II-3 Śrī Bhāshya | Rāmānuja | 9

Topic 9 - The mention of the mind, intellect, and organs does not interfere with the order of creation and reabsorption, as they are the products of the elements

Sutra 2,3.15

अन्तरा विज्ञानमनसी क्रमेण तल्लिङ्गादिति चेत्, न, अविशेषात् ॥ १५ ॥

antarā vijñānamanasī krameṇa talliṅgāditi cet, na, aviśeṣāt || 15 ||

antarā—In between; vijñānamanasī—intellect and mind; krameṇa—in the order; talliṅgāt—owing to indication of that; iti cet—if it be said; na—not so; aviśeṣāt—on account of non-difference.

15. If it be said that in between (Brahman and the elements) the intellect and the mind (are mentioned, and therefore that ought to be the order in creation and the inverse order in reabsorption), owing to the indication (in the Śruti texts) to that effect (which upsets the order of creation of the elements), (we say) not so, on account of the non-difference (of the intellect and the mind from the elements).

'Knowledge' in the Sūtra denotes the means of knowledge, i.e. the sense-organs.--An objection is raised against the conclusion arrived at under the preceding Sūtra. We cannot, the opponent says, admit the conclusion that the passage from the Muṇḍaka Up. 'from him is born breath, mind,' &c., declares the immediate origination from Brahman of all things, and that hence the passage confirms the view, first suggested by the inferential mark of 'thought' (see above, Sū. 14), that everything springs from Brahman direct. For the purport of the text is to state a certain order of succession, and we hence conclude that all the beings mentioned were successively created. In the second half of the text we recognise the series of ether, air, fire, &c., which is known to us from other texts, and from the fact of their being exhibited in one and the same text we conclude that knowledge and mind--which are mentioned between breath on the one side and the elements on the other--must be viewed as created in that order. The text therefore in no way confirms the direct origination of everything from Brahman. To this the Sūtra replies, 'Not so, on account of non-difference.' The first words of the text 'from him is born' connect themselves equally with breath, and knowledge, and mind, and the series of elements beginning with ether; and the meaning of the whole therefore is to declare that all the entities spring directly from Brahman, not to teach the order of succession in which they are produced. It moreover cannot have the purport of teaching a certain order of succession, because the order stated contradicts the order established by other scriptural passages; such as the one beginning 'the earth is merged in water,' and ending 'darkness becomes one.' We hence hold to the conclusion that all effects originate from Brahman only, in so far as embodied in the Unevolved, and so on, and that the terms 'fire' and so on denote Brahman, which is the Self of all those substances.--But to interpret all these words as denoting Brahman is to set aside their special denotative power as established by etymology!--To this objection the next Sūtra replies.