. It is for this reason that they are known as 'guṇas.' You have further said that the world's having one cause only must be postulated in order that an ultimate cause may be reached. But as the sattva, ragas, and tamas are not one but three, you yourself do not assume one cause, and hence do not manage to arrive at an ultimate cause. For your Pradhāna consists in the equipoise of the three guṇas; there are thus several causes, and you have no more an ultimate cause than others. Nor can you say that this end is accomplished through the three guṇas being unlimited. For if the three guṇas are all alike unlimited, and therefore omnipresent, there is nowhere a plus or minus of any of them, and as thus no inequality can result, effects cannot originate. In order to explain the origination of results it is therefore necessary to assume limitation of the guṇas.

Nor is our view confirmed by those cases only in which it is clearly perceived that matter produces effects only when guided by an intelligent principle; other cases also (where the fact is not perceived with equal clearness) are in favour of our view. This the next Sūtra declares.

Sutra 2,2.3

पयोऽम्बुवच्चेत्, तत्रापि ॥ ३ ॥

payo'mbuvaccet, tatrāpi || 3 ||

payo'mbuvat—Like milk and water; cet—if it be said; tatra—there; api—even.

3. If it be said (that the Pradhāna spontaneously undergoes modification) like (the flowing of) milk and water, (we say that) even there (it is due to intelligence).

What has been said--the Sānkhya rejoins--as to the impossibility of the Pradhāna not guided by an intelligent principle constructing this variously constituted world, is unfounded; for the Pradhāna may be supposed to act in the same way as milk and water do. Milk, when turning into sour milk, is capable of going by itself through a series of changes: it does not therefore depend on anything else. In the same way we observe that the homogeneous water discharged from the clouds spontaneously proceeds to transform itself into the various saps and juices of different plants, such as palm trees, mango trees, wood-apple trees, lime trees, tamarind trees, and so on. In the same way the Pradhāna, of whose essential nature it is to change, may, without being guided by another agent, abide in the interval between two creations in a state of homogeneousness, and then when the time for creation comes modify itself into many various effects due to the loss of equilibrium on the part of the guṇas. As has been said '(the Pradhāna acts), owing to modification, as water according to the difference of the abodes of the several guṇas' (Sānkhya Kā. I, 16). In this way the Unevolved acts independently of anything else.

To this reasoning the Sūtra replies 'there also.' Also, in the instances of milk and water, activity is not possible in the absence of an intelligent principle, for these very cases have already been referred to as proving our position. The Sūtra II, 1, 24 (where the change of milk into sour milk is instanced) meant to prove only that a being destitute of other visible instruments of action is able to produce its own special effect, but not to disprove the view of all agency presupposing an intelligent principle. That even in water and so on an intelligent principle is present is proved by scriptural texts, 'he who dwells in water' and so on.

Sutra 2,2.4

व्यतिरेकानवस्थितेश्चानपेक्षत्वात् ॥ ४ ॥

vyatirekānavasthiteścānapekṣatvāt || 4 ||

vyatirekānavasthiteḥ—There being no extraneous agency besides it; ca—and; anapekṣatvāt—because it is not dependent.

4. And because (the Pradhāna) is not dependent (on anything), there being no extraneous agency besides it, (its activity and non-activity cannot be explained).

