II-4 Śrī Bhāshya | Rāmānuja | 3-4

Topic 3 - The organs are minute in size

Sutra 2,4.7

अणवश्च ॥ ५ ॥

aṇavaśca || 7 ||

aṇavaḥ—Minute; ca—and.

7. And (they are) minute.

As the text 'these are all alike, all infinite' (Bri. Up. I, 5, 13), declares speech, mind, and breath to be infinite, we conclude that the prāṇas are all-pervading.--To this the Sūtra replies, that they are minute; for the text 'when the vital breath passes out of the body, all the prāṇas pass out after it' (Bri. Up. V, 4, 2), proves those prāṇas to be of limited size, and as when passing out they are not perceived by bystanders, they must be of minute size--The text which speaks of them as infinite is a text enjoining meditation ('he who meditates on them as infinite'), and infinity there means only that abundance of activities which is an attribute of the prāṇa to be meditated on.

Topic 4 - The chief Prāṇa (vital force) also is created from Brahman

Sutra 2,4.8

श्रेष्ठश्च ॥ ८ ॥

śreṣṭhaśca || 8 ||

śreṣṭhaḥ—The chief Prāṇa (vital force); ca—and.

8. And the chief Prāṇa (vital force) (is also produced).

By 'the best' we have to understand the chief vital air (mukhya prāṇa), which, in the colloquy of the prāṇas, is determined to be the best because it is the cause of the preservation of the body. This chief vital air the Pūrvapakshin maintains to be something non-created, since Scripture (Ri. Samh. V, 129, 2), 'By its own law the One was breathing without wind,' shows that an effect of it, viz. the act of breathing, existed even previously to creation, at the time of a great pralaya; and because texts declaring it to have been created--such as 'from him is born breath' (Mu. Up. II, 1, 3)--may be interpreted in the same way as the texts declaring that the soul is something created.--To this the reply is that, since this view contradicts scriptural statements as to the oneness of all, previous to creation; and since the Muṇḍaka-text declares the prāṇa to have been created in the same way as earth and the other elements; and since there are no texts plainly denying its createdness, the chief vital air also must be held to have been created. The words 'the One was breathing without wind' by no means refer to the vital breath of living creatures, but intimate the existence of the highest Brahman, alone by itself; as indeed appears from the qualification 'without wind.'--That the vital breath, although really disposed of in the preceding Sūtras, is specially mentioned in the present Sūtra, is with a view to the question next raised for consideration.--Here terminates the Adhikaraṇa of 'the minuteness of the prāṇas.'