The Tattva-Muktavali
by Purnananda Chakravartin
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by Pūr.nānanda Chakravartin




[New Series, Volume XV]

[London, Trübner and Company]


{Scanned and edited by Christopher M. Weimer, April 2002}

ART. IV.—The Tattva-muktavālī of Gau.da-pūr.nānanda-chakra- vartin. Edited and Translated by Prof. E. B. COWELL.

The following poem was written by a native of Bengal, named Pūr.nānanda Chakravartin. Nothing is known as to his date; if the work were identical with the poem of the same name mentioned in the account of the Rāmānuja system in Mādhava's Sarvadaranasa.mgraha, it would be, of course, older than the fourteenth century, but this is very uncertain; I should be inclined to assign it to a later date. The chief interest of the poem consists in its being a vigorous attack on the Vedānta system by a follower of the Pūr.naprajńa school, which was founded by Madhva (or Ānandatīrtha) in the thirteenth century in the South of India. Some account of his system (which in many respects agrees with that of Rāmānuja) is given in Wilson's "Hindu Sects;" [Footnote: Works, vol. i. pp. 139-150. See also Prof. Monier Williams, J.R.A.S. Vol. XIV. N.S. p. 304.] but the fullest account is to be found in the fifth chapter of the Sarvadaranasa.mgraha. Both the Rāmānujas and the Pūr.naprajńas hold in opposition to the Vedānta [Footnote: As the different systems are arranged in the Sarva D. S. according to the irrespective relation to the Vedānta, we can easily understand why Mādhava there places these two systems so low down in the scale, and only just above the atheistic schools of the Chārvākas, Buddhists, and Jainas.] that individual souls are distinct from Brahman; but they differ as to the sense in which they are thus distinct. The former maintain that "unity" and "plurality" are equally true from different points of view; the latter hold that the relation between the individual soul and Brahman is that of a master and a servant, and consequently that they are absolutely separate. It need not surprise us, therefore, to see that, although Rāmānuja is praised in the fifty-third sloka of this poem as "the foremost of the learned," some of his tenets are attacked in the eightieth.

The Sanskrit text of this poem was published in the Benares Pa.n.dit for Sept. 1871, by Pa.n.dit Vechārāma arman. An edition, with a Bengali translation, was also published some years ago in Calcutta, by Jagadānanda Goswāmin; [Footnote: No date is given.] but the text is so full of false readings of every kind, and the translation in consequence goes so often astray, that I have not found much help from it. I have collated the text in the Benares Pa.n.dit (A.) with a MS. (B.) sent to me by my friend, Pa.n.dit Maheachandra Nyāyaratna, the Principal of the Calcutta Sanskrit College. He has also sent me the readings in certain passages from two MSS. in the Calcutta Sanskrit College Library (C.D.); and I have to thank him for his help in explaining some obscure allusions.

The poem itself seems to me an interesting contribution to the history of Hindu philosophical controversy, [Footnote: Dr. Banerjea has quoted and translated several stanzas in his 'Dialogues on Hindu Philosophy.'] and so I have subjoined a literal English translation. I would venture to remind my readers of the words of the manager in the prologue of the Mālavikāgnimitra, "Every old poem is not good because it is old, nor is every modern poem to be blamed simply because it is modern."


1. Victorious is the garland-wearing foster-son of Nanda,—the protector of his devotees,—the destroyer of the cruel king,— dark-blue like the delicate tamāla blossoms,—formidable with his many outspread rays,—mighty with all his attendant powers, [Footnote: The Bengali translation explains these as the internal powers (antara"ngā) Hlādinī, etc., and the external (bahira"ngā) Prahvā, etc.]—and having his forehead radiant like the moon.

2. This follower of the Purā.nas, who holds by his own belief, reads to his heart's content the Purā.na in the morning, and he listens devotedly with profound meditation, his whole mind intent on the meaning of the book.

3. Having abandoned the doctrine of the oneness of the individual and the Supreme Soul, he establishes by argument their mutual difference; having used ruti and m.riti as a manifold proof, he employs Inference in many ways in the controversy.

4. This individual soul must be different from Brahman because it is always circumscribed,—many are the similar arguments which are to be acknowledged in the course of our reasonings.

5. "Might we not say that a jar and a web could be called identical because both are cognizable?" [Footnote: There is a favourite Naiyāyik example of a kevalānvayi middle term, "a jar is nameable because it is cognizable as a web is."] But we cannot say so in regard to these two things in question, for Brahman alone is that which cannot be cognized.

6. The sentence "Thou art That" (tat tvam asi) which is understood in its primary meaning as referring to the object of the Veda, [Footnote: Or vedavishaye may perhaps simply mean vede, cf. l. 112.]—the author thus explains its meaning, as he knows his own doctrine, and has fixed his mind on the system of Duality; since the word 'that' (tat) is here indeclinable and implies a difference, and the word 'thou' (tvam) means that which is to be differentiated, the sign of the genitive case has been elided; [Footnote: The author here explains the sentence tat tvam asi, as really meaning tasya tvam asi "thou art Its."] "thou only," such is not the meaning of the sentence [Footnote: In "Thou art that," 'thou' and 'that' would refer to the same subject (sāmānādhikara.nya)].

