II-3 Śrī Bhāshya | Rāmānuja | 6

Topic 6 - Earth Created From Water

Earth originates from water; for so the texts declare 'From water earth' (Taitt Up. II. 1, 1). 'It (water) sent forth food' (Kh. Up. VI, 2, 3). But how can the word 'food' denote earth?--To this the next Sūtra replies.

Sutra 2,3.12

पृथिवि, अधिकाररूपशब्दान्तरेभ्यः ॥ १२ ॥

pṛthivī, adhikārarūpaśabdāntarebhyaḥ || 12 ||

pṛthivī—Earth; adhikāra-rūpa-śabdāntarebhyaḥ—because of the subject-matter, colour, and other Śruti texts.

12. Earth (is meant by the word ‘Anna’) because of the subject-matter, colour, and other Śruti texts.

That the word 'food' denotes the earth is to be inferred from the fact that the section in which the word occurs has for its subject-matter the creation of the elements; as everything eatable is a product of the earth, the term denoting the effect is there applied to denote the cause. In the same chapter, where the colour of the elements is mentioned ('The red colour of a flame is the colour of fire, the white one that of water, the black one that of food '), the collocation of words clearly shows that 'food' means something of the same kind as fire and water, viz. the elements of earth. And there are other texts also which treat of the same topic and declare the origination of earth from water, cp. Taitt. Up. II, 1, 'from fire sprang water, from water earth.' All this proves that the term 'food' denotes earth, and that hence earth originates from water.

Fire and the other substances, the origination of which has been detailed, are mentioned merely as instances, and it must be understood that also other entities, such as the 'Mahat,' and so on, originate only from the immediately preceding cause, in agreement with scriptural statements. And texts such as 'From him is born breath, mind, and all organs of sense, ether, air, light, water, and the earth, the support of all' (Mu. Up. II, 1, 3); 'From him is born that Brahman, name, form, and food' (Mu. Up. I, 1, 9); 'From that Self there sprang ether' (Taitt. Up. II, 1, 1); 'It (i.e. that which is) sent forth fire' (Kh. Up. VI, 2, 3)--(which seems to teach the direct origination from Brahman of the different elements, and so on)--may be interpreted on the understanding of Brahman being their mediate cause also.--This prima facie view the next Sūtra disposes of.