That the Pradhāna which is not guided by an intelligent principle is not the universal cause is proved also by the fact that, if we ascribe to it a power for change independent of the guidance of a Lord capable of realising all his purposes, it would follow that the pralaya state, which is different from the state of creation, would not exist; while on the other hand the guidance of the Pradhāna by a Lord explains the alternating states of creation and pralaya as the effects of his purposes. Nor can the Sānkhya retort that our view gives rise to similar difficulties in so far, namely, as the Lord, all whose wishes are eternally accomplished, who is free from all imperfection, etc. etc., cannot be the originator of either creation or pralaya, and as the creation of an unequal world would lay him open to the charge of mercilessness. For, as explained before, even a being perfect and complete may enter on activity for the sake of sport; and as the reason for a particular creation on the part of an all-knowing Lord may be his recognition of Prakriti having reached a certain special state, it is the deeds of the individual souls which bring about the inequalities in the new creation.--But if this is so, all difference of states is caused exclusively by the good and evil deeds of the individual souls; and what position remains then for a ruling Lord? Prakriti, impressed by the good and evil deeds of the souls, will by herself modify herself on such lines as correspond to the deserts of the individual souls; in the same way as we observe that food and drink, if either vitiated by poison or reinforced by medicinal herbs and juices, enter into new states which render them the causes of either pleasure or pain. Hence all the differences between states of creation and pralaya, as also the inequalities among created beings such as gods, men, and so on. and finally the souls reaching the condition of Release, may be credited to the Pradhāna, possessing as it does the capability of modifying itself into all possible forms!--You do not, we reply, appear to know anything about the nature of good and evil works; for this is a matter to be learned from the Śāstra. The Śāstra is constituted by the aggregate of words called Veda, which is handed on by an endless unbroken succession of pupils learning from qualified teachers, and raised above all suspicion of imperfections such as spring from mistake and the like. It is the Veda which gives information as to good and evil deeds, the essence of which consists in their pleasing or displeasing the Supreme Person, and as to their results, viz. pleasure and pain, which depend on the grace or wrath of the Lord. In agreement herewith the Dramidāchārya says, 'From the wish of giving rise to fruits they seek to please the Self with works; he being pleased is able to bestow fruits, this is the purport of the Śāstra.' Thus Śruti also says, 'Sacrifices and pious works which are performed in many forms, all that he bears (i. e. he takes to himself); be the navel of the Universe' (Mahānār. Up. I, 6). And in the same spirit the Lord himself declares, 'From whom there proceed all beings, by whom all this is pervaded--worshipping him with the proper works man attains to perfection' (Bha. Gī. XVIII, 46); and 'These evil and malign haters, lowest of men, I hurl perpetually into transmigrations and into demoniac wombs' (Bha. Gī. XVI, 19). The divine Supreme Person, all whose wishes are eternally fulfilled, who is all-knowing and the ruler of all, whose every purpose is immediately realised, having engaged in sport befitting his might and greatness and having settled that work is of a twofold nature, such and such works being good and such and such being evil, and having bestowed on all individual souls bodies and sense-organs capacitating them for entering on such work and the power of ruling those bodies and organs; and having himself entered into those souls as their inner Self abides within them, controlling them as an animating and cheering principle. The souls, on their side, endowed with all the powers imparted to them by the Lord and with bodies and organs bestowed by him, and forming abodes in which he dwells, apply themselves on their own part, and in accordance with their own wishes, to works either good or evil. The Lord, then, recognising him who performs good actions as one who obeys his commands, blesses him with piety, riches, worldly pleasures, and final release; while him who transgresses his commands he causes to experience the opposites of all these. There is thus no room whatever for objections founded on deficiency, on the Lord's part, of independence in his dealings with men, and the like. Nor can he be arraigned with being pitiless or merciless. For by pity we understand the inability, on somebody's part, to bear the pain of others, coupled with a disregard of his own advantage. When pity has the effect of bringing about the transgression of law on the part of the pitying person, it is in no way to his credit; it rather implies the charge of unmanliness (weakness), and it is creditable to control and subdue it. For otherwise it would follow that to subdue and chastise one's enemies is something to be blamed. What the Lord himself aims at is ever to increase happiness to the highest degree, and to this end it is instrumental that he should reprove and reject the infinite and intolerable mass of sins which accumulates in the course of beginning and endless aeons, and thus check the tendency on the part of individual beings to transgress his laws. For thus he says: 'To them ever devoted, worshipping me in love, I give that means of wisdom by which they attain to me. In mercy only to them, dwelling in their hearts, do I destroy the darkness born of ignorance with the brilliant light of knowledge' (Bha. Gī. X, 10, 11).--It thus remains a settled conclusion that the Pradhāna, which is not guided by an intelligent principle, cannot be the general cause.--Here a further objection is raised. Although Prakriti, as not being ruled by an intelligent principle, is not capable of that kind of activity which springs from effort, she may yet be capable of that kind of activity which consists in mere transformation. For we observe parallel cases; the grass and water e.g. which are consumed by a cow change on their own account into milk. In the same way, then, Prakriti may on her own account transform herself into the world.--To this the next Sūtra replies.

