III-3 Śrī Bhāshya | Rāmānuja | 3

Topic 3 - Vidyās having really different subject-matter are separate, though in other respects there are similarities

Sutra 3,3.6

अन्यथात्वं शब्दादिति चेत्, न, अविशेषात् ॥ ६ ॥

anyathātvaṃ śabdāditi cet, na, aviśeṣāt || 6 ||

anyathātvaṃ—There is difference; śabdāt—on account of (difference in) texts; iti cet—if it be said; na—not so; aviśeṣāt—on account of non-difference (as regards essentials).

6. If it be said (that the Udgītha Vidyā of the Brihadāraṇyaka and that of the Chāṇḍogya) are different on account of (difference in) texts; (we say) not so, on account of the non-difference (as regards essentials).

So far it has been shown that the non-difference of injunction, and so on, establishes the unity of meditations, and that owing to the latter the special features of meditation enjoined in different texts have to be combined. Next, an enquiry is entered upon whether in the case of certain particular meditations there actually exists, or not, that non-difference of injunction which is the cause of meditations being recognised as identical. A meditation on the Udgītha is enjoined in the text of the Chāṇḍogya, as well as in that of the Vājasaneyins (Kh. Up. I, 2; Bri. Up. I, 3); and the question arises whether the two are to be viewed as one meditation or not. The Pūrvapakshin maintains the former alternative. For, he says, there is no difference of injunction, and so on, since both texts enjoin as the object of meditation the Udgītha viewed under the form of Prāṇa; since there is the same reward promised in both places, viz. mastering of one's enemies; since the form of meditation is the same, the Udgītha being in both cases viewed under the form of Prāṇa; since the injunction is the same, being conveyed in both cases by the same verbal root (vid, to know); and since both meditations have the same technical name, viz. Udgītha-vidyā. The Sūtra states this view in the form of the refutation of an objection raised by the advocate of the final view. We do not admit, the objector says, the unity maintained by you, since the texts clearly show a difference of form. The text of the Vājasaneyins represents as the object of meditation that which is the agent in the act of singing out the Udgītha; while the text of the Chāṇḍogya enjoins meditation on what is the object of the action of singing out (i. e. the Udgītha itself). This discrepancy establishes difference in the character of the meditation, and as this implies difference of the object enjoined, the mere non-difference of injunction, and so on, is of no force, and hence the two meditations are separate ones.--This objection the Pūrvapakshin impugns, 'on account of non-difference.' For both texts, at the outset, declare that the Udgītha is the means to bring about the conquest of enemies (Let us overcome the Asuras at the sacrifices by means of the Udgītha' (Bri. Up.); 'The gods took the Udgītha, thinking they would with that overcome the Asuras'--Kh. Up.). In order therefore not to stultify this common beginning, we must assume that in the clause 'For them that breath sang out' (Bri. Up.), the Udgītha, which really is the object of the action of singing, is spoken of as the agent. Otherwise the term Udgītha in the introductory passage ('by means of the Udgītha') would have to be taken as by implication denoting the agent (while directly it indicates the instrument).--Hence there is oneness of the two vidyās.--Of this view the next Sūtra disposes.

Sutra 3,3.7

न वा, प्रकरणभेदात् परोवरीयस्त्वादिवत् ॥ ७ ॥

na vā, prakaraṇabhedāt parovarīyastvādivat || 7 ||

na vā—Rather not; prakaraṇa-bhedāt—on account of difference in subject-matter; parovarīyastvādivat—even as (the meditation on the Udgītha) as the highest and greatest (Brahman) (is different).

7. Rather (there is) no (unity of Vidyās), on account of the difference in subject-matter, even as (the meditation on the Udgītha) as the highest and greatest (i.e. Brahman) (is different from the meditation on the Udgītha as abiding in the eye etc.).

There is no unity of the two vidyās, since the subject-matter of the two differs. For the tale in the Chāṇḍogya-text, which begins 'when the Devas and the Asuras struggled together,' connects itself with the Prāṇava (the syllable Om) which is introduced as the object of meditation in Khánd. I, 1, 1, 'Let a man meditate on the syllable Om as the Udgītha'; and the clause forming part of the tale,'they meditated on that chief breath as Udgītha.' therefore refers to a meditation on the Prāṇava which is a part only of the Udgītha. In the text of the Vāga-saneyins; on the other hand, there is nothing to correspond to the introductory passage which in the Chāṇḍogya-text determines the subject-matter, and the text clearly states that the meditation refers to the whole Udgītha (not only the Prāṇava). And this difference of leading subject-matter implies difference of matter enjoined, and this again difference of the character of meditation, and hence there is no unity of vidyās. Thus the object of meditation for the Chāṇḍogya is the Prāṇava viewed under the form of Prāṇa; while for the Vājasaneyins it is the Udgātri (who sings the Udgītha), imaginatively identified with Prāṇa. Nor does there arise, on this latter account, a contradiction between the later and the earlier part of the story of the Vājasaneyins. For as a meditation on the Udgātri necessarily extends to the Udgītha, which is the object of the activity of singing, the latter also helps to bring about the result, viz. the mastering of enemies.--There is thus no unity of vidyā, although there may be non- difference of injunction, and so on.--'As in the case of the attribute of being higher than the high,' &c. In one and the same śākhā there are two meditations, in each of which the highest Self is enjoined to be viewed under the form of the Prāṇava (Kh. Up. I, 6; I, 9), and in so far the two vidyās are alike. But while the former text enjoins that the Prāṇava has to be viewed under the form of a golden man, in the latter he has to be viewed as possessing the attributes of being higher than the high, and owing to this difference of attributes the two meditations must be held separate (a fortiori, then, those meditations are separate which have different objects of meditation).

Sutra 3,3.8

संज्ञातश्चेत्, तदुक्तम्, अस्ति तु तदपि ॥ ८ ॥

saṃjñātaścet, taduktam, asti tu tadapi || 8 ||

saṃjñātaḥ—On account of the name (being same); cet— if; tat—it; uktam—has already been answered; asti—exists; tu—but; tat—that; api—even.

8. If on account of the name (of both Vidyās being the same, it be said that they are one), it has already been answered. But even that (identity of name in Vidyās admitted to be different) exists.

If the oneness of the vidyās be maintained on the ground that both have the same name, viz. Udgītha- vidyā, we point out that oneness is found also where the objects enjoined are different. The term agnihotra is applied equally to the permanent agnihotra and to that agnihotra which forms part of the sacrifice called 'Kundapāyinām ayanam'; and the term Udgītha is applied equally to the many different meditations described in the first prapāthaka of the Chāṇḍogya.