7. He is all-knowing, all-seeing, Himself the three worlds, in whose belly thou art thyself contained,—He causes at once by a movement of the brow the creation, preservation, and absorption of all beings! Thou art ignorant, and only seest relatively, He is the adorable, the one Witness of all worlds; thou art changing, He is One; thou art all dull and stained, not such is He.

8. As for the text "I am Brahman," you must take the nominative case as only used there for the genitive by the licence of an inspired speaker. How, if it were otherwise, would there be a genitive in the illustration, [Footnote: This is often used as an illustration in Vedānta works, as e.g. B.rihad Āra.ny. Up. ii. 1. 20, "as the spider proceeds with his web, as the little sparks proceed from fire, so from this Soul proceed all vital airs, all worlds, all gods, all beings."] as in the sentence "as the sparks of the fire"?

9. The poets call a lad fire (from his hot temper), the face the orb of a full moon, the eye a blue lotus, the bosom mount Meru, and the hand a young shoot; by a confusion of the superimposed appearance we may thus have the idea of identity where there is still a real difference; and so too must we deal with those words of ruti "I am Brahman." [Footnote: This is another suggested method of interpreting the words "I am Brahman." It may be only a common case of "qualified superimponent indication," as "the man of the Panjāb is an ox" (cf. Kāvya Prakāa, ii. 10-12). Cf. the definition of upachāra in the Sāhitya upachāro hi nāmātyanta.m viakalitayoh ād.riyātiayamahimnā bhedapratītisthaganamātram].

10. As there are many waves in the sea, so are we many individual souls in Brahman; the wave can never become the sea; how then wilt thou, the individual soul, become Brahman?

11. In the depths of all āstras the two things are both recognized, knowledge and ignorance; so too virtue and vice; and thus also science, and next to it closely clinging behind, but other than it, appears false science; thus everywhere there are opposite pairs, and similar is the notorious pair, Brahman and the soul. How can these two have oneness? Let the good answer with an upright mind.

12. Thou, O Soul, art the reflection of the Supreme Being, who possesses the power of illusion and is the substratum of all, while He, the adorable, shines forth as Himself the original; the one moon in the sky is seen manifold in water and the like; therefore there is a difference between thee and Brahman as between the reflection and its original.

13. Yonder Brahman is described by the words of the sacred texts as not to be known, nor to be reasoned about, and as devoid of all desire; but thou art within the range of speech and of thought; how shall there be oneness of thee and Brahman?

14. Thou art verily bereft of thy understanding, O individual Soul, by the darkness of this doctrine of Māyā, while thou constantly proclaimest like a madman "I am Brahman"; where is thy sovereignty, where thy empire, where thy omniscience? There is as vast a difference between Brahman and thee as between mount Meru and a mustard-seed!

15. Thou art a finite soul, He is indeed all-pervading; thou standest only on one spot, while He is everywhere always; thou, being of a moment, art happy and unhappy; He is happy at all times; how canst thou say "I am He"? Fie! art thou not ashamed?

16. Glass is glass, and a gem is a gem; a shell is but a shell, and silver is silver; there is never seen a transposition [Footnote: Dr. Banerjea (Dialogues, p. 379) reads kadāpy atyayajńānam, i.e. vyabhichāra; but all the MSS. which I have compared read na kadā vyatyaya (or vyatyaya.m) jńānam; kadā seems irregularly used for kadāpi, as it is also in l. 113, c.] among them. But wherever other things are imagined, to be found in something else, it is through an error; and so it is when the soul utters such words as "that art thou!"

17. The meaning of the word "that" (tat) is an ocean of immortality, filled with manifest and supreme felicity; the meaning of the word "thou" is a most miserable being, bewildered in mind through the burden of the fear of existence; these two can never be one, they are divided by the nature of things; the doctrine of Non-unity is the truth for all worlds, thou art but His slave.

18. If Brahman were meant by these words, the power employed would not be Denotation, for their literal meaning does not apply; [Footnote: In such sentences as "That art thou," "I am Brahman," etc., the primary power of the words, i.e. " Denotation" (abhidhā), could not express the unconditioned Brahman destitute of all attributes; for Denotation rests upon the ordinary conventional meaning, and how could this take in an idea so far removed from ordinary experience? Nor could it be the secondary power "Indication" (laksha.nā), as in the well- known instance of "the herd-station on the Ganges," where the Ganges, by "indication," means the shore and not the stream. For "indication" must be based on some connexion between the primary and the indicated secondary meaning; but how can that which is "without a second" be connected with anything?] consequently it must be the second power of a word, Indication.

19. Yet if so, why should it be Indication? for this arises from some association with the primary meaning; but with what can that substance be associated which is disconnected with everything and without a second?

20. That power of a word is Indication, by which, when the primary meaning is precluded, some other meaning is indicated in connexion therewith, through some motive or through common currency; and its causes are thus three [Footnote: I suppose that these are (1) the incompatibility of the primary sense; (2) the common currency of the secondary meaning, e.g. when "Europe" is used to imply its inhabitants in the phrase "Europe makes war:" (3) a motive, as in "a herd-station on the Ganges," where "Ganges" is used instead of "the bank of the Ganges," in order to imply the coolness and purity of the spot].