Sutra 2,2.5

अन्यत्राभावाच्च न तृणादिवत् ॥ ५ ॥

anyatrābhāvācca na tṛṇādivat || 5 ||

anyatra—Elsewhere; abhāvāt—because of its absence; ca—and; na—not; tṛṇādivat—even as grass etc.

5. And (it can) not (be said that the Pradhāna undergoes modification spontaneously) even as grass etc. (turn into milk); because of its absence elsewhere (than in the female mammals).

This argumentation does not hold good; for as grass and the like do not transform themselves without the guidance of an intelligent principle, your proving instance is not established.--But why is it not established?--'Because it does not exist elsewhere.' If grass, water and so on changed into milk even when consumed by a bull or when not consumed at all, then indeed it might be held that they change without the guidance of an intelligent principle. But nothing of the kind takes place, and hence we conclude that it is the intelligent principle only which turns the grass eaten by the cow into milk.--This point has been set forth above under Sūtra 3; the present Sūtra is meant to emphasise and particularise it.

Sutra 2,2.7

पुरुषाश्मवदिति चेत्, तथापि ॥ ७ ॥

puruṣāśmavaditi cet, tathāpi || 7 ||

puruṣa-aśma-vat—Even as a person or a magnet; iti cet—if it be said; tathāpi—even then.

7. If it, be said (that the Purusha can direct the Pradhāna) even as a (crippled) person (can direct a blind man), or a magnet (the iron filings), even then (the difficulty cannot be surmounted).

Here the following view might be urged. Although the soul consists of mere intelligence and is inactive, while the Pradhāna is destitute of all power of thought; yet the non-sentient Pradhāna may begin to act owing to the mere nearness of the soul. For we observe parallel instances. A man blind but capable of motion may act in some way, owing to the nearness to him of some lame man who has no power of motion but possesses good eyesight and assists the blind man with his intelligence. And through the nearness of the magnetic stone iron moves. In the same way the creation of the world may result from the connexion of Prakriti and the soul. As has been said, 'In order that the soul may know the Pradhāna and become isolated, the connexion of the two takes place like that of the lame and the blind; and thence creation springs' (Sānkhya Kā. 21). This means--to the end that the soul may experience the Pradhāna, and for the sake of the soul's emancipation, the Pradhāna enters on action at the beginning of creation, owing to the nearness of the soul.

To this the Sūtra replies 'thus also.' This means--the inability of the Pradhāna to act remains the same, in spite of these instances. The lame man is indeed incapable of walking, but he possesses various other powers--he can see the road and give instructions regarding it; and the blind man, being an intelligent being, understands those instructions and directs his steps accordingly. The magnet again possesses the attribute of moving towards the iron and so on. The soul on the other hand, which is absolutely inactive, is incapable of all such changes. As, moreover, the mere nearness of the soul to the Pradhāna is something eternal, it would follow that the creation also is eternal. If, on the other hand, the soul is held to be eternally free, then there can be no bondage and no release.

Sutra 2,2.8

अङ्गित्वानुपपत्तेश्च ॥ ८ ॥

aṅgitvānupapatteśca || 8 ||

aṅgitva-anupapatteḥ—Owing to the impossibility of the relation of principal (and subordinate); ca—and.

8. And because the relation of principal (and subordinate) is impossible (among the Guṇas, the Pradhāna cannot be active).

You Sānkhyas maintain that the origination of the world results from a certain relation between principal and subordinate entities which depends on the relative inferiority and superiority of the guṇas--'according to the difference of the abodes of the several guṇas' (Sānkhya Kā. I, 16).

