III-3 Śrī Bhāshya | Rāmānuja | 33

Topic 33 - Various Vidyās like the Śāndilya Vidyā, Dahara Vidyā, and so on are to be kept separate and not combined into one entire Upāsanā

 Sutra 3,3.58

नाना, शब्दादिभेदात् ॥ ५८ ॥

nānā, śabdādibhedāt || 58 ||

nānā—Different; śabdādi-bhedāt—owing to difference of words etc.

58. (Various Vidyās like the Śāndilya, Dahara, etc. are) different owing to difference of words etc.

The instances coming under this head of discussion are all those meditations on Brahman which have for their only result final Release, which consists in attaining to Brahman--such as the meditation on that which is, the meditation on the bhūman, the meditation on the small space within the heart, the Upakosala meditation, the Śāṇḍilya meditation, the meditation on Vaiśvānara, the meditation on the Self of bliss, the meditation on the Imperishable, and others--whether they be recorded in one śākhā only or in several śākhās. To a different category belong those meditations which have a special object such as Prāna, and a special result.--The doubt here arises whether the meditations of the former class are all to be considered as identical, or as separate--The Pūrvapakshin holds that they are all one; for, he says, they all have one and the same object of meditation, viz. Brahman. For the nature of all cognition depends on the object cognised; and the nature of the meditations thus being one, the meditations themselves are one.--This view the Sūtra controverts. The meditations are different, on account of the difference of terms and the rest. The 'and the rest' comprises repetition (abhyāsa), number (sāṁkhya), quality (guṇa), subject-matter (prakriyā), and name (nāmadheya; cp. Pū. Mī. Sū. II, 2, 1 ff.). We meet in those meditations with difference of connexion, expressing itself in difference of words, and so on; which causes difference on the part of the meditations enjoined. The terms enjoining meditation, 'he knows,' 'he is to meditate' (veda; upāsīta), and so on, do indeed all of them denote a certain continuity of cognition, and all these cognitions have for their object Brahman only, but all the same those cognitions differ in so far as they have for their object Brahman, as variously qualified by special characteristics mentioned in the meditation; in one meditation he is spoken of as the sole cause of the world, in another as free from all evil, and so on. We therefore arrive at the decision that clauses which describe special forms of meditation having for their result the attainment to Brahman, and are complete in themselves, convey the idea of separate independent meditations, and thus effect separation of the vidyās. This entire question was indeed already decided in the Pūrva Mimāṁsa-sūtras (II, 2, 1), but it is here argued again to the end of dispelling the mistaken notion that the Vedānta-texts aim at knowledge only, and not at the injunction of activities such as meditation. The meditations, therefore, are separate ones.--Here terminates the Adhikaraṇa of 'difference of words and the rest.'