21. Now if there is no Denotation in a phrase, how can there arise any Indication? First there should be some primary meaning precluded, and then there may be the Indication of something else.

22. Where there is no accepted Denotation, how can you there have Indication? If there is no village, how can there be a boundary?— there is no child without a father [Footnote: Cf. the Bengali proverb māthā nāi tār māthābyathā, "he has no head and yet he has a headache."]

23. "The lances enter, the swords, the bows and arrows,"—here we have Indication; for the sentence must suggest something else to complete itself, as there cannot be "entrance" in the case of an inanimate subject.

24. "A herd-station on the Ganges,"—here we have the self-sacrifice of the primary to another meaning, since the Ganges, as being in the form of water, cannot be the site of a herd-station.

25. In the example "ghī is life" there is produced the idea of sameness of form; in the example "this is life" there arises the idea of identity [Footnote: In the first ex. there is uddha- sāropa-laksha.nā or "pure superimponent indication," in the second there is uddha-sādhyavasāna-l. or "pure introspeceptive indication," where the ghī is swallowed up in the "life." Most writers, however, disallow upachāra in uddha-laksha.nā]; but the knowledge of the meaning of the sentences will be produced by a metaphor,—there is not brought about a real oneness.

26. The doctrine of Identity is established with a desperate effort, and men have recourse to the power "Indication"; but there are three things which should rise to our view,—the primary meaning, the indicated meaning, and their connexion [Footnote: He seems to imply that each of these three requisites fails in the present case,— there is no primary meaning, and still less a secondary, and there is no connexion with any other object.].

27. There is here no Denotation from the absence of conventional agreement; there is no Indication from the absence of any reason [to establish it]; by what reason, on the theory of Māyā, can Brahman be ever made known?

28. He is described [Footnote: He now proceeds to declare his own opinions] in the Veda by the primary power of words [Denotation] as the Maker of the Universe; and by Inference we establish the conclusion that all these things have a Maker.

29. The Vedas are a proof, the m.ritis are a proof; there is a being to be proved and known there in many passages; it is the great Personality which is to be made known by all the Vedas,—therefore it is this which the Veda takes as its subject.

30. True verbal testimony produces knowledge even in regard to that which is absolutely non-existent,—then how much more in regard to Brahman the Lord, the maker of all that moves or is motionless!

31. It is said, [Footnote: Taitt. Upanish. ii. 4.] "Speech retires therefrom together with the Mind,"—but this is its explanation,— give ear: Together with the Mind Speech makes Him its object, and then retires, because His nature is not to be fathomed.

32. "Brahman is not to be made the object of mind or of words," [Footnote: Cf. the Ka.tha Up. vi. 12, "The soul is not to be reached by speech nor by the mind nor by the eye."]—from this saying it is understood that he is only to be declared by Revelation, Revelation has no faltering action [Footnote: For skhaladgati, cf. Kāvyaprakāa, ii. 16.].

33. "He who is versed in the Word-Brahman attains to the highest Brahman," [Footnote: This line is quoted from ruti in the Maitri Upanishad, vi. 22.]—surely such words of inspired sages are not mistaken babble.

34. Assuredly the conventional meaning of the words "existent," "thought," and "joy" applies to Brahman, just as the words "pot," "cloth," etc., refer to those particular objects.

35. The perception of the conventional meaning of words is aroused by the dialogue of the orderer and the ordered; and afterwards by insertion and omission the child becomes thoroughly skilled in the use of the words. [Footnote: Cf. Sā, ii. "On the old man's saying, when giving directions to the middle-aged man," etc. The Sāhitya D. uses the terms āvāpoddhārau, the Siddhāntamuktāvalī (p. 80) uses āvāpodvāpan].

36. So through hearing the words of the teacher and repeated study of the āstras the conventional meaning of such words as Brahman, etc., is assuredly produced in the pupil.

37. This earth must surely have had a maker; for its having the nature of an effect is a sign, just as we see to be the case in pots, etc.

38. If it is established that the supreme Lord is the maker, then his having a body follows as a matter of course [Footnote: This is one of the tenets of Rāmānujas as well as Pūr.naprajńas.]; for in all effects, as pots and the like, the maker is seen to have a body and not to be bodiless.

39. [The objector urges] "If the supreme Lord has a body, then he will be like to beings such as we are; there cannot be a maker without an intermediate agency [Footnote: The vyāpāra or intermediate agency is defined as taj-janyatve sati taj-janya- janako hi vyāpāra.h],—I see no difference whatever."

40. But great is the difference which is declared to exist between the Adorable Lord and men working with spades, sickles, ploughshares, and hands; these are helpless in the six waves [Footnote: Compare the memorial line, okamohau jarām.rityū kshutpipāse sha.dūrmaya.h.] (of human infirmity,) and wearied with the burden of labour,—He effects everything by a mere motion of his brow.

41. The Master can make, not make [Footnote: With this curious use of akartum (extending the analogy of such forms as akurvan, ak.ritvā, etc.) cf. Theognis, 621: {Greek: pas tis plośsion įndpa tķei atķei dč penixrón}. Cf. Shilleto, Cambridge Journ. of Philology, 1876, p. 161.], and alter; hence one may learn that vast is the interval between the two.

42. If the body is called the site of enjoyment, it is well known that this definition will hold good (even in this highest case [Footnote: Could loke mean that it will hold good "of the world" as his body?]),—there is nothing deficient but everything is present in the Lord's body [Footnote: Cf. "Whose body nature is and God the soul."], since He is the husband of Lakshmī.

43. "Every body is influenced by deserts,"—if this universal law is accepted, then He who is the Maker of all must be impelled [to create the world] by the deserts which dominate over beings like us [Footnote: I.e. he creates the world to give their deserts to the different souls.]

44. "Every body must be non-eternal,"—this is a general law, yet still Īvara's body may be eternal; for earth is everywhere seen to be non-eternal, while in the form of its atoms it is eternal.

45. One must not say, "why should the desert of one attach itself to another?" For it was in consequence of the respective merits and demerits of the elephant and the crocodile that the holder of the discus made all haste to interfere in the battle [Footnote: The objector urges "why should our good or evil deserts oblige God to act in a certain way?" He answers by referring to the well-known legend given in the Bhāgavata Purā.na, viii. ch. 2-4. A certain king, named Indradyumna, became an elephant through Agastya's curse. One day, while drinking in a lake, he was seized by a crocodile, and the struggle lasted for a thousand years. At last, in despair, he prayed to, who came down mounted on Garu.da and killed the crocodile. Thus we see that, although in one sense the deserts of one being cannot attach themselves to another, still they must cause certain actions in another being, or it would be impossible that each should receive its due reward or punishment.]

46. It has been heard of old that all this universe proceeded from the lotus of the navel of the Lord; hence is it established that be has a body, for how can there be a navel without a body?

47. The body of God is very pure,—to be enjoyed by all the senses, as being richly endowed with the six qualities [Footnote: These six qualities, according to the Commentator on the Bhāgavata P. i. 3. 36, are sovereignty, knowledge, glory, prosperity, dispassion, and virtue; a different list is given in the Sarva Dar. S. p. 54, l. 22 (but cf. p. 69, l. 18). See also infra in l. 95.],—and to be discovered by means of all the Vedas,—Gangā verily is the water wherewith he washes his feet.

48. Whenever by the influence of time there comes the increase of evil and the diminution of right, then the adorable Lord accomplishes the preservation of the good and the destruction of the wicked.

49. The Lord is said to be twofold, as the Incarnation and He who becomes incarnate; so too the souls are twofold, as divided into faithful and faithless.

50. Now some say that the personal soul is only the reflection of the Supreme; but their opinion does not at all hold, since it cannot be established.

51. For how could there arise a reflection of that Infinite and stainless one? and how could an insentient [reflection] enjoy the pain and pleasure arising from the merit and demerit declared in the Veda?

52. There may indeed be a reflection of that which is limited; but how shall there be one of Him whose attribute is infinity?

53. Rāmānuja, the foremost of the learned, condemned this theory of an original and its reflection; the fact that this doctrine is not accepted by the learned, will not make it seem more plausible.

54. There is an eternal division between the two, from the words of the Veda, "two birds;" [Footnote: Rig V. i. 164, 20, "Two birds associated together, two friends, take refuge in the same tree; one of them eats the sweet fig; the other, abstaining from food, merely looks on."] from the mention there of "two friends," how can there be identity between them?

55. I become Brahman, that is, I cease to have mundane existence through beholding the soul in Brahman; the result of this would be the abolition of sorrow, etc., but in no way absolute Oneness.

56. I become Brahman also through beholding Brahman in the soul [Footnote: Another reading is brahma.ny ātmanirīksha.nāt]; the result would be the abolition of His being out of sight [Footnote: I.e. it would be always videre videntem], but in no way Oneness.

57. It must not be said that by continued meditation with intent thought a man becomes Brahman; there will only enter into him a little merit; as we see indeed in the case of worms, bees, and the like [Footnote: Cf. Hitopadea, Introd. l. 45.];

58. By devotedly worshipping Brāhmans without ceasing, a ūdra will never become a Brāhman; there may enter into him a little merit, but one of the ūdra caste will never become a Brāhman.

59. The venerable author of the Aphorisms himself established a duality when he spoke of the application of the terms "object" and "agent" [Footnote: In Vedānta S. i. 2. 4, it is shown that certain passages in the Upanishads refer to Brahman and not the embodied soul, "because of the application therein of the terms object and agent;" as e.g. in the passage of the Chhāndogya Upan. iii. 14, "I shall attain it when I have departed from hence." These words imply an agent who attains and also an object which is attained, i.e. Brahman. a"nkara in his comment on i. 2. 11 illustrates this by the passage in the Katha Upanishad iii. 1, "The two, drinking the due reward from their works, in this world entered the cave, in the highest place of the supreme soul" (sc. the heart)]; and thus has it been explained by the author of the commentary by quoting passages of the Veda which imply duality, as that which says "the two entered the cave."

60. The soul is also shown to be different [from Brahman] by the evidence of m.riti [Footnote: Cf. Vedānta Sūtras i. 2. 6, where a"nkara quotes the passage from the Bhagavad Gītā (xviii. 61), "The Lord of all beings abides in the region of the heart,—causing all beings to revolve by his illusion as though mounted on a machine."]; thus their difference is proved to be essential. If it were not so, how could the Commentator have used such an expression as "the worshipper" and "the worshipped" [Footnote: He uses this very expression upāsyopāsakabhāva in his Comment. on i. 2. 4.]?

61. I am sometimes happy, sometimes miserable; He, the supreme Soul, is always essentially happy. Such is the difference,—then how can there be identity between these two different substances?

62. He is eternally self-luminous and unobscured,— intensely pure, the one witness of the world; not so is the individual soul,—thus a thunderbolt falls on the tree of the theory of Identity.

63. For those who maintain the identity of the individual and supreme soul, the hypothesis of a dvandva compound [Footnote: I.e. in the word jīvātmānau] is precluded; or they bring forward such words as d.rishadupala as parallel cases [Footnote: I suppose that this means that the dvandva compound d.rishadupala has some analogy to one like jīvātmānau, which involves identity, as the upper and lower millstone form one instrument; but there (in accordance with Pā.n. 2. 2. 34, vārtt.) the less important word meaning the upper and smaller stone (upalā) is placed last (cf. 2. 2. 31)]; the dvandva is only consistent with "difference," but in no way with "identity."

64. Where identity is the meaning, there arises the karmadhāraya compound,—for [such a karmadhāraya as] nīlotpala "the blue-lotus" is used as implying that the two members of the compound refer to the same subject [Footnote: But jīvātmānau is a dvandva, not a karmadhāraya compound.]

65. As there are many passages in ruti such as that which says "food is Brahman," [Footnote: Brihad Āra.nyaka Upan. v. 12. 1.] so too this passage "I am Brahman" is to be understood as meaning worship [Footnote: I.e. this is one of the modes of worshipping Brahman by meditating on him in some lower visible form, not as really expressing his real nature.]

66. The doctrine of Identity is not true; wherever it appears to be declared in ruti, all those passages are to be taken as only meaning worship.

67. There are many sentences in the ancient Veda which speak for non-identity as also for identity; having expelled envy and discussed the truth, let the wise declare that which each thinks wholesome.

68. O soul, bewildered by a deceived opinion, drive far from thy mouth these words "I am Brahman"; how canst thou be That, O thou who art utterly at the mercy of fate, plunged as thou art in the great ocean of mundane existence hard to be crossed!

69. He who is the beloved of Lakshmi, the ambrosia-ocean, full of manifest supreme joy; the water of whose feet is Gangā, worthy to be worshipped by Rudra and the other gods; who before creation created all instantaneously by a movement of his brow,—how canst thou say, O soul, "I am He,"—thou who art a poor beggar, not a king.

70. O slow of mind, how canst thou say, I am He with whom are filled all the vast stores of this universe in its entirety? Collect thy faculties calmly in thy heart and consider thine own power; can a host of fierce world-supporting elephants enter into the belly of a gnat?

71. Whose art thou? whence art thou come? how is the course of this mundane bondage? Ponder this matter in thy heart and forsake the path of the erring. Say not "I am He"; but worship Hari continually in the relation of adorer and adored; by this thou mayst attain the happy journey, but otherwise thou wilt assuredly fall.

72. Great is the misery which thou hast experienced, O Soul, while dwelling in the womb in various births, and thou hast wandered again and again in heaven or in hell; this theory "I am He" is an error of thine,—worship thou Hari's lotus feet; thou art His worshipper, He is the adorable, for He is the lord of the three worlds.

73. Renouncing the so-called theory of identity, forthwith devote thyself to duality, if there now dwells in thy heart a supreme feeling of faith in Hari; and, having learned the doctrine in Nārada's Pańcharātra and everywhere else, let all the hymns of the Vaish.nava sacred books be thoroughly examined, as is truly for thy good.

74. By what foolish teacher hast thou been instructed, that thou utterest these words "I am Brahman"? How art thou that being who is continually worshipped by Rudra and all the gods? O fool, consider it and see aright.

75. The wicked cannot understand the difference between the embodied and the Supreme Souls; the great reason for this is a mind possessed by an evil obstinacy in favour of the doctrine of Illusion; just as the tongue of those who suffer from excess of bile cannot taste the sweetness of molasses, nor the eyes of those afflicted with gutta serena or jaundice see the whiteness of a shell.

76. He by a particle of whose intellect thou, O Soul, hast been produced the foremost of intelligent beings—say not, O knave, that thou art He; for who but the ingrate desires to seize the seat of his Master?

77. A particle of intelligence has been deposited in thee by the supreme Lord in His mercy,—it becomes thee not, O knave, to say that therefore thou art God; just as if some evil-minded man had received elephants, horses, and infantry from the king and then set his heart on seizing his kingdom.

78. He under whose control is that mighty illusion which deceives the three worlds, He is to be recognized as the Supreme Lord, the adorable, essentially thought, existence and joy; but he who is himself always under her control like a camel drawn by a string through his nostrils, is to be recognized as the individual soul,— vast indeed is the difference between the two!

79. Having studied the doctrines of the Sā"nkhya, Ka.nāda, and Gautama, and the doctrine of Patańjali, the doctrines of the Mīmā.msā and Bha.t.tabhāskara [Footnote: Colebrooke's Essays, vol i. p. 359.], —amidst all the six current systems,—let the wise tell the final conclusion if they can as to the real nature of the supreme and the individual soul,—is it duality, or is it oneness, or is it again a oneness in duality?

80. In five of the systems I have only heard peremptorily asserted in many places the difference between the supreme and the individual souls; what is this that I hear asserted in the Vedānta system? "Plurality, unity, both,"—this is a threefold marvel! [Footnote: This is an attack on Rāmānuja's system, as opposed to that of Pūr.naprajńa or Madhva, cf. Sarva-darana S. p. 52, l. 20, "What is the real truth? The real truth is plurality, unity, and both. Thus unity is admitted in saying that Brahman alone subsists in all forms as all is its body; both unity and plurality are admitted in saying that one only Brahman subsists under a plurality of forms, diverse as soul and non-soul; and plurality is admitted in saying that the essential natures of soul, non-soul, and the Lord are different and not to be confounded." This doctrine is opposed by the followers of Madhva, see ibid., Pūr.naprajńa-dar. p. 61, l. 11.]

81. He who is the maker of all and the Lord of the world is independent by reason of his essential independence; the individual soul is notoriously dependent; how can they say then that these two are identical?

82. There are various flavours in honey [existing distinct] through the difference of the trees [from whose flowers it is produced]; how else could it remove the three-fold disorders? [Footnote: I.e. those affecting the three "humours" of the body, i.e. vāyu 'wind,' pitta 'bile,' and kapha 'phlegm.' Certain flavours of the honey counteract one disorder and others another. The Suruta thus describes honey (vol. i. p. 185): "When cooked it removes the three-fold disorders, but when raw or sour it causes them; when used in various applications it cures many disorders; and since it is composed of many different things it is an excellent medium for mixing. But as it consists of the juices of flowers which are mutually contrary in the action, potency, and qualities of their various ingredients, and it may happen that poisonous insects may be included, it is only good as a remedy for cold diseases."] So the individual souls at the world's dissolution are absorbed in the Lord; but they do not become identified with Him, for they are again separated at the next creation.

83. There is a difference between rivers and the sea, with their respective sweet and salt water; so too God and the soul are different and possessed of distinct attributes [Footnote: In allusion to Mu.n.d. Upan. iii. 2. 8.].

84. Rivers, when joined to the sea from all sides, are not identified with it nor yet do they appear to be separate; but from the difference between salt water and sweet water [Footnote: Most of the MSS. and the Benares Pa.n.dit read kshī roda; but the Calcutta ed. and one of the two MSS. in the Library of the Calcutta Sanskrit College read kshāroda, which seems preferable. If we read kshīroda, the line would require to be rendered, "but from the difference between milk mixed with water and pure water," or perhaps "from the difference between the milk-ocean and the water- ocean."] there must be a real difference between them.

85. Others see not the difference when water is mixed with milk, but the swan at once separates the milk and the water [Footnote: Cf. akunt. l. 155.]; so too when the souls are absorbed in the supreme Brahman, the Lord,—the faithful, who have received the Guru's words, can at once draw a difference between them.

86. Even when milk is mixed with milk and water with water, they do not become absolutely identified, for they still retain their fixed measure as before; so, when the souls through intense contemplation are absorbed in the Supreme Spirit, they do not become identified with Him; thus say the pure-minded saints.

87. There are certain disputants, sunk in a sea of false logic, addicted to an evil way, filled with a hundred imaginations of idle babble, deceived themselves and deceiving the world,—all that they say, "I am Brahman and all this visible universe also is Brahman,"— is now shown clearly to be an empty desire.

88. If I and all this universe were Brahman, then there would be an identity between thee and me; then thy wealth, sons, and wife would be mine, and mine would be thine, for there would be no distinction between us.

89. And how then could there be injunction or prohibition, since all are one, and there is no distinction of caste? If the doctrine of non-duality be thus held to be established, then what offence has the Buddhist committed?

90. "The Soul is different from the elements, the senses, the internal organ, and primary matter, and also from that which is called the individual,"—thus has it been declared of old by Kapila to his mother in the third book of the Bhāgavata [Footnote: Bhāg. Pūr. iii. 28. 41.] (Purā.na).

91. Those who study the path pointed out by the teacher, resting upon a foundation of naught, and maintain with an empty understanding that all is void and that all the recognized deities are naught,—how can many words be uttered about them, for language fails in a topic of naught; naught indeed is their wisdom, and their fruit shall be also mostly naught.

92. There are words uttered by Vyāsa in the Bhārata condemning this doctrine of the nothingness of all things [Footnote: The name ūnyavāda is generally applied to Buddhism; here it is applied by way of reproach to the Vedānta, which is called in the Padma-purā.na "secret Buddhism" (prachchhanna.m Bauddham)]; "their bodies are composed of the quality of darkness, and verily darkness shall be their end;" [Footnote: Mahābh. xii. 9690.]

93. These words which were uttered of old by Kapila in the presence of the sage Syūmarami [Footnote: This dialogue occurs in Mahābh. xii. 9604, ff.], were afterwards recounted by Vyāsa in the Bhā.rata.

94. This theory of theirs concerning a void of qualities in Him who is the ocean of qualities [Footnote: The Rāmānujas and the Mādhvas deny that the Supreme Being is,—thus there is a quotation in the Sarva Darana S. p. 64. "Vāsudeva is the supreme Brahman, endowed with auspicious attributes" (cf. p. 69, l. 18; p. 73, l. 2)], —it is but like the blind hurrying of sheep after the ewe that leads them! Having made a separate commentary of their own on the Sūtras they deceive those who follow their doctrine.

95. All these qualities, sovereignty, creation, and the like, eternally belong to the Supreme Lord; how then can He be "without qualities" who is thus "possessed of qualities"? he theory of a void of qualities is mere disputation.

96. The adorable one possesses knowledge, volition, and creative power; how then can he be destitute of qualities? or, if he is destitute of qualities, how can he be set forth by the Vedas? How can the absence of qualities be predicated of the sea of qualities, and yet all remonstrance be silent? Ponder it well in thine own mind, and then determine what is right.

97. A substance without attributes, like the sky-flower, is not admitted either in the Veda or in the world; if the knowledge of such a thing were derived from the Veda, the Veda itself would then cease to be an authority.

98. [The Vedāntin may reply] "The bunch of Darbha grass [Footnote: This is the prastara or bundle of sacred grass, which plays an important part in the sacrificial ritual, cf. Taittirīya S. i. 7. 4, "yajamāna.h prastara.h," where Sā remarks, "yajamānavad yāgasādhanatvāt prastare yajamānatvopachāra.h." This description of the grass as the sacrificer is really only meant as metaphorical praise, since the actual attributes of the sacrificer are evidently absent from the grass. (Cf. Mīmā.msā Sūtras, i. 4. 23.)] is said to be the sacrificer, as it is the means of performing the sacrifice; [as the Darbha grass is understood by this description,] even though the attributes thus ascribed are not found in it, so is Brahman understood when we ascribe certain qualities [as 'truth,' etc., even though these qualities are precluded in a being without qualities]."

99. [I answer] A thorough Vedāntin like thee does not accept any where the existence of qualities or that which possesses qualities; but if imagined qualities are done away with [by deeper insight], real qualities are nowhere done away with [Footnote: Clearer insight abolishes imagined attributes, as e. g. the supposed snake in the rope; but real attributes remain untouched, and we hold Brahman's attributes to be real.—I read abādha.h in I. 2.].

100. If Brahman is understood to be destitute of qualities, then "truth," etc., will not be applicable to Him; but, if so, there arises a contradiction in such passages [of ruti] as "he is the truthful," etc. [Footnote: I do not know where this passage occurs, but the kindred word satyadharman is applied to several deities in the Rigveda.]

101. When the existence of such a thing as a quality is admitted, we can imagine it in something else [Footnote: The Vedāntins hold that nothing exists besides Brahman; and yet, although they thus deny the existence of any other thing or quality, they hold that certain qualities are imagined to exist in him, forgetting that only one who has seen silver can imagine rajatatva in nacre.]; but to imagine that nacre is silver, we must first know clearly what silver is.

102. This universe is based on the soul as its site, being imagined in it by ignorance; some teachers would describe it as an illusory emanation [Footnote: It is a favourite doctrine of the Vedānta that ignorance, as being imagined by ignorance, is itself false.]; but this is not a pleasing doctrine to me.

103. It cannot be said that all this universe is false; since it is really the plaything of Hari, who is eternally engaged in sport [Footnote: Manu, i. 80, "There are numberless Manvantaras, creations and destructions numberless; the being supremely exalted performs all this, as in sport, again and again."]

104. The external world is not like a dream; for in dreams there is sleep and a host of imperfections; what we eat or drink in dreams gives us no enjoyment, but these things are enjoyable in our waking state.

105. If all that is seen were false, then how could it produce effects? The carrying of water in a jar is not false; all we can say is that it is transient.

106. The idea that all this world is false, is opposed to experience; for of what use would be all the expiations for sin, prescribed in the law-books? Why are these thieves to be punished even by the king? The upholder of the doctrine of Māyā can assert anything on his oath, but all is false.

107. Thou canst not say that the visible world is only like the transitory enjoyment of one who smells a wreath of flowers; however closely it is scanned, there is no overpowering evidence of its unreality [to preclude the presumption founded on experience]; it continually manifests itself to us as eternal in its stream of successive events.

108. This world is not false but it is rendered true by's protection [Footnote: Or this may mean "since has accepted it as the instrument of his sport."]; thou art made pure by the knowledge of Him, as all minerals shine as gold [when brought in contact with the philosopher's stone].

109. Dispassion and enjoyment stand equally aloof as disinterested spectators and are lost in faith; the partaking of the consecrated food is in no sense to be called an "enjoyment,"—it is itself an act of faith [Footnote: "The prasāda is any article of food that has been consecrated by previous presentation to an idol, after which it is distributed among the worshippers on the spot, or sent to persons of consequence at their own houses" (Wilson's Works, vol. 1. p. 116). Cf. also the legend in p. 134, where "Rām Dās at noon halted and bathed the god, and prepared his food, and presented it, and then took the prasād, and put it in a vessel, and fed upon what remained." (The food consecrated at the temple of Puri is especially called the Mahāprasāda.) There is a distich current among the Bhāktas:].

110. By intense devotion to his object the man of the world will become the devotee of enjoyment, and by the absence of all enjoyment a man becomes absolutely dispassionate; this is the real truth [Footnote: But the true devotee is neither devoted to enjoyment nor to dispassion, is equally apart from and superior to both.

/* jńāna.m nirāk.ritir, Brahma tyaktvā bhaktyā bhajāchyutam yatra prasādasevāpi bhaktir anyasya kā kathā */

"Knowledge is rejection; abandon Brahman and worship Here where even the homage paid to the prasāda counts as faith, what need to mention anything besides?" Thus the devotee does everything by faith, and dispassion and enjoyment are to him alike swallowed up in faith].

111. By association with the good and by repeatedly listening to the story of's sports there has arisen in the lake of the mind the great wave of pure faith and pure affection; abandoning the doctrine of unity and without hesitation embracing that of duality, we worship with our whole heart the lotus-feet of the beloved of Lakshmī.

112. There is a rule in the things of the world, that he who is near the king may be called the king; so too in the things of Brahman and the soul must we understand the various sacred texts [which at first sight appear to identify them].

113. He in whom the universe,—sun, moon, and the rest, with the three worlds,—rose into being,—in whom it all abides until it perishes,— and in whom, each in its own time, it is all finally dissolved,—He, the Lord, whom, being beyond all qualities [Footnote: Cf. Sarva D. S. p. 52, l. 8 infr. "The statements that the Supreme Spirit is devoid of qualities, are intended to deny his possession of phenomenal qualities (such as liking, disliking, etc.)."], even Brahman himself cannot declare in the Vedas,—why, O teacher, dost thou teach this miserable me the words "I am He"?

114. He in whom the storehouse of the universe with all its creatures great and small, was all contained like a line of insects drowned in a ripe fruit of the glomerous fig-tree,—in whom it abides until the final destruction,—and in whom it is eventually dissolved,—Ah! how can there come from my mouth, O teacher, these words "I am He"?

115. Him, the Supreme Lord, by whose compassion even the dumb becomes eloquent, the lame in a moment obtains strength to leap mountains, and even the man blind from his birth receives eyes beautiful like two lotuses,—or what still greater marvel shall I add?—Him I worship, the moon-faced son of Nanda, the philosopher's stone of the faithful.

116. Boundless is time, bounteous the earth, and great is the family of the devout worshippers of; somebody will be found at some time or other on the earth who will appreciate my merits [Footnote: Cf. the loka in the prologue of the Mālatīmādhava.]

117. Having studied under my preceptor Nārā, the best of teachers, his book, which bears the title of "The Ornament of Faith,"—having read it with all its supplements and appendices, and by his kindness to his faithful disciples having mastered all its mysteries,—and having become a receptacle of faith myself, I have now composed according to my ability this century of stanzas, a necklace of pearls of good doctrine, which have for their subject the distinction of the individual Soul and Brahman.

118. If we have uttered through inadvertence what is wrong, may the intelligent, observing it, correct all the errors; the feet of the traveller do sometimes stumble, and sometimes the speaker speaks through bewilderment what is incompatible.

119. In a poem strung of all excellences the mean man hunts for faults and never an excellence; in a palace all compact of jewels it is the ant that will see a flaw.

120. Let those who are envious and bereft of sense, detect a fault if they will; but let the connoisseurs count the merits; they who behold the merits and not the faults,—these are the good, these give the highest satisfaction.

121. Let this work of the poet Pūr.nānanda be read and be heard, which is devoted to proving the difference of the individual soul from the Supreme,—which is excellent with its sentences that distinguish truth from falsehood, and is approved by the devotees of,—based on the doctrine of Madhva, and pleasing with a composition full of sweet words,—O ye best of the worshippers of Bhagavat, if faith be desired in your minds.

122. On the neck of the faithful may this Tattvamuktāvalī [Footnote: Or "the necklace of the pearls of truth."] abide for ever,—whose beauty is increased by the apt arrangement of sweet and soft words but which is free from rhetorical ornaments,— beautiful with a profusion of sentences sweet like milk, and with its parts all bright and elegant,—a special source of delight to the intelligent,—charming with a host of excellences and devoid of even the trace of a fault.

Tattva-muktavālī by Pūr.nānanda Chakravartin


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