But, as in the pralaya state the three guṇas are in a state of equipoise, none of them being superior or inferior to the others, that relation of superiority and subordination cannot then exist, and hence the world cannot originate. Should it, on the other hand, be maintained that even in the pralaya state there is a certain inequality, it would follow therefrom that creation is eternal.

Sutra 2,2.9

अन्यथानुमितौ च ज्ञशक्तिवियोगात् ॥ ९ ॥

anyathānumitau ca jñaśaktiviyogāt || 9 ||

anyathā—Otherwise; anumitau—if it be inferred; ca—even; jñaśakti-viyogāt—owing to the absence of the power of intelligence.

9. Even if it be inferred otherwise, owing to the absence of the power of intelligence (the other objections to the Pradhāna being the First Cause remain).

Even if the Pradhāna were inferred by some reasoning different from the arguments so far refuted by us, our objections would remain in force because, anyhow, the Pradhāna is devoid of the power of a cognising subject. The Pradhāna thus cannot be established by any mode of inference.

Sutra 2,2.6

अभ्युपगमेऽप्यर्थाभावात् ॥ ६ ॥

abhyupagame'pyarthābhāvāt || 6 ||

abhyupagame—Accepting; api—even; arthābhāvāt—because of the absence of any purpose.

6. Even accepting (the Sānkhya’s position with regard to the spontaneous modification of the Pradhāna, it cannot be the First Cause) because of the absence of any purpose.

Even if it were admitted that the Pradhāna is established by Inference, the Sānkhya theory could not be accepted for the reason that the Pradhāna is without a purpose. For, according to the view expressed in the passage, 'In order that the soul may know the Pradhāna and become isolated' (Sānkhya Kā. I, 21), the purpose of the Pradhāna is fruition and final release on the part of the soul; but both these are impossible. For, as the soul consists of pure intelligence, is inactive, changeless, and spotless, and hence eternally emancipated, it is capable neither of fruition which consists in consciousness of Prakriti, nor of Release which consists in separation from Prakriti. If, on the other hand, it be held that the soul constituted as described is, owing to the mere nearness of Prakriti, capable of fruition, i.e. of being conscious of pleasure and pain, which are special modifications of Prakriti, it follows that, as Prakriti is ever near, the soul will never accomplish emancipation.

Sutra 2,2.10

विप्रतिषेधाच्चासमञ्जसम् ॥ १० ॥

vipratiṣedhāccāsamañjasam || 10 ||

vipratiṣedhāt—Because of contradictions; ca—also; asamañjasam—inconsistent.

