II-3 Śrī Bhāshya | Rāmānuja | 7-8

Topic 7 - Brahman as the creative principle residing in the preceding element is the cause of the subsequent element in the order of creation

Sutra 2,3.13

तदभिध्यानादेव तु तल्लिङ्गात् सः ॥ १३ ॥

tadabhidhyānādeva tu talliṅgāt saḥ || 13 ||

tadat-abhidhyānāt—Because of His reflecting; eva—only; tu—but; talliṅgāt—from His indicatory marks; saḥ—He.

13. But because of His reflecting only (are the subsequent elements created from the previous element in the order of creation; so) He (the Supreme Lord is the creator of air etc.). (We know this) from His indicatory marks.

The 'but' indicates the setting aside of the primā facie view raised. Of all effected things, the Mahat, and so on, the highest Person himself, in so far as embodied in the immediately preceding substance, is the direct cause.--How is this known?--'From the inferential mark supplied by the reflection of them.' By 'reflection' the Sūtra means the resolve expressed in the recurring phrase, 'May I be many'; 'That fire thought, may I be many'; 'That water thought, may I be many' (Kh. Up. VI, 2, 3; 4). As these texts declare that there was thought in the form of a resolve of self-multiplication--which thought can belong to a Self only, we conclude that also the Mahat, the ahaṁkāra, the Ether, and so on, accomplish the sending forth of their respective effects only after similar thought, and such thought can belong only to the highest Brahman embodied in the Mahat, ahaṁkāra, and so on. That the highest Brahman is embodied in all beings and constitutes their Self, is directly stated in the Antaryāmin-brāhmaṇa, 'He who abiding in the earth; abiding in water; abiding in fire,' &c. &c. (Bri. Up. III, 7, 3 ff.); and likewise in the Subāla-Up, 'Whose body is the earth,' &c. &c., up to 'Whose body is the Unevolved.' The Pūrvapakshin had maintained that the creation, from Brahman, of breath, and so on, which is declared in texts such as 'From him are born breath, mind,' &c., may be understood as a mediate creation. This point is taken up by the next Sūtra.

Topic 8 - Reabsorption takes place in the inverse order to that of creation

Sutra 2,3.14

विपर्ययेण तु क्रमोऽतः, उपपद्यते च ॥ १४ ॥

viparyayeṇa tu kramo'taḥ, upapadyate ca || 14 ||

viparyayeṇa—In the reverse order; tu—indeed; kramaḥ—order; ataḥ—from that (the order of creation); upapadyate—is reasonable; ca—and.

14. (At Pralaya the elements are) indeed (withdrawn into Brahman) in the reverse order from that (of creation); and this is reasonable.

The 'but' has an asseverate sense. The direct origination from Brahman of all effects--which in passages such as the one quoted by the Pūrvapakshin is stated in a form the reverse of the (true) order of origination according to which the Unevolved, the Mahat, the ahaṁkāra, Ether, and so on, succeed each other--is possible only on the supposition of the origination of each effect being really from Brahman itself in the form of a special causal substance. To understand the causality of Brahman as a merely mediate one would be to contradict all those statements of immediate origination. Texts such as the one quoted thus confirm the conclusion that everything originates from Brahman directly.