III-3 Śrī Bhāshya | Rāmānuja | 23-24

Topic 23 - The Śruti enjoins reciprocal meditation in Ait. Ar. 2. 2. 4. 6 and not merely one way

Sutra 3,3.37

व्यतिहारः, विशिंषन्ति हीतरवत् ॥ ३७ ॥

vyatihāraḥ, viśiṃṣanti hītaravat || 37 ||

vyatihāraḥ—Reciprocity (of meditations); viśiṃṣanti—(the scriptures) prescribe (this); hi—for; itaravat—as in other cases.

37. (There is) reciprocity (of meditation), for the scriptures prescribe this, as in other cases.

There is no difference of vidyā because both questions and answers have one subject-matter, and because the one word that possesses enjoining power proves the connexion of the two sections. Both questions have for their topic Brahman viewed as the inner Self of all; and in the second question the word 'eva' ('just,' 'very') in 'Tell me just that Brahman,' etc., proves that the question of Kahola has for its subject the Brahman, to the qualities of which the question of Uṣasta had referred. Both answers again refer to the one Brahman, viewed as the Self of all. The idea of the injunction of the entire meditation again is suggested in the second section only, 'Therefore a Brāhmaṇa, after he has done with learning, is to wish to stand by real strength.' The object of meditation being thus ascertained to be one, there must be effected a mutual interchange of the ideas of Uṣasta and Kahola, i.e. Uṣasta's conception of Brahman being the cause of all life must be entertained by the interrogating Kahola also; and vice versa the conception of Kahola as to Brahman being beyond hunger, thirst, and so on, must be entertained by Uṣasta also. This interchange being made, the difference of Brahman, the inner Self of all, from the individual soul is determined by both sections. For this is the very object of Yājñyavalkya’s replies: in order to intimate that the inner Self of all is different from the individual soul, they distinguish that Self as the cause of all life and as raised above hunger, thirst, and so on. Hence Brahman's being the inner Self of all is the only quality that is the subject of meditation; that it is the cause of life and so on are only means to prove its being such, and are not therefore to be meditated on independently.--But if this is so, to what end must there be made an interchange, on the part of the two interrogators, of their respective ideas?--Brahman having, on the ground of being the cause of all life, been ascertained by Uṣasta as the inner Self of all, and different from the individual soul, Kahola renews the question, thinking that the inner Self of all must be viewed as different from the soul, on the ground of some special attribute which cannot possibly belong to the soul; and Yājñyavalkya divining his thought thereon declares that the inner Self possesses an attribute which cannot possibly belong to the soul, viz. being in essential opposition to all imperfection. The interchange of ideas therefore has to be made for the purpose of establishing the idea of the individual nature of the object of meditation.--'As elsewhere,' i.e. as in the case of the knowledge of that which truly is, the repeated questions and replies only serve to define one and the same Brahman, not to convey the idea of the object of meditation having to be meditated on under new aspects.--But a new objection is raised--As there is, in the Sad-vidyā also, a difference between the several questions and answers, how is that vidyā known to be one?--To this question the next Sūtra replies.

Topic 24 - Brihadāraṇyaka 5. 4. 1 and 5. 5. 2 treat of one Vidyā about Satya Brahman

Sutra 3,3.38

सैव हि सत्यादयः ॥ ३८ ॥

saiva hi satyādayaḥ || 38 ||

sa eva—The same (Satya-Vidyā); hi—because; satyādayaḥ—(attributes like) Satya etc.

38. The same (Satya-Vidyā is taught in both places), because (attributes like) Satya etc. (are seen in both places).

For the highest divinity, called there that which is-- which was introduced in the clause 'that divinity thought,' etc.--is intimated by all the following sections of that chapter. This is proved by the fact that the attributes--'that which truly is' and so on--which were mentioned in the first section and confirmed in the subsequent ones, are finally summed up in the statement, 'in that all this has its Self, that is the True, that is the Self.' Some interpreters construe the last two Sūtras as constituting two Adhikaraṇas. The former Sūtra, they say, teaches that the text, 'I am thou, thou art I,' enjoins a meditation on the soul and the highest Self as interchangeable. But as on the basis of texts such as 'All this is indeed Brahman,' 'all this has its Self in Brahman,' 'Thou art that,' the text quoted is as a matter of course understood to mean that there is one universal Self, the teaching which it is by those interpreters assumed to convey would be nothing new; and their interpretation therefore must be rejected. The point as to the oneness of the individual and the highest Self will moreover be discussed under IV, I, 3. Moreover, there is no foundation for a special meditation on Brahman as the individual soul and the individual soul as Brahman, apart from the meditation on the Self of all being one.--The second Sūtra, they say, declares the oneness of the meditation on the True enjoined in the text, 'whosoever knows this great wonderful first-born as the True Brahman' (Bri. Up. V, 4), and of the meditation enjoined in the subsequent passage (V, 5. 2), ' Now what is true, that is the Āditya, the person that dwells in yonder orb, and the person in the right eye.' But this also is untenable. For the difference of abode mentioned in the latter passage (viz. the abode in the sun and in the eye)establishes difference of vidyā, as already shown under Sū. III, 3, 21. Nor is it possible to assume that the two meditations comprised in the latter text which have a character of their own in so far as they view the True as embodied in syllables, and so on, and which are declared to be connected with a special result ('he who knows this destroys evil and leaves it'), should be identical with the one earlier meditation which has an independent character of its own and a result of its own ('he conquers these worlds'). Nor can it be said that the declaration of a fruit in 'he destroys evil and leaves it' refers merely to the fruit (not of the entire meditation but) of a subordinate part of the meditation; for there is nothing to prove this. The proof certainly cannot be said to lie in the fact of the vidyās being one; for this would imply reasoning in a circle, viz. as follows--it being settled that the vidyās are one, it follows that the fruit of the former meditation only is the main one, while the fruits of the two later meditations are subordinate ones; and-- it being settled that those two later fruits are subordinate ones, it follows that, as thus there is no difference depending on connexion with fruits, the two later meditations are one with the preceding one.--All this proves that the two Sūtras can be interpreted only in the way maintained by us.

--Here terminates the Adhikaraṇa of 'being within.'