10. Also because of contradictions (the Sānkhya’s theory) is inconsistent.

The Sānkhya-system, moreover, labours from many internal contradictions.--The Sānkhyas hold that while Prakriti is for the sake of another and the object of knowledge and fruition, the soul is independent, an enjoying and knowing agent, and conscious of Prakriti; that the soul reaches isolation through the instrumentality of Prakriti only, and that as its nature is pure, permanent, unchanging consciousness, absence of all activity and isolation belong to that nature; that for this reason the accomplishing of the means of bondage and release and of release belong to Prakriti only; and that, owing to Prakriti's proximity to the unchanging non-active soul, Prakriti, by a process of mutual superimposition (adhyāsa), works towards the creation of a world and subserves the purposes of the soul's fruition and emancipation.--'Since the aggregate of things is for the sake of another; since there is an opposite of the three guṇas and the rest; since there is superintendence; since there is an experiencing subject; and since there is activity for the sake of isolation; the soul exists' (Sānkhya Kā. 17); 'And from that contrast the soul is proved to be a witness, isolated, neutral, cognising and inactive' (18).--And after having stated that the activity of the Pradhāna is for the purpose of the release of the Self, the text says, 'therefore no (soul) is either bound or released, nor does it migrate; it is Prakriti which, abiding in various beings, is bound and released and migrates' (62). And 'From this connexion therewith (i.e. with the soul) the non-intelligent appears as intelligent; and although all agency belongs to the guṇas, the indifferent (soul) becomes an agent. In order that the soul may know the Pradhāna and become isolated, the connexion of the two takes place like that of the lame and the blind; and thence creation springs' (20, 21).--Now to that which is eternally unchanging, non-active and isolated, the attributes of being a witness and an enjoying and cognising agent can in no way belong. Nor also can such a being be subject to error resting on superimposition; for error and superimposition both are of the nature of change. And, on the other hand, they also cannot belong to Prakriti, since they are attributes of intelligent beings. For by superimposition we understand the attribution, on the part of an intelligent being, of the qualities of one thing to another thing; and this is the doing of an intelligent being, and moreover a change. Nor is it possible that superimposition and the like should take place in the soul only if it is in approximation to Prakriti.--They may take place just on account of the non-changing nature of the soul!--Then, we reply, they would take place permanently. And that mere proximity has no effective power we have already shown under II, 1, 4. And if it is maintained that it is Prakriti only that migrates, is bound and released, how then can she be said to benefit the soul, which is eternally released? That she does so the Sānkhyas distinctly assert, 'By manifold means Prakriti, helpful and endowed with the guṇas, without any benefit to herself, accomplishes the purpose of the soul, which is thankless and not composed of the guṇas' (Sānkhya Kā. 60).--The Sānkhyas further teach that Prakriti, on being seen by any soul in her true nature, at once retires from that soul--'As a dancer having exhibited herself on the stage withdraws from the soul, so Prakriti withdraws from the soul when she has manifested herself to it' (59); 'My opinion is that there exists nothing more sensitive than Prakriti, who knowing "I have been seen" does not again show itself to the soul' (61). But this doctrine also is inappropriate. For, as the soul is eternally released and above all change, it never sees Prakriti, nor does it attribute to itself her qualities; and Prakriti herself does not see herself since she is of non-intelligent nature; nor can she wrongly impute to herself the soul's seeing of itself as her own seeing of herself, for she herself is non-intelligent and the soul is incapable of that change which consists in seeing or knowing.--Let it then be said that the 'seeing' means nothing more than the proximity of Prakriti to the soul!--But this also does not help you; for, as said above, from that there would follow eternal seeing, since the two are in eternal proximity. Moreover, the ever unchanging soul is not capable of an approximation which does not form an element of its unchanging nature.--Moreover, if you define the seeing as mere proximity and declare this to be the cause of Release, we point out that it equally is the cause of bondage--so that bondage and release would both be permanent.--Let it then be said that what causes bondage is wrong seeing--while intuition of the true nature of things is the cause of Release!--But as both these kinds of seeing are nothing but proximity, it would follow that both take place permanently. And if, on the other hand, the proximity of Soul and Prakriti were held not to be permanent, then the cause of such proximity would have to be assigned, and again the cause of that, and so on ad infinitum.--Let us then, to escape from these difficulties, define proximity as nothing more than the true nature of soul and Prakriti!--As the true nature is permanent, we reply, it would follow therefrom that bondage and release would be alike permanent.--On account of all these contradictory views the system of the Sānkhyas is untenable.

We finally remark that the arguments here set forth by us at the same time prove the untenableness of the view of those who teach that there is an eternally unchanging Brahman whose nature is pure, non- differenced intelligence, and which by being conscious of Nescience experiences unreal bondage and release. For those philosophers can show no more than the Sānkhyas do how their Brahman can be conscious of Nescience, can be subject to adhyāsa, and so on. There is, however, the following difference between the two theories. The Sānkhyas, in order to account for the definite individual distribution of birth, death, and so on, assume a plurality of souls. The Vedāṅtins, on the other hand, do not allow even so much, and their doctrine is thus all the more irrational. The assertion that there is a difference (in favour of the Vedāṅtins) between the two doctrines, in so far as the Vedāṅtins hold Prakriti to be something unreal, while the Sānkhyas consider it to be real, is unfounded; for pure, homogeneous intelligence, eternally non-changing, cannot possibly be conscious of anything different from itself, whether it be unreal or real. And if that thing is held to be unreal, there arise further difficulties, owing to its having to be viewed as the object of knowledge, of refutation, and so on.

Here terminates the Adhikaraṇa of 'the impossibility